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9/20/2006
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U.S. Government Names New Interim Health IT Czar

The national coordinator of health IT is a subcabinet position that was created by executive order in 2004 by President Bush. That year, Bush also set out the goal for most Americans to have electronic health records by 2014.

The U.S Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday named a new interim health IT czar to fill a position that's been vacant since April.

Dr. Robert Kolodner was named interim National Coordinator For Health Information Technology, succeeding Dr. David Brailer, who resigned from the post last spring, citing family reasons, including the weekly commute he made for two years from his home in San Francisco to HHS offices in Washington, D.C.

Kolodner already has experience in government health matters. He comes from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), where he has been serving as chief health informatics officer, according to an HHS statement. At the VHA, Kolodner has been involved with the oversight and development of My HealtheVet and VistA -- the VA's electronic health records systems

By contrast, prior to being named the nation's first health IT coordinator in 2004, Brailer, a medical doctor, spent years in the private health-IT sector, including CEO and chairman posts at health-care management company CareScience.

The national coordinator of health IT is a sub-cabinet position that was created by executive order in 2004 by President Bush. That year, Bush also set out the goal for most Americans to have electronic health records by 2014.

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