Peter Garrett

Portrait of Peter Garrett

Peter Garrett served as the Director of ONC’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, develops effective, graphically-consistent education materials, works with the news media, coordinates HITECH stakeholder relationships across HHS, and provides guidance and support to ONC’s programs and their grantees. Additionally, OCOMM is ONC’s liaison to the HHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary for Legislation and the Office of Health Reform. All OCOMM’s work is in support of ONC’s mission. Prior to joining ONC in May 2010, Peter 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, Peter’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, Peter’s role was helping his clients succeed in educating public policy makers about issues that matter. Peter helped his clients develop solutions for putting their issues into a broader context in order to ensure that they were 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, Peter founded GYMR, LLC, a Washington, DC-based public relations firm specializing in health and health policy issues. Peter also served President Clinton in the Department of Health and Human Services, and worked at two large public relations firms, Fleishman Hillard and Porter Novelli. Peter graduated from Bowdoin College with an AB is European History & Western Philosophy.

Peter Garrett's Latest Blog Posts

ONC Launches

Peter Garrett | September 9, 2011

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has launched a new website, This website is designed to become the leading national resource on health information technology (health IT) for both consumers and health care professionals.

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ONC At HIMSS: Where Health Care and IT Meet

Peter Garrett | February 18, 2011

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) will be hosting its 11th annual conference in Orlando, February 20 to 24, 2011. The HIMSS conference provides an opportunity for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to connect with almost 30,000 health information technology (health IT) professionals, health care executives, and providers.   As in the past, ONC will participate in the conference and reach out to all stakeholders closely involved in developing and implementing health IT solutions for our nation’s health care providers.

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EMR vs EHR – What is the Difference?

Peter Garrett | January 4, 2011

What’s in a word? Or, even one letter of an acronym?
Some people use the terms “electronic medical record” and “electronic health record” (or “EMR” and “EHR”) interchangeably. But here at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), you’ll notice we use electronic health record or EHR almost exclusively. While it may seem a little picky at first, the difference between the two terms is actually quite significant.

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