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Why I Came, Why I Stayed: CIO Kent Sona combines his love for technology with the mission of health care

Published: Feb. 15, 2024
Kent Sona

In “Why I Came, Why I Stayed,” you’ll get to know people who are making a difference every day at Methodist and how they contribute to providing The Meaning of Care.

Kent Sona
Vice President, Information Technology/Chief Information Officer
Methodist Health System


Tell us more about yourself and your role at Methodist.

My wife, Tamera, and I have been married for nearly 29 years. We have two children and three (soon four) grandchildren. I love spending time with family and friends, especially playing with the grandkids. I also love the outdoors.

I own 27 years of leadership experience, including 24 years in information technology.

I started with Methodist in March 2016 as the director of infrastructure and was appointed to the chief information officer (CIO) role in July 2018.

As CIO, I’m accountable for establishing the current and long-range vision of Methodist’s Information Technology (IT) infrastructure and strategy aimed at keeping the organization’s critical systems available and the health system on the forefront of change.

I also lead the evaluation of business requirements and provide enabling technologies in the most cost-effective and secure manner for the entire health system. We’re committed to meeting the needs of our communities both inside and outside of our organization. 

My team is working to improve regional health care by integrating and/or extending innovative technology services and responding to consumer-driven changes in delivery. Through technology and innovation, we ensure Methodist has the tools needed to improve the quality, safety and overall health of our communities.

I also lead the IT division with over 180 employees, overseeing all aspects of infrastructure, applications, project management office (PMO), informatics, security, service delivery and biomed. I also guide the design and deployment of all Methodist’s information systems.


Why Methodist? What attracted you to the organization?

I came to Methodist based on a colleague. Mike Miller had reached out to me about a director position that was open and encouraged me to apply. I was working at HDR at the time but really liked the idea of getting back into health care.

When I served in the Army, my first four years were as a combat medic and nationally registered EMT. I also had previous experience as a patient care technician and phlebotomist. 

A deployment to Bosnia and Herzegovina changed that trajectory. When I was in Bosnia, we were living in tents and constantly on mission. I was at Camp Colt, which was a smaller forward camp monitoring military equipment and movement, and policing the local communities. I was the medic on the commander’s detail, but as a noncommissioned officer, I filled dual roles and helped command the team as well. When we had opportunities to get to Camp McGovern, a larger camp just outside of Brcko, there was a rail car where the “IT guys” stayed. They had bunks, climate control and, more importantly, communication equipment. So we would all stand in line for the chance to call home and talk to loved ones. 

When I left Bosnia and got back to Germany, I told my re-enlistment officer that I wanted an IT job, or I was getting out. A job became available about 30 days before I discharged, so I spent my last four years learning technology and running the IT division for the Directorate of Training, Doctrine and Simulation at then-Fort Rucker in southern Alabama, where they trained helicopter pilots and prepared them for missions.

I loved technology but missed the mission of health care and the opportunity to enhance people’s lives so greatly. You can help save a life or bring a new one into the world. I jumped at the chance to marry my love for technology to the mission of health care.


What is it about Methodist that keeps you coming back?

I have to say the culture and the people. It is truly one team! Everyone is focused on The Meaning of Care and improving the health of our communities by the way we care, educate and innovate. IT might be behind the scenes, but the collaboration we have with all departments on each of our projects is amazing. The leadership team at Methodist has built the best culture I have ever had the privilege to be part of. No questions asked, with everyone jumping in and helping with whatever is asked. It’s an honor to lead part of this amazing team.