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Robert Kolodner Named National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

New York, Apr 18, 2007

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today the appointment of Dr. Robert M. Kolodner to head the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT). Dr. Kolodner has served as the Interim National Coordinator since September 2006. The post was created by executive order in 2004 in support of President George W. Bush’s goal to establish the widespread adoption of electronic healthcare records within ten years.

Dr. Kolodner’s appointment is effective immediately.

As the principal advisor to HHS Secretary Michael O. Leavitt on health IT initiatives, Dr. Kolodner is responsible for leading the award and administration of several HHS contracts supporting the development of a nationwide health information network (NHIN). The ANSI-administered Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) operates under contract to HHS.

“I appreciate [Rob’s] ongoing commitment to advance the use of health IT to improve the safety, efficiency, and value of health care for consumers and to increase their ability to manage their health,” said HHS Secretary Michael O. Leavitt.

“Dr. Kolodner’s exceptional dedication and support has been key to pushing the nation’s healthcare IT strategy forward,” said Frances Schrotter, HITSP program director and ANSI senior vice-president and chief operating officer. “On behalf of ANSI and the members of the panel, we congratulate Rob on this well-deserved recognition. We look forward to working with him in his permanent role at ONCHIT.”

Dr. Kolodner joined HHS from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), where as chief health informatics officer he oversaw the development of the agency’s electronic health records systems and has been leading an effort to establish a shared system with the U.S. Department of Defense. VA’s electronic health records system is recognized as the largest integrated health system in the nation.

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