Featured Speakers

Learn more about our featured speakers and their expert areas. Contact us at speakersbureau@ncqa.org to book them for your next event!


Margaret E. O’Kane


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.

Margaret’s Expertise:

  • The Need for Health Equity and Payment Reform
  • Evolving Quality Measurement for the Digital Age
  • Helping Organizations Succeed in a Value-Based World


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.

Brad’s Expertise:

  • Digital Health
  • Digital Quality Transformation
  • Digital Measurement
  • Telehealth


Sarah Shih, MPH

Assistant Vice President, Research and Analysis

Sarah C. Shih, MPH, is the Assistant Vice President of Research and Analysis for the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). NCQA is a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of health care by translating the best science into standards that save lives, reduces costs and help people stay healthy. Ms. Shih co-leads NCQA’s Health Equity strategy to make health equity a cornerstone of quality improvement. Ms. Shih previously served as the Assistant Commissioner for the Bureau of Equitable Health Systems in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Sarah’s Expertise:

  • Health Equity Strategy
  • Interpretation of HEDIS and CAHPS
  • Methods in Monitoring Health


Rachel Harrington, PhD

Senior Research Scientist

Rachel Harrington is a Senior Research Scientist at the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), where she leads organizational efforts to build an evidence base to advance equitable, high quality, health care. This includes methods to promote transparency, incentivize reduction of inequities and develop equitable systems of care. In this role she directs the Equity in HEDIS program and research on novel approaches to measuring health equity, including data considerations and methods to evaluate disparities in quality performance. She has also done extensive work in the areas of risk adjusted utilization and appropriate medication use.

Rachel’s Expertise:

  • Health Equity
  • Quality Measurement
  • Risk-Adjusted Health Resource Utilization
  • Appropriate Medication Use in the Elderly


Learn more here or contact speakersbureau@ncqa.org to book these speakers.

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