After a five-month, nationwide search, Karen M. Bell, MD, has been named chair of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology, effective April 26.
Bell, an internist, and most recently the senior vice president of HIT Services at Masspro, replaces retiring chair Mark Leavitt, MD, who led CCHIT since its inception in 2004.
"The commission has a trusted name and processes and is already well respected for its nimbleness, creativity, transparency, and inclusiveness," Bell said in a media release. "I look forward to working with the commission's staff and volunteers to build on that foundation to meet the needs of healthcare providers and consumers in this rapidly evolving health IT environment."
Before leading Masspro, the federally-contracted quality improvement organization in Massachusetts, Bell was director of the Office of HIT Adoption and acting deputy in the Office of the National Coordinator at HHS. She was ONC's representative on CCHIT's board of commissioners from 2006 to 2008. She has also served as division director for the quality improvement group, office of standards and quality at CMS, and was medical director of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island.
"[Dr. Bell's] background as a practicing physician, as an expert in health information technology, and in quality assurance efforts in both the public and private sectors makes her uniquely qualified to head the Certification Commission," said Frank Trembulak, COO of Geisinger Health System, and chair of the CCHIT board of trustees.