Encore Health Resources, a leading health-information technology (HIT) services company, announced today that its founding CEO, Dana Sellers, has been named the 2013 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Healthcare in the Gulf Coast Area. Sellers took the top award in healthcare at a Houston gala Thursday evening after a panel of independent judges evaluated her career accomplishments against those of distinguished industry co-finalists. The Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Program recognizes high-growth leaders who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. It is widely acknowledged to be one of the most prestigious business award programs in the country, annually celebrating the country's most innovative business leaders.
“When we started Encore . . . . we went home to our families and we said, 'We've got this crazy idea, and we'd like to leave our comfortable jobs and we'd like to put everything at risk and we'd like to start a new company,'”
Just more than four years old, Encore Health Resources is one of the fastest-growing consulting firms in the HIT Industry. Under Sellers' leadership, Encore's rapid, sustained success has resulted from the entrepreneurial culture that she has created and nurtured since founding Encore in 2009 during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. This culture mixes high core values with superb talent supported by constant innovation. It is a chemistry that has uniquely positioned Encore to aid an industry struggling to find its feet during an unprecedented period of crisis, reform, and transformation.
With Sellers at its helm, Encore's revenues have surged during each of its four operating years; in 2012 alone, revenues grew 112%. To serve a constantly increasing client base, its ranks swelled by 84%. The company's successes have earned Encore the praise of its industry. For three years running, Modern Healthcare has named Encore one of the Top 100 Best Places to Work in Healthcare. For two years in a row, the Houston Business Journal has named Encore a Fast-Tech 50 finalist, an award recognizing Houston's fastest-growing high-technology businesses.
In accepting her award, Sellers told a packed crowd of Gulf Coast Area business leaders and friends, "This is very exciting. I have to admit…I didn't build [Encore] by myself. We had lots of help. If I had to call out one person who gave us the most help, it's a guy named Ivo Nelson. Ivo invested way more than money: he invested time and energy, and he put his reputation on the line to help us get started." Sellers also thanked the team of entrepreneurs that have supported Encore, calling her team "a group of people . . . who wanted to make a difference in healthcare . . . to make a difference for people across America."
Sellers founded Encore on the inventive entrepreneurial achievements that have distinguished her exceptional career - one marked by her proven ability to anticipate and solve the most pressing industry challenges. Her career has included the co-founding of Trinity Computing Systems, later acquired by DuPont; serving as President and COO of Healthlink, the most successful privately held HIT services firm in the U.S. until its acquisition by IBM; and serving as a partner on IBM's U.S. HealthCare Provider team. Sellers left IBM in 2009 to found Encore with Nelson. Today, her "Encoreans" number approximately 400 employees, all devoted to 100% referenceable service to the company's rapidly expanding client base - continuously backed by cutting-edge innovation.
Most recently, Sellers and her team of innovators at Encore delivered the company's newest innovations to answer the healthcare industry's growing need to convert data from HIT systems into health intelligence to navigate through and beyond the industry's shift from volume- to value-based reimbursement and care-delivery models. In February, Encore formally introduced its new Value-based Performance Improvement™ lifecycle of services and solutions. VPI is powered by CoreANALYTICS™, integrated analytical tools that transform data generated by EHR, financial, and operational systems into actionable intelligence for proactive management of patient populations, quality, and costs.
"Dana's vision for Encore is anchored in a wise, uncanny understanding of the industry, the processes and technologies serving it, and the forces most likely to change it," said Tom Niehaus, President and Chief Operating Officer, Encore Health Resources. "Armed with such insight, Dana has consistently proven her ability to deliver a rolling stream of innovation -- new, unique, highly competitive, and proprietary IT solutions and services that are designed to meet current and future industry challenges, such as the demand for new, value-based healthcare business models."
Sellers' commitment extends beyond Encore to the healthcare industry and the nation's communities. From integrated delivery networks to academic medical centers to children's and community hospitals, Dana has helped organizations select, design, implement, and optimize their health IT, ultimately improving the care patients receive. Sellers presently serves her community on the Board of Trustees for the Texas Health Institute. She has also served as interim CIO for the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and INTEGRIS Health. In Houston, she is the former Chair of the Board of Trustees for Healthcare for the Homeless, where she now supports the non-profit organization on its advisory board.
"When we started Encore . . . . we went home to our families and we said, 'We've got this crazy idea, and we'd like to leave our comfortable jobs and we'd like to put everything at risk and we'd like to start a new company,'" Sellers said Thursday evening. "And our families didn't say we were crazy. They said, 'I believe in you, and I'll stand behind you.' And they have. And so this award is really for all of them tonight. They've made it happen, too."