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The Official Blog of Health Level Seven® International


Retirement Announcement for HL7 Executive Director Mark McDougall

[fa icon="calendar"] Nov 9, 2023 4:08:56 PM / by HL7

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After 32 years of serving HL7 International as the Executive Director, Mark McDougall will retire at the end of this year. HL7 leadership would like to acknowledge Mark's significant contributions to the organization across the decades.

Andy Truscott, FHL7, HL7 Board Chair states, "Mark's unwavering commitment and visionary leadership have been pivotal in advancing healthcare standards and interoperability across our organization. As Executive Director, Mark consistently demonstrated an extraordinary dedication to our mission. His ability to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare informatics and standards development has been instrumental in shaping HL7 into the dynamic organization it is today. Mark's passion for improving healthcare outcomes through enhanced interoperability has not only guided our work but has served as an inspiration to us all.

As Mark prepares to embark upon retirement, we wish him all the best in his future endeavors. His legacy within HL7 will be enduring, shaping the way we approach healthcare standards and data exchange for years to come.

We acknowledge and honor his exemplary service and commitment to our cause. Thank you, Mark, for your invaluable contributions, and we wish you a retirement filled with happiness, health and new adventures."

On January 1, 2024, Mark's responsibilities will be assumed by Karen Van Hentenryk, who will be promoted to Executive Administrative Director after serving HL7 since 1996. Mark will remain in a consultative role into early 2024 to support the transition.

"I am thankful to Mark for bringing me into the HL7 organization and for his mentorship, guidance and support over the last 28 years of working together. His influence on me and this organization cannot be overstated," conveys Karen.

HL7 CEO Chuck Jaffe, MD, PhD, FHL7, comments, "HL7 owes a debt of gratitude to Mark for his three decades of commitment to the success of the organization. His friends and colleagues at HL7 wish him the very best as he embarks on his next endeavor."

Among Mark’s most notable achievements are where he contributed to the growth of the global HL7 organization including:

  • Managed HL7's first budget in 1991 which had a goal of $100,000. Today HL7 has a budget of over $10 million and has accumulated reserves of about $10 million
  • Supported HL7's growth from just a few work groups that published one ANSI-accredited standard to over 40 work groups which have published more than 140 ANSI-accredited standards
  • Supported the addition and growth of international affiliates program which was established in 1995 and has grown to HL7 affiliates in 41 countries and members in over 50 countries 
  • Supported collaboration with standards development organizations and other groups that has now grown to more than 30 collaboration agreements 
  • Led and managed the HL7 headquarters staff which grew from 1 to 17

A few of Mark's other highlights include: 

  • Ensuring that the WGM afternoon breaks had ample warm cookies available for participants to enjoy, becoming officially known as the "cookie break"
  • Always queuing up fun playlists for our WGMs and events to create an energetic atmosphere through music

Julia Skapik, MD, HL7 2024 Board Chair notes, "Mark has been a true asset and friend to HL7 for decades. We are so grateful for his service to the organization and wish him all the best in this new chapter of his life!"

Mark shares his reflection and heartfelt sentiment stating "I opened HL7’s office in 1991 when I was 31 years old. Now in 2023, it is difficult to realize that 32 years have passed by so quickly. In fact this year, Shelly and I celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary and our sons, who we are incredibly proud of, Jack and Alex, turned 30 and 28 respectively.

I wish to thank Karen and our exceptionally talented staff (half of whom have been with me for at least 15 years) as well as Rich Correll and Ed Hammond, PhD, for their mentoring and friendship. Finally, I salute the invaluable and dedicated volunteer workforce who are the backbone of the organization and keep us moving forward. It has been an amazing run and I will miss you. Stay classy HL7." 


Mark and family-
1 Mark McDougall and family
Board 1992
2 McDougall with the 1992 HL7 Board of Directors
Mark with Ed Hammond, PhD
Mark with Ed Hammond, PhD


Topics: HL7, HL7 community, HL7 members, HL7 Leadership, annoucements

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