Women in Tech Health - UCLA (WITH U)

In celebration of Women’s History Month, we are proud to showcase the outstanding contributions of women in technology at UCLA Health. Colleagues, managers, and their teams within UCLA Health have nominated these women for recognition to be spotlighted in the 2024 UC Women Rock IT Article published on the UC IT Blog

The below are nominations received at UCLA Health:

Gloria Belmontez, Manager and Helen He, Senior Developer
IT Service Management

Gloria and Helen, a dynamic duo, play key roles in the IT Service Management team.  Along with recognizing the critical importance of maintaining a stable service management environment, Gloria's extensive experience and Helen's innovative prowess, ensures the reliability and effectiveness of our service management tools and systems while providing continuous improvements through custom applications. 

Their collaborative efforts and contributions to automate Operational and Capital Requests, implementing IT Cost/Avoidance Tracker, rolling out a Top Agreements Questionnaire, and department authorizer forms have significantly streamlined manual tasks, saving countless resource hours. Their contributions not only exemplify operational excellence, but also underscore their commitment to driving transformative change within UCLA Health. Gloria and Helen uphold the integrity of the service management environment and operations at UCLA Health IT, bolstering trust among stakeholders and ensuring our organization's continued success and growth.


Jennifer Amundson, Program Manager
Technical Service Delivery, QA

Jenn Amundson, our dedicated TSD QA Program Manager, stands out as an exceptional leader in the world of information technology at UCLA Health. Demonstrating her commitment to excellence, Jenn spearheads monthly cross-functional meetings, fostering collaboration between internal TSD, Customer Care, DGIT, and Communications teams. Notably, she played a pivotal role in advancing our endpoint disk encryption initiative. Jenn's impact extends to the Service-Now CMDB, where her efforts resulted in a new field, 'Deployment Owner,' enhancing the accuracy of application information. Beyond this, she orchestrates the monthly Delivery Quality Workgroup meetings, showcasing her organizational expertise and dedication to driving meaningful discussions on topics ranging from Citrix icons to digital experience monitoring. Jenn's contributions truly make her a standout honoree for UC Women Rock IT, expressing the spirit of innovation, collaboration, and excellence in the tech field.


Meenakshi Gupta, Application Analyst and Melissa Kurpinski, Project Manager
CareConnect Ambulatory Primary Care Team

Meenakshi Gupta as the application project lead and Melissa Kurpinski as the project manager were outstanding as they helped bring the initial phase of the AI-Generated In Basket Messaging project to fruition!  Through their knowledge and dedication, they ensured every aspect of the effort was completed with thought and attention to detail. Their coordination contributed to the success of the project, and I commend them both for their excellence!

In addition, Meenakshi Gupta has been instrumental in the UCLA pilot and expansion efforts to implement artificial intelligence (AI) for Patient Medical Advice Request messages within Primary Care clinics. Her technical expertise and constant support with EPIC developers, key stakeholders, and UHIT application teams were critical to the success and ability for UCLA to serve as an early adopter for advancing patient care. In the past year, her leadership and innovative efforts with the pilot physicians and Occupational Health expansion efforts continue to support UCLA Health’s mission to deliver leading-edge patient care. Meenakshi has proven to be a great asset for the Ambulatory Primary Care team!


Kim Chen, Portfolio Manager, Genomics and Nurse Informaticist

Kim has served ISS for a number of years in a variety of roles.  She was a pioneer of clinical decision support in the early days of our EHR before anybody really appreciated the importance of CDS.  She championed and accelerated population health efforts that have grown to support the care of hundreds of thousands of UCLA's patients and is now pioneering efforts in innovative, next gen solutions for genomics and AI. Also, as if that isn't enough, she has seamlessly stepped into the role of nurse informaticist to cover for colleague on leave.  Kim is the epitome of an impactful woman in IT.


Elizaveta (Leeza) Daykhovsky, Project Manager, PMO

Leeza is a great project manager. I’ve worked with her on more than 2 projects in 2 years. She has amazing organizational skills. She is always on top of her tasks and reminders. I have learned a lot about project management from her. I would love to work with her on many projects to come in future. She is a great asset to UCLA Health.


Fertility Module Project Team
Ollie Winn, RoShawnda Willingham, Sharry Monteagudo, Heather Sharma, Mel Sagisi,Kelsey Reyes, Brittany Cunningham, Ruth Maldonado, DeAna Schafer, Linda Holguin, Daisy Gonzalez, Mary McNeil, Julianka Perez, Jyoti Gupta, Suzanne Manteuffel, Stacey Basse, Miriam Ramirez

The women of the CareConnect Fertility Module project team successfully implemented documentation tools for our Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility providers. Led by Ollie Winn, the team worked closely with our key stakeholders to achieve each milestone. They also extended on-site support to assist the clinicians and staff with the transition. Epic praised the Fertility project team, noting that their strong communication and technical skills made UCLA's implementation the most organized of any other organization they had worked with.  This is a tremendous accomplishment, and we are fortunate to work with these amazing women every day!


Joi Fowler, Voice Network Engineer

The Journey of Joi in the space of IT began when she joined the US Army in the field of Telecommunications. Her diligence and deep commitment to her work and always going above and beyond to ensure that every mission was completed, allowed her to expand her expertise in the field of civilian VoIP communications where she worked for major corporations such as Fox, Guitar Center, Warner Bros and more; ultimately landing her right here at UCLA. Her ability to meticulously analyze complex problems and develop effective solutions is unmatched. Her story is one of resilience as she is primarily always the only brown girl in a room and field that is male dominated. Holding leadership accountable for inclusive and diverse environments, she has championed for women everywhere and currently working on a partnership/club with Girls Who Code. Joi Fowler is the perfect nominee to be highlighted because of her helping hand to her community and colleagues on top of her positive attitude and willingness to collaborate, which makes her an invaluable asset to any team.


Meenakshi Gupta, Application Analyst, Ambulatory Primary Care

Nominating Meenakshi Gupta for her innovative work in developing a new process/tool for use by Occupational Health (OH) onboarding team specific to pre-employment exams. She developed a work bench report in Epic, the first of its kind nationally, that interfaced with an applicant tracking system used by human resources.  The report enables both departments to understand what phase each candidate is in for the onboarding process.  It also has interactive functionality to tap into Epic features. This was no simple means and often times was frustrating, but we motivated one another to achieve success. 


Ruby Moreno, IT Network Contact Center Team

Following a major organizational change and the need to restructure the patient contact center, Ruby led a two-year initiative to re-engineer the telephony programming and routing for the Service Line Optimization project, ultimately improving patient access to their care team and contact center performance. This required coordinating efforts with executive leadership and IT resources while redesigning telephony call routing and prompts for 20 clinic locations, totaling nearly 100 new or redesigned call queues. Ruby has also served as the voice of UCLA Health for over 10 years as her voice is used for all phone messages and prompts to greet our patients.


UCLA's IT Occupational Health Project Team
Sharma, Heather; Willingham, RoShawnda D; Adzhiyan, Tina; Gupta, Meenakshi; Holguin, Linda J

This group of women have helped my department, Occupational Health, reach new levels of efficiency and productivity that impacted not only my team but the entire UCLA organization. One major example was the successful launch of a new annual risk-based tuberculosis screening for health care workers. This project took several years to develop, resulted in reduction of unnecessary blood draws, saved the organization money, increased employee satisfaction, and facilitated implementation of best practice in annual testing.  This was a massive undertaking that this fabulous group of women embraced as a team full of EPIC positive energy! 


Nursing Informatics Team
Stesha Selsky, Meg Furukawa, Yvonne Mugford, Lynn Mayer, Brittany Cunningham, Kelsey Reyes, Yvonne Kanyange Nyenya, Kim Chen

The UCLA nursing informatics (NI) team, dedicated to safety, efficiency, patient experience, and nursing advocacy, collaborates uniquely with clinical and technical teams and urgently addresses the documentation burden. Utilizing nursing experience and technical expertise, they guide new technology implementations, conduct workflow analysis, and use data for decisions.  In a collaborative effort with frontline clinicians, the team focuses on reducing documentation burdens through the "Giving U Back Time" initiative, reflecting an urgent need for streamlined processes. Proud of achieved results, the NI team also automated consult orders, optimized nursing flowsheets, and transitioned forms to electronic documentation, advancing the informatics profession and enhancing the experience for clinicians and patients.


Donna Wellbaum, Chief Nursing Informatics Officer

Donna led the design and implementation of the Safer U program that is an organization wide initiative to address staff safety in the healthcare setting.  There is no formal process to alert health system staff about patients with disruptive behaviors, but soon starting February 26th there will be a standardized process in CareConnect to alert healthcare staff about patients with disruptive behaviors.   Donna is a role model for all women in technology as she is courageous and has worked hard to make sure healthcare staff feel safe, valued, and empowered.