Post Election Symposium

Session 1: What Just Happened and What Does it Mean for Health Care?

Robert J. Blendon, Sc.D. is the Richard L. Menschel Professor of Public Health and Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis, Emeritus, as well as Director of the Harvard Opinion Research Program. For the past decade, he was Senior Associate Dean of Policy Translation and Leadership Development at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and a faculty member of Harvard Kennedy School. He directs the Harvard Opinion Research Program, which focuses on the better understanding of public knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about health and other major domestic public policy issues, and was the 2008 recipient of the Warren J. Mitofsky Award for Excellence in Public Opinion Research. He currently co-directs the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health project on understanding Americans’ Health Agenda, including a joint series with National Public Radio and POLITICO. Prior to his Harvard appointment, he was senior vice-president at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In addition, he has served as a senior consultant for the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Governors’ Association, and the U.S. Congress Committee on Ways and Means. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a doctoral degree in health policy from the School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.

Contact: rblendon@hsph.harvard.edu

Liz Hamel is vice president and director of Public Opinion and Survey Research at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, where she directs KFF’s polling work including the monthly Health Tracking Poll and ongoing survey partnerships with news media organizations such as The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and CNN. Her public opinion research experience spans a wide range of health-related topics, including people’s experiences in the health care system; views of the ACA, Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance; attitudes and experiences related to prescription drugs; and the role of health care in elections. Hamel is an active member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and its Pacific chapter (PAPOR), and has served on the Executive Council of both organizations. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University.

Contact: LizH@kff.org

Joanne Kenen is the executive editor of health care at POLITICO, where since 2011 she has led an expansion of its health care coverage, tripling the size of the team, adding investigative reporting, and putting reporters in key state capitols. She also still writes for Politico, Politico Magazine, and the Agenda, Politico’s online policy magazine. A graduate of Harvard, Kenen covered health for Reuters on Capitol Hill for more than a decade, and wrote about end of life during a Kaiser Family Foundation media fellowship in 2007. Her work has also appeared in the Atlantic, the Washington Post, Kaiser Health News, Health Affairs, Slate, the Washingtonian, and numerous other outlets. A regular panelist on KHN’s “What the Health” podcast, she has been a radio and TV commentator, a frequent speaker and moderator, a guest lecturer at universities, and a leadership fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Contact: jkenen@politico.com


Session 2: Immediate Priorities for the Next Administration, Congress, and States

Clay Alspach, J.D., is a principal based in Washington, D.C. Clay specializes in federal health care policy and advocacy related to the FDA, Medicare, Medicaid, private health insurance and digital health. Prior to joining Leavitt Partners, Clay served as Chief Health Counsel for Chairman Fred Upton of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee. During seven years with the committee, he managed, provided strategic direction, and served as the principal representative for the committee on all of its health care-related work. Clay spearheaded legislative initiatives that successfully reformed the SGR (MACRA), reauthorized FDA user fees (FDASIA), and established a national system for drug supply chain security (Drug Quality and Security Act). Clay also led the committee’s legislative accomplishments on biopreparedness and security, public and private medical research, controlled substance and DEA matters, and the 21st Century Cures Act. Prior to this service for the committee, Clay clerked for the Honorable Ronald L. Buckwalter of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and worked as a litigator in private law practice. He also worked as a legislative clerk at the committee from 1999 to 2000 under Chairman Thomas J. Bliley (R-VA). Clay received his bachelors of arts cum laude from the University of Richmond and holds a juris doctor from the University of Texas at Austin.

Contact: clay.alspach@leavittpartners.com

Chris Jennings is an over three decades-long health policy veteran of the White House, the Congress and the private sector. Mr. Jennings is currently President of Jennings Policy Strategies (JPS), a nationally respected health care consulting firm committed to assisting foundations and other aligned stakeholders develop policies to ensure higher quality, more affordable health care. In January 2014, Mr. Jennings departed from his second tour of duty in the White House where he served as Senior Advisor to the President for Health Policy. He served in a similar capacity in the Clinton White House for eight years. From his positions, Mr. Jennings has helped pass, enact and implement the Affordable Care Act, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and numerous other health reforms. In his decade of service in the U.S. Senate, he served as the Deputy Director of the Special Committee on Aging for three Senators (including his home state Senator, John Glenn) and led major reform efforts in the areas of long-term care, prescription drug coverage/cost containment, and rural health care. Outside of government service, Mr. Jennings has been a senior health policy advisor to ten Presidential campaigns, the 2008, 2016 and 2020 Democratic Platform Drafting Committees, and multiple gubernatorial and Senate candidates. Most recently, Vice President Biden appointed Mr. Jennings as one of his members of the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force.

Contact: ccj@jenningsps.com

Rachel Nuzum, MPH, is vice president for the Federal and State Health Policy initiative at The Commonwealth Fund, working closely with policymakers at the state and federal level. Ms. Nuzum is responsible for developing and implementing the Fund’s national policy strategy for improving health system performance, ensuring that the work of the Fund and its grantees informs the policy process in both the legislative and executive branches of state and federal government. Ms. Nuzum’s work also includes fostering public–private collaboration on health system performance improvement with state and federal stakeholders and organizations. Ms. Nuzum has over 15 years of experience working in health policy at the federal, state, and local levels of government, as well as in the private sector. Before joining the Fund in January 2007, Ms. Nuzum was a legislative advisor for Senator Maria Cantwell (Wash.) on health, retirement and tax issues. Prior to joining Senator Cantwell’s office, she served as a David Winston Health Policy Fellow in Senator Jeff Bingaman’s (N.M.) office. In this role, Ms. Nuzum staffed the Senator on the Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. Before arriving in Washington, D.C., she served former Governor Roy Romer of Colorado in the office of Boards and Commissions and worked as a health planner in west central Florida. She holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Colorado and an M.P.H. in Health Policy and Management from the University of South Florida. She is on the faculty of Georgetown University’s Graduate School of Nursing and Health Professions and is on the board of the Winston Health Policy Fellowship.

Contact: rn@cmwf.org

Avik Roy is the president of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FREOPP.org), a non-partisan, non-profit think tank that conducts original research on expanding opportunity to those who least have it. Roy’s work has been praised widely on both the right and the left. National Review has called him one of the nation’s “sharpest policy minds,” while the New York Times’ Paul Krugman described him as man of “personal and moral courage.” He has advised three presidential candidates on policy, including Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, and Mitt Romney. As the Senior Advisor to Perry’s campaign in 2015, Roy was also the lead author of Gov. Perry’s major policy speeches. The Wall Street Journal called Perry’s address on intergenerational black poverty “the speech of the campaign so far.” Roy also serves as the Policy Editor at Forbes, and manages The Apothecary, the influential Forbes blog on health care policy and entitlement reform. He is a frequent guest on television news programs. Hugh Hewitt has called Roy “the most influential conservative analyst on health care.” NBC’s Chuck Todd, on Meet the Press, said Roy was one “of the most thoughtful guys [who has] been debating” health care reform. Ezra Klein, editor-in-chief of Vox.com, called The Apothecary one of the few “blogs I disagree with [that] I check daily.” Among other titles, Roy is the author of Affordable Health Care for Every Generation: A Patient-Centered Plan for Universal Coverage and Permanent Fiscal Solvency, published by FREOPP in 2019. He serves on the advisory board of the National Institute for Health Care Management, is a Senior Advisor to the Bipartisan Policy Center, and co-chaired the Fixing Veterans Health Care Policy Taskforce. He was born and raised near Detroit, Michigan, and graduated from high school in San Antonio, Texas. USA Today named him to its All-USA High School Academic First Team, honoring the top 20 high school seniors in the country. Roy was educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied molecular biology, and the Yale University School of Medicine.

Contact: aroy@freopp.org

Julie Rovner is the Robin Toner distinguished fellow and chief Washington correspondent at Kaiser Health News. She joined KHN after 16 years as health policy correspondent for NPR, where she helped lead the network’s coverage of the passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. A noted expert on health policy issues, Ms. Rovner is the author of the critically praised reference book Health Care Politics and Policy A-Z, now in its third edition. In 2005, she was awarded the National Press Foundation’s Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting of Congress. Prior to NPR, Ms. Rovner covered health policy for National Journal’s Congress Daily and for Congressional Quarterly, among other organizations.

Contact: jrovner@kff.org


Session 3: What’s the Long-Term Vision for Health Care in America?

Ian Morrison is an internationally known author, consultant, and futurist specializing in long-term forecasting and planning with particular emphasis on health care and the changing business environment. He combines research and consulting skills with an incisive Scottish wit to help public and private organizations plan their longer-term future. Ian has written, lectured, and consulted on a wide variety of forecasting, strategy, and health care topics for government, industry, and a variety of nonprofit organizations in North America, Europe, the Middle-East and Asia. He has spoken to a range of audiences from the boards of Fortune 100 companies to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing. Ian has worked with more than 100 Fortune 500 companies in health care, manufacturing, information technology, and financial services. Recent client sponsors include CVS Health, Kaiser Permanente and the Mayo Clinic. He is a frequent commentator on the future for television, radio, and the print media. Ian is the author of Leading Change in Healthcare: Building a Viable System for Today and Tomorrow (AHA Press, June 2011) and Healthcare in the New Millennium: Vision, Values and Leadership (Jossey-Bass, 2002). His previous book: The Second Curve – Managing The Velocity of Change (Ballantine, 1996) was a New York Times Business Bestseller and Businessweek Bestseller and was published in 7 languages. Ian has co-authored several other books and chapters, including Future Tense: The Business Realities of the Next Ten Years (William Morrow, 1994) and Looking Ahead at American Health Care (McGraw-Hill, 1988). He also has co-authored numerous journal articles for publications such as Chief Executive, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Across the Board, The British Medical Journal, New England Journal of Medicine, and Health Affairs. Ian is a past President of the Institute for the Future (IFTF). Ian is a founding partner in Strategic Health Perspectives a joint venture between Harris Interactive and the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Health Policy and Management. In 2017 the Strategic Health Perspectives team joined with Leavitt Partners (Health Intelligence Partners HIP program) a forecasting and intelligence service for clients in the healthcare industry. Ian serves as a Senior Advisor to Leavitt Partners and to HIP.

From 1996-1999, Ian was retained by Accenture, (formerly Andersen Consulting), as Chairman of the Health Futures Forum. In that capacity, Ian chaired a number of international forums on the future of healthcare. Before coming to IFTF in 1985, Ian spent seven years in British Columbia, Canada, in a variety of research, teaching, and consulting positions. Ian holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in urban studies from the University of British Columbia; an M.A. in geography from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and a graduate degree in urban planning from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England). He is a past director and chair of the California Health Care Foundation; a director of the new Martin Luther King Community Hospital in Los Angeles; a past director of the Health Research and Education Trust (HRET), the research and education arm of the American Hospital Association; and a past director of the Center for Healthcare Design. Ian currently serves on the Founder’s Council of United States of Care a new non-partisan non-profit movement to achieve long-lasting solutions that make health care better for everyone. He is a senior advisor to Concord Health Partners a healthcare investment firm. He also serves on the Advisory Council of the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (an affiliate of the American Medical Group Association) and served as a member of the Stakeholders Advisory Committee of the Program on Health System Improvement at Harvard University. In 2018 Ian received the American Hospital Association’s Board of Trustees Award, for his more than 20 years of service to the AHA and the healthcare field.


Session 4: Carving a Leadership Path Forward: Perspectives from the Ground

Mark McClellan, M.D., PhD, is the Robert J. Margolis Professor of Business, Medicine, and Policy, and founding Director of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke University. With offices in Durham, NC and Washington, DC, the Center is a university-wide Duke initiative that is quickly becoming nationally and internationally-recognized for research, evaluation, implementation, and educational initiatives to improve health policy and health. It integrates Duke’s expertise in the social, clinical, and analytical sciences alongside engagement with health care leaders and stakeholders, to develop and apply policy solutions that improve health, health equity, and the value of health care locally, nationally, and worldwide. Dr. McClellan is a doctor and an economist whose has addressed a wide range of strategies and policy reforms to improve health care, including payment reform to promote better outcomes and lower costs, methods for development and use of real-world evidence, and strategies for more effective biomedical innovation.  At the center of the nation’s efforts to combat the pandemic, Dr. McClellan is the co-author of a roadmap that details the steps needed for a comprehensive COVID-19 response and safe reopening of our country. His current work on responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency spans virus containment and testing strategies, reforming health care toward more resilient models of delivering care, and accelerating the development of therapeutics and vaccines. Before coming to Duke, he served as a Senior Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, where he was Director of the Health Care Innovation and Value Initiatives and led the Richard Merkin Initiative on Payment Reform and Clinical Leadership. He also has a highly distinguished record in public service and academic research. Dr. McClellan is a former administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where he developed and implemented major reforms in health policy. These include the Medicare prescription drug benefit, Medicare and Medicaid payment reforms, the FDA’s Critical Path Initiative, and public-private initiatives to develop better information on the quality and cost of care. He has also previously served as a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and senior director for health care policy at the White House, and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Department of the Treasury. Dr. McClellan is the founding chair and a Senior Advisor of the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA and a member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). He chairs the NAM’s Leadership Council for Value and Science-Driven Health Care, co-chairs the Guiding Committee of the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network, and is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is also a Senior Advisor on the faculty of the University of Texas Dell Medical School and is an independent director on the boards of Johnson & Johnson, Cigna, Alignment Healthcare, and PrognomIQ. He was previously an associate professor of economics and medicine with tenure at Stanford University, and has twice received the Kenneth Arrow Award for Outstanding Research in Health Economics.

Contact: mark.mcclellan@duke.edu

Bob Kocher, M.D., is a partner at Venrock and focuses on healthcare IT and services investments. He currently serves on the Boards of Devoted Health, Virta Health, Aledade, Renew Health, Lyra Health, and Premera. He is a Board Observer at Grand Rounds, Stride, Doctor on Demand, and Suki. Additionally, he is an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow and Advisory Board Member at the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at USC. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the National Institute of Healthcare Management (NIHCM). Prior to Venrock, Bob served in the Obama Administration as Special Assistant to the President for Healthcare and Economic Policy on the National Economic Council, as a Partner at McKinsey & Company, and is an internal medicine doctor.

Contact: bkocher@venrock.com

Nirav R. Shah, M.D,, MPH, is senior scholar at Stanford University’s Clinical Excellence Research Center. He is a leader in patient safety and quality, innovation and digital health, and the strategies required to transition to lower-cost, patient-centered health care. Board-certified in Internal Medicine, Dr. Shah is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale School of Medicine, and is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine. He serves as an independent director for STERIS plc, as trustee for The John A. Hartford Foundation, as Senior Fellow of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), and as a member of the HHS Secretary’s Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030. Previously, he served as senior vice president and Chief Operating Officer for clinical operations for Kaiser Permanente in Southern California, and as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health.

Contact: nirav.shah@stanford.edu

Kaakpema “KP” Yelpaala, MPH, is the CEO and Founder of access.mobile International. He is an entrepreneur and public health practitioner with a deep understanding of health systems and over 15 years of experience working across the public and private sectors in the United States, East and West Africa, and the Caribbean. He is an expert in national scale health program implementation, technology innovation and the intersection of health and technology policy. Prior to founding access.mobile in 2011, KP worked at Dalberg Global Development Advisors and served as one of the early employees of the Clinton Health Access Initiative. He serves on the Yale School of Public Health Leadership Council, COVID Check Colorado Advisory Board, American Hospital Association Rural Health Insights Leadership Forum, and the Expert Council of Axios International. He has taught at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies and was appointed to and served on the Governor of Colorado’s Small Business Council. KP is recognized internationally for developing mobile health engagement solutions and for translating digital health innovations and learnings across markets. He is a regular speaker in international forums and has been featured in media outlets including CNN, CNBC, and NPR. KP holds an MPH from the Yale School of Public Health and a BA with Honors from Brown University.

Contact: kp@accessmobileinc.com