UPMC division chief leaves after promotion

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Rebecca Kaul, UPMC’s top innovation officer and head of the health system’s fast-growing mobile technology development arm, has resigned from UPMC.

Ms. Kaul had been serving as the president of UPMC’s 4-year-old Technology Development Center, a free-standing UPMC division that develops apps and commercial Web products and employs more than 150.

Three months ago, she was also given the title of UPMC’s chief innovation officer, and was cited by technology publications as a rising star within the $60 billion mobile health and medical applications industry. But in late July, she stepped down and is now working as self-employed health IT consultant, according to her online LinkedIn resume.

Ms. Kaul had been with UPMC in some capacity or another since 2005; between 2007 and 2009, she was the president of a local medical software and coding company called A-Life Hospital, which was a UPMC joint venture.

She is daughter to health system CEO Jeffrey Romoff, and was paid $436,000 in compensation for the fiscal year that ended in June 2013, according to UPMC financial records.

In 2013, she was honored by “Information Week” magazine as one the top 20 leaders driving change in her field.

Ms. Kaul’s division was partly or fully responsible for developing numerous free and commercial spinoff technologies, including ConvergenceMD, a tablet app that allows physicians to review patient health records; Virtual Care Collaboration, a teleconferencing and records system for patients and doctors; and EMS Navigator, a free GPS-enabled app that allows emergency responders to access medical protocols in the field and navigate to the closest hospital. It also invests in companies and health technologies that aren’t formally part of the UPMC portfolio.

UPMC confirmed that Ms. Kaul had stepped down from the Technology Development Center, and that she will be serving as a consultant during the transition period, but did not offer a reason for her departure.

In a published interview earlier this year, she told NextPittsburgh that, like many parents, she struggles to balance home and work life: “My struggles have more to do with what goes on inside of me. I don’t find there to be any glass ceiling at UPMC. … The barriers are within me. The struggle I face in wanting to spend more time with my kids.”

Ms. Kaul, who has two children and lives in Fox Chapel, could not be reached for comment.

Rasu B. Shrestha is now serving as the chief innovation officer at UPMC and the interim president at the Technology Development Center, according to the center’s website.

Bill Toland: bto­land@post-ga­zette.com or 412-263-2625.

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