Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, most recently served as Acting Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).


Dr. DeSalvo also previously served as the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, leading the nation’s charge to develop an interoperable health IT system.


Dr. DeSalvo is the former Health Commissioner in New Orleans and was previously vice dean for community affairs and health policy at Tulane University School of Medicine. She has focused her career on bringing better health and health care for everyone with attention to the social determinants of health.


Dr. DeSalvo earned her medical degree and Master’s in Public Health from Tulane University, and Master’s in Clinical Epidemiology from Harvard School of Public Health.


Recent Posts by Karen DeSalvo

Funding For Local Public Health: A Renewed Path For Critical Infrastructure

Public health is the natural and historic bridge between the health care system and the community. But the sad truth is, like other parts of our nation’s infrastructure, it has been chronically underfunded.

Public Health 3.0: A Blueprint For The Future Of Public Health

While we have made great advances in public health, life expectancy in the United States has been stagnant for three years in a row. Public health needs to innovate and reinvent itself so that we have what it takes to ensure that the American people are healthy, ready, and competitive in this...

By The Numbers: Our Progress In Digitizing Health Care

The US has seen a historic health IT transformation, moving from a primarily paper-based health system to one where virtually everyone has a digital footprint of their care.

HHS And CVS Health Partner To Promote Consumer-Centered Preventive Services

The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and CVS Health recently formed a public-private partnership aiming to increase awareness of the availability of convenient, consumer-centered, recommended preventive services using healthfinder.gov.

Ten Years After Hurricane Katrina: Progress And Challenges Remain For US Emergency Preparedness

Ten years ago, the nation watched in shock as Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans. While we mark this 10-year anniversary with remarkable progress, we must acknowledge an ever growing obstacle: a national attention deficit.

Health Information Technology: Where We Stand And Where We Need To Go

The National Coordinator for Health Information Technology discusses her view of the health information technology landscape and outlines an agenda for her office.

From The National Coordinator For Health IT: The Federal Strategy For Collecting, Sharing, And Using Electronic Health Information

Making our nation’s health and wellness infrastructure interoperable is a top priority for the Administration, and government plays a vital role in advancing this effort. Federal agencies are purchasers, regulators, and users of health information technology (health IT), as they set policy and...