William Tierney, M.D.
Professor, Department of Population Health
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Residency, Internal Medicine
Indiana University Medical Center
Fellowship, Biomedical Informatics and Health Services Research
William Tierney is a general internist and medical informaticist serving as the inaugural chair of the Department of Population Health at Dell Medical School. He and his department are playing a leading role in Dell Medical School’s mission to help make Austin a model healthy city. The Department of Population Health focuses on community engagement, health equity, primary care, occupational health, family medicine, health information and data analytic sciences, and global health.
Tierney is internationally recognized for his research in biomedical informatics, health services research and clinical database epidemiology. He has implemented and studied electronic medical records (EMRs) and health information technologies at Indiana University and the Regenstrief Institute, where he was president and CEO from 2010 to 2015. During that time, he was also associate dean for research at the Indiana University School of Medicine and chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine for Eskenazi Health, the nation’s fourth largest safety net health system, where he practiced for more than 35 years as a primary care physician, emergency physician and hospitalist.
Tierney served for a dozen years as the founding director of informatics and research for the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH), a 30-year collaboration of more than a 20 North American universities, led by the University of Indiana, with universities in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Since 2005, AMPATH has received more than $110 million in research funding. Tierney was the founding director of the Regional East African Center for Health Informatics that created sub-Saharan Africa’s first ambulatory electronic medical record system. He also led a group of informatics developers from the Regenstrief Institute, Partners in Health, and the Medical Research Council of South Africa that created, implemented, assessed and disseminated OpenMRS, an open-source EMR platform that has been implemented in more than 60 countries and is the national EMR for Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, Mozambique, Bangladesh and the Philippines. Tierney served as chair of the board of directors of OpenMRS Inc. from 2011 to 2018.
Tierney was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) in 2006. He is also a Master of the American College of Physicians, member of the Association of American Physicians, fellow and president-elect of the American College of Medical Informatics, inaugural fellow of the International Academy of Health Sciences Informatics, and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians London. He was president of the Society of General Internal Medicine and co-editor-in-chief of Medical Care (1998-2003) and the Journal of General Internal Medicine (2005-09). He has received the lifetime achievement award from the nation’s leading organizations in three disciplines: academic general internal medicine (from the Society of General Internal Medicine), biomedical informatics (from the American College of Medical Informatics) and translational science (from the Society for Clinical and Translational Science).
American College of Physicians
Fellow 1987, Master 2008
Society of General Internal Medicine
American College of Informatics
Fellow 1988, President 2018-20
American Medical Informatics Association
Board of Directors 1996-99
Association of American Physicians
Robert J. Glaser Award
Society of General Internal Medicine, 2010
Morris F. Collen Award
American College of Medical Informatics, 2011
National Award for Career Achievement and Contribution to Clinical and Translational Science
Association for Clinical and Translational Science, 2011
Alvan R. Feinstein Memorial Award
American College of Physicians, 2011