HHS taps VA leader as interim health IT coordinator

October 1, 2006

Washington, D.C.-Robert Kolodner, MD, has been named by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as the interim national coordinator for health information technology, assuming the position vacated by David Brailer, MD, PhD, who resigned in May.

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Robert Kolodner, MD, has been named by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as the interim national coordinator for health information technology, assuming the position vacated by David Brailer, MD, PhD, who resigned in May.

"He joins us at a time when we are making steady progress in advancing the President's health IT initiative, and his experience in patient care, health IT and government will be invaluable to those efforts," HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said in an HHS press statement.

Dr. Kolodner comes from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), where he has been serving as chief health informatics officer and has been involved with the oversight and development of My HealtheVet and VistA-the VA's electronic health records systems.

"Of course, it is a very different situation in HHS." Riddle adds. "In the VHA there was an integrated delivery system, while HHS must deal with a disparate system of independent providers. The patient population is also so much larger and diverse, and the initiatives are ambitious, however, Dr. Kolodner would seem to be up to the challenge."

Former National Health IT Coordinator Dr. Brailer will continue to serve as vice chairman of the public-private American Health Information Community.