Government names new leader for HIT efforts

May 12, 2011

Remember this name--Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM--because you?re going to be seeing and hearing it a lot. He is the new person leading the federal government?s efforts to encourage the adoption of health information technology and health information exchange in the practices of you and your peers as well as by other health system entities.

Remember this name-Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM-because you’re going to be seeing and hearing it a lot. He is the new person leading the federal government’s efforts to encourage the adoption of health information technology (HIT) and health information exchange in the practices of you and your peers as well as by other health system entities.

Mostashari replaced David Blumenthal, MD, MPP, and began serving as national coordinator for HIT within the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for HIT at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on April 8.

Mostashari, who has training in internal medicine, joined the ONC in July 2009. Previously, he had served at the New York City (NYC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as assistant commissioner for the Primary Care Information Project, where he facilitated the adoption of prevention-oriented HIT by more than 1,500 providers in underserved communities. Mostashari also led the NYC Center of Excellence in Public Health Informatics, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality-funded project focused on quality measurement at the point of care. Prior to these positions, he established the Bureau of Epidemiology Services at the NYC Department of Health, which is charged with providing epidemiologic and statistical expertise and data for decision-making to the health department.

The new national coordinator for HIT completed his graduate training at the Harvard School of Public Health and Yale Medical School, did an internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, and completed the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service. He was one of the lead investigators in the outbreaks of West Nile Virus and anthrax in New York City and among the first developers of real-time electronic disease surveillance systems nationwide.