Advanced Health Informatics Certification (AHIC) Leadership

Cynthia S. Gadd, PhD, MBA, MS, FACMI

Executive Director

In 2016, Cynthia S. Gadd was appointed Executive Director to lead development of a new certifying entity to manage the AMIA-developed Advanced Health Informatics Certification (AHIC) that will be capable of offering an exam within the next two years. Dr. Gadd was the chair of the Advanced Interprofessional Informatics (AIIC) Work Group responsible for developing the AHIC eligibility requirements. She is an ideal leader for the effort and was tapped for her ability to be a credible, strong, and independent voice for initial and ongoing certification of eventual AHIC candidates. In her role she is responsible for developing core content, eligibility requirements, and a certification examination in accordance with AMIA Board directives.

Dr. Gadd is currently a Professor and Vice-Chair for Educational Affairs, Department of Biomedical Informatics, Vanderbilt University and is taking sabbatical to establish a health informatics certification entity. She has held several leadership positions — from fellow to full professor — at Vanderbilt University, University of Pittsburgh, Duke University and Duke University Medical Center, and the College of William and Mary.

She has directed graduate programs in Biomedical Informatics for more than 16 years and is currently the PI or Co-PI of three NIH-funded training programs funded by the National Library of Medicine (T15, R25 SRE, T32 BD2K), which include degree and non-degree training opportunities in Biomedical Informatics. Dr. Gadd has guided more than 27 MS and PhD trainees now in faculty positions at institutions including Weil Cornell Medical College, Vanderbilt University, Northwestern University, and the University of Pittsburgh. She has also served on 12 doctoral committees (chairing 5).

Her primary area of research is the implementation and evaluation of integrated clinical information systems from a sociotechnical perspective. Her research interests include the evaluation of innovative approaches for biomedical informatics education and training to meet the needs of healthcare in the U.S. and globally.

Dr. Gadd brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the certification effort. Her education background includes: MS in medical informatics, Duke University, NC; PhD in information systems and cognitive science, University of Pittsburgh, PA; MBA in business administration, Winthrop University, SC; and a BS in textile engineering, North Carolina State University, NC, where she graduated summa cum laude.

She became a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics (FACMI) in 2008.

Complete List of Published Work


Elaine B. Steen, MA

Senior Education and Certification Consultant

Elaine B. Steen has been involved in AMIA’s efforts to establish advanced health informatics certification since 2007.  She served as project manager and editor for the task forces that generated the Core Content for the Clinical Informatics Subspecialty, Program Requirements for Clinical Informatics Fellowships, and Proposed Eligibility Requirements for Advanced Health Informatics Certification.  She coordinated the development of AMIA’s Clinical Informatics Board Review Course and manages the process for generating and reviewing items for AMIA’s clinical informatics simulated exam.  Steen served as the project manager and editor for other AMIA initiatives including the development of the clinical decision support roadmap and the development of a framework for health informatics distance learning modules for use in low resource settings (i.e., Health Informatics Building Blocks or HIBBs).

Prior to working with AMIA, Steen worked at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center for over ten years in a variety of policy, planning, and administrative roles.   She has written several reports on behalf of the Blue Ridge Academic Health Group, including the 2013 report Health Professions Education: Accelerating Innovation through Technology.  She served as a program officer for the Institute of Medicine’s committee on improving the patient record and co-edited the 1991 and 1997 editions of The Computer-based Patient Record: An Essential Technology for Health Care.   She co-edited Academic Health Centers: Leadership and Performance (2005) and has contributed to articles and book chapters on the clinical informatics subspecialty, electronic health records, and challenges facing academic health centers.  Elaine received a MA in Economics from the University of Virginia in 1986 and a BA in Economics from the College of the Holy Cross in 1983.