The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has named Dr. Jon White to replace Dr. Jacob Reider as the Acting Deputy National Coordinator. Dr. White joined ONC in October on part-time detail from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Since then, he has served as interim head of ONC’s Office of Clinical Quality and Safety and as ONC’s Acting Chief Medical Officer (a role he will retain as Deputy National Coordinator). Dr. White will provide executive oversight for all ONC offices and will advise the National Coordinator on matters such as strategic priorities, analysis and evaluation, and health IT policy and investments. It is unclear whether Dr. White will remain on part-time detail, with additional duties at AHRQ, or whether his time will be devoted exclusively to ONC efforts.
ONC has seen a wave of departures over the last year, with at least seven high-level staffers leaving the Office. Additionally, National Coordinator Dr. Karen DeSalvo is currently serving on the Administration’s Ebola response team, though she continues to “maintain her leadership” of ONC along with Acting National Coordinator Lisa Lewis. We describe recent ONC changes in a related post.