Leadership Team

Margaret E. O’Kane, President

Margaret E. O’Kane is founder and president of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, and has received the Picker Institute Individual Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Patient-Centered Care, as well as the Gail L. Warden Leadership Excellence Award from the National Center for Healthcare Leadership.

Modern Healthcare magazine has named O’Kane one of the “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” 12 times, and one of the “Top 25 Women in Healthcare” 3 times.

She is a board member of the Milbank Memorial Fund and the Institute for Exceptional Care. She is also a board member and former board chair of Healthwise, a nonprofit organization that helps people make better health decisions.

O’Kane holds a master’s degree in health administration and planning from Johns Hopkins University, where she received the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Other Service
Member, Institute of Medicine
Member, Maryland Health Quality and Cost Council
Member, National Quality Forum—Measure Applications Partnership Coordinating Committee
Board Member, Population Health and Public Health Practice
Board Member, Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making, Inc.
Board Member, American Board of Medical Specialties
Board Member, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Board Member, Milbank Memorial Fund
Board Member, Freedom from Hunger

Professional Honors
“100 Most Influential People in Healthcare,” Modern Healthcare, 12 times
“Top 25 Women in Healthcare,” Modern Healthcare, 2011–2014
Gail Warden Leadership Excellence Award, National Center for Healthcare Leadership, 2012
Johns Hopkins University Distinguished Alumnus Award, 2012
Picker Award for Advancement of Patient-Centered Care, Picker Institute, 2009
Champion of Prevention Award (CDC’s highest), Centers for Disease Control, 2000
Founder’s Award, The American College of Medical Quality, 1997
Health Person of the Year, Medicine and Health, 1996

Tom Fluegel, Chief Operating Officer

Tom Fluegel became NCQA’s chief operating officer in December 2012. He is responsible for all aspects of business planning and operations in support of the organization’s strategic plan. 

Fluegel has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the health care industry. Prior to NCQA, he was COO of Dental Insurance at Coventry Health Care. From 1999–2008, he held diverse leadership positions within divisions of UnitedHealth Group, including two vice president posts, chief information officer and senior vice president for Client Operations.

Previously, he directed group administration and sales activities at CIGNA, as well as acquisitions, integration and operations at the California-based SafeGuard Health Enterprises.

Fluegel holds a BS in business administration from Washington University in St. Louis, and an MBA from the University of Miami.

Mary Barton, MD, Vice President, Performance Measurement

Dr. Mary Barton, MD oversees the development, use and maintenance of techniques NCQA uses to evaluate health care quality. She ensures the scientific integrity of NCQA measurement and research. She also leads NCQA in winning and executing health care quality measurement contracts for federal and state governments.

Prior to NCQA, Barton worked for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), where she was the scientific director of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). She supported and provided oversight for the methodological, evidence review and recommendation-making work of the USPSTF.

Before joining AHRQ, Barton was an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, where she performed clinical epidemiology and health services research related to cancer screening and prevention in terms of access, test performance and outcomes.

Barton trained in primary care internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and completed a general medicine research fellowship at Harvard. She has a clinical interest in and has presented widely about the performance of the clinical breast examination. She is a member of the American College of Physicians and the Society of General Internal Medicine.

Sharon King Donohue, General Counsel

Sharon King Donohue is general counsel, compliance officer, and chief privacy officer for NCQA. In that capacity, she is responsible for the general oversight and coordination of all legal matters for the organization. She plays an active role in the development of policy related to NCQA’s quality measurement and assessment programs and is involved with strategic planning.  Sharon is a member of the leadership team and an officer of the company.

Prior to joining NCQA in 1996, King Donohue spent more than 10 years in private practice and was most recently affiliated with the firm of Climaco, Climaco, Seminatore Lefkowitz & Garofoli Co., LPA., in Cleveland, Ohio. During her tenure at Climaco, she specialized in the development of integrated delivery systems, mergers and acquisitions and other transactional and regulatory matters for health insurers, managed care organizations, hospitals and physician organizations.

Mrs. King Donohue received her JD from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland.

Frank Micciche, Vice President, Public Policy and External Relations

Frank Micciche is NCQA’s vice president of Public Policy and External Relations. In this position, he directs NCQA’s relations with Congress, federal agencies and the states, as well as NCQA’s work with employers, associations, corporate sponsors and the media.

Micciche was formerly the Vice President for Partnerships and Coalitions at the Campaign to Fix the Debt, a nonpartisan collaboration of prominent public and private sector leaders and more than 350,000 grassroots supporters working to address the nation’s fiscal imbalance.  Prior to this position, he was a Senior Advisor on health reform at McKenna, Long & Aldridge, LLP and worked for the New America Foundation think tank.

Micciche’s service in the public sector includes his time as a legislative director for the House Minority Leader in Massachusetts and as a federal liaison for Governor John Engler of Michigan.  He served for four years as the Director of State-Federal Relations for Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA), where he led the Commonwealth’s Washington, DC, office and advised the governor on federal policy issues, with a focus on health care reform.

Micciche holds a master’s degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Tufts University.

Daniel O’Connor, Chief Financial Officer

Daniel O’Connor became NCQA’s Chief Financial Officer in August 2018. He oversees the overall financial, administrative, and accounting practices.

Daniel has more than 20 years of leadership experience in financial and administrative operations. He spent the last 13 years as CFO of ACA Compliance Group, a firm that provides risk management, compliance and technology services. Prior to ACA, Dan held financial leadership roles at Internosis, Global Telesystems Group and Hughes Network Systems.

Dan earned an MBA from University of Baltimore, an MS in Finance from Loyola College and an MS in Information and Telecommunication Systems from Johns Hopkins University. He has also held various certifications, including Certified Public Accountant , Certified Managerial Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor, and Certified Information Systems Auditor.

Brad Ryan, MD, Chief Product Officer

Dr. Brad Ryan is NCQA’s first ever Chief Product Officer. His addition to NCQA leadership signals the organization’s commitment to build on its existing quality measurement expertise with the promise of new technology, digital measurement and telehealth. He leads NCQA’s pioneering work in digital quality transformation and manages growth and evolution of its existing health care measurement, evaluation and improvement programs.

Dr. Ryan’s prior work includes numerous assists with NCQA’s digital quality initiatives, most recently as co-founder and Chief Solutions & Product Officer at Apervita, a collaborative platform for value-based health care. He also supported NCQA’s Natural Language Processing work with UPMC Enterprises. Dr. Ryan’s professional background is a “perfect storm” of skills and experience for the newly created position. In addition to Apervita, Brad has held leadership roles at IMS Health and McKinsey & Company.

Dr. Ryan earned his medical degree at John’s Hopkins School of Medicine. He studied engineering, computer science and mathematics as an undergraduate at the University of Alabama. To this day, he remains firmly committed to “Roll Tide” and to his family and friends in Alabama.

Sarah Scholle, Vice President of Research & Analysis

Sarah Hudson Scholle (Dr.P.H. The Johns Hopkins University) is Vice President, Research and Analysis, at the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Dr. Scholle is an expert in health services and quality measurement in multiple settings and has a demonstrated record of moving innovative measurement concepts into implementation, particularly through NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS).

Current measurement projects focus on cross-cutting areas where new health information technology is critical, including behavioral health care, patient reported outcomes, care coordination, and goal setting and improvement. Her experience also includes projects to test and assess the process of transformation to different models of care, including an initiative to test a patient-centered approach to oncology care. She leads NCQA efforts work to expand measures for vulnerable populations; this includes leading health equity innovation efforts for the CMS Office on Minority Health. She led an AHRQ/CMS funded Center of Excellence in Pediatric Quality Measurement, where the priorities focused on developing and testing outcome measures for adolescent depression using data from electronic health records, and currently leads a subsequent project to implement and demonstrate improvement on these measures. A number of measures developed in these projects have been included in HEDIS health plan reporting. She has also led activities in measurement related to patient-centered care and the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) and contributed to the development and implementation of surveys (such as the PCMH version of the CAHPS survey).

Shawn Talley, Chief People & Diversity Officer

Shawn Talley is NCQA’s first Chief People & Diversity Officer. His addition signals the organization’s commitment to its staff to be an employer of choice and promote diversity of representation at all levels while fostering an inclusive culture. Talley will also drive diversity efforts in external community engagement and NCQA’s products and services. He is responsible for all aspects of human capital planning & execution (talent acquisition, talent development, talent management), employee engagement, change enablement and DEI. Talley also supports NCQA’s Great Place to Work committee, DEI Council and various employee resource groups.

For more than 25 years, Talley has provided award-winning, best-in-class strategic expertise in Human Resources, organizational development, management consulting and diversity, and has spent the last 15 years in the health care industry. Talley is adjunct faculty at Towson University where he co-designed and instructs its Human Resources Master’s Degree Program: Introduction to HR Course. Talley is also on the Board of Directors for Baltimore Health Care for the Homeless, serving as co-chair of its HR Committee, and as an Advisor at the Tahirih Justice Center. Prior to NCQA, he was Chief Human Resources Officer & Chief Compliance Officer at Integra ServiceConnect where HEDIS measures were leveraged to provide community-based engagement and support services to underserved individuals with complex health needs. Previously, he led HR teams and functions at Baxter Healthcare, Citigroup, The Home Depot and Verizon. Talley started his career at Business Support Training as one of the first instructors to provide diversity training to the US Department of Commerce under the late Secretary Ronald Brown. A social justice advocate, Talley is passionate about development and committed to helping all staff reach their potential.

Talley holds BS degrees in political science and mass communications and an MS in Human Resource Development from Towson University. In addition, Talley is a certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR), Leadership Architect Certified, holds a yellow belt in Six Sigma and is Certified in Diversity & Inclusion through Cornell University.

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