40 Under 40 The Class of 2016

Kenneth Riley Jr.

Chief Information Officer and Director of Patient Technologies, Baystate Health; Age 37

Kenneth Riley Jr.

Kenneth Riley Jr.

Ken Riley says he’s a “bucket-list kind of guy.”

It’s something that works for him personally, as he checks off various life challenges from an ever-evolving list: skydiving, scuba diving, body-building competitions, even mastering meditation. But Riley applies this philosophy to his professional life as well, as CIO of Baystate Wing Hospital in Palmer and director of Patient Technologies with Baystate Health.

“Anything I wish I could do, I have to go do, and my personal and professional life are absolutely correlated,” he said. “I like to achieve things and go after them.”

At work, that primarily means creating programs and interventions aimed at constantly improved patient care and communication at Baystate Wing, where Riley has served in various positions for the past 13 years — before and following its merger with Baystate Health in 2014.

“We’re trying to create a more accurate patient model so we can deliver the care patients want, when they want it, and how,” he said. “It’s a fascinating place to be right now.”

Riley’s path to ‘right now’ started after joining the Air Force at 17, attending boot camp the summer of his junior year in high school. He moved on to study communications systems in the military, leading to seven years in the National Guard and several once-in-a-lifetime projects, such as a four-year stint decommissioning an alarm system at Otis Air Reserve Base on Cape Cod.

Concurrently, Riley earned a bachelor’s degree at UMass Amherst, moving on to earn an MBA at Western New England University, where he’s now pursuing a Ph.D. in engineering management, focusing on population health.

His family continues to grow; he and his wife, Megan, have two children and one on the way, and the group often volunteers within the community together — with the Clarke School for Hearing and Speech, at various local food banks, and with the YMCA of Greater Springfield, to name a few.

Riley said exposing his children to as many life experiences as he can, including in philanthropy, is on his bucket list right alongside running a marathon and building houses in Haiti.

“It’s important to be present — to appreciate what you have,” he said. “My life experiences have turned into something important, and I want my kids to have that. I’m fascinated to see what they will do with this journey.”

— Jaclyn Stevenson

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