Health IT Buzz Blog Contributors
Below find the bios of the experts who contribute to the ONC Health IT Buzz Blog, an online forum focused on assisting the nation in transitioning to electronic health records.
Dr. Aaron McKethan currently serves as National Program Director for the Beacon Community Program in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Previously, he served as Research Director at the Brookings Institution's Engleberg Center for Health Care Reform, where he managed research and implementation projects focused on health IT, provider payment, quality improvement and delivery system reform at the State and regional level. He also led several projects related to Medicare and Medicaid payment policy, quality improvement demonstrations, and national health reform. Dr. McKethan was previously a management consultant, where he focused primarily on State health reform, Medicaid financing issues, and delivery system reform initiatives. He is currently a health policy lecturer at the Department of Health Policy at the George Washington University Medical Center. Dr. McKethan was previously a management consultant, where he focused primarily on State health reform, Medicaid financing issues, and delivery system reform initiatives. He is currently a health policy lecturer at the Department of Health Policy at the George Washington University Medical Center. He received his Ph.D. in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Chitra Mohla is currently the Director of the Community College Workforce Program in the Office of Provider Adoption Support (OPAS), in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). Ms. Mohla is responsible for administering the Workforce Community College cooperative agreement programs. These programs are designed to create or expand existing health information technology programs at community colleges. Professionals trained through these programs will provide key support to HITECH Act directives such as the Regional Extension Centers, the Health Information Technology Research Center, and the State Health Information Exchange Program. At ONC, Ms. Mohla was also the lead for the Consumer Empowerment Workgroup, which involved coordinating the development of strategies and recommendations regarding personal health information management tools and their effect on health information technology. While working at the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health she managed a Biomedical Computing contract for the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics. She also coordinated the design and development of an intranet and internet website for the division. Prior to that, Ms. Mohla worked at the Childrenâ€™s National Medical Center as the Supervisor/Team Leader of the Clinical Virology Laboratory. During her tenure at Childrenâ€™s she was involved in the implementation of the Sunquest Laboratory Information System, including the implementation and installation of â€œDr.Chartâ€ an electronic data transfer system for hospital laboratory outreach programs. She also developed and evaluated new procedures and equipment for use in the clinical laboratory; the findings were published in peer reviewed journals and presented at scientific meetings.
Claudia Williams is Director of the State Health Information Exchange Program in HHSâ€™s Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, where she leads ONCâ€™s efforts to enable health information exchange to support provider achievement of meaningful use and sustainable improvements in health and health care efficiency. She came to ONC from the Markle Foundation where she was Director of Health Policy and Public Affairs and helped direct Markle Connecting for Health, a coalition of health care leaders from across the spectrum of perspectives including technology innovators, leading provider groups, and consumer organizations who advance recommendations for using health IT to make rapid improvements in health care system performance. Prior to joining Markle, she directed the Synthesis Project for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, an initiative to inform key coverage, health market, public health, and care delivery policy decisions with strong research evidence. She has also held senior positions at the Lewin Group and in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation at HHS. Ms. Williams holds an MS in Health Policy from the Harvard School of Public Health and a BA from Duke University.
Director, Beacon Community Program Craig Brammer is a member of the Senior Leadership Team at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and serves as Director of the Beacon Community Program. Beacon represents ONCâ€™s innovation portfolio for demonstrating health ITâ€™s role in accelerating gains in health care quality, efficiency, and population health. This $250 million program includes 17 diverse communities across the US where clinicians, hospitals and other partners are testing novel technologies and leveraging health IT to drive improvement. Craig is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center where his work prior to joining ONC involved research and instruction on management, performance measurement, payment innovation and information technology. He has led several large-scale health care improvement initiatives involving health IT, payment innovation and performance improvement, and his work has been published in leading healthcare journals such as Health Affairs and the American Journal of Managed Care.
David Muntz serves as the Principal Deputy National Coordinator at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, DC. In this role, David works directly with the National Coordinator, Dr. Farzad Mostashari, and oversees the activities of the four offices within ONC: Office of the Deputy National Coordinator for Programs and Policy; Office of the Deputy National Coordinator for Operations; Office of Economic Analysis, Evaluation, and Modeling; and the Office of the Chief Scientist. Prior to joining ONC, David was the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for the Baylor Health Care System, and was responsible for more than 730 information services employees who cared for a delivery system with more than 280 points of entry. For the first 18 years of his career, David worked at the Wadley Research Institute and Blood Bank in Dallas, Texas, an organization whose entities included a hospital, outpatient facilities, research institute, computer institute, and the blood bank for Dallas County, starting as a biostatistician and ultimately assuming the role of CEO. He returned to health care information technology (IT) at Texas Health Resources, where he functioned as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for 15 years. David has had vast practical experience with electronic health records and strong leadership skills. He was recognized nationally for innovation in information technology every year for more than 20 years. His most recent national recognition was by Information Week 500 in 2011, where he was on the inaugural list of the "Top 25 Most Influential Leaders in Healthcare IT." He was also profiled as one of eight "Health IT Leaders to Watch" by Health Data Management in 2011. David received an MBA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and an AB degree in pre-medicine with a concentration in English from Columbia College in New York City.
Charles P. Friedman, Ph.D is currently the Chief Scientific Officer for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As ONCâ€™s chief scientist, he leads a group responsible for tracking and promoting innovation in health IT, for research programs to improve technology, for applications of health IT that support basic and clinical research, for evaluation of all of ONCâ€™s programs, for programs to develop the health IT workforce, and for activities supporting global eHealth. Dr. Friedman served as Deputy National Coordinator for two years prior to assuming his new position. He was lead author of the national Health IT Strategic Plan released in June of 2008. Prior to joining ONC, Dr. Friedman was Associate Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health. In this capacity, he founded the Center for Research Informatics and Information Technology, and functioned as the Institute's Chief Information Officer. Dr.Friedman first joined NIH in 2003, as a Senior Scholar at the National Library of Medicine. From 1996 to 2003, Dr. Friedman was Professor and Associate Vice Chancellor for Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh where he established a health sciences-wide Center for Biomedical Informatics, a well-funded program of informatics research, and masters and doctoral degree programs in biomedical informatics. He also served as Chief Information Officer for the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. Dr. Friedman obtained bachelors and masters degrees in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and also received a PhD in education from the University of North Carolina (UNC). He wrote his first computer program in 1966. He spent over 19 years on the medical school faculty at UNC and served as Assistant Dean for Medical Education and Informatics. In 1985, he established the Laboratory for Computing and Cognition at UNC and, in 1992, started UNC's medical informatics training program. Dr. Friedman has written extensively for scientific journals, and authored a well-known textbook. He is a past president of the American College of Medical Informatics, and was the 2005 chair of the Annual Symposium of the American Medical Informatics Association. He currently serves as Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.
Dr. Fridsma is the director of the Office of Standards and Interoperability and the Acting Chief Scientist in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. Prior to arriving at ONC, Dr. Fridsma was on the teaching staff in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Arizona State University and had a clinical practice at Mayo Clinic Scottsdale. Dr. Fridsma completed his medical training at the University of Michigan in 1990, and his PhD in Biomedical Informatics from Stanford University in 2003. In his role at ONC, Dr. Fridsma is responsible for the Nationwide Health Information Network, the Federal Health Architecture, the EHR Certification programs, and the Standards & Interoperability Framework. These programs are all focused on providing a foundation for interoperable health information exchange. He served on the Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC) Board of Directors from 2005-2008, as well as the Health IT Standards Committee from 2009-2010. Dr. Fridsma currently serves as a board member of HL7 and the National e-Health Collaborative.
Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM serves as National Coordinator for Health Information Technology within the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Farzad joined ONC in July 2009. Previously, he served at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as Assistant Commissioner for the Primary Care Information Project, where he facilitated the adoption of prevention-oriented health information technology by over 1,500 providers in underserved communities. Dr. Mostashari also led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded NYC Center of Excellence in Public Health Informatics and an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality funded project focused on quality measurement at the point of care. Prior to this he established the Bureau of Epidemiology Services at the NYC Department of Health, charged with providing epidemiologic and statistical expertise and data for decision making to the health department. He did his graduate training at the Harvard School of Public Health and Yale Medical School, internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, and completed the CDCâ€™s Epidemic Intelligence Service. He was one of the lead investigators in the outbreaks of West Nile Virus and anthrax in New York City, and among the first developers of real-time electronic disease surveillance systems nationwide.
Jodi Daniel has served as Director in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), since October 2005. In her current role as Director of the Office of Policy and Planning, she is responsible for considering and addressing the policy implications of key health information technology (HIT) activities. This includes establishing new policies and working with other Federal agencies and organizations and State governments to coordinate efforts and assure that existing and developing policies are consistent (HIT) and health information exchange activities and nationwide goals. She leads ONCâ€™s regulatory and legislative activities and manages ONCâ€™s federal advisory committees, which provide advice on all HIT policy and standards related matters. She is also responsible for the development of ONCâ€™s HIT strategic plan to shape the direction of Federal HIT activities. Ms. Daniel developed expertise in legal issues and HHSâ€™s strategies regarding HIT as the first Senior Counsel for Health Information Technology in the Office of the General Counsel of HHS. In this role, she was responsible for coordinating all legal advice regarding health information technology for HHS, and was the lead attorney for ONC. Ms. Daniel founded and chaired the health information technology practice group within OGC and worked closely with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the development of the e-prescribing standards regulations and the proposed Stark and anti-kickback rules regarding e-prescribing and electronic health records. Ms. Daniel also brings with her a strong background in health information privacy. As an Attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Office of General Counsel, she was a senior member of the core team responsible for developing policies and drafting the final HIPAA Privacy Rule, the Privacy Rule modifications, and the HIPAA Enforcement Rule. Before joining HHS, Ms. Daniel was a health care associate at Ropes & Gray, where she advised health care providers and payers on transactional, regulatory, and legislative issues. She also worked at MetLife as an internal management consultant and a health benefits consultant. Ms. Daniel earned a law degree from Georgetown University and a Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Seidman leads the Meaningful Use Division in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In this role, Seidman works to evolve meaningful use practice and policy; help providers become meaningful users of health IT through ONCâ€™s Regional Extension Center Program; and oversee ONCâ€™s e-Quality Measurement agenda. During two decades in health care, Dr. Seidman has focused on quality measurement and improvement; the intersection of e-health and health services research; and structuring consumer e-health interventions to support improved health behaviors and informed decision making. Previously, Dr. Seidman was the founding President of the Center for Information Therapy, which advanced the practice and science of using health IT to deliver tailored information to consumers to help them make better health decisions. At the IxCenter, Seidman focused on stimulating innovation, diffusing best practices, and evangelizing for a patient-centered orientation to implementation of health IT applications. Dr. Seidman has also served as Director of Measure Development at the National Committee for Quality Assurance and has done research and analysis related to providers at the American College of Cardiology and the Advisory Board Company. Seidman earned a Ph.D. in Health Services Research and an M.H.S. in Health Policy & Management from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. He has a B.A. in Political Science from Brown University.
Joy Pritts joined the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in February 2010 as Chief Privacy Officer. Ms. Pritts provides critical advice to the Secretary and the National Coordinator in developing and implementing ONCâ€™s HITECH privacy and security programs. Prior to joining ONC, Ms. Pritts was on the faculty at Georgetown University where she held a joint appointment as a Senior Scholar with the Oâ€™Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and as a Research Associate Professor with the Health Policy Institute. Her work has focused on the critical issues surrounding the privacy of health information and patient access to medical records at both the federal and state levels. She has written extensively on such topics as the HIPAA Privacy Rule, federal alcohol and substance abuse confidentiality laws, and the confidentiality of health information in research. She has worked closely with national consumer organizations and federal policymakers on ensuring the protection of health information. Ms. Pritts has most recently participated in a number of federal HIT initiatives including serving on the Technical Advisory Panel for the multi-state Health Information Security and Privacy Collaborative (HISPC) and as a board member of the National Governors Associationâ€™s State Alliance for e-Health. Ms. Pritts holds a law degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College.
Deputy National Coordinator for Programs and Policy Judy Murphy is Deputy National Coordinator for Programs & Policy at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, Department of Health and Human Services in Washington D.C. She is a nurse, who came to the ONC in December of 2011 with more than 25 years of health informatics experience at Aurora Health Care in Wisconsin, an integrated delivery network with 15 hospitals, 120 ambulatory centers, home health agencies and over 30,000 employees. She led the EHR program since 1995, when Aurora was one of the early adopters of health IT. Most recently she was Vice President-EHR Applications, and managed the organizationâ€™s successful achievement of Stage 1 EHR Meaningful, with incentive payments beginning in September 2011. Her informatics interests lie in system implementation methodologies, health IT project management, automated clinical documentation, and the use of technology to support evidence-based practice; she has published and lectured nationally and internationally on these topics. She has a long-standing reputation of patient advocacy and maintaining a "patient-centric" point of view, and approaches her work with unyielding energy as well as dedication, passion, and commitment to the healthcare transformation enabled by technology. Judy has been on the Health IT Standards Committee since its inception in May 2009. On that committee, she co-chaired the Implementation Workgroup, and was a member of the Meaningful Use Workgroup. She has also served on the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Board of Directors and the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Board of Directors. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, the American College of Medical Informatics and HIMSS. She received the 2006 HIMSS Nursing Informatics Leadership Award, was named one of the "20 People Who Make Healthcare Better" in 2007 by HealthLeaders magazine, and was selected as one of 33 Nursing Informatics' Pioneers to participate in the Nursing Informatics History Project sponsored by AMIA, NLM, AAN, and RWJF.
Mat is currently the Director of the Office of Provider Adoption Support (OPAS), in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). OPAS is responsible for administering the Regional Extension Center (REC) cooperative grant program, which is working with organization across the Country to assist primary care providers in priority settings to achieve meaningful use of an electronic health records system. OPAS is also responsible for running the Health Information Technology Research Center (HITRC), which will assist RECs across the country to communicate and share best practices, tools and other resources. Finally, OPAS is responsible for administering the Workforce Community College cooperative agreement programs, which will partner with community colleges to train students for specific fields related to health information technology. Prior to working at ONC, Mat was the Director of Operations for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygieneâ€™s Primary Care Information Project (PCIP). The PCIP helped primary care providers in medically underserved communities adopt electronic health record systems. In addition to being responsible for managing the programâ€™s budgets, contracts and staffing, Mat managed teams responsible for outreach, EHR implementation, hardware support, and other aspects of the implementation process. During Matâ€™s time at the PCIP, nearly 1,500 providers were recruited to the program and implemented electronic health record systems. Prior to working for the PCIP, Mat served as Executive Director of the Indian Health Center of Santa Clara Valley, a federally-qualified health center in San Jose California. He was responsible for writing a successful â€œ330 New Startâ€ grant for the Center and conducted a capital campaign that enabled the IHC to purchase a new building and to overhaul its information technology infrastructure. Mat has a Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. from Haverford College.
Peter Garrett is the Director of ONCâ€™s Office of Communications (OCOMM), reporting directly to the Principal Deputy National Coordinator. OCOMM is responsible for overseeing all communications and public affairs on behalf of the National Coordinator. In this role, OCOMM designs, manages and maintains all Web assets, including HealthIT.gov, develops effective, graphically-consistent education materials, works with the news media, coordinates HITECH stakeholder relationships across HHS, and provides guidance and support to ONCâ€™s programs and their grantees. Additionally, OCOMM is ONCâ€™s liaison to the HHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary for Legislation and the Office of Health Reform. All OCOMMâ€™s work is in support of ONCâ€™s mission. Prior to joining ONC in May 2010, Peter Garrett was a consultant representing clients on a wide range of health care communications and policy projects. With over 20 years of Washington experience in public service and consulting, Mr. Garrettâ€™s practice focused on helping organizations and individuals communicate about their public policy issues to decision makers, including public officials and stakeholders. From strategic planning to message development and delivery to implementation, Mr. Garrettâ€™s role was helping his clients succeed in educating public policy makers about issues that matter. Working with Mr. Garrett, his clients developed solutions for putting their issues into a broader context in order to ensure that they are noticed as a priority. His clients included the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; the Alliance for Community Health Plans, the American Society of Health System Pharmacists; the National Academy of Social Insurance; the National Institutes of Health; George Washington University; and the Academy for Educational Development. Prior to becoming a public affairs consultant, Mr. Garrett founded GYMR, LLC, a Washington, DC-based public relations firm specializing in health and health policy issues. Mr. Garrett served President Clinton in the Department of Health and Human Services, and worked at two large public relations firms, Fleishman Hillard and Porter Novelli. Mr. Garrett graduated from Bowdoin College with an AB is European History & Western Philosophy.