AMA's Kathleen Blake to replace ONC's Karen DeSalvo as co-chair of HIT Policy Committee

Co-chair Paul Tang of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation to continue serving the committee under the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, federal officials say.

National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD, will no longer co-chair the ONC HIT Policy Committee. 

National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD, is stepping away from the co-chair role on the ONC Health IT Policy Committee.

Kathleen Blake, MD, vice president of performance improvement at the American Medical Association, will replace DeSalvo, according to Politico, which reported the announcement was made Tuesday at the joint meeting of the Health IT Policy and Standards Committees.

Blake will serve alongside DeSalvo's current co-chair, Paul Tang, MD, chief innovation and technology officer at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. Tang is also the head of ONC's meaningful use workgroup. 

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DeSalvo currently serves as both National Coordinator for Health IT and Acting Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services. She's been with ONC since January 2014.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell brought DeSalvo to HHS in October 2014 to help coordinate the federal government respond to the Ebola outbreak – touting her public health qualifications after having served as New Orleans Health Commissioner in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

In May 2015, President Barack Obama appointed DeSalvo HHS Acting Assistant Secretary for Health. If she gets a Senate confirmation hearing and is approved, she would step down from the National Coordinator post at ONC.  

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