Jacob Reider, M.D. the Deputy National Coordinator for Health IT at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), has resigned, an ONC spokesperson confirmed to Healthcare Informatics.
Reider's departure from the ONC came shortly after it was revealed that Karen DeSalvo, M.D the National Coordinator for Health IT, was being moved to the role of Acting Assistant Secretary for Health as part of the Ebola response team by Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
In a letter to ONC staffers, Reider said that his departure had been planned for a few weeks. His home base is in Albany and he said he committed to his family that he would be closer. He originally was going to plan his timing around making an announcement carefully so there would be a good transition but with the news of DeSalvo being moved from ONC, he said he wanted to make his future plans clear.
"It’s been a thrilling experience, and I still pinch myself sometimes and marvel at the privilege that I have earned to play such an important role in shaping the health of a nation. It was a hard decision, and I will be very sad to leave my ONC family. You are an incredible, talented, dedicated team of public servants and it has been an extraordinary honor to serve you," Reider wrote in the email."
Reider is the latest in a increasingly longer list of higher ups to depart the ONC. Ironically, he told HCI Editor-in-Chief Mark Hagland at the latest Institute for Health Technology Transformation (iHT2) event that there was "no hemorrhaging" at the agency. In the past few months, along with DeSalvo's move, ONC has seen Judy Murphy, R.N., chief nursing officer, Doug Fridsma, M.D., Ph.D., chief science officer, and others, including Lygeia Ricciardi and Joy Pritts, leave.
It is unclear when ONC will replace Reider. He said there is a search underway for his replacement and he will be there until November. Currently, Lisa Lewis, chief operating officer at ONC, is the acting National Coordinator for Health IT.
The news of Reider's departure was first reported by Politico.