President & CEO, Cal eConnect Carladenise Armbrister Edwards, Ph.D., is President and Chief Executive Officer for Cal eConnect. She is responsible for managing the $38.8 million federal grant California received under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to implement health information exchange services (HIE) and policies.Dr. Edwards has an extensive HIE background. Prior to joining Cal eConnect July 1, 2010, she served as Georgia’s Health Information Technology Coordinator in her roles as Chief of Staff and Interim Commissioner for the Georgia Department of Community Health. In Florida she was founding Executive Director of the South Florida Health Information Initiative and the first Executive Director of Florida’s Governor’s Health Information Infrastructure Advisory Board under Gov. Jeb Bush.In her post as the Georgia Department of Community Health’s Interim Commissioner, Edwards led a $12 billion agency responsible for health care purchasing, planning and regulation, and improving health outcomes. Programs under her purview included Medicaid, PeachCare for Kids, health care facility regulation, public health and emergency preparedness, and the State Health Benefit Plan. Prior to the interim commissioner appointment, Edwards was chief of staff for the department, serving as principal advisor on all major policy and management issues and initiatives with special emphasis on managed care, health information technology, public health, health care reform, and contracts and procurements.
In the private sector, Edwards founded and led The BAE Company, a professional services consulting firm providing health and social services entities with project management, business development, grant writing, research design and implementation, and procurement and contract negotiation services. She was vice president of operations for Williams, Stern and Associates, a Miami-based health and human services consulting firm.
Dr. Edwards earned a doctorate in medical sociology from the University of Florida. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and Masters of Science degree in education with a concentration in psychological services from the University of Pennsylvania.