VA CIO Roger Baker Resigning

No Successor Named Yet
VA CIO Roger Baker Resigning

Roger Baker, CIO at the Department of Veterans Affairs, announced on Feb. 15 that he's resigning.

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"I committed to stay through the first [Obama] administration and achieved that," Baker told HealthcareInfoSecurity. "Honestly, this job is such high intensity that I couldn't see being able to make it another four. I am planning to leave government."

Baker said he doesn't have an exact date yet for when his final day at the VA will be. "I know that I will be testifying on February 27 on the iEHR [integrated electronic health record project], so it will be sometime after that. ... I don't have any settled plans for after I'm out of government. I know I'll take some time off."

Message to Staff

In a Feb. 15 message to his staff, Baker wrote:

"...Over the last four years, VA IT has come to be recognized as a leader in federal IT. We have improved our relationships with our IT customers; established one of the highest performing product delivery organizations in the world; achieved visibility to our networks and medical devices; focused our decision-making based on metrics and not by anecdotes; and become an IT organization that is seen as an investment for the VA rather than an expense.

"Most critically, VA IT has become the backbone for the transformation of the VA into a 21st century organization that the Secretary has envisioned. Your ability to deliver the technology necessary to support that transformation and to reliably meet our commitments to our customers is fundamental to that transformation."

A VA spokeswoman says that no successor has been named yet, nor an acting CIO.

Big Projects

Baker took on the CIO position in 2009. He led VA initiatives that include improving breach prevention and response, planning for the implementation of a mobile device management system and planning for an integrated electronic health record project with the Department of Defense.

Earlier this month, DoD and the VA jointly announced a change in strategy for the integrated EHR project, which originally called for building a new integrated system from scratch. The new strategy calls for VA and DoD to immediately leverage their existing systems, with a focus on interoperability and data exchange (see: VA, DoD Accelerate Secure EHR Project).

In 2011, Baker described plans for accommodating the use of 100,000 mobile devices within 18 months, including employees' personally owned mobile devices, as the VA started phasing out desktop devices to cut costs (see: VA CIO: Personally Owned Devices OK).

But the VA modified its mobile device plans last fall. VA officials in October described a new approach that instead calls for potentially supporting as many as 30,000 devices within three years (see: VA Revamps Mobile Device Plan).

About the Author

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee

Executive Editor, HealthcareInfoSecurity, ISMG

McGee is executive editor of Information Security Media Group's media site. She has about 30 years of IT journalism experience, with a focus on healthcare information technology issues for more than 15 years. Before joining ISMG in 2012, she was a reporter at InformationWeek magazine and news site and played a lead role in the launch of InformationWeek's healthcare IT media site.

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