Former Harris Corp. executive Barclay Butler has been appointed director of the DoD/VA Interagency Program Office (IPO), which oversees the agencies’ integrated electronic health record project and other joint initiatives.
Barclay, who served as vice president of healthcare operations for Harris’ Falls Church, Va., office, started work at the joint office on Feb. 27, DoD announced Tuesday. David Wennergren, DoD’s assistant deputy chief management officer, had been serving as interim director since July. The director position required approval from VA and DoD secretaries.
As director, Barclay is also the program executive for the iEHR and the health portion of the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER) initiative, according to a charter signed by VA Deputy Secretary Scott Gould and then-Deputy Defense Secretary Bill Lynn in October. Barclay must also acquire, develop and integrate “major joint DoD/VA health (information technology) capabilities for the iEHR and VLER health,” the charter said.
Barclay was appointed one day before VA canceled a $102.6 million contract to manage a critical portion of the iEHR.
The contract was awarded on Jan. 13 to Fairfax, Va.-based ASM Research Inc. to manage a portion of the iEHR, called the enterprise service bus, which will allow various components of the future system to communicate with each other and with VA and DoD health information stored in data centers. The contract was awarded under VA’s $12 billion Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology, or T4, program.
DoD and VA share a $700 million combined budget for the iEHR this fiscal year, and the joint program office is responsible for the program’s success, said VA’s Chief Information Office Roger Baker said in an interview last month.
The charter also tasks the office director with reporting staff shortages “for any areas that may impact the ability to deliver capabilities on schedule.” By 2014, the departments hope to provide a single virtual access point for health and benefits services. The program office will determine how many employees are needed to staff the office, and personnel working on office programs or initiatives will be evaluated by the director or deputy director.
DoD would not say if a deputy director has been named.
“If they want to completely insulate themselves from any change issues relative to politics,” the joint office must meet every program milestone, Baker said.