Sara Rosenbaum, JD, Co-Chair, is the Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy and Founding Chair of the Department of Health Policy at the Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University. Rosenbaum has devoted her 40-year career to issues of health justice for populations who are medically underserved as a result of race, poverty, disability, or cultural exclusion. Rosenbaum has emphasized public engagement as a core element of her professional life, providing public service to six Presidential Administrations and nineteen Congresses. She is best known for her work on the expansion of Medicaid, expanding health care access to medically underserved communities, civil rights and health care, and national health reform. She has received many national awards for her work and is a past Chair of AcademyHealth. A member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Rosenbaum also serves on the CDC Director’s Advisory Committee and has served on CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP). She is a founding Commissioner and Chair of the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), which advises Congress on federal Medicaid policy. She has been a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 1994.
Trish Riley, Co-Chair, is Executive Director of the National Academy for State Health Policy and president of its corporate Board. She helped build NASHP as CEO from 1988-2003. Previously, she was a Senior Fellow in State Health Policy at George Washington University and at the Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine. From 2003-2011, she served as Director of the Governor’s Office of Health Policy and Finance, leading Maine’s effort to develop a comprehensive, coordinated health system in Maine including access to affordable health insurance. 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. She chaired the Governor’s Steering Committee to develop a plan to implement the Affordable Care Act in Maine. Riley has also held appointive positions under five Maine governors – directing the aging office, Medicaid and state health agencies, and health planning and licensing programs. She serves as a member of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, 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 also previously served as a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Subcommittee on Creating an External Environment for Quality, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), and on the Board of Directors of the National Committee on Quality Assurance. Riley holds a B.S. & M.S. from the University of Maine.
John Auerbach is the Associate Director for Policy at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Acting Director of the Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support (OSTLTS). He oversees the Office of the Associate Director for Policy, which focuses on the promotion of public health and prevention as components of health care and payment reform and health system transformation. As Acting Director of OSTLTS, he oversees key activities and technical assistance that support the nation’s health departments and the public health system. Previously, he was a distinguished professor of practice in health sciences and director of the Institute on Urban Health Research and Practice at Northeastern University from 2012 to 2014. Auerbach was the commissioner of public health for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 2007 to 2012. Under his leadership, the department developed innovative programs to address racial and ethnic disparities, promote wellness (including the Mass in Motion campaign), combat chronic disease, and support the successful implementation of the state’s healthcare reform initiative. Prior to that, Auerbach was the executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission for nine years during which health equity, emergency preparedness, and tobacco prevention became priorities. In addition to Boston’s public health programs, he oversaw its emergency medical, homeless, and substance abuse services. Auerbach worked at the state health department for a decade, first as chief of staff and later as an assistant commissioner overseeing the HIV/AIDS Bureau during the early years of the epidemic.
Deborah Chang is Senior Vice President of Policy and Prevention and a Corporate Officer for Nemours Children’s Health System. Chang works to leverage Nemours’ expertise and experience to spread what works through national policy and practice changes to improve the health and well-being of children nationwide. She co-directs Moving Health Care Upstream, a national collaborative network to test, develop, and spread innovative population health strategies. Chang was the founding Executive Director of Nemours Health & Prevention Services, an operating division devoted to using a comprehensive multisector, place-based model to improve children’s health in Delaware. She serves on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Board on Children, Youth, and Families; IOM Roundtables on Population Health and Improvement and Obesity Solutions; the University of Michigan Griffith Leadership Center Board; and the Winter Park Health Foundation Board. Nemours is a founding member of the Partnership for a Healthier America and the National Convergence Partnership, a unique collaboration of leading foundations focused on healthy people and healthy places. Chang has held key government positions including Deputy Secretary of Health Care Financing at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, with oversight for Maryland’s Medicaid program, and National Director of State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) at the Federal Department of Health and Human Services. Chang’s work on population health, child health systems transformation, Medicaid, SCHIP, and Nemours’ prevention-oriented health system, including its CDC Pioneering Innovation award-winning statewide childhood obesity program, has been widely published. Chang holds a master’s degree in Public Health Policy and Administration from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Ajay Chaudry is a Senior Fellow at New York University and a Visiting Scholar with the Russell Sage Foundation. Formerly, Chaudry was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Services Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Prior to his appointment, Chaudry was a Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC. He has led public policy research focused on child poverty, child well-being and development, human service programs in the social safety net, and the early childhood care system for young children. From 2004 to 2006, Chaudry served as the Deputy Commissioner for Child Care and Head Start at the New York City Administration for Children Services, where he oversaw the city’s early childhood development programs serving 150,000 children in low-income families. He is the author of Putting Children First: How Low-wage Working Mothers Manage Child Care, and other articles related to child poverty, children of immigrant families, and social policies. Chaudry received his A.B. from Columbia University, M.P.P. from Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is also a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance.
Julie Cox-Kain was appointed Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) by Dr. Terry Cline on June 10, 2014. In this role, she serves as a key advisor regarding evidence-based strategies to protect and improve the public’s health and oversees the development and implementation of HHS Cabinet joint initiatives that contribute toward common health outcomes. Concurrently, Cox-Kain was named Senior Deputy Commissioner for the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), where she provides leadership and oversight to operations and programs focused on strategic health priorities including wellness and health systems innovation. A native of Oklahoma, she received her Bachelor of Arts, with majors in Public Administration and Communication, and her Master of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma. Cox-Kain is a graduate of the National Public Health Leadership Institute and the Management Academy for Public Health.
Leonardo Cuello is the Director of Health Policy for the National Health Law Program (NHeLP), based out of NHeLP’s Washington, D.C. office. Cuello’s current work focuses on programs for dual eligibility, Medicaid Expansion implementation, design of Medicaid Expansion and Exchange benefits packages, and Medicaid delivery system reform. Cuello also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Quality Forum. Prior to joining NHeLP, Cuello worked at the Pennsylvania Health Law Project for over six years, focusing on a wide range of health care issues dealing with eligibility and access to services in Medicaid and Medicare, and serving as legal counsel to the Consumer Subcommittee of Pennsylvania’s Medical Care Advisory Committee. Cuello graduated with a B.A. from Swarthmore College and received his J.D. from The University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Deborah De Santis is the President and Chief Executive Officer at CSH (the Corporation for Supportive Housing). In these roles, De Santis is responsible for the overall leadership of CSH, including oversight of fund development, public policy and advocacy work, financial and administrative systems, program planning and implementation, and strategic planning. Under her leadership, CSH advances solutions that use housing as a platform for services to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people, maximize public resources and build healthy communities. Since De Santis was appointed to this position in 2007, she has led CSH in realizing a 10-year goal of creating 150,000 supportive housing units nationally. She also has led the re-organization of CSH to deepen its focus on innovation and expansion into new high-need communities nationally in line with CSH’s strategic priorities. Prior to this position, De Santis served CSH for nearly four years as the director of the New Jersey program, where she tripled CSH’s lending portfolio and successfully advocated for the creation of New Jersey’s $200 million Special Needs Housing Trust Fund. Previously, De Santis was the executive director and COO of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, where she oversaw the execution of its first strategic plan, which included developing new special needs housing programs, increasing investments in NJ’s urban areas, streamlining loan servicing, and growing the agency’s multi-family portfolio. De Santis was also the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Governor of New Jersey, where she oversaw the day-to-day operations of the Governor’s office, and served as liaison to the Cabinet. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Babson College, where she is on the Board of Trustees.
Patricia A. Gabow, MD, is currently a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She was elected to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Board of Trustees in April 2013. Gabow is a national leader in delivery system innovation and the care of vulnerable populations. A nephrologist by training, she retired in 2012 after 20 years as CEO of Denver Health and Hospital Authority (DHHA), an integrated health care system serving one of the poorest populations in the state of Colorado. Gabow currently serves on several influential health care and health policy commissions, including the National Academy of Medicine Leadership Consortium for Value & Science-Driven Health Care, the National Governors’ Association Health Advisory Board, and the Aspen Group. Previously she served on the federal Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performing Health System and the Institute of Medicine committee addressing the future viability of safety net providers. She also was chair of the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems. Earlier in Gabow’s career, she worked as a leading academic practitioner and medical researcher in the area of renal disease. Gabow graduated from Seton Hill College in Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s in biology before attending the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She is the author of more than 130 articles, 36 books and book chapters, and a recent book, The Lean Prescription: Powerful Medicine for Our Ailing Healthcare System. She has received numerous awards, including the American Medical Association Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Public Servant, the National Healthcare Leadership Award, the David E. Rogers Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Health Quality Leader Award from the National Committee for Quality Assurance, and the Distinguished Graduate Award from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; she is a member of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence Hall of Fame.
Daniel Hawkins is Senior Vice-President for Public Policy and Research at the National Association of Community Health Centers, Inc. (NACHC), where he provides NACHC’s membership with federal and state health-related policy research, analysis, advocacy, and leadership. Since Hawkins joined NACHC in 1981, federal support for health centers has grown from $350 million to $5.1 billion annually, and the number of people served by health centers has grown from 5 million to almost 25 million, most recently as a result of $11 billion in guaranteed, directed funding received under the Affordable Care Act of 2010. They are expected to reach 28 million people by 2016 and 35 million people by 2019. Prior to joining NACHC, Hawkins served as a VISTA volunteer, Director of a migrant and community health center located in south Texas, and as an assistant to HHS Secretary Joseph Califano during the Carter Administration. He has written numerous articles and monographs on health care issues, and has provided testimony before several Congressional Committees. Hawkins has lectured on health policy topics at the George Washington University and several other universities, and has been interviewed frequently by major newspapers and radio/television networks. He has been named one of America’s most influential health policy makers.
Paloma Hernandez is the President and chief executive officer of Urban Health Plan, a network of community health centers located in the South Bronx and Queens. Through her leadership and vision, Hernandez has built Urban Health Plan into a first class health care organization. Hernandez has devoted her career to reducing the health disparities in the Bronx community that has been identified as the poorest congressional district in the country. She shepherded the expansion of Urban Health Plan from a one-site facility in the South Bronx, to a network of federally-qualified community health centers. Hernandez sits on numerous boards, including the National Hispanic Medical Association, the Primary Care Development Corporation, the New York State Health Benefit Exchange Regional Advisory Committee, the NYS Medicaid Evidence Based Benefit Work Group, Affinity Health Plan, and the Dr. Richard Izquierdo Charter School for Health and Sciences. She has served as the president of the board of directors of the Community Health Care Association of New York State (CHCANYS) and as a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Community Health Centers. She received an undergraduate degree from Boston College and holds a master’s degree in speech pathology from Columbia University’s Teachers College, a master’s degree in public health from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, and an Honorary Doctoral Degree in Social Sciences from Boston College.
Kathy Ko Chin is president and chief executive officer of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), a national health justice organization which influences policy, mobilizes communities, and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. Ko Chin has worked in senior management positions in community-based and philanthropic organizations throughout her 30-year career. Ko Chin has also worked in a number of health care settings and community clinics across the country, including San Francisco General Hospital, University of California San Francisco Institute for Health Policy Studies, Planned Parenthood SF, South Cove Community Health Center in Boston, and with the longest tenure as the Associate Director of Asian Health Services. She is a graduate of the Harvard School of Public Health, as well as of Stanford University, with additional coursework at the London School of Economics and Fudan University in Shanghai.
Paula Lantz is the Associate Dean for Research and Policy Engagement and professor of public policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. Lantz, a social demographer, studies the role of public health in health care reform, clinical preventive services, and social inequalities in health. She is particularly interested in the role of health care versus broad social policy aimed at social determinants of health in reducing social disparities in health status. She is leading the University of Michigan Policies for Action Research Hub (funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation), which has launched a number of population health policy research projects including one on the potential for social impact bonds in the health sector. Lantz received an MA in sociology from Washington University, St. Louis, and an MS in epidemiology and PhD in sociology from the University of Wisconsin, and is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.
MaryAnne Lindeblad brings a broad health care and administrative background to the top position in the Washington State Medicaid program. Lindeblad, a Registered Nurse, has been an active health care professional as well as a leader spanning most aspects of health care including acute care, long-term care, behavioral health care, eldercare and services for people with disabilities. Prior to her appointment as State Medicaid Director, she served for two years as the Assistant Secretary for Aging and Disability Services Administration in the Department of Social and Health Services. Previously, she was Director of the Health Care Services Division of the Medicaid program. Lindeblad held a variety of leadership positions over the years, including assistant administrator of the Public Employees Benefits Board. During the 1990s, Lindeblad also worked in the private sector, serving as director of operations for Unified Physicians of Washington. In 2010, she was selected for the inaugural class of the Medicaid Leadership Institute. In 2015 she was inducted into the Eastern Washington University Chapter of the Upsilon Phi Delta Society. She is a member of the executive committee for the National Academy for State Health Policy, and chairs its Long Term and Chronic Care subcommittee. She also is on the board of the National Association of Medicaid Directors, and the Olympia Free Clinic. Lindeblad holds a bachelor of science in nursing from Eastern Washington University and a master’s in public health from the University of Washington.
Jewel Mullen, MD, is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she fosters collaboration among offices within the Office of Assistant Secretary for Health with the goal of advancing public health. She is the lead liaison for the HHS Regions and advises the Acting Assistant Secretary for Health on a variety of priority public health issues, ranging from research integrity to women’s health to health promotion and disease prevention. Before joining HHS, Mullen was Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Health, where she combined clinical work, research, teaching, and administration throughout a career focused on improving the health of all people, especially the underserved. Under her leadership, the Department received the March of Dimes’ Virginia Apgar award for reducing Connecticut’s preterm birth rate by 8%. Prior to joining the Department, Mullen was Director of the Bureau of Community Health and Prevention at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. She has served on the medical faculty of New York University, the University of Virginia, Yale, and Tufts. In 2014, she was elected President of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, the membership organization representing more than 100,000 public health professionals in the United States and U.S. territories. She is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the former chair of the CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection and Control Federal Advisory Committee, and served on both the Advisory Committee to the CDC Director and the Public Health Accreditation Board. She was also a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Quality Measures for the Healthy People 2020 Leading Health Indicators. Board-certified in internal medicine, Mullen received her Bachelor and Master of Public Health degrees from Yale University, where she also completed a post-doctoral fellowship in psychosocial epidemiology. She graduated from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and completed her residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Mullen also holds a Master in Public Administration degree from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Margaret A. Murray is the founding CEO of the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP). She has led the organization since its inception in 2001, steering it through tremendous growth from its origins as an Association of 14 community health center-owned plans to 59 Safety Net Health Plans, covering more than 15 million people through Medicaid, Medicare and Marketplaces. ACAP’s mission is to strengthen not-for-profit Safety Net Health Plans in their work to improve the health of lower income and vulnerable populations. Murray is a national expert on health care policy for people with low incomes and is a frequent speaker on these issues at national conferences and in the media. She has published several articles on the German health care system as a result of an Alexander von Humboldt fellowship in Berlin. Murray received her M.P.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University and her B.A. cum laude in Economics and Classical Civilization from Wellesley College. Prior to leading ACAP, Murray was the Medicaid Director for the State of New Jersey and oversaw the expansion of the FamilyCare program to cover all children under 350% of poverty. She was also a senior budget analyst for the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, with responsibility for negotiating the budget neutrality agreements for Medicaid managed care waivers. She has served the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on the Public Financing and Delivery of HIV Care, the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission and on the board of a Community Health Center in Southern Maryland.
Matt Salo was named Executive Director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) in February 2011. The newly formed association represents all 56 of the nation’s state and territorial Medicaid Directors, and provides them with a strong unified voice in national discussions as well as a locus for technical assistance and best practices. Salo formerly spent 12 years at the National Governors Association, where he worked on the Governors’ health care and human services reform agendas, and spent the 5 years prior to that as a health policy analyst working for the state Medicaid Directors as part of the American Public Human Services Association. Salo also spent two years as a substitute teacher in the public school system in Alexandria, VA, and holds a B.A. in Eastern Religious Studies from the University of Virginia.
Christian Soura is the director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS). Before becoming director of SCDHHS, Soura served as the deputy chief of staff for budget and policy for Governor Nikki Haley. In the Governor’s Office, his duties and responsibilities included serving as the lead author of the state’s annual Executive Budget and developing many of the administration’s key proposals, including the K-12 Education Reform Initiative. Before moving to South Carolina, Soura was the secretary of administration for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, where he held a range of positions in the legislative and executive branches from 2001 to 2011. In addition to serving on the Commonwealth’s Audit Committee, Soura was chairman of the board of the Pennsylvania Employee Benefit Trust Fund. In 2005, he was named to the Department of Public Welfare’s oversight panel, “PeopleStat,” which was responsible for measuring progress and improving quality and outcomes for several health and social service programs, including Medicaid. Soura has held leadership positions in professional associations including the National Association of State Chief Administrators and the American Society for Public Administration. Soura holds master’s degrees from the University of Illinois, where he earned a teaching award, and Pennsylvania State University (Phi Beta Kappa), where he also completed a graduate certificate in public budgeting and financial management.
Marilyn Tavenner was recently named President and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). Prior to joining AHIP, Tavenner served as administrator/principal deputy administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) from 2010-2015. Prior to her appointment to CMS, she served as Secretary of Health and Human Resources in the cabinet of Governor Tim Kaine from 2006-2010. From 1981-2005 she was employed by the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) beginning as a nurse at Richmond-based Johnston-Willis Hospital and eventually becoming the Chief Executive Officer in 1993. In 2001, she became President of HCA’s Central Atlantic Division, and was later appointed Group President of Outpatient Services before resigning from HCA in December of 2005. She earned both her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and her Masters in Health Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. Tavenner led CMS’s work to implement the Affordable Care Act, which included the development and implementation of major health insurance reforms across the country. She also led the implementation of innovative programs and delivery system models aimed at reducing costs and improving quality. During Tavenner’s tenure, the country experienced historically low growth in overall healthcare spending, extending solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund to 2030. As President and CEO of AHIP, Tavenner leads the national association that is the unified voice for the evolving health insurance industry. AHIP members provide health and supplemental benefits to 200 million Americans through employer-sponsored coverage, the individual insurance market, and public programs. Tavenner directs the industry’s advocacy agenda in Washington and the states as AHIP members tackle the challenges facing consumers and the broader health care system. For the past four years, Modern Healthcare has recognized Tavenner as one of the 100 most influential people in health care in her roles at CMS and at AHIP.
Cathy Ficker Terrill is Senior Advisor to The Council on Quality and Leadership. Her career has included working in government, non-profit organizations, university teaching, advocacy and supporting and mentoring self advocates. Before joining CQL on January 1, 2013, she was President and CEO of The Institute on Public Policy for People with Disabilities, an Illinois-based organization dedicated to providing leadership and technical assistance to drive public policy and promote best practices for individuals with disabilities. Terrill previously served as President and CEO of the Ray Graham Association, where she utilized the CQL Personal Outcome Measures® to reinvent a provider agency to become a more community based, person-centered organization. Ray Graham Association was the first organization to be accredited with both the Quality Measures 2005® and the latest standards, Person-centered Excellence Accreditation. Past President of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), as well as a former President of Illinois TASH, she authored a manual on Consent Issues for Self-Advocates and Direct Care Staff. Terrill was a two-term Presidential Appointee to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID). For the past 20 years, Terrill has volunteered internationally, helping to create services for people with disabilities in Kosovo, Poland, Russia, Korea, Cyprus, Lithuania, Japan, Saudi Arabia and China.
Julie Trocchio is senior director of community benefit and continuing care at the Catholic Health Association of the United States. She is based in CHA’s Washington, DC office. Trocchio carries out programmatic and advocacy activities related to community benefit, tax exemption, environmental sustainability, and long-term care. She also is the CHA liaison to the executives of state Catholic health associations and conferences. Before joining CHA in 1988, she was director of delivery of services at the American Health Care Association, a nonprofit organization that represents long-term care facilities. Trocchio also was a public health nurse for the Montgomery County Health Department in Rockville, MD, and has worked as a staff nurse for a hospital and nursing home facility. Trocchio earned a bachelor’s degree from the Georgetown University School of Nursing in Washington, DC, and a master’s degree from the University of Maryland School of Nursing in Baltimore.
James D. Weill has been President of the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) since February 1998. Jim has devoted his entire professional career to reducing hunger and poverty, protecting the legal rights of children and poor people, and expanding economic security, income and nutrition support programs, and health insurance coverage. Prior to joining FRAC, he was at the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) as Program Director and General Counsel. He led CDF’s efforts in 1985 that produced the first major expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, oversaw CDF’s Medicaid expansion, child care, and child support enforcement reform efforts, and was a key leader of the campaign to pass the Children’s Health Insurance Program in 1997. Before CDF, Weill was Deputy Director and Director of Federal Litigation at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago. He litigated major law reform and class action cases in the federal court of appeals and Supreme Court on Social Security, Medicaid, AFDC, SNAP/ Food Stamps, and other public benefits issues, and the rights of children born out of wedlock. Weill is chair of the board of directors of the Alliance for Justice Action Council and is a member of the boards of OMB Watch and the National Center for Youth Law. He serves on the advisory council to the National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education and Families. He has served as a member of the U.S. delegation to the UNICEF Executive Board. He is also a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance.
Leana Wen, MD, is the Baltimore City Health Commissioner. She leads the oldest continuously-operating health department in the U.S., formed in 1793. Her transformative approach to public health involves engaging hospitals and returning citizens in violence prevention; launching an ambitious opioid overdose prevention program that is training every resident to save lives; and implementing a citywide youth health and wellness strategy. Most recently, Wen was an attending physician and Director of Patient-Centered Care in the Department of Emergency Medicine at George Washington University (GWU). A professor of Emergency Medicine at the School of Medicine and of Health Policy at the School of Public Health, she co-directed GWU’s Residency Fellowship in Health Policy, co-led a new national collaboration on health policy and social mission with Kaiser Permanente, and served as founding director of “Who’s My Doctor,” a campaign calling for radical transparency in medicine. The author of the critically-acclaimed book When Doctors Don’t Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests, Wen has given five popular TED and TEDMED talks on patient-centered care, public health leadership, and healthcare reform. Wen received her medical training from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Brigham & Women’s Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where she was a Clinical Fellow at Harvard Medical School. A Rhodes Scholar, she studied public health and health policy at the University of Oxford. She has served as a consultant with the World Health Organization, Brookings Institution, and China Medical Board; an advisor to the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and the Lown Institute; and as national president of the American Medical Student Association and American Academy of Emergency Medicine-Resident & Student Association. She has served on the Council on Graduate Medical Education, an advisory commission to Congress and as Chair of the Young Professionals Council, a global leadership network of medical, nursing, and public health professionals. In addition, Wen has conducted health systems research in Rwanda, D.R. Congo, Nigeria, South Africa, China, Singapore, Slovenia, and Denmark. She has published over 100 articles including in The Lancet, JAMA, and Health Affairs. She is regularly featured on NPR, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, The Atlantic, Baltimore Sun, New York Times, and the Washington Post.
Gail Wilensky is an economist and a senior fellow at Project HOPE. Her focus has been on strategies to reform health care, with particular emphasis in recent years on Medicare, comparative effectiveness research, and military health care. Wilensky serves as a trustee of the Combined Benefits Fund of the United Mine Workers of America and the National Opinion Research Center, and is on the Board of Regents of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), the Visiting Committee of the Harvard Medical and Dental Schools, and the Geisinger Health System Foundation. She recently served as president of the Defense Health Board, a federal advisory board to the Secretary of Defense; was a commissioner on the World Health Organization’s Commission on the Social Determinants of Health; and co-chaired the Department of Defense Task Force on the Future of Military Health Care. She was the administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration (now called CMS) from 1990 to 1992 and the chair of the Medicare Payment Advisor Commission (MedPAC) from 1997 to 2001. She is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and has served two terms on its governing council. She recently served as co-chair of the IOM Committee on Governance and Financing of Graduate Medical Education. She is a former chair of the Board of Directors of AcademyHealth, a former trustee of the American Heart Association, and a current or former director of numerous other nonprofit organizations. She is also a director on several corporate boards. Wilensky testifies frequently before congressional committees, serves as an advisor to members of Congress and other elected officials, and speaks nationally and internationally. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Ph.D. degree in economics at the University of Michigan, and she has received several honorary degrees. Wilensky has been a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 1993.
Marie Zimmerman currently serves as the State Medicaid Director at the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). Zimmerman oversees program-wide Medicaid policy development and implementation across the administrations at DHS including Health Care, Chemical and Mental Health, and Continuing Care. She directly oversees the Department’s policy and operations of federal relations, managed care contracting, rate-setting, benefits policy, new delivery and purchasing strategies including the state’s ACO demonstration, behavioral health homes, and the implementation of the state’s State Innovation Model (SIM) grant activities. Prior to her role as Medicaid director, Zimmerman served in several positions at DHS including policy director where she lead the development and launch of the Department’s new purchasing reform initiatives including direct provider contracting under a new ACO demonstration, integrated managed care products for seniors and people with disabilities including Minnesota’s duals demonstration, and served as Minnesota’s project director for its SIM grant. Prior to her role as policy director, Zimmerman served as the deputy director of DHS’s Medicaid managed care purchasing division and as the budget and legislative director for the Health Care Administration. She also worked in Minnesota’s state legislature for six years as a fiscal analyst on health and human services and tax issues. Zimmerman has a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota and master’s in public policy from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.
Advisers to the Panel
Lynn Etheredge heads the Rapid Learning Project, a Washington DC area policy research center. His career started at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), where he was OMB’s principal analyst for Medicare and Medicaid and led its staff work on national health insurance proposals. Etheredge headed OMB’s professional health staff in the Carter and Reagan administrations. His contributions have ranged broadly across Medicare, Medicaid, health insurance coverage, retirement and pension policies, budget policy, and information technology. He proposed the concept of the “rapid-learning health system” in a special issue of Health Affairs in 2007, and is collaborating widely in developing this approach. Rapid learning initiatives are now generating comparative effectiveness research, a national system of learning networks and research registries, national biobanks with linked electronic health record and genomic data, a new Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Center (with $10 billion of funds), and rapid-learning systems for cancer care and pediatrics. He serves on the editorial board of Health Affairs and is author of more than 85 publications. He is a graduate of Swarthmore College and a member of NASI.
Judith Solomon is Vice President for Health Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, where she focuses on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program and issues related to the implementation of health reform, particularly policies to make coverage available and affordable for low-income people. She has testified before state legislatures and spoken extensively to national and state nonprofit groups and is often cited by national and state media, including the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. Previously, Solomon was a Senior Policy Fellow at Connecticut Voices for Children and Executive Director of the Children’s Health Council. She directed the Council’s work on policy analysis, outreach, education and training, and independent oversight of health care services provided through Connecticut’s Medicaid managed care program. She has also worked as a legal services attorney specializing in the area of public benefits and taught at the Yale University School of Medicine. Solomon is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and Rutgers University School of Law in Newark.
Karin VanZant is Executive Director of Life Services at CareSource and has been charged with building a new division of CareSource that will transition current Medicaid members off of government subsidies into a high quality life. Life Services will accomplish this goal through assisting members to build a solid structure of economic and social supports. Prior to joining CareSource, VanZant was the co-founder and Executive Director of Think Tank, Inc where she assisted the team to live out the mission of equipping and facilitating collaboration among people seeking ways to promote greater connectedness and a more thriving community. VanZant has a MPA in Public Administration and a BA in Social Work from Wright State University.
Benjamin W. Veghte is Vice President for Policy at the National Academy of Social Insurance. In this role, Veghte leads the Academy’s research and policy initiatives. He brings more than two decades of social insurance experience in diverse institutional environments in the United States and Germany. His research, teaching, and policy work have been devoted to advancing our understanding of the role of social insurance in thriving economies and democratic societies. Veghte chairs the Board of PublicSquare.net, which seeks to advance informed public discourse on public policy issues among people from diverse perspectives. Before leading the Academy’s policy work, Veghte was Research Director at Social Security Works. Prior to that, he was the Founding Executive Director of the Scholars Strategy Network at Harvard University, which seeks to improve public policy and strengthen democracy by connecting university scholars and their research to policymakers, associations, citizens, and the media. Previously, he was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Bremen, and co-founder of the Bremen Graduate School of Social Sciences, an innovative interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Germany. He also served as a Social Protection Consultant to the European Commission on a project advising Eastern European succession states on social insurance policy. Veghte earned his Master’s in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School and his Ph.D. in Modern European History from the University of Chicago. He is a Truman Scholar, a Truman Governance Fellow, and a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance.
Alexandra L. Bradley is the Health Policy Analyst at the National Academy of Social Insurance. In this position, she conducts research and policy analyses on health-related issues such as Medicaid, Medicare, long-term services and supports, and health care reform. Her passion lies in working to reduce health disparities and improve quality of life in the U.S., particularly for families and highly underserved populations. She previously worked as a research assistant for the Child and Family Research Section of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Bradley holds a Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health from The George Washington University and Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Government from Cornell University.
Jill C. Braunstein is Director of Communications at the National Academy of Social Insurance. She guides the strategy for all communications, website, and messages for the Academy. Since 1999, she has spearheaded the production, release, and dissemination of 100s of research reports, briefs, and fact sheets, as well as the successful planning and execution of more than 15 of the Academy’s annual policy conferences. She manages and builds NASI’s electronic engagement program. Before joining the Academy, Braunstein was Director of Communications at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), where she oversaw all aspects of communication, including the development and launch of their website. She is a member of Washington Women in Public Relations, the National Press Club, and an Academy member since 2009. Braunstein received a Master of Public Policy degree with a concentration in Women’s Studies and a B.A. in Journalism, both from The George Washington University.