Forum Chair

Pinar KeskinocakPinar Keskinocak, PhD
Georgia Institute of Technology
William W. George Chair, School of Industrial and Systems Engineering; Co-director, Center for Health & Humanitarian Systems (CHHS); ADVANCE Professor, College of Engineering, Georgia Tech

Dr. Keskinocak has over 20 years of experience in logistics and supply management. Her work focuses on the applications of operations research and management science with societal impact, particularly health and humanitarian applications. She co-founded and co-directs the GT Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems, which was recently named an Interdisciplinary Research Center at Georgia Tech. Her recent work has addressed infectious disease modeling (e.g., cholera, pandemic flu), evaluating intervention strategies, and resource allocation; catch-up scheduling for vaccinations; medical decision-making (e.g., disease screening); hospital operations management; disaster preparedness and response (e.g., prepositioning inventory, debris management). She has worked on a variety of projects with companies, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and healthcare providers, including American Red Cross, CARE, CDC, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory University Hospital, Grady Memorial Hospital, Pan-American Health Organization, and the Task Force for Global Health.

Program Committee

Turgay Ayer, PhD

Turgay Ayer, PhD
Georgia Institute of Technology
Research Director of the Medical Decision-Making, Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems
George Family Foundation Assistant Professor, H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering

Turgay Ayer is a George Family Foundation Assistant Professor in the Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech. He is also the research director for medical decision-making in the Center for Health & Humanitarian Systems at Georgia Tech. Dr. Ayer conducts research on stochastic modeling and optimization, with applications in predictive health, medical decision making, health care operations, and health policy. Together with his students, Dr. Ayer has received several awards for his work, including an NSF CAREER award, first place in the 2011 and 2015 INFORMS Doing Good with Good OR Student Paper Competition, finalist in the 2015 INFORMS George Nicholson Student Paper Competition, 2012 and 2014 Seth Bounder Foundation Research Award, and second place in the 2011 MSOM Student Paper Competition. He is a member of INFORMS and the Society for Medical Decision Making, and he currently serves as the president of the INFORMS Health Application Society.


Mark Braunstein, MD
Georgia Institute of Technology
Professor of the Practice, School of Interactive Computing

Dr. Braunstein teaches health informatics at Georgia Tech both on-campus and as part of the school’s unique Online Masters of Science in Computer Science (OMSCS) program.  His students take advantage of Georgia Tech’s unique on-campus FHIR server to develop apps to solve challenges posed by domain experts from various institutions.  He and has written Practitioners Guide to Health Informatics, a guide to health informatics for physicians and other non-technical readers (published 2015) and Contemporary Health Informatics (published spring 2014), a textbook.

Prior to joining Georgia Tech in 2007, he founded several successful health IT companies. Before that, he was on the faculty of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) where he developed one of the first functional ambulatory electronic medical record system.

He earned a BS degree from MIT in 1969, an MD degree from MUSC in 1974 and completed an internship in internal medicine at Washington University in 1975.


Jon DukeJon Duke, MD
Georgia Institute of Technology
Director of Health Data Informatics, College of Computing, School of Computational Science & Engineering; Principal Research Scientist, Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) Information & Cyber Sciences Directorate

Jon Duke, M.D., is the director of health informatics at Georgia Tech’s College of Computing, School of Computational Science & Engineering, and holds a joint appointment as a principal research scientist in the Georgia Tech Research Institute’s (GTRI) Information & Cyber Sciences Directorate. He leads big data in medicine research projects. Duke previously held an appointment as a senior scientist and director of health analytics and advanced text mining at the Regenstrief Center for Biomedical Informatics. While at Regenstrief, he also lead the Drug Safety Informatics Lab as well as a 5-year partnership with Merck & Co, which conducted more than 45 projects involving at least 70 faculty and staff.

Duke leads Georgia Tech’s initiative to improve human health through better capture, interpretation, and applications of data. This effort incorporates a spectrum of expertise including machine learning, natural language processing, high-performance computing, sensors, cybersecurity and health data interoperability. While applying advanced technology, these efforts manifest through real-world projects supporting not only research environments but health care systems, government and industry partners, and community collaborators.

Duke’s previous work focused on advancing techniques for conducting research through structured, unstructured and patient-generated health care data, with applications spanning research, quality and clinical domains. Over the last several years, Duke has directed more than $21 million in data research for industry and government sponsors. He has worked to expand on strategies for capturing better health care data, streamlining insights for stakeholders and delivering effective data-based interventions. In 2014, Duke helped found the Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics (OHDSI, pronounced “Odyssey”) program, which aims to develop open-source solutions to deliver value in health data through large-scale analytics. Board certified in internal medicine since 2003, Duke served as an adjunct professor of medicine, an adjunct professor of informatics and an adjunct professor of knowledge informatics and translation at the Indiana School of Medicine from 2010 to 2014. He was a resident clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School from 2000 to 2003. In addition to co-founding the OHDSI Collaborative, Duke is a member of the Health Information and Management Systems Society, the American Medical Informatics Association and the American College of Physicians.


Sherry Farrugia, PhD

Sherry Farrugia
Georgia Institute of Technology
Managing Director, Health Research Partnerships, Institute for People and Technology
Director of the Pediatric Technology Center, a research collaboration between Georgia Tech and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

Sherry Farrugia is the Managing Director for Health Research Partnerships at Georgia Tech and and Director of the Pediatric Technology Center, a research collaboration between Georgia Tech and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In this dual role she works to build and sustain public-private partnerships, and spends half her time at Georgia Tech and the other half at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta where she manages the multi- million research portfolio. Farrugia has nearly 25 years experience in the Health IT field, working in data analytics, data visualization, and clinical and financial outcomes. She owned a health IT company that she sold to McKesson HBOC, and was involved in several other successful start up companies.

Before coming to Georgia Tech she owned a healthcare consulting company focusing on predictive health and risk mitigation in the area of chronic disease prediction, prevention, and management.

Farrugia is a member of: TAG Health Board, Gwinnett Tech HIT Advisory Board, an active member of the Bioscience HIT council at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Health Connect South Advisory Board, HIT Leadership Summit Innovation Committee, HIMSS, Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities Advisory Council, and Emory Board of Visitors. Ms. Farrugia received her B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in Physics from Auburn University.


Julie Swann, PhDJulie Swann, PhD
Co-founder and Affiliate, Center for Health & Humanitarian Systems (CHHS), Georgia Tech
Co-founder, Center for Health Analytics, Georgia Tech
Department Head and the A. Doug Allison Distinguished Professor, NC State University

Julie Swann joined the Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering as Department Head and the A. Doug Allison Distinguished Professor in 2017. She is an Adjunct Professor in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining NC State, she was the Harold R. and Mary Anne Nash Professor in the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she co-founded and co-directed the Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems, one of the first interdisciplinary research centers on the Georgia Tech campus. In 2009, she was on loan as a science advisor for the H1N1 pandemic response at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Swann is a research leader in using mathematical modeling to enable supply chain systems and health care to become more efficient, effective, or equitable. Recent collaborations have been to quantify the return on public investments to improve pediatric asthma, plan for infectious disease outbreaks, analyze administrative claims data from Medicaid patients across the US, and design systems with decentralized decision makers.


Margaret Wagner-DahlMargaret Wagner-Dahl
Georgia Institute of Technology
Associate Vice President for Health IT, Enterprise Innovation Institute

Margaret Wagner Dahl is the Associate Vice President (AVP) for Health IT Extension Services, a new role for Georgia Tech’s tactical and strategic objectives within the sector. Health IT Extension Services are part of a comprehensive economic development strategy to enhance the industry ecosystem’s viability. Dahl works specifically with health care providers and the health IT industry by making Georgia Tech’s interoperability and integration resources accessible, as well as startup company technology validation and workforce training programs. The goal is to assist Georgia providers, employers and the industry to meet the goals of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim: improve the patient experience, help populations to be healthy and to reduce the per capita cost. Dahl is responsible for working closely with the research enterprise to ensure the very best of Georgia Tech research is delivered to communities across Georgia through Tech’s extension network.

Most recently, Dahl was AVP for Economic Development at the University of Georgia (UGA) and Director of the Georgia BioBusiness Center, a biotechnology business incubator tied closely to interdisciplinary research at UGA. Before UGA, she was Director of Operations at the Austin Technology Incubator, The University of Texas at Austin (U.T.). Prior to U.T. Austin, she was Director of Licensing at the University of Washington’s Office of Technology Transfer and previously co-founded two successful startup companies. Dahl has a Bachelor’s in Sociology and Geography from the National University of Ireland-Maynooth in County Kildare, Ireland. She currently serves as Trustee for the American Hospital Association’s Council on Governance, Trustee for the Georgia Hospital Association and Vice Chair for Athens Regional Health System.