2020-2021 Austin Chapter Board of Directors

Austin HIMSS Chapter  - Board of Directors 2020-2021

President: Sarah Churchill Llamas


Sarah Churchill Llamas is a healthcare and health information technology attorney and a nationally-recognized expert in health IT solutions, having been appointed a Health IT Fellow by the Office of National Coordinator for Health IT under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in 2014. Sarah is a shareholder in Winstead's Austin office and Chair of their Cybersecurity specialty group. Sarah is also a member of the firm’s Healthcare and Technology Industry Groups as well as the Corporate Securities/Mergers & Acquisitions Practice Group.

Sarah represents a broad range of health information technology companies who are working diligently to improve the healthcare system in a variety of ways from mHealth to advanced algorithms and machine learning. In addition, she represents the entities that intersect with health information technology including hospitals, health plans, large physician groups and accountable care organizations, managed services organizations, self-insured employers and venture capital firms.

Past President: Douglas Caldwell - Jaco Inc - Sales


Vice President Secretary: Sunila Thelma Levi


Sunila Thelma Levi is the Chief Information Officer/Chief Technology Officer (CTO), with Integral Care. She brings 21 plus years of IT professional experience. She worked across both private sector and government industries, in various technology roles. For last 11 years, she has worked at Texas Health and Human Service Commission (HHSC). She started her career in private sector as Java developer, moving on to Systems Architect, Enterprise Architect to the latest Deputy CTO role at HHSC. During her tenure, she led many IT projects, small (10 user) systems to Enterprise scale, statewide systems. Some notable projects include TWC’s workintexas.com, HHSC’s Systems for Applications, Verifications, Eligibility, Reports and Referrals (SAVERR) systems and many program supporting information system initiatives and strategies.

Sunila is recipient of Texas Star Award and holds programmer, web component developer and The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) certifications. She is a graduate of HHSC Executive Leadership Academy and LBJ School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Department of Information Resources Executive Leadership for Information Technology Excellence (ELITE) programs.

Sunila has a bachelor’s in Electronics and Communication Engineering and a Master’s degree in Business Administration, Management Information Systems (MBA, MIS) from St. Edwards University. She lives in Round Rock and considers herself blessed to enjoy and share life with her husband and a 15-year-old son.


Vice President Programs:  Kristin Norton


Vice President of Advocacy: Mark Steiger


Mark Steiger is an executive, lecturer and thought leader in the healthcare IT industry. Currently, Mark is the Executive Director of Operations for the Central Region of AscensionConnect serving Ascension markets in Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma from a 60,000 square foot 24/7 Solutions Center in Austin, TX. In this role Mark enables unified platforms to connect consumers and clinicians to the resources they need for optimized health and prevention. AscensionConnect seeks to span the entire continuum of patient engagement to create a frictionless consumer experience. Mark has rich and broad experience in virtual care, population health, patient access and experience, and leading edge remote clinical surveillance systems and technology.

Mark previously held leadership roles at CommUnityCare, Austin Regional Clinic and Texas Medical Association. Mark helped to develop and is a Faculty Affiliate with University of Texas’ Health Informatics and Health Information Technology certification program and has been a lecturer for eighteen successive cohorts. He holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.

Mark serves the Central Texas Community through his roles as Co-Chair of the American Heart Association’s Austin Heart Walk and as on United Way Austin’s Mission Integration Board. In his free time he is an avid cyclist and snow skier.

Vice President Communications: Hazel Chappell


Hazel arrived in Austin, TX just over 2 years ago from the UK having worked in healthcare for over 17 years, at the beginning of the healthcare Digital Transformation era, prior to moving from Ireland. Her significant operational management in clinical systems implementation underpins her knowledge and understanding of the EPR combined with a desire to enable better patient care through innovation and technology. Hazel is a keen advocate of interoperability and health information exchange with key interests to include Informatics, all things Data - metrics, sets, coding, quality, Patient Consent and the Aged.
Hazel has headed up ventures in the UK, Ireland, and Europe. She brings value to organizations by ensuring operational readiness, driving faster adoption, getting engagement from the right people to accelerate business change which delivers cost benefits in an efficient and effective manner. Her recent work here in the US has been in cybersecurity in healthcare working cross-state and engaging at federal level. Her work during Covid-19 has enabled more of her hidden capabilities to be realized which drives her passion for cybersecurity in Healthcare where the drive for change toward digitization recognizes the cyber security vulnerabilities that these changes can bring. Hazel's hand-on experience provides a lot of anecdotal evidence in the US.

Hazel is an Advisor to the DellMed Innovation Catalyst program and recently lectured in UT Austin on European status in the Health and Care ecosystems sharing evidence on successful innovative solutions. She is an active member with the UK healthcare leadership digital network, affiliated with Austin, OWASP, a contributor to ONC 405(d) Task Group and a prominent e-Health Ireland Committee board member.

Hazel thoroughly enjoys being outdoors and relishes a good tennis workout. She is coach to Austin's U10 girls in field hockey and can be seen taking pictures of the Long Horns, bovine type. 


Vice President Social Media:  Natalie Cugine


Vice President of Sponsorship: Neda Hiller



Vice President Membership: Catherine King


Catherine King has a varied background in business and technology topics and specializes in the intersection of those disciplines. By understanding the business perspective, landscape and strategy, Catherine identifies organization challenges and strengths as well as areas for growth. This business-first focus leads to successful, measurable business outcomes. Technology is cultivated to support and enhance the organization’s existing capabilities or grow new capabilities.

Catherine has served in many roles including Product Manager, Scrum Master, Director of Service Delivery and is currently serving as a Business Architect in the Enterprise Architecture organization for Ascension, the largest non-profit healthcare system in the United States, the second largest healthcare system overall in the U.S. and the largest Catholic health system in the world.

Catherine is passionate about advocating for the needs of children. She has served as a court appointed special advocate (CASA, guardian ad litem), foster parent, coach, teacher, fundraiser.

Vice President of Programs: Hope Young


Hope Young is a board certified music therapist and is the founder and president of the Board for Center for Music Therapy, Inc. and Founder CEO, of Biomedical Music Solutions, Inc. located in Austin, Texas.

She has led her field in securing third-party reimbursement for treatments, as well as legislative recognition of the Music Therapist-Board Certified Credential, and Disability Services Advocacy  for the past three decades, and continues to break new ground in business and innovative development.

Ms Young is an long time, active member of the National Academy of the Recording Arts and Sciences where she currently serves as a Grammy Advocate successfully working with her industry partners and legislative representatives to pass the 2018 Music Modernization Act (MMA). She is currently advocating for creatives to be included in the COVID19 Emergency Relief Funding Legislation as well as working with legislators on two Bills being considered by congress: 1.  HITS Act   2. Restart

Hope is a leading innovator and driving force behind the concept and development of Biomedical Music ™ which is a digital health solution software providing precision audio outputs to HIT connected biomedial devices.  Her first product Soundsteps™, launched in 2017 to Europe, China, Japan, Canada and the United States, is now revolutionizing the audio output capabilities in the biomedical space by accelerating replicable improved treatment outcomes while enhancing the patient/user experience in the use of music as treatment for gait rehabilitation.

Hope speaks and consults nationally and internationally on music and biotechnology design and integration. Her team was a 2018 SXSW Innovation Awards Finalist and 2017 IHA (Intelligent Health Association) Award Winner. She historically can be found on television, radio, and in print media having been featured on such programs as the BBC and CBS 48 Hours with Dan Rather, educating the public about music therapy and promoting music's integration in biotech. Ms. Young is also recognized nationally and internationally in such publications as The Journal of the American Medical Association, Shape Magazine, The Wall Street Report, and New York Times Bestseller: The Mozart Effect. Various other newspapers, journals, and books have been written about Ms. Young.  You can find her BMS, Inc. “Animals Everywhere” beta product used in research demonstrating the accelerated and improved outcomes in gait and balance published in such Journals as:  Jan 2020: International Journal of Nueroscience, August 2020: Frontiers of Neurology/Movement Disorders.

Hope graduated from The University of the Pacific, Conservatory of Music in 1989 with a degree in music therapy. She received The Young Outstanding Alumni Award from her alma mater and she was honored with the Harmony Award in her field for clinical practice.

Hope loves science and see’s science as an art and art as a science.  She is especially a geek about astrophysics and quantum theory thus science fiction and Carl Sagan provide a wonderful ship of inquiry for her imagination. 


Vice President of Social Events: Colin Thom



Treasurer: David Franklin


David, a Navy veteran, is a seasoned technologist with more than 22 years of experience. He has participated in two IPOs and delivered more than 10 applications to market. Over the last decade, Franklin has focused on cloud computing and machine learning for health care applications. He has studied at Moody Bible, Penn State, and MIT. Currently, knowRX, a pre-seed accelerator graduate with Founders Institute, is focused on Patient/Physician Engagement and Navigation promoting stronger diversity participation for COVID-19 Vaccine in Clinical Trials and Medication Adherence with their machine learning platform that drives better outcomes in research and personal health. knowRX has been recognized as a Top 100 Startup of the Year 2019 (National),  Top 50 Startup to Watch (Austin), and SXSW Healthcare Innovation Award Finalist. 

David is currently in training to climb Mt. KILIMANJARO, loves to trout fish. married and has 3 teenagers.

Student LiasonRobert (Bob) Ligon


Bob is a faculty member and researcher in the Health Informatics and Health IT Program, McCombs School of Business. He teaches the course Project Management, Workflow Redesign and Quality Improvement and co-teaches the courses Introduction to Informatics, and Fundamentals in Health IT in the HIHIT Program. Before joining the faculty at UT Austin, he was the director of Health Information technology at TMF Health Quality Institute, the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) for Texas. He was part of the core team that developed the Regional Extension Centers proposals for Texas and oversaw a team of consultants who provided technical assistance to over 300 physician practices adopting EHRs. Prior to his work with the QIO, Bob served as the CIO for one of the largest cardiovascular practices in the country where he also taught an introductory course in Biostatistics at Southern Illinois Medical School. He also served for 10 years as the director of cardiovascular clinical research and informatics at a large Midwestern hospital facility.
Bob holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Houston and a Master's in Psychology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He also has earned a degree in Advanced Respiratory Care. He holds a PMP certification from the Project Management Institute and a CPHIMS certification from the Health Information Management Systems Society. Mr. Ligon has authored or co-authored over 60 articles in peer reviewed journals. His areas of specialization are workflow and process redesign, project management and quality improvement as well as EHR selection, implementation and optimization.