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Trish Riley

Co-chair of a new Academy Study Panel on the Role of Medicaid in Building a Culture of Health

Trish Riley is Executive Director and President of the corporate board of the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP), an organization she helped develop while serving as CEO from 1988-2003. Along with Sara Rosenbaum, Riley has been appointed co-chair of the Academy’s study panel, The Role of Medicaid in Building a Culture of Health. Medicaid as a Critical Lever in Building A Culture of Health, funded by a generous grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, aims to understand the role that Medicaid has to play in improving the wellbeing of beneficiaries by addressing the social determinants of health and developing a Culture of Health within communities. The Academy will convene a study panel of experts from a diversity of professional backgrounds and topics of expertise to develop recommendations for policymakers, health decision-makers, and leaders of local, state, and federal programs serving Medicaid recipients. 

Before her work at NASHP, Riley was a Senior Fellow in State Health Policy at George Washington University and at the Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine. Riley has held appointive positions under five Maine governors, including Executive Director of the Maine Committee on Aging; Director of the Bureau of Maine’s Elderly; Director, Bureau of Medical Services; and Associate Deputy Commissioner of Health and Medical Services. In these positions, she directed the aging office, Medicaid and state health agencies, and health planning and licensing programs. Riley served on Maine’s Commission on Governmental Ethics and as a member of Maine’s Commission on Children’s Health. She was the principal architect of Dirigo Health Reform and served as the state’s liaison to the federal government and Congress, particularly during deliberations around national health reform.

Riley also served on the Kaiser Commission on the Future of Medicaid and on the Board of Directors of the National Committee for Quality Assurance. She chaired the National Task Force on Medicaid Managed Care, representing Congress, federal government, consumers, states, plans, and providers; HCFA’s Medical Directors’ Group which helped create the Quality Assurance Reform Initiative for Medicaid Managed Care; and the HCFA-supported Work Group for Quality Improvement Systems for Medicare and Medicaid.

“Trish Riley grew to be a prominent leader in national healthcare policy and organizations by learning healthcare from the ground up in her home state of Maine — having served as Director of Medicaid, Bureau of Main’s Elderly, Committee on Aging, Bureau of Medical Services, and Director of the Governor’s Office of Health Policy and Finance,” said Gerry Shea, Special Advisor to the Academy’s Board of Directors. “Her career reflects the long tradition of Maine officials who rose to serve the nation in prominent positions, including Lt. Colonel Joshua Chamberlain, who led the Maine 20th Regiment in repulsing Confederate troops in the Battle of Little Round Top, a victory that historians long considered the turning point in the Battle of Gettysburg and, later, in the 20th Century when Margaret Chase Smith became the first woman elected to both the United States House of Representatives and the Senate.”

Riley has published, presented and written extensively on state health reform, Medicaid, CHIP, and managed care. She serves as a member of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), The Health Services Committee of the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy for Social Insurance and the Board of Directors of Maine’s Co-Op insurance plan. She was also a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Subcommittee on Creating an External Environment for Quality.

Riley holds a B.S. and an M.S. from the University of Maine. She served on the Board of Directors of the Senator George Mitchell Scholarship Fund. She has been a member of the Academy since 1993.