Electronic Health Records

Adoption & Implementation News

DeSalvo Names ONC’s First Chief Health Information Officer

By Kyle Murphy, PhD

- Michael James McCoy, MD, is set to become the first Chief Health Information Officer of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

In an internal memo to ONC staff, National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, revealed that the federal agency would have a new addition to its staff, with the board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist and health IT expert being the first to occupy the new post.

The appointment is effective January 26. The Chief Health Information Officer is responsible for the development of clinical policy and reports directly to the National Coordinator. In particular, the ONC chief has charged McCoy with serving as the department’s foremost expert in interoperability.

DeSalvo detailed McCoy’s experience in healthcare and health IT in her staff-wide email:

Mike is a board certified obstetrician/gynecologist who practiced clinically for more than 20 years, and has over a decade of experience in health information technology, with special interests in interoperability, user experience, and person-centered care.  His background includes leadership roles in nearly all facets of the health IT domain – from use in small physician offices to large national health delivery systems, IT development and standards development organizations.

Mike has been involved with standards development for well over a decade, including Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) Patient Care Coordination domain, and the IHE International Board of Directors. He represented the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) as its health information technology strategist in multiple SDO forums; has worked with the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) as co-chair of the Women’s Health Work Group; and participated on the Child Health Expert Panel and the Ambulatory Work Group.  Mike received his B.S. in biology, magna cum laude, from Georgia State University and his M.D. from the Medical College of Georgia.

McCoy’s appointment to the ONC is latest in additions to the federal agency following a series of key departures, including former Chief Nursing Officer Judy Murphy, Chief Science Officer Doug Fridsma, MD, PhD, and Chief Medical Officer Jacob Reider, MD. In October 2014, the ONC named Lucia Savage as the replacement for Joy Pritts as the federal agency’s Chief Privacy Officer, as reported by HealthITSecurity.com. The other positions, however, remain vacant while the ONC searches for qualified candidates.

Despite early reaction that current ONC chief was stepping down from her post to serve as Acting Assistant Secretary of Health in the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), she remains National Coordinator and Jon White, MD, serves as Deputy National Coordinator and interim CMO.

With its most recent appointments, the turnover at the ONC appears at an end.



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