Current Projects

Digital Health Data Initiative

The Partnership for a Connected Illinois/Telehealth Initiative is creating an evidence and data registry/repository named Digital Health Data Initiative (DHDI). The DHDI is neutral, independent and an open source for both in-line and retrospective use by the research and digital health communities. The DHDI will track all forms of evidence pertaining to digital health during the COVID-19 response and beyond.  

DHDI Executive Management Team

John Knoebel

John is a global thought leader in analytics & informatics based measurable improvement in healthcare and a Harvard educated senior business executive with over 30 years’ experience.   Mr. Knoebel is currently Executive Secretary/CEO and founder of the International WorkSkill Foundation and President and CEO of Noble Cause Consulting. 

John is an expert in population health having served as CEO of Building Healthier Communities, the official US Department of Health and Human Services non-profit for the first lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign during the Obama administration.  John serves on the Industry Advisory Council for the American Medical Informatics Association and is also part of the Harvard Institute for Healthcare Improvement.  His body of work encompasses sustainability strategies, data driven continuous process improvement and innovation for organizations such as DaVincian Healthcare, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and other Fortune 100 companies.  

Finally, in addition to celebrating his 43rd year as a Special Olympics coach, official, event director and volunteer, John still consults regularly in agencies focused on mental and physical challenges; John serves on numerous boards including Secretary of the Harvard Club of Chicago, Board of Directors Secretary for Axel360, Co-Chair Board of Advisors Harvard Football and Harvard Varsity Club.


Nikki Budzinski

Nikki Budzinski is the founder of Budzinski & Partners LLC.  Budzinski & Partners LLC is a strategic consulting firm that provides government affairs and issue advocacy work.  Prior to this Budzinski served as Senior Advisor in the Pritzker administration, where she led several significant initiatives including passage of the $15 minimum wage and launched the $420 million statewide Connect Illinois broadband expansion initiative.  Budzinski served as Executive Director of Pritzker/Stratton Transition Committee and served as Senior Advisor to the JB Pritzker for Governor Campaign.  Prior to Budzinski spent ten years working in the labor movement at the national and state level, serving as the national political director to the United Food and Commercial Workers Union in Washington, DC.  She served as Hillary Clinton’s 2016 national Labor Campaign Director in Brooklyn, New York.  Budzinski is a Peoria native and graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign.  Nikki is also a graduate of the Harvard Trade Union program in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Governor Jim Edgar’s Fellowship program. 


Nancy Kaszak

Nancy is the Director of the Illinois Telehealth Initiative of the Partnership for a Connected Illinois, an Illinois 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, aimed at advancing telehealth in Illinois, the broader Midwest and the nation. The Initiative is the organizer of the Telehealth Law & Policy Forum, an annual multi-event series examining the telehealth landscape in across the country. The Forum is currently organizing multiple Virtual Forums on efforts to use telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Initiative is also the organizer of multi-stakeholder telehealth demonstration projects.

As a lawyer and former state legislator, Nancy is able to draw upon her background to operate effectively in a challenging healthcare environment.  She helped lead the gubernatorial telehealth task forces for the last three administrations. 


DHDI Leadership Team

  • Jamey Shiels, System VP Consumer and Digital Experience, Advocate Aurora
  • Laura Messineo, Vice President Telehealth, AMITA
  • Rachel Corcoran, Special Project Manager, Budzinski Partners
  • Theresa Eagleson, Director, Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services
  • Ryan Croke, Chief of Staff, Illinois Department of Human Services
  • Cyrus Winnett, Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Government Relations, Illinois Primary Health Care Association
  • Karen Foley, President and CEO, Juvenile Protective Association
  • Matt Richards, Deputy Commissioner of Behavioral Health, Chicago Department of Public Health
  • Ryan Spain, OSF
  • Dr. John Vozenilek, Chief Medical Officer, Innovation and Digital Health, OSF
  • Laura Kessel, Director of Telehealth Services, SIU-School of Medicine
  • Larry McCully, President and CEO, Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation
  • Pam Rodriguez, President, TASC 
Partnership for a Connected Illinois 1337 Wabash Ave. Springfield, IL 62704 Phone: (217) 886-4228 Fax: (217) 718-4546