athenahealth co-founder joins Obama administration

By Bernie Monegain
08:22 AM

Todd Park, athenahealth's co-founder and a member of its board of directors, has been appointed chief technology officer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

To meet requirements for government service, Park will resign from his position as athenahealth director on Aug. 10. He will also be required to divest his stock position in athenahealth and certain other financial interests.

Park co-founded the Watertown, Mass.-based healthcare IT company in 1997 with its current chairman and CEO, Jonathan Bush.

The company provides Internet-based business services to physician practices based on proprietary Web-native practice management and electronic health record software, a continuously updated payer knowledge-base, patient communication services and integrated back-office service operations.

Park, who will report to Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services William Corr, will be responsible for working with HHS leadership and agencies in the department on the use of information and technology to improve the health of Americans. He is slated to begin later this month.

As CTO, he will have to recuse himself from certain matters, including those involving athenahealth.

"My entire professional career has focused on developing technologies and services that can help our healthcare system work the way it should," Park said. "I am extremely excited about the opportunity to help the administration explore and catalyze new ways to improve the health status of the United States through the power of data, technology and innovation."

Bush said Park, a lifelong friend, has been instrumental in athenahealth's development.

"We are thrilled for him as he takes on this remarkable opportunity to help the country harness the power of disruptive innovation for the good of every American," Bush said.

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