Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo
Dr. Karen DeSalvo is a physician who has served as a leader through her 20-year career toward improving access to affordable, high quality care for all people with a focus on vulnerable populations through her direct care, medical education and administrative roles. Before coming to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, she was the New Orleans Health Commissioner and New Orleans Mayor Mitchell Landrieu’s Senior Health Policy Advisor.
Before joining the Mayor’s administration, Dr. DeSalvo was a professor of medicine and vice dean for community affairs and health policy at Tulane University School of Medicine.
Following Hurricane Katrina, she created an innovative model of neighborhood-based primary care and mental health services for low-income, uninsured and other vulnerable individuals, and was the founder and president of 504HealthNet, a consortium of safety net providers in the New Orleans region.
Dr. DeSalvo served as president of the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum and the National Association of Chiefs of General Internal Medicine. She has served on the boards of the National Association of County and City Health Officials and the Society of General Internal Medicine.
Dr. DeSalvo was recognized as one of “Women of Excellence in Health Care” by the Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus and named a “Children’s Hero” by the Children’s Bureau of New Orleans and Family Service of New Orleans named her as one of their Ten Outstanding Persons. In 2013, Governing Magazine named Dr. DeSalvo one of nine Public Officials of the Year.
She earned her Medical Doctorate and Master’s in Public Health from Tulane University, and Master’s in Clinical Epidemiology from Harvard School of Public Health.