Office of the National Coordinator update

Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo and Lisa Lewis Person | October 28, 2014

On Thursday, October 23rd, Dr. Karen DeSalvo was asked by Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell to become Acting Assistant Secretary of Health (ASH) to serve the country on public health matters, especially the Department’s Ebola response efforts.

As a key part of her role and the overall strategy on the HHS Ebola response, she will join the team of trusted experts, reaching out to healthcare providers, other stakeholders and the American public to help implement our preparedness and education efforts. 

Dr. DeSalvo’s experience as a practicing physician, a senior member of the HHS team, and as a nationally-recognized leader in public health, will be invaluable to the Department and Secretary Burwell.

Dr. DeSalvo will serve as Acting ASH while maintaining her leadership of ONC.  Importantly, she will continue to work on high level policy issues at ONC, and ONC will follow the policy direction that she has set.  She will remain the chair of the Health IT Policy Committee; she will continue to lead on the development and finalization of the Interoperability Roadmap; and she will remain involved in meaningful use policymaking.  She will also continue to co-chair the HHS cross-departmental work on delivery system reform.  

Lisa Lewis will provide day to day leadership at ONC.  Lewis served as Acting Principal Deputy National Coordinator before Dr. DeSalvo joined ONC, so she has had experience with all parts of our work. She will lead our extremely talented and very strong team during Dr. DeSalvo’s deployment to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health.

But most importantly, the team that is ONC is far more than one or two leaders. The team of ONC is personified in each and every individual – all part of a steady ship and a strong and important part of HHS’ path toward delivery system reform and overall health improvement.

We want to personally thank each of our senior leaders who will be supporting Lisa Lewis and Dr. DeSalvo in the weeks to come:  Jacob Reider (Deputy National Coordinator), Peter Ashkenaz (Acting Director, Office of Public Affairs and Communications), Kelly Cronin (Director, Office of Care Transformation), Jodi Daniel (Director, Office of Policy), Erica Galvez (Interoperability Portfolio Manager), Ahmed Haque (Deputy Director, Office of Programs and Engagement), Seth Pazinski (Director, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Analysis), Steve Posnack (Director, Office of Standards and Technology), Lucia Savage (Chief Privacy Officer), and Jon White (Acting Director, Office of Clinical Quality and Safety). They lead the amazing team that will continue to ensure that we will meet our goal of creating an interoperable system that improves health beyond health care.

We, as well as everyone in Secretary Burwell’s office, are committed to the work of ONC and ONC’s mission – work that is important to help improve health and health care across the nation.