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Farzad Mostashari has been named the National Coordinator for Health IT, stepping in to the role at a critical juncture in the adoption of electronic health records and the meaningful use program.
He has been the deputy national coordinator for programs and policy at the ONC.
Mostashari, who joined the ONC in July 2009, replaces David Blumenthal, who is returning to Harvard University after serving as the national coordinator for two years.
Blumenthal shepherded the ONC through the initial phase of meaningful use of electronic health records.
Mostashari takes the reins as the ONC seeks to identify recommendations for the second stage of meaningful use.
He previously served at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as Assistant Commissioner for the Primary Care Information Project, where he helped to bring about the adoption of prevention-oriented health IT by 1,500 healthcare providers in underserved communities.
The Primary Care Information Project has been seem as a model for what the ONC later established as regional health IT extension centers, which assist physicians and small practices nationwide with the technical hurdles of digitizing their patient records and become meaningful users of EHRs.
Mostashari also led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded NYC Center of Excellence in Public Health Informatics and an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality-funded project focused on quality measurement at the point of care.
Mostashari did his graduate training at the Harvard School of Public Health and Yale Medical School and his internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and completed the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service.
He was one of the lead investigators in the outbreaks of West Nile Virus and anthrax in New York City and among the first developers of real-time electronic disease surveillance systems nationwide, according to the ONC's biography.