FDA names Flatiron Health’s Amy Abernethy as deputy commissioner

The oncologist and health IT veteran will take the highest non-political position at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
FDA Amy Abernethy

The Food and Drug Administration has tapped Dr. Amy Abernethy, the chief medical officer at Flatiron Health to be its next principal deputy commissioner for food and drugs, according to Forbes.

Forbes reported the announcement came by way of an internal FDA memo, but the FDA has yet to make the appointment public.

Abernethy — former professor of medicine at Duke University — currently serves as chief medical officer, chief scientific officer and senior vice president of oncology at Flatiron Health, where she leads the research oncology, clinical operations and data science teams, and contributes to the strategic vision of the organization, according to Flatiron.

“For more than a decade, she has pioneered the development of technology platforms to spur novel advancements in cancer care, including the development of systems by which aggregated clinical data can support personalized medicine, outcomes research, cancer care quality monitoring, and scientific discovery,” Flatiron said.

WHY IT MATTERS

Abernethy’s contributions will come at a good time as FDA chief Scott Gottlieb, MD, is bullish on the opportunities artificial intelligence could bring to EHRs, decision support and has said he sees big things for AI in healthcare.

FDA is evolving to keep pace with innovation in healthcare. As the industry continues its feverish pace of advancement, the agency itself has been evolving to better vet and approve emerging technologies.

THE BIGGER TREND

Women in health IT continue to make their mark.

Deputy commissioner is the highest non-political position at the FDA, for instance.

And more and more public and private sector organizations are tapping women for their wealth of knowledge and expertise. On Nov. 29, we reported that Lyft had hired Megan Callahan, a seasoned health IT veteran whose career most recently included a stint at revenue cycle management firm Change Healthcare, as chief strategy officer, and at McKesson as senior vice president of corporate strategy and business development.

Abernethy will start in a few months, Forbes reported.

Diana Manos is a Washington, D.C.-area freelance writer specializing in healthcare, wellness and technology. 

Twitter: @Diana_Manos
Email the writer: dnewsprovider@gmail.com 

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication. 

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