NAM Leadership Consortium Members and Biographies

Mark McClellan, MD, PhD - Chair

Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, is the Robert J. Margolis Professor of Business, Medicine, and Policy, and founding Director of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke University. With offices in Durham, NC and Washington, DC, the Center is a university-wide Duke initiative that is quickly becoming nationally and internationally-recognized research, evaluation, implementation, and educational initiatives to improve health policy and health. It integrates Duke’s expertise in the social, clinical, and analytical sciences alongside engagement with health care leaders and stakeholders, to develop and apply policy solutions that improve health and the value of health care locally, nationally, and worldwide.

Dr. McClellan is a doctor and an economist whose has addressed a wide range of strategies and policy reforms to improve health care, including payment reform to promote better outcomes and lower costs, methods for development and use of real-world evidence, and strategies for more effective biomedical innovation. Before coming to Duke, he served as a Senior Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, where he was Director of the Health Care Innovation and Value Initiatives and led the Richard Merkin Initiative on Payment Reform and Clinical Leadership. He also has a highly distinguished record in public service and academic research.

Dr. McClellan is a former administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where he developed and implemented major reforms in health policy. These include the Medicare prescription drug benefit, Medicare and Medicaid payment reforms, the FDA’s Critical Path Initiative, and public-private initiatives to develop better information on the quality and cost of care. He has also previously served as a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and senior director for health care policy at the White House, and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Department of the Treasury.

Dr. McClellan is the founding chair and a current board member of the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA, is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. At NAM, he chairs the Leadership Council for Value and Science-Driven Health care, co-chairs the guiding committee of the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network, and is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is also a Senior Advisor on the faculty of the University of Texas Dell Medical School and is an independent director on the board of Johnson & Johnson and on the board of Alignment Healthcare. He was previously an associate professor of economics and medicine with tenure at Stanford University, and has twice received the Kenneth Arrow Award for Outstanding Research in Health Economics.

Jeffrey R. Balser, MD, PhD

Dr. Balser undertook residency training in anesthesiology and fellowship training in cardiac anesthesiology and in critical care medicine at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. He joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins in 1995, where he practiced cardiac anesthesiology, ICU medicine, and led an NIH-funded research program aimed at the genetics of cardiac rhythm disorders, such as sudden cardiac death.

He returned to Vanderbilt in 1998 as Associate Dean for Physician Scientist Development, and soon was appointed Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology, directing one of the medical center’s largest clinical service programs. He became the Medical Center’s chief research officer in 2004, leading a period of scientific expansion that moved the Medical Center into the nation’s top 10 in NIH funding, launching big-science programs integrating health informatics and genomics that stimulated the Medical Center’s national leadership in personalized medicine.

In 2008 he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, and later that year was named the eleventh dean of Vanderbilt’s School of Medicine since its founding in 1875. In 2009, he was also named Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs with executive responsibility for all health-related programs including the hospitals, clinics, research programs, and the medical and nursing schools. He has led the Medical Center through a period of marked service-volume growth with major inpatient expansions of the children’s hospital and the adult critical care areas, bolstered by 4% compound annual growth of outpatient visits (over 2.1 million per year), and by the creation of region’s largest, multi-state provider-led network (over 50 hospitals and 3000 clinicians: the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network).

In 2013-2014, he led a $230 million (8%) cost reduction across all mission areas, improving the Medical Center’s competitive position in a rapidly evolving price-sensitive marketplace. In coordination with the Vanderbilt Chancellor and Board of Trust, Dr. Balser has led the Medical Center through a restructuring process that concluded April 30, 2016, placing its clinicians, hospitals, clinics, research and graduate medical education programs into a financially distinct not-for-profit corporation, Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). As President and CEO of VUMC, he reports to an independent board of directors, while also serving as dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Georges C. Benjamin, MD

Georges Benjamin, MD, is known as one of the nation’s most influential physician leaders because he speaks passionately and eloquently about the health issues having the most impact on our nation today. From his firsthand experience as a physician, he knows what happens when preventive care is not available and when the healthy choice is not the easy choice. As executive director of APHA since 2002, he is leading the Association’s push to make America the healthiest nation in one generation. He came to APHA from his position as secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Benjamin became secretary of health in Maryland in April 1999, following four years as its deputy secretary for public health services. As secretary, Benjamin oversaw the expansion and improvement of the state’s Medicaid program.

Benjamin, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He is board-certified in internal medicine and a fellow of the American College of Physicians, a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, a fellow emeritus of the American College of Emergency Physicians and an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health.

An established administrator, author and orator, Benjamin started his medical career in 1981 in Tacoma, Washington, where he managed a 72,000-patient visit ambulatory care service as chief of the Acute Illness Clinic at the Madigan Army Medical Center and was an attending physician within the Department of Emergency Medicine. A few years later, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he served as chief of emergency medicine at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. After leaving the Army, he chaired the Department of Community Health and Ambulatory Care at the District of Columbia General Hospital. He was promoted to acting commissioner for public health for the District of Columbia and later directed one of the busiest ambulance services in the nation as interim director of the Emergency Ambulance Bureau of the District of Columbia Fire Department.

At APHA, Benjamin also serves as publisher of the nonprofit’s monthly publication, The Nation’s Health, the association’s official newspaper, and the American Journal of Public Health, the profession’s premier scientific publication. He is the author of more than 100 scientific articles and book chapters. His recent book The Quest for Health Reform: A Satirical History is an exposé of the nearly 100-year quest to ensure quality affordable health coverage for all through the use of political cartoons.

Benjamin is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (Formally the Institute of Medicine) of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine and also serves on the boards for many organizations including Research!America and the Reagan-Udall Foundation. In 2008, 2014 and 2016 he was named one of the top 25 minority executives in health care by Modern Healthcare Magazine, in addition to being voted among the 100 most influential people in health care from 2007-2017.

In April 2016, President Obama appointed Benjamin to the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, a council that advises the president on how best to assure the security of the nation’s critical infrastructure.

David Blumenthal, MD, MPP

David Blumenthal, MD, MPP, became President and CEO of the Commonwealth Fund, a national health care philanthropy based in New York City, in January, 2013. Previously, he served as Chief Health Information and Innovation Officer at Partners Health System in Boston, MA, and was Samuel O. Thier Professor of Medicine and Professor of Health Care Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital/ Harvard Medical School. From 2009 to 2011, Dr. Blumenthal was the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology under President Barack Obama. In this role he was charged with building an interoperable, private and secure nationwide health information system and supporting the widespread, meaningful use of health IT. Prior to that, Dr. Blumenthal was a practicing primary care physician, director of the Institute for Health Policy, and professor of medicine and health policy at Massachusetts General Hospital/Partners Healthcare System and Harvard Medical School. As a renowned health services researcher and national authority on health IT adoption, Dr. Blumenthal has authored over 250 scholarly publications, including the seminal studies on the adoption and use of health information technology in the United States. Dr. Blumenthal received his undergraduate, medical, and public policy degrees from Harvard University and completed his residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Troyen Brennan, MD, JD, MPH

Troyen A. Brennan, MD, MPH, is Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of CVS Health. In this role, Brennan provides oversight for the development of CVS Health’s clinical and medical affairs and health care strategy.

Previously, Brennan was Chief Medical Officer of Aetna Inc. Prior to that, Brennan served as president of Brigham and Women’s Physicians Organization. In his academic work, he was Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Law and Public Health at Harvard School of Public Health.

Brennan received his MD and MPH degrees from Yale Medical School and his JD degree from Yale Law School. He has a master’s degree from Oxford University and earned a BS from Southern Methodist University. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Nakela L. Cook, MD, MPH

Nakela L. Cook, MD, MPH, is Executive Director at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). She is a cardiologist and health services researcher with a distinguished career leading key scientific initiatives engaging patients, clinicians, and other healthcare stakeholders at one of the nation’s largest public health research funders.

Cook leads PCORI’s research, dissemination and implementation, and engagement work as the organization enters its second decade of service to the nation. She also provides strategic and day-to-day oversight of ongoing programs as well as new initiatives designed to create a healthcare system that is more efficient, effective, and patient-centered.

Prior to her current role, Cook served as Senior Scientific Officer and Chief of Staff at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the third-largest institute of the National Institutes of Health, with a staff of 1,000 and an annual budget of over $3 billion. There she spearheaded the development and implementation of NHLBI’s strategic plan and initiatives in precision medicine, data science, sickle cell disease, and women’s health with meaningful engagement of stakeholder groups.

Preceding her position as Chief of Staff, Cook was a Clinical Medical Officer in NHLBI’s Division of Cardiovascular Sciences and an attending cardiologist at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. She has a bachelor of science degree in materials science and engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham; earned her medical degree and master of public health in health care policy and management from Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, respectively; and completed her clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Cook is also an alumna of the Commonwealth Fund/Harvard University Fellowship in Minority Health Policy.

Throughout her career, Cook has worked to enhance diversity and equity in research and care delivery and been a leader in efforts to reduce disparities in health access and outcomes. She has received numerous awards for her excellence in clinical teaching and mentorship as well as her leadership of complex scientific initiatives and programs.

Susan DeVore, MS

Susan DeVore is president and CEO of the Premier healthcare alliance, the nation’s leading alliance of hospitals, health systems and other providers dedicated to improving healthcare performance. An alliance of more than 2,600 hospitals and health systems and more than 84,000 non-acute care sites, Premier uses the power of collaboration to lead the transformation to high quality, cost-effective healthcare. Premier membership includes more than 40 percent of all U.S. health systems.

With the ultimate goal of helping its members improve the health of their local communities, Premier builds, tests and scales models that improve quality, safety and cost of care. Through successful initiatives such as the Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration™ with CMS, and QUEST®: High Performing Hospitals collaborative, the alliance has driven improvements in evidence-based care and safety, as well as significant reductions in mortality, harm and cost. Premier is a leader in the accountable care movement and is working in a joint venture with IBM to develop industry-leading population analytics tools.

Under DeVore’s leadership, Premier has built an industry leading code of ethics, has been named five times as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere and has won the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. DeVore is an industry leading thinker who was named to Modern Healthcare’s inaugural list of top 25 women in healthcare. She is on the board of the Healthcare Leadership Council and the Medicare Rights Center, as well as the executive committee of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce.

Judith Faulkner, MS

Judy Faulkner is CEO and founder of Epic, which she began in 1979 in the basement of an apartment house with $70,000 in start-up money and 2 half-time assistants. Epic has grown by its bootstraps, without venture capital or going public.

Judy received honorary doctorates from the University of Wisconsin and from Mount Sinai in New York, an MS in Computer Science from the UW, and a BS in Mathematics from Dickinson College. After teaching computer science for several years she then worked as a software developer, creating one of the first databases organized around the patient.

Judy currently serves on the UW Computer Science Board of Visitors, is a member of the National Academy of Medicine’s Leadership Roundtable and of the Aspen Health Strategy Group. She has pledged that 99% of her assets will go to philanthropy.

Joseph J. Fifer, FHFMA, CPA

Joe Fifer, FHFMA, CPA, is president and chief executive officer of the Healthcare Financial Management Association. HFMA provides the resources healthcare organizations need to achieve sound fiscal health in order to provide excellent patient care. With more than 39,000 members, HFMA is the nation’s leading membership organization of healthcare finance executives and leaders. Prior to assuming this position in June 2012, Fifer spent 11 years as vice president of hospital finance at Spectrum Health, in Grand Rapids, Mich. Mr. Fifer also spent time with McLaren Health Care Corporation, Flint, Mich., as vice president of finance and Ingham Regional Medical Center, Lansing, Mich., as senior vice president of finance and CFO. Mr. Fifer started his career with nine years at Ernst and Young, also in Michigan. Fifer was Chair of the HFMA Board of Directors in 2006-07. An HFMA member since 1983, Fifer served as a chapter president and for two terms as an HFMA board member. A Fellow of HFMA and a CPA, Fifer received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, Mich. Fifer is an active community volunteer and runner. Fifer and his wife, Katie, have three children: Sarah, Tom, and Joe-Joe.

Stephen G. Friedhoff, MD

Dr. Stephen G. Friedhoff, M.D. is Senior Vice President Chief Clinical Officer. Prior to his current position, Dr. Friedhoff held the role of chief medical officer of the Anthem Government Business Division and a similar role with Amerigroup Corporation prior to Amerigroup’s acquisition by Anthem. Prior to Amerigroup, he held several clinical and administrative positions over the course of his career. At Independence Blue Cross/AmeriHealth-New Jersey in Philadelphia, Pa., he assumed progressive responsibility including senior/regional medical director.

Dr. Friedhoff is a certified health insurance executive through America’s Health Insurance Plans, a diplomat of the American Academy of Family Physicians and board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. He continued to practice Family Medicine in N.J. part time until 2015. He holds active medical licenses in New Jersey, Florida, Kansas, Iowa and Louisiana. Dr. Friedhoff has also served on the board of trustees of Samaritan Hospice in Marlton, N.J. and was a recipient of the “Home Care Physician of The Year” award in southern New Jersey.

Julie L. Gerberding, MD, MPH

Dr. Julie Gerberding is Executive Vice President and Chief Patient Officer, Strategic Communications, Global Public Policy, and Population Health at Merck & Co., Inc., where she also has responsibility for the Merck for Mothers program and the Merck Foundation. As Chief Patient Officer, Dr. Gerberding leads efforts to engage with patients and patient organizations to bring their perspectives into Merck and MSD to help inform company decisions and represents Merck globally on patient-related matters. In addition, she is building new initiatives designed to accelerate Merck’s ability to contribute to improved population health, a measure increasingly valued by consumers, health organizations, and communities.

As a world-renowned infectious disease and public health expert, Dr. Gerberding is a leader well-versed in and passionate about acting with purpose and urgency to meet patient needs. She joined Merck in January 2010 as president of Merck Vaccines and, during her leadership of that business, helped make the company’s vaccines increasingly more available and affordable to people in emerging markets and some of the most resource-limited countries in the world. Dr. Gerberding also helped lead the successful launch in India of the MSD Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories, a not-for-profit joint venture for vaccine development. In 1998, she left her tenured academic faculty appointment at the University of California, San Francisco, to lead the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion and then served as the CDC Director from 2002 to 2009.

As director, Dr. Gerberding led the CDC through more than 40 emergency responses to public health crises, including anthrax bioterrorism, SARS, and natural disasters. She also advised governments around the world on urgent issues such as pandemic preparedness, AIDS, antimicrobial resistance, tobacco, and cancer. At the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Dr. Gerberding directed the Prevention Epicenter, a multidisciplinary research, training, and clinical service program that focused on the prevention of infections in patients and their healthcare providers.

Dr. Gerberding received her undergraduate and M.D. degrees from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). She completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Clinical Pharmacology and Infectious Diseases at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she is currently an Adjunct Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine in Infectious Diseases. Dr. Gerberding received a Masters of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine and a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American College of Physicians, and is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases.

Dr. Gerberding currently serves on the Boards of Cerner Corporation, CWRU, MSD Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories, and the BIO Executive Committee. Dr. Gerberding has received more than 50 awards and honors, including the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Distinguished Service Award for her leadership in responses to anthrax bioterrorism and the September 11, 2001 attacks. In 2018, she was selected as the Healthcare Businesswomen Association’s Woman of the Year and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from eyeforpharma. Previously, Dr. Gerberding was named to Forbes Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women in the World in 2005 through 2008 and to TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2004.

Adam Gluck

In his role as Head of Sanofi U.S. and Sanofi Genzyme Corporate Affairs, Adam Gluck leads the Sanofi U.S. and Sanofi Genzyme Corporate Affairs teams and aligns the activities of our Communications & CSR, Public Affairs & Patient Advocacy, Government Affairs, and Reimbursement & Policy teams to drive value for Sanofi and the patients we serve. 

He has more than 25 years of experience in the policy, advocacy and healthcare industry and spent his career primarily in Washington, D.C., as well as Europe and Asia, working alongside public servants advocating for people and ensuring they have access to the best healthcare opportunities. He brings this patient-first perspective to his current role where he ensures that Sanofi’s innovation reaches the people who need it the most.

Adam joined Sanofi from Biogen, where he was most recently the Vice President of U.S. Government Affairs & Patient Advocacy. In this role, Adam led the U.S. federal, state, policy, and patient advocacy teams. During his nine years at Biogen, Adam served as the company’s lead federal lobbyist and was responsible for designing and building their European Public Policy & Government Affairs organization.

Prior to joining Biogen, Adam was a Senior Managing Director at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP (now Dentons LLP), where he led the Public Law and Policy Strategies public health practice team. At Sonnenschein, Adam represented a diverse range of patient advocacy organizations and corporations before the U.S. Congress and Executive branch. His career also includes close to 10 years on Capitol Hill working for four Congressional Members, including working as senior health policy advisor to Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and legislative director for Congressman Gene Green (D-TX). Adam was also the Senior House Legislative Liaison for the Children’s Defense Fund.

Adam holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan.

Sandra R. Hernández, MD

Sandra R. Hernández, MD is president and CEO of the California Health Care Foundation. Prior to joining CHCF, Sandra was CEO of The San Francisco Foundation, which she led for 16 years. She previously served as director of public health for the City and County of San Francisco. She also co-chaired San Francisco’s Universal Healthcare Council, which designed Healthy San Francisco, an innovative health access program for the uninsured.

Sandra is an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine. She practiced at San Francisco General Hospital in the AIDS clinic from 1984 to 2016. She was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the Covered California board of directors in February 2018. She currently serves on the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing Advisory Council at UC Davis and the UC Regents Committee on Health Services. Sandra served on the External Advisory Committee at the Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences in 2016. Sandra is a graduate of Yale University, the Tufts School of Medicine, and the certificate program for senior executives in state and local government at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Diane P. Holder, MS

Diane P. Holder is executive vice president and president of the UPMC Insurance Services Division, and president and CEO of UPMC Health Plan. UPMC is one of the nation’s leading integrated delivery systems and through its health plans and affiliates, provides health coverage and benefit management for 3.4 million men, women and children in Pennsylvania. The Insurance Services Division includes the UPMC Health Plan, UPMC for You, Community Care Behavioral Health Organization and Work Partners. These health benefits companies manage benefits for Commercial, Medicaid, Medicare, Behavioral Health, EAP, Health Promotions and Worker’s Compensation programs.

Ms. Holder has held a number of leadership positions in health care including the CEO of UPMC’s Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and the founding CEO of Community Care Behavioral Health Organization. Ms Holder is a faculty member of the University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychiatry and a faculty member of Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her master’s degree from Columbia University.
Robert Hughes, PhD

Bob Hughes is the president and CEO of the Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH). Before joining the foundation as chief executive officer in 2012, he was a visiting research professor in the Center for State Health Policy at Rutgers University and served in various leadership positions for more than 20 years at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in New Jersey.

Since joining MFH, Hughes has enhanced the strategic direction of the organization and positioned it to be a catalyst for change throughout the region. Under his leadership, MFH focuses on fostering a culture of learning, exploration and collaboration that promotes improvements in the health of underserved Missourians.

A native of Illinois, Hughes received his doctorate in behavioral sciences from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. He serves on the boards of Grantmakers in Health and Missouri Health Connection and on the advisory board of Center for Effective Philanthropy.

Jeff Hurd, MS, PhD, MS

Jeff Hurd is a Regional Clinical Account Director within US Medical Affairs at AstraZeneca. He presents clinical and health economic information, economic modeling, and product value propositions to formulary decision-makers and population health leadership at Health Plans, PBMs and IDN/Hospital systems.  Dr. Hurd is scientifically trained on AstraZeneca medications in the diabetes, oncology and respiratory therapeutic areas. He is involved in outcomes-based contracting, real-world evidence (RWE) research and value frameworks.  Dr. Hurd currently serves as the AstraZeneca Corresponding Officer to the National Academy of Medicine Leadership Consortium on Value & Science Driven Health Care, the National Academy of Science Forum for Drug Discovery, Development and Translation and the National Pharmaceutical Council.  He also represents AstraZeneca at the NCQA Industry Council. Prior to AstraZeneca, Jeff was a Director, Gov’t & Medical Policy at GSK and provided medical and research support for the public policy and government relations team.  Other GSK roles included 5 years as a Health Outcomes Liaison in managed markets with national and regional payers and 5 years as a Medical Science Liaison.  He was scientifically trained on medicines in the diabetes, neuroscience and respiratory disease states. Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Hurd was a senior account manager for a national health insurance company.  He received his undergraduate degree at Taylor University and graduate degrees at the University of Utah and the University of Florida.

Frederick Isasi

Frederick Isasi was selected to be Families USA’s second-ever Executive Director in January 2017 because of his life-long commitment to achieving high-quality, affordable health care for all. He also brings to his position deep expertise in Medicaid, Medicare, and private health insurance, health equity, and payment and delivery reform. In addition, he has a proven track record of working effectively in a bipartisan manner with policymakers at the national and state levels. Mr. Isasi has testified frequently in front of Congress on health policy issues in both the U.S. Senate and House. Mr. Isasi’s skills and experiences made him the ideal choice to lead Families USA into the future as the premier voice for all families and health care consumers in America.

As Executive Director, Mr. Isasi leads the expert staff at Families USA as the organization focuses on four key challenges: Creating a value-based health system that ensures higher-quality, lower-cost health care; Helping people overcome barriers to health and health care based on race, ethnicity, income, gender, demography, or sexual orientation; Making comprehensive and affordable health insurance available to all; and Empowering health care consumers to ensure that their voices are heard in their state and local communities as well as in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Isasi’s passion for health care reform began when he was growing up in North Carolina as the son of Cuban immigrants. There, he saw firsthand many of the barriers to health care experienced by the poor, people of color, people with language barriers, and rural communities. In his 20s, Mr. Isasi was a leader of various gay rights and AIDS/HIV student organizations. He also founded a volunteer organization that provided support to the children of parents dying from AIDS and a summer camp for children with HIV/AIDS in North Carolina and Wisconsin.

Before joining Families USA, Mr. Isasi served as the Health Division Director at the bipartisan National Governors Association’s (NGA) Center for Best Practices. In this position, he worked directly with governors of both parties and as NGA’s national voice on issues such as health care delivery and payment reform, improving Medicaid, and health exchange planning and oversight. He also directed technical assistance for states as they navigated changes to their health care systems.

Prior to NGA, Mr. Isasi served as Vice President for Health Policy at the Advisory Board Company—a leading national and international private-sector group that advises 3,100 hospitals, health systems, provider groups, and payers—where he founded its Health Policy Department. Under Mr. Isasi’s leadership, the Advisory Board sought new opportunities to leverage the power of health system data and develop evidence-based policy solutions to modern health care challenges. He also broadened the Advisory Board’s work with policymakers in Congress, the Administration, and states to improve health care transformation efforts across the nation.

As Congress was developing the groundbreaking Affordable Care Act legislation, Mr. Isasi served as Senior Legislative Counsel for Health Care on both the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) for former Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), the only Democrat serving on both committees during the creation of the Affordable Care Act. Mr. Isasi was the Senator’s principal negotiator during closed-door, bipartisan negotiations. He also served as the Senator’s advisor and chief negotiator on the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Reauthorization Act of 2009 and various Medicare bills, and directed the Senator’s leadership efforts to address the health care challenges brought on by low-income, cultural, and racial disparities.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Isasi served as a health care attorney with Powell Goldstein, where he worked closely with states on Medicaid reforms and represented public hospitals; prior to that, he served as Senior Policy Advisor to the District of Columbia Primary Care Association.

Mr. Isasi is a well-known and respected national speaker on Medicaid, state innovation, health system transformation, behavioral health, and the social determinants of health as well as health care quality, payment, and equity issues. He has served on myriad expert panels and boards, including the National Academy of Medicine, Brookings Institution, National Committee for Quality Assurance, Duke University Margolis Center for Health Policy, Catalyst for Payment Reform, the Health Care Payment Learning & Action Network (LAN) and Bipartisan Policy Center. He holds a JD from Duke University, where he was a Pamela B. Gann Scholar and a staff editor of the Duke Journal of Gender Law and Policy, an M.P.H. from the University of North Carolina, where he was inducted into both the Delta Omega and the Frank Porter Graham honor societies, and a B.S. in Cellular Biology and a second major in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin, where he was a Powers-Knapp Scholar.

Gary Kaplan, MD

Gary Kaplan, MD, FACP, FACMPE has served as Chairman and CEO of the Virginia Mason Health System since 2000. Dr. Kaplan received his medical degree from the University of Michigan and is board-certified in internal medicine. Since Dr. Kaplan became Chairman and CEO, Virginia Mason has received significant national and international recognition for its efforts to transform health care. The Leapfrog Group named Virginia Mason “Top Hospital of The Decade” for patient safety and quality, a distinction shared with only one other hospital. For the fifth consecutive year, The Leapfrog Group also named Virginia Mason as one of 65 U.S. hospitals to be designated as a “Top Hospital”. In addition, Virginia Mason has received HealthGrades’ “Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence” for five consecutive years. Virginia Mason is considered to be the national leader in deploying the Toyota Production System to health-care management – reducing the high costs of health care while improving quality, safety and efficiency to deliver better, faster, and more affordable care. In addition to his patient-care duties and position as CEO, Dr. Kaplan is a clinical professor at the University of Washington and has been recognized for his service and contribution to many regional and national boards, including the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the Medical Group Management Association, the National Patient Safety Foundation, the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce and the Washington Healthcare Forum. Dr. Kaplan is a founding member of Health CEOs for Health Reform. In 2007, Dr. Kaplan was designated a fellow in the American College of Physician Executives. In 2011, he was named the 12th most influential U.S. physician leader in health care by Modern Healthcare magazine, and the same publication ranked Dr. Kaplan 33rd on its list of the “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare.” In 2012, he was named the 2nd most influential U.S. physician leader in health care by the same publication. In 2009, Dr. Kaplan received the John M. Eisenberg Award from the National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission for Individual Achievement at the national level for his outstanding work and commitment to patient safety and quality. Additionally, he was recognized by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) as the recipient of the Harry J. Harwick Lifetime Achievement Award. Each year, the MGMA and the American College of Medical Practice Executives honor one individual who has made outstanding nationally recognized contributions to health-care administration, delivery, and education in his career, advancing the field of medical practice management.

Richard E. Kuntz, MD, MS

Dr. Rick Kuntz is Senior Vice President, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer of Medtronic and serves as a member of the Company’s Executive Committee. In this role, Kuntz oversees the company’s medical affairs, health policy and reimbursement, clinical research activities, and corporate technology.

Kuntz joined Medtronic in October 2005, as Senior Vice President and President of Medtronic Neuromodulation, which encompasses the company’s products and therapies used in the treatment of chronic pain, movement disorders, spasticity, overactive bladder and urinary retention, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and gastroparesis. In this role he was responsible for the research, development, operations and product sales and marketing for each of these therapeutic areas worldwide.

Kuntz brings to Medtronic a broad background and expertise in many different areas of healthcare. Prior to Medtronic he was the Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of the Harvard Clinical Research Institute (HCRI), a university-based contract research organization which coordinates National Institutes of Health (NIH) and industry clinical trials with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Kuntz has directed over 100 multicenter clinical trials and has authored more than 250 original publications. His major interests are traditional and alternative clinical trial design and biostatistics.

Kuntz also served as Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Chief of the Division of Clinical Biometrics, and an interventional cardiologist in the division of cardiovascular diseases at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. Kuntz has served as a member of the Board of Governors of PCORI (Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute) since it was established in 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act.

Kuntz graduated from Miami University, and received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He completed his residency and chief residency in internal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, and then completed fellowships in cardiovascular diseases and interventional cardiology at the Beth Israel Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston. Kuntz received his Master’s of science in biostatistics from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Adam Lenkowsky

Adam Lenkowsky is General Manager, Head of US Commercial at Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Peter Long, PhD

Peter Long is senior vice president of Healthcare and community Health Transformation at Blue Shield of California, a 4-million-member nonprofit health plan that serves the state’s commercial, individual, and government markets. Long leads collaborations with health care providers, community leaders, and other stakeholders to design innovative clinical and community programs, and health care delivery and payment systems that provide all Californians access to value-based, high quality, and affordable care.

Previously, Long was President and CEO of Blue Shield of California Foundation for nearly nine years, focusing on building lasting and equitable solutions to make California the healthiest state and end domestic violence. He helped launch the California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative in 15 communities across the state in partnership with California Department of Public Health and other philanthropies. Under his leadership in partnership with the center for Care Innovations, the Foundation supported successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act among the safety-net providers for Californians who has been excluded from health care.

Long served in leadership roles at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and The California Endowment. He has extensive experience working on health policy issues at the state and national levels. He has written numerous papers and chapters on a variety of health policy topics. His research and 20+ publications have been groundbreaking in health care reform and community development.

Long also served as the director of development and programs and then executive director of the Indian Health Center of Santa Clara Valley in San Jose. Previously, he served as a legislative analyst for the National Progressive Primary Health Care Network in Cape Town, South Africa, during the country’s transition to democracy.

Long earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a doctorate from UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

Long serves as an adjunct professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. He also serves as a co-chair of the Foresight Project, which is envisioning, testing, and creating a transformed future U.S> health system. He has been a board member at Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, Grantmakers in Health, and the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, and serves on a number of other health advisory councils.

James L. Madara, MD

James L. Madara, MD, serves as the CEO and executive vice president of the American Medical Association, the nation’s largest physician organization. He holds the academic title of adjunct professor of pathology at Northwestern University.

Since taking the reins of the AMA in 2011, Dr. Madara has helped sculpt the organization’s visionary longterm strategic plan. As an extension of this vision, he now also serves as chairman of Health2047 Inc., an independent, design-driven innovation firm based in San Francisco and whose mission is to help advance the AMA’s goal of improving the health of the nation.

Prior to arriving at the AMA, Dr. Madara spent the first 22 years of his career at Harvard Medical School, receiving both clinical and research training, serving as a tenured professor and as director of the NIH-sponsored Harvard Digestive Diseases Center. Following five years as chair of pathology at Emory, Dr. Madara served as dean of the medical school and CEO of the hospitals at the University of Chicago, bringing together the university’s biomedical research, teaching and clinical activities. While there he oversaw the renewal of the institution’s biomedical campus and engineered significant new affiliations with community hospitals, teaching hospital systems, community clinics and national research organizations.

Dr. Madara also served as senior advisor with Leavitt Partners, an innovative health care consulting and private-equity firm founded by former Secretary of Health and Human Services, Mike Leavitt.

Having published more than 200 original papers and chapters, Dr. Madara has received both national and international awards, and served as editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Pathology and as president of the American Board of Pathology.

In addition to Modern Healthcare consistently naming him as one of the nation’s 50 most influential physician executives, as well as one of the nation’s 100 most influential people in health care, he is a past recipient of a prestigious MERIT Award from the National Institutes of Health. He received the 2011 Davenport Award for lifetime achievement
in gastrointestinal disease from the American Physiological Society and the 2011 Mentoring Award for lifetime achievement from the American Gastroenterological Society.

Dr. Madara is an elected member of both the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. He also cochairs the Value Incentives and Systems Innovation Collaborative of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), and is a member of NAM’s Leadership Consortium for Value & Science-Driven Health Care.

Mark E. Miller, PhD

With more than 18 years of health policy experience, Mark Miller, PhD, has held several important policy, research, and management positions in health care. Dr. Miller served as Assistant Director of Health and Human Resources (HHR) at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Prior to CBO, Dr. Miller was the Deputy Director of Health Plans at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS, formerly the Health Care Financing Administration). Before CMS, Dr. Miller was the Health Financing Branch Chief at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Prior to joining OMB, Dr. Miller was a Senior Research Associate at the Urban Institute. He earned a PhD in public policy analysis from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

Suzanne Miyamoto, PHD, RN

Dr. Miyamoto is Chief Executive Officer of the American Academy of Nursing. Dr. Miyamoto has held previous academic positions at the University of Michigan, School of Nursing, University of New Mexico, School of Nursing, and Johns Hopkins University, School of Nursing. She is a Senior Associate Editor for the journal Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice. Previously, she held policy positions at the state and federal level with the National Institutes of Health, the State Commission on Patient Safety for the Michigan Health and Safety Coalition, and former United States Congressman Joseph Knollenberg. Dr. Miyamoto’s areas of research, publications, and presentations (national and international) focus on health policy, coalition building, and political advocacy. Dr. Miyamoto received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Master of Science in Nursing, and Doctorate of Philosophy in Nursing from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International, Women in Government Relations, Academy Health, the American Organization of Nurse Executives, and the American Nurses Association. Dr. Miyamoto is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and an Honorary Friend of the National Institute of Nursing Research.

Mary D. Naylor, PhD, FAAN, RN

Mary D. Naylor, PhD, FAAN, RN, is the Marian S. Ware Professor in Gerontology and Director of the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. For more than two decades, Dr. Naylor has led a multidisciplinary team of clinical scholars and health services researchers in generating and disseminating research findings designed to enhance the care and outcomes of chronically ill older adults and their family caregivers. She is the architect of the Transitional Care Model, a care management approach proven in multiple NIH clinical trials and foundation sponsored translational efforts to improve older adults’ experience with care and health outcomes, while decreasing use of costly health services. Dr. Naylor is the 2016 recipient of AcademyHealth’s Distinguished Investigator Award, a recognition of significant and lasting contributions to the field of health services research. She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) in 2005. For eight years, she served as the national program director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation sponsored Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative. She recently completed six-year terms as a commissioner on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), board member of the National Quality Forum and member of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s National Advisory Council. Currently, Dr. Naylor is a member of the NAMs Leadership Consortium on Value & Science-Driven Health Care and co-chairs NAMs Care Culture and Decision-Making Innovation Collaborative. Dr. Naylor also is a member of the RAND Health Board of Advisors, the Institute for Health Improvement’s Scientific Advisory Group, and the Board of Trustees of the Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust.

Bill Novelli, MA

Bill Novelli is a professor in the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. He teaches in the MBA program and has created and leads the Global Social Enterprise Initiative at the School. He also is Co-Chair of the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC), a national organization dedicated to reforming advanced illness care by empowering consumers, changing the health care delivery system, improving public policies and enhancing provider capacity. From 2001 to 2009, he was CEO of AARP, a membership organization of over 40 million people 50 and older. During his tenure, AARP achieved important policy successes at national and state levels in health, financial security, good government and other areas. It also doubled its budget, added five million new members and expanded internationally.

Prior to AARP, Mr. Novelli was President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, whose mandate is to change public policies and the social environment, limit tobacco companies’ marketing and sales practices to children and serve as a counterforce to the tobacco industry and its special interests. He now serves as chairman of the board.

Previously, he was Executive Vice President of CARE, the world’s largest private relief and development organization. He was responsible for all operations in the U.S. and abroad. CARE helps impoverished people in Africa, Asia and Latin America through programs in health, agriculture, environmental protection and small business support. CARE also provides emergency relief to people in need.

Earlier, Mr. Novelli co-founded and was President of Porter Novelli, now one of the world’s largest public relations agencies and part of the Omnicom Group, an international marketing communications corporation. He directed numerous corporate accounts as well as the management and development of the firm. Porter Novelli was founded to apply marketing to social and health issues, and grew into an international marketing/public relations agency with corporate, not-for-profit and government clients. He retired from the firm in 1990 to pursue a second career in public service. He was named one of the 100 most influential public relations professionals of the 20th century by the industry’s leading publication.

Mr. Novelli is a recognized leader in social marketing and social change, and has managed programs in cancer control, diet and nutrition, cardiovascular health, reproductive health, infant survival, pay increases for educators, charitable giving and other programs in the U.S. and the developing world.

He began his career at Unilever, a worldwide-packaged goods marketing company, moved to a major ad agency, and then served as Director of Advertising and Creative Services for the Peace Corps. In this role, Mr. Novelli helped direct recruitment efforts for the Peace Corps, VISTA, and social involvement programs for older Americans.

He holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. from Penn’s Annenberg School for Communication, and pursued doctoral studies at New York University. He taught marketing management for 10 years in the University of Maryland’s M.B.A. program and also taught health communications there. He has lectured at many other institutions. He has written numerous articles and chapters on marketing management, marketing communications, and social marketing in journals, periodicals and textbooks.

His book, 50+: Give Meaning and Purpose to the Best Time of Your Life, was updated in 2008. His newest book, Managing the Older Worker: How to Prepare for the New Organizational Order (with Peter Cappelli) was published in 2010.

Harold Paz, MD, MS

Harold L. Paz, MD, MS, is executive vice president and chief medical officer for Aetna. He leads clinical strategy and policy at the intersection of all of Aetna’s domestic and global businesses. He is responsible for driving clinical innovation to improve member experience, quality and cost in all areas of the health care delivery system. Reporting to Aetna’s Chairman and CEO, he is a member of the company’s executive committee.

Before joining Aetna in 2014, Dr. Paz served as chief executive officer of Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Health System, senior vice president for Health Affairs for Penn State University, dean of its College of Medicine and professor of medicine and public health sciences for eight years. His vision for health care transformation at Penn State led to the formation of an integrated healthcare system of four hospitals, 64 ambulatory care practices and 18 affiliated hospitals focused on population health across central Pennsylvania. Prior to his appointment to Penn State, he spent 11 years as dean of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and chief executive officer of Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Group, the largest multispecialty group practice in New Jersey where he was professor of medicine.

Dr. Paz has focused his research and teaching on clinical outcomes, health care effectiveness and personalized health. A pioneer in the field of quality management, Dr. Paz was among the first to study clinical outcomes in the intensive care unit. From this early work, he recognized the need to formally train physicians in quality, and in 1993 he started the first fellowship of its kind in quality management. Currently, he is professor adjunct of internal medicine at Yale University School of Medicine and remains clinically active in pulmonary medicine at the West Haven Veterans Administration Hospital. He serves on the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Leadership Consortium.

A fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Chest Physicians, Dr. Paz is currently on the boards of Select Medical Corporation, United Surgical Partners International, Research!America and the National Health Council. Dr. Paz is past chair of the Board of Directors of the Association of Academic Health Centers and a former member of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the University Health System Consortium boards of directors. He previously was chair of the AAMC Council of Deans administrative board and has served on the AAMC executive council, in addition to corporate and scientific advisory boards in the biotechnology field. He has authored over 100 publications, including peer-reviewed research and quality articles, chapters, commentaries and abstracts. He is the recipient of numerous awards and an honorary degree.

Dr. Paz received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester, a master of science in life science engineering from Tufts University, and his medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He completed his residency at Northwestern University, where he served as chief medical resident and instructor in clinical medicine. He was a Eudowood Fellow in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical School. In addition, he was a post- doctoral fellow in environmental health science at Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health.

Jonathan B. Perlin, MD, PhD

Jonathan B. Perlin, MD, PhD, is President, Clinical Services and Chief Medical Officer of Nashville, Tennessee-based HCA Healthcare. He provides leadership for clinical services and improving performance at HCA’s 178 hospitals and approximately 2,000 outpatient surgical, urgent care and other practice units. Current activities include advancing electronic health records for learning healthcare and continuous improvement, driving value through data science and elevating measured clinical performance and patient safety to benchmark levels. His team conducted some of the world’s largest comparative effectiveness trials, including the landmark REDUCE MRSA study, demonstrating a 44 percent improvement on known best practices for reducing bloodstream infections in ICU patients and the ABATE study which reduced line infections one-third in non-ICU settings.

Before joining HCA in 2006, “the Honorable Jonathan B. Perlin” was Under Secretary for Health in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate, as the senior-most physician in the Federal Government and Chief Executive Officer of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Dr. Perlin led the nation’s largest integrated health system.
At VHA, Dr. Perlin directed care to 5.5 million patients annually by more than 250,000 healthcare professionals at 1,400 sites, including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, counseling centers and other facilities, with an operating and capital budget of $37.4 billion. A champion for early implementation of electronic health records, Dr. Perlin led VHA quality performance to international recognition as reported in academic literature and lay press and as evaluated by RAND, the Institute of Medicine, and others.

Dr. Perlin is a member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) and the Congressional Budget Office Panel of Health Advisors. He also serves as chair of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs’ Special Medical Advisory Group. Dr. Perlin was the 2015 chairman of the American Hospital Association. In 2014, Dr. Perlin took a “sabbatical” from HCA to serve as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to help improve operations, accelerate access and rebuild trust with America’s Veterans. Dr. Perlin has served previously on numerous Boards and Commissions including the Joint Commission and the National Patient Safety Foundation and currently serves on the Board of Meharry Medical College and the National Quality Forum. He was the inaugural chair of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health IT Standards Committee.

A member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), co-chair of NAM’s Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic, Perlin is recognized perennially as one of the most influential physician executives and health leaders in the United States by Modern Healthcare. He has received numerous awards including Distinguished Alumnus in Medicine and Health Administration from his alma mater, Chairman’s Medal from the National Patient Safety Foundation, the Founders Medal from the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, and is one of the few honorary members of the Special Forces Association and Green Berets.

Broadly published in healthcare quality and transformation, Dr. Perlin is a Master of the American College of Physicians and Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics. He has a Master of Science in Health Administration and received his Ph.D. in pharmacology (molecular neurobiology) with his M.D. as part of the Physician Scientist Training Program at the Medical College of Virginia of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).

Dr. Perlin has faculty appointments at Vanderbilt University as Clinical Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Informatics and at VCU as Adjunct Professor of Health Administration. He resides in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Donna, an Emergency Pediatrics Physician.

Richard Platt, MD, MS

Richard Platt, MD, MSc is Professor and Chair of the Harvard Medical School Department of Population Medicine at the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. He is principal investigator of the FDA’s Sentinel System that studies of the safety and effectiveness of marketed medical products. Dr. Platt is also co-principal investigator of the coordinating center of PCORI’s Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, leads the NIH Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory’s Distributed Research Network, and is co-principal of a CDC Prevention Epicenter. He is a member of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Advisory Panel on Research. He is a former chair of the FDA’s Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee, and co-chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Center for Infectious Diseases.

Richard J. Pollack, MPA

Richard J. Pollack, MPA, began his professional career in Washington, D.C. in 1976 when he served as a legislative assistant to Congressman David Obey of Wisconsin. He left Capitol Hill to become a lobbyist, and enter the health care field, when he signed on with the American Nurses Association to become their legislative representative in the early 1980’s. He went on to join the American Hospital Association’s Washington Office, where he has been a member of the AHA’s advocacy team for the past 29 years. Since 1991, Mr. Pollack has served as executive vice president. In this capacity, he is responsible for the development, implementation and management of the association’s advocacy, representation and public affairs activities, which were recently cited by Fortune magazine as one of the top 25 most influential and effective lobbying organizations in Washington. Mr. Pollack holds a Bachelors Degree in political science and communications from the State University of New York’s College at Cortland. He also earned a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the American University in Washington, D.C. He is married and has two children.

Rahul Rajkumar, MD

Rahul leads the Healthcare Division at BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina, which includes areas that involve contracting and relationships with health care providers, medical policy, corporate pharmacy, appeals, care management, health care quality and cost management. 

During his career, Rahul has focused on health care innovation, particularly in promoting value-based payment models for doctors and hospitals and improving patient care.

Rahul came to Blue Cross NC after leadership roles with public and private health care organizations. He was Chief Medical Officer at CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, which serves the Washington, DC area. At CareFirst, Rahul developed and led programs addressing costs and health care improvement.

Before joining CareFirst, Rahul served for four years as Deputy Director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. In this role, he led many federal efforts to promote value-based payments for physicians and hospitals. He oversaw programs promoting primary care, the initial federal pilots for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), bundled payments for health care procedures and patient safety initiatives.

Rahul has a bachelor’s degree in history, a law degree and a medical degree – all from Yale University. During his work at CareFirst and the federal government, he worked as an attending physician at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Washington, DC. 

John W. Rowe, MD

John Rowe, MD is a Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Previously, from 2000 until his retirement in late 2006, Dr. Rowe served as Chairman and CEO of Aetna, Inc., one of the nation’s leading health care and related benefits organizations. Before his tenure at Aetna, from 1988 to 2000, Dr. Rowe served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Mount Sinai NYU Health, one of the nation’s largest academic health care organizations. From 1988 to 1998, prior to the Mount Sinai-NYU Health merger, Dr. Rowe was President of the Mount Sinai Hospital and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

Before joining Mount Sinai, Dr. Rowe was a Professor of Medicine and the founding Director of the Division on Aging at the Harvard Medical School, as well as Chief of Gerontology at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital. He has authored over 200 scientific publications, mostly on the physiology of the aging process, including a leading textbook of geriatric medicine, in addition to more recent publications on health care policy. Dr. Rowe has received many honors and awards for his research and health policy efforts regarding care of the elderly. He was Director of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Successful Aging and is co-author, with Robert Kahn, Ph.D., of Successful Aging (Pantheon, 1998). Currently, Dr. Rowe leads the MacArthur Foundation’s Network on An Aging Society.

He has served as president of the Gerontological Society of America and recently chaired the Committee of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences on The Future Health Care Workforce Needs of An Aging Population. Dr. Rowe was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences where he is involved in the Evidence Based Roundtable. Dr. Rowe serves on the Board of Trustees of the Rockefeller Foundation and is Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Dr Rowe is a former member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC).

Jaewon Ryu, MD, JD

Dr. Jaewon Ryu is Geisinger’s interim president and chief executive officer, effective December 1, 2018. A Diplomate of the American Board of Emergency Medicine, Dr. Ryu has served as Geisinger’s executive vice president and chief medical officer since 2016. In that capacity, he has overseen all aspects of patient care at Geisinger, working to improve the quality, affordability and experience of care delivered across the enterprise.

Dr. Ryu came to Geisinger from Humana, where he was president of integrated care delivery and was responsible for Humana’s owned and joint-ventured care delivery assets, including a management services organization (MSO) assisting affiliated practices to adopt population health under value-based reimbursement methodologies.

Prior to Humana, Dr. Ryu held various leadership roles at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System in Chicago, Kaiser Permanente and in government, at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and serving as a White House Fellow at the Department of Veterans Affairs. He was also a practicing corporate healthcare attorney in the Los Angeles office of the firm McDermott, Will & Emery.

Dr. Ryu was appointed to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), an independent body legislatively tasked with advising Congress on payment and other policies governing health plans and providers serving Medicare beneficiaries. He also currently sits on the Board of Directors of My Health Direct, Inc., a provider of digital care coordination solutions. He has previously served in various other advisory roles including board positions with MCCI and JenCare, both being clinic/MSO organizations managing the financing and delivery of care for Medicare Advantage members under full-risk payment models. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the White House Fellows Foundation and Association.

Dr. Ryu earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University, and his medical degree and law degrees from the University of Chicago. He completed his residency training in emergency medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Calif.

Lewis G. Sandy, MD

Lewis G. Sandy, MD, is Executive Vice President, Clinical Advancement, UnitedHealth Group (a Fortune 25 diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives). At UnitedHealth Group he focuses on clinical innovation, payment/delivery reforms to modernize our health care system, and physician collaboration. He also is a Principal in the UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform and Modernization, with a focus on payment/delivery innovation and policy. From 2003 to 2007, he was EVP and Chief Medical Officer of UnitedHealthcare, UnitedHealth Group’s largest business focusing on the employer/individual health benefits market. From 1997 to 2003, he was EVP of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. At RWJF, he was responsible for the Foundation’s program development and management, strategic planning and administrative operations. Prior to this, Dr. Sandy was a program VP of the Foundation, focusing on the Foundation’s workforce, health policy, and chronic care initiatives. An internist and former health center medical director at the Harvard Community Health Plan in Boston, Massachusetts, Dr. Sandy received his B.S. and M.D. degrees from the University of Michigan and an M.B.A. degree from Stanford University. A former RWJF Clinical Scholar and Clinical Fellow in Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Sandy served his internship and residency at the Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. He is a Senior Fellow of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management.

Leonard D. Schaeffer

Leonard D. Schaeffer is the founding Chairman & CEO of WellPoint (now Anthem), the nation’s largest health benefits company by membership. WellPoint serves over 40 million medical members and has annualized revenues of $90 billion. He is currently the Judge Robert Maclay Widney Chair and Professor at the University of Southern California and is a Senior Advisor to TPG Capital and Starr Investment Holdings, private equity firms. Schaeffer was the founding Chairman & CEO of WellPoint from 1992 through 2004 and continued to serve as Chairman through 2005. Under his leadership, WellPoint was selected by FORTUNE magazine as America’s “Most Admired Health Care Company” for six consecutive years; named by BusinessWeek as one of the 50 best performing public companies for three consecutive years; and identified by Forbes magazine as America’s best large health insurance company. Mr. Schaeffer was selected by BusinessWeek magazine as one of the “Top 25 Managers of the Year” and by Worth magazine as one of the “50 Best CEOs in America.” In 1986, Mr. Schaeffer was recruited as CEO to WellPoint’s predecessor company, Blue Cross of California, when it was near bankruptcy. He managed the turnaround of Blue Cross of California and the IPO creating WellPoint in 1993. During his tenure as CEO, WellPoint made 17 acquisitions and its value grew from $11 million to over $49 billion. In 2009, Mr. Schaeffer established a new research center at USC. The Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to research and analysis to promote health and value in health care delivery and to support evidence-based health policy. He has also endowed chairs in health care financing and policy at The Brookings Institution, U.C. Berkeley, the National Academy of Medicine and Harvard Medical School. Previously, Mr. Schaeffer was President and CEO of Group Health, Inc. of Minnesota, a staff model HMO. Mr. Schaeffer was also EVP and COO of the Student Loan Marketing Association, and earlier was a Vice President of Citibank and a consultant specializing in design and installation of large scale financial and management information systems. In the federal government, he served as Administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration (now CMS) and was responsible for the U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs. He was also the Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget of the federal Department of Health and Human Services. Previously, Mr. Schaeffer was Director of the Bureau of the Budget for the State of Illinois and also served as Chairman of the Illinois Capital Development Board and as Deputy Director for Management, Illinois Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities. Mr. Schaeffer is active on the boards of numerous businesses, philanthropic and professional organizations. He was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters (Hon) from USC and received the inaugural USC Sol Price Award for his lifetime achievements as a business leader, policy expert and philanthropist. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. He was the Regent’s Lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley and a Gilbert Fellow at Princeton. A native of Evanston, Illinois, he is a graduate of Princeton University. Mr. Schaeffer and his wife, the former Pamela Sidford, have two children.

David Skorton, MD

David J. Skorton, MD, is president and CEO of the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges), a not-for-profit institution that represents the nation’s medical schools, teaching hospitals, and academic societies.

Dr. Skorton began his leadership of the AAMC in July 2019 after a distinguished career in government, higher education, and medicine.

Most recently, Dr. Skorton served as the 13th secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, where he oversaw 19 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, numerous research centers, and education programs. Prior to that, he served as president of two universities: Cornell University (2006 to 2015) and the University of Iowa (2003 to 2006), where he also served on the faculty for 26 years and specialized in the treatment of adolescents and adults with congenital heart disease. A pioneer of cardiac imaging and computer processing techniques, he was co-director and co-founder of the University of Iowa Adolescent and Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic.

A distinguished professor at Georgetown University, Dr. Skorton is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, as well as a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He also served on the AAMC Board of Directors from 2010 to 2013, and was the charter president of the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc., the first group organized specifically to accredit human research protection programs.

Throughout his career, Dr. Skorton has focused on issues of diversity and inclusion. A nationally recognized supporter of the arts and humanities, as well as an accomplished jazz musician and composer, Dr. Skorton believes that many of society’s thorniest problems can only be solved by combining the sciences, social sciences, and the arts and humanities.

Dr. Skorton earned his BA from Northwestern University and MD from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He completed his medical residency and fellowship in cardiology and was chief medical resident at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is married to Robin Davisson, PhD, an award-winning scientist, who is a professor of molecular physiology at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and Weill Cornell Medicine, as well as a professor of medicine at Georgetown University and an emerging visual artist.

Jennifer Taubert, MBA

Jennifer Taubert is Executive Vice President, Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, the world’s premier healthcare company and fourth largest innovative pharmaceutical business. She is a member of the Corporation’s Executive Committee and leads the Pharmaceuticals Group Operating Committee.

Jennifer has been a leader in shaping Janssen’s global strategy of transformational medical innovation, successfully bringing to market critical new medicines that significantly improve the lives of patients living with cancer, immune-related diseases, heart disease and diabetes, infectious diseases including HIV, pulmonary hypertension and serious mental illness. Under her leadership Janssen has become one of the largest and fastest-growing pharmaceutical companies and a significant contributor to Johnson & Johnson growth. Jennifer is also recognized as a champion of diversity and inclusion, which she sees as critical to insight, innovation and business success.

In 2005, Jennifer joined Johnson & Johnson to lead global commercial strategy for Internal Medicine in the Pharmaceuticals Group. Later, as President, Internal Medicine, she built a powerhouse new franchise in cardiovascular and metabolic disease. Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, Jennifer spent 18 years in positions of increasing scope and responsibility at Merck and Allergan.

Jennifer was named to Fortune magazine’s “Most Powerful Women” list in 2016 and 2017, and received the National Association for Female Executives’ 2017 “Woman of Achievement” award. In addition to her leadership at Johnson & Johnson, Jennifer represents Johnson & Johnson on the Board of Directors of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), the world’s largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations. She is also a member of the National Academy of Medicine Leadership Consortium for Value and Science-Driven Healthcare, and at the global level, Jennifer represents Johnson & Johnson on the Executive Committee of the International Section of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

Jennifer received a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Master’s of Business Administration from the Anderson Graduate School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles.

Reed V. Tuckson, MD

Reed V. Tuckson, MD, FACP, is Managing Director of Tuckson Health Connections, LLC, a vehicle to advance initiatives that support optimal health and wellbeing through the intersection of individual and community health promotion and disease prevention; applied data and analytics; enhanced quality and efficiency in care delivery; and the application of telehealth and biotech innovations.

Previously, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief of Medical Affairs for UnitedHealth Group; Senior Vice President for Professional Standards of the American Medical Association; President of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science; Commissioner of Public Health for the District of Columbia; and Senior Vice President of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation.

Dr. Tuckson is honored to have been appointed to leadership roles at the National Institutes of Health; National Academy of Medicine; numerous Federal Advisory Committees; and Academic Boards.  At the National Institutes of Health, he currently serves on the Clinical Center Research Hospital Board and previous service includes his appointment to the National Advisory Council for Complementary and Integrative Health; the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health and Co-Chair of the Advisory Committee to the Director’s Working Group on Diversity. Dr. Tuckson is an elected member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and serves on the Leadership Consortium for a Value & Science-Driven Health System; the Health Sciences Policy Board; Co-Chair of the Digital Learning Collaborative; and a member of the Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Working Group and their Business Action Collaborative. He has served in Federal Advisory roles as a former Chairman of the Secretary of Health’s Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health and Society; as well as several U.S. Government cabinet level health advisory committees concerned with health reform, infant mortality, children’s health, violence, and radiation testing. Dr. Tuckson’s engagement on academic boards include his current service on the Board of Trustees at Howard University, where he Chairs the Health Sciences Committee; and a former member of the Board of Trustees at Rockefeller University.

Dr. Tuckson currently serves on the Board of Directors of LifePoint Health; Cell Therapeutics, Inc.; and Inform Genomics, Inc. He is Chairman of the Board for the Alliance for Health Policy; a member of the Boards of AcademyHealth and the People-Centered Research Foundation; an Advisory Board Member at Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and EVERMORE; and a member of the MITRE Health Advisory Committee.

Additionally, Dr. Tuckson is a former President and Board Member of the American Telemedicine Association; former Chairman of the Board of Directors for ViTel Net, LLC; and he previously served on the Board of Directors of Baxter International.

Dr. Tuckson is the author of “The Doctor in the Mirror”, an ongoing book and online senior patient activation and education project.

He is a graduate of Howard University, Georgetown University School of Medicine, and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s General Internal Medicine Residency and Fellowship Programs, where he was also a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar studying at the Wharton School of Business.

Debra B. Whitman, PhD

Debra Whitman, PhD, is AARP’s Executive Vice President, Policy and International. Dr. Whitman is an authority on aging issues with extensive experience in national policymaking, domestic and international research and the political process. Dr. Whitman oversees AARP’s Public Policy Institute, Office of Policy Integration, Office of International Affairs and Office of Academic Affairs. She works closely with the Board and National Policy Council on a broad agenda to develop AARP policy priorities and make life better for older Americans. An economist, Dr. Whitman is a strategic thinker whose career has been dedicated to solving problems affecting economic and health security, and other issues related to population aging. As Staff Director for the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, she worked to increase retirement security, preserve a strong system of Social Security, lower the cost of health care, protect vulnerable seniors, safeguard consumers, make the pharmaceutical industry more transparent and improve our nation’s nursing homes. Dr. Whitman has sought bipartisan, fact-based solutions to these and other challenges facing older Americans. Before that, Dr. Whitman worked for the Congressional Research Service as a specialist in the economics of aging. In this capacity, she provided members of Congress and their staff with research and advice and authored analytical reports describing the economic impacts of current policies affecting older Americans, as well as the distributional and intergenerational effects of legislative proposals. From 2001 to 2003, she served as a Brookings LEGIS Fellow to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, working as a health policy adviser to Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Earlier in her career, she conducted research on savings and retirement for the Social Security Administration, helping to establish the Retirement Research Consortium and serving as the founding editor of the Perspectives section of the Social Security Bulletin. Dr. Whitman holds a Masters and Doctorate in Economics from Syracuse University and Bachelors in Economics, Math and Italian from Gonzaga University.

Ex Officio Members

Gopal Khanna, MBA

Appointed in May 2017, Director Gopal Khanna, MBA, leads AHRQ’s efforts to meet the Agency’s mission of producing evidence to make health care safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable, and affordable, and working within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and with other Federal, State, and local partners to make sure that the evidence is understood and used.

Mr. Khanna possesses a wealth of public-sector experience in Federal and State Government and specializes in data-driven strategies to improve organizational performance. He came to AHRQ from Illinois, where he was director of the FRAMEWORK Project that developed the vision for Illinois’ Healthcare and Human Services Innovation Incubator (HHSi2), an initiative of Governor Bruce Rauner. Mr. Khanna led a cross-functional team to design the build out of a secure data platform to provide a 360-degree view of each person and family who receives state services.

Earlier, Mr. Khanna was a member of Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty’s Cabinet and the State’s first chief information officer. Prior to that, he served in the second Bush Administration in a number of senior policy positions, including chief information officer and chief financial officer for the Peace Corps, and chief financial officer of the Executive Office of the President’s Office of Administration.

Before Government service, Mr. Khanna held a variety of executive positions in the insurance industry. His private sector background also includes leadership positions in information technology, finance, operations, strategic planning, business development, consulting, and start-up ventures.

Mr. Khanna earned a bachelor’s degree in economics, mathematics, and political science from Christ Church College in Kanpur, India, and a master’s of business administration from the University of Maine. Mr. Khanna served as president of the National Association of State CIOs from 2008 to 2009.

He is a recipient of the prestigious 2018 FedHealthIT 100 Award and has been recognized for his innovative and transformational work in government in publications including ComputerworldGovernment TechnologyInformation Week and Twin Cities Business. Mr. Khanna was also named as a Doer, Dreamer, and Driver in Government Technology‘s listing of Top 25 public sector innovators.

Robert R. Redfield, MD

Robert R. Redfield, MD, is the 18th Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. He has been a public health leader actively engaged in clinical research and clinical care of chronic human viral infections and infectious diseases, especially HIV, for more than 30 years.

He served as the founding director of the Department of Retroviral Research within the U.S. Military’s HIV Research Program, and retired after 20 years of service in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. Following his military service, he co-founded the University of Maryland’s Institute of Human Virology with Dr. William Blattner and Dr. Robert C. Gallo and served as the Chief of Infectious Diseases and Vice Chair of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Dr. Redfield made several important early contributions to the scientific understanding of HIV, including the demonstration of the importance of heterosexual transmission, the development of the Walter Reed staging system for HIV infection, and the demonstration of active HIV replication in all stages of HIV infection.

In addition to his research work, Dr. Redfield oversaw an extensive clinical program providing HIV care and treatment to more than 5,000 patients in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. community.

Dr. Redfield served as a member of the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS from 2005 to 2009, and was appointed as Chair of the International Subcommittee from 2006 to 2009.

He is a past member of the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council at the National Institutes of Health, the Fogarty International Center Advisory Board at the National Institutes of Health, and the Advisory Anti-Infective Agent Committee of the Food and Drug Administration.

Seema Verma, MPH

Ms. Seema Verma was sworn in as the 15th Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on March 14, 2017. She brings deep experience in healthcare policy, Medicaid, insurance, and public health to her role at CMS. Ms. Verma is committed to empowering patients to take ownership of their healthcare and ensuring they have access to the resources they need to make informed decisions.

For more than two decades, Ms. Verma has guided healthcare policy in the public and private sector. She has worked with states to build flexibility into their Medicaid programs to help them meet the diverse needs of their unique populations.  As the architect of the historic Healthy Indiana Plan, she helped create and implement the Nation’s first consumer-directed Medicaid program.

Continuing her efforts to improve health outcomes for all Americans, Ms. Verma is working toward a new era of state flexibility and local leadership at CMS. She aims to reduce burdensome regulations so doctors and providers can focus on providing high quality healthcare to patients. She also supports implementing innovative solutions that will improve healthcare quality, accessibility, and outcomes for states, while driving down costs.

Administrator Verma completed a Master’s degree in Public Health with a concentration in health policy and management from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor’s degree in Life Sciences from the University of Maryland. Previously she was the President, CEO, and founder of SVC, Inc., a national health policy consulting company.

Tom McCaffery, MPP

Mr. Tom McCaffery was sworn in as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs on August 23, 2017. Immediately upon his swearing in, he became the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs pending the nomination and confirmation of a candidate for that position.

In this role, Mr. McCaffery is the principal medical advisor to the Secretary of Defense. He administers the Military Health System (MHS) $50 billion Defense Health Program (DHP) budget and is responsible for ensuring the global delivery of quality, cost effective health care to 9.4 million Service Members, retirees, and their families. Mr. McCaffery oversees the Defense Health Agency and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Mr. McCaffery has extensive experience in the health care industry. Most recently, he served as Vice President, California State Partnerships at Blue Shield of California. In this capacity, he led the day-to-day activities governing Blue Shield’s post-acquisition integration of the Care1st Health Plan, a 500,000 member health plan serving Medicaid and Medicare members. Prior to that role, he served as Vice President of Blue Shield’s CalPERS sector, where he led a team responsible for all strategic initiatives, product development, marketing, pricing, and operational functions for the 400,000 member California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) account.

Prior to his tenure at Blue Shield, he served as Chief Deputy Director of the California Department of Health Services, California’s public health and health care services agency. Mr. McCaffery also served as Senior Vice President / Chief Operating Officer at the Alliance of Catholic Health Care, the public policy and advocacy organization representing California’s Catholic health systems and hospitals. Earlier in his career, he served on the staff of the Washington, DC Office of the Governor of California.

Active in many community organizations, Mr. McCaffery has served on a number of healthcare, education and children’s program non-profits in the Sacramento area.

Mr. McCaffery graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Government and International Relations and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley.

Admiral Brett P. Giroir, MD

Admiral Brett P. Giroir, MD, was sworn in as Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on February 15, 2018. The Assistant Secretary for Health leads development of HHS-wide public health policy recommendations, oversees 11 core public health offices — including the Office of the Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, which has approximately 6,500 uniformed health officers who serve in nearly 600 locations around the world to promote, protect and advance the health and safety of our nation and our world. He also oversees three Presidential and 11 Secretarial advisory committees.

Dr. Giroir is a physician, scientist and innovator. He is a former medical school executive and biotech startup CEO, and has served in a number of leadership positions in the federal government as well as academia.

In addition, Dr. Giroir serves as Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Mental Health and Opioid Policy. In this capacity, he is responsible for coordinating HHS’s efforts across the Administration to fight America’s opioid crisis.

From 2014-2015, Dr. Giroir chaired the Veteran’s Choice Act Blue Ribbon Panel to reform the U.S. Veterans Health System. During the Ebola emergency, he directed the Texas Task Force on Infectious and Disease Preparedness Response.

He was executive vice president and CEO of Texas A&M’s Health Science Center from 2013-2015, having earlier served as vice chancellor of strategic initiatives (2011-2013) and vice chancellor for research (2008-2011) for the entire Texas A&M University system. A pediatric critical care physician and a former member of the American Board of Pediatrics, Dr. Giroir cared for critically ill children for 14 years, and was the first chief medical officer of Children’s Medical Center of Dallas (now Children’s Health). He was also a professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from 1993-2003, and held a number of positions in academic and hospital leadership.

Dr. Giroir has had a significant federal portfolio. He directed the Defense Sciences Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) from 2006-2008. In this capacity, he worked regularly with the White House, Congress, and NIH, CDC, DHS and CIA leadership on national priorities, strategies and programs. He joined the office in 2004 as deputy director, and between1998 and 2004, was a member of the Defense Sciences Research Council.

Dr. Giroir has authored or co-authored almost 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications and holds patents on a number of biomedical inventions. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the U.S. Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service, the American Heart Association’s President Lyndon Baines Johnson Research Award and the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s Annual Scientific Award. He was the nation’s high school debate champion in 1978. He received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Harvard University in 1982 and a medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas) in 1986.

Richard A. Stone, MD

On July 16, 2018, Richard A. Stone, MD, was appointed as Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Health in the Veterans Health Administration. As PDUSH, he will lead clinical policies and programs for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the nation’s largest integrated health care system.

Prior to returning to VA, Dr. Stone was a Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton, assigned to Military Health within Booz Allen’s health portfolio.

Dr. Stone previously served as the Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Health in the Veterans Health Administration from February 2016 to March 2017. In this capacity, he served as the Chief Operating Officer of the nation’s largest health care system with 166 hospitals and 1200 outpatient clinics across the United States and its territories. He oversaw an annual budget that exceeded 70B dollars. His focus on VHA organizational transformation, ensuring Veteran access to health care and restoring trust in the Veterans Health Administration has been broadly recognized.

Prior to that appointment, Dr. Stone was a Principal at Booz Allen Hamilton and was widely recognized for his expertise in civilian and Department of Defense health and health care business reengineering. He provided strategic input across the federal and civilian health portfolio and supported programs to enhance the overall health of service members, Veterans, and military families.

Dr. Stone is retired from the US Army where he served as the Army’s Deputy Surgeon General and the Deputy Commanding General of Support for US Army MEDCOM. His final assignment was leading the operations cell of the Defense Health Agency Transition Team that developed business case analysis and business process reengineering for the 10 “shared services” assigned to the new Defense Health Agency.

With extensive experience in civilian health care, Dr. Stone served multiple non-profit regional health care systems and has owned multiple businesses over his career. Currently a practicing dermatologist, he obtained his training from Wayne State Affiliated programs in Detroit and the VA Health system, and is a Board Certified fellow in the American Academy of Dermatology.

Dr. Stone holds a BS in biology and chemistry from Western Michigan University, an MD from Wayne State University and an MA from the Army War College in Strategic Studies. He has a number of awards and honors to his credit including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, and was a member of the Department of Defense Recovering Warrior Task Force from 2011–2015.

Stephen M. Hahn, MD

Dr. Stephen M. Hahn was sworn in as the 24th Commissioner of Food and Drugs on December 17, 2019. Dr. Hahn is a physician, scientist and health care leader with an extensive background in patient care, academic research and executive leadership.

Dr. Hahn is a dedicated clinician, having trained in both medical oncology and radiation oncology. In his previous leadership roles, he has always carefully balanced executive management with clinical time to continue to serve oncology patients, his true passion. He specializes in treating both lung cancer and sarcoma.

Throughout his oncology career, Dr. Hahn maintained a keen interest in research, authoring more than 220 peer-reviewed original research articles. His research focuses on the molecular causes of the tumor microenvironment, particularly the study of chemical signals that go awry (known as aberrant signal transduction pathways), and the evaluation of proton therapy as a means of improving the effectiveness of radiation therapy.  His experience in medical product development and clinical trials spans drugs, biologics, medical devices, and diagnostics.

Prior to joining the FDA, Dr. Hahn served as the chief medical executive (CME) at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, a facility that cares for more than 140,000 patients a year.  He has proven executive leadership that spans research, development, clinical trials, patient care, health system management and education.  In his role as CME, he was responsible for day-to-day management of the institution, including business, clinical and faculty matters. Under his purview was one of the largest clinical trial groups in the country. Dr. Hahn joined MD Anderson in 2015 as Division Head, Department Chair and Professor of Radiation Oncology. Before joining MD Anderson, he served as chair of the Radiation Oncology department at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine from 2005 to 2014.

Dr. Hahn earned the rank of Commander in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps while at the National Institute of Health’s National Cancer Institute, where he also completed a fellowship in medical oncology and a residency in radiation oncology. He also a completed residency in internal medicine at University of California, San Francisco. He graduated from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University in Pennsylvania and received his bachelor’s in biology from Rice University in Texas. 

Thomas J. Engels

Thomas Engels became Administrator for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in November 2019. HRSA is the primary federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services responsible for improving access to health care for people who are geographically isolated and economically or medically vulnerable. As the Administrator, Mr. Engels oversees the execution of HRSA’s $11.7 billion annual budget (FY 2019) that is used to expand access to quality health care through an array of grants to state and local governments, health care providers and health professions training programs.

Under Mr. Engels’ leadership, HRSA serves more than 28 million people across the country through the Health Center Program, where over 93% of health centers provide mental health services. The agency strengthens the healthcare workforce and connects skilled professionals to underserved urban and rural communities, including more than 14,900 clinicians in the National Health Service Corps and Nurse Corps who provide medical, dental and mental health services to over 15 million Americans. HRSA also supports public health services for nearly 56 million pregnant women, mothers, children and families. The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program provides primary medical care, medications, and support services to over 535,000 patients diagnosed with HIV in the United States — 86% of those patients receiving HIV medical care are virally suppressed, meaning they have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the virus. Mr. Engels advances departmental priorities, including addressing the opioid epidemic through the integration of behavioral health into primary care and HIV care settings, growing the behavioral health workforce, increasing access to evidence-based prevention and treatment services, and increasing access to health care services in rural communities.

Before coming to HRSA, Mr. Engels was Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services from 2015 to 2019, managing a department with more than 6,000 employees and a $12 billion budget. In that role, he championed and oversaw the expansion of the state’s capacity to provide mental health services, the implementation of a statewide electronic health record system and the reduction in staff shortages at long-term care facilities. He was an active member of the Governor’s Task Force on Opioid Abuse and also chaired the Governor’s Human Resources Shared Services Executive Committee.

Previously, Mr. Engels was Assistant Deputy Secretary at the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services and Vice President of Public Affairs at the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin. He also served as the Government Affairs Director for the Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association and previously held public service positions working as Governor Tommy Thompson’s Deputy Press Secretary and Communications Director for the Senate Republican Caucus.

Francis Collins, MD, PhD

Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, is the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Collins, a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the Human Genome Project, served as director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at the NIH from 1993-2008. With Dr. Collins at the helm, the Human Genome Project consistently met projected milestones ahead of schedule and under budget. This remarkable international project culminated in April 2003 with the completion of a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book. On March 10, 2010, Dr. Collins was named a co-recipient of the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research for his leading role in this effort. In addition to his achievements as the NHGRI director, Dr. Collins’ own research laboratory has discovered a number of important genes, including those responsible for cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, Huntington’s disease, a familial endocrine cancer syndrome, and most recently, genes for type 2 diabetes and the gene that causes Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. Dr. Collins received a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Virginia, a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Yale University, and an M.D. with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to coming to the NIH in 1993, he spent nine years on the faculty of the University of Michigan, where he was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Collins was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007. In a White House ceremony on October 7, 2009, Dr. Collins received the National Medal of Science, the highest honor bestowed on scientists by the United States government.

Don Rucker, MD

Dr. Don Rucker, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, comes to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) from the Ohio State University where he was Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine and Biomedical Informatics and Premise Health, a worksite clinic provider, where he served as Chief Medical Officer.

Dr. Rucker started his informatics career at Datamedic Corporation, where he co-developed the world’s first Microsoft Windows based electronic medical record. He then served as Chief Medical Officer at Siemens Healthcare USA. Dr. Rucker led the team that designed the computerized provider order entry workflow that, as installed at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, won the 2003 HIMSS Nicholas Davies Award for the best hospital computer system in the US. Dr. Rucker has served terms on the Board of Commissioners of the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology and Medicare’s Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC) and has extensive policy experience representing healthcare innovations before Congress, MedPAC and HHS.

He has practiced emergency medicine at Kaiser in California, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where he was the first full-time Emergency Department attending, the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Presbyterian and Pennsylvania Hospitals and at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.

Dr. Rucker is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine with board certifications in Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine and Clinical Informatics. He holds an MS in Medical Computer Science and an MBA, both from Stanford.


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