Speakers - Biographical Information
Biographical information for experts and citizens who have given presentations to the Citizens’ Health Care Working Group.
DONALD M. BERWICK, M.D., M.P.P., President and CEO, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), is one of the nation's leading authorities on health care quality and improvement issues. He is also clinical professor of pediatrics and health care policy at the Harvard Medical School. Dr. Berwick has served as vice chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the first "Independent Member" of the Board of Trustees of the American Hospital Association, and as chair on the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
An elected member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), Dr. Berwick now serves on the IOM’s governing Council. He served on President Clinton's Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Healthcare Industry. Co-chaired by the secretaries of health and human services and labor, the Commission was charged with developing a broader understanding of issues facing the rapidly evolving health care delivery system and building consensus on ways to assure and improve the quality of health care.
LINDA BILHEIMER is a Senior Program Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, where she is the leader of the Coverage team, directs the Foundation’s research synthesis project, and works on a wide range of health policy research and evaluation issues. She focuses, in particular, on initiatives for expanding health insurance coverage, micro-simulation modeling of health insurance reform proposals, measurement issues in estimating health insurance status, and research translation for policymakers.
Before joining the Foundation, Dr. Bilheimer was the Deputy Assistant Director for Health at the Congressional Budget Office. Previously she was a senior researcher at Mathematica Policy Research and the Director of Health Statistics and Epidemiology at the Arkansas Department of Health. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. In June 2005, Dr. Bilheimer will be joining the staff of the National Center for Health Statistics as Associate Director for Analysis and Epidemiology.
DAVID BLITZSTEIN has been the Director of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) Negotiated Benefits Department since 1990. The department advises UFCW local unions in collective bargaining on pension and health insurance issues and consults with the Union's 150 jointly trusteed health and welfare and pension plans nationwide.
Mr. Blitzstein also serves as a trustee of the $4.0 billion UFCW Industry Pension Fund and the UFCW National Health and Welfare Fund. Mr. Blitzstein represents the UFCW as a member of the working committee of the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans, a member of the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI), a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance and a Director of the Pension Research Council of the Wharton School - University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Blitzstein is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and holds a master of science in labor studies from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
ELIZABETH CHILDS, M.D., was named Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health in June, 2003. Dr. Childs has an extensive background in providing services to people with serious mental illness, which includes both the private and public sectors. Prior to coming to DMH, Dr. Childs was Chief and Director of Psychiatry at the Carney Hospital, in Dorchester, MA, a position she held since 1996.
She holds Diplomates in Adult, as well as in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
Dr. Childs received an A.B. degree from Mount Holyoke College, and her medical degree from the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine. She completed her residency in Psychiatry in 1990 at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, where she was Chief Resident in Adult Psychiatry. She went on to complete her training in Child Psychiatry at Massachusetts Mental Health Center and the Gaebler Children’s Center in 1992. She has been associated with the Carney Hospital since then. She served as a consultant in Child Psychiatry at the Dana Farber Institute and Children’s Hospital, and worked as a child psychiatrist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Health Plan. She also has a private psychiatric practice.
Dr. Childs has held academic appointments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and the University of Cincinnati. She has been an active member of the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society, serving as its president in 2002 – 2003, and as chair of its Legislative Committee.
DEBORAH CHOLLET is a senior fellow at Mathematica Policy Research in Washington, DC where she conducts and manages research on health insurance markets, employee and retiree health benefits, Medicare, and Medigap insurance. She directs projects for foundation and government clients and serves as a senior advisor to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Coverage Initiatives program. She regularly provides technical assistance to federal and state policymakers on private and public health care financing programs and strategies; and has provided invited testimony on employee and retiree health benefits, the uninsured, and Medigap insurance to numerous Congressional and state legislative committees.
Prior to joining Mathematica, Dr. Chollet was a vice president at AcademyHealth in Washington, DC and director of the Center for Risk Management and Insurance Research at Georgia State University in Atlanta, where she was an associate professor of risk management and insurance. She was appointed as executive director of the quadrennial Advisory Council on Society Security and was a senior research associate at the Employee Benefit Research Institute in Washington, DC where she initiated an ongoing series of analyses of the uninsured population.
Dr. Chollet holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Economics from Syracuse University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Missouri at St. Louis.
NICHOLAS CHRISTAKIS, M.D., is a Professor in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School and also in the Department of Sociology at Harvard University. He is also an Attending Physician in the Palliative Medicine Program at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Dr. Christakis is a physician and sociologist who conducts research on the socio-cultural factors that affect the supply, demand, and outcomes of medical care. He has previously been particularly interested in the role of prognosis in medicine and in ways to improve end-of-life care for the seriously ill. He is the author of the broadly reviewed book, Death Foretold: Prophecy and Prognosis in Medical Care (University of Chicago Press, 1999), and of nearly 100 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters.
Dr. Christakis’ current work is focused on the health benefits of marriage, on how ill health in one family member can have cascading effects on other family members, and on the way health-related phenomena can spread through social networks.
PETER CUNNINGHAM is a Senior Health Researcher at the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC), Washington, D.C. He has been extensively involved in the design, planning, and analysis of the Community Tracking Study (CTS), a large nationally representative and longitudinal study of the U.S. health care system funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. His research areas of interest include health insurance coverage trends and determinants, access to medical care among low income and uninsured persons, the effects of the health care safety net on access to care, and charity care provided by physicians. He has published extensively in medical and health services research journals, including JAMA, Health Affairs, Health Services Research, Inquiry, Medical Care, and Medical Care Research and Review. He has also authored numerous Issue Briefs and Research reports published by HSC.
Prior to joining HSC in 1995, Dr. Cunningham was a researcher at the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (now the Agency for Health Research and Quality). While there, he was extensively involved in the design and analysis of the National Medical Expenditure Survey (NMES), and his research was focused on health insurance coverage of children, access to care, and the health care of American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Dr. Cunningham received his Ph.D. in Medical Sociology from Purdue University in 1988.
HELEN DARLING is President of the National Business Group on Health (formerly Washington Business Group on Health), a national non-profit, membership organization devoted exclusively to providing practical solutions to its employer-members' most important health care problems and representing large employers' perspective on national health policy issues. Its 240+ members purchase health and disability benefits for over 50 million employees, retirees and dependents.
Darling also heads the Business Group’s Institute on Health Care Costs and Solutions which is devoted to finding practical solutions from a business perspective to the nation’s growing crisis of rapidly rising costs and affordability of care, on top of continuing problems of patient safety and quality. The Business Group’s National Committee on Evidence-Based Benefits Design and Global Health Benefits Institute are the most recent ways the membership is engaging in value purchasing and the global economy. As president of the Business Group, she was named in 2003 and 2004 as one of “100 Most Powerful People in Health Care” in the United States by Modern Healthcare.
Darling currently serves as co-chair of the Committee on Performance Measurement of the National Committee on Quality Assurance. She is a member of: the Medical Advisory Panel, Technology Evaluation Center, (Blue Cross Blue Shield Association); the Institute of Medicine’s Board on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention; the Board of the VHA Health Foundation, along with a number of other advisory and editorial boards. She is featured on CNN, CNBC, ABC, and NPR on trends in health care costs and benefits. She is also widely quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Business Insurance and many other journals.
Previously, Darling served as Senior Consultant, Group Benefits and Health Care for Watson Wyatt Worldwide. From 1992 through 1998, Darling directed the purchasing of health benefits and disability for 55 thousand US employees, plus their dependents and retirees at Xerox Corporation. Before joining Xerox, Darling was a Principal at William W. Mercer. Earlier in her career, Darling was an advisor to Senator David Durenberger, the ranking Republican on the Health Subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee. She directed three studies at the Institute of Medicine for the National Academy of Sciences. Darling received a master’s degree in Demography/Sociology and a bachelor’s of science degree in History/English, cum laude, from the University of Memphis.
PAUL DENNETT joined the American Benefits Council in 1996 and serves as the organization's vice president for health policy. The Council is a trade association based in Washington, D.C. that represents U.S. companies that either sponsor or administer health and retirement benefits for more than 100 million Americans.
Before joining the Council, Paul served as the executive director for congressional relations for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association where he represented Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans on federal legislative and regulatory issues. From 1984 to 1988, Paul served as a member of the legislative staff of U.S. Senator Max Baucus (Democrat - Montana), a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee. Prior to working for Senator Baucus, he worked at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a legislative affairs specialist and program analyst on health care and higher education issues. Paul has worked in Washington, D.C. on health care issues since 1979. He currently co-chairs the policy and research committee of the Health Benefits Coalition, the coalition of large and small employers and trade associations committed to market-driven health care reform and the growth of the private, voluntary health benefits system.
Mr. Dennett graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine and holds a master's degree from the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington in Seattle.
KARL ESCHBACH, Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Geriatrics, at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas (UTMB). He is also a senior research associate at the Center for Immigration Research at the University of Houston. Dr. Eschbach is a graduate of George Washington High School (Mangilao, Guam) and the University of Pennsylvania. He did his graduate work in sociology at Harvard University, and completed post-doctoral study in demography at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Eschbach's research focuses on racial and ethnic demography, immigration, and population health.
Dr. Eschbach is a co-Principal Investigator of UTMB's Center for Population Health and Health Disparities. This is one of eight centers recently established by the National Institutes of Health to support multidisciplinary research on health disparities. The centers are funded with $60.5 million in grants from the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the National Institute on Aging. Dr. Eschbach directs Project 1 of the UTMB Center, which is examining the relationship between Hispanic neighborhoods and cancer risks and outcomes.
Dr. Eschbach's recent research has focused especially on the role played by social environments in producing the Hispanic epidemiologic paradox of high longevity for an economically disadvantaged population. This research is published in recent and forthcoming articles in journals such as the American Journal of Epidemiology, the American Journal of Public Health, Annals of Epidemiology, and the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. He has also published research articles that examine the role of intermarriage and self-identification in the growth of minority populations, immigration and ethnic inequality, and on deaths of undocumented migrants crossing the United States-Mexico border.
Dr. Eschbach is a member of several professional associations, including the Population Association of America, and the American Public Health Association, where he is an officer of the Refugee and Immigrant Health Caucus.
RICHARD FOSTER is Chief Actuary for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. He is responsible for all actuarial and other financial analyses for the Medicare and Medicaid programs. This work involves both the evaluation of the financial status of the programs under present law and the estimation of the financial effects of legislative proposals. In addition, Mr. Foster and the staff of the Office of the Actuary prepare the widely used national health expenditure account data and projections, produce hospital input price index and Medicare Economic Index, and calculate the Medicare+Choice capitation rates for managed care plans.
Mr. Foster became Chief Actuary in February 1995; prior to this position, he served as Deputy Chief Actuary for the Social Security Administration for 13 years. He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (1980) and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries, International Actuarial Association, American Statistical Association, American Economic Association, National Academy of Social Insurance, and Senior Executives Association. He has written numerous articles and reports on Medicare and Social Security issues, including “Level of OASDI Trust Fund Assets Needed To Compensate for Adverse Contingencies” in Transactions of the Society of Actuaries (1993), “A Stochastic Evaluation of the Short Range Economic Assumptions in the 1994 OASDI Trustees Report” (Actuarial Study No. 109), and “Trends in Medicare Expenditures and Financial Status, 1966-2000” in the Health Care Financing Review. Mr. Foster received an M.S. in applied mathematics from the University of Maryland, and a B.A. in mathematics from the College of Wooster.
PAUL FRONSTIN is a senior research associate with the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to original public policy research and education on economic security and employee benefits. He is also Director of the Institute's Health Research and Education Program (http://www.ebri.org/hrep/index.htm). He has been with EBRI since 1993.
Dr. Fronstin's research interests include trends in employment-based health benefits, consumer-driven health benefits, the uninsured, retiree health benefits, employee benefits and taxation, and public opinion about health care. He currently serves on the steering committee for the Emeriti Retirement Health Program, the board of advisors for CareGain, and on the Maryland State Planning Grant Health Care Coverage Workgroup. In 2001, Dr. Fronstin served on the Institute of Medicine Subcommittee on the Status of the Uninsured.
Dr. Fronstin has testified before various committees of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. He has appeared before over 100 groups to share his expertise on employee benefits. He has also made numerous presentations for congressional staff and the media.
Dr. Fronstin earned his Bachelor of Science degree from SUNY Binghamton and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Miami.
MICHAEL J. GARLAND D. Sc. Rel is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University. He is also a Senior Scholar in the Center for Ethics in Health Care, where he has served on the faculty since 1978. He received a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Letters from St. Louis University and a Master’s degree in Theology from the University of Notre Dame. He earned a doctorate in religious studies from the University of Strasbourg in France, where he focused on the theory of responsibility in ethics.
Dr. Garland has been active in the field of biomedical ethics since 1973 when he joined the Health Policy Program at the University of California, San Francisco. He has published widely in the field of biomedical ethics. His research interests include ethical issues in the allocation of health care resources, social ethics education for medical students, ethics in human experimentation, and the community’s role in guiding ethical choices in health policy. He co-founded Oregon Health Decisions in 1983 to foster public participation in the development of state health policy. The organization has played a continuing role in maintaining public involvement in critical policy choices affecting the Oregon Health Plan.
ELIZABETH B. GILBERTSON is Director of Strategic Planning and Public Policy for the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union Welfare Fund, one of the largest union trust funds in the United States. She is also Chair of the Las Vegas Health Services Coalition, a labor-management coalition that contracts with hospitals and advocates for consumer interests in public policy matters related to health care.
Previously, Ms. Gilbertson spent ten years as Southwestern Regional Director for the HEREIU Welfare Fund with primary responsibility for Las Vegas, where the Fund covers a low-wage, immigrant population of 120,000 lives. Other professional experience includes representation of registered nurses in collective bargaining for the Connecticut Nurses Association and District 1199, New England (SEIU), as well as leadership of a non-profit, free-standing women’s health center.
Currently, she is a member of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Purchaser Advisory Council and its National Forum on Physician Benchmarking, as well as the National Quality Forum (NQF) Ambulatory Care Steering Committee. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Smith College and Master’s Degree in Health Advocacy from Sarah Lawrence College, as well as an Associate Degree in Nursing.
BRUCE GOLDBERG M.D., is Administrator of the Office for Oregon Health Policy and Research. He provides counsel and analysis to Oregon’s Governor and Legislature on issues relating to health care and health policy. Dr. Goldberg is a family physician and has devoted his entire professional career to public health policy and to improving the organization and delivery of health services to vulnerable populations.
He received his M.D. from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and completed his residency at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.
Following clinical training he worked for six years with the U.S. Public Health Service in Zuni, New Mexico and then joined the faculty at Oregon Health and Sciences University School of Medicine in 1991. He served as medical director of CareOregon, the state’s largest Medicaid managed care plan serving clients under the Oregon Health Plan and a unique partnership between Oregon’s academic health center, community health clinics, and public health departments.
Dr. Goldberg has published widely and has served on numerous regional and national advisory boards and committees. In 1994 he was a U.S. Public Health Service Primary Care Policy Fellow.
RACHEL A. GONZALES-HANSON, a life-long resident of Uvalde, Texas, currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Community Health Development, Inc. (CHDI). CHDI, incorporated in 1983, is a nonprofit community-based health care agency serving four rural counties in Texas’ Wintergarden Area - Uvalde, Real, Edwards and parts of Zavala. The agency operates three health centers that provide comprehensive primary care (medical and dental), ancillary services (lab, x-ray, and pharmacy), health education and preventive care. In addition, CHDI is involved in community-based efforts to nurture and support area students who have an interest in health careers.
Ms. Gonzales-Hanson began her involvement in the Health Center Movement while serving as a board member of CHDI's original board of directors in 1983. In 1984, she resigned her position on the Board and accepted CHDI's offer of employment as the agency's Executive Secretary. In 1986, Ms. Gonzales-Hanson assumed the position of Chief Executive Officer. Since then, she has guided the agency through its growth and development, bringing on additional services to compliment and enhance the initial system.
Ms. Gonzales-Hanson has held various positions on the Texas Association of Community Health Centers' (TACHC) Board of Directors including Secretary, Vice-President, and President. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Southwest Primary Care Association. Her involvement with the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) has been at all levels, chairing committees and subcommittees and serving as Parliamentarian for the Board of Directors in 1995 and 2004.
During 1997-98, Ms. Gonzales-Hanson served as Chair of the Board of Directors of NACHC, with the distinct honor of being the first Hispanic Female to hold this elected position. Ms. Gonzales-Hanson has also served a four-year term from 1999-2003 on the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health, appointed by the Secretary of Health and served as an Ombudsperson for Migrant Health Issues for the Associate Administrator of the Bureau of Primary Health Care within HRSA. She is a member of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s National Advisory Committee for the Allies Against Asthma Program.
Ms. Gonzales-Hanson has been recognized for her commitment and leadership in advancing the philosophy of community health both locally and nationally. In 1990, the American Legion Post 476 Auxiliary in Uvalde recognized her as the Female of the Year. In 1995, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation presented her with the Community Health Leadership Award (one of ten given nationwide). In 1996, State Senator Judith Zaffirini presented her with a State of Texas Certificate of Excellence. In 1997, U.S. Congressman Henry Bonilla presented a Silver Plate with the Congressional Seal to commemorate the start of her tenure as Chair of NACHC’s Board of Directors.
JEFF HANSON is Northeast Regional Healthcare Manager, Health Benefits Strategy and Design with Verizon Communications. In this position he has responsibility for health benefits strategy, quality initiatives and health plan operations in the Northeast. Jeff is also actively involved in Verizon’s participation in Leapfrog activities and sits on the Executive board for Bridges To Excellence as well as the ERISA Health Policy Committee. In addition, Jeff has corporate responsibility for Verizon’s mental health and substance abuse benefits strategy. Mr. Hanson is also active in rural health both regionally and nationally and serves on the National Rural Health Association’s Rural Health Policy Board. Jeff has over 20 years of professional experience on the provider, payer and purchaser sides of healthcare.
Before joining Verizon, Mr. Hanson was with Public Consulting Group, Boston, Massachusetts, where he served as Project Director for Maine PrimeCare, Maine’s Medicaid Managed Care Primary Care Case Management health plan with an enrollment in excess of 120,000 members. Prior to that engagement, Jeff spent most of his healthcare career specializing in the development and management of local, regional and national provider networks and reimbursement models spanning conventional and capitated programs, and medical, behavioral health, and ancillary networks. Included in his experience, Jeff served as Eastern Regional Director of Managed Care for Private Healthcare Systems (PHCS), Sr. Director of Network Development for Consensus Health (a complementary healthcare company), Director of Network Development at Foundation Health PsychCare Services (now MHN), and Provider Contracting Manager at Blue Shield HMO, California. In addition, Jeff took a four-year sabbatical to build, own and operate a 9-room inn in Vail, Colorado.
Mr. Hanson holds B.S. degrees in management and biology from Virginia Tech and a MPH in Health Policy and Administration from the University of California – Berkeley.
STEPHEN HEFFLER is Director of the National Health Statistics Group with the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). He is responsible for the historical and projected national health spending estimates produced each year by CMS and for the development and maintenance of the price indexes used to update Medicare payments for hospitals, physicians, skilled nursing facilities, and home health agencies. He earned a B.A. in Economics from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County and a M.B.A. from the University of Baltimore.
JACK HOADLEY is a health policy analyst and researcher with over 20 years experience in this field. He joined Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute as a Research Professor in January 2002, where his primary focus is on health financing topics, including Medicare, Medicaid, and policies relating to the health care marketplace more broadly.
Recent projects have included studies of formularies and other cost containment approaches for prescription drugs, the impact of recent changes to Medicare payment for cancer drugs, options for Medicare purchasing initiatives, state experience with pharmaceutical assistance programs, and the use of evidence-based medicine to manage pharmacy costs. He is trained as a Ph.D. in political science and has worked in both academic and government settings.
Prior to arriving at Georgetown, he held positions at the Department of Health and Human Services in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), the Physician Payment Review Commission (PPRC) and its successor, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), and the National Health Policy Forum.
STANLEY M. HUFF, M.D., is Professor (Clinical) of Medical Informatics at the University of Utah, and a Senior Medical Informaticist at Intermountain Health Care. Intermountain Health Care is a charitable not-for-profit health care organization in the intermountain west that includes 22 hospitals, numerous primary care and specialty clinics, and a health plans division. He has worked in the area of medical vocabularies and medical data base architecture for the past 20 years.
He was a participant in the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) project, and is currently a co-chair of the Logical Observation Identifier Names and Codes (LOINC) Committee, co-chair of the Health Level Seven (HL7) Vocabulary Technical Committee, past Chair of the Board of Directors of HL7, a member of the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics, and a former advisor to the SNOMED Editorial Board. He teaches a course in medical vocabulary and data exchange standards at the University of Utah.
JOHN IGLEHART has held two editorial leadership positions in the world of health policymaking for the last 23 years. Iglehart has been editor of Health Affairs, a bimonthly policy journal that he founded in 1981 under the aegis of Project HOPE, a not-for-profit international health education organization. Over this same period, Iglehart also has served as national correspondent of The New England Journal of Medicine, for which he has written more than 100 essays called Health Policy Reports. Health Affairs, a peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary journal, has made its mark by translating health services research and analysis into content that is more accessible to Members of Congress and other key participants in federal health policymaking.
Before 1981, Iglehart served for two years as a vice president of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and directors of its Washington, D.C. office. During the decade 1969 to 1979, Iglehart held a variety of editorial positions, including the editorship of National Journal, a privately published weekly on federal policymaking. Iglehart was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences in 1977 and served on its Governing Council for six years (1985-1991). He also is an elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance and serves on the Advisory Board of the National Institute for Health Care Management. Previously, Iglehart served on the boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties, the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates and AcademyHealth. He holds a degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has been a journalist-in-residence at Harvard University.
JENNIFER JENSON is a specialist in health economics at the Congressional Research Service, where her work focuses on health care costs and spending, including federal spending on entitlement programs, tax subsidies for health insurance and expenses, and private spending.
Since 1996, Ms. Jenson has worked on health policy issues for several nonpartisan, congressional support agencies, including: the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), and CRS. At CBO, she worked as a budget analyst, focusing mostly on Medicare budget projections and cost estimates. At MedPAC, Ms. Jenson was special assistant to the executive director. In that role she oversaw staff analysis and the writing and production of Commission reports to the Congress. She also has worked as a program examiner for the White House Office of Management and Budget, focusing on Medicaid.
Ms Jenson holds undergraduate degrees in political science and public health from the University of California at San Diego, and masters degrees in public health and public policy from the University of Michigan.
DANIEL W. JONES, M.D., is vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the school of medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC). Dr. Jones, the Langford Professor of Medicine, served as associate vice chancellor for health affairs and executive associate dean of the School of Medicine previously.
After graduating from Mississippi College in 1971, he earned his M.D. and completed residency training at UMMC. He was in private practice in Laurel, Mississippi from 1978 until he went as a medical missionary to Korea in 1985 to serve as director of the community health department and hypertension clinic at the Wallace Memorial Baptist Hospital in Pusan. In 1992, he returned to the medical center as assistant professor of medicine and director of clinical hypertension.
Prior to his appointment as associate vice chancellor, he served the
medical center as director of the Division of Hypertension, vice chairman
for primary care in the Department of Medicine, and associate director
of the Center for Excellence in Cardiovascular-Renal Research. He also
was the first principal investigator for the medical center’s
participation in the landmark Jackson Heart Study.
A fellow of the American College of Physicians, Dr. Jones is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is designated as a specialist in clinical hypertension by the American Society of Hypertension Specialists. He was named one of the “Best Doctors in America” from 1996-2004.
Dr. Jones served in a number of capacities for the American Heart Association (AHA) and currently serves on the National Board of Directors and he previously chaired the International Committee. He is also a member of AHA’s Council for High Blood Pressure Research, Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, and Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism and serves as the association’s national spokesperson on high blood pressure. He represents the AHA on the National Institutes of Health’s National High Blood Pressure Education Program Coordinating Committee.
Dr. Jones is also consulting editor for the AHA’s journal Hypertension and serves on the editorial boards for the Journal of Clinical Hypertension, Ethnicity and Disease, and Health Information Network. He is a reviewer for the Journal of the American Medical Association, the American Journal of Hypertension, and the American Journal of the Medical Sciences, as well as numerous other professional publications.
Dr. Jones is the American Society of Hypertension’s membership committee chair and is a member of the board of directors of the American Society of Hypertension Specialists, Inc. He also serves on the board of trustees of Mississippi College in Clinton. He and his wife, Lydia, live in Hazlehurst and are the parents of two children.
GENEVIEVE M. KENNEY is a Principal Research Associate and health economist at The Urban Institute, with over twenty years experience conducting research. Her health policy research has focused on analyzing the effects of public policies on access and coverage for low-income families. She is one of the nation’s leading experts on the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
Currently, Dr. Kenney is co-director of the Urban Institute’s multi-year SCHIP evaluation. As part of her work on SCHIP, she has examined a range of issues, including family coverage policies and the structure of SCHIP financing; participation in Medicaid and SCHIP and barriers to enrollment; access and use differentials among low-income children; and impacts of SCHIP on insurance coverage, crowd-out, and access to care. In past research, Dr. Kenney has conducted analyses of coverage expansions and managed care under Medicaid.
JOHN KITZHABER, M.D., is a former emergency physician, legislator and two-term Governor of the State of Oregon. He is the past President of the Oregon State Senate where he authored and implemented the groundbreaking Oregon Health Plan, now in its tenth year. His legislative career, which began in 1979, was marked by active leadership in the areas of public education, community development, environmental stewardship and a wide variety of health care issues including: long-term care, resource allocation and uncompensated care.
In January 2003 Dr. Kitzhaber began serving as President of the Estes Park Institute, which conducts six annual educational conferences for community hospitals. Dr. Kitzhaber serves as the Director for the Center for Evidence Based Policy at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. He also holds an endowed Chair on Health Care Policy with The Foundation for Medical Excellence, an Oregon based public, nonprofit educational foundation.
Dr. Kitzhaber is an avid fly-fisherman and whitewater rafter. He has one son, Logan, and resides in Portland, Oregon.
PETER LEE, J.D., the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Business Group on Health (PBGH), oversees the organization's efforts to improve access to high quality health care, moderate costs and work collaboratively with other groups to achieve these goals.
Mr. Lee represents the perspective of purchasers seeking to promote high value in health care by working on California and national policy and quality reform efforts. Mr. Lee is a member of the boards of the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA) and the National Business Coalition on Health, and is the co-chair of the Consumer/Purchaser Disclosure Project, a national effort to promote better transparency of health care providers' performance. Mr. Lee has served on numerous national and statewide bodies, such as the Institute of Medicine's Crossing the Quality Chasm Summit Committee and the State of California's Managed Health Care Improvement Task Force. He is a frequent speaker and commentator on national health care quality issues. Mr. Lee testifies and speaks regularly on health care quality issues, presents at conferences and has authored a number of studies on health care issues, including reports on health care quality information and patient advocacy programs.
Prior to joining PBGH, Mr. Lee was the Executive Director of the Center for Health Care Rights. There he oversaw the Center's direct service, research and advocacy efforts seeking to ensure that consumers are represented at every level of the health care system.
Before joining the Center for Health Care Rights, Mr. Lee was an attorney with the Los Angeles firm of Tuttle & Taylor. In the 1980s, he worked on health care issues in Washington, DC, where he was the Director of Programs for the National AIDS Network. He received his law degree from the University of Southern California and his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley.
ALISON S. LITTLE, M.D., is a family physician from Lake Oswego. After initially practicing in a small town in central Oregon, she shifted her interests to public health and administration, receiving her Master of Public Health degree from University of Washington in 1998. She spent 7 years as medical director of a fully capitated health plan in central Oregon, and served as a Commissioner on the Oregon Health Services Commission from 1996 to 2002.
She has been staff to the Health Services Commission as medical director since 2003. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Pacific University in Forest Grove, took her medical training at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and completed her family practice residency at Oregon Health Sciences University and the University of Washington.
Dr. Little also completed a three-year National Health Service Corps scholarship commitment in rural Minnesota before moving permanently to Oregon in 1990.
DIANE LOVELL began her career as a union advocate at the age of 21. She has represented a variety of employees including healthcare workers, corrections staff, public defenders and general government employees.
Diane is currently a member of the Oregon Public Employees Benefit Board and the Oregon Health and Sciences University Employee Benefits Council. She is a former member of the Oregon Health Resources Commission and the Oregon Workforce Investment Board.
Diane is a frequent presenter to labor, management and neutrals in the areas of healthcare resources and healthcare collective bargaining, labor/management partnerships and workforce training and development.
JOANNE LYNN, M.D., M.A., M.S., is a geriatrician and is the Director of The Washington Home Center for Palliative Care Studies and a Senior Researcher at RAND. The Center is a multi-disciplinary center for research and education aimed at improving the care of seriously ill persons. The Center's faculty has recently authored two books; Improving Care at the End of Life: A Sourcebook for Managers and Clinicians, The Handbook for Mortals: Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness (Oxford University Press and WWW.Medicaring.org), and two shorter works: Promises to Keep, which provides stories of successful provider organizations, and Living Well at the End of Life: Adapting Health Care to Serve Serious Chronic Illness in Old Age, which provides guidance for upcoming debates over public policy.
Dr. Lynn was Project Director of the President's Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research and principal writer of that Commission's book, Deciding to Forego Life-Sustaining Treatment. Dr. Lynn was Co-Director of SUPPORT, the Study to Understand Prognoses and Preferences for Outcomes and Risks of Treatments. SUPPORT studied the course of illness and treatment for ten thousand seriously ill hospitalized persons and implemented an intervention to improve decision-making and produced more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles.
Dr. Lynn is a former medical director of The Washington Home and Hospice of Washington. She was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 1996. She also served as Chair for ten Breakthrough Collaboratives to Improve End-of-Life Care, in conjunction with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. These collaboratives supported a diverse set of almost one hundred health care provider institutions, most of which accomplished rapid quality improvement in their own settings.
She has written book chapters in many geriatrics textbooks as well as articles in lay and professional journals. She speaks frequently to groups concerning how to encourage meaningful lives for persons with severe illness and how to measure quality of end-of-life services. The print and broadcast media often request Dr. Lynn's comments on issues such as Medicare reform proposals, care at the end of life, and physician-assisted suicide. In addition, Dr. Lynn has been president of the public interest organization, Americans for Better Care of the Dying (ABCD). ABCD is a non-profit organization that promotes public understanding and coalitions across organizations to improve end of life care.
ROY MITCHELL is the Director of Advocacy for the Sisters of Mercy Health System and Director of the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program. Roy is a Mississippi native with extensive public interest advocacy experience in direct legal services, community organizing and legislative advocacy. Roy has staffed and supervised legal clinics for domestic violence victims, low-income housing tenants, Medicaid and welfare recipients and seniors in both urban and rural settings. He has organized statewide coalitions and initiatives and promulgated health and welfare legislation.
Roy is a member of the State Bar of California and a graduate of the University of Mississippi, where he received a bachelor’s degree in public administration. After graduating from law school, Roy staffed and supervised legal clinics for low-income populations in northern and southern California. In 1996, he returned to his home state of Mississippi, where he continues to organize public interest initiatives and promulgate health and welfare legislation. He has served as the consumer’s representative on numerous Medicaid, Human Services and Health Department committees and task forces.
DEBORAH NELSON, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and co-founder of Beacon Health Strategies, an NCQA and URAC accredited managed behavioral health care organization serving over one million private and public sector health plan enrollees. Dr. Nelson serves as Beacon’s Vice President for Quality Management and Improvement. She previously directed all quality improvement efforts at Mental Health Management of America (MHMA), which was the managed behavioral health organization that set industry standards through its administration of the first-in-the-nation statewide landmark Massachusetts Mental Health and Substance Abuse Managed Care Program. Dr. Nelson has distinguished herself as a national expert in the pragmatic application of the principles of Continuous Quality Improvement to the delivery of behavioral health care and human services for a wide variety of populations. Her experience has led many purchasers and health care accrediting organizations to turn to her for advice.
Dr. Nelson has served as an advisor to the National Institute of Mental Health and SAMSHA Studies on Quality Care. She is an invited participant serving on the CMS Decision Support 2000+ Technical Expert Working Group. She has also assisted the National Quality Forum as an invited participant on its BH Indicators Workgroup. She has authored or co-authored many articles and chapters on behavioral health care and quality improvement. Dr. Nelson has also served as a faculty member for Harvard Medical School's Department of Psychiatry.
In addition to her professional activities, she serves on the Board of Directors of Service Dog Project (making trained service dogs available to individuals with mobility and other impairments), serves on the Advisory Council of The Sharing Foundation (working to assist children and families in Cambodia), and volunteers for the Ipswich River Watershed Association.
ERNEST R. PARISI has over 26 years of health care administration experience and is the Administrator and Chief Executive Officer of East Texas Medical Center-Quitman, a nonprofit hospital with 30 acute care beds. Prior to his affiliation with East Texas Medical Center, he was the Administrator and CEO of Llano Memorial Healthcare System, Llano, TX, Medina Community Hospital, Hondo, TX, Bayside Community Hospital, Anahuac, TX and Rollins-Brook Hospital Lampasas, TX.
Mr. Parisi was founder and President/CEO of TORCH Management Services, Inc., a subsidiary of the Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals (TORCH). He has served as President of the National Association of Rural Health Clinics and the Texas Rural Health Association, Chair of the Texas Organization of Rural Community Hospitals (TORCH) and the Texas Hospital Association Rural & Small Hospital Constituency Section, and as a Board member of the Rural Community Health System of Texas. Currently, Mr. Parisi is a Board member of the National Association of Rural Health Clinics, Chairman, Rural Hospital Issues Group, Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI), member of the American Hospital Association Governing Council Section for Small or Rural Hospitals, the TORCH Board, Texas Hospital Association Rural and Small Hospital Constituency Section, and is President of the Texas Association of Rural Health Clinics.
In addition, he is the 2003 recipient of TORCH’s Gordon Russell Merit Award that recognizes outstanding achievement by a Rural Community Hospital Administrator. Mr. Parisi is a Certified Health Executive of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Upper Iowa University.
PATTI PATTERSON is Vice President for Rural and Community Health at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Dr. Patterson oversees policy and program development for the rural and community health programs, service, research and education and serves as medical director for the telemedicine/telehealth program. She also holds the Marie Hall Endowed Chair in Rural Health and is a Professor of Pediatrics.
Currently, the Office of Rural and Community Health is establishing a system of five Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) to assist in health workforce development throughout West Texas, developing obesity prevention programs in rural schools, and developing a Rural Health Research Institute to study and address health disparities in rural populations.
Dr. Patterson was the Interim Commissioner of Health from October 1996 until September 1997 then was the Executive Deputy Commissioner for the Texas Department of Health until December 1999. In these roles, she directed an agency with a $6 billion annual budget and a broad range of responsibilities including Medicaid acute care, licensure and certification of health professionals, as well as the more traditional public health responsibilities of disease control and prevention, epidemiology, health education, and environmental and consumer health.
A native of Hale Center, Texas, Dr. Patterson holds a medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. She was a family medicine resident at Texas Tech Regional Academic Health Center in Amarillo. She is board certified in pediatrics, completing both pediatric residency, and chief resident at the University of Texas Medical Branch. She also has a Master's degree in public health from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and a Bachelor's degree from Lubbock Christian University.
With a continuing concern for international health, Dr. Patterson has participated in 30 medical mission trips to South America, Eastern Europe, and Africa. Among these she helped set up basic health services, provided care for deaf children and helped to establish a regional public health hospital.
TRISH RILEY serves as Director of Governor Baldacci's Office of Health Policy and Finance, leading his effort to develop a comprehensive, coordinated health system in Maine and to assure affordable health insurance for all Maine citizens. She was the principal architect of Dirigo Health Reform and is responsible for its successful implementation.
Riley previously served as Executive Director of the National Academy for State Health Policy and President of its Corporate Board from 1989-2003. Previously, Riley held appointive positions under four Maine governors, including service directing the aging office, and directing Medicaid and state health agencies, including health planning and licensing and certification programs. Riley has published and presented widely about state health reform. She serves as a member of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, and was a member of the Institute of Medicine's Subcommittee on Creating an External Environment for Quality. She also previously served as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Committee on Quality Assurance. Riley has served on Maine's Commission on Governmental Ethics, Maine's Commission on Children, a member of the Board of Directors of the Mitchell Institute, established by Senator George Mitchell to advance the aspirations of Maine's youth, and, until December 2002, was a Board member of the Maine Health Access Foundation, Inc., created through a Blue Cross conversion.
Riley holds a B.S. & M.S. from the University of Maine.
ALICE F. ROSENBLATT has been Executive Vice President of Actuarial and Integration Planning & Implementation and Chief Actuary of WellPoint since March 2002. From October 1996 until March 2002, she served as Senior Vice President of Actuarial and Integration Planning & Implementation and Chief Actuary. From February 1994 until September 1996, Ms. Rosenblatt was a Principal with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
From May 1989 until December 1993, Ms. Rosenblatt served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Actuary of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. From 1987 until 1989, Ms. Rosenblatt served as the Chief Actuary and Senior Vice President of Blue Cross of California’s health maintenance organization and group services. Prior to that, she worked at The New England, William M. Mercer, Inc. and Mutual of New York.
Alice is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries. She has a B.S. in Mathematics from City College of New York and a M.A. in Mathematics from City University of New York.
MATT SALO is the Director of the Health and Human Services Committee of the National Governors Association. Prior to joining NGA as their chief health lobbyist in January of 1999, Matt spent five years working for the National Association of State Medicaid Directors. He earned his first health policy Purple Heart analyzing the Clinton Health Security Act, his second with the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, and barely survived a third on the NGA Medicaid Reform Task Force.
He has dabbled in issues like tobacco, Medicaid, Medicare, public health, long-term care, prescription drugs, and managed care, and firmly believes he was personally responsible for the repeal of the Boren Amendment; securing the entire tobacco settlement for the states, and getting $20 billion in fiscal relief.
Matt taught high school for two years at T.C. Williams High in Alexandria, VA, which actually bears no resemblance to the school they profiled in the Disney movie, Remember the Titans. He holds a BA in Eastern Religious Studies from the University of Virginia, and is still trying to find ways to explain how that got him to where he is today.
Matt’s proudest achievement to date is that Ed Howard of the Alliance for Health Reform thinks this is the most amusing biographical sketch he’s ever seen.
JOHN SANTA, M.D., M.P.H., is the Assistant Director for Health Projects at the Center for Evidence-based Policy at Oregon Health & Sciences University. The Center seeks to address policy challenges by applying the best available evidence through self governing communities of interest. The Center is currently engaged on behalf of multiple state Medicaid purchasers in the Drug Effectiveness Review Project. This Project seeks to provide the best evidence regarding comparative effectiveness and safety of prescription drugs.
From December of 1999 to January of 2003 Dr. Santa was the Administrator of the Office of Oregon Health Policy and Research. During this period of time he was involved with issues related to the uninsured, Medicaid, prescription drugs, and evidence-based medicine. He was the principal investigator for two large grants during his state service; a HRSA grant to study state strategies to reduce the rate of uninsurance and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant, State Coverage Initiatives, to develop, submit and implement a Medicaid waiver expanding coverage. He was the Chair of the Public Employees Benefit Board.
Since leaving state government he has been involved in a variety of projects related to prescription drugs, disease management, health benefit design, bioterrorism and other health policy topics. He currently practices General Internal Medicine at Portland Veterans Affairs.
WILLIAM J. SCANLON is a senior policy advisor with Health Policy R&D and a consultant to the National Health Policy Forum. He is also currently a member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics and the National Commission for Quality Long-Term Care. Until April 2004, he was the Managing Director of Health Care Issues at the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO). He has been engaged in health services research since 1975.
Before joining GAO in 1993, he was the Co-Director of the Center for Health Policy Studies and an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Georgetown University and had been a Principal Research Associate in Health Policy at the Urban Institute. At GAO, he oversaw congressionally requested studies of Medicare, Medicaid, the private insurance market and health delivery systems, public health, and the military and veterans’ health care systems. His research at Georgetown and the Urban Institute focused on the Medicare and Medicaid programs, especially provider payment policies, and the provision and financing of long-term care services.
Dr. Scanlon has published extensively and has served as frequent consultant to federal agencies, state Medicaid programs, and private foundations. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
GERRY SMOLKA is a Senior Policy Advisor, at AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI). For the past eleven years, Ms. Smolka has covered issues related to private health coverage and the uninsured for PPI. Most recently, she published an updated Data Digest, "Health Coverage Among 50 to 64 Year Olds, 2003 " and has overseen research on a range of topics including Medigap, a Medicare Buy-In, Government Accounting Standards Board changes and state retiree health benefits, expansions of high-risk pools, and retiree health benefits.
In the past year, she has participated as a consumer representative on NAIC's Work Group implementing MMA changes to Medigap. Prior to joining AARP, she worked for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and earlier in her career as a policy research and analyst in New York, London, and Washington, D.C.
KENNETH L. SPERLING is the Senior Vice President for CIGNA HealthCare’s National Accounts Segment. He joined CIGNA in April of 2005 after spending 17 years with Hewitt Associates, a global benefits consulting firm, as their Health Care Market Leader. He has consulted with many Fortune 500 companies on their health care strategies, is a respected resource to the Wall Street community, and is a senior advisor to the Human Resources Policy Association, the ERISA Industry Committee, and the Ambulatory Care Quality Alliance in Washington, DC.
Ken is a graduate of Duke University and earned a Masters in Business Administration from New York University.
He has been published in the numerous trade journals and co-authored the textbook Fundamentals of Flexible Compensation. He has often been quoted in The New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal and has appeared on CNN discussing benefit-related topics.
He is a frequent speaker both in the U.S. and internationally, and has testified before the United States Senate Finance Committee.
TERRY STOLLER is a Principal at Medimetrix Consulting and has over 20 years’ experience in the areas of health care coverage programs for the uninsured, including program planning and implementation, and managed care. She serves as Program Director for The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Communities in Charge initiative. The initiative’s goal is to assist communities in rethinking health care financing and delivery for the uninsured. (For more information on Communities in Charge see www.communitiesincharge.org.)
Ms. Stoller has also been involved in the design and implementation of innovative, comprehensive health coverage programs for children and small businesses. Before joining Medimetrix, Ms. Stoller worked for Arthur Andersen & Company (now Accenture), CIGNA and the Harvard Community Health Plan (now Harvard Pilgrim Health Care). Ms. Stoller received her master’s degrees in Nursing and Public Health from Yale University where she was also a Fellow at the Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy.
ANTHONY R. TERSIGNI is Chief Operating Officer and Interim CEO of Ascension Health. Mr. Tersigni holds a doctorate in organizational development and has served as Clinical Professor of Health and Behavioral Sciences at Oakland University since 1985. He serves as a national consultant on CEO/Physician/Board management issues.
He has extensive experience as a healthcare executive for over 25 years with such systems as Sisters of St. Joseph Health System, Ann Arbor, Mich.; Sisters of Charity Healthcare Systems, Cincinnati, Ohio; the Detroit Medical Center, Detroit; Mich.; and Hospital Corporation of America, Nashville, Tenn.
Mr. Tersigni currently serves as a board member of the Detroit Economic Club; a member of the Board of the University of Detroit-Mercy; a member of the Board of The National Catholic Bioethics Center; and a member of the Board of Michigan Virtual University.
JEAN I. THORNE currently serves as the Administrator for the Oregon Public Employees’ Benefit Board (PEBB). PEBB is responsible for the design, purchase, and administration of benefit plans for all state employees and their dependents (115,000 members). As Administrator, Thorne is the Board’s primary staff advisor, identifying major policy issues and providing information to the decision-making process. She then manages the implementation and administration of the program based on the broad policy decisions of the Board.
Her previous positions in Oregon state government have focused primarily on health and human services. She served as the Director of the Department of Human Services (DHS) from 2002-2003, providing direction and oversight for all functions of the state’s largest agency. As the state’s Medicaid Director from 1987-1995, Thorne was responsible for leading the implementation of Medicaid reform under the Oregon Health Plan.
Thorne has held a number of other positions throughout state government since 1976, including serving as Federal Policy Coordinator and then Education and Workforce Policy Advisor for Governor Kitzhaber during 1995-2002.
ADELA S. VALDEZ, M.D., has experience in both clinical and administrative duties. These duties included being clinical faculty at two Family Practice Residency programs. She was Hospital Administrator of the South Texas Hospital from 1985 to 1987 and Area Health Education Center Director from 1990 to 1991. Dr. Valdez was in private practice from 1990 to 1996, as well as the Medical Director of Ultra fit, a preventive medicine clinic, from 1995 to 1998. She helped initiate the Valley Baptist Medical Center’s Family Practice Program and was the first Interim Medical Director from 1995 to 1996. Presently, Dr. Valdez serves as the Coordinator of the Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC) for Valley Baptist Health Systems and also the Assistant Regional Dean for the Regional Academic Health Center.
Dr. Valdez holds a governmental appointment as a Commissioner for the Texas Commission on Jail Standards. She is a Board member of the Valley Baptist Health Systems Foundation, a previous member of the Southwest Physician Network, a past N.Y.U. Fellow in Healthcare Policy through the National Hispanic Medical Association and is a class of 2000 graduate of Leadership Texas. She also serves on the Advisory Board for Valley Baptist Healthcare Network, a Physician Hospital Organization, and also chairs several committees within the Valley Baptist Health Systems.
While at the South Texas Hospital, Dr. Valdez has been honored by both the VISTA magazine as a Hispanic female leader and the Texas Board of Health for her hospital administrative duties. She received recognition from the American University of Women and was named Friend of Public Health by the South Texas Hospital.
Dr. Valdez graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology (Magna Cum Laude) and received her Doctor of Medicine degree from Baylor College of Medicine. Her first year of residency was completed at Southwest Memorial System through the University of Texas at Houston Medical School. She continued her education and completed her last two years of residency at the McAllen Family Practice Residency Program, an affiliate of the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.
JAMES M. VERDIER is a senior fellow at Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. in Washington, D.C., where his work focuses on Medicaid, state health policy, and Medicare. He is also a senior program consultant for the Center for Health Care Strategies and the CHCS Purchasing Institute, a foundation-funded initiative to help states develop, purchase, and improve managed health care programs.
He is a visiting lecturer in public and international affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, where he co-teaches a course on state health policy. He was the Indiana state Medicaid director from 1991-97, and deputy director of the Michigan Department of Management and Budget from 1989-90. He taught public management and policy analysis at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard from 1983-89, and headed the Congressional Budget Office’s Tax Analysis Division from 1979-83. He served as a legislative assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate from 1968-75.
He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School.
DAVID M. WALKER became the seventh Comptroller General of the United States and began his 15-year term when he took his oath of office on November 9, 1998. As Comptroller General, Mr. Walker is the nation’s chief accountability officer and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), a legislative branch agency founded in 1921. GAO’s mission is to help improve the performance and assure the accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people. Over the years, GAO has earned a reputation for professional objective, fact-based, and nonpartisan reviews of government issues and operations.
Before his appointment as Comptroller General, Mr. Walker had extensive executive level experience in both government and private industry. Between 1989 and 1998, Mr. Walker worked at Arthur Andersen LLP, where he was a partner and global managing director of the human capital services practice based in Atlanta, Georgia. He was also a member of the board of Arthur Andersen Financial Advisors, a registered investment advisor. While a partner at Arthur Andersen, Mr. Walker served as a Public Trustee for Social Security and Medicare from 1990 to 1995.
Before joining Arthur Andersen, Mr. Walker was Assistant Secretary of Labor for Pension and Welfare Benefit Programs from 1987 to 1989 and in 1985, was Acting Executive Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. His earlier technical, professional, and business experience was with Price Waterhouse, Coopers & Lybrand and Source Services Corporation, an international human resources consulting and search firm.
Mr. Walker is a certified public accountant. He has a B.S. degree in accounting from Jacksonville University, a Senior Management in Government Certificate in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from Bryant College and an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service from Lincoln Memorial University.
JOHN E. WENNBERG, M.D., M.P.H., is the Director of the Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences at the Dartmouth Medical School. He has been a Professor in the Department of Community and Family Medicine since 1980 and in the Department of Medicine since 1989, and currently holds the Peggy Y. Thomson Chair for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences.
Dr. Wennberg is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science and the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars. He has received a number of awards, including the Association for Health Services Research's Distinguished Investigator Award, the Baxter Foundation's Health Services Research Prize and the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award in Clinical Medicine.
He is a graduate of Stanford University and the McGill Medical School. His post-graduate training was in internal medicine and nephrology at Johns Hopkins, but he became interested in the application of epidemiological principles to the health care system while pursuing his Master's degree in Public Health at Johns Hopkins.
With colleague Alan Gittelsohn, he developed a strategy for studying the population-based rates of health resource allocation and utilization (small area analysis) which revealed large variations in the rates among local and regional health care markets, much of which appeared to relate to the distribution of supply of resources and to differences in local medical opinion. Together with colleagues in Maine and Boston, Dr. Wennberg undertook a series of studies designed to reduce scientific uncertainty, primarily in the area of prostate disease (where surgical procedures had been shown to vary by a factor of three or more among neighboring regions). Efforts to clarify the outcomes and the theoretical basis for undertaking prostate surgery led, in turn, to clarification of the importance of patient preference in the rational choice of treatment and to experiments to involve the patient as an active participant in the choice of treatment. Recent research includes a focus on the question of how many physicians are needed.
Wennberg and colleague Al Mulley are co-founders of the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making in Hanover, N. H. The Foundation is a non-profit corporation providing objective scientific information to patients about their treatment choices using interactive media.
Dr. Wennberg is the principal investigator and series editor of The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, which examines the patterns of medical resource intensity and utilization in the United States. The Atlas project has also reported on patterns of end of life care, inequities in the Medicare reimbursement system, and the under use of preventive care.
SCOTT D. WILLIAMS, M.D., is the father of three teenaged boys, a pediatrician, and the Project Director of the Utah Health Information Network’s clinical gateway, a statewide effort to improve health care quality and reduce costs through the sharing of electronic patient information among health care providers. He is also a faculty member in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine with adjunct appointments in the Departments of Family and Preventive Medicine and Medical Informatics where he teaches the Public Health Informatics course.
For thirteen years he served in various executive positions at the Utah Department of Health, including Executive Director from 2003-2004.
Prior to that, he spent ten years as a full-time faculty member in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Utah focused on the health care of the children of American Indian, inner city and migrant worker families.
He received his M.D. and M.P.H degrees from the University of Utah, completed a pediatric internship at the University of Wisconsin, and a pediatric residency at Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City.
VONDIE MOORE WOODBURY is a native of Muskegon, Michigan. She has been Director of the Muskegon Community Health Project since October 1995. Under her direction, the Health Project has initiated a health coverage program for 400 uninsured small businesses (Access Health), undertaken local management of health care for over 2,000 indigent community members (Muskegon Care) and has implemented a variety of community-based health improvement programs.
These programs include a dental initiative to increase access for low-income children; a countywide diabetes screening effort that encompassed 8,000 community members; a mentoring program for African American youth; and, a new CDC supported initiative aimed at reducing the inappropriate use of antibiotics in treating viral infections. A core mission of the Health Project is the utilization of Community Health Assessment and Behavioral Risk Factor data in health improvement strategies.
Ms. Moore Woodbury has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science
from Grand Valley State University and a Master’s Degree in Public
Administration from Western Michigan University. She has additional
postgraduate training in economic development with the University of
Prior to joining the Health Project, Ms. Moore Woodbury spent 14 years on the staff of former U.S. Senator Donald Riegle. She served as statewide Campaign Manager for Riegle’s 1988 Michigan Campaign. Ms. Moore Woodbury assumed the role of State Director for Riegle’s Michigan operation in 1989.
Ms. Moore Woodbury has also worked as a lobbyist on children’s issues with the Michigan Legislature, two years as a policy analyst with former Michigan Governor Milliken’s administration working on juvenile code reform and, 5 years as a GED teacher in the Orchard View Community Schools system.
Ms. Moore Woodbury is co-author of “Out of the Box and Over the Barriers” a book describing Muskegon’s community driven process to develop its own health plan.
Currently, Ms. Moore Woodbury is a founding member of Communities Joined in Action, a new national organization to support communities addressing access to care issues and, the Michigan Access Coalition, a statewide effort to strengthen public knowledge and support for projects aimed at improving medical access.
She is Chairman of the Michigan 4C Association Board of Directors– Michigan’s statewide Resource and Referral Network linking child care providers and families. She is also President of Community Health Ventures, a for-profit subsidiary of the Muskegon Community Health Project. Health Ventures is currently spearheading a national lobbying effort to build federal support for three-share health coverage efforts like Access Health.