Changing of the ONC guard
In early August, then ONC chief Farzad Mostashari announced he would step down from the post he had held for four years. With ONC Principal Deputy Coordinator David Muntz stepping down from his post at the same time as Mostashari, the door was open to speculation about who might step in as ONC’s next leader.
The answer came on Sept. 26, before Mostashari left the office to join the Brookings Institution's Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform as a visiting fellow. ONC announced Jacob Reider, MD, director of ONC's Office of the Chief Medical Officer, would assume the position of acting national coordinator, starting Oct. 4.
Lisa Lewis, current deputy national coordinator for operations, became 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.
In his new position at the Brookings Institution, Mostashari will be focusing on ways to expand the reach of Brookings’ Accountable Care Organization Learning Network – a joint project with Dartmouth.
Mostashari will also work on continuing to expand the use of secure, private and accurate systems of electronic health record adoption and health information exchange to support better medical practice.
"We look forward to Farzad's extensive healthcare experience and expertise in using health IT to gain efficiencies and better care in ACOs and elsewhere in the healthcare system," said Engelberg Center Director Alice Rivlin.
Muntz joined GetWell Network, a Bethesda, Md.-based company, where he will serve as senior vice president and CIO
Muntz, the former CIO of Baylor Health System in Texas, told federal colleagues in an email this past September he would be leaving the ONC, with plans to return to the private sector.
At Baylor, Muntz 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.