A former Harvard Medical School professor who has advised Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and one-time Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis will lead health information technology efforts for the Obama administration.

Dr. David Blumenthal was also a senior adviser to President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

The Health and Human Services Department announced the selection of Blumenthal as national coordinator for health information technology in a news release Friday.

Blumenthal will play a key role in determining how to spend $19 billion devoted to medical technology in the economic stimulus bill that became law last month.

Blumenthal most recently has been director of the Institute for Health Policy at The Massachusetts General Hospital/Partners HealthCare System.

He worked on Kennedy’s Senate staff in the late 1970s and was chief health adviser to Dukakis’ 1988 presidential campaign.

He has done extensive research on health information technology issues.

Source: Associated Press