On the Move: Sequoia CIO joins Interoperability Task Force, DirectTrust CEO steps down

Sequoia Project CTO/CIO Eric Heflin joins ONC’s core data project while David Kibbe is leaving his CEO post at DirectTrust.
By Mike Miliard
12:08 PM
interoperability leaders in healthcare

David Kibbe (left) is leaving his CEO post at DirectTrust while Eric Heflin (right) joins ONC’s core data project.

Two notable interoperability-related personnel moves to report: First, Eric Heflin, who serves as both chief technology officer and chief information officer at the Sequoia Project, has signed on to the U.S. Core Data for Interoperability Task Force convened by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.

It was also announced this week that David Kibbe, MD, founding chief executive officer of DirectTrust, would be stepping down at the end of 2018 – six years after he led the creation of the interoperability organization. The group has launched a nationwide search for a successor.

[Also: Pew, HIMSS press ONC to modify planned trusted exchange framework to ensure interoperability]

Established by mandate of the 21st Century Cures Act, the Health Information Technology Advisory Committee and its task forces, including USCDI, help shape the work of ONC with policy, standards and specs for health information access and exchange.

As CIO and CTO of the The Sequoia Project, which supports interoperability projects such as the eHealth Exchange and Carequality, Heflin has deep experience with the ins and outs of data exchange.

"The Sequoia Project has significant experience implementing national-scale health data exchange common agreements and trusted exchange frameworks that leverage the technical standards of others," he said in a statement, adding that the group is "honored to support ONC, from providing subject matter expertise to supporting the goals of the draft trusted framework."

[Also: Sequoia Project, DirectTrust tout interoperability surge]

DirectTrust, as a nonprofit industry alliance founded to help support secure electronic exchanges of personal health information – among provider organizations and between providers and patients – using Direct protocols, has been another important voice on interoperability in recent years.

Kibbe led the establishment of DirectTrust in 2012, and has stewarded its growth to include more than 120 IT and provider organizations who support Direct messaging. 

Previously, he had founded of the American Academy of Family Physicians' Center for Health IT, served as CEO of care coordination company Canopy Systems and worked as a family physician. Kibbe was an early developer of the Continuity of Care Record standard (a precursor to the CCD-A) and FHIR standard.

"I am truly honored to have had the privilege of working with such an extraordinarily talented, ethical, and committed team of professionals, and I have learned a great deal both technically and about collaboration during these six years," said Kibbe in a statement. "I will be leaving knowing that DirectTrust has a bright future ahead.

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com