Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital’s Powe a finalist in the Charlotte CIO of the Year Orbie Awards

Staff Report
Powe - Photo courtesy of HCMH

Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital’s Chief Information Officer Lee Powe was recently honored at the Charlotte CIO of the Year Orbie Awards, the premier technology executive recognition program. This annual event honors chief information officers who have demonstrated excellence in technology leadership. Powe was named one of three finalists in the healthcare division.

The criteria and requirements for this award include being a CIO and member of top management within the organization, as well as leadership and management effectiveness, business value created by technology innovation, and engagement in industry and community endeavors.

A retired U.S. Air Force non-commissioned officer in his “second” career, Powe naturally models the values of discipline, selflessness and innovation. Through his vision and leadership at Hugh Chatham during the past 13 years, Powe has made healthcare better by seeking to first understand how technology can make care safer, more accessible and more effective, thus through technology, putting care back in the hands of patients and providers amidst a complex backdrop of competing priorities and limited resources.

Under Powe’s leadership, HCMH achieved Meaningful Use status for the past seven years. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) defines standards for electronic health record data use among providers, insurers and patients. By achieving all goals set forth by CMS, Powe helped Hugh Chatham earn more than $5 million in incentive payments — vital resources to a rural/community hospital.

Powe also was recognized by HIMSS (Health Information and Management Systems Society) Analytics in both 2017 and 2018 for successfully implementing the EMR (Electronic Medical Record) Adoption Model Stage 6. For the past three years, Hospitals and Health Networks Magazine named Hugh Chatham as one of the nations’ “Most Wired” hospitals under Powe’s direction.

Most recently, he has deployed a comprehensive cyber security defense system, safeguarding patient records and system reliability from potential IT threats. In both 2017 and 2018, Powe has been recognized by Beckers Hospital Review on its list of the “Top 100 CIO’s to Know” in healthcare.

“Lee combines unusual subject matter expertise, common sense, integrity, and an ability to consistently exceed expectations. He has a vision for what is possible and a rare ability to cultivate a culture of trust, empowerment and team alignment. Lee’s influence and reputation reaches far beyond our company, or even the bounds of “IT,” said Paul Hammes, chief executive officer of Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital.

Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital ( is a not-for-profit community health care network of physician clinics and an 81-bed acute care hospital that delivers high quality, convenient health care to residents of the Yadkin Valley and Foothills region of North Carolina and parts of southwestern Virginia. Employing more than 800 team members, Hugh Chatham includes a medical group of more than 70 providers across 26 locations and five counties. Headquartered in Elkin, Hugh Chatham is a leader in using technology to coordinate care for patients and to make healthcare more accessible, and cost-effective.

Powe Photo courtesy of HCMH

Staff Report