Right Care, Right Patient, Right Time: The Role of Comparative Effectiveness Research

Alfiee M. Breland-Noble, Ph.D., MHSc, (recognized professionally as Dr. Alfiee) is a sought-after media personality, researcher, and consultant. She is an expert in teen, young adult, and family mental health and is known nationally as a gifted scientist, public speaker, and author. She appears on and collaborates with major television networks (e.g. NBC, PBS, Fox Sports and A & E, Lifetime Television, and Lucky 8 Productions), established print media (e.g. the Chronicle of Higher Education, Tonic, Black Enterprise, and Ebony Magazine), and podcasts. She also consults with Fortune 100 companies (e.g. Morgan Stanley, Cigna), prestigious education and research organizations (e.g. NCAA, the Big East Conference, SAMHSA), non-profits (e.g. A Better Chance, Management Leadership for Tomorrow), independent K-12 schools and districts, colleges and universities, and mental health non-profits (e.g. the Steve Fund where she is tasked with leading the organization’s scientific focus as Senior Scientific Advisor). Dr. Alfiee is a highly sought-after speaker at international venues where she lectures on topics related to helping racially diverse young people (and young at heart) live mentally healthy lives. With a primary focus on teens, college students, families, and communities of color, she is recognized for her remarkable ability to motivate and inspire by translating complex scientific concepts (developed via her 20+ years of research leadership in R1 institutions) into everyday language. Dr. Alfiee was trained at Howard University, New York University, the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the Duke University School of Medicine. She believes deeply that there is enough love, light, and science for all to achieve optimal mental health.


John Bulger, D.O., MBA, is the chief medical officer of Geisinger Health Plan (GHP) and the chief medical officer for population health for the Geisinger Health System. The Geisinger Health System has a clinical presence spanning central Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. GHP serves over 500,000 members throughout central Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He is tasked with improving the quality and affordability of care for the people and populations that Geisinger serves. Dr. Bulger served as the chief quality officer for the Geisinger Health System from 2011 to 2015.  Prior to that, Dr. Bulger founded Geisinger Medical Center’s hospitalist program with six physicians and lead the program’s development to include six hospitals and over 100 physicians and advanced practitioners. He is a general internist and has been at Geisinger since 1998. Dr. Bulger is a lifelong resident of Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Juniata College, PCOM, and the Pennsylvania State University. His wife, Michele, is a pediatrician and member of Geisinger’s faculty. They reside in Danville with their children Ethan, Ben, and Ava.

Eleanor Perfetto, M.S., Ph.D., is executive vice president of the National Health Council (NHC). Previously she served as NHC’s senior vice president of strategic initiatives. Dr. Perfetto also holds a part-time faculty appointment at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy where she is professor of pharmaceutical health service research. Her research and policy work primarily focus on patient engagement in health care, including comparative effectiveness and patient centered-outcomes research (CER-PCOR); medical product development; patient-reported outcome selection and development; value assessment; and health care quality. Prior to joining the University faulty, Dr. Perfetto was with Pfizer Inc. for over almost eight years, most recently as senior director of federal government relations; past positions were in evidence-based strategies and payment policy analysis. She served in the U.S. Public Health Service as senior pharmacoepidemiologist at the Agency for Health Care Policy & Research (now Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality) and began her government career by serving for 6 years as a pharmacist in the Indian Health Service in South Dakota and Oklahoma. Dr. Perfetto served as co-chair for the 2016 ISPOR Annual Meeting and as a past board chair for the Pharmacy Quality Alliance. She is a current board member for the Center for Medical Technology Policy. In the past, she has served as a member of the CMS MedCAC; co-chair of the National Quality Forum Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Project and Patient-Reported Outcomes Expert Panel; a member of the Health Industry Council Board of Advisors; and past president and board member for the Drug Information Association Board. Dr. Perfetto holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health with concentrations in health policy and epidemiology. Dr. Perfetto has served as an assistant editor for the Journal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy and serves as a peer reviewer for journals, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, government granting agencies, and pharmacy professional organizations. She has spoken at many national and international conferences on patient-focused drug development, CER-PCOR, value assessment, healthcare quality, and related policy and regulatory topics. She has contributed book chapters, published in professional journals, and presented at numerous scientific meetings. In 2009, she received the Distinguished Alumni award from the University of Rhode Island. As a caregiver for a spouse who suffered from dementia due to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Dr. Perfetto is a recognized advocate for patients with head-trauma-related dementia and their families. In May 2007, she received the Alzheimer’s Association New York City Chapter Advocacy Leadership Award. In 2010, she received the Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area Chapter Award for Advocacy & Awareness. In 2012, she received the Legacy Award from the Concussion Legacy Foundation, for which she is past board president and member.

Sean Tunis, M.D., M.Sc., is the founder and senior strategic advisor with the Center for Medical Technology Policy (CMTP) in Baltimore, Maryland. CMTP is an independent, non-profit organization that provides a neutral platform for multi-stakeholder collaborations that are focused on improving the quality, relevance, and efficiency of clinical research. Dr. Tunis is the current president of Health Technology Assessment International and a principal with Rubix Health, where he consults for a number of public and private sector organizations focused on issues of comparative effectiveness, innovation, health technology assessment, evidence-based medicine, clinical research, and reimbursement. Through September of 2005, Dr. Tunis was the director of the Office of Clinical Standards and Quality and chief medical officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Before joining CMS, Dr. Tunis served as the director of the Health Program at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and as a health policy advisor to the U.S. Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, where he participated in policy development regarding pharmaceutical and device regulation. He received a B.S. degree in biology and history of science from the Cornell University School of Agriculture and a medical degree and master’s in health services research from the Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Tunis did his residency training at UCLA and the University of Maryland in emergency medicine and internal medicine. He is board certified in internal medicine and holds adjunct faculty appointments at Johns Hopkins, Tufts, and the University of California San Francisco Schools of Medicine.

Gail Wilensky, Ph.D., joined Project HOPE in 1993. She is an economist and senior fellow at Project HOPE. Prior to joining Project HOPE, Dr. Wilensky directed the Medicare and Medicaid programs and served in the White House as a senior adviser on health and welfare issues to President George H.W. Bush. She was also the first chair of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. Her expertise is on strategies to reform health care in the United States with particular emphasis on Medicare, comparative effectiveness research, and military health care. Dr. Wilensky testifies frequently before Congressional committees, serves as an adviser to members of Congress and other elected officials, and speaks nationally and internationally. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan.



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 CEO 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 the Yale School of Public Health and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and literature from MIT. Sarah also holds an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University.