HHS CIO Frank Baitman leaving

HHS CIO Frank Baitman (FedScoop)

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Frank Baitman is stepping down from his position as chief information officer at the Department of Health and Human Services at the end of the month, he told FedScoop in an email.

“I have decided that it’s time for me to move on from my role as HHS Chief Information Officer, and to pursue new professional challenges,” Baitman wrote to his staff in an email obtained by FedScoop. “I have been thinking about how to approach this move, and concluded that it’s best to devote myself to exploring opportunities full-time. To ensure a smooth transition of my duties, my departure day is Nov 30th.”

Baitman has spent nearly four years as HHS CIO after getting his start in the federal government as CIO of the Social Security Administration in 2009. He also took a short detail as an entrepreneur-in-residence for the Food and Drug Administration, where he helped built the Innovation Pathway 2.0, a streamlined review and approval program for quicker delivery of innovative medical devices.

During his service at HHS, Baitman led a variety of innovative efforts to bolster the department’s IT operations, such as moving services like email to the cloud, consolidating systems across the enterprise and launching a virtual desktop pilot. In his note to staff, he touted how his office has been able to accomplish several of its goals in the past fiscal year.

“While we faced significant challenges, we also made significant progress, particularly with the integration of cloud services,” he wrote to staff.

“Moving to the cloud — everything that does to your network — the way you begin to think about things changes,” Baitman told FedScoop earlier this year in an interview at the 2015 Brocade Federal Forum, which you can see in its entirety below. “One of the dirty little secrets we have in government is that our networks are large and federated, and some might say fragmented. We’re moving in a direction that’s going to allow us to have better visibility into our network. That’s going to make lots of positive changes in terms of what we buy, how we buy it and how we manage it.”

Also, while not directly responsible for its development and rollout, Baitman faced some of the backlash around the abysmal Healthcare.gov launch in 2013. Since, he’s pushed to revamp the way HHS component agencies procure IT services with departmentwide guidance.

Baitman didn’t comment on what he would do when he leaves HHS. He started his career in the private sector at IBM, before joining the Institute for the Future and Petards Inc., a British security, transportation and defense contractor.

“It has been a wonderful experience working at HHS, and an unbelievable opportunity to serve the American people,” Baitman wrote. “The work we do at HHS – from public health, to ensuring the safety of devices & drugs, insuring seniors and Americans in need, and providing healthcare – is motivational and rewarding.”

Contact the reporter who wrote this story at Billy.Mitchell@FedScoop.com, or follow him on Twitter at @BillyMitchell89.

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Departments, Frank Baitman, Government IT News, Health and Human Services Department, Workforce & Leadership