Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs William Winkenwerder Jr., 53, has been hired as a senior adviser and consultant with Deloitte Consulting and with the Washington-based Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, which is chaired by former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson.
Last month, Winkenwerder joined the board of directors of LaCrosse, Wis.-based Logistics Health, where Thompson serves as president.
Winkenwerder, an internist who earned an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, said Monday that he will be working on projects that involve federal healthcare programs, healthcare delivery issues, and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.
"We're still sorting out the way that I'll be utilized to support the center and its activities," Winkenwerder said. "Certainly, I hope to work with them on their efforts in assisting clinicians with health information technologyespecially electronic medical records and electronic communication. Anything in that area is something that I've had a lot of experience in."
For now, at least, he said his activities will not include any defense-related work.
"Whether it's on behalf of Deloitte or anyone, I'm not able to represent any entity to the Department of Defense for a year, and I'll obviously be following those rules and guidelines very carefully," Winkenwerder said.
Winkenwerder said he has been in discussions with Deloitte since last year, and that his joining the company has no connection with his decision earlier this year to withdraw himself as a candidate to replace the retiring Dennis O'Leary as president of the Joint Commission.
"I decided that was not the right opportunity for me at this time," Winkenwerder said last month, and he cited both professional and personal factorsincluding a desire to remain in the Washington area. "The Joint Commission is a great organization and it has a very important role in quality healthcare. ... I found them to be a very dedicated, committed and capable group of people."
Joint Commission spokeswoman Charlene Hill said the selection of a new president was a confidential process and she could not comment on whether Winkenwerder had been a candidate.
Winkenwerder had served in his Defense position since October 2001 before resigning earlier this year and being replaced by S. Ward Casscells on April 16. Readers of Modern Physician and Modern Healthcare voted Winkenwerder the third most-powerful physician-executive in healthcare in 2006. -- by Andis Robeznieks