"The appointment of Wei-Tih Cheng is another important step in strengthening Aetna's senior management team," said Dr. Rowe. "With the recent additions of Ronald A. Williams as chief of health operations and Dr. William H. Popik as chief medical officer, we are building a team of seasoned health care business leaders, who can help transform the way Aetna does business.
"Wei-Tih has a very strong record of achievement as a business leader, first at IBM and later at one of the nation's most respected health care institutions," Dr. Rowe said. "He thinks about problems from a user's perspective and devises information technology solutions that not only improve productivity and efficiency, but also the quality of the business and health outcomes. His peers in the health care industry voted him CIO of the Year.
"At Aetna, we have a focus on e.health, which means that we see an opportunity to use technology to improve the quality of customer service and the quality of health care outcomes. One of our major initiatives is to significantly enhance Aetna's case management and disease management capabilities by providing information from our vast database that will help physicians and hospitals provide better health care.
"Wei-Tih is a recognized industry leader in the development of information technology support for disease management, having developed a data warehouse for Memorial Sloan-Kettering that provides patient care and disease management support. As a visionary, Wei-Tih has a track record of implementing technological innovations that were ahead of their time and provided his organization with competitive advantages. I believe he is particularly well suited to help us to meet the challenges of transforming Aetna," Dr. Rowe said.
"Aetna is already the highest ranking health insurer on the InformationWeek 500 list of companies, based on our effectiveness in applying information technology to their businesses," Cheng said. "Yet, there is much more that can be done. By improving our information technology strategy, Aetna has a tremendous opportunity to make a significant contribution to the quality of health care," Cheng said. "I look forward to helping Aetna sharpen its focus on the patient and work more collaboratively with physicians and hospitals to meet patients' needs."
At the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, one of the world's most prestigious cancer treatment and research centers, Cheng served as a corporate officer. He was responsible for the development and implementation of the center's strategic plan for information technology. His responsibilities included all clinical, financial, administrative and research information systems development, implementation and maintenance of data warehouse and services, voice and data communications network management and operations, data center operations, computer training, asset management, help desk and end-user support.
Cheng was named the 1999 John Gall, Jr. CIO of the Year by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives. At IBM, Cheng provided information systems support for business planning to two of IBM's major business groups and was responsible for bringing state-of-the-art office systems to IBM headquarters.
For more information about Aetna Inc., please visit the company's website at www.aetna.com.