Mostashari to leave ONC

National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Farzad Mostashari will resign this fall, U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced in a letter sent to staffers this morning.

Mostashari has served as National Coordinator since April 2011, when he took over for David Blumenthal. Prior to that, he served as deputy national coordinator.

"During his tenure, ONC has been at the forefront of designing and implementing a number of initiatives to promote the adoption of health IT among health care providers," Sebelius said in the letter.

"Farzad has seen through the successful design and implementation of ONC's HITECH programs, which provide health IT training and guidance to communities and providers; linked the meaningful use of electronic health records to population health goals; and laid a strong foundation for increasing the interoperability of health records--all while ensuring the ultimate focus remains on patients and their families."

No word yet on why Mostashari is leaving, but in a letter to staffers he called the decision "difficult."

"There are formidable challenges still ahead for our community, and for ONC," he wrote. "But none more difficult than what we already have accomplished. … I don't know what I will be doing after I leave public service, but be assured that I will be by your side as we continue to battle for healthcare transformation, cheering you on."

Watch for more news on the resignation as it becomes available.

To learn more:
- here's Sebelius' letter
- read Mostashari's letter