David O’Hara, Ph.D., WIHD’s Chief Operating Officer, has been selected as a Health Information Technology (HIT) Fellow by the Office of the National Coordinator of HIT at the U.S.  Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. O’Hara was nominated by consultants from the Regional Extension Center on HIT for New York State, based on the innovative work being done at WIHD on accessible patient experience surveys, and health education and health promotion materials for use on smart technologies, such as iPads and Android devices.  Dr. O’Hara is one of just 12 fellows selected for 2014 – 2015.

The activities of the Fellowship include monthly conference calls, and bi-monthly webinars; there are also two on-site meetings in Washington, D.C.  During his fellowship year, Dr. O’Hara will be working on projects including: a grant application to the Special Hope Foundation to support development of an oral health promotion app; collaboration with Special Olympics International on the development of a new Electronic Health Record (EHR) and patient portal, designed to be fully accessible to people with intellectual disabilities; and, certification of the WIHD Adult Health program as a Patient – Centered Medical Home using an EHR with the ability to create patient registries that fully capture the complex care needs of WIHD patients.

“Our entire community is thrilled that Dr. O’Hara has been recognized for his significant contributions to promote the use of smart technology that facilitates inclusion and self – determination for people with disabilities and their families,” says Dr. Ansley Bacon, President and CEO of WIHD.  “This type of innovation and leadership is part of WIHD’s role as a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD).“