The Department of Health and Human Services recently announced physician and policy scholar David Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.P., as President Barack Obama’s choice for National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. 

Blumenthal is set to lead the implementation of a nationwide interoperable, privacy-protected health information technology infrastructure as called for in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Most recently serving as a physician and director of the Institute for Health Policy at The Massachusetts General Hospital/Partners HealthCare System in Boston, Blumenthal was Samuel O. Thier professor of medicine and professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School. He also served as director of the Harvard University Interfaculty Program for Health Systems Improvement.

Blumenthal was previously senior vice president at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and served as executive director of the Center for Health Policy and Management and as a lecturer on public policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

During the late 1970s, Blumenthal worked on Sen. Edward Kennedy’s Senate Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research, and more recently, he served as a senior health adviser to the Obama for America campaign.

His research has included the dissemination of health information technology, quality management in health care, the determinants of physician behavior, access to health services, and the extent and consequences of academic-industrial relationships in the health sciences.