Digital Health Modernization

Digital Health Modernization

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Hear from Congress and federal agency officials about the policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the technological implementations and digital services that have helped support the country this year, and additional input on future health innovations.

Thursday, October 1st
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. EDT
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Video Replay

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) joins us for a fireside chat. Also, hear from Ivor D'Souza (NIH), Kevin Duvall (HHS), and Dr. Andrew Gettinger (HHS) on democratizing public health data, moderated by GovernmentCIO's own Jason Chong. In addition, Paolo del Vecchio (SAMHSA), Dr. Simon Pincus (DHA), and Jose Ramos (Wounded Warrior Project) tackled the issue of transforming mental health care services, with GovernmentCIO's Orjiugo Hourihan assisting as moderator. The event was rounded out with Col. Bobby Saxon (CMS) and Jessica Weeden (USDS), on a panel moderated by Andrew…

Related Coverage

Federal leaders are implementing and advocating for advancements in digital health technology.
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NIH, HHS are looking to advance data sharing and openness as a means for advancing health management.
Rep. Michael Burgess' own health care focuses have shifted in light of the pandemic.
With an uptick of mental health disorders during the pandemic, officials are scaling up tech to meet demand for care.



After spending nearly three decades practicing medicine in North Texas, Congressman Michael C. Burgess has served the constituents of the 26th District since 2003 in the United States House of Representatives.

Congressman Burgess currently serves on the prestigious House Energy and Commerce Committee as the Republican Leader of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, and also sits on the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce. In addition, he is a member of the powerful House Rules Committee
As of the 115th Congress, Rep. Burgess is the most senior medical doctor, on both sides of the aisle, serving in the House of Representatives. Because of his medical background, he has been a strong advocate for health care legislation aimed at reducing health care costs, improving choices, reforming liability laws to put the needs of patients first, and ensuring there are enough doctors in the public and private sector to care for America’s patients and veterans. Rep. Burgess has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act over 50 times, and has played an important role in bipartisan efforts to reform the Food and Drug Administration.

Ever since Rep. Burgess came to Congress, he has made repealing Medicare's Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula a top priority. At the beginning of the 114th Congress, over ninety percent of both chambers of Congress supported the formula's repeal and it was signed into law. As one of the largest entitlement reforms in the past few decades, this landmark policy will ensure greater access and quality for seniors, more stable reimbursements for providers, and a more fiscally solvent Medicare system as a whole. 

As a member of Congress representing one of the fastest-growing areas of the country, transportation is also a top priority. In 2005, Congressman Burgess successfully amended the Highway Bill to include development credits, design-build, and environmental streamlining. During his time on Capitol Hill, the Congressman has worked to build, maintain, and improve the safety of our roads, bridges, air service, and transit in the North Texas region.

As a fiscal conservative, Rep. Burgess believes Americans deserve a federal government that is more efficient, more effective, less costly, and always transparent. He is a proponent of a flat tax and has introduced a flat tax bill every term he has served in Congress. Rep. Burgess follows a strict adherence to the Constitution and opposes unnecessary expansion of the federal government’s control over the personal freedoms of Americans. Instead, he believes in giving people more control over their lives and their money. Rep. Burgess is committed to reducing illegal immigration into our country and has taken action to ensure our borders are secure and our immigration laws are enforced. He strongly opposes any proposal to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants.

During his time on Capitol Hill, Congressman Burgess has earned a reputation as a problem-solver who seeks sensible solutions to the challenges Americans face and has received several awards including the Guardian of Small Business award by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB); the Spirit of Enterprise award by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and the Taxpayer Hero award from the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste; among others. In 2013, he was named to Modern Healthcare’s 50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders.

Today, Rep. Burgess represents the majority of Denton County and parts of Tarrant County. He was raised in Denton, and attended The Selwyn School, graduating in 1968 as valedictorian. In addition, he graduated with both an undergraduate and a master’s degree from North Texas State University, now the University of North Texas.

Congressman Burgess received his M.D. from the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, and completed his residency programs at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. He also received a master’s degree in Medical Management from the University of Texas at Dallas, and in May 2009 was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Public Service from the University of North Texas Health Sciences Center.

He and his wife, Laura, have been married for more than 40 years. They have three children and two grandsons.

Ranking Member, House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health

Mr. del Vecchio is Director of the Office of Management, Technology, and Operations. In this role, works in partnership with SAMHSA and the Department of Health and Human Services to manage, provide leadership, and ensure SAMHSA's needs are met.

Previously, Mr. del Vecchio served as the Director of SAMHSA's Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), providing executive leadership for Federal efforts to improve the nation's mental health service systems. This included management of the federal/state mental health block grant program and directing a range of programs and activities that address topics such as suicide prevention, children’s mental health, homelessness, disaster mental health, HIV/AIDS, and others. Mr. del Vecchio also previously served as the CMHS Associate Director for Consumer Affairs where he directed SAMHSA’s precedent-setting programs and activities that advanced consumer participation and education, a recovery orientation for the mental health system, peer support and the adoption of certified peer specialists, wellness and primary care integration, understanding of trauma histories and the social determinants of health and mental health, and led programs to reduce discrimination and prejudice associated with mental illnesses.

Prior to joining SAMHSA, Paolo worked for the Philadelphia Office of Mental Health in the areas of policy formulation and the planning of a comprehensive system of community-based mental health services addressing homelessness, HIV/AIDS, and many other issues.

A self-identified mental health consumer, trauma survivor, and person in recovery from addictions, Paolo has been involved for over 40 years in behavioral health as a consumer, family member, provider, advocate, and policy maker. He graduated summa cum laude with a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Temple University, has published widely, and is a highly sought after national leader and speaker. Paolo has been a leader in many Federal efforts including the Federal Advisory Planning Board for the Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health, the HHS Multiple Chronic Conditions Initiative, the HHS Living Community Initiative and numerous others.

Director, Office of Management, Technology, and Operations (OMTO), SAMHSA

Ivor Leonard D’Souza is the Director of Information Systems and Chief Information Officer at the National Library of Medicine (NLM), one of the 27 Institutes and Centers of the National Institutes of Health.  In this capacity, he oversees the development of NLM’s organizational IT strategy and federal IT compliance.  He is also the Director of NLM’s Office of Computer and Communications Systems responsible for IT operations and software development programs that serve online content to health care professionals, researchers, and patients worldwide.  Mr. D’Souza was formerly a partner and Vice-President at AAC Inc., an IT consulting firm in Vienna, VA.  

Mr. D’Souza has a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., and a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from the Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal, India.  


Director of Information Systems and CIO, National Library of Medicine, NIH

Kevin Duvall is the HHS Acting Deputy Chief Data Officer. In his current role, he has been heavily involved with the Department’s planning for the Evidence Act and the development of the HHS Protect COVID-19 data sharing ecosystem. Prior to joining HHS, Kevin worked at the University of Virginia (UVA) in various capacities. He was responsible for acquiring and implementing cloud products serving the faculty, staff, and students of the university, and leading change through smarter, consolidated IT acquisition. In addition, he also worked directly for the UVA Chief Information Officer driving forward critical actions in audit response, continuity of operations planning, strategic planning, and staff development/learning. Kevin holds a M.S. in Management of Information Technology and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Physics, both from the University of Virginia. 

Acting Deputy Chief Data Officer, HHS

Dr. Andrew Gettinger serves as chief clinical officer for ONC. He is a professor of anesthesiology emeritus at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, and was formerly the chief medical information officer (CMIO) for Dartmouth-Hitchcock and associate dean for clinical informatics at Geisel.

Dr. Gettinger has extensive experience in the field of health information technology. He led the development of an electronic health record (EHR) system at Dartmouth and subsequently was the senior physician leader during Dartmouth’s transition to a vendor-based EHR. Dr. Gettinger’s clinical practice and research has been focused both on anesthesiology and critical care medicine, and on information technology as it applies generally to health care.

Dr. Gettinger founded the clinical informatics group at Dartmouth. He has been an active participant in the policy debates regarding patient privacy at both the state and federal level, testifying before the senate HELP committee and participating as a member of the New Hampshire legislative taskforce on privacy. He served in Senator Orrin G. Hatch’s office as a Robert Wood Johnson health policy fellow. 

He is board certified in anesthesiology, critical care medicine and was among the inaugural cohort of physicians certified in clinical informatics by the American Board of Preventive Medicine in 2013.

Chief Clinical Officer, ONC, HHS

Dr. Simon Pincus is the chief of the Defense Health Agency’s Connected Health Branch, Clinical Support Division, Medical Affairs.

Connected Health is the branch of the Defense Health Agency responsible for reviewing, evaluating, coordinating, and integrating the use and development of health technology supporting Military Health System beneficiaries. These technologies include telehealth, mobile apps, mobile web, virtual reality, augmented reality, and wearable devices.

Dr. Pincus comes from the Army’s Regional Health Command-Pacific, where he was responsible for execution of behavioral health programs spanning eight time zones. In that role, he led tri-service behavioral health efforts to optimize the MHS GENESIS electronic health record, represented the Department of Defense at the Veterans Affairs’ EHR-Modernization workshops, and presented at the Annual Cerner Health Conference.

His civilian service includes director, Installation Behavioral Health, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and chief, Behavioral Health, Madigan Army Medical Center (the Army’s largest behavioral health department); chief, Tele-Behavioral Health, Western Region Medical Command; and chief, McChord Mental Health.

Dr. Pincus is the recipient of the Superior and Commander’s Awards for Civilian Service and led teams that received the Madigan Swan Award for Teamwork for two consecutive years.

Dr. Pincus retired from the U.S. Army as a Medical Corps officer in 2008 after 25 years of service, having had the opportunity on active duty to lead at many levels.

As director of Psychiatry and the Combined Family Medicine/Psychiatry Programs, Dr. Pincus was responsible for the education of residents at Tripler Army Medical Center. During Operation Joint Endeavor, Dr. Pincus commanded the 84th Combat Stress Control Detachment, the firstever fully deployed CSC unit.

Dr. Pincus’ military awards include the Order of Military Medical Merit, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal (6th Award), the Army Commendation Medal (2nd Award), and the Army Achievement Award (3rd Award), and the Expert Field Medical Badge.

Dr. Pincus received his bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and his medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He completed his psychiatric residency at Letterman Army Medical Center, and his fellowship training in psychopharmacology at the University of Colorado.

Dr. Pincus has several publications on combat and operational stress. His paper on “The Emotional Cycle of Deployment: A Military Family Perspective” has almost 500 citations and has been widely referenced during redeployment briefings.

Dr. Pincus grew up in New York, Toronto, Canada, and London, England. In England, he successfully completed 11 Ordinary “O” Level examinations from the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, and London. He remembers his time in England fondly due to Harry Potter and the “Owl” Exams.

Chief, Connected Health Branch, DHA

Jose Ramos serves as the Wounded Warrior Project's (WWP) Vice President of Government and Community Relations and has been helping post-9/11 veterans as a member of the WWP team since 2018. Prior to joining WWP, Jose served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the Special Assistant for Constituent Inquiries and as an appointed Commissioner on President Bush’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors. Jose’s background as a combat-wounded Navy corpsman informs his current role and helps guide WWP’s efforts to promote policies that support the needs of America’s wounded warriors and their families. Jose served three combat tours during his Navy service while assigned to a Marine Corps infantry battalion. Jose holds his BA from George Mason University. He is a native of the Great State of Texas.

Vice President, Government and Community Relations, Wounded Warrior Project

Colonel Bobby Saxon, USA Retired, is the Deputy Director for the Office of Information Technology (OIT), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  Previously, Bobby served at CMS as the Acting Director for Emergency Preparedness and Response Operations (EPRO) and as the CMS Continuity Manager where he led Continuity of Operations (COOP) and Emergency Management.  Bobby joined CMS in 2017 as the Chief Technology Officer for the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) where he led IT for 

Bobby has nearly 30 years of IT leadership experience including assignments to the Pentagon as the Assistant Deputy Chief Information Officer for Army G-3/5/7 Operations and Plans, and as a Force Management Division Chief leading a global force information management data initiative.  Bobby began his IT career as a medical software sales consultant before becoming a regional, then national sales manager for multiple software companies specializing in Electronic Health Records (EHR).  Before re-entering active military service after the events of 9/11, Bobby founded a Customer Relationship Management company to provide collaboration and data analytics solutions to Fortune 5,000 organizations.

Bobby has a Master of Science (MS) in Government Information Leadership, w/CIO concentration, from the National Defense University (NDU) and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from the Georgia Southern University.  Bobby has a graduate certificate for Global Strategic Leadership and was the distinguished graduate of NDU CIO Leadership Development Program for which is received his CIO graduate certificate.

Bobby has been recognized for his IT leadership with awards including the 2019 FCW Federal 100 Award, the 2019 AFCEA Innovate IT Stewardship award, the FedScoop 50 Federal Leadership Award; and is the recipient of the CIO Magazine “Ones to Watch” Award. Additionally, under Bobby’s leadership, won the 2019 FedHealth IT Innovation Award for its move to the Cloud which resulted in ~$100M in annual savings to CMS.

Colonel Saxon is a combat veteran with service in Iraq and is the recipient of the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Combat Action Badge, Paratrooper Badge, and Air Assault Badge.

Deputy CIO, CMS

Jessica Weeden is a service designer with the U.S. Digital Service at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Serving as USDS team lead, Jessica and her team are partnering with CMS to modernize the Medicare payment processing systems that pay for the health care of 40 million Americans. Previously, she led design efforts to improve the asylum applicant experience with the USDS team at USCIS. Jessica specializes in helping organizations have a holistic view of the large, complex, fuzzy problem spaces they work in so they can identify opportunities and define a way forward.

Designer and USDS Project Lead for Medicare Payment System Modernization
Director of Data Strategy & Analytics, GovernmentCIO

Michael Hoffman is president of GovernmentCIO Media & Research. He joined the company after leading Tandem National Security Innovations, a community of startups and small businesses working with government agencies. Before Tandem, he served as’s managing editor, where he oversaw a team of military journalists. Hoffman spent five years as a defense reporter at Military Times and Defense News. He traveled to Afghanistan and Iraq, where he embedded with U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force units.
Hoffman served in the U.S. Air Force as an intelligence officer after he graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park. He earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism at Maryland. Later, he returned to Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business and earned his MBA.
When he’s not at work, you’re likely to find Hoffman at National’s Park with his wife and two sons. He’s also an avid runner and skier who loves gardening and cooking.

Follow him on Twitter: @_MichaelHoffman

President, GovernmentCIO Media & Research
Vice President, GovernmentCIO

An accomplished public sector executive with proven success in technology modernization, solution development, strategic growth, and digital solutions across civil, health, defense, and intelligence markets. Creative and driven professional with an extensive public sector network and trusted relationships with government executives, procurement professionals, integrators, product companies, and small businesses.

Experience and passion for designing and delivering innovative solutions that reinvent and modernize federal government and citizen services. Detailed experience includes over 20 years in management consulting, account management, and MS in Information Systems from Johns Hopkins University.

Senior Vice President, GovernmentCIO

Andrew Underhill has 20+ years of broad experience spanning business development, solution development, and professional services in the United States and Europe.

He launched his career as an application developer in manufacturing and healthcare enterprises, rapidly advancing through solution design, analysis, program management, and client account management and operations roles to gain technical, business, and resource management expertise. He was appointed Chief Technical and Operating Officer of Wise Systems, a leading Healthcare Software and Services company. in 1997. There, he directed company operations for 9 years, managing prime accounts and relationships with industry partners. Through this, he helped deploy complex enterprise wide solutions into 40 hospitals.

After moving to the United States in January 2006, he served as the Director of Product Planning for Applied Visual Sciences, a medical and security imaging company. His awareness and vision were instrumental for strategic initiatives, supporting marketing, expansion planning, solution architecture, and business partnering driving forward solutions for the Global Healthcare and Security Industry. The results of his efforts are utilized across the industry, including in key products from leading vendors that are found in hundreds of hospitals and airports around the world.

Mr. Underhill joins GovernmentCIO from Systems Made Simple, A Lockheed Martin Company, where he served as lead Solution Engineer, Chief Technologist, and Technical Account Manager. He architected solutions for over $800M, while contributing to $1.4B of business won with the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Mr. Underhill is an advocate of Interoperability and Standards development. He previously served as a member of the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE), Health Level Seven (HL7), and Digital Image Communication in Medicine (DICOM). Additionally, he was instrumental in the development of the new and sister Digital Imaging Communication (DICOS) Standard for the security industry, where he worked as a co-editor and workgroup chairman for the National Electrical Manufacturers Association Standard efforts.

Mr. Underhill holds a Masters Certificate in Healthcare Leadership from Cornell University, studied Business and Management at the City of Bath College, Electronics and Electrical engineering at Norton Radstock College, and Communications and Engineering Drawing at Norton Hill Math and Computing College.

Chief Technology Officer, GovernmentCIO



Welcome Remarks

  • Michael Hoffman, President, GovernmentCIO Media & Research

Fireside Chat

  • Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), Ranking Member, House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health
  • Moderator: Erin Mirsky, Senior Vice President, GovernmentCIO

Democratizing Public Health Data in the Federal Government

Data is extremely valuable for making well-informed decisions, but sharing data across government and with the public is challenging due to complex silos. How are agencies looking to improve the speed and efficiency of health data collection and management for timely public health responses, while also promoting public trust, patient privacy, and secure access to that data?

  • Ivor D'Souza, CIO, National Library of Medicine, NIH
  • Kevin Duvall, Acting Deputy CDO, HHS
  • Dr. Andrew Gettinger, Chief Clinical Officer, ONC, HHS
  • Moderator: Jason Chong, Director of Data Strategy & Analytics, GovernmentCIO

Transforming Mental Health Care Services with Tech

COVID-19 has created a lot of stress for people, exacerbating symptoms for individuals with previously diagnosed health conditions, but has also amplified worry, anxiety and loneliness for those without prior histories of mental illness. Remote counseling services and expanded telehealth reimbursement policies, however, have proven vital for the health, safety and wellbeing of many during this time. In this panel, you’ll hear from federal health officials on how they’re addressing mental health issues, including substance abuse and suicide prevention, and how technology can help improve access and quality of care.

  • Paolo del Vecchio, Director of the Office of Management, Technology, and Operations (OMTO), SAMHSA
  • Dr. Simon Pincus, Chief, Connected Health Branch, DHA
  • Jose Ramos, Vice President of Government and Community Relations, Wounded Warrior Project
  • Moderator: Orjiugo Hourihan, Vice President, GovernmentCIO

Updating Legacy Systems for Public Health Responses

The need for investments in modern infrastructure for timely public health responses has never been more apparent than today. Hear from federal health officials on how agencies are working with agility to upgrade their systems and process to better serve the public.

  • Col. Bobby Saxon, Deputy CIO, CMS
  • Jessica Weeden, Designer and Project Lead for Medicare Payment System Modernization, USDS
  • Moderator: Andrew Underhill, CTO, GovernmentCIO

Closing Remarks