Google taps former ONC national coordinator for chief health officer role

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Karen DeSalvo, MD, has been appointed Google's first chief health officer, the tech giant confirmed to CNBC.

In the newly created role, Dr. DeSalvo will reportedly advise Google on providers, physicians and nurses, focusing specifically within parent company Alphabet's cloud computing and life sciences sectors. She will start later this year and will report to David Feinberg, MD, who stepped down as CEO of Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger Health System in late 2018 to lead Google's expansion into healthcare.

Dr. DeSalvo held leadership roles in HHS during the Obama administration, first as national coordinator for health information technology, then as acting assistant secretary for health. Since then, she has served as a professor at the University of Texas at Austin's Dell Medical School.

She has held positions on the boards of Humana and Welltower, and on the advisory board of Alphabet's life sciences arm Verily. In 2018, she was chosen to join the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.

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