Texas Health Physician Executive to Help Lead National Health Information Technology Workgroup
06/24/2009

ARLINGTON, Texas — Dr. Ferdinand T. Velasco, chief medical information officer at Texas Health Resources, has been named co-chair of the Advanced Quality Work Group of the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology.

Dr. Ferdinand T. Velasco
Dr. Ferdinand T. Velasco
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The Certification Commission is a private, nonprofit organization recognized by the federal government as an official certification body for electronic health records (EHR) and their networks. The Commission’s volunteer workgroups will hone existing certification programs and develop new certification paths that align with upcoming federal standards for meaningful use of the EHR.

“Dr. Velasco has the skills and background to help lead the national electronic health record certification process at a time of transition in health care policy,” said Edward Marx, Texas Health chief information officer. “He can speak from the authority of his personal experience in leading Texas Health’s EHR initiative.”

By 2012, all of Texas Health’s 14 facilities will be using the EHR, which is a computer-based family of systems for collecting, organizing, sharing, and managing clinical and administrative patient information. The ultimate goal is improved quality of care.

“I look forward to bringing the perspective of not-for-profit, community-owned health systems to the electronic health record certification process,” said Velasco. “This is critical because community-owned systems provide the majority of the nation’s health care.”

As Texas Health’s chief medical information officer, Velasco is the physician champion for the system’s medical informatics initiatives. Prior to joining Texas Health in 2002, he was assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, where he served as physician champion for the medical center’s implementation of a computerized physician order entry system. He was previously a cardiothoracic surgeon at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

He received his medical degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine and bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences from the University of California, Riverside.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. Texas Health’s system of 14 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, and Texas Health Presbyterian, and an organization for medical research and education. Texas Health Organization for Physicians and Texas Health Physicians Group provide a variety of models for engagement with physicians. Texas Health Partners is a joint venture development and management company owned by Texas Health Resources. Texas Health MedSynergies is a joint venture that offers physicians a range of office management and other business services to support their practices. Texas Health is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.