Todd Park to step down from US CTO post

After five years in the District of Columbia, Todd Park--who initially served as the first chief technology officer for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services before being named U.S. CTO by President Obama in 2012--is heading to the other side of the country.

Park will step down as U.S. CTO by the end of 2014, according to an article in Forbes. He will take a new role with the White House, working in California to recruit tech talent for government roles, according to Forbes.

Park, co-founder of health IT companies athenahealth and Castlight, became CTO of HHS in 2009. 

While at HHS, Park praised and pushed for innovation in the healthcare sector. In 2011, he told FierceHealthIT that he spoke with hundreds of innovators across the U.S. about what they were doing with data and IT to improve care.

"One of the things I love about what's happening right now is that virtually everyone I meet recognizes that the task at hand is not simply to superimpose IT on to the existing health system--it's to use IT and data as key aids to help evolve the health system to a better place," Park said at the time.

He was also a big proponent of liberating health IT data.

Park helped with the launch of HHS' Health Indicators Warehouse--"a collection of heath indicators from a wide array of HHS data sources that are maintained to support researchers, technology developers and policymakers." 

After moving into the U.S. CTO position in 2012, Park did not leave his healthcare experience behind. He continued to speak about and tout the Blue Button program, as well as the Affordable Care Act.

In the weeks leading up to's debut, Park was there. And after the website went live, the CTO helped to deal with blowback from a multitude of issues, including lost connectivity.

Park's decision, according to Forbes, was driven largely by his family's desire to move back to the West Coast. 

To learn more:
- read the Forbes article