Karen DeSalvo, M.D. Possibly Out at ONC, Nominated to Full-Time HHS Position

May 7, 2015
On Tuesday, May 6, the Obama administration confirmed that Karen DeSalvo, M.D., the National Coordinator for Health IT, has been nominated to work full-time as Assistant Secretary for Health at HHS

The Obama administration confirmed this evening that Karen Salvo, M.D., who has been serving as National Coordinator for Health IT and leading the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, has been nominated to a full-time to a position at the Department of Health and Human Services.

According to an announcement on website of the Office of the Press Secretary at The White House, Dr. DeSalvo has been nominated to be Assistant Secretary for Health, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The announcement noted that “Dr. Karen DeSalvo is the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), a position she has held since 2014.  In October 2014, Dr. DeSalvo was designated as Acting Assistant Secretary for Health at HHS.  Before joining HHS, she served as Health Commissioner for the City of New Orleans, Louisiana, and also as Senior Health Policy Advisor for New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu from 2011 to 2014,” the announcement went on to say.

The announcement was part of an announcement of six nominations that require Congressional approval. Dr. DeSalvo’s was the only healthcare policy-related nomination; the other five were nominations for ambassadorships, to Mongolia, Togo, Estonia, Haiti, and Suriname.

The position for which Dr. DeSalvo is being nominated is one that she has been filling on a part-time basis since last fall, when it was announced that she would help lead the Obama administration’s response to a potential outbreak of Ebola.

As The Hill reported on Tuesday evening, “Her position—which is one of several assistant secretaries in the department—will specifically oversee the office of the Surgeon General, the National Vaccine Program, and the Office of Minority Health.

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