Obama appoints Berwick during congressional recess

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Donald M. Berwick, MD
Image source: Harvard School of Public Health

During the current congressional recess, President Barack Obama appointed Donald Berwick, MD, current president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, to fill the role of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator.

Berwick, a pediatrician, is a clinical professor of pediatrics and healthcare policy at the Harvard Medical School and a professor of health policy and management at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. The Obama Administration made the initial nomination in late March.

Concerning the timing of his announcement, Obama said: “It’s unfortunate that at a time when our nation is facing enormous challenges, many in Congress have decided to delay critical nominations for political purposes … With more than 180 nominees still pending before the Senate, it’s my hope that my colleagues in Congress will agree to put politics aside and move forward on these vitally important positions.”

Berwick has served as chair of the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and as an elected member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), according to a statement for the White House. Berwick also served on the IOM’s governing council from 2002 to 2007.