Navy portal links execs

Naval Medical Information Management Center

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There are more than 150 Naval medical facilities worldwide, making it nearly impossible for executives to share ideas and plans — until now.

The Naval Medical Information Management Center's chief information officer's E-Business Services office has started using collaboration software that is enabling hundreds of people to share information in new ways, said Lt. Mike Whitecar, director of E-Business Services.

The portal, designed for the CIOs at the Naval medical facilities, uses Web-based collaboration software from eRoom Technology Inc. Using the eRoom software, the Naval Medical Information Management Center, located in Bethesda, Md., was able to quickly and easily create a portal, called CIO Today, Whitecar said.

Previously, the CIOs would only meet once a year at an annual conference. "That is the only time we would get to collaborate," Whitecar said. The portal allows the center to improve communication across the organization.

The portal has been operational since February and has been quickly accepted, he said, especially by new CIOs who join a facility but are given little help on how to do their job.

"Now they're performing online chats" with more tenured CIOs at larger facilities who can offer counsel in a variety of areas, he said. "I've never seen so much activity and interaction."

Simon Hayward, vice president and research director at Gartner Inc., said that collaboration software and the infrastructure necessary to run such software have matured.

"They've been broadening out what they can do," he said. "It is not just the case of posting a document." The new tools offer virtual meetings, whiteboards and chats, in addition to providing a central repository of documents.

About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine,, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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