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Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo

Portrait of 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.

Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo's Latest Blog Posts

Health Information Technology: Where We Stand And Where We Need To Go

Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo | April 24, 2015

Karen DeSalvo, M.D., M.P.H., M.Sc., the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, discusses her view of the health information technology landscape. She outlines an agenda for her office that includes incentivizing interoperability, “standardizing standards,” and establishing shared expectations and actions around data security and privacy. This post, which also appears on Health Affairs Blog, is based on Dr. DeSalvo’s presentation at the Health Information and Management Systems Society 2015 annual conference last week.

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation releases Data for Health: Learning What Works

Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo | April 2, 2015

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is committed to advancing an interoperable learning health system that impacts individual, community and population health. To achieve this goal in the next several years will require collective action from all public and private stakeholders, including consumers and community-based groups outside of what is traditionally considered the expected set of technology and health care entities.

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New ONC Grant Funding Opportunities Help Advance Health IT in Communities and Workforce Training

Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo | February 3, 2015

ONC has released a funding opportunity announcement designed to strengthen the health IT workforce and build on work done by the 17 Beacon Communities to innovate health care delivery with the goal of building a learning health system, as outlined in the recently posted Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap. These initiatives are part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ efforts to achieve better care, smarter savings and healthier people.

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HHS and ONC invest $28 Million in Health Information Exchange Grants

Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo |

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced this morning an important Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) funding opportunity, which is part of a Department-wide effort to achieve the safe and secure exchange and use of electronic health information to improve health and transform care as outlined in the Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap, Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap Version 1.0.

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