June 2007 - Robert Kolodner

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Our distinguished guest for this 4th science breakfast was Robert Kolodner, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (HIT). He presented a speech on: "The United States National Health Information Technology Agenda".


On April 19, 2007, Robert M. Kolodner MD was appointed to the position of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (HIT). He served as the Interim National Coordinator for HIT since September 2006. Dr. Kolodner will continue to lead the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) in making steady progress towards advancing the President’s Health IT initiative. His experience in patient care, health IT, and government is invaluable to such efforts.

Dr. Kolodner comes from the Veterans Health Administration in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), where he has been serving as Chief Health Informatics Officer and has been involved with the development and oversight of VistA - VA’s electronic health records systems - and My HealtheVet - VA’s Personal Health Record for veterans.

Dr. Kolodner’s long-standing interest in computers led to his early involvement with VA’s efforts to use automation in support of mental health care. He was a key clinical leader for the Decentralized Hospital Computer Program, VA’s healthcare information system starting in 1983 as chair of the Mental Health Special Interest Users Group, in 1989 as co-chair of the interdisciplinary Clinical Record Special Interest Users group, and in 1991 as chair of the Clinical Application Requirements Group.

In 1993, Dr. Kolodner moved to Washington, DC into a health IT management position as the Director of the Medical Information Resources Management Office, leading all health automation activities in VA. In 1996 Dr. Kolodner was selected as Associate Chief Information Officer for Enterprise Strategy in the newly created Office of Information in the Veterans Health Administration.

Since 1997 Dr. Kolodner has been actively involved in overseeing, promoting, and guiding VA activities related to the establishment of a life-long, comprehensive, computerized clinical record for military personnel and our nation’s veterans. He fostered the idea for the creation of My HealtheVet - a health portal for veterans and their families to access health information, tools and services via the Internet. He was also instrumental in establishing the Federal Health Information Exchange program - an interagency health technology initiative that supports improving care to veterans - and strengthening the working relationship between VA and the Department of Defense.

Dr. Kolodner received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine. He completed a clinical fellowship in Medicine at Harvard University School of Medicine and his Psychiatric residency at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Kolodner has medical specialty board certification in psychiatry.

He is a member of numerous professional societies, task forces and editorial boards. He has authored and co-authored articles, book chapters and books in medical and medical informatics literature and has lectured on medical informatics throughout the United States.


HHS is Continuing Efforts to Define Its National Strategy
Office of the National Coordinator