VHA CIO steps down

Gary Christopherson, chief information officer at the Veterans Health Administration, has stepped down following a reorganization that stripped him and two others CIOs of the authority to make independent information technology decisions.

He and his colleagues lost power in a restructuring that reassigned them as deputy CIOs reporting to Department of Veterans Affairs CIO John Gauss.

VA Secretary Anthony Principi ordered the changes in August to gain greater control over money and management decisions. In the past, the CIOs at the VHA, the Veterans Benefits Administration and the National Cemetery Administration had the authority to make decisions independently from the VA. But Principi said that decisions had to be centralized to create "One VA."

In a memo to his staff, Christopherson said he would become a senior adviser effective Oct. 21, working on HealthePeople, a project across a number of federal agencies.

Robert Kolodner will replace him as acting deputy CIO for health.

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