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Health IT champion steps down as nation's CTO

Administration did not announce replacement plans

Topics: Meaningful Use, Electronic Medical Records Strategy, Information Technology, HITECH, Standards and Regulatory Policy, Payer and Regulatory Policy, Market Trends, Strategy

January 30, 2012

The Obama administration on Friday announced that Aneesh Chopra has stepped down from his post as the country's first chief technology officer.

Chopra, who once served as Virginia's technology secretary and as managing director at the Advisory Board Company, became the nation's CTO in 2009. He once called health IT "a labor of love" and said that he spent his career in state government working to advance IT use to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs.

As CTO, Chopra advocated for greater use of technology in health care and improving government transparency by making more data available online. He helped oversee the $19 billion in federal stimulus package funding aimed at encouraging electronic health record adoption.

In a statement, President Obama thanked Chopra for his service. He said, "Aneesh found countless ways to engage the American people using technology, from electronic health records for veterans, to expanding access to broadband for rural communities, to modernizing government records." The president added that Chopra's "legacy of leadership and innovation will benefit Americans for years to come."

Commenting on Chopra's departure, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren noted Chopra's efforts to implement "the President's open government strategy focused on unlocking the innovative potential of the federal government to solve problems and seed the jobs and industries of the future."

The White House did not offer information about Chopra's reasons for stepping down or his future plans. The administration also did not provide information on plans for replacing Chopra (Quinn, Politico, 1/27; Lee, Modern Healthcare, 1/27 [subscription required]; Sasso, "Hillicon Valley," The Hill, 1/27; White House Office of Science and Technology Policy release, 1/27; Smith, "Tech Daily Dose," National Journal, 1/27).

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