Leadership, Staff and Innovators

The Center for Healthcare Innovation accelerates the translation of medical discoveries into healthcare systems in order to increase hospital efficiency and improve patient outcomes. The center is comprised of forward-thinking clinicians, researchers, creators, innovators, and support staff, working together as collaborators and team members.


Jeff D. Williamson, MD, MHS

Jeff D. Williamson, MD, MHS
Director, Center for Healthcare Innovation; Professor of Internal Medicine and Epidemiology; Chief, Section on Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine

Dr. Jeff Williamson is an internationally known geriatrician and clinical trialist. Dr. Williamson’s primary research interests include understanding relationships between chronic diseases, the prevention of age-related loss of independence and developing research methods for elderly persons in clinical trials. As the director of the Center, he leads and serves alongside diverse faculty and staff to identify opportunities in innovation and assists with design and implementation to bring more discoveries to patient care.

Eric S. Kirkendall, MBI, MD
Eric S. Kirkendall, MD, MBI
Chief Medical Information Officer & Chief Information Officer – Academic Health; Deputy Director, Center for Healthcare Innovation; Director of Digital Health Innovation

Dr. Kirkendall is a highly trained and experienced clinical informaticist interested in novel applications of technology to improve healthcare and patient outcomes. Dr. Kirkendall helps lead the center and utilizes technology to accomplish its mission by collaboratively leveraging the unique talents and capabilities of Wake Forest’s innovators, digital health tools, scientific discoveries and clinical care delivery system.
Nicholas M. Pajewski, PhD Nicholas M. Pajewski, PhD
Director of Statistical Analytics, Center for Healthcare Innovation; Associate Professor of Biostatistical Sciences; Division of Public Health Sciences

Dr. Pajewski is a biostatistician with diverse experience in clinical trials, health services research and the use of pragmatic data sources including administrative claims and data derived from the Electronic Health Record (EHR). Dr. Pajewski provides expertise in study design and evaluation, data management, statistical analysis, and predictive modeling to support population health management and clinical informatics initiatives for the Center
Paul Yelton Paul Yelton, MSCS
Program Director, Technology, Center for Healthcare Innovation

Paul Yelton has more than 17 years of software engineering expertise that ranges from software architecture to business strategy development. Yelton helps develop the Center’s technology team, collaborates with the Medical Center’s faculty and staff, and colloborates with industry partners to deliver new digital innovations into the healthcare space.
Jen McCraw Jen McCraw
Director of Strategy & Operations, Center for Healthcare Innovation 

Jen McCraw has over 15 years of experience in healthcare, encompassing providing care as a nurse practitioner, implementing large-scale EHRs, designing and applying new care models and quality improvements initiatives, and commercializing healthcare SaaS products. At the Center, she utilizes her experience across these healthcare functional domains to help define and reach the Center’s strategic goals through product development, partnerships, and spin-in innovation projects. She serves as the Center Chief of Staff and provides guidance to the executive team regarding business objectives and personnel growth and management.


Members of the Center for Health Care Innovation comprise more than 20 departments and specialties across the system. These members bring with them their combined expertise to advance the mission and innovations of the center. Altogether, the Center for Health Care Innovation hosts nearly 100 members and growing.