Charles Friedman, chief scientific officer at HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, is leaving that post to head a new graduate program in health informatics at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, according to a university news release.
The program will be offered jointly by Michigan's School of Public Health and School of Information. Students will be able to subspecialize in consumer health informatics, public health informatics or clinical informatics. Friedman will start at Ann Arbor Sept. 1, according to the release.
Friedman, who once held the No. 2 spot as deputy national coordinator for health information technology, is the second key ONC leader this year to return to academia. Dr. David Blumenthal went back to Harvard University in April after leading the ONC for two years.
Friedman was named deputy national coordinator under then-ONC chief Dr. Robert Kolodner in November 2007 after serving a stint as senior adviser for the office.
Since 2009, as chief scientific officer, Friedman has been responsible for a wide range of activities, including several ONC-supported health IT research and workforce-development programs, as well as serving as lead author in the drafting of the 2008 national health IT strategic plan.