David Brailer

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David J. Brailer
Born David J. Brailer
(1959-07-16) July 16, 1959 (age 58)
Kingwood, West Virginia
Alma mater Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (Ph.D)
West Virginia University School of Medicine (MD)
Known for United States of America's first Health Information Czar

David J. Brailer is known for his leadership and advocacy for health information technology specifically founding and investing in leading health IT companies.

On May 6, 2004, Dr. Brailer was appointed by the administration of President George W. Bush as the nation's first 'Health Information Technology Czar'.[1] Brailer's official title was National Health Information Technology Coordinator. In this role, he developed the nation's strategy for electronic records, information sharing, consumer empowerment and transformation of research and public health with the goal of widespread deployment of health information technology within 10 years.[2][3]

Brailer remained in his government post for two years.[4] Following his public service, he transitioned to the private sector where he has held several executive and advisory positions.


Brailer holds doctoral degrees in both medicine and economics. He earned his Ph.D. in managerial economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and his M.D. from West Virginia University.[5][6]

While in medical school, he was a Charles A. Dana Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine and was the first recipient of the National Library of Medicine Martin Epstein Award for his work in expert systems. Brailer was among the first medical students to serve on the Board of Trustees of the American Medical Association. He completed his medical residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and became board certified in internal medicine along the clinical investigator pathway. Brailer was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania and, until recently, was active in patient care delivery with an emphasis on immune deficiency.[7]

He earned his bachelor's degree in science and political science from West Virginia University.[6]


University of Pennsylvania[edit]

After completing a general medicine residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Brailer began work as an active patient-care physician in general medicine and in immune deficiency at the University of Pennsylvania.

Simultaneously, he taught health management and economics in the Wharton MBA program and lectured in The Wharton Executive Education program for 10 years. He also founded the health information technology program at The Wharton School Health Management Program.[8]


In 1992, Brailer left academia and founded a company spun out of his Ph.D. thesis, inventing ways to measure health-care quality. This became CareScience Inc., a Philadelphia software firm that helped hospitals improve efficiency and prevent errors.[9] Under Brailer, CareScience established the nation's first health care Application Service Provider (ASP). Brailer led the company through several financings, strategic partnerships, an initial public offering in 2000, and sale to global software firm Quovadx in 2003.[10]

Health Technology Center[edit]

After CareScience, Brailer took an advisory role at Health Technology Center, a non-profit research and education organization that provides strategic information and resources to health care organizations about the future impact of technology in health care delivery. There, he advised the Center on a number of regional and national data sharing projects.[11]

Health Evolution Partners[edit]

In mid-2007, Brailer founded Health Evolution Partners, a private equity fund with a mission to “invest in things that can reduce the crushing costs of health care.”[12] The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) invested $700 million in the fund.[13] He is currently Managing Director and CEO of the firm.

Notable Health Evolution Partners investments include Halcyon Home Health, Prolacta Bioscience, Optimal IMX, Mollen Immunization Clinics, Kisimul, Freedom Innovations, CenseoHealth and CambridgeSoft.[5] On March 23, 2011, CambridgeSoft was acquired by PerkinElmer, Inc. in a $220 million deal.[14]

Brailer serves on a number of boards of directors, including CenseoHealth, Prolacta Biosciences and Walgreens.[15]

US Department of Health and Human Services[edit]

On May 6, 2004, Brailer was appointed as the first National Health Information Technology Coordinator, pursuant to an executive order by President George W. Bush on April 27, 2004, which called for widespread deployment of health information technology within 10 years.[16]

In this role, Brailer designed and directed a bipartisan effort to encourage the digitalization of health care. His work led to the formation of both the National Health Information Network and the Meaningful Use incentives program for the adoption of electronic health records.[17]

Awards and achievements[edit]

Brailer was the first recipient of the National Library of Medicine Martin Epstein Award for his work in expert systems.

He was also one of the first medical students to serve on the Board of Trustees for the American Medical Association.

Most notably, he was the country’s first health IT czar, leading the national effort to digitalize healthcare.


See also[edit]