Karen B. DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, is Professor of Medicine and Population Health at the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School. She is a nationally recognized health policy leader and physician executive working at the intersection of medicine, public health, and information technology to improve the health of people and communities with a focus on catalyzing solutions to address the social determinants of health. She is co-convener of the National Alliance to Impact the Social Determinants of Health (nasdoh.org) with former HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt.
Dr. DeSalvo served as Assistant Secretary for Health (Acting) and concurrently as the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (National Coordinator) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the Obama Administration. Under her leadership, HHS set and met historic goals in payment reform, supported the transformation of care delivery. She developed the vision of Public Health 3.0 as the future of health model that leverages multi-sectoral, public and private sector partnerships to address the social determinants of health. As the National Coordinator, she set national strategy and policy on health IT and advanced policy established a consumer focused data interoperability system.
Prior to joining HHS, Dr. DeSalvo served as Health Commissioner for the City of New Orleans where she led a transformational effort to address community health challenges - including violence, nutritional and physical fitness, and mental health. She also led the re-establishment of a community public hospital. She was previously Vice Dean for Community Affairs and Health Policy at Tulane School of Medicine. She was an instrumental leader in the effort to re-engineer health care in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in to a model grounded in primary care, enabled by health information technology, and supported by a value-based care payment model.
Dr. DeSalvo is a director on the boards of Humana and Welltower, an executive advisor for LRVHealth, and a member of the Advisory Board for Verily Life Sciences. Sheserves on the Medicare Payment Advisory (MedPAC). Dr. DeSalvo is the President-elect of the Society of General Internal Medicine and Honorary Vice President, United States for the American Public Health Association. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. DeSalvo earned her Medical Doctorate and Masters in Public Health from Tulane University, and has a Masters in Clinical Epidemiology from Harvard School of Public Health.