Karen DeSalvo, MD, has announced she will be stepping down this week as head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) to focus her energies solely within the Health and Human Services (HHS) agency.
DeSalvo was recruited by HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell in late 2014 amid the Ebola outbreaks. Since then, DeSalvo has juggled both the HHS team and the ONC position.
In an email sent to ONC staff, Burwell wrote: “Under her leadership, ONC has advanced interoperability across the health system—which underpins progress on a wide range of Department and Administration priorities. During her tenure, ONC has worked with other federal partners and the private sector to update the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan and develop a Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap, both of which chart a person-centered path for improving health outcomes by unlocking health data through tools like open application programming interfaces (APIs).”
The ONC has named Principal Deputy Director Vindell Washington as DeSalvo’s replacement.