Former Minnesota CIO Gopal Khanna to lead AHRQ

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Gopal Khanna, former CIO of Minnesota, was appointed director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a division of HHS dedicated to finding ways to make healthcare safer, higher quality and more affordable. The agency did not issue an official statement, opting instead to quietly update its website with the appointment.

Mr. Khanna most recently directed the Data Analytics Healthcare and Human Services Innovation Incubator in Illinois, where he led a team to build a secure data pool for individuals who receive state healthcare services. Prior to that, Mr. Khanna served as the state of Minnesota's first CIO. He also served in various senior policy positions within the George W. Bush administration, including CIO and CFO of the Peace Corps.

Douglas Fridsma, MD, PhD, president and CEO of the American Medical Informatics Association, lauded the decision to appoint Mr. Khanna to lead AHRQ, noting in a statement AMIA is "confident Mr. Khanna will provide important strategic direction to AHRQ and its research portfolio."

Dr. Fridsma also called for Congress to increase funding to AHRQ in fiscal year 2018 to signal a commitment to improving the nation's health system. "AHRQ plays a vital role in developing evidence that is understood and used by clinicians across the country, and AMIA stands ready to help Mr. Khanna leverage health informatics to discover health insights and accelerate healthcare transformation," Dr. Fridsma said in a statement.


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