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Board of Directors

Thomas J. Betlach

Since 2009, Mr. Betlach has served as Director of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, Arizona’s single state Medicaid agency.

Mr. Betlach is former President of the National Association of Medicaid Directors. He is also a board member of the NASMHPD Research Institute, and is treasurer for Health Current.

Mr. Betlach earned his BA degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin and his MPA from the University of Arizona

David C. K. Chin

Dr. Chin is a Distinguished Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he focuses on preparing health systems for value-based health care. Before joining Hopkins, he was a senior national partner and leader of the Academic Medical Center Practice in PwC’s US Healthcare Industries Advisory Practice and leader of PwC’s Global Healthcare Research Institute.

Prior to PwC he served as President of the Novalis Corporation and President and Medical Director of the Health Centers Division of the Harvard Community Health Plan.

Dr. Chin holds a BA from Harvard College, an MD from Harvard Medical School and an MBA from Stanford Business School, as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar.

Benjamin Chu, MD

A leader in creating patient-centered, integrated healthcare reforms, Dr. Chu advises clients on building collaborative partnerships.

He is Chair of the Board of Directors of The Commonwealth Fund. In 2015, Dr. Chu was elected to the National Academy of Medicine. He holds an undergraduate degree from Yale University, an MD from New York University School of Medicine and an MPH from Columbia University.

Patrick H. Conway

Dr. Conway is President and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. He was previously Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. 

He is a practicing pediatric hospitalist and was selected as a Master of Hospital Medicine from the Society of Hospital Medicine. He oversaw clinical operations and quality improvement at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Dr. Conway was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2014. He completed his pediatrics residency at Harvard Medical School’s Children’s Hospital Boston and holds graduate degrees from Baylor College of Medicine and Texas A&M University.

John Glaser, PhD

John Glaser is Senior Vice President of Population Health at Cerner. Before joining Cerner in 2015, he was Vice President and CIO at Partners HealthCare.

He was founding chair of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and past President of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

John is a fellow of CHIME, HIMSS and the American College of Medical Informatics, and is former Senior Advisor to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

He has authored many articles and books on the strategic application of IT in health care. He is on the faculty of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the Medical University of South Carolina, the UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics and the Harvard School of Public Health.

George C. Halvorson

George Halvorson is Chair and CEO of the Institute for InterGroup Understanding. He is also Chair of the First Five Commission for Children and Families for the State of California.

Halvorson served for more than 30 years as CEO of six health care delivery and financing organizations. He was Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente from 2002–2014. Prior to that position, he was CEO of the HealthPartners health plan and care system in Minnesota for 17 years.

Halvorson has been a member of more than 30 boards and commissions and has served as chair for more than a dozen boards, task forces and commissions. He currently serves on several child development-related task forces and commissions, including the Right Start Commission for the State of California, the long range planning advisory committee for the Superintendent of Schools for California.

Halvorson is the author of 15 books. His book Health Care Will Not Reform Itself was used as part of the health care reform legislation development. His most recent book, The Art Of InterGroup Peace, deals with instinctive inter group behavior and explains why we need to help all children have the right support for brain development in the first years of life to reduce the number of people we put in prison in America and increase the likelihood of inter group Peace.

Jeffrey Kang

Jeffrey L. Kang, MD is President of ChenMed, a physician group practice that takes care of low to moderate income elderly and receives capitated risk payments from Medicare Advantage plans for all of its patients’ care.

Before joining ChenMed in November 2015, Dr. Kang was Senior Vice President of Pharmacy, Health and Wellness Services and Solutions for Walgreens for three years, and Chief Medical Officer at CIGNA for nine years. Previously, Dr. Kang joined the Clinton Administration in 1994 as a White House Fellow and then subsequently served as the chief clinical officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) from 1995 to 2002. While with CMS, he was responsible for Medicare technology assessment and coverage policy, setting quality standards for Medicare participating hospitals and facilities and leading CMS’ quality measurement, improvement and patient safety activities.
Dr. Kang is an internist and geriatrician whose career began in 1984 as the Executive Director of the Urban Medical Group, a non-profit, private group practice specializing in the care of the frail elderly and disabled.

Dr. Kang received his MD from University of California at San Francisco and his MPH from the University of California at Berkeley. In addition to his duties at Walgreens, Dr. Kang is currently a Board Member of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.

David Kendrick, MD, Chair

David C. Kendrick, MD, MPH, FACP is the principal investigator and CEO of MyHealth Access Network, Oklahoma’s non-profit health information network, which ensures that every Oklahoman’s complete health record is securely available where and when they need it for care and health decision-making. MyHealth serves more than 3 million patients and is focused on improving health in Oklahoma and beyond by implementing a community-wide infrastructure for healthcare IT. MyHealth was one of ONC’s Beacon Communities and continues to serve as the Convener and Data Aggregator for Oklahoma’s Comprehensive Primary Care initiative, which has shown significant quality improvement each year and more than $100M in savings. MyHealth is focused on providing advanced health information exchange, community-wide care coordination tools, and a robust decision support platform to support providers and patients in improving health.

Dr. Kendrick is a member of the Board of Directors for the following organizations: National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)-Chair-elect; Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC); The Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI); Advisory Board to the Sequoia Project; and convening faculty for the Comprehensive Primary Care program (CPC). Dr. Kendrick proposed the Patient Centered Data Home™ model of nationwide interoperability which enables secure patient record exchange among states and regions where individuals receive care. Dr. Kendrick also served as Senior Counsel for Interoperability to the National Coordinator for Health IT and continues to work closely with the Office of ONC.

As a board certified internist and clinical informaticist, Dr. Kendrick chairs the Department of Medical Informatics at the University of Oklahoma’s School of Community Medicine, and serves the OU Health Sciences Center as the Assistant Provost for Strategic Planning. Previously, Dr. Kendrick was medical director at Archimedes, a California-based start-up utilizing advanced mathematics and modeling methods to simulate human disease, treatment, and costs to enable better decisions on care, costs, and policy.

Leeba Lessin

Leeba Lessin is retired CEO of CareMore Health System, a delivery system and Medicare Advantage Plan focused on the chronically ill and frail. In her roles as President and then CEO of CareMore, Lessin was instrumental in developing a unique partnership with Emory University to serve Medicare beneficiaries in Atlanta.

Prior to CareMore, Leeba held executive positions at PacifiCare Health Systems, and was President and CEO of Monarch Health Systems. She also founded Lessin Management Associates, which provides strategic consultation services to medical groups and managed care organizations.

Leeba co-founded a health care leadership degree program at Whittier College (Whittier, California) to create a 15-month program to expand the managerial effectiveness and upward mobility of health care professionals. She is a member of the operating Council of Consonance Capital Partners and volunteers with the Whittier Area Literacy Council and the Whittier Uptown Association, and is on the Board of Advisors for Westmont College. She also worked to launch Art Forms Whittier, a fine and performing arts development program for Whittier-area youth.

Ralph Muller

Mr. Muller is CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System (2003 – Present). He was previously President of The University of Chicago Hospitals and Health System (1985 – 2001)and a Visiting Fellow at the Kings Fund in London, UK, and was Deputy Dean of the Division of Biological Sciences at the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago.

Mr. Muller held senior positions with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, serving as Deputy Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Welfare. He is an elected Member of the National Academies of Medicine, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Mr. Muller received his BA in economics from Syracuse University and his MA in government from Harvard University.

Debra L. Ness, MS

Ms. Ness is President of the National Partnership for Women & Families. She previously worked at the Service Employees International Union, directing adult education and career development efforts and later conducting strategic planning and organizational development programs. She also headed field operations for NARAL.

Ms. Ness was one of the first public members of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Board of Directors and the American College of Cardiology Board of Trustees. She was appointed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to serve on the Guiding Committee of the Health Care Payment Learning & Action Network (HCPLAN) and co-chairs the HCPLAN Consumer & Patient Affinity Group.

She has a BA in psychology and sociology from Drew University and an MS from Columbia University School of Social Work.

Joseph P. Newhouse, PhD

Dr. Newhouse is the John D. MacArthur Professor of Health Policy and Management at Harvard University, Director of the Division of Health Policy Research and Education, and Director of the Interfaculty Initiative in Health Policy. He spent the first 20 years of his career at RAND, where he designed and directed the RAND Health Insurance Experiment and was Head of the RAND Economics Department.

In 1981, Dr. Newhouse became founding editor of the Journal of Health Economics. He has won the Victor R. Fuchs Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Health Economists and was the first recipient of the David N. Kershaw Award and Prize of the Association for Public Policy and Management.

He received his BA and PhD in economics from Harvard University and has received an honorary doctoral degree from the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He received his BA and PhD in economics from Harvard University and has received an honorary doctoral degree from the Pardee RAND Graduate Schoo

Len Nichols, PhD

Dr. Nichols, a health economist and policy analyst, is Professor of Health Policy and Director of the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics at George Mason University.

Formerly he was the Director of the Health Policy Program at the New America Foundation, Vice President of the Center for Studying Health System Change, a Principal Research Associate at the Urban Institute, Senior Advisor for Health Policy at the Office of Management and Budget during the Clinton reform efforts of 1993–94, and Associate Professor of Economics at Wellesley College.

He is a GAO-appointed member of the Physician Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee, which advises the Secretary of Health and Human Services on Medicare payment models. He earned his PhD in economics from the University of Illinois.

Margaret E. O’Kane, President

Margaret E. O’Kane is the 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, most recently in 2017, and one of the “Top 25 Women in Healthcare” 3 times.

She is a board member of the Milbank Memorial Fund and is Chairman of the Board 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.

Follow on Twitter: @PeggyNCQA

Brent Pawlecki, MD, MMM

Dr. Pawlecki is CHO for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and is responsible for developing the company’s global health strategy.

He received the Global Leadership in Corporate Health Award from the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and the National Business Group on Health®.

Dr. Pawlecki was Corporate Medical Director for Pitney Bowes Inc., and served as Corporate Medical Consultant and as Chief HIPAA Privacy Officer.

Dr. Pawlecki holds degrees from St. Louis University and completed his MMM at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.

Craig Samitt

Dr. Samitt is President and CEO, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. He was previously Chief Clinical Officer and President of the Diversified Business Group at Anthem, Inc.

He has held a number of senior executive positions, including President and CEO of HealthCare Partners, and president and CEO of Dean Health System Inc. Dr. Samitt was recognized as one of “50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders” by Modern Healthcare in 2018.

Dr. Samitt holds an undergraduate degree from Tufts University, a medical degree from Columbia University and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business. He completed a medical residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians.

Susan Stuard

Ms. Stuard is an independent consultant who advises clients on issues related health policy. She serves as the New York region’s payer convener for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative and is project director for the State Medicaid Alternative Reimbursement and Purchasing Test for High-cost Drugs (SMART-D) initiative at the Center for Evidenced-based Policy at OHSU. She co-chairs the Primary Care Steering Committee for the New York State Health Innovation Plan and serves on the New York State Health Innovation Council.

She led THINC, a nonprofit convening organization that established research-based criteria to enhance health care quality and value. She was also Director for Technology Policy Development at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

Ms. Stuard holds a BA from Hamilton College and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.

Glenda Wrenn, MD, MSHP, FAPA

Dr. Wrenn is the Chief Medical Officer of 180 Health Partners, where she provides executive clinical leadership for its programs that address the Social Determinants of Health. The StrongWell program serves opiate-dependent pregnant women. The certified multi-disciplinary StrongWell Care Team fills in the gaps of care and addresses critical access to care challenges that prevent our moms from receiving the care they need. While moms may not see themselves as strong when first entering into a partnership with StrongWell Care and Resource Teams, we help each mom realize through her strength, she can achieve her goals for herself, her baby, and her family.

Dr. Wrenn most recently served as founding Director of the Kennedy-Satcher Center for Mental Health Equity in the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine. Dr. Wrenn’s passion is to help create environments where individuals adversely impacted by trauma will face a path forward that makes it easier for them to recover and build a good life. She is a sought-after speaker and mental health policy advisor, nationally recognized for her behavioral health leadership.

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