New leader of health IT

Karen DeSalvo is named national coordinator for health information technology

Former city of New Orleans Health Commissioner Karen DeSalvo has been named the nation’s next coordinator for health information technology (IT).

In August, after two years of serving as the national coordinator of health IT, Farzad Mostashari announced he was stepping down; in September, Jacob Reider, director of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s Office of the Chief Medical Officer, assumed the role on an interim basis, according to

DeSalvo (pictured) was a professor of medicine and vice dean of community affairs and health policy at Tulane University in New Orleans; she also spearheaded the effort to set up a network of primary-care medical homes in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

“DeSalvo’s hands-on experience with health-delivery-system reform and [health IT] and its potential to improve health care and public health will be invaluable assets,” said U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a memo to her staff.