Balavignesh (Bala) Thirumalainambi, Government Affairs and Finance Director
New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII)
Balavignesh (Bala) Thirumalainambi started his career at the New Jersey Health Information Technology Extension Center (now NJIII) in 2010, as a meaningful use manager. He was then appointed to director of the department, where he was tasked to convert 5000 New Jersey physicians and hospitals from paper to electronic health records for compliance with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH). In this role, Bala directed a staff of 50 specialists and consultants and developed an outreach program to educate providers on the need to adopt new technology to improve patient health.
As a result of Bala’s work, more than 8,000 physicians converted to EHRs, the EHR adoption rate in New Jersey rose from 15% to more than 80%, and he helped write and win another grant from the federal government which assisted healthcare providers from New Jersey, Maryland, and Puerto Rico saved more than $135M in healthcare costs while improving the health of over 500,000 chronically ill patients.
In 2016, Bala was named director of NJII’s Government Affairs and Finance Office, where he acts as the primary liaison between NJII, the State of New Jersey, and the federal government, and represents NJII’s healthcare division to secure funding for various projects. He is also leading the creation of a new, for-profit company, Health Care Innovation Solutions, which will further value-based care in America.
While not at work, Bala spends much of his time educating students on healthcare policy and HIT at the New Jersey Institute of Technology Community (NJIT) and other community colleges. Most notably, he has not forgotten his home nation, Tamil Nadu, India, where he contributes funding to homeless shelters that protect, feed, and educate orphaned children.