Charles Friedman

Josiah Macy Jr. Professor of Medical Education and Chair of the Department of Learning Health Sciences, University of Michigan Medical School

Charles Friedman, PhD, is the Josiah Macy Jr. Professor of Medical Education and chair of the Department of Learning Health Sciences at the University of Michigan Medical School. He joined the University of Michigan in September of 2011 as Professor of Information and Public Health and director of the Michigan health informatics program. Throughout his career, Dr. Friedman’s primary academic interests have intertwined biomedical and health informatics with the processes of education and learning. In recent years, he has focused his interests and activities on the concept of the Learning Health System and the socio-technical infrastructure required to achieve it.

Dr. Friedman’s department is a “first in the nation” medical school academic department dedicated to the sciences of learning at all levels from scale: from learning by individuals, to learning by teams and organizations, and learning by ultra-large scale systems such as entire nations. It is home to an interdisciplinary faculty, a new graduate program in “Health Infrastructures and Learning Systems” and a new journal: Learning Health Systems.

Prior to coming to Michigan, Dr. Friedman held executive positions at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: from 2007 to 2009 as Deputy National Coordinator and from 2009 to 2011 as ONC's Chief Scientific Officer. While at ONC, he oversaw a diverse portfolio that included early steps toward achievement of a nationwide Learning Health System, education of the nation’s health IT workforce, research to improve health IT, evaluation of the HITECH program, and international collaboration. He was the lead author of the first national health IT strategic plan which was released in June of 2008, and led the development of an EU-US Memorandum of Understanding on eHealth.

Prior to his work in the government, Dr. Friedman was Associate Vice Chancellor for Biomedical Informatics, and Founding Director of the Center for Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh. Earlier in his career, he held faculty positions and several administrative roles in medical education and informatics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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