Lisa Bari, a former health information technology lead at CMS' Innovation Center, has been named interim CEO of the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative, the HIE trade group announced Friday.
Bari will serve as interim CEO while the board conducts a national search for a replacement for Kelly Hoover Thompson, the group's previous CEO.
Bari last year left CMS' Innovation Center, where she had spent more than three years working on interagency health IT, interoperability and artificial intelligence issues, including work on long-awaited interoperability and information-blocking rules from CMS and HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
Since leaving the federal government, Bari has worked as an independent consultant focusing on health IT and value-based care issues.
She began working with SHIEC earlier this year as a policy and advocacy consultant.
"I am pleased to be joining SHIEC as interim CEO at a very important time for America's HIEs," Bari said in a statement Friday. "Looking forward, we expect that HIEs will play an important role in connecting states, providers and patients to support nationwide immunization efforts."
ONC last month granted $2.5 million from March's Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act relief package to five HIEs as part of an effort to help state and local public health agencies respond to public health emergencies like pandemics and natural disasters.
Thompson, who joined SHIEC as CEO in 2017 after working as deputy secretary at the Pennsylvania Department of Health, is no longer with SHIEC as of last week, according to SHIEC's announcement.
Melissa Kotrys, SHIEC's board chair, in an emailed statement to Modern Healthcare said the organization does not comment on personnel issues.
"The board of directors expresses appreciation for Kelly's service and wishes her the best," she wrote.
Thompson declined to discuss details of her departure but told Modern Healthcare it "came time for me as a leader to recognize that there were other opportunities for me."
"When I came to SHIEC it was a very different organization than it is today," she said, adding SHIEC was a startup when she joined in 2017. Her responsibilities had involved setting up operations and building out a team, with her initial goals focused on growing membership and raising awareness of HIEs in policy discussions, she said.
Today, SHIEC represents roughly 80 HIEs; in 2017, that number was closer to 15.
Thompson said she's taking a break for now. She isn't sure what her next career step will be.
"We've accomplished much of what I came to the organization to do," Thompson said. "Now it's time for the next person to pick up the ball."