ONC makes big changes at the top

As National Coordinator Farzad Mostashari, MD, prepares to leave the office, his deputy also steps down
By Anthony Brino
09:44 AM
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Jacob Reider, MD

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is searching for a new national coordinator for health IT -- and also for a new principal deputy coordinator, as David Muntz leaves the agency just as ONC chief Farzad Mostashari, MD, steps down. Jacob Reider, MD, director of ONC's Office of the Chief Medical Officer, will assume the position of acting national coordinator, starting Oct. 4.

Lisa Lewis, current deputy national coordinator for operations, will become acting principal deputy, and Joy Pritts will continue working as chief privacy officer.

Reider is a family physician with 20 years of experience in health information technology and special interest in clinical innovation, user experience, and clinical decision support. His background includes leadership roles in nearly all facets of the health IT domain – from small start-up companies to academic facilities, primary care medical groups, and large health IT development organizations. Reider has served on the boards of several health IT companies, including as chief medical informatics officer for EHR company Allscripts.

Muntz, the former CIO of Baylor Health System in Texas, told federal colleagues in an email that he’s leaving the ONC in October, with plans to return to the private sector. At Baylor, Muntz he was responsible for more than 730 information services employees who cared for a delivery system with more than 280 points of entry. And, before Baylor, he served as CIO at Texas Health Resources in Dallas for 15 years.

AT ONC, Muntz worked with Mostashari to oversee the activities of the four offices within ONC: Office of the Deputy National Coordinator for Programs and Policy; Office of the Deputy National Coordinator for Operations; Office of Economic Analysis, Evaluation, and Modeling; and the Office of the Chief Scientist.

{See also: Next ONC chief could be in plain sight.]

“I look forward to continuing to support HHS’ vision of achieving interoperability and better engaging patients from the private sector,” Muntz wrote. “It’s been a privilege to have played any role in such a truly transformative era, much less a leadership role in all the successes we have achieved both inside and outside ONC.”

Muntz came to the ONC as principal deputy coordinator in January 2012, after working at Baylor for five years and at Texas Health Resources, a 25 hospital system in greater Dallas-Fort Worth, for 16 years, most recently as CIO. He started out in healthcare — and has stayed in healthcare his entire career — as a biostatistician at the Wadley Institutes, a blood bank, research center, outpatient clinic and hospital in Dallas, becoming CEO before leaving in 1990.

[See also: Baylor CIO urges collaboration with clinical engineering.]

At ONC, Muntz worked as principal deputy, one of the three positions reporting directly to the national coordinator, along with chief privacy officer and chief medical officer.

“David Muntz and I have been honored to work together leading this exceptional organization, and we will be departing together as well,” Mostashari wrote in an email to ONC colleagues.