President Obama issued an executive order on Wednesday formally establishing an office in the White House to oversee an overhaul of the nation’s health care system. The executive order also charges the secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) with creating an Office of Health Reform to work with the White House office.

Also announced this week, Michael Hash has been named senior counselor in the Office of Health Reform at HHS. His appointment to this key position is significant for the physical therapy profession and the patients/clients it serves.             

Nancy-Ann DeParle has been nominated to lead to lead the White House office. Obama’s nominee for HHS secretary is Kansas Gov Kathleen Sebelius.

According to order, The White House Office of Health Reform will help the executive branch steer "the federal government’s comprehensive effort to improve access to health care, the quality of such care, and the sustainability of the health care system."

[Source: American Physical Therapy Association]