ONC’s consumer advocate to step down

June 27, 2014 in Medical Technology

Lygeia Ricciardi, the first director of the Office of Consumer eHealth at ONC, will step down on July 25, National Coordinator KarenDeSalvo, MD, announced in an email to ONC staff.

Ricciardi’s departure marks the second high-profile resignation from ONC this month; Chief Privacy Officer Joy Pritts announced June 12 that she would also step down in July.

[See also: ONC chief privacy officer to step down.]

Ricciardi’s role at ONC was focused on patient engagement. She has served in the post for three-and-a-half years.

In an interview this past year with Healthcare IT News Contributing Editor Anthony Brino, Ricciardi talked about her role.

“ONC has a real understanding of the importance of consumer engagement,” she said. “When ONC was originally created, and even when HITECH passed, there was a lot of emphasis on providers and hospitals and their role in adopting electronic health records and using them meaningfully. But it’s only in more recent years that it’s become more generally understood that patients and consumers play a critical role, too. It’s about using information technology to empower and enable consumers and patients to be better and fuller partners in their healthcare.”

[Read the full interview: ONC’s Ricciardi gives consumers voice.]

“Under Lygeia’s leadership, ONC and the communities we serve have articulated a shared vision in which the consumer, patient or caregiver, enabled by information and tools, can participate more fully as a partner in both their own health care and health,” DeSalvo wrote in her email to staff announcing Ricciardi’s departure. “By collaborating with HHS leadership, news outlets and many other thought leaders, ONC has worked to put consumer e-Health “on the map” for health care and technology leaders and, increasingly, the general public.”

Prior to joining ONC in 2011, Ricciardi ran Clear Voice Consulting, which specialized in consumer eHealth. Prior to that, she was a director at the Markle Foundation, a policy advisor and speechwriter for the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and a research associate at Harvard Business School.

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