PRESS RELEASE-Next Wave Health Adds Healthcare Technology Veteran Drexel DeFord to Executive Team as Principal Advisor

DeFord brings a legacy of IT innovation, policy shaping and business strategy

Houston, Tex.-July 15, 2013-Next Wave Health (, an investment advisory firm and innovator in healthcare information technology, today announced that veteran healthcare executive and clinical/business strategist Drexel DeFord has joined Next Wave Health as a principal advisor, where he will help forward-thinking entrepreneurs turn promising ideas into successful businesses. Next Wave Health (NWH) will soon announce investments in companies that will transform the healthcare industry. Deford’s insights through his many years of experience in public and private healthcare will be invaluable in leading these efforts.

“Next Wave Health is focused on start-up and early-stage companies that need access to the depth of experience that only comes from people who have done it before,” said Ivo Nelson, founder of Next Wave Health. “Drex has been instrumental to the successes of the many healthcare organizations he has been involved with, and we feel fortunate to have him. He truly is a leader among his peers.”

DeFord comes to Next Wave Health from Steward Health Care LLC, one of the original Medicare Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations (ACO), where as CIO he oversaw information services operations for 11 hospitals and an expansive ambulatory network. Prior to Steward, DeFord held CIO positions at Seattle Children’s Hospital/Research Institute and Scripps Health. During his 20-year tenure as a U.S. Air Force officer, DeFord held a number of high-level roles in healthcare IT, spending most of his time serving in hospital and regional CIO positions. Before retiring, DeFord was the chief technology officer for the USAF Health System with the U.S. Air Force Office of the Surgeon General.

“The opportunity to work with a healthcare leader such as Ivo Nelson is very significant to me, both professionally and personally,” said DeFord. “I’ve seen firsthand how improving healthcare information flow and sharing clinical, business, and technology best practices makes health care better, easier to access, and less expensive. Innovative information technology saves lives, and I’m excited to be part of a team that makes these kinds of great ideas take hold more quickly.”

DeFord holds a Master of Science degree in Healthcare Informatics from the University of Alabama-Birmingham. In 2012 he was named chair of the board of trustees for the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), the professional organization for chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders. He is currently the chair of the CHIME Foundation board.

About Next Wave Health

Next Wave Health provides start-up healthcare technology companies with initial funding and growth capital, experienced industry advisors, and operational services that support business development and growth. Next Wave Health currently serves as a strategic advisor or investor for several healthcare technology companies, including Health Care DataWorks, MedSynergies, HealthPost, and SCI Solutions. For more information visit



Jennifer Schwegman

Schwegman Communications, Inc.




Ivo Nelson

President and CEO

Next Wave Health



Contact Next Wave Health

Next Wave Health
63B Sunset Lake Road Huntsville, TX 77340
+1 866 712 3532 |

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