After 2-year vacancy, VA appoints permanent CIO

The Senate confirmed James Gfrerer as CIO and assistant secretary of IT at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Jan. 3, according to the Politico Morning eHealth newsletter.

The move makes Mr. Gfrerer the first permanent CIO at the VA since the start of the Trump administration, ending a nearly two-yearslong vacancy.  

As VA CIO, Mr. Gfrerer will oversee the agency's EHR modernization project to ensure its system is interoperable with the Defense Department. During his nomination hearing in September, Mr. Gfrerer said he wants to address cybersecurity vulnerabilities at the VA, which have landed the agency on the Office of Inspector General's high-risk list for the last three years.  

Mr. Gfrerer was in the U.S. Marine Corps for 20 years, including serving as the first director of the Marine Corps Information Operations Center. Since 2015, he has been an executive director at Ernst & Young, a professional services firm. Politico notes that Mr. Gfrerer has no prior experience in healthcare.

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