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Xavier Becerra Becomes First Latino to Hold Cabinet Position

New U.S Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra was congratulated by Health advocacy groups on his confirmation. They urged him to use his position to advance digital health initiatives and continue to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday, the Senate confirmed Becerra, the first Latino individual to hold a cabinet position. The one Republican to vote for him was Sen. Susan Collins.

The vote was closer than many expected, and the confirmation took longer than many expected. But as soon as he was congratulated, healthcare technology stakeholders called him to support innovation across the industry.

Morgan Reed, Connected Health Initiative executive director, said in a statement, “Secretary Becerra’s support for digital health tools and services’ increased use will be critical as we continue the fight against COVID-19 and to bring the best healthcare available to all Americans, particularly those in underserved communities.” He added that the CHI is looking forward to work with HHS and Xavier Becerra to transform the American Healthcare system and making it 21st century worthy.

This is important because he supported telemedicine and other digital health tools during his confirmation hearings. The American Telemedicine Association celebrated Becerra’s confirmation. They reiterated their support for a wide range of policies to expand access to digital health under the Biden administration.

Ann Mond Johnson, the ATA CEO, said that many challenges lie ahead to create accessible and efficient care. However, with Xavier Becerra‘s belief that telehealth and virtual care services can offer critical solutions, it would be possible to deliver care whenever and wherever needed.

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