Mostashari Leaving ONC this Fall

Who will be the next ONC?

Dr. Mostashari took over the ONC position from Dr. Blumenthal in April of 2011. He was Blumenthal’s right hand man as the deputy national coordinator for programs and policy since 2009. Secretary Sebelius has announced in a staff memo that Dr. Farzard Mostashari will be taking his leave from the ONC this fall.

Hello Colleagues,

I am writing to share the news that Dr. Farzad Mostashari has advised me he will be stepping down as National Coordinator for Health Information Technology this fall.

Farzad has been a leader in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) for the last four years. Farzad joined the office in 2009 as Principal Deputy National Coordinator and took over as the National Coordinator in 2011. During his tenure, ONC has been at the forefront of designing and implementing a number of initiatives to promote the adoption of health IT among health care providers. Farzad has seen through the successful design and implementation of ONC’s HITECH programs, which provide health IT training and guidance to communities and providers; linked the meaningful use of electronic health records to population health goals; and laid a strong foundation for increasing the interoperability of health records—all while ensuring the ultimate focus remains on patients and their families. This critical work has not only brought about important improvements in the business of health care, but also has helped providers better coordinate care, which can improve patients’ health while saving money at the same time.

During this time of great accomplishment, Farzad has been an important advisor to me and many of us across the Department. His expertise, enthusiasm and commitment to innovation and health IT will surely be missed. In the short term, he will continue to serve in this role while a search is underway for a replacement. Please join me in wishing Farzad all the best in his future endeavors.

Kathleen Sebelius

So who will be the next ONC? I am sure we will hear lots of opinions of who should be in the coming week. We can only hope they continue a good record of picking the right person for the right time. Brailer laid the foundation and got the big IT players to buy in. Blumenthal was the head cheerleader that got the money and an initial plan that came from all the stakeholders. Mostashari focused on interoperability and patient engagement setting up stage 2. Who can drive the train to 2015 and closing the deal?