ElectronicHealthcare 7(3) January 2009 : 118-119

Celebrating Leadership - Denis Protti - Recipient of the 2008 Canadian Health Informatics Award for Leadership in the Field of Health Informatics


Founding Director, the University of Victoria's School of Health Information Science. Inventor of the Protti Score - a National Health Service (UK) evaluation methodology to monitor the local implementation of a national strategy. Just two of a very long list of accomplishments. Denis has done it all.
Read his illustrious curriculum vitae at hinf.uvic.ca/people/protti.php.

We asked three people who know Denis well to give us just a little insight into the man. Here are their responses.

Denis is the only person I know who was mentioned in the British Parliament's Hansard. He has been an outside expert to the National Health Service (NHS) for years on its eHealth strategy. He put together a series of measures of health IT progress that became known as the "Protti Score" across England. This was part of the work commissioned by Her Majesty's Treasury to review the proposed NHS Information Strategy for England prior to its release. The Protti Score is now the evaluation methodology used to monitor local implementation of the national strategy.

From Hansard:

Dr. Evan Harris: (Shadow Minister for Science) To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer to the Hon. Member for South Derbyshire (Mr. Todd) on 11 March 2002, Official Report, column 806W, if he will publish the report commissioned from Professor Protti by the Information Policy Unit and the NHS Information Authority on issues of implementing "Information for Health". [44054]

Mr. Hutton: (Secretary of State for Health) The report from Professor Protti is still under consideration. It is informing the preparation of the delivery plan for information and information technology that the Department is preparing as part of taking forward "Delivering the NHS Plan", published in April 2002. Professor Protti's report will be published later in the year.

When Denis stepped down after 20 years hosting the Partnership in Productivity conference in Victoria (a think tank of senior leaders in the health system), a scholarship was established honouring him and his wife Pat. Pat handled logistics for many of his meetings, conferences and academic projects, which took him across the country and around the world. They made their partnership work from both a family and a work perspective.

Another colleague writes:
I was convinced that Denis Protti knew just about everyone in health informatics in Canada. He managed to get an amazing range of experts from across the country to volunteer to speak in classes, to support cooperative education work terms, to host site visits and to fund scholarships. Since then, I have come to understand that my initial opinion was too modest. Actually, Denis's connections stretch around the world. So does the respect for his depth of expertise, the value of his advice and mentorship, his care for others and his many other fine qualities.

A colleague at the university writes:
An influential thinker, a renowned scholar, an exceptional teacher, an insightful mentor, an inspiring role model and most important of all, a humble and caring individual; I am proud to be his colleague here at the School. I still remember his advice to me of "Do your best, leave the rest" at difficult times when things just did not go in the right direction. These simple yet powerful words of wisdom have helped immensely over the years to shape my own thinking and doing.

The Leadership in the Field of Health Informatics Award was presented by ITAC Health and COACH: Canada's Health Informatics Association.


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