UNK receives $1 million gift from CyncHealth to improve population health

NU Foundation

Helping to improve the health of Nebraskans is behind a $1 million gift from CyncHealth to the University of Nebraska at Kearney College of Business and Technology.

The gift sets up a fund at the University of Nebraska Foundation for the Nebraska Healthcare Collaborative Chair of Population Health at UNK. The endowed fund will enable the university to recruit an expert in health care data analytics who can provide leadership, strategic planning and advocacy focused on population health, health care costs, patient experience and clinician wellness.

Jaime Bland
Jaime Bland

CyncHealth, also known as Nebraska Health Information Initiative, created a similar fund at Creighton University in Omaha.

Jaime Bland, president and CEO of CyncHealth, said: “The intent of these endowed chairs is to enhance brain gain to the state of Nebraska focused on improving population health through analysis of health care data in partnership with CyncHealth, which is home to the designated statewide health information exchange, prescription drug monitoring program and social determinants of health platform, Unite Nebraska.”

CyncHealth is a nonprofit organization with a public and private governance model that includes health care providers, payers and the state of Nebraska. CyncHealth is the designated statewide Health Information Exchange designed to share clinical and administrative data among providers in Nebraska and neighboring states.

The support from CyncHealth for the endowed fund places UNK and the University of Nebraska system in “the middle of the health care improvement conversation,” said Tim Jares, dean of the UNK College of Business and Technology.

Tim Jares
Tim Jares

“Leveraging data to improve outcomes could hardly be a hotter topic than it is today – surely the COVID-19 pandemic has done more to illustrate the importance of data in our health care system than the general public ever thought,” Jares said. “The individual who holds this new chair will be an advocate and leader within the NU system to bring together scholars from various disciplines to bring innovative approaches, including machine learning, artificial intelligence and data visualization, to complex, challenging health care problems.

“At the campus and college level, the chair will provide data analytics expertise in health care but applied to other domains as well, at a time when data analytics is only becoming more important. Our college has already done a great deal of work in data analytics, and this chair will help take those efforts to a new level.”

The chair will lead UNK’s efforts to engage with faculty, staff and students across the University of Nebraska system and with its clinical partners involved in population health and health care research. The individual will also partner with CyncHealth to develop and support its research and scholarship efforts for population health.

The College of Business and Technology is now recruiting for the Nebraska Healthcare Collaborative Chair.