- Karen DeSalvo, MD, will be leaving her post as the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, according to a recent announcement from HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell.
DeSalvo has left behind a legacy of advanced health IT interoperability following her tenure as National Coordinator, which she began in January of 2014, Burwell said.
She has also made significant advances to the Health Information Technology Certification Program to promote and expand the safe and secure flow of electronic health information when and where it matters most for individuals and clinicians. During her tenure, ONC has worked with other federal partners and the private sector to update the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan and develop a Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap, both of which chart a person-centered path for improving health outcomes by unlocking health data through tools like open application programming interfaces (APIs). She has also co-chaired the Department’s Delivery System Reform efforts, which set historic goals and worked to leverage the resources of the Department to build a more person centered health system that encourages more coordinated care.
According to Burwell, DeSalvo’s final day as National Coordinator will be Friday, August 12, although she will continue at her post as Acting Assistant Secretary to the Department of Health & Human Services, a role she started in October 2014.
Following DeSalvo’s exit, Vindell Washington, MD, will be assuming the role as National Coordinator for the ONC. Washington is currently the Principle Deputy National Coordinator.
As National Coordinator, Washington will work to continue DeSalvo’s legacy, supporting health IT interoperability and working toward solutions to provide better health to patients nationwide, Burwell says.
In his capacity as National Coordinator, Vindell will continue to lead the Administration’s efforts to leverage health information technology to reform how we pay for and deliver care; transform health research and innovation to empower clinicians, individuals and communities to manage their health; and oversee implementation of the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan and the Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap to unlock digital health data and ensure it is widely accessible, usable, and transferable throughout the public and private sectors.