Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent the following memo to HHS staff announcing that National HIT Coordinator David Blumenthal, M.D., will soon leave to return to Harvard University:
"David Blumenthal has served nearly two years as the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and it is with regret that I report that he will be leaving that position later this spring to return to his academic post at Harvard. While this was his plan when he joined ONC, we will miss his formidable abilities, steady leadership and incredible dedication.
"In the last two years, our Nation has finally turned the corner in our critically important journey to the use of health information technology, particularly the adoption of electronic health records. Under the leadership of David Blumenthal and his entire team at ONC, we have made significant strides in the implementation of EHRs.
"The successful adoption and use of health information technology is fundamental to virtually every other important goal in the reform of our health care system. This important fact has long been recognized on both sides of the political aisle. And, with enactment of the Health Information Technology Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009, followed by David's adept and powerful leadership in implementing the principle of "meaningful use" of EHRs, America is finally on the road to harnessing the full power of EHRs to help improve the quality, safety and value of health care delivery.
"We have all taken great pride in the far-reaching work that David and his outstanding team have accomplished. Of course, there's much more work to be done. David will continue to guide ONC until his departure, when the rest of the remarkable team at ONC will forge ahead with this Office's critical mission. We will conduct a national search to find the right successor for this key position.
"David will leave his post having built a strong foundation, created real momentum for HIT adoption, charted a course for the meaningful use of EHRs, and launched a new phase of cooperative and supportive work with the health care community, States, and cities across the Nation. All of us offer David our sincere thanks."
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