Healthcare Informatics

Peter Winkelstein


I am a physician scientist and executive who oversees healthcare data strategy, including population health management and data analytics, for the largest healthcare organizations in Western New York. I have more than 20 years of experience in medical management, medical staff leadership, electronic health records, medical informatics and big data research.
My first Master’s degree was in Astronomy, after which I applied my computer and analytic skills to the financial industry as a “quant,” programming computer models to trade commodities. I found the life of a programmer less than fulfilling, however, and turned to medicine. I completed my training with a year as Chief Resident in Pediatrics at the University at Buffalo, New York (UB). I was then invited to join the UB faculty and served as Medical Director of two inner-city outpatient clinics and as Director of IT for the Department of Pediatrics. After a decade in those positions, I left the academic world to join Eclipsys Corporation in Boston, Massachusetts. As Senior Clinical Informaticist for Eclipsys, I developed content for physician documentation to facilitate the collection of actionable data. I was recruited back to Buffalo by Roswell Park Cancer Institute where, as Chair of Clinical and Scientific Informatics, I guided Roswell’s implementation of the Eclipsys Electronic Health Record (EHR) to facilitate translational research. I then rejoined the Department of Pediatrics at UB as Chief of General Pediatrics and was also appointed Chief Medical Informatics Officer (CMIO) of UBMD, the multispecialty faculty practice of UB physicians. In those roles, I was responsible for the implementation team for the UBMD EHR (Allscripts Touchworks, >500 physicians). I also worked with Kaleida Health, the largest health care provider in Western New York with over 2000 providers and greater than $1.6B in revenues, to begin implementation of its ambulatory EHR (Cerner), starting with the primary care pediatric practices of Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. During this time I earned my second Master’s degree (MBA) from the UB School of Management Executive MBA program. In 2012, I stepped down as Chief of General Pediatrics to become Executive Director of the UB Institute for Healthcare Informatics (IHI) while continuing as CMIO of UBMD. In 2014, I was also appointed VP and CMIO of Kaleida Health.

In my CMIO roles, I provide strategic direction for the integration strategy for all forms of healthcare data. Kaleida Health, UB and Erie County Medical Center (ECMC, the Western New York safety net hospital) form a collaboration called Great Lakes Health (GLH). GLH has recently embarked on a multi-year project to integrate all GLH healthcare data onto a single EHR with a single patient record. This integration will dramatically improve the access to care for our community, along with the patient and provider experience. It will also provide significantly better access to healthcare data for research. I serve as the Physician Executive Sponsor for that project.

I also direct the IHI, which is the healthcare data research facility at UB. The IHI supports big data healthcare research at UB and its partners by providing a secure computing environment, data science and security consulting, and extensive healthcare datasets. The IHI opened in 2012 with funding through portions of $25 million in NYS HEAL grants. The IHI is located in the heart of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and provides a secure data center with a state-of-the-art data repository infrastructure (>1M patient records). The IHI is a principal component of the $50 million NYS Buffalo Institute for Genomics and Data Analytics (BIG). It also supports the UB CTSA award by providing data serves such as i2b2 and TrinetX. The IHI is part of the ACT network. I serve as Co-Director, Recruitment of Research Participants on the CTSA.

My particular research interest is ethical issues in informatics. I am a long-time member of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), past chair of the AMIA Ethical, Legal and Social issues Working Group and past chair of the AMIA Ethics Committee. I also co-founded the Advanced Certificate in Medical/Health Informatics program at UB.

I have served the Kaleida Health Medical Staff for many years and was elected President in 2016. I am a Certified Medical Staff Leader. I have worked to improve and streamline Medical Staff processes, including helping to implement our Peer Review Committee. I am currently focusing on the areas of physician leadership, professionalism and burnout.

I am a Board-certified Pediatrician and Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics whose clinical career was focused on children in inner-city Buffalo, New York.

University at Buffalo
Institute for Healthcare Informatics
701 Ellicott Street
Buffalo, NY 14203
716-881-7546 office
716-380-0146 mobile
716-887-3981 fax