SRA International healthcare IT practice leader Paul Nedzbala spoke with ExecutiveBiz about his background, his firm’s future and overcoming challenges.
ExecutiveBiz: Can you tell us a little about your background?
Paul Nedzbala: I am somewhat of a longtime contractor, having worked as a federal contractor in the D.C. area for the past 25 years. I started with smaller companies back in the ‘80s and ’90s; for example, I worked for a company called United Information Systems, where I was helping them build out their healthcare practice. They had come from a DoD background, and they brought several folks in to help grow the help practice in an effort to diversify their portfolio. Ultimately, I led their IT programs as their vice president. United Information Systems was then acquired by Constella Group in 2001, where I also led some of the healthcare practices there. I ended up as chief operating officer of their federal domestic healthcare practice. Many of the things we did in those companies have now transferred into SRA, who acquired Constella in 2007 – including a variety of technical and scientific support services. We are supporting programs across the health market, including clinical research, public health, and healthcare services across the federal government.
ExecutiveBiz: In terms of your current position – what are the biggest challenges you are facing?
Paul Nedzbala: Right now, I am the vice president and director of the Healthcare Programs for SRA. My team executes all of the projects SRA supports for the healthcare agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services, the VA and Military Health System, and some private sector CRO work that we support for the biotech market. The challenge is always to bring innovation to the solutions we are bringing to market. All of our clients are challenged with increasing timeline pressures and budget pressures – and trying to create solutions that really meet their needs and stay within their budgets has always been a challenge. I think what SRA brings is a unique blend of domain expertise in the health field coupled with real strengths in technology innovation.
ExecutiveBiz: Other than innovation, are there any goals that you have for your team in the next six months or a year?
Paul Nedzbala: We have a variety of goals aligned with our short- and long-term strategy – but a major priority right now is to capitalize on our success on being one of the awardees of the CDC CIMS IT contract. CIMS is the CDC’s enterprise IT services contract, and focusing on the opportunities that will come out of that contract vehicle over the next six to twelve months is a big focus for our team. The other key goal is seeking opportunities where we can support the government in healthcare reforms; there are a number of initiatives – the Affordable Healthcare Act and HITECH, for example, where our skills and expertise would be valuable to the government.
ExecutiveBiz: Do you see SRA’s offerings expanding in the face of that in some point in the future?
Paul Nedzbala: Absolutely. We performed some work for several years at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in the area of fraud, waste and abuse that has since completed, but that now has become a huge focus again for the government. They are looking to save billions of dollars to support healthcare reform. With our tools, our analytics and the analysts that we have, we have something that is unique in the marketplace. Our approach data agnostic, and leverages some interesting tools that we’ve developed over the past two dozen years.
ExecutiveBiz: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Paul Nedzbala: There are a number of things. My wife and I really enjoy riding our bikes on the C&O Canal. I’m looking forward to bringing our grandson along with us soon.
ExecutiveBiz: Is there anything you would like to add to the conversation?
Paul Nedzbala: What we can expect SRA to be doing in the future is focusing on how we can leverage our skills and tools to support what’s happening in the healthcare community right now – mostly, that’s electronic health records. In addition to supporting important healthcare services programs, we will be focused on leveraging the data coming out of electronic health records for public health uses.