Blackford Middleton, MD, MPH, MSc

Blackford Middleton.jpg
Blackford Middleton.jpg

Blackford Middleton, MD, MPH, MSc


Blackford Middleton currently is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA). Previously, he was a Professor of Biomedical Informatics, and or of Medicine, at Stanford, Harvard, and Vanderbilt Universities.  Dr. Middleton’s work is focused on clinical informatics – the applied science surrounding strategy, design, implementation, and evaluation of clinical information systems in complex environments. 

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From 2013-2014, he was Assistant Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Chief Informatics Officer (CIO) at Vanderbilt. During this time he implemented a comprehensive organizational and process redesign to better achieve world-class software development at scale. During his tenure there, Vanderbilt was recognized as one of the “Most Wired” healthcare systems. During his tenure at Vanderbilt he was also Professor of Biomedical Informatics, and of Medicine, and engaged in mentoring junior faculty, Fellows, and students.

Prior to joining Vanderbilt, he was Corporate Director of Clinical Informatics Research & Development (CIRD) at Partners Healthcare System, Boston, and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and a Lecturer in Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health from 2001-2013. His work at Partners HealthCare focused on building an advanced informatics infrastructure to support translational research, and the development and implementation of knowledge-based tools for cloud-based clinical decision support (provider and patient), knowledge engineering, population management, and providing support for technology assessment and comparative effectiveness research. While at Harvard, he was fortunate to lead as PI and collaborate with others in many research grants and contracts that resulted in numerous publications reflected on his CV. 

Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Clinical Informatics, and Chief Medical Officer, for MedicaLogic/Medscape, a provider of electronic medical records software (Logician™), and professional and patient portals (, and from 1995 to 2001. Prior to that he was Medical Director of Information Management and Technology at Stanford University Medical Center, from 1992 to 1995. At Stanford he was the first to occupy a CMIO type role and lead the implementation of the first clinical data repository at Stanford, and was PI for the Bay Area Communication and Health Education Network (BAYCHEN, 1991).

Dr. Middleton is nationally and internationally recognized as a thought-leader in healthcare information technology. Currently, Dr. Middleton is a member of the Board of Directors at the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA, and is Chairman of the Board 2014-15). He also serves on several Editorial Boards. He served as a member of the National Quality Forum Health IT Advisory Council (HITAC) from 2010-12, and on the Board of Stewardship Trustees for the Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) health system (and Quality, and Strategy sub-committees of the Board) from 2006-12, and the Board of Directors of the CHI Institute for Research and Innovation from 2009-12. He served on the National Advisory Committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Aligning Forces for Quality program (Dr. Mark McClellan, Chair). He currently is a member of the China Health Information Management Association International Advisory Board.

Middleton was appointed by US Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt to serve on the National Committee of Vital and Health Statistics (NCHVS) and served from 2008-12 on the Quality Committee (Co-Chair), and Population NCVHS sub-committees. He was a co-founder of the Institute for Decision Systems Research in Palo Alto, CA in 1994, and of the Center for Information Technology Leadership (C!TL) at Partners in 2002 and led its research in value-based technology assessment until 2010. He is past Treasurer of the American Telemedicine Association and of the American College of Medical Informatics, and past Chairman of the Computer-based Patient Record Institute (CPRI, 2000), and past Chairman of the Healthcare Information Management & Systems Society (HIMSS, 2005).

Dr. Middleton was recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the top 300 influential people in Healthcare in 2008 and as one of the US Top 25 Clinical Informaticists in 2010. Dr. Middleton received the SUNY-Buffalo Medical Alumni Achievement Award – “Presented in honor of your extraordinary accomplishments and leadership in the field of medicine” in 2010. He was recognized in 2011 as one of HIMSS 50 in 50: one of 50 individuals who “have made recognized, lasting, and influential contributions to the theory, adoption, and use of healthcare information and management systems” in HIMSS 50 year history, and was recognized as one of the Top 100 Healthcare CIOs in 2014 by Becker’s Hospital Review. Dr. Middleton is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Medical Informatics, and of HIMSS. 

Dr. Middleton studied Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He received a Masters in Public Health degree from the Yale University School of Public Health with a dual concentration in Epidemiology, and Health Services Administration.  He received an MD from SUNY Buffalo, and was a resident in internal medicine at the University of Connecticut Health Sciences Center. He completed an AHCPR Fellowship in General Internal Medicine at Stanford University, where he received his Master of Science degree in Health Services Research, focusing on clinical informatics.