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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

HITECH Turns 5

Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo | February 19, 2014

This week marks a major milestone in our journey towards adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records. As we work toward the secure, private and meaningful exchange of interoperable health information across the continuum of care, the law that made much of this possible turns five.  We are celebrating the five-year anniversary of the passage of the Health Information Technology and Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) as part of the American Recovery and Revitalization Act.

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Survey Says: EHR Incentive program is on track

Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo | January 17, 2014

We continue to see progress in improving the nation’s health care system, and a key tool to helping achieve that goal is the increased use of electronic health records by the nation’s doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers. These electronic tools serve as the infrastructure to implementing reforms that improve care – many of which are part of the Affordable Care Act.

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