NHIT Collaborative Congratulates Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Welcomes Lisa Lewis as Acting National Coordinator for HIT

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The NHIT Collaborative is looking forward to working with Dr. DeSalvo in her new role, where she will undoubtedly explore the use health IT as a key lever to controlling and managing outbreaks such as Ebola.

As the Ebola outbreak approaches the borders of the United States, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced last week that Dr. Karen DeSalvo will contribute her vast “front-line” public health experience and expertise in a new role - Acting Assistant Secretary for Health.

NHIT Collaborative's CEO Luis Belen congratulated Dr. Karen DeSalvo on the appointment, saying: "There is no one better suited to help Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell and her team respond to the Ebola outbreak than Dr. DeSalvo. Dr. DeSalvo understands not only the medical, but the social and environmental issues surrounding this outbreak, and through her past experiences in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, she has a wealth of knowledge in handling sensitive public health issues like this.”

Throughout her career, Dr. DeSalvo has used advances in health information technology (HIT) as the backbone of initiatives designed to improve processes and outcomes for some of the nation’s most vulnerable populations. Belen continued: “The NHIT Collaborative is looking forward to working with Dr. DeSalvo in her new role, where she will undoubtedly explore the use health IT as a key lever to controlling and managing outbreaks such as Ebola.”

Last month, Dr. DeSalvo delivered the keynote address at the NHIT Collaborative's first annual conference, focusing on the role of collaboration to achieve a lasting change in health disparities among multicultural and other underserved populations. She observed: "If we are going to move ahead as a nation, this must happen collaboratively. The tent must be big, and we are committed to widening that tent so that we have as many voices and perspectives as possible…" Visit NHITUnderserved.org to read more about Dr. DeSalvo’s address.

Dr. DeSalvo’s movement into her new position took place on October 24, 2014. Lisa Lewis has been tapped to step into the role of Acting National Coordinator for Health IT. Ms. Lewis formerly served as the Chief Operating Officer at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). Belen concluded: “The NHIT Collaborative is committed partnering with Ms. Lewis and her team at the ONC on initiatives designed to reduce health disparities in underserved and minority populations, and congratulates her on her appointment.”

About NHIT Collaborative
Since 2008, NHIT Collaborative has focused on the elimination of health disparities and attainment of optimal health for multicultural underserved communities. NHIT Collaborative works in partnership with organizations and individuals to assure that members of these communities benefit fully from HIT advances. To learn more, visit the NHIT Collaborative at NHITUnderserved.org.

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Luis Belen
@NHITunderserved
since: 01/2010
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National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved
since: 03/2014
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National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved

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