Veteran health-care executive joins Oaklawn as chief information officer
MARSHALL – Mac McClurkan has joined Oaklawn’s staff as its new Chief Information Officer, bringing with him more than three decades of experience in health-care leadership.
McClurkan – an amateur writer who lives on a 60-acre farm near Bangor, Mich. – will act as the executive in charge of all information technology linking Oaklawn’s medical and administrative areas, as well as related physician practices.
“I jokingly refer to myself as the head geek,” said McClurkan, who said his department is involved in virtually all aspects of information use at Oaklawn, including electronic medical records, diagnostic imaging, billing and other functions that ultimately serve patients.
Ginger Williams, Oaklawn’s president and CEO, described McClurkan as “a dynamic, creative thinker with a long track record of developing and leading high performing teams.
“His experience in other sectors that impact our delivery of care should prove invaluable as we design and redesign our delivery model under healthcare reform,” Williams said.
McClurkan brings with him more than three decades of experience in the health-care field, more than half of that at the senior executive level. He comes to Oaklawn from Flint-based HealthPlus of Michigan, a health insurance company which he served as Chief Operating Officer.
In that role, McClurkan focused on information technology, claims processing, human resources, customer service, facilities, and the program management office.
McClurkan felt his career’s call early in life, about the time he discovered the video game “Pong” at a bowling alley in his hometown of Nashville, Tenn.
“I looked at that and said, ‘This changes everything,’” he recalls. “If you can do ‘Pong’ with nothing but zeros and ones, imagine what will happen in the future given Moore’s Law,” he said, referring to the fact that computing power and capacity doubles about every 18 months.
Almost simultaneously, McClurkan became captivated with the nation’s health-care system.
“I was fascinated with hospitals because they were complex entities, performing complex tasks to deliver an important outcome – healthy people” McClurkan said. “I decided I wanted to do health-care administration when I was 12.”
McClurkan began studying health-care administration and computer science in college classes at age 16, receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in business with a minor in health-care administration in 1983 from the University of Tennessee, and his Master of Business Administration degree in 1991 from the University of Evansville in Evansville, Ind.
After moving to Michigan in 2002, McClurkan served as Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Kalamazoo-based Bronson Healthcare Group from 2002 to 2007. From 2008 to 2013, McClurkan was executive vice president of Evansville, Ind.-based Innovative Consulting Group, a privately held consultant firm specializing in healthcare information technology.
McClurkan commutes to Marshall from Bangor, which lies close to Lake Michigan, where he and his wife of 29 years, Donna – a native of the Dearborn Heights area – operate a farm that produces food for their family and provides acreage for young organic farmers to grow food for local farmers markets.
“In my off time I like to play in the dirt,” McClurkan said.
The couple have a daughter, Anna, who is a freshman at Michigan State University. The family has visited Marshall a number of times since coming to the state a decade and a half ago.
“Marshall has such a great downtown area,” he observed. “It’s a wonderful place to walk around and shop and eat and have a relaxing afternoon.”
McClurkan is already participating in an area event, having written a poem that was accepted as part of the “Artifactory” program at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28, sponsored by the Kalamazoo Valley Museum. More information about that event is available at www.kalamazoomuseum.org.
McClurkan also enjoys hiking, bicycling, scuba diving and disc golf.
“I’m a horrible conventional golfer, but I’m pretty good with a Frisbee,” he said.