With last week’s announcement that National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo, M.D., has left ONC and Deputy National Coordinator for HIT Jacob Reider, M.D., will depart next month, the American Medical Association has expressed its concerns that their departures are creating a “leadership gap” which is putting at risk the agency’s progress in addressing critical challenges such as interoperability.  

On October 23, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell asked DeSalvo to serve as Acting Assistant Secretary for Health—effective immediately—to become part of the Obama administration’s Ebola response effort. In addition, Reider announced that he was leaving after three plus years at the agency. DeSalvo, who had only been on the job since January, and Reider are just the latest senior staff to leave ONC over the past few months.

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