Friday, March 20, 2009

Hail to the IT Chief

David Blumenthal MD, MPP, our new National Coordinator for Healthcare Information Technology (ONCHIT) is an icon in the Massachusetts community. The Associated Press release announcing his appointment is below. He's created numerous organizations, collaborations, and study groups to better understand the effective use of information technology in healthcare. In his youth, he worked on Kennedy's staff in Washington. He's advised Presidents. He understands the need to create policy and technology in parallel.

David will ensure the stimulus effort gets off to a great start.

Although I have not heard directly, I presume Dr. Rob Kolodner will continue to serve a role at ONCHIT to ensure all the deliverables specified in ARRA for 2009 get done on time.

It's a great time for healthcare IT and all its stakeholders. I'm honored to be associated with these folks.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A former Harvard Medical School professor who has advised Sen. Edward Kennedy and one-time Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis will lead health information technology efforts for the Obama administration.

Dr. David Blumenthal was also a senior adviser to President Barack Obama's presidential campaign.

The Health and Human Services Department announced the selection of Blumenthal as national coordinator for health information technology in a news release Friday.

Blumenthal will play a key role in determining how to spend $19 billion devoted to medical technology in the economic stimulus bill that became law last month.

Blumenthal most recently has been director of the Institute for Health Policy at The Massachusetts General Hospital/Partners HealthCare System.

He worked on Kennedy's Senate staff in the late 1970s and was chief health adviser to Dukakis' 1988 presidential campaign.

He has done extensive research on health information technology issues.