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Dr. Azhar Rafiq

Azhar Rafiq

Director of Health Informatics and Information System Security Officer for EHRS

Dr. Azhar Rafiq is the Director of Health Informatics within the Office of the Chief Health and Medical Officer (OCHMO) at NASA Headquarters and the Information System Security Officer for the agency-wide Electronic Health Record System (EHRS). He applies his 20+ years of health information technology expertise to support management and operations of the EHRS and medical informatics to generate, analyze, and validate public health data trends. He also uses his expertise to generate all necessary documentation as well as to implement best practices that align NASA’s EHRS with all NASA and federal standards related to best cybersecurity practices. These efforts ensure quality, safety, and efficiency of Occupational Health (OH) practices. In addition to health information technology efforts, Dr Rafiq serves on a series of federal advisory councils as part of the interagency collaborative efforts. 

Dr. Rafiq joined OCHMO from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine where he served as the Chief Scientific Officer at the Medical Informatics and Technology Application Consortium, a NASA funded research center.  During this leadership tenure, he also served as a faculty member managing translation of clinical research into innovative technical healthcare solutions. He led diverse teams globally in the development and implementation of bioastronautics solutions for NASA’s spaceflight programs; managed teams to design, test, and validate health monitoring technologies supporting delivery of effective Telehealth solutions; and collaborated with Johnson Space Center’s Desert Research and Technology Studies (RATS) team and the Canadian Space Agency. These projects validated technologies in NASA’s simulation and analog environments such as the crater in Flagstaff, AZ; Devon Island, Canada and parabolic flights aboard NASA’s KC-135. The validated technologies were applied to rescue efforts following natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and an earthquake in remote Northern Pakistan mountains.

Dr. Rafiq has several degrees: a Doctor of Medicine degree, Masters in Business Management, Masters in Adult Education, Masters in Science (Neurobiology), and a bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Electrical Engineering.  He is the recipient of NASA’s Agency Honor Award for Exceptional Public Service and a Group Achievement Award for the EHRS.  His work has been published widely with nearly 100 peer-reviewed publications on diverse topics related to use of technology in healthcare delivery.