A “Leap” Year for the HHS and the ONC

Health IT Stocks in 2012Day 10 of our 12 Days of Christmas Posts we have our health IT agency lords of leaping.  And leap they did in a year that saw major departures including the top spots for both HHS and the ONC. We’ve checked the list twice, all departures seemed nice, so see who’s new and who said adieu.

In April HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced her resignation, ending a bit of tumultuous tenure as the public face of the Affordable Care Act. In June, the Senate voted to confirm the nomination of Sylvia Mathews Burwell — the former director of the Office of Management and Budget — to replace Ms. Sebelius. Since taking up her current role, Ms. Burwell has sworn to recover federal funds spent improperly on flawed state exchanges.

HHS isn’t the only government body that underwent leadership changes in 2014. In August, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park announced his plan to resign his position by the end of the year to move to the West Coast, though he will continue to serve in the Obama Administration by recruiting technology professionals for government projects. Weeks later, Mr. Park was replaced as CTO by Megan Smith, the former vice president of new business development at Google.

Most recently, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology underwent a major leadership change. National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD, stepped down from her position at the ONC to join HHS’ Ebola response team where she’ll serve as assistant secretary for health and will work directly with the HHS Secretary, Ms. Burwell. Lisa Lewis, the COO of ONC, will serve as acting coordinator until the position is filled permanently.

Here is a rundown of ONC departures:

  • National Coordinator: Karen DeSalvo (Named Acting Assistant Secretary of Health
  • Deputy National Coordinator: Jacob Reider (Current ONC CMO Dr. Jon White has been named Acting Deputy Director)
  • Office of Consumer eHealth: Lygeia Ricciardi (Replaced by Lana Moriarty)
  • Office of the Chief Scientist: Doug Fridsma, MD, PhD (Became CEO of AMIA)
  • Office of Clinical Quality and Safety: Judy Murphy, RN (Joined IBM; Andy Gettinger, MD, of Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, will head up patient safety efforts on an interim basis)
  • Chief Privacy Officer  Joy Pritts (Replaced by Lucia Savage)