Press Release

GAO Makes Appointments to Health IT Policy Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 29, 2014) — Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), today announced three appointments to the Health Information Technology (HIT) Policy Committee: Christoph U. Lehmann, MD, who will fill the position of an expert on vulnerable populations; Neal Patterson, who will fill the position of an HIT vendor; and Kim Schofield, who will fill the position of a representative of consumers and patients. In addition, Paul Tang, MD from Palo Alto Medical Foundation was reappointed as a physician representative.

“In formulating health information technology policy, it’s important to consider the special needs of vulnerable populations as well as the perspectives of key stakeholders, such as HIT vendors and consumers and patients,” Dodaro said. “Nominations were submitted for a number of extremely well-qualified individuals, and I’m pleased that GAO had such a strong pool of candidates from which to select today’s appointees.”

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 established the HIT Policy Committee and gave the Comptroller General responsibility for appointing 13 of its 20 members. The HIT Policy Committee makes recommendations to the National Coordinator for Health IT on the development and adoption of a nationwide health information infrastructure, including standards for the exchange of patient medical information.

Brief biographies of the appointees are provided below:

Christoph U. Lehmann, MD is the founding medical director of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Child Health Informatics Center and serves on AAP’s Partnership for Policy Implementation. He is a Professor in Pediatrics and Biomedical Informatics at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. With children and adolescents comprising about one quarter of the population, Dr. Lehmann brings an important point of view as the first pediatrician appointed by GAO to the HIT Policy Committee. His research interests include medication monitoring for vulnerable pediatric populations, and he has developed clinical safety applications that have reduced medical errors in the ordering of pediatric medications and treatments.  Dr. Lehmann has authored more than 90 publications in addition to several book chapters, and currently edits the journal Applied Clinical Informatics in addition to serving on several editorial boards, including that of the Journal of Critical Care. Dr. Lehmann received his medical degree from Westfalische Wilhelms Universitat in Germany and completed postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins University.  He will serve a 3-year term on the committee. 

Neal Patterson is co-founder, Chairman of the Board, and CEO of Cerner Corporation, an S&P 500 company which provides health information technology software and services to health care institutions and providers in 24 countries.  Under Patterson’s leadership, Cerner has invested more than $3.8 billion in research and development of information technology. Prior to co-founding Cerner in 1979, he served as an information system consultant and manager for Arthur Andersen & Co. He is a trustee of MRI Global, a co-founder and member of the executive board of the First Hand Foundation (a non-profit foundation that provides assistance to children with critical health needs), and a co-founding member of the Entrepreneurs’ Exchange. He previously served as a member of the RAND Health Advisory Board. Mr. Patterson holds an MBA from Oklahoma State University. He will serve a 3-year term on the committee. 

Kim J. Schofield serves as a Health Educator and Advocacy Chair for the Lupus Foundation of America’s Georgia Chapter in Smyrna, GA, and is herself a lupus patient.  She conducts outreach to other lupus patients, caregivers, and medical professionals and serves as a liaison to the state legislature.  She helped to bring about state legislation to establish the Georgia Council on Lupus Education and Awareness.  Ms. Schofield also previously served as Program Development Specialist in Lupus Research at Emory University, where she helped collect data for public health surveillance for the Georgia Lupus Registry and conducted training for health facilities and physician practices about lupus research.   Ms. Schofield holds a masters degree from Southwestern Christian University and is currently completing her doctorate from Oral Roberts University. She will serve a 3-year term on the committee. 

For more information, contact Mary Giffin on GAO’s Health Care Team at (202) 512-7114 or Chuck Young in GAO’s Office of Public Affairs at (202) 512-4800, or visit the GAO Health Care Advisory Committees web page at www.gao.gov/about/hcac. 

 

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