Christopher Wlaschin is stepping down at the end of March for family reasons, but his departure comes amid controversy surrounding the abrupt removal of two cybersecurity leaders.

CMS Deputy CIO Janet Vogel to replace outgoing HHS CISO Wlaschin

By Jessica Davis
03:32 PM
CMS Deputy CIO Janet Vogel to replace outgoing HHS CISO Wlaschin

Janet Vogel, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services deputy chief information officer, will become the new HHS CISO in April, an HHS spokesperson confirmed to Healthcare IT News.

Vogel has nearly 30 years of government experience and has spent 16 years at CMS.

“Her broad spectrum of skills in information technology, information security, organizational change, acquisition and risk mitigation will be key to transforming and expanding HHS’ cyber programs into the healthcare sector,” an HHS spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

According to officials, HHS is working closely with CMS on bringing the organizations closer together, as well as implementing CMS best practices to protect its systems and data, which will expand across HHS.

[Also: Sidelined HHS Deputy CISO blasts agency, claims security center 'decimated']

Current HHS CISO Chris Wlaschin is stepping down from the position on Mar. 31 to “spend more time with his family.”

His departure comes amid ongoing controversy over HHS’ Health Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, where two of its leaders were abruptly removed from their positions in September for alleged “ethics violations.”

HCCIC Director Maggie Amato has since resigned, while HHS Deputy CISO Leo Scanlon has been on administrative leave for nearly 160 days.

“[Wlaschin] cut us off from colleagues, denied us access to HHS facilities, removed our security clearances, and told agency officials, the Congress and the media that this was a response to an ongoing investigation by the OIG into anonymous and unsubstantiated allegations directed against OCIO staff and leadership,” Scanlon said.

“These allegations were spread by HHS employees who sought to stop the HCCIC initiative,” he added. “Wlaschin took his actions without recommendations from any investigative entity, and in fact, without any investigation being underway at all.”

An HHS spokesperson said HHS doesn’t comment on matters related to pending litigation. And Scanlon was not mentioned in these staffing changes. There’s currently no deputy CISO listed on the HHS site.

Twitter: @JessieFDavis
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