Meet the team

The firm is led by Founder Tom Koutsoumpas, who has decades of experience as a leader in the health care field and is a national expert on health system transformation with a special emphasis on advanced illness and hospice.

Managing Partners Andrew MacPherson and Ray Quintero, as well as Senior Partner and President of Healthsperien X, Jeanne De Sa, and Partner Eddie Garcia round out the leadership team with decades of substantive health care industry, government, association and policy experience and expertise on a wide variety of issues. Our broader team includes dozens of talented individuals with varied and complementary backgrounds in law, public policy, business, economics, public health, operations, and strategic communication. 

Healthsperien’s culture is built on a foundation of core values: accountability, collaboration, communication, creativity, honesty, and respect. We are proud to demonstrate these values within our team and with our clients.

Together, we believe in the importance of innovation and partnerships in shaping a future health care system that addresses the goals of improved access, lower costs and high-quality care, especially for those most vulnerable.

Tomas Bednar

Senior Vice President and Counsel

Brian W. Lindberg

Vice President, Health and Aging Policy

Tom Beauregard

Senior Advisor

Brian Litten

Senior Advisor

Meg Wallace

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Farrin Saba

Partnerships Associate

Ava Walderman

Communications Associate

Jonathan Chew

Administrative Assistant

Partnership Staff

Healthsperien proudly supports a variety of non-profit organizations through staffing, subject matter expertise, and administrative service agreements. These staff members are contracted to work solely for the benefit of the organizations they serve. 

J Cameron Muir, MD

Senior Advisor

Abigail Barth

Research and Innovation Program Manager

Morgan Marler

Program Innovation and Implementation Manager

Shannon Vyvijal

Communications & Programming Coordinator

Deborah Shoola

Social Connection Fellow

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Tom Koutsoumpas

Founder & President

Tom Koutsoumpas is the Founder and President of Healthsperien. He has long been recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts and advocates in health care policy. He is a well-known leader in issues related to Medicare, elder care, advanced illness, and hospice care. With a career that spans from the U.S. Senate and the Indiana Governor’s Office to leading the development of the nation’s largest health care companies’ Washington presence, Tom has worked to ensure that private and public health care programs and organizations are prepared to meet the ongoing opportunities and challenges related to health system transformation, with a primary focus on high-quality patient care delivery.

Tom Koutsoumpas serves as Chairman of the Board for Capital Caring Health (CCH), one of the oldest and largest not-for-profit advanced illness care, primary care at home, and palliative and hospice care providers in the nation. All CCH care services are provided in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

Tom also serves as CEO of the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI).  NPHI is a unique not-for-profit organization that includes as members, over 90 hospice/advanced illness care providers.  Collectively, NPHI members care for over 150,000 patients and families across America every day and annually provide over 150 million dollars in charity care.  Their shared mission is care must be delivered at the bedside and not dictated by the boardroom.

Tom co-founded and currently co-chairs the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC), an organization dedicated to improving the lives of people impacted by serious illnesses by elevating their issues, advising decision makers, and leading a coalition of member organizations to advocate for policies that ensure greater access, equity and enhanced quality of life.

Additionally, Tom is the Co-Founder and a Board Member of ACT NOW for Mental Health, a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding access to mental health services and support, while fighting mental & behavioral health stigma for all young adults. Their focus is on communities that have been historically underserved by the health system including LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, people with physical, intellectual, or mental health disabilities, and people who are uninsured or underinsured.

Tom is a member of the Roundtable on Quality Care for the seriously ill which is attached to the Medical Division of the National Academy of Sciences and is a contributor to the Project on Advanced Care at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School.

Previously, he served as Senior Vice President and Founding Executive Director of the Mintz Levin Center for Health Law & Policy, a part of the Mintz Levin law firm. Before joining Mintz Levin, Tom served as Corporate Vice President of UnitedHealth Group, one of the nation’s largest healthcare companies. Tom joined United as Senior Vice President at Ovations, United’s then-Medicare division. At Ovations Tom developed and oversaw federal and state government relations during the implementation of Part D and the expansion of the Medicare Advantage program.

Prior to his work with UnitedHealth Group, Tom was Executive Vice President and Chief of Public Affairs at VITAS Healthcare Corporation. Tom’s work experience prior to VITAS included serving as Senior Advisor and Executive Assistant/Federal Affairs to former Indiana Governor (and later Senator) Evan Bayh. Tom also worked as a health policy advisor with the Health Practice Group of the Hogan Lovells law firm (formerly Hogan and Hartson law firm), where he was instrumental in creating and developing the Medicare Hospice Benefit. He began his career working in the United States Senate and served as an associate in public affairs for Burson Marsteller.

Tom is a co-author of A Roadmap to Success: Transforming Advanced Illness Care in America. He also penned the foreword to the publication, Have Your Own Say: Getting the Right Care When It Matters Most (2012) by Gundersen Health System and the Center for Health Transformation.

 A native of Indiana, Tom received his Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. where he has served as a Board of Regents member.

GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY

Bachelor of Arts in American Studies

GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY LAW CENTER

GEORGETOWN BOARD OF REGENTS

Former Member

  • Chairman of the Board of Capital Caring Health
  • Chief Executive Officer of National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI)
  • Co-Founder and Co-Chair, The Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC)
  • Co-Founder and Board Member of ACT NOW for Mental Health
  • Member, National Academies, Roundtable on Quality Care for People with Serious Illness
  • Former Board Member and Immediate Past Chairman of the Board of Directors of The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, the oldest survivor-led cancer advocacy group in the country.
  • Former Member of the Advisory Council of the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP)
  • Former member of the Business-Government Relations Council in Washington, D.C.
  • Former member of the Board of Regents of Georgetown University.
  • Previous appointments have included the Board of Directors of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, the Board of Trustees of the National Hospice Foundation, and Member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for End-of-Life Care.

Andrew MacPherson

Managing Partner

Andrew MacPherson is Founding Principal and Managing Partner at Healthsperien, LLC, with two decades of federal and state health care legislative and regulatory policy and political experience. As Managing Partner, Andrew co-leads a team of over forty experts who specialize in developing comprehensive legislative and regulatory policy strategies, in-depth analyses, and strategic advocacy and communications initiatives for a wide-range of health care organizations, including Fortune 100 businesses, public sector purchasers, national health plans, professional associations, issue-based coalitions, health care start-ups and market innovators, and not-for-profit providers.

Andrew has a special emphasis and speaks regularly to national audiences on policy and political issues related to person-centered health care delivery transformation, including the public health crisis of social isolation and loneliness in the U.S., value-based insurance design (V-BID), and person-centered advanced illness and end-of-life care delivery. Andrew has been featured in a variety of national media outlets on a range of health policy issues, including The Washington Post, Health Affairs, InsideHealthPolicy, Home Health Care News, Scripps News, The Messenger, and National Public Radio.

Prior to launching Healthsperien in 2013, Andrew served as Director of Government Affairs at Jennings Policy Strategies, Inc. (JPS), a nationally recognized health policy consulting firm led by Chris Jennings, Former Senior Health Care Advisor to President Barack Obama and previously to President Bill Clinton. From 2006-2013, Andrew staffed a wide range of client and pro bono initiatives in the federal policy, political, and communications arenas with JPS, Inc., including the Obama for America and Hillary Clinton for President presidential campaigns, the Bipartisan Policy Center health reform project with former Majority Leaders Baker, Daschle, Dole and Mitchell, and the Clinton Global Initiative in addition to advising a wide array of JPS clients.

From 2001-2006, Andrew worked for a number of policy and political organizations and elected officials, including the American Psychiatric Association (APA), Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the Democratic Governors’ Association, and Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, Inc., a market research and strategic communications consulting firm based in Washington, D.C.

Originally from Vermont, Andrew received a B.A. in Political Science from George Washington University in May 2005.

  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA);
  • Quality and value-based purchasing
  • Medicare Advantage;
  • Medicaid, including managed long-term services and supports;
  • Prescription drug coverage and pharmaceutical issues;
  • Long-term care;
  • Chronic care management;
  • Palliative and hospice care;
  • Public and private insurance coverage protections and expansions.

THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

  • Member, Public Policy Council, American Society on Aging
  • Member, National Academy of Social Insurance
  • Board Member, American Society on AgingGenerations
  • Founder & Chairman, Coalition to End Social Isolation & Loneliness
  • Co-Director, Smarter Health Care Coalition
  • Senior Advisor, National Partnership for Hospice Innovation
  • Senior Advisor, Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC)
  • Advisor, End Well: Design for the End of Life Experience
  • Former Board Member, National POLST Paradigm
  • Former Board Member, Social Work Hospice & Palliative Care Network

“The Uncomfortable Truth about Death” HLTH 2023, Las Vegas, NV. 8 October 2023.

“Everyone Has Their End-of-Life Story. Yes, Even in Washington.” End Well Symposium. San Francisco, CA. 7 December 2017.

“The Policy and Politics of Advanced Illness and End of Life Care: A Washington Perspective.” LeadingAge Annual Meeting and EXPO. New Orleans, LA. 30 October 2017.

“The Policy and Politics of Home Care Medicine: A Washington Perspective.” American Academy of Home Care Medicine Annual Meeting. 13 October 2017.

“The Policy & Political Context for Palliative & Hospice Care: A Washington Perspective.” National Partnership for Hospice Innovation. 9 October 2017.

“Policy & Politics of Hospice and Palliative Care: A Washington Perspective.” Samaritan Health Care & Hospice. 28 September 2017.

“The Policy and Politics of End-of-Life Care: Challenges and Opportunities for Senior Living Communities.” Argentum. 12 September 2017.

“Policy and Political Reform Efforts and the Impact on Public Sector Retirees: A Washington Perspective.” National Council on Teacher Retirement. Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. 25 July 2017.

“Novartis Pharmaceuticals’ ‘Power of Partnering’ Summit.” Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business. 20 June 2017.

“After the Affordable Care Act: Policy and Political Context for Reform.” National Americans with Disabilities Act Symposium.Chicago, IL. 14 May 2017.

“Lay of the Land: The Policy and Politics of Hospice and Palliative Care in Washington.” LeadingAge Ohio. Columbus, OH. 3 March 2017.

“High-Risk Populations, Advanced Illness and Palliative Care in a Rapidly Changing Policy Landscape.” Best Practices for High Risk Populations — Care Transitions & Palliative Innovations Summit. Los Angeles, CA. 14 March 2017.
 

Recent Media

“Aging in America: How money and emotions fuel elder care decisions” | The Race – Scripps News  23 July 2023

“The Silent Public Health Crisis Congress Can’t Afford to Ignore” The Messenger
OpEd: Andrew MacPherson. 11 June 2023.

“Lawmakers Itching to Expand Medicare Advantage to Hospice.” Home Health Care News. Author: Tim Mullaney. 20 November 2017.

“Coalition To Trump: Include HSA Policy In Final Drug Executive Order Policy.” InsideHealthPolicy.com. 20 July 2017.

“Hourly Newscast Coordinated Care for Those Nearing Life’s End — But Does It Save Money?” National Public Radio. 15 October 2015.  

Recent Publications

“Most People Want to Die at Home, but Most Land in Hospitals Receiving Unwanted Care.” Washington Post. 9 December 2017.

“Policy and Politics to Drive Change in End-of-Life Care: Assessing the Best and Worst Places to Die in America.” Journal of the American Society on Aging. Vol. 41 No. 1. Spring 2017.

“Person-Centered Advanced Illness Care at the Intersection of Policy and Politics.” Public Policy and Aging Report. The Gerontological Society of America (Oxford University Press). Winter 2014.

“Meeting the Needs of Older Adults with Serious Illness: Challenges and Opportunities in the Age of Health Care Reform.” Amy S. Kelley (Editor),‎ Diane E. Meier (Editor). Humana Press; 2014 edition. Chapter 4: “This is Your Life: Achieving a Comprehensive, Person-Centered Care at the Intersection of Policy, Politics, and Private Sector Innovation.”

Ray Quintero

Managing Partner

Ray Quintero is a Managing Partner at Healthsperien, LLC, with nearly two decades in health care public policy, legislative, regulatory, grassroots advocacy, communications and political experience. As Managing Partner, Ray leads a team of experts who specialize in developing in-depth legislative and regulatory policy strategies, analyses, and strategic advocacy and communications for a wide-range of health care organizations, including Fortune 100 businesses, national health plans, professional provider associations, life science companies, issue-based coalitions, and not-for-profit providers.  

Ray has a special emphasis on addressing issues supporting physicians and providers, care in the home (home-based primary care & hospital at home), mental & behavioral health, and value-based care. His work focuses on developing policy solutions, advocacy strategies, as well as guiding clients in developing, implementing, and improving alternative payment models.

Through Ray’s work, he has led and been actively involved in numerous multi-stakeholder coalitions aimed at improving our nation’s health care delivery and financing systems. Ray has a special emphasis on policy, business strategy, and political issues related to delivery system reform and stakeholder engagement to advance clients deep and wide-ranging objectives spanning the care and management spectrum, including patients, providers, educators, payers, and pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Prior to joining Healthsperien, Ray served as Senior Vice President of Public Policy at the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) in Washington, D.C. and Chicago.  As part of the senior leadership team, he managed a professional team while leading and executing the overall strategic vision of the AOA’s national membership organization, representing nearly 130,000 osteopathic physicians and medical students. Ray oversaw the AOA’s diverse Federal & State government relations program, including the legislative, regulatory, advocacy, and political operations of the organization.  Shaping the Association’s message, he frequently was an on-the-record spokesperson commenting on various aspects of the health care industry. During his tenure at the AOA, he led the association’s efforts on many issues, including Medicare physician payment, medical liability reform, graduate medical education, delivery system reform, and efforts to implement new payment models for physicians under both public and private systems.  

His government relations background also includes positions at Merck Pharmaceuticals, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), and American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP). As well, Ray provided grassroots and public affairs counsel to a range of health care clients while serving as Vice President of Strategic Alliances at Seven Twenty Strategies. Ray began his career in health care government relations as a policy advisor in the Health and Life Sciences practice of B&D Consulting.  

A native of Arizona, Ray received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Arizona, where he served as Student Body President and on the Arizona Alumni Association Board. 

  • Delivery system reform
  • Alternative Payment Models (APMs)
  • Quality Payment Program (QPP) – Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)
  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA)
  • Physician payment
  • Quality and value-based purchasing
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Care delivery in the home
  • Graduate medical education
  • Pharmaceutical issues
  • Long-term care
  • Chronic care management
  • Palliative care and hospice
  • Mental and behavioral health
  • Public and private insurance coverage expansions

UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

  • Co-Director, Smarter Health Care Coalition
  • Co-Founder, Coalition to End Social Isolation & Loneliness
  • Senior Strategic Advisor, National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation
  • Executive Advisor, Multicancer Early Detection (MCED) Consortium

Jeanne De Sa

Senior Partner & President of Healthsperien X

With more than two decades of experience in health care policy, data analysis, and strategy, Jeanne helps organizations respond to challenges and opportunities in the changing health care policy environment. She draws on her background in the government and the private sector to translate complex developments in health care reform and reimbursement policy for a range of audiences and purposes, and offers particular insights into the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Her data analysis skills, including working with cost projections, clinical data, and actuarial models, enhances client strategy and business development. She brings a practical approach to projects that deal with health system transformation, specifically those including new models of payment and care delivery, and offers a unique perspective on the federal budget process and the health care economy.

Prior to joining Healthsperien, Jeanne worked at UnitedHealth Group as a Senior Vice President and led an interdisciplinary policy, data analysis, and research team at the company’s Center for Health Reform & Modernization. She also served as an advisor on health policy issues (including Medicaid, Medicare, ACA implementation, and delivery system reforms), conducted analytic and quantitative research on topics related to modernizing the financing and delivery of health care and consulted on the design of pilots for alternative models of care. She authored a series of working papers and presented on topics including Medicare and Medicaid reform, specialty pharmacy, diabetes, genomics and novel diagnostics, and alternatives to fee-for-service.

From 1997 to 2008, Jeanne served as a Principal Analyst at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in the Budget Analysis Division’s health care section. As one of the agency’s primary Medicaid, CHIP and low-income Medicare program analysts, she developed ten-year spending forecasts for health care entitlement programs and estimated the financial and programmatic impacts of policy changes in Medicare, Medicaid, and public health programs. She also has experience working with state governments on improving their health care systems through work at the Alpha Center (now part of AcademyHealth) and for the state of Massachusetts.

HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL
Masters in Public Policy (MPP)

DARTMOUTH COLLEGE
History

  • BOARD OF TRUSTEES
    United Cerebral Palsy

Health care reform landscape and the federal budget

  • Presentation – An Outsider’s Perspective: 10 insights about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and a few others about the changing health care system. Presentation for the American Academy of Dermatology Association. (Washington, DC) June 26, 2015.

  • PresentationFuture directions for health care reform and impact for stakeholders, National Hospice Working Group (Washington, DC), May 2014.

  • PresentationConsolidation in Health Care: What are the Implications for the Medical Technology Industry? AdvaMed Annual Meeting 2013 (Washington, DC), September 23, 2013.

  • Issue brief Does the recession explain why US health care spending growth has slowed? An overview of recent economic research, UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization, May 2013.

  • Panel participationThe Post-Election Health Care Landscape, Lyceum Associates (Washington, DC) November 27, 2012.

  • CBO Report The Potential Budgetary Impact of Recognizing Same-Sex Marriages, U.S. Congressional Budget Office, June 21, 2004. www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/06-21-samesexmarriage.pdf

Medicare and Medicaid/CHIP

  • Presentation. Outlook for Medicaid Managed Care: 2015 and Beyond. Potomac Research Group. (New York, New York) September 10, 2015.

  • Webinar. Medicare Advantage Basics and Key Issues for Not-for-Profit Hospice Providers: National Partnership for Hospice Innovation. April 23, 2015.

  • Webinar. Medicare Advantage 101: The Current Landscape and Identifying Opportunities for Advanced Illness Care.Coalition to Transform Advanced Care C-TAC. September 15, 2015

  • Working paper Medicare and Medicaid, Savings Opportunities from Health Care Modernization (Working Paper 9), UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization, January 2013 http://www.unitedhealthgroup.com/~/media/UHG/PDF/2013/UNH-Working-Paper-9.ashx

  • Working paper100% of the future: improving the health of America’s children (Working Paper 10). UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization, August 2013.

  • Panel participationState budgets and Medicaid, Alliance for Health Reform/State Budget Crisis Taskforce (Washington, DC), May 29, 2013.

  • Issue brief The Oregon Medicaid Experiment – What does it tell us? UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization, May 2013.

  • Panel participationMedicaid in an Era of Tight Budgets, Time to Rethink the Federal-State Relationship? Brookings Institution Roundtable (invitation only – Washington DC) September 6, 2012. Expert policy panel reviewing fiscal and structural challenges Medicaid poses to the federal government and states and options for going forward.

  • Working paperCoverage for Consumers, Savings for States: Options for Modernizing Medicaid (Working paper 3), UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization, April 2010. www.unitedhealthgroup.com/~/media/UHG/PDF/2010/UNH-Working-Paper-3.ashx

  • CBO Report The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (Contributor), U.S. Congressional Budget Office, May 2007. www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/05-10-schip.pdf

  • CBO Report A Detailed Description of CBO’s Cost Estimate for the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit (Contributor), U.S. Congressional Budget Office, July 2004. www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/07-21-medicare.pdf

  • CBO ReportIssues in Designing a Prescription Drug Benefit for Medicare (Contributor), U.S. Congressional Budget Office, October 2002. www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/10-30-prescriptiondrug.pdf

Data analytics and health IT

  • PresentationTransparency in health care: Perspectives on the potential of heath care “big” data, Public Sector HealthCare Roundtable (Washington, DC), November 7, 2014.

  • PresentationHarnessing Big Data: An Overview, American Academy of Dermatologists Association, September 8, 2014.

  • Panel discussion Big Data: What you need to know for your job in 2014, Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, Boston Chapter (Cambridge, MA), January 30, 2014.

  • Working paper – Jeanne De Sa, The Market for Accountability: Measuring and Managing Health Plan Performance, The Alpha Center, Washington, DC, 1996.

Life sciences

  • Issue briefThe growth of specialty pharmacy: current trends and future opportunities, UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization, April 2014. www.unitedhealthgroup.com/~/media/UHG/PDF/2014/UNH-The-Growth-Of-Specialty-Pharmacy.ashx

  • Presentation/ModeratorPerspectives on Specialty Pharmaceuticals: Managing Innovation & Cost, UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization (New York City) April 29, 2014.

  • Journal article – Reed Tuckson, Lee Newcomer, and Jeanne De Sa, Accessing Genomic Medicine: Affordability, Diffusion, and Disparities, JAMA View Point, Journal of the American Medical Association, April 2013.http://www.tucksonhealthconnections.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Accessing-Genomic-Medicine.pdf

  • Presentation/Moderator Reimbursement and the Evidence Base for Molecular Diagnostics, Harvard Medical School/Harvard Business School/Partners Health Care center for Genetic Medicine, Personalized Medicine 2013 (Cambridge, MA), November 7, 2013.

  • PresentationMolecular Diagnostics and Genetic Testing: Trends, Spending and Utilization, Personalized Medicine World Conference 2013 (Mountain View, CA), January 19, 2013.

  • PresentationMapping the Future of Molecular Diagnostics: The Role of Personalized Medicine in an Improved Delivery System, 4th Annual Personalized Medicine Conference (Boston, MA), September 13, 2012.

  • Journal article – Lewis Sandy, MD, Nadine Caputo, Deneen Vojta, MD, Simon Stevens, Jeanne De Sa, and Brantley Carlson, “Growth of Molecular Diagnostics and Genetic Testing in the United States, 2008-2011: Analysis and Implications,” Personalized Medicine, November 1, 2013.

  • Working paperPersonalized Medicine: Trends and prospects for the new science of genetic testing and molecular diagnostics(Working paper 7), UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization, 2012.www.unitedhealthgroup.com/~/media/uhg/pdf/2012/unh-working-paper-7.ashx

  • CBO Report U.S. Policy Regarding Pandemic Influenza Vaccines (Contributor), U.S. Congressional Budget Office, September 2008. www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/09-15-pandemicflu.pdf

  • CBO Report A Potential Influenza Pandemic: Possible Macroeconomic Effects and Policy Issues (Contributor), U.S. Congressional Budget Office, December 8, 2005, revised July 27, 2006. www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/12-08-birdflu.pdf

  • CBO cost estimate Project BioShield Act of 2003, cost estimate for H.R. 2122 as ordered reported by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, May, 2003. www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/hr2122ec.pdf

Payment and delivery reform

  • Working paperFarewell to Fee-for-Service (Working paper 8), UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization, December, 2012 (Contributor). This paper emphasizes how to help providers develop the capabilities needed to succeed in new payment reform environment. It also discusses an action agenda for all stakeholders.www.unitedhealthgroup.com/~/media/UHG/PDF/2012/UNH-Working-Paper-8.ashx

  • Panel participation Opportunities for Public-Private Collaboration in Rural Health (White House invitation-only event), July 22-23, 2013.

  • Working paper – Modernizing Rural Health Care: Coverage, quality, and innovation (Working paper 6), UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization, July 2011. Discussion of practical application of payment reform models, such as accountable care organizations, to rural communities. http://www.unitedhealthgroup.com/~/media/UHG/PDF/2011/UNH-Working-Paper-6.ashx

  • PresentationNurse Practitioners: The Payment Environment after Reform, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (Washington, DC), November 18, 2010.

  • Journal article – Jeanne De Sa and Stephen Schrodel, “Emerging State Policy Trends Related to Medical Group Practice,” The Journal of Ambulatory Care Management, Volume 19, Number 4, October 1996.

  • Journal article – Debra Lipson and Jeanne De Sa, “Impact of Purchasing Strategies on Local Health Care Systems,” Health Affairs, Summer 1996. http://www.content.healthaffairs.org/content/15/2/62.full.pdf+html?sid=2272fe7b-df52-4bc4-9302-49237cdbd0b6

Long-term care and chronic conditions

  • Panel/Workshop Workshop to address polypill clinical trials and regulatory approval and Polypill therapy – opportunities and challenges for payers, CardioVascular Clinical Trials Forum, The George Institute for Global Health, (Washington, DC), December 7, 2014.

  • Journal article – Deneen Vojta, Jeanne De Sa, Ted Prospect, Simon Stevens, “Effective Interventions for Stemming the Growing Crisis of Diabetes and Prediabetes: A National Payer’s Perspective,” Health Affairs, Volume 31, Issue 1, January 2012. http://www.content.healthaffairs.org/content/31/1/20.full.pdf+html?sid=2272fe7b-df52-4bc4-9302-49237cdbd0b6

  • Working paperThe United States of Diabetes: Challenges and Opportunities in the Decade Ahead (Working paper 5), UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization, November 2010. www.unitedhealthgroup.com/~/media/UHG/PDF/2010/UNH-Working-Paper-5.ashx

  • Panel Atrial Fibrillation: Medicare Advantage and Readmissions, StopAfib event (Washington, DC), January 26, 2010.

Edward Garcia III

Partner

As Partner, Eddie offers clients thoughtful and expansive expertise in health and social policy development and advocacy for low-income and other vulnerable populations. Eddie’s 20 years working in government health and social services programs has made him knowledgeable in a multitude policy issue areas. Eddie serves as the lead Partner supporting our health plan portfolio and as well as our coalitions and non-profits focused on social isolation and loneliness and mental health. In addition, he brings a wealth of knowledge and passion for policy and program development to expand access to social determinants of health and health equity programs and services. Eddie is a sought-after speaker on issues of social isolation and loneliness and social health as showcased before the American Public Health Association, the World Health Organization, and the European Commission, and numerous national governments and organizations around the globe.

Before joining the Healthsperien team, Eddie served as the Executive Director for Federal Affairs at CareSource, a government programs-focused health insurer. He oversaw the development of federal policy and advocacy across their multi-state health plans. His portfolio included policy development and advocacy on Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, Health Insurance Exchanges, dual-eligible coverage, and social determinants of health programs and financing. He led and was actively involved in numerous multi-stakeholder coalitions aimed at improving our nation’s health care delivery and financing systems, including the Root Cause Coalition and Aligning for Health. He similarly served on the Board of Directors for America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and the Association of Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP).

Before joining CareSource, Eddie served as Director of Federal Relations for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association where he maintained a similar portfolio related to Administration advocacy and regulatory policy development.

Prior to joining the private sector, Eddie held positions in both the Executive and Legislative branches. From 2007 – 2012, Eddie worked at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services where he oversaw the development and implementation of quality measurement strategies across all CMS quality programs. From 2012-2015, Eddie served the House Energy and Commerce committee as a professional staff member under Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) overseeing their Medicare finance and quality portfolios.

Hailing from the great state of Ohio, Eddie received his B.A. in political science and comparative health politics from Boston University in 2004. In 2008, Eddie received his Master of Health Science in Public Health degree from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and was inducted into the Delta Omega honors society as the valedictorian of his graduating class.

  • Healthcare Quality Measurement
  • Health Equity and Access
  • Mental & Behavioral Health
  • Value-based Payment Design
  • Health Plan Policy, Legislation, Regulation, and Advocacy
  • Social Services Programs
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Social Isolation, Loneliness, and Social Connection
  • Personal Determinants of Health
  • Coalition Development
  • Non-profit Management

BOSTON UNIVERSITY
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Comparative Health Politics

JOHNS HOPKINS BLOOMBERG SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Master of Health Sciences in Public Health

  • Co-Founder and Board Member, ACT Now for Mental Health
  • Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Foundation for Social Connection
  • Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, Coalition to End Social Isolation & Loneliness
  • Co-Chair, Global Initiative on Loneliness and Connection
  • Senior Advisor, National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation
  • Senior Advisor, Public Sector Health Care Roundtable
  • Board of Directors, Whitman Walker Health System
  • Board of Directors, Whitman Walker Health (FQHC)

Patrick J. Kennedy

Partner

During his time in Congress, Patrick J. Kennedy co-authored the landmark Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (Federal Parity Law), which requires insurers to cover treatment for mental health and substance use disorders no more restrictively than treatment for illnesses of the body, such as diabetes and cancer. In 2013, he founded The Kennedy Forum, a nonprofit that unites advocates, business leaders, and government agencies to advance evidence-based practices, policies, and programming in mental health and addiction. In 2015, Kennedy co-authored the New York Times Bestseller, “A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey Through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction,” which details a bold plan for the future of mental health care in America. In 2023, The Kennedy Forum launched the Alignment for Progress, a movement to align leaders from across industry and across the aisle to achieve 90/90/90 by 2033: 90% of all individuals will be screened for mental health and substance use disorders; 90% of those screened will be able to receive evidence-based treatment; 90% of those receiving treatment will be able to manage their symptoms in recovery. Kennedy’s second co-authored book “Profiles in Mental Health Courage” available April 2024 will delve into the compelling stories of a diverse group of Americans who have struggled with their mental health – many of whom are sharing their stories for the first time.

Kennedy served with distinction for eight terms (1995-2011), representing Rhode Island’s first congressional district.  In Congress, Kennedy was recognized for his leadership in establishing high-quality mental and behavioral health standards in the United States. During his 16-year tenure in the United States House of Representatives, Rep. Kennedy championed policies aimed at ending discrimination against those suffering from mental illness, addiction, and other brain-related disorders. Notably, he served as the lead sponsor of the landmark Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which ensures equitable insurance coverage for mental health and substance use disorders. Since its passage, Rep. Kennedy has successfully ensured proper oversight of implementation and enforcement of the Act so that more Americans can access the mental health and substance use disorder care they need.

Kennedy is also the founder of DontDenyMe.org, an educational campaign that empowers consumers and providers to understand parity rights and connects them to essential appeals guidance and resources; co-founder of One Mind, an organization that pushes for greater global investment in brain research; co-founder of Psych Hub, the most comprehensive online learning platform on mental health, substance use, and suicide prevention topics in the world; co-chair of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Mental Health & Suicide Prevention National Response to COVID-19 (National Response); and co-chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Behavioral Health Integration Task Force.

Tomas Bednar

Senior Vice President and Counsel

Tomas offers a wide range of experience in health care regulatory and policy topics, particularly from a health plan perspective. He has significant expertise in Medicaid/Medicare Managed Care, coverage of dual eligibles, and policy approaches to addressing social determinants of health.

Prior to joining Healthsperien, Tomas worked as the Industry Affairs Manager at the AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies. There he managed a team of analysts responsible for the tracking and analysis of federal regulatory and legislative efforts as well as industry-wide Medicaid, Medicare, and prescription drug policy trends. He was responsible for the development of policy positioning on key issues, the management of relationships with national trade associations, and providing direct support to senior leadership in the development of corporate strategy. He also held a position within the corporate compliance department where he helped all lines of business implement federal regulatory changes.

Prior to his time at AmeriHealth Caritas, Tomas was a public interest attorney in Philadelphia, PA, where he worked for the Legal Clinic for the Disabled (LCD). At LCD Tomas directed two medical-legal partnerships – one targeting the needs of low-income cancer patients in an outpatient radiation oncology clinic, and the second working with chronically homeless individuals at a federally qualified health center. He represented his clients in a wide range of legal issues, including SSI/SSDI, unsecured debt relief, insurance appeals, landlord tenant disputes, and family law issues.

Tomas has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and English as well as a Masters in Bioethics from the University of Pittsburgh. He also has a Juris Doctorate from Temple University and is admitted to practice in the state of Pennsylvania.

UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH
Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and English

Masters in Bioethics

TEMPLE UNIVERSITY
Juris Doctorate

Brian W. Lindberg

Vice President, Health and Aging Policy

Brian W. Lindberg is a Washington, DC-based advocate, policy educator, and lobbyist.  He serves as a public policy advisor to aging, health care, and special needs advocacy organizations and as Executive Director of the Consumer Coalition for Quality Health Care.  Throughout his career, Brian has developed national policy guidelines, legislation, and strategic plans for organizations on issues ranging from health and serious illness care, long-term care, to caregiving, social isolation, civic engagement, elder justice, community-based services, and housing, all with the goal of improving the systems that support optimal aging and quality care for all. 

Brian is a social worker and human services manager by training and after finishing his Master’s degree, Brian worked for Pennsylvania’s junior senator (at that time), the late Arlen Specter.  Before long, he had joined the Senate Special Aging Committee as professional staff to Chairman John Heinz, followed by several years on the House Select Committee on Aging, completing his Hill work as staff director of the Subcommittee on Housing and Consumer Interests.

Brian helped create the Consumer Coalition for Quality Health Care in 1993, which continues to advocate for health care system reform that provides meaningful consumer information, strong due process protections, a consumer advocate program, and a system for independent quality oversight.  As Executive Director of the Consumer Coalition, Brian was involved in the formation of the National Quality Forum, having been appointed by Vice President Gore to serve on the NQF planning committee and board of directors.

Brian’s legislative accomplishments include provisions in laws addressing the Older Americans Act, geriatrics training, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, older Native Americans, caregivers, Medicare, pensions, long-term care, elder abuse, guardianship, social isolation, housing, and aging research and evaluation.

He worked on the 1995, 2005, and 2015 White House Conferences on Aging, as well as with AARP, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, The John A. Hartford Foundation, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and the New York Academy of Medicine.

Brian has served on many boards and advisory panels, including for the Institute of Medicine, CMS’s National Medicare Education Program, National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and the Temple University Board of Trustees. Currently, he serves on the NQF Patient Experience and Function Standing Committee and the Board of Visitors of the College of Public Health at Temple University.

TEMPLE UNIVERSITY
Bachelor of Social Work

UNIVERSITY OF STOCKHOLM’S INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE SCHOOL
Studies in comparative health care systems and policy.

BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY
Master’s in Management of Human Services

Tom Beauregard

Senior Advisor

Mr. Beauregard provides strategic consult for Healthsperien’s clients. Tom is a top leader in health care innovation and implementation, with 30 years of broad experience with a range of organizations in the health care sector, industry, public policy, academia and the non-profit community. His current work focuses on development of next-generation health care solutions with diverse partners and support for non-profit organizations in this sector.

In his previous role as Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer of UnitedHealth Group, Tom led a visionary and nimble research and development team with a disruptive mission – finding practical solutions to the most pervasive and difficult challenges in health care. The team focused on designing, developing and launching initiatives that transform the financing and delivery of care and leverage new technologies and care models to address underlying challenges with cost, quality and access.

Tom’s combination of strategy, implementation experience, and insights about the evolving health care sector and technology has driven his success in developing a portfolio of 20 to 30 R&D initiatives and expert role in managing the company’s overall investment in innovation. Other accomplishments include the National Diabetes Prevention Program in partnership with the Y-USA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an evidence-based childhood obesity solution, and a reality TV-based diabetes prevention program (Project NOT ME) that earned Tom a regional Emmy for in his role as an Executive Producer.

Prior to taking on that role, Tom’s work focused on innovative solutions for employers and consumers and applicability of initiatives to Medicare and Medicaid populations. He ran an interdisciplinary research team identifying ways to improve care delivery during health reform with colleague Simon Stevens (now head of the UK National Health Service). He also served as the Chief Executive Officer of a UnitedHealth Care business segment (United Essentials) that ran research and new product development activities. Tom led a team that conducted extensive employer and consumer research and developed programs and products that extended appealing and affordable coverage to targeted employer and consumer segments. Tom’s team launched several innovative solutions that included breakthroughs in affordable coverage solutions, advanced consumer choice models, value-based incentive models, and portable insurance solutions.

Tom brought extensive experience from the health benefits consulting sector to his research and development work. He was the National Practice Leader for Hewitt Associates, a global management consulting firm where he worked closely with large employers seeking innovative approaches to improving their employee benefit plans while addressing increasing costs. As the youngest partner in the firm’s history he tripled the size of the practice during his tenure. He also led the firm’s foray into a technology-based approach to consumer-directed care as a Chief Strategy Officer and built out an extensive network of relationships with the then early-stage digital health sector.

Dr. John Mach

Senior Advisor

Dr. Mach, a geriatrician with 40 years of clinical and business leadership experience, is the Founder and General Manager of Mach Health Care Strategies providing consulting services to entities serving high-needs, high-risk populations.  John spent 13 years as CEO and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at Evercare, UnitedHealth Group’s award-winning division and the country’s largest private sector entity serving frail elderly and people with disabilities.  He currently serves as Senior Advisor for Healthsperien, a nationally recognized health care consulting firm and as CMO at Ceresti Health, a technology-enabled platform supporting family caregivers.  Previously he has served as CMO at Medica Health Plans and held CMO positions at Evolent, UnitedHealth Group’s Medicare division and XL Health.  John was also the President of Complex Care Management at Univita, an integrated and risk-bearing home care services company serving people nationally.  As of June 2022, John is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the John A. Hartford Foundation of New York, the country’s oldest and largest private philanthropic funder of geriatrics research and education.

UNIVERSITY OF ST. THOMAS
Bachelor of Biology

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
Doctor of Medicine

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
Internal Medicine Residency

Brian Litten

Senior Policy Advisor

Brian has 25+ years of leadership experience within healthcare organizations (payers and technology-based solution providers) ranging from startups to large, publicly traded companies. He is a C-suite executive (CEO, COO, CSO, CGO), board member, and advisor who is passionate about transforming the healthcare system to improve access to care, healthcare delivery, and patient outcomes. Brian is a disruptor, innovator, and problem-solver with a compelling record of leading, transforming, and growing healthcare technology companies.

Brian acts as an advisor to prominent, national VC/PE funds, in evaluating investment opportunities and coaching the leadership teams of their investment portfolio companies on matters ranging from go-to-market strategies, pricing models, product design, workflows, growth, sales, execution, and measurement against established performance indicators.

Before creating his own advisory firm to support the growth of early-stage healthcare companies, Brian led Tabula Rasa HealthCare’s Office of Strategic Growth—an office he created in 2014 for the initial purpose of establishing a footprint in the payer market (including health insurers, self-funded employers, and risk-bearing provider organizations) as a runway for Tabula Rasa’s IPO.  Within six months of joining the Company, Brian secured its first payer pilot, followed shortly thereafter by its first payer commercial contract ($62MM). The Company’s IPO followed in 2016 (NASDAQ: TRHC).

During his tenure with Tabula Rasa, Brian continued to expand the Company’s payer market through the design, testing, validation, and deployment of new products, services, and financial models (including chronic disease programs and the deployment of value-based contracting solutions). Brian also worked to lay foundations for the Company across new markets, including pharma/life sciences, life insurance, consumer, and international.

Brian presently serves as the Chair of the Board of Advisors of StationMD, a telehealth company serving persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (where he was previously the first independent director on the corporate board).  He also serves as a member on the Board of Advisors to Pearl Health, a leader in assisting primary care practices understand and accept “intelligent” financial risk arrangements.

Brian is a member of the Board of Directors of CP Unlimited (Formerly Cerebral Palsy Association of New York State), a leading provider of residential and day programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. CP Unlimited has close to 2,000 employees supporting more than 700 persons in residences and many hundreds more through its day programs.

Brian spent his earlier professional years leading the successful startup and exit of an oncology-focused medication decision support technology company.  He has also held strategy-related management positions with two large Blue Cross organizations.  Before that, Brian spent five years serving as the Chief Legislative Counsel to New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman.

As a recognized expert in healthcare strategy, growth, and policy, the Jefferson School of Population Health elected Brian as a Senior Fellow.  He also served as the longest tenured Chair of the New Jersey Association of Health Plans. Over his career, government leaders, from governors to members of Congress, have appointed Brian to serve on federal and state healthcare access and reform commissions. 

Brian earned a JD from Rutgers University School of Law and a BA in Economics from Vassar College.

Brian and his wife, Donna, live in South Carolina with their two rescue dogs, Lucca and Finley.

VASSAR COLLEGE
Bachelor of Arts in Economics

RUTGERS UNIVERSITY
SCHOOL OF LAW
Juris Doctorate

Meg Wallace

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Meg is Healthsperien’s Director of Strategic Partnerships. In her role, she oversees the firm’s external partnerships and coalition clients by serving as their main point of contact and providing support for communications, strategic planning, budgeting, and operations.

Meg is enthusiastic and focused on partnerships that energize and inspire action to create a healthier and more connected society. She oversees the operation and membership engagement of the Coalition to End Social Isolation and Loneliness (CESIL), the Smarter Health Care Coalition (SHCC), and the National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC). Additionally, Meg is dedicated to global connections. She helped found the Global Initiative on Loneliness and Connection (GILC) in 2020 and continues to assist in its operation and events. In addition to these roles, Meg leads the newly formed Multicancer Early Detection Consortium, a groundbreaking body of experts dedicated to evaluating the efficacy and implementation of multicancer early detection testing. 

Meg exudes passion in all aspects of her work, promoting prosperous and healthy societies on all levels, from individual to community to regional and international. She is energized by partnership opportunities that galvanize diverse groups of stakeholders to affect positive change in the health and wellbeing of all people.

UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT
Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and Chinese

Wendy O’Brien

Director of Operations

Wendy brings over 20 years of experience supporting high-level executives in the non-profit, financial institution, and real estate sectors. As the Director of Operations, she is responsible for managing the firm’s day-to-day operations.

Wendy joined Healthsperien after working as the Executive Assistant to the CEO at Nathan Adelson Hospice, the oldest, largest, and only non-profit hospice in Southern Nevada. She also served as the liaison to the board of trustees, senior leadership, and operations team. 

Prior to her position with Nathan Adelson Hospice, Wendy supported a certified financial planner at Ameriprise Financial Services. She established and managed clients’ insurance policies, retirement, brokerage, and education accounts. Wendy also worked at NAI Horizon Commercial Real Estate as the Executive Assistant to the Senior Vice President and Land Broker. She assisted with the closing of several multimillion-dollar land sales and purchases in Nevada and Arizona.

Wendy was born and raised in Hawaii and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Landscape Architecture from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2003.

UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, LAS VEGAS
Bachelor of Arts in Landscape Architecture

Debbie McCarron

Deputy Director

Debra McCarron has extensive experience in strategic communications & marketing, stakeholder engagement, and project management. She joins Healthsperein as Deputy Director to provide comprehensive communications and operational support to the company and its non-profit partner organizations.

Before joining Healthsperien, she served as the Deputy Director of the Communication and Outreach Division at Ripple Effect, a government consulting firm. There she led healthcare policy projects for federal agencies such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Office for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). As the Project Director of the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network (LAN), she managed an over $1M per year budget, leading a multifaceted communications team to fully support LAN communications, events, and stakeholder engagement.

Additionally, she utilized her marketing and branding expertise to grow a small community business from one location to three. She assisted in the day-to-day operations of the three facility sites, including budget management, human resources, support, facilities management, and internal and external communications. She co-owned Quality Design Solutions, a full-service company specializing in web design, marketing, and database development for non-profit and small businesses.

Early in her career, she supported NIH medical research grants at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She also has over four years of clinical research experience at the University of Maryland, Department of Cardiology, where she worked with interventionists developing glycoprotein IIb/IIIa platelet inhibitors.

Debbie grew up in Maryland, received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Virginia Tech, and has completed coursework at the University of Maryland at Baltimore in Instructional Systems Design. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, the Association for Talent Development, and the Society for Health Communication. She is passionate about community service. She serves as a committee member for the American Cancer Society Making Strides Breast Cancer Walk of Central Maryland and volunteers her time for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Smithsonian’s National Zoo, and the Carroll County Arts Center.

VIRGINIA TECH
Bachelor of Science in Biology

 

  • Member, Society of Health Communication
  • Member, Public Relations Society of America
  • Member, Association for Talent Development
  • Director of Special Projects, National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI)
  • Communications Workgroup Lead, Multicancer Early Detection Consortium (MCED)

Nikhil Holla

Senior Policy Director

As Senior Policy Director, Nikhil leverages his diverse experience in health services research, federal healthcare consulting, and the health insurance industry to support Healthsperien’s clients. He has extensive policy experience in Medicaid managed care, long-term services and supports, dual-eligible special needs plans, social determinants of health, and value-based care arrangements. He also demonstrates expertise in Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) model development, implementation, and evaluation.

Prior to joining Healthsperien, Nikhil served as Senior Public Policy Analyst at CareFirst, where he worked with executive leadership to influence decision making and advocacy priorities. He led development of CareFirst’s first Medicaid policy platform in DC and Maryland, supported a series of policy analyses to evaluate Maryland performance in the Total Cost of Care model, and advanced CareFirst’s value-based care advocacy efforts.

Prior to CareFirst, Nikhil worked at Booz Allen Hamilton, supporting the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office in its oversight and analysis of Medicare-Medicaid Plan marketing materials and CMMI on implementing learning systems for Comprehensive Primary Care Plus. Nikhil began his career at the Urban Institute, as a quantitative research analyst studying social determinants of health and maternal health in Medicaid populations.

Nikhil has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master of Public Health in Health Policy from George Washington University.

WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
Bachelor of Arts in Economics

GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
Master of Public Health in Health Policy

Ethan McChesney

Policy Director

Serving as Policy Director for the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI), Ethan is responsible for supporting a wide range of initiatives including monitoring policy and regulatory developments, interfacing with industry and government officials, preparing collateral materials, assisting with event planning, and providing strategic guidance to advance the priorities of the Partnership. Ethan also plays a key role in supporting the work of the NPHI Innovation Lab, where he provides policy and project management oversight.

Prior to joining NPHI and Healthsperien, Ethan held multiple public policy-focused internships, namely, with the National Coalition on Health Care, where he was involved in communications, message development, and policy analysis efforts. He also spent time with Wynne Health Group, one of the preeminent healthcare policy consulting firms, where he assisted in servicing their diverse set of clients. Additionally, Ethan has prior experience in the congressional office of the senior Senator from Colorado, Michael Bennet.

Ethan graduated from the University of Kansas in December of 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and minors in Sociology and Psychology.

  • Policy Director, National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI)
  • Innovation Project Manager, NPHI Innovation Lab
  • Member, Society for Health Policy Young Professionals

UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

Aaron Ledbetter

Policy Director

Aaron serves as a Policy Director at Healthsperien. He offers a diverse perspective on healthcare policy and business practices, with specific expertise in value-based care models, business planning and strategy, and financial analysis.

Prior to joining Healthsperien, Aaron worked at MaineHealth where he managed their value-based care contracts and completed a post-graduate executive fellowship focused on operational strategy, facility expansion, and community interfacing initiatives. Before MaineHealth, Aaron worked in economic development at the University of Michigan’s Economic Growth Institute and in Strategy & Research consulting focused on Private Equity clients at STEER Partners in Boston, MA.

In 2013, Aaron received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Allegheny College in History, focused on American Public Health. In 2018, he received his Master of Public Policy and Master of Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan. Aaron is a native New Englander, hailing from Worcester, Massachusetts and is a lifelong Boston sports fan.

ALLEGHENY COLLEGE IN HISTORY
Bachelor of Arts in American Public Health

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Masters of Public Policy Analysis (MPP)
Masters of Health Services Administration (MHSA)

Joy Chen

Policy Director

As a Policy Director for the firm, Joy provides legislative and regulatory analysis on issues that impact Healthsperien’s provider, long-term care, and behavioral health clients. She holds extensive knowledge on home-based primary care, provider reimbursement, value-based contracting, behavioral health accessibility, social determinants of health, and health equity. Joy serves as the Director of Strategy and Operations for ACTNow for Mental Health (ANMH), a non-profit operated by Healthsperien, which focuses on destigmatizing mental health and increasing access to mental health services for young adults. She oversees the day-to-day operations and strategic thinking around the organization’s key issue areas: Advocacy, Compassion, and Treatment.

Joy brings a unique perspective from her experiences in both local and state government. She previously worked for the City of Moreno Valley providing strategic planning and grant management for their Community Development department. During her graduate studies, she was engaged in a variety of key topic areas including inclusive workforce development for healthcare workers, rethinking the built environment and its effects on health, and building out robust social services in a free clinic setting.

Joy received her Master of Public Health degree from the Yale School of Public Health with a concentration in health policy and completed her Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from the University of California, Riverside.

  • Director of Strategy and Operations for ACTNow for Mental Health (ANMH)
  • Care Delivery Workgroup Lead, Multicancer Early Detection Consortium (MCED)

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, RIVERSIDE
Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy

YALE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Masters of Public Health (MPH)

Abigail Gadbois

Senior Policy Analyst

Prior to joining Healthsperien, Abby worked at the Maryland Department of Health Behavioral Health Administration, Developmental Disabilities Administration and Medicaid Office of Long-Term Services and Supports. Abby conducted policy analyses, wrote position papers and testimony for MDH leadership, and managed policy initiatives and stakeholder outreach and workgroups for the administrations. Additionally, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Abby joined several special projects to provide infection control support to congregate care facilities and expand access to COVID-19 therapeutics. 

Abby received a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology with a concentration in Health Policy from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. She also graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor of Science in Genetics and East Asian Studies. 

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON
Bachelor of Science in Genetics and East Asian Studies

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA – TWIN CITIES
Master of Public Health in Epidemiology with a concentration in Health Policy

Victoria Russo

Policy Analyst

Prior to joining Healthsperien, Victoria worked for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, focusing on monitoring and evaluation efforts for Section 1115 demonstrations with an emphasis on the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Additionally, she interned at Public Consulting Group, where she contributed to various state health department projects, and engaged in grassroots Medicaid work, advocating for improved healthcare access and quality, while working at a federally qualified health center. Her expertise also extends to government contracting where she gained valuable experience at the state level through her work with New York State’s Department of Health. Victoria’s extensive knowledge and practical involvement in these diverse roles and sectors have provided her with a comprehensive understanding of healthcare policy, strategic communications, and government affairs. Victoria received her Master of Public Health degree from Columbia University in Health Policy and Management with a concentration in Comparative Effectiveness and Outcomes Research. She also graduated from the University at Albany, SUNY with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. 

SUNY at ALBANY
Bachelor of Science in Biology

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY S
Master of Public Health (MPH) in Health Policy and Management concentration in Comparative Effectiveness and Outcomes Research

Mosalewa Ani

Policy Analyst

As a Policy Analyst with Healthsperien, Mosalewa provides policy and health care market research, monitoring, legislative analysis, regulatory analysis, and strategic support on client matters.

Prior to joining Healthsperien, Mosalewa worked at the Network for Public Health Law where she managed the Network’s data system and data migration process, curated evaluation reports on work activities, conducted legislative tracking on matters related to public health authority, assisted in the facilitation of a medical legal partnership cohort, and conducted research on the intersection of climate change and racial health equity in relation to emergency preparedness and response and cultural humility.

GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY MILKEN INSTITUTE
SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH

Master of Public Health in Health Policy

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA – TWIN CITIES
Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Minor in Public Health

Rachel Jordan

Policy Associate

As a Policy Associate with Healthsperien, Rachel is responsible for supporting a wide range of strategic activities, including preparing legislative updates and conducting health policy research to advance clients’ needs. Before joining the team, Rachel served as a Policy and Strategy intern for Healthsperien during the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters.

Rachel has experience in public policy having previously interned for the U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms and U.S. Senator Cory Booker. She also served as the Special Projects Manager at Text Surge, a full service firm specializing in peer-to-peer texting campaigns, where she assisted in supporting their wide range of clients.

Rachel received her Bachelor of Arts degree from American University in Justice and Law with a concentration in Criminal Justice and minor in Public Health.

AMERICAN UNIVERSITY
Bachelor of Arts in Justice and Law with a concentration in Criminal Justice and minor in Public Health.

Allison Hamburger

Policy Analyst

Prior to joining Healthsperien, Alli worked at Avalere as an Associate, where she gained significant expertise in healthcare policy, particularly in Medicare and Medicaid, and developed strategic recommendations and innovative solutions for clients. During her graduate studies, Alli completed a fellowship at the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), providing logistical and research support for the Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC). This role enabled her to refine her analytical skills, with a focus on alternative payment models and social determinants of health. Additionally, Alli was a graduate research assistant at the Georgetown University Center on Health Insurance Reforms, where she conducted research on state insurance markets and monitored policy and regulatory actions concerning health equity reforms. Alli is committed to improving health outcomes for all and passionate about promoting health equity.

Alli received her Master of Public Policy degree, with a concentration in health policy, from the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. She also graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Public Policy.

UNIVERSITY of NORTH CAROLINA at CHAPEL HILL
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Public Policy

 

Shiven Bhardwaj

Policy Fellow

Shiven has worked over the past decade in various segments of health care, which include community pharmacy, pharmaceutical industry, hospice care and pharmacy benefit management. He graduated from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy in 2011 with a PharmD and received his master’s in applied sciences in Population Health Management from Johns Hopkins University in 2022. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Health Economics and Outcomes Research at the Comparative Health Outcomes, Policy, and Economics (CHOICE) Institute at the University of Washington. Shiven’s research interests include pharmaceutical policy evaluation and their differential impact on patient outcomes, especially in Medicare and Managed Medicaid.

PHILADELPHIA COLLEGE 
Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)

JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY
Master in Applied Sciences in Population Health Management

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON, COMPARATIVE HEALTH OUTCOMES, POLICY, and ECONOMICS (CHOICE) INSTITUTE
Doctorate in Health Economics and Outcomes Research
Anticipated graduation date: TBD

Farrin Saba

Partnerships Associate

Farrin joins the team with a passion for fostering connection and bringing interdisciplinary organizations to work on complex subjects facing our nations most vulnerable populations. Farrin’s versatile skill set in neuroscience, anthropology, epidemiology, and public health policy provides her with an intrinsic instinct to find common ground and grow relationships between organizations to expand their impact and capabilities collectively.

Farrin comes to Healthsperien after completing her IRTA biomedical fellowship at the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute where she led research and published manuscripts on curing prion implicated diseases (i.e. ALS, Huntington’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease) in the International Journal of Molecular Science and the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Biology. Farrin recently conducted epidemiological, mental health, and public health policy research on addressing the epidemic of loneliness and provided recommendations for digital solutions for improving equitable mental health outcomes particularly for youth. While at Hopkins, Farrin worked alongside Dr. Luke Kalb to assess the effectiveness of community-based mental health programs, epidemiology of loneliness, psychometrics, habit tracking, and personality-based social prescription research to improve clinical digital healthcare solutions.

Farrin’s ambitions have their genesis in profound gratitude and sincere sense of responsibility to better understand the human experience and affect positive change for people like her brother, who are limited by factors beyond their control. Having a family member with a rare neurological syndrome: cerebellar hypoplasia has pushed her family to look for solutions outside of the U.S. The cultural contrast exposed Farrin to a very frustrating reality that we face today: the need for interdisciplinary scholars to unify the social, cultural, political, and economic structures to combat health disparities. Farrin recognizes as scientists, we are too often whittled into a machine of scientific practice instead of widened by the notion that we do our work for the betterment humanity. Most recently Farrin worked as a grant writer with Wellness Equity Alliance, where she led collaborations to advocate for state and federal funding on the California Youth Behavioral Health Initiative and built program implementation proposals for an allcovetm model support solution.

COLGATE UNIVERSITY
Bachelor of Arts, Neuroscience
Bachelor of Arts, Anthropology

JOHNS HOPKINS BLOOMBERG SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Masters of Public Health

Ava Walderman

Communications Associate

Prior to joining Healthsperien, Ava served as a Communications Specialist at the Texas Department of State Health Services where she coordinated statewide projects on vaccine outreach, including managing operations for immunization stakeholder groups, developing vaccine campaign messaging, and coordinating a COVID-19 vaccine outreach and education grant program. She previously worked as a Community Outreach and Education Coordinator at Westside Family Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center located in Los Angeles. While there, Ava provided reproductive health services and educational health presentations as well as managed the clinic’s social media accounts.

Ava grew up in Los Angeles, California and received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations from the University of California, Davis in 2019. 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS
Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations

Jonathan Chew

Administrative Assistant

Prior to joining Healthsperien, Jonathan worked as a foreign policy research consultant at the American Enterprise Institute, Magic Canyon Institute and Galisteo Consulting Group, where he used computational linguistic methods to analyze social media data. In 2023, Jonathan served as co-author on a book about digital disinformation in Russia and Eastern Europe, with a focus on narratives regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Jonathan has an educational background in policy and data science, as well as former experience in the field of epidemiology. He is excited to work towards improving U.S. health outcomes through statistical research and administrative support.

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN
MSc in Politics & Data Science

BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Business Fellow Program
Bachelor of Business Administration

Quinten Lyons

Policy Intern

Quinten Lyons (He/Him) is currently a senior at DeSales University, receiving his bachelor’s degree in political science and government with a focus in public policy. Last summer, Quinten worked at the Association of Air Medical Services under the Vice President of Government Affairs. During his time at the Association, he drafted policy briefs summarizing the impact of the Build Back Better Act, Inflation Reduction Act and the ACA on the air medical industry. He further worked with Senators and Representatives in constructing favorable policies for the association.

At DeSales, Quinten is a member of the DeSales Students for Progress which is partly where he developed his interest in healthcare policy. He is specifically interested in expanding the accessibility of healthcare and highlighting the gaps that the American healthcare system has regarding mental health and overall societal wellbeing

DESALES UNIVERSITY
Pursuing Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government

Emily Woodrow

Policy Intern

Emily Woodrow is currently an MPH student at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in the Department of Health Policy and Management, receiving a certificate in Health Communication. At Columbia, she is the Lead Writing Advisor for her department. Last summer, Emily worked at Signify Health, a healthcare platform that focuses on the intersections of tech, analytics, and value-based care through providing services such as in-home health evaluations. Her team created a new business operating model to expand healthcare offerings across the country. Emily previously worked in Washington DC at the Center for Global Health
Science and Security at Georgetown University Medical Center researching disease outbreaks and government policies. She has also worked as a health policy consultant analyzing federal government initiatives and bipartisan policies.

Emily received her bachelor’s degree from Duke University, where she studied Public Policy and Global Health and graduated with honors after completing a senior thesis. Due to a deep engagement with her studies at Duke, Emily knew
she wanted to attain a master’s degree to learn more about healthcare challenges and how to advance policy solutions. Emily is particularly interested in US public health policy and healthcare innovation.

DUKE UNIVERSITY 
Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy & Global Health

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY MAILMAN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Masters in Public Health in Health Policy & Management

Marta Green

Senior Advisor

Marta Green is an executive leader specializing in health care delivery system reform, public policy and public affairs.   She is the owner of Marta Green Consulting, a Sacramento-based boutique firm that helps policy makers, health care entities and non-profit organizations design and implement programs and projects aimed at improving health care access, equity, and affordability.  Prior to launching her firm, Marta spent over two decades in the public sector, leading complex and impactful health care initiatives. Most recently, Marta was tapped by the California Governor’s Office to serve as the project lead for the third-party administrator for distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.  Additionally, Marta was responsible for benefit design, financing and contracting for comprehensive health benefits for 1.5 million public employees and their families when she served as Chief of Health Plan Research and Administration at the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS).  Prior to CalPERS, Marta served as the Chief Deputy Director of the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC), where she oversaw the daily operations of California’s health plan regulator and led transformations of multiple business units to fully implement hundreds of new health plan requirements under the landmark federal Affordable Care Act.  Marta has also served in leadership roles at the California Health and Human Services Agency and oversaw public affairs programs for state departments and California First Lady initiatives.  She is a former Board Member of the Public Sector Health Care Roundtable and guest lecturer on governmental studies and public policy at California State University, Sacramento and the University of San Francisco.

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA BARBARA
Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Art

Larry Atkins, PhD

Senior Advisor

Dr. Atkins is Research Director of the Long-Term Quality Alliance in Washington, DC. He is a Board member and immediate past-President of the National Academy of Social Insurance. He was recently the Staff Director of the federal Commission on Long-Term Care, which issued its final report in September 2013. Prior to that, he was Executive Director, U.S. Public Policy at the global pharmaceutical manufacturer Merck.

Dr. Atkins is a veteran of more than 30 years of health and social policy analysis, policy development, and legislative representation at the local, state, and federal levels. He directed Public Policy at Schering-Plough Corporation; was founder and President of Health Policy Analysts, Inc., a firm providing consultation on pharmaceutical, health benefits, and health care reimbursement issues; was Executive Director of the Corporate Health Care Coalition, an alliance of Fortune 100 companies on federal and state health reform issues; and headed a health and benefits policy practice in the Washington office of the New York law firm Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam and Roberts. During the 1990s, Dr. Atkins served on two quadrennial Social Security Advisory Commissions – 1991 as a Commission member and 1995 as a member of the Technical Panel.

During the 1980s, Dr. Atkins served on the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging as professional staff, Deputy Staff Director and Republican Staff Director for Chairman John Heinz (R-PA), and advised Senator Heinz as a member of the Senate Finance Committee on retirement income and health policy matters, and as a member of the 1983 National Commission on Social Security Reform. Prior to his work in the Congress, Dr. Atkins developed health and human services policy at the state and local government levels.

Dr. Atkins holds a Ph.D. from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, where he is currently a member of the Board of Overseers. He holds master degrees from the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky, and an undergraduate degree from Kenyon College.

KENYON COLLEGE

UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE

UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY

BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY Heller School of Social Policy and Management

Carole Fisher

Senior Advisor

Ms. Fisher serves as President for the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI). Utilizing her previous experiences and deep familiarity with not-for-profit community-based hospice and palliative healthcare, she is charged with leading a wide range of activities for the membership organization. With an emphasis on developing strategic partnerships, meaningful collaborations and transformational innovations, Ms. Fisher provides support for NPHI members leading complex organizations.

As a seasoned C-suite leader, advisor, innovator and public policy advocate, for the past 35 years she has successfully led and transformed for-profit and mission driven healthcare organizations. Ms. Fisher has significant experience in growing and transforming companies, developing people, and preparing organizations for navigating the unforeseen and unanticipated. She has significant experience in growing market share, contracting with payers, building specialty provider networks, developing and integrating cutting edge technology, facilitating M&A mid-size transactions and is well respected for her ability to merge cultures and teams.

Ms. Fisher is the former President and CEO of Nathan Adelson Hospice. In a fiercely competitive market she positioned the organization as a nationally known industry leader respected for their clinical advancements and innovations. Under her leadership the company was recognized eight years by Modern Healthcare Magazine as a 100 Best Places to Work in the country.

Prior to this she held senior roles advancing behavioral healthcare companies and oversaw a large multi-specialty provider group owned and operated by Sierra Health Services, later acquired by United Health Care.   

Ms. Fisher has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from University Nevada, Las Vegas and attained a Masters Certification in Organizational Leadership from the Thayer Institute in Asheville, North Carolina. She is currently a Guest Editor for the American Society on Aging’s Generations Journal. She serves as an adjunct faculty member for Teleios University and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Thayer Institute. Previously she served on the Board of Directors for MountainView Hospital – a subsidiary of HCA, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation, Health Insight, UNLV Health Law Program Advisory Board and the Nevada Hospital Association.

Ms. Fisher spends her time working between her homes in Las Vegas, Nevada and Covington, Louisiana.

UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, LAS VEGAS
Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Social Work

THAYER INSTITUTE
Masters of Leadership, Arts and Sciences-Certification

LEAN SIX SIGMA CERTIFICATION

J. Cameron Muir, MD

Senior Advisor

Dr. Cameron Muir is a nationally recognized physician, educator and executive leader in hospice, palliative medicine and advanced illness care.  He is the Principal and Founder of CMC, Cameron Muir Consulting, LLC, where he works with health care provider organizations to help them innovate and develop or enhance high quality value-based care and payment models.  In addition, he serves as the Chief Innovation Officer for the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice innovation (NPHI) where he established and oversees the NPHI Innovation Lab.  Unique in the hospice space, the Lab focuses on population health, claims analytics, practice optimization, and other systematic approaches to enhance and improve advanced illness care for NPHI members.

In additional Innovations work, Dr. Muir has served as the medical director for a Medicare Innovations (CMMI) high-needs ACO REACH program, where he worked with multiple advanced illness provider organizations to develop standardized approaches to claims analytics, quality measurement, and care coordination strategies to help drive double digit savings in year one of the program. Dr. Muir also served as an executive leader for a PACE (Program for All-Inclusive Care of the Elderly) program, where he was responsible for oversight of both the clinical and medical director for this start-up PACE program.

Dr. Muir received his medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine and completed his residency in internal medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.  He also earned fellowships in bioethics at the University of Chicago Medical Center and in Medical Oncology and Hospice and Palliative Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Muir is Board Certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine and Internal Medicine.

For sixteen years (2002-2018) Dr. Muir served as the Chief Medical Officer and EVP for Clinical Services at Capital Caring Health (CCH).  As CMO, he recruited and managed a medical team of over 60 professionals who delivered over 260,000 hospice and palliative care encounters.  Additionally, Dr. Muir developed systems of quality advanced illness care that resulted in publication of over a dozen peer-reviewed articles defining innovations and best practices in advanced illness care.  He also managed teams devoted to business development, marketing, and communications.

Dr. Muir has been married for nearly 30 years and has two grown children and a Labrador retriever.  He enjoys running, cycling, sailing, and playing his grandfather’s bagpipes.

UNIVERSITY  OF CHICAGO
Bioethics/Medical Ethics

NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY – THE FEINBERG SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
Medical Oncology Residency Program
Hospice and Palliative Medicine Residency Program

GEISEL SCHOOL OF MEDICINE at DARTMOUTH
Internal Medicine Residency Program

UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
Doctor of Medicine

TRINITY COLLEGE – HARTFORD
Bachelor of Science, Neurobiology and Neurosciences

Jillian Racoosin

Executive Director

Jillian Racoosin, MPH (she/her) is the Executive Director of the Foundation for Social Connection and the Coalition to End Social Isolation and Loneliness. In her role, Jillian is responsible for leading the direction of the Coalition and the Foundation’s operations and programs, including advancing social connection research and innovation. Previously, Jillian spearheaded enterprise go-to-market strategy for Force Therapeutics, a leading healthcare technology company and care management platform.

Focused on improving health outcomes, Jillian has partnered with several high-profile organizations including leading healthcare systems (Geisinger, Mass General Brigham, Scripps Health), Health Plans (UHC, Humana) and Federal Agencies (CDC, Administration for Community Living, Office of the Surgeon General).

Her passion for health promotion began at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and continued to flourish at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health where she received her Masters degree. Jillian is passionate about projects that foster healthy behaviors within communities and populations and envisions a more inclusive future with universal access to the support needed to be socially engaged in society.

  • Executive Director, Foundation for Social Connection
  • Executive Director, Coalition to End Social Isolation & Loneliness

TULANE UNIVERSITY
Bachelor of Science in Public Health

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY MAILMAN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Master of Public Health

Abigail Barth

Research and Innovation Program Manager

As Research and Innovation Program Manager, Abigail manages and develops research and innovation initiatives for the Foundation for Social Connectedness (F4SC) and Coalition to End Social Isolation and Loneliness (CESIL).

Abigail joins the team with diverse program management and program development, health policy, and qualitative research experience in the health and social care spaces. Most recently, she served as a program manager at AIRnyc, a community health worker organization. Abigail previously conducted social determinants of health-focused research at the National Association of Community Health Centers, provided project management support for federal and state health IT infrastructure projects at EMI Advisors, and conducted policy development and coalition work at Horizon Government Affairs.

Abigail holds a B.A. in religion from Barnard College and a Master of Public Health in Health Policy from the George Washington University School of Public Health, where she received recognition for her Master’s thesis on social isolation and loneliness among young adults.

BARNARD COLLEGE
Bachelor of Arts in Religion

GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Masters of Public Health (MPH) in Health Policy

Morgan Marler

Program Innovation and Implementation Manager

Morgan Marler (she/her) serves as the Program Innovation and Implementation Manager at the Foundation for Social Connection. With a decade of professional experience, Morgan has dedicated her career to creating spaces and systems that promote inclusion and belonging. She has worked in education, policy, advocacy, and non-profit sectors across the United States as well as Nicaragua and South America. In her previous role as Director of Stakeholder Engagement at CityBridge Education in Washington, D.C., Morgan successfully developed and launched strategies that engaged and strengthened the DC education ecosystem while also cultivating key relationships with stakeholders. She has led organization-wide diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging strategies. Morgan holds a Master of Education in Education Policy from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities for Teaching and Political Science from Seattle University. She has also pursued certifications and foundational courses in racial equity, conscious leadership, somatic experience, and data analytics.

UNIVERSITY OF SEATTLE
Bachelor of Arts in Humanities for Teaching and Political Science

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
Master of Education in Education Policy

Matt Wilkinson

Communications Manager

Matt heads communications for the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI), where he is responsible for strengthening the organization’s position as the national voice in end-of-life care. In his capacity, he leads communication planning and execution through storytelling, brand development, and creating content for public-facing material and educational purposes. He oversees the dissemination of timely and critical information to vast internal and external audiences, in addition to equipping NPHI’s 100+ member organizations with directions and tools to capitalize on their unique value propositions and service offerings. When it comes to PR, Matt plays a crucial role by engaging creative agencies and facilitating NPHI’s press relations through news releases and by serving as a liaison between NPHI staff and media outlets.

Prior to joining NPHI, Matt served as the Policy Communications Intern for AARP’s Chief Public Policy Officer where he worked in the areas of policy, research, and international affairs – building upon his previous experiences in the private and public sectors. He has cultivated a lifelong passion for social impact and health equity, where he spent 8 years leading some of the nation’s largest disability programs for Best Buddies International in Utah—accumulating that service as the state’s Advisory Board Chair in 2021. 

Matt grew up in England and received his Bachelor of Science in Geography from Brigham Young University and his Master of Arts in International Relations from the Maxwell School of Public Affairs at Syracuse University. In his spare time, he enjoys skiing, hiking, and all things outdoors. 

BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY
Bachelor of Science in Geography

SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY
Maxwell School of Public Affairs
Master of Arts in International Relations

Shannon Vyvijal

Policy Intern

Shannon is currently a Social Connection Fellow for the Foundation for Social Connection and the Coalition to End Social Isolation and Loneliness, where she is responsible for assisting the Foundation and Coalition with research, innovation, and planning.

Shannon is pursuing a Master’s of Public Policy at American University, with anticipated graduation in May 2023. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2019 with a BA in Sociology and minors in History and Ethnic Studies. 

As a student, she analyzed policies and systems that contributed to race, class, and gender inequities. She also founded a student organization committed to advancing diversity and inclusion on her university’s campus. With a passion for research, policy analysis, and social justice, Shannon is committed to using her skills to address social problems and inequities.

UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO, BOULDER
Bachelor of Arts in Sociology; History & Ethnic Studies minors

AMERICAN UNIVERSITY
Master of Public Policy, Social Policy

Deborah Shoola

Social Connection Fellow

Deborah Shoola (she/hers) is a new Social Connection Fellow for the Foundation for Social Connection and the Coalition to End Social Isolation and Loneliness. Originally from Texas, Deborah holds a Master’s in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience and Global Health from Northwestern University. Previously, Deborah has worked on a research team to investigate the root causes and structural determinants of mental health challenges on college campuses. Additionally, Deborah has a background in human-centered design, health communications, and user experience. With a passion for mental health advocacy, Deborah is excited to expand her knowledge of social, mental, and health well-being.” 

NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY 
Bachelors of Science in Neuroscience and Global Health

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL
Masters of Public Health