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Stead to chair National Committee on Vital & Health Statistics

Oct. 6, 2016, 9:29 AM

William Stead, M.D., the McKesson Foundation Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Professor of Medicine and Chief Strategy Officer for Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has been chosen to serve as chair of the National Committee on Vital & Health Statistics (NCVHS).
He was selected by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell to serve in this role. As chair, he will serve a two-year, renewable term.

William Stead, M.D.
William Stead, M.D.

The NCVHS, formed in 1949, is the statutory public advisory body to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on health data, statistics and national health information policy. The primary audience of the committee is the HHS secretary, to whom recommendations are submitted. Its recommendations also inform decision making about data policy by state and local governments and the private sector.

Stead, who is internationally known for his contributions to biomedical informatics, was first appointed to the NCVHS in 2012 and has served as co-chair of its Population Health subcommittee since 2013. He is the only Vanderbilt faculty member to serve on the committee.

The NCVHS consists of 18 members, including the chair. Members of the committee are selected and appointed based on their contributions in the fields of health statistics, electronic interchange of health information, administrative and clinical IT standards, privacy and security of electronic information, population-based public health, purchasing or financing of health care services, integrated computerized health information systems, health services research, consumer interests in health information, health data standards, epidemiology and the provision of health services.

“I am honored to have the chance to serve the country in this way. The rapid changes in the health and health care landscape present opportunities to re-think our approach to health data and information policy,” Stead said.

The committee’s recommendations fall into two categories. The first addresses timely issues where policy changes are needed, such as its recent report providing guidance to simplify the administrative processes associated with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), as well as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to emphasize the meaningful use of electronic health records technology to expand the use of reporting of quality and safety data to improve care. The second takes a longer-term perspective, such as the 2014 Joint Roundtable on Health Data Needs for Community-Driven Change and the 2016 report on Advancing Community-Level Core Measurement.

Through a groundbreaking career in biomedical informatics spanning more than 45 years, Stead is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including being the first recipient of an award created in his honor, the American Medical Informatics Association’s William W. Stead Award for Thought Leadership in Informatics.

He has served in other distinguished leadership roles including two terms on the council of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine). He is a founding fellow of both the American College of Medical Informatics and the American Institute for Engineering in Biology and Medicine. He was the first recipient of the Lindberg Award for Innovation in Informatics and the 2007 recipient of the Collen Award for Excellence in Medical Informatics.

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