About Arien Malec

Hello! I am the Coordinator for the Direct Project. In that capacity, I am assembling a community of interest, including an implementation group of individuals and organization who commit to work actively to develop and implement the specifications and services descriptions, and an expanded group, who get involved using the wiki, blogs, and the like.

My Background

My first three interests were science (first, astronomy and astrophysics, then later, biology and medical science), computers and (slightly later) politics and policy. I'm thrilled to be in a role where I get to combine all three of my early interests. If I could just work in philosophy, literature, language, and fitness, I'd have everything covered.

I first got involved in life sciences and healthcare in the biopharmaceutical and medical device industry, working in a variety of roles, starting first working in data management for clinical trials for medical device development. I then worked for BBN (the company that has more claim than any other to have invented the Internet, not that I had anything to do with that) in a division that, after many permutations, is now Phase Forward, doing a combination of services and product management in the areas of drug development data systems and the charmingly named area of "pharmacovigilance." After that, I went to work for a services organization that at the time was owned by PPD, although, as it happens, all the principals that I worked with ended up working for Phase Forward again. It's a funny world.

After a stint doing lots of work in New Jersey and Basel, Switzerland, I wanted to do something slightly different, so I went to work for a company called (at the time) Fast Track Solutions, applying clinical informatics (using a clinical ontology developed at BMIR) to unify clinical protocol design with clinical practice, and then later using data analytics and clinical informatics to optimize clinical protocol design. That was great fun but not as profitable as one would hope.

I then worked for RelayHealth, working to connect patients, providers, hospitals, labs, and pharmacies together with workflow and data. Based on that experience, I was invited to join the Nationwide Health Information Network Workgroup to look at an expansion of the NwHIN to support Stage 1 meaningful use, which led me here.

My educational background was in International Relations at The American University. I love D.C. and loved the intellectual and philosophical sides of policy and politics, but decided that I wasn't particularly enthused about the nitty gritty actuality of it. And yet, here I am.

Code of Conduct

As Coordinator of the Direct Project, I pledge to adhere to a strict code of conduct. This code of conduct includes:

  1. Strict ethics adherence: Although I am not an ONC employee, I will adhere to the same federal code of conduct. No free lunches...
  2. Strict neutrality and non-endorsement: In my work on Direct, I will not favor or endorse any particular company or organization. All decisions will be based on well-understood, open, and transparent principles.
  3. Transparency and disclosure: The best way to enforce neutrality is to be completely and utterly transparent about decisions and decision-making. All of the decisions made during this process will be documented on this wiki, and will include the objective reasons and justifications for the decision.

In the spirit of disclosure, I am on a long term leave of absence from RelayHealth to work on this project. I receive no salary from RelayHealth during the duration of my leave. My healthcare benefits are provided through COBRA extension. I contract through a federal consulting organization called A+ Government Solutions, which in turn contracts with ONC.