ONC memo on departure of Lygeia Ricciardi

From: DeSalvo, Karen (OS/ONC) 
Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2014 3:33 PM
Subject: Staff Departure Announcement

Dear ONC,

I would like to let you know that Lygeia Ricciardi will be leaving us on July 25th after 3 and a-half years at ONC. Lygeia spearheaded the development of our Consumer eHealth Program and Office, and was appointed director in May 2012. Lygeia has worked passionately to integrate the consumer perspective into everything we do at ONC, including shaping policy, standards, pilots, stakeholder engagement, and public outreach.

Under Lygeia's leadership, ONC and the communities we serve have articulated a shared vision in which the consumer, patient or caregiver, enabled by information and tools, can participate more fully as a partner in both their own health care and health. By collaborating with HHS leadership, news outlets and many other thought leaders, ONC has worked to put consumer e-Health "on the map" for health care and technology leaders and, increasingly, the general public.

Some highlights of the progress we've made in great part to Lygeia's leadership:

  • More and more patients every day are able to view, download and transmit their health records electronically under the Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements--and many are using Blue Button technology.
  • With support from the White House and the VA, ONC is leading the Blue Button Initiative, a public-private partnership with more than 500 influential provider organizations, health plans, pharmacies, labs, developers, consumer groups and federal agencies helping consumers and patients access their health information.
  • Consumers are benefiting from new health tools and services being created as a result of innovation challenges, boot-camps, and technical guidelines that promote the use of a consistent set of standards for sharing consumer health information.

I am committed to and enthusiastic about the ongoing opportunities for ONC to support consumer engagement. In the context of our immediate priority--enabling interoperability--consumers play a key role, serving as the medium of exchange among multiple providers and other members of their care team. In addition, health reform will enable and indeed require consumers to play an increased role in helping us to meet the goals of improved health and care, at lower costs.

I am grateful to Lygeia for her service to ONC and to me in my first months as National Coordinator. To ensure a smooth transition, we are working to engage stakeholders in a dialogue to continue this vital work and Erin Siminerio will serve as the point of contact for the Office of Consumer eHealth as we search for a new director who will help us continue integrating the consumer perspective into everything we do. 

Join me in wishing Lygeia all the best in her future endeavors, and in thanking her for her dedicated public service to our country.