In a letter to HHS staff, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that Farzad Mostashari, MD, has said he intends to step down from the national coordinator post this fall.

Mostashari spent four years with ONC, first as a deputy national coordinator, then taking over as the National Coordinator in 2011.

“During his tenure, ONC has been at the forefront of designing and implementing a number of initiatives to promote the adoption of health IT among health care providers,” Sebelius wrote in the memo. “Farzad has seen through the successful design and implementation of ONC’s HITECH programs, which provide health IT training and guidance to communities and providers; linked the meaningful use of electronic health records to population health goals; and laid a strong foundation for increasing the interoperability of health records — all while ensuring the ultimate focus remains on patients and their families.”

Sebelius continued that the work Mostashari led at ONC also advanced the business of healthcare, coordinated care, improved patient engagement and individual health while simultaneously aiming to reduce costs where applicable.

“During this time of great accomplishment, Farzad has been an important advisor to me and many of us across the Department. His expertise, enthusiasm and commitment to innovation and health IT will surely be missed,” Sebelius wrote. “In the short term, he will continue to serve in this role while a search is underway for a replacement.”

The memo did not indicate a specific departure date, or his future plans.

Mostashari came to the ONC after working at the New York City Department of Health on primary care information technology and real-time public health surveillance, as one of the lead investigators into the city’s West Nile virus and Anthrax outbreaks.


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