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ONC Chief Dr. Farzad Mostashari to Leave HHS; Kathleen Sebelius Comments

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HHSlogoDr. Farzad Mostashari will leave the Department of Health and Human Services as chief of its Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, ModernHealthcare.com reported Tuesday.

Joseph Conn writes the fourth ONC head held the position starting in 2011, two years after he joined the agency as deputy national coordinator.

The report says Mostashari has confirmed news of his decision to step down this autumn but didn’t elaborate on his future plans.

“In the short term, he will continue to serve in this role while a search is underway for a replacement,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in an email to employees as quoted in the article.

During his tenure, Mostashari played a role in planning and implementing HITECH initiatives intended to help improve the delivery of healthcare services to citizens, Sebelius added.

Conn reports prior to serving the ONC, Mostashari worked as assistant health commissioner of New York City and managed a health IT project that aimed to support 1,500 medical providers in disadvantaged communities.

ModernHealthcare.com says among industry leaders who hailed the ONC chief’s contributions to help develop public health IT was Dr. Kevin Fickenscher, CEO and president of the American Medical Informatics Association.

“I think Farzad has done a good job of listening and setting a sense of direction,” Fickenscher said, adding: “He’s taken us through this initial period of meaningful use, which has been controversial.”

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