CONTACT:  Shannan Schmitt
Director of Communications
(513) 247-5253

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CINCINNATI, OH – The Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC), a newly-formed, not-for-profit national trade association of collaborative regional, state, and community-based health information exchanges (HIEs), has named its founding HIE organizations in a recent press release posted on their newly-launched website, The Health Collaborative is among the 19 founding member organizations, with CFO Keith Hepp named as Secretary and Treasurer of the board of directors.

Founded in late 2014, SCHIEC assists member organizations through the exchange of ideas and business practices as well as through public education and advocacy.

Keith Hepp is CFO and Senior Vice President of Business Development at The Health Collaborative. As a national leader in e-health, Hepp has worked as a consultant to many other HIEs around the country providing them with financial advice, calculation of ROI, and business case recommendations. He has spoken widely on health information technology (HIT) and data exchange for a variety of national events over his nearly 17 years in health care informatics.

Keith Hepp, CFO

Keith Hepp, CFO

Hepp served previously as Interim CEO, CFO, and Vice President of HealthBridge, which merged with The Health Collaborative and Greater Cincinnati Health Council in March of 2015. Founded in 1997, HealthBridge started as a regional effort to improve health care quality as a not-for-profit corporation that supports HIT adoption, HIE, and innovative use of information for improved health care outcomes. Today, the HealthBridge service line of The Health Collaborative is recognized as one of the nation’s largest, most advanced, and most financially sustainable health information exchanges, and has grown its innovative information network to encompass more than 30 hospitals, 800 physician practices, 7,500 physicians and six different communities in four states.

Robert (Bob) Steffel, former CEO of HealthBridge, has been named the Executive Director of SHIEC. “It is an honor to join SHIEC as its Executive Director,” Steffel said. “The founding members of SHIEC have created an organization that represents a unique alliance of diverse HIEs from across the country. These HIEs play a valuable role in enabling better care coordination and more complete patient records in the communities they serve.”

Dick Thompson, Executive Director of Quality Health Network in Grand Junction, Colorado, is the Board Chair of SHIEC. “The launch of the SHIEC website and appointment of an Executive Director mark new and important milestones since the organization’s incorporation in late 2014,” Thompson said. “The founding members of SHIEC include some of the more successful and sustainable HIEs in the nation. As our membership grows, we look forward to sharing best practices, promoting sustainable business models, offering opportunities for joint ventures, and increasing awareness of HIE perspective among public and private entities. SHIEC provides its members with the unique opportunity to gain economies of scale without losing their autonomy.”

Hepp is enthusiastic about his role on the board of SHIEC: “The collaboration of so many HIEs nationwide presents a unique opportunity to further transform the health care industry here at home in Cincinnati, and across the country. We are continually learning from each other and setting benchmarks for the coordination and transfer of data as we go. This is a tremendously exciting time to be working in health care – I look forward to the positive healthcare outcomes this collaboration will bring.” Hepp’s term on the SCHIEC board of directors will last two years.


About The Health Collaborative:
The Health Collaborative is a non-profit organization that strives to positively impact health status, experience, outcomes, and affordability by fostering a connected system of health care and community health through innovation, integration, and informatics in the greater Cincinnati region. For more information about the Health Collaborative, visit

The Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC) is a national consortium of statewide, regional and community health information exchanges (HIEs) that serves as a trade association to assist member organizations through the exchange of ideas and business practices as well as through public education and advocacy. For more information about SHIEC, please go to, contact, or call Robert Steffel at 513-256-9962.