Steering Committee

The AHRQ Patient-Centered Clinical Decision Support (CDS) Learning Network (LN) Steering Committee (SC) plays a leading and supervising role on the project. The PCCDS-LN SC shall provide oversight to the PCCDS-LN project in its entirety with the primary purpose being to engage stakeholders to identify and foster opportunities to disseminate and incorporate PCOR findings into CDS to drive appropriate care and improve health outcomes. The PCCDS-LN SC will serve as the final deciding entity for issues that project teams cannot resolve without escalating to a higher level and therefore require adjudicating. The SC will monitor and review the project’s status, as well as provide timely guidance for overcoming potential barriers. 

The PCCDS-LN SC is responsible for providing direction, vision, and insight on long-term strategies to ensure the PCCDS-LN works toward the purpose outlined above and aligns with identified PCOR CDS scientific and stakeholder needs. Members of the SC ensure business objectives are being adequately addressed and the project remains on target. In practice, these responsibilities are carried out by performing the following functions: 

  • Providing guidance to support the completion of key deliverables 
  • Monitoring the project status at regular monthly SC meetings 
  • Voting and making final decisions 
  • Resolving project conflicts and disputes, reconciling differences of opinion and approach
Related Files

Barry Blumenfeld, Project Director

Barry Blumenfeld, MD, MS, PCCDS-LN Project Director and Steering Committee member, is a Research Health IT Scientist in RTI International's Program for Digital Health and Clinical Informatics. Dr. Blumenfeld is based in Maine. He brings significant experience, leadership skills, and expertise in the PCOR and CDS communities to be an instrumental leader for the PCOR/CDS Learning Network. During a career spanning almost three decades in research, provider, and commercial organizations, he has consistently focused on the point of care information needs of practicing clinicians. He also has broad technical knowledge of the ways this is achieved, and has been a leader in the development of clinical documentation and decision support systems designed to embed knowledge in workflow. Dr. Blumenfeld is a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine. He received his medical degree from New Jersey Medical School and completed his internal medicine internship at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital of Boston. He also completed his MS in Intelligent Systems Studies at the University of Pittsburgh and completed his medical informatics fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Jerome Osheroff, PCCDS-LN Steering Committee Co-Chair

Jerome A. Osheroff, MD, FACP, FACMI is the PCCDS-LN Steering Committee co-chair. A general internist by training, he has spent the past 3 three decades building understanding of care delivery information needs, and helping ensure that people, processes and technology are successfully applied to fulfilling these needs better. Osheroff is the principal of TMIT Consulting, LLC, a firm he founded in 2011 to develop and implement pathways to better healthcare outcomes for care delivery organizations, government agencies, quality improvement organizations and HIT vendor clients.  He is recognized internationally as a leader in developing and applying health IT and clinical decision support-enabled approaches to improving health and care delivery.  Osheroff articulated the “CDS 5 Rights” framework, recommended by CMS as a best practice for improving patient care.  Osheroff has led work with government agencies, provider and health IT vendor organizations, clinicians and care teams, and others to develop many valuable healthcare quality improvement resources, most recently, HRSA's Guide to Improving Care Delivery Processes and Outcomes. He guides use of these strategies and tools in a growing portfolio of successful QI initiatives that are significantly improving care processes and outcomes. For the decade prior to starting TMIT, he was Chief Clinical Informatics Officer for Thomson Reuters Healthcare, where he ensured that their decision support offerings were optimally responsive to clinician, patient, and management information needs, and that they measurably improved healthcare outcomes.


Blackford Middleton, PCCDS-LN Steering Committee Co-Chair

Blackford Middleton, MD, MPH, MS, PCCDS-LN Co-Chair and Steering Committee Member, is Chief Informatics and Innovation at Apervita, Inc., and Past-Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), and the Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS), and Instructor in the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in the Departments of Health Policy and Management, and Policy Translation and Leadership Development. Previously, he was a professor of Biomedical Informatics, and or of Medicine, at Stanford, Harvard, and Vanderbilt Universities, and he held executive leadership roles at MedicaLogic/ Medscape, Partners Healthcare System, and at Vanderbilt.  Dr. Middleton’s work is focused on clinical informatics – the applied science surrounding strategy, design, implementation, and evaluation of clinical information systems in complex environments. Dr. Middleton is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Medical Informatics, and of HIMSS. Dr. Middleton studied Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He received a Master’s in Public Health degree from the Yale University School of Public Health with a dual concentration in Chronic Disease Epidemiology, and Health Services Administration.  He received an MD from SUNY Buffalo, and was a resident in internal medicine at the University of Connecticut Health Sciences Center. He completed an AHCPR Fellowship in General Internal Medicine at Stanford University, where he received his Master of Science degree in Health Services Research, focusing on clinical informatics.

Kensaku Kawamoto, PCCDS-LN Steering Committee member

Kensaku Kawamoto, MD, PhD, MHS, PCCDS-LN Steering Committee member, is Associate Chief Medical Information Officer, Director of Knowledge Management and Mobilization, and Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center.  At the University of Utah, Dr. Kawamoto chairs the Clinical Decision Support committee and is a leader of the University’s Interoperable Apps and Services (IAPPS) initiative, which is a multi-stakeholder effort to enable standards-based, interoperable applications and software services to improve health and health care.  Beyond the University of Utah, Dr. Kawamoto co-chairs the Clinical Decision Support Work Group of Health Level 7 International (HL7), the primary standards development organization in health IT.  He also serves as co-Initiative Coordinator for the Clinical Quality Framework initiative (, which is a public-private partnership sponsored by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to develop and validate a harmonized set of interoperability standards for clinical decision support and electronic clinical quality measurement.  Dr. Kawamoto also founded and directs OpenCDS (, which is a multi-institutional initiative to enable advanced, standards-based, and open-source clinical decision support and electronic clinical quality measurement at scale.

Christopher Longhurst, MD, MS, PCCDS-LN Steering Committee member

Christopher Longhurst, MD, MS, PCCDS-LN Steering Committee member, is Chief Information Officer of the University of California San Diego Health System. He is also a key faculty member in the Department of Biomedical Informatics in the UC San Diego School of Medicine. He most recently served as chief medical information officer for Stanford Children’s Health, where he led strategic efforts to improve children’s health and provider workflow using information technology. He also founded and led the clinical informatics fellowship at Stanford, where he was a clinical professor of pediatrics. Dr. Longhurst completed his residency at Stanford Medical School and earned his medical degree and MS in medical informatics from UC Davis. He holds a BS in molecular biology from UC San Diego. He is a board-certified pediatrician and clinical informaticist. Dr. Longhurst was elected a fellow in the prestigious American College of Medical Informatics.

Leigh Burchell, BA, PCCDS-LN Steering Committee member

Leigh Burchell, BA, PCCDS-LN Steering Committee member, leads the Government Affairs function for Allscripts, including legislative advocacy and regulatory interpretation and comment.  Her role includes speaking on behalf of the company’s 180,000 physician clients across 45,000 ambulatory practices and 2,500 hospitals to ensure that new legislation and administrative policies are supportive of the most efficient paths towards improvements in the healthcare industry, as well as maximization of the many opportunities that exist to apply newfound data to greater benefit. She has been with Allscripts since 2000. Burchell is active in many industry associations, including serving as the most recent Chair of the Electronic Health Record Association (EHRA), a current Member of the Leadership Council and Chair Emeritus of the Policy Steering Committee for the eHealth Initiative (, and as Vice Chair of the HIMSS Public Policy Committee. Burchell graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, with a Bachelor of Arts in Constitutional History and American Studies.

Barbara J. McNeil, MD, PhD, PCCDS-LN Steering Committee member

Barbara J. McNeil, MD, PhD, PCCDS-LN Steering Committee member, is the Ridley Watts Professor and founding head of the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School. She is also a professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School and at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. McNeil’s research activities have focused on several areas, most notably technology assessment and quality of care. Dr. McNeil received her BA from Emmanuel College, her MD from Harvard Medical School, and her PhD from Harvard University. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences (where she was recently chair of its Board of Health Care Services) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is now vice chair of the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Previously, she served on the Board of Directors of Edwards LifeSciences (Irvine, CA) and was a member of the Prospective Payment Assessment Commission and the Publications Committee of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Geoff Crawford, MD, MS, PCCDS-LN Steering Committee member

Geoffrey is currently a medical director in the Office of Medical Policy & Technology Assessment at Anthem. His responsibilities include clinical and evidentiary support of Anthem medical and pharmacy policies, preventive services recommendations, national credentialing and issues of public health significance. Previous to his current position, Geoffrey supported clinical analytics at Anthem aimed at bolstering member engagement in evidence-based care.

Geoffrey received a Bachelor of Science (BS) with great distinction from McGill University; Medical Doctorate (MD) with Magna Cum Laude from Albany Medical College and Masters of Science (MS) in Epidemiology from the University of Maryland.  He completed an internship in Internal Medicine at Stanford University and residency in General Preventive Medicine at the University of Maryland. He currently lives in the greater Seattle, Washington area with his wife and golden retriever.

Danny van Leeuwen, RN, MPH, CPHQ, PCCDS-LN Steering Committee member

Danny van Leeuwen, RN, MPH, CPHQ is an action catalyst empowering people traveling together toward best health (patients, caregivers, clinicians, direct care and support staff).  He wears many hats in healthcare: patient with MS, care partner for several family members’ end-of-life journeys, a nurse for 40+ years, an informaticist and a QI leader. He specializes in patient/caregiver/clinician/community relationships.

Danny’s current work focuses on communication at transitions of care, person-centered health planning, informed decision-making, and technology supporting solutions created by and for people at the center. He advises entrepreneurs about strategy, infrastructure, and user-friendly workflows and technology. He teaches and coaches front-line managers and supervisors. Danny serves as a patient/caregiver stakeholder representative on Technical Expert Panels for Shared Decision Support and PCORnet and sits on the Steering Committee for the AHRQ-supported Clinical Decision Support Learning Network. He reviews PCORI research funding applications and serves as co-chair of PCORI’s Communication and Dissemination Advisory Panel and has been a member of MassHealth’s Payment and Care Delivery Innovation QI Task Force. Danny is active in the Society for Participatory Medicine, the Organization of Nurse Leaders, the American Academy of Communication in Healthcare, and the OpenID HEART workgroup.

Danny has worked clinically in home care, intensive and emergency care, physical rehabilitation, and behavioral health. He held leadership roles in rural and urban health systems, behavioral and community health, and managed care. He led two EHR implementation initiatives and Boston Children’s Hospital’s Patient/Family Experience initiative.

Danny blogs weekly ( He has spoken at HIMSS and the World Medical Informatics Conferences about Caregivers and HIT and at the AANC Magnet Conference about Transformational Leadership. He was recently interviewed for the on-line radio show, URGENT CARE.  Danny plays baritone saxophone.

Joshua Richardson, PhD, MS, MLIS, Assistant Project Director

Joshua Richardson, PhD, MS, MLIS, PCCDS-LN Assistant Project Director and Co-Chair of the Barriers and Facilitators Workgroup, is a Research Health IT Scientist in RTI International's Program for Digital Health and Clinical Informatics (Chicago, IL) with expertise in evaluating the design, implementation, adoption, use, and effects of health IT among patients, providers, and healthcare organizations. Some of his past work includes identifying the challenges and opportunities to knowledge management of clinical decision support (CDS), detailing provider-centered challenges to using CDS in community-based practices, and laying out health IT needs in patient-centered medical homes. Additional areas of interest include health information exchange, mobile health privacy and security, health care communication, and organizational behavior. Dr. Richardson was a National Library of Medicine Fellow in Biomedical Informatics at Oregon Health & Science University (Portland, OR) where he received both a PhD and MS degree, and in addition, earned a master's degree in library and information science from San Jose State University (San Jose, CA).

Laura Haak Marcial, PhD, Web and Evaluation Task Lead

Laura Marcial, PhD, PCCDS-LN Web and Evaluation Task Lead, is a Health Informaticist in RTI International's Program for Digital Health and Clinical Informatics (DCHI) and is based in Rockville, MD. She serves as an expert in evaluating usability and the implementation, adoption, use, and effects of health IT among relevant stakeholders in a variety of settings. Dr. Marcial’s foundational work has been in the areas of mobile usability and scientific data repositories. Dr. Marcial received her PhD degree in Library and Information Science in 2012 from the University of North Carolina.

Edwin Lomotan, MD, PCCDS-LN Steering Committee Member

Edwin Lomotan, MD, PCCDS-LN Steering Committee member, is a Medical Officer and Chief of Clinical Informatics for the Health IT Division in the Center for Evidence and Practice Improvement at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). His areas of focus include clinical decision support, health IT safety, and child health informatics. He leads AHRQ's initiative on clinical decision support and patient-centered outcomes research. Before joining AHRQ, Dr. Lomotan was Health IT Branch Chief in the Office of Quality and Data in the Bureau of Primary Health Care at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). While at HRSA, he led the Health Center-Controlled Network grant program, which was aimed at improving health care quality through health IT at community health centers across the country. Dr. Lomotan is board-certified in pediatrics and in clinical informatics. He received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh and completed his pediatrics residency and informatics fellowship at Yale University. He spent several years in community-based pediatric practice in Connecticut before joining Federal service in 2010.

Andrew Wiesenthal, MD, SM, PCCDS-LN Steering Committee member

Andrew M. Wiesenthal, MD, SM, PCCDS-LN Steering Committee member, has been a Managing Director with Deloitte since May 2010.  From April 2000 until joining Deloitte, he was Associate Executive Director of the Permanente Federation.  There, his work was in the arenas of development and deployment of automated medical records, decision support, and other clinical systems for all of Kaiser Permanente.  Most notably, he was the national physician leader for the Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect (electronic health record) project from its inception through its successful conclusion in 2010.  From 1983 until April 2000, Dr. Wiesenthal served as a pediatrician and pediatric infectious diseases consultant with the Colorado Permanente Medical Group (CPMG). He also led CPMG’s quality management program and served as Associate Medical Director for Medical Management, with responsibility for quality management, utilization management, regulatory compliance, risk management, credentialing and physician performance, and informatics. Since joining Deloitte, he has been a leader on numerous clinical information system projects, as well as health care delivery system strategy and improvement projects.  He is a widely recognized health information technology leader, serving on the Federal Health Information Technology Standards Committee, as co-chair of its Precision Medicine Task Force, and as a member of its Public Health Work Group.  He is also a member of the HL7 Advisory Council. Dr. Wiesenthal graduated from Yale University with a BA degree with honors in Latin American Studies in 1971 and received his MD in 1975 from the State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn.  He completed his pediatric residency at the University of Colorado in 1978, and then he served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer with the Centers for Disease Control from 1978-80 before returning to the University of Colorado for a pediatric infectious disease fellowship, which was completed in 1983.  He is board certified in both general pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases.  In 2004, Dr. Wiesenthal earned an SM (Masters of Science) in Health Care Management from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Beth Lasater, MSPH, Project Manager

Beth Lasater, MSPH, PCCDS-LN Project Manager, has more than 25 years of experience working on numerous health IT and public health projects.  She brings experience working with learning networks and cross site collaborations to improve health and health outcomes.  Ms. Lasater was the project manager for the Practice Transformation Support for Regional Extension Centers for ONC which developed the Practice Transformation Toolkit to assist providers in implementing EHR is practice.  She will provide support for the project and be the point of contact for communications related to the PCCDS LN.

Shafa Al-Showk, MPH, CHES

Shafa Al-Showk is a Health Scientist serving as a Program Official in the Division of Health Information Technology (IT) in the Center for Evidence and Practice Improvement (CEPI) at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Shafa is a health educator and a public health professional, her areas of focus include: the aging population, chronic disease management, population health, patient-centered outcomes, and patient education. Currently, she is pursuing a doctoral degree in Public Health with a concentration in Community Health at Walden University.

Prior to joining AHRQ, Shafa was a Public Health Analyst at The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), where she performed data analysis for Health Center Controlled Networks and Cooperative Agreements. She also conducted analyses on Community Health Center data from the Uniform Data System depicting various stages of meaningful use and challenges experienced with Electronic Health Records (EHR).

In the private sector, Shafa played a key role as a clinical manager, in the conceptualization and implementation of an EHR system to ensure effectiveness and efficacy across various arms of the clinical department.

Rob McCready, PCCDS-LN Steering Committee Member

Mr. McCready is the MITRE project leader responsible for the execution of a $2M effort for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) focused on the domain of Clinical Decision Support (CDS). This project is responsible for the identification, design, development, and dissemination of new PCOR CDS artifacts to U.S. health care practices and associated health IT vendors. This activity includes the design of a systematic and replicable process of transforming new clinical findings into shareable, health IT standards-based, and publicly-available artifacts. This work includes the design and development of new software tools to aid in the identification, curation, and dissemination of PCOR findings and related CDS artifacts.