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Patricia O'Connell
Senior Communications Manager

Kirk J. Nahra Named Co-Chair of Health & Human Services’ Advisory Panel on Privacy

September 5, 2006

Washington, DC—Wiley Rein & Fielding Privacy Practice chair Kirk J. Nahra will serve as co-chair of the newly formed Confidentiality, Privacy and Security Workgroup, a panel of government and private sector privacy and security experts advising the American Health Information Community (AHIC).  AHIC, an advisory board for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), established the workgroup as an integral part of its efforts to advance a nationwide network of health information technology.

The new panel joins four other advisory groups for the AHIC initiative, including groups responsible for demonstrating the potential for health information technology to improve biosurveillance, chronic care, provider access to patient records and patient registration.  The privacy workgroup will hold its first public hearing on September 29, 2006, focusing on issues relating to identity proofing and authentication.   

Mr. Nahra will work with co-chair Paul Feldman of the Health Privacy Project, HHS staff and the remaining work group members, in assessing a wide range of privacy, confidentiality and security issues related to health information technology.

Mr. Nahra, who also serves on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Privacy Professionals, commented on the appointment, “This is a great opportunity to use my background on privacy and security issues to help with one of the most important health care issues of the day—the goal of developing a national health information network over the next decade and expanding the use of  health information technology to improve patient care and increase the efficiency of the health care system.”