Clare Morris Agency
1237 Gadsden Street
Suite 200 L (in the Vista)
Columbia, SC 29201
marketing & communication strategies

For Immediate Release
News and releases from Clare Morris Agency

Health informatics expert joins SC CoEE program


May 6, 2009


Contact: Clare Morris, 803.413.6808 or


Health informatics expert joins South Carolina Centers of Economic Excellence Program


Dr. Rita Snyder, an expert in health care informatics, has been recruited to South Carolina through the Centers of Economic Excellence (CoEE) Program. She will serve as the CoEE Endowed Chair in Health Informatics Quality and Safety Evaluation at the University of South Carolina.  


Snyder joins the CoEE program to help make South Carolina a leader in the integration of health information technology and simulation to advance the education of the state's future health care clinicians. 


Snyder's work emphasizes the use of health information technology to improve health care quality and safety.  South Carolina health care settings are rapidly expanding their use of health information technology to better capture clinical data. This data increases the accuracy and effectiveness of clinician decision making which, in turn, reduces medical errors that harm patients. Likewise, it lowers health care costs by reducing the need for additional health treatments, disability, lost income, and lost production. According to the Institute of Medicine (part of the National Academy of Sciences), the total cost of preventable medical errors in the U.S. is estimated at $17 billion to $29 billion.


Snyder will focus on the integration and use of health information technology in South Carolina's statewide network of medical simulation centers, which involve computerized mannequins that realistically simulate dozens of human functions. The goal of the centers is to provide a low-risk and high-quality educational environment for future clinicians to learn complex and high-risk health care procedures, such as medication administration and central line management. Snyder's research will address the impact of health information technology on clinical decision making in a simulated environment, and the impact of simulation learning on patient care quality and outcomes in real health care settings.


Snyder says that she was drawn to South Carolina by the opportunity to participate in statewide health care initiatives, particularly those supported through the activities of Health Sciences South Carolina (HSSC). HSSC is a public-private partnership created to improve health care. The organization is a major partner in the CoEE program.


"Other states have tried to promote and improve health care on a statewide level, but they are not as sophisticated as South Carolina's current efforts," Snyder said. "This state has become a national model in terms of its emphasis on health care quality, safety and interdisciplinary research."


"Dr. Snyder's ability to link education outcomes in the simulation laboratory with hospital-based training for licensed health care personnel will advance this research for South Carolina," said Dr. Harris Pastides, president of the University of South Carolina. "If new health care training methods are developed in South Carolina, the state is more likely to attract companies working in this sector and create high-paying jobs," Pastides said.


Snyder is the second woman and the first registered nurse to be appointed as a CoEE endowed chair, and the third and final appointed endowed chair for the CoEE Center in Clinical Effectiveness and Patient Safety. The two other center endowed chairs include Dr. John Schaefer from the Medical University of South Carolina, who focuses on patient simulation and research; and Dr. Jihad Obeid from Clemson University, who focuses on biomedical informatics and the development of software and infrastructure to help researchers share data across South Carolina hospitals and universities.


Snyder has served on the faculty at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the University of Arizona, the University of Utah and the University of San Diego. She earned her doctorate from the University of Arizona and completed a three-year National Library of Medicine postdoctoral fellowship in health informatics at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing from California State University at Los Angeles.


"Ensuring that our health care students and professionals have the opportunity to learn critical skills in a safe environment that does not put patients at risk benefits everyone in South Carolina," said Paula Harper Bethea, chair of the CoEE Review Board. "With the recruitment of another health care informatics expert, our state is becoming a national leader in the field--which can lead to job creation here in South Carolina."


About the CoEE program


The CoEE program was created by the South Carolina legislature in 2002 and is funded through South Carolina Education Lottery proceeds. The legislation authorizes the state's three public research institutions, Medical University of South Carolina, Clemson University and the University of South Carolina, to use state funds to create Centers of Economic Excellence (CoEEs) in research areas that will advance South Carolina's economy. Each Center of Economic Excellence is awarded from $2 million to $5 million in state funds, which must be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis with non-state investment. To date, 42 Centers of Economic Excellence have been created and 22 endowed chairs have been appointed to lead the centers. The CoEE program has resulted in more than a quarter billion dollars of non-state investment in the South Carolina economy and is responsible for the creation of more than 2,000 jobs. For more information, visit


home : about : capabilities : expertise : team : contact


“Clare proved to be a valued contributor to SCBio assisting in developing a political and public affairs strategy. Her creative approach and insight played an important role in advancing the corporate mission in both South Carolina and Washington.”

Karl Kelly—CEO, SCBio

Copyright 2006, Clare Morris Agency | All Rights Reserved  
Home About Capabilities Expertise Team Contact