Carla Smith


Carla Smith is Executive Vice President of HIMSS, a global, cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on better health through information technology (IT). HIMSS leads efforts to optimize health engagements and care outcomes using information technology.

Within HIMSS, Smith leads HIMSS’s North American business unit. In this capacity, Smith leverages her extensive experience in nonprofit management to ensure HIMSS’s ability to achieve its mission and maintain its financial health, primarily within the United States and Canada.

Smith has 27 years of experience in the information technology field, two-thirds of it focused on healthcare. She champions transformational ideas that positively affect the quality, safety, cost-effectiveness of, and access to, health and healthcare.

In addition to her responsibilities at HIMSS, Smith holds an appointment to CMS’s Outreach and Education Federal Advisory Committee, serves on the Boards of Directors for both National Stroke Association and the Commission for the Accreditation of Health Management Education, and as an advisor to the University of Michigan’s Health Informatics and Learning Health System programs. Before joining HIMSS in 2001, Ms. Smith served for seven years as the Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Healthcare Information Management (CHIM), and worked on IT-related initiatives within the manufacturing and banking industries. She holds a Master’s degree, and has earned a Nonprofit Management Certification from Case Western Reserve University, and as well as her HIMSS Fellow status.



Presentation Details

Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Lessons Learned for Aspiring Female Executives

The health IT field has emerged as a distinct profession with meaningful and well-paying careers.  For women, achieving pay equity with their male counterparts and achieving positions at the highest levels in health organizations has proven difficult. This session hosts lessons learned, experiences, and counsel from female executives who have achieved much in the health IT field. What propelled these panelists to success – Ambition? Leadership?  Networking? Performance? Smarts?  How have these executives addressed personal, professional, and organizational challenges?  How can their success inspire others to excel not only in health IT, but other areas too?

Moderated by: Carla Smith, MA, CNM, FHIMSS, HIMSS Executive Vice President @CarlaMSmith


  • Dana Alexander, Divurgent @DanaN2Health
  • Diane M. Carr, MA, FHIMSS, Healthcare Executive and Educator
  • Willa Fields, DNSc, RN, FHIMSS, Professor at San Diego State University
  • Miriam Paramore, FHIMSS, Lucro Marketplace @miriamparamore
  • Jennifer Dennard, Blogger, #HealthITChicks

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss advancement strategies for female executives looking to excel in the health information technology field.
  • Evaluate different leadership styles of female executives and the impact they may have on their career path.
  • Discuss the impact that female executives can have an organization.