Karen B. DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, is Professor of Medicine and Population Health at the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School. She is co-convener of the National Alliance to Impact the Social Determinants of Health. Dr. DeSalvo is nationally recognized thought leader and physician executive working at the intersection of medicine, public health, and information technology to improve the health of people and communities with a focus on catalyzing solutions to address the social determinants of health.
Previously, Dr. DeSalvo concurrently served as Assistant Secretary for Health (Acting) and the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (National Coordinator) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the Obama Administration. Under her leadership, HHS set and met historic goals in payment reform, supported the transformation of care delivery (including primary care), and improved the approach to information distribution in the health system. As the National Coordinator, she set national strategy and policy on health IT and championed interoperability in health settings.
Prior to joining HHS, Dr. DeSalvo served as Health Commissioner for the city of New Orleans where she led a transformational effort to address health challenges - including violence, nutritional and physical fitness, and mental health - and directed the re-establishment of a community public hospital. She was previously Vice Dean for Community Affairs and Health Policy at Tulane School of Medicine.
Dr. DeSalvo is a director on the boards of Humana and Welltower, an executive advisor for LRVHealth, and a member of the Advisory Board for Verily Life Sciences, an Alphabet Company. She also serves on the Medicare Payment Advisory (MedPAC) and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. DeSalvo earned her Medical Doctorate and Masters in Public Health from Tulane University, and has a Masters in Clinical Epidemiology from Harvard School of Public Health.