Summit on Aging in America

Jason L. Barker, MHA, CPA, serves as the president of ChenMed’s Florida region. He also serves as the leader of ChenMed’s national Operations Center of Expertise. As the President of Florida, he ensures that ChenMeds’ unique model of care is properly staffed and executed across all Florida markets. In his national Operations Center of Expertise role, he ensures that the operating model is applied consistently across all of ChenMed’s markets across the country. ChenMed operates centers in seven states under the names of Chen Senior Medical Centers, Dedicated Senior Medical Centers, and JenCare Senior Medical Centers. Over his 30-year career in health care, Jason has led hospitals, medical groups, IPAs, and health plans. This has given him a unique perspective on how health care in our country operates—particularly how a dysfunctional and discordant system of conflicting incentives conspire to drive high costs and poor outcomes for consumers. In addition to his role at ChenMed, Jason has held President roles with Care More Health Plans, Providence St. Joseph Health System, SCL Health, Prospect Medical Systems, and Phycor.

Melanie Bella, MBA, is the chief of new business and policy for Cityblock Health, a care delivery company built for low-income urban populations with complex needs, with a focus on Medicaid and dual eligible populations. Before Cityblock, Melanie served as the first director of the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Prior to that, she was the Medicaid director for the state of Indiana, and then the senior vice president for policy and operations at the Center for Health Care Strategies. Melanie earned a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School, and a bachelor’s degree from DePauw University.

Gina Buccalo, M.D., is the medical director of the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust (the “Trust”). Dr. Buccalo provides medical leadership, strategic direction, oversight and support to the Trust’s clinical and population health programs. Since joining in 2017, Dr. Buccalo’s has focused on advancing integrated care models for Trust members, innovations in provider strategies, promoting primary care utilization within clinically integrated provider networks, and providing oversight to the implementation of new clinical programs designed to enhance members’ health care and quality of life. Before joining the Trust, she served as the chief medical officer and leader of St. John Providence Partners in Care (PIC), a joint venture partnership Physician Hospital Organization (PHO) between Ascension Michigan St. John Providence Health System and The Physician Alliance. In 2014, the PIC team received a $1.03 million Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) innovation grant to pilot an advanced community-based integrated model of care for frail and elderly persons that was successful in reducing hospital readmissions. Dr. Buccalo’s health care experience includes managed care, provider organization leadership and management, provider and hospital quality and performance improvement, and provider delivered complex care management. Dr. Buccalo is an active member of a new statewide initiative to accelerate learning and change through the Learning Health 4 Michigan Strategy and Coordination Group. She is the former president of the Macomb Physicians’ Organization, PLLC, and a founding partner of The Physician Alliance. As a Board Certified Internal Medicine physician, Dr. Buccalo has practiced in Metro Detroit for more than 25 years. She received her undergraduate degree from Northern Michigan University and a medical degree from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.

Rushika Fernandopulle, M.D., MPP, is a practicing physician and co-founder and chief executive officer of Iora Health, a venture backed, national de-novo primary care group based in Boston MA. He was the first executive director of the Harvard Interfaculty Program for Health Systems Improvement, and managing director of the Clinical Initiatives Center at the Advisory Board Company. He is a member of the Albert Schweitzer, Ashoka, Aspen, and Salzburg Global Fellowships, and is co-author or editor of several publications including Health Care Policy, a textbook for physicians and medical students, and Uninsured in America: Life and Death in the Land of Opportunity. He serves on the staff at the Massachusetts General Hospital, on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, and on the boards of Families USA and the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Care. He earned his A.B., M.D., and MPP (Masters in Public Policy) from Harvard University, and completed his clinical training at the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Yael Harris, Ph.D., MHS, is vice president of research and evaluation at the American Institutes for Research (AIR). Dr. Harris brings over 20 years of experience supporting data-driven efforts and health care system redesign to enhance access, quality and coordination of care for underserved and vulnerable populations. Dr. Harris is currently guiding efforts to measure the impact of incorporating questions related to social determinants of health into electronic health records at community health centers. Prior to arriving at AIR, she led technical assistance for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovations’ Accountable Health Communities. In this capacity, she provided guidance to federally funded entities tasked with coordinating social services for high risk Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. While employed by the Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Harris served in a variety of leadership positions including as director of Health IT and Quality at the Health Resources and Services Administration, director of the Office of Health Care Quality in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, director of Evaluation at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and government task lead at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Across these positions, she focused on integrating available services, supports, and resources to improve the clinical care and well-being of at-risk or frail individuals.

Preeti N. Malani, M.D., MSJ, is the chief health officer and a professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Michigan. She is the director of the National Poll on Healthy Aging based at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Health Policy and Innovation. By tapping into the perspectives of older adults and their caregivers, the National Poll on Healthy Aging helps inform the public, health care providers, policymakers, and senior advocates on issues related to health, health care and health policy affecting Americans 50 years of age and older. As chief health officer, Dr. Malani serves as an adviser to the University’s president on matters of health and wellness of the university community, including disease management, public health preparedness and promotion of healthy practices and climate on all three campuses. Dr. Malani is a graduate of the University of Michigan. She received her M.D. degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine. Prior to medical school, she completed a Masters in Journalism at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She completed her Internal Medicine residency and Infectious Diseases fellowship at the University of Michigan where she also received a Master’s Degree in Clinical Research Design and Statistical Analysis. Dr. Malani completed fellowship training in Geriatric Medicine at the Oregon Health and Science University.

Cheryl Phillips, M.D., is the president and chief executive officer of the Special Needs Plan Alliance, a national leadership association for special needs and Medicare-Medicaid plans serving vulnerable adults. Prior to this she was the senior vice president for public policy and health services at LeadingAge. She has also served as the chief medical officer of On Lok Lifeways, the originator of the PACE (Program of All-Inclusive care for the Elderly) model based in San Francisco, and the medical director for senior services and chronic disease management, for the Sutter Health System, a network of doctors, hospitals and other health providers in Northern California. As a fellowship-trained geriatrician, her clinical practice focused on nursing homes and the long-term care continuum. While at Sutter Health, she developed and led a care coordination program for high-risk seniors enrolled in the Medicare Advantage plan. Dr. Phillips is a past president of the American Geriatrics Society, the organization representing health care professionals committed to improving the health of America’s seniors; and is also a past president of the American Medical Directors Association, the physician organization for long-term care. She continues to serve on multiple technical advisory groups for chronic care, nursing home quality and home and community-based services and has provided multiple testimonies to the U.S. Congress. She is a frequent speaker to boards of directors for aging service providers, state and national meetings. She served as a primary care health policy fellow under Secretary Tommy Thompson, and was appointed by the Governor as a California Commissioner on Aging and appointed to the Olmstead Advisory Committee for California. Dr. Phillips is on the board of directors of the SCAN Foundation.

Stacy Sanders, MSW, is the deputy staff director of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging for Ranking Member Robert P. Casey (D-PA). Previously, Ms. Sanders was the federal policy director for the Medicare Rights Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities. In this role, Ms. Sanders led the organization’s federal policy analysis, regulatory and legislative advocacy and coalition building efforts. Prior to that, Ms. Sanders oversaw a national advocacy campaign to build economic security for older adults at Wider Opportunities for Women where she participated in federal initiatives to protect Social Security and strengthen the Older Americans Act. With a McGregor Geriatric Fellowship award, Ms. Sanders obtained a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan.

Lucy Theilheimer, M.A., joined Meals on Wheels America in January 2016 as chief strategy and impact officer. She is responsible for strategy and planning, research, and efforts to improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness. Prior to joining the Association, Lucy served in multiple roles at AARP. Most recently she served as senior vice president for organizational and management effectiveness and, prior to that, as senior vice president for enterprise strategy. She also has many years of experience in aging, health and long-term care at AARP, as well as other health and aging non-profit associations. Lucy received a B.A. in Sociology from George Mason University and an M.A. in Health Care Administration, Policy and Planning from George Washington University.

Nick Uehlecke is a professional staff member for the House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health majority staff. His portfolio includes all Medicare Part B issues. He previously worked on Medicare Advantage & Part D policies as well as Medicare fraud and program integrity across the system. Nick has been with the Subcommittee since the start of 2011, prior to which he was an analyst for the Marwood Group in several fields including health care for nearly three years. Nick is a graduate of the University of Richmond.

Edwin Walker, J.D., is the deputy assistant secretary for Aging of the Administration on Aging (AoA) within the Administration for Community Living. Mr. Edwin L. Walker serves as the chief career official for the federal agency responsible for advocating on behalf of older Americans. In this capacity, he guides and promotes the development of home and community-based long-term care programs, policies, and services designed to afford older people and their caregivers the ability to age with dignity and independence and to have a broad array of options available for an enhanced quality of life. This includes the promotion and implementation of evidence-based prevention interventions proven effective in avoiding or delaying the onset of chronic disease and illness. A strong and experienced advocate for older persons, he has served as the primary liaison with Congress on legislation related to aging services and programs. For more than 30 years, he has been characterized as a consummate professional civil servant who can be relied upon to represent the best interests of our nation’s senior citizens. Prior to joining the Administration on Aging, Mr. Walker served as the director of the Missouri Division of Aging, responsible for administering a comprehensive set of human service programs for older persons and adults with disabilities. He received a Juris Doctor degree in law from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Media Arts from Hampton University. A proud grandfather, he resides in Fort Washington, Maryland.

Cheryl Wilson, R.N., M.A., LNHA, has worked in the healthcare field for over 40 years. She has been chief executive officer of St. Paul’s Senior Services since 1990, and has been responsible for creating and providing many innovative services and programs for the communities throughout San Diego County. Her previous experience has been a broad spectrum of caring for Children, Seniors, and also teaching. As a consultant, she has designed and built, opened and operated skilled nursing facilities, surgical centers, retirement communities, and other programs and services to serve community health care needs. She is a board member of CalPACE and the San Diego Senior Alliance. She is active in the National PACE Association, LeadingAge (National), LeadingAge California, the Institute for Senior Living, and the Global Ageing Network (formerly, the International Association of Homes & Services for the Aging). She is a tireless advocator on behalf of senior issues, traveling to Sacramento, California and Washington D.C. several times each year, and is a Public Policy Committee Member for LeadingAge California. Cheryl received her R.N. at Prince Henry Nursing School in Australia, and her B.A. and M.A. from University of Redlands. She also holds a NHA license.



Stuart M. Butler, Ph.D., is a senior fellow in economic studies at The Brookings Institution. Prior to joining Brookings, Butler spent 35 years at The Heritage Foundation, as director of the Center for Policy Innovation and earlier as vice president for domestic and economic policy studies. He is also a visiting fellow at the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution. He is a member of the editorial board of Health Affairs and the board of Mary’s Center, a group of Washington D.C. area community health centers. Butler earned a M.A. in economics and history and a Ph.D. in American economic history from St. Andrews University.

Sarah J. Dash, MPH, is the president and chief executive officer at the Alliance for Health Policy. She drives the mission and vision of the Alliance, as well as advances and maintains the reputation of the organization as the leading nonpartisan resource for policymakers and health leaders in an evolving health policy environment. Sarah joined the Alliance in 2014 as the vice president for policy and became president and chief executive officer in May 2017. Sarah has long been an influential force in shaping health policy, having served as a senior aide on Capitol Hill and as a member of the research faculty at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms. Sarah holds a master’s degree in public health from Yale School of Public Health and a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and literature from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Sarah also holds an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University.

Nora Super, MPA, serves as director of policy and programs in the Center for the Future of Aging, whose mission is to improve lives and strengthen societies by promoting healthy, productive and purposeful aging. In this role, she is responsible for managing and creating data-driven research, meaningful policy initiatives and impactful convenings in the United States as well as internationally.

Prior to joining the Milken Institute, Nora has held several key leadership roles in the public and private sectors. Most recently, she served as the chief of program and services at the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a). In 2014, Nora was appointed by President Obama as executive director of the White House Conference on Aging, where she received wide recognition for her nationwide efforts to improve the quality of life of older Americans. In 2015, Nora was recognized as one of America’s top 50 “Influencers in Aging” by PBS Next Avenue and was the Honoree for Outstanding Service to Medicare Beneficiaries by the Medicare Rights Center. She has also held leadership roles at HHS, AARP, and Kaiser Permanente. Nora serves on several advisory boards, including the Long-Term Quality Alliance, the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Advisory Committee on Improving Care Delivery for Individuals with Serious Illness, AgingWell Hub Collaborators, Center for Disease Control and Alzheimer’s Association Healthy Brain Initiative Leadership Committee, and the editorial board of the Gerontological Society of America’s Policy and Aging Report. A frequent speaker on health and policy issues, Nora has also taught in the MBA program at Georgetown University, leading a faculty track on health care and the budget process. A native of New Orleans, Nora studied political science at Tulane University and completed her masters’ work in public administration, with a concentration in health policy, at George Washington University.