NCHC Writers



Mr. John Rother is President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Coalition on Health Care, America’s oldest and most diverse group working to achieve comprehensive health system change. The Coalition’s membership of more than 80 participating organizations includes medical societies, businesses, unions, health care providers, faith-based associations, pension and health funds, insurers and groups representing consumers, patients, women, minorities and persons with disabilities.

Prior to joining the Coalition in 2011, Mr. Rother served as the longtime Executive Vice President for Policy, Strategy, and International Affairs at AARP. There he led the development of AARP’s policy positions and advocacy strategies. Under his leadership, AARP engaged in robust public policy research and analysis, public education and advocacy on health and retirement issues at the federal, state and international levels. Mr. Rother wrote numerous articles and was a frequent speaker on health, retirement security, the federal budget and the boomer generation.

From 1981 to 1984, Mr. Rother was Staff Director and Chief Counsel for the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging under the direction of Chairman John Heinz (R-PA). From 1977 to 1981, he served as Special Counsel for Labor and Health to U.S. Senator Jacob Javits (R-NY).

Mr. Rother is a graduate of Oberlin College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is a member of the DC Bar, the National Academy of Social Insurance and the Gerontological Society of America.

Mr. Rother serves on several boards, including the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation, the National Quality Forum, the Alliance for Health Reform, the Pension Rights Center and Generations United. He also serves on the MacArthur Foundation’s Aging Society Network and the Institute of Medicine’s National Roundtable on Value and Science-Driven Health Care. He has consistently been named as one of the Most Powerful People in Healthcare.

In 2010, Mr. Rother received the Robert Ball Award for Outstanding Achievements in Social Insurance from the National Academy of Social Insurance for “lifetime advocacy to strengthen Social Security and Medicare.”



Dr. Jack Lewin previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation. Previously, Dr. Lewin was CEO of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) from 2006 through April 2012. The 41,000 member ACC represents over 90% of U.S. cardiologists, 5,000 cardiovascular nurses and clinicians and over 5,000 international members. Prior to his stint at ACC, Lewin was CEO of the 35,000 member California Medical Association for eight years. Previously, he was Hawaii’s Director of Health from 1986-1994, overseeing 6,500 employees, 12 hospitals and a billion-dollar budget. Before that, as a Commissioned Officer in the US Public Health Service, Dr. Lewin was the founder and first Director of the Navajo Nation Department of Health, serving the needs of America’s largest American Indian tribe. He currently serves as the voluntary Chairman of the Board for the National Coalition on Health Care. In 2011, he was named as one of Modern Healthcare’s 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare. Dr. Lewin received his BA in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine, and his MD from the University of Southern California.



Peter Begans joined SCAN in 2010 to oversee healthcare policy making on the state and federal levels, and to open the organization’s first Washington, DC office.

Most recently, Peter was Vice President of Federal Affairs for Medco Health Solutions in Washington, DC. Prior to that he was Vice President of Government Relations for Prudential Insurance Company, also in Washington. His extensive experience in the political arena includes serving as Director of Communications for Governor Tom Kean of New Jersey. He was also a National Political Analyst for ABC News in New York. Peter graduated magna cum laude from Boston College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. He also holds a New Jersey Teaching Certificate from Jersey City State College.


As senior vice president of public affairs for Premier, Inc., Blair Childs is the primary spokesperson and communications strategist for Premier on key issues impacting healthcare cost and quality. He serves as liaison to the U.S. Congress, White House, healthcare policymakers and other major bodies involved in healthcare policy and regulation. Based in Washington D.C., Childs leads Premier’s Advocacy, Communications, Safety and Thought Leadership units and serves on the company’s Executive Team.

Prior to coming to Premier, Childs was Executive Vice President of Strategic Planning and Implementation for AdvaMed, the Advanced Medical Technology Association. Childs has held senior management positions in professional, trade and advocacy associations and a Fortune 500 company.

Childs has been at the center of policy issues in Washington, D.C. for more than two decades, playing a leading role on issues impacting medical devices, pharmaceuticals, insurers and hospitals. He has been responsible for organizing and leading public policy advocacy programs at the state and national levels on some of the nation’s most visible and complex issues over the last two decades, including tort, Medicare and healthcare reform. He is a respected and well-recognized expert on health policy and advocacy, and has appeared on all the major television networks as well as been quoted in most national publications.

Childs has held senior management positions in professional, trade and advocacy associations and a Fortune 500 company.


Don Crane is President and CEO of CAPG, the nation’s only professional association exclusively representing capitated, coordinated care organizations, and is a leading voice promoting the interests of physicians practicing accountable care across the nation. CAPG consists of approximately 200 multispecialty medical groups and IPAs that provide medical care to over 16 million patients across 40 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Mr. Crane is in the forefront of national public policy advocacy on behalf of accountable care organizations across the country as they make the journey from volume to value and move into risk-based alternative payment models. He is the lead producer and moderator of CAPG’s nationally acclaimed healthcare conferences.

A seasoned healthcare attorney, Mr. Crane practiced healthcare law for over 30 years and served as corporate counsel for several major integrated health systems. Mr. Crane speaks regularly on healthcare issues to a wide variety of physician groups, hospital boards, and academic meetings. He has been a guest lecturer on healthcare management issues to graduate students at major California universities.

Mr. Crane serves on the Board of Directors of the National Coalition on Health Care and Northridge Hospital Medical Center, and is a member of the UCLA Health Services Professional Advisory Council. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of CAPG Health, a magazine that reports on business trends, legislation, and industry initiatives impacting coordinated care.

Mr. Crane received his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and his J.D. from Loyola University of Los Angeles.


Mr. Chris Dawe is a Managing Director at Evolent Health, a leading provider of value-based care solutions to health systems and physicians. Prior to joining Evolent, Mr. Dawe was the Health Care Policy Advisor at the National Economic Council at the White House. In his role, he coordinated the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for President Obama’s economic team, with a particular focus on health system improvement and health issues in the federal budget debate.

Previously, Mr. Dawe served from 2011 to 2013 as the Director of Delivery System Reform at the US Department of Health and Human Services, where he coordinated the implementation of the elements of the ACA that seek to foster the delivery of higher quality, more affordable health care.

Before joining the Administration, Mr. Dawe served as a Professional Staff Member at the Senate Finance Committee for Chairman Max Baucus of Montana. During his tenure at the Finance Committee, he was responsible for issues relating to Medicare payment and delivery system reform, health information technology, patient-centered outcomes research and care coordination and quality improvement, including the creation of key elements of the ACA and HITECH Act such as Accountable Care Organizations, the CMS Innovation Center and Meaningful Use standards and incentives. From 2007 to 2008, Mr. Dawe served as the health policy advisor to Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts.

Prior to serving in the Senate, Mr. Dawe was the legislative analyst at Jennings Policy Strategies, a health care policy consulting firm led by Chris Jennings, President Clinton’s former senior health advisor. While at Jennings Policy Strategies, he served in 2006 as the Deputy Director for Global Health at the Clinton Global Initiative.

Before coming to Washington, Mr. Dawe was a market analyst at Partners Healthcare, Massachusetts’ largest hospital system.

Mr. Dawe is a native of Dighton, MA and a magna cum laude graduate of Bowdoin College.


Mr. Dave Dobbins is the Truth Initiative’s Chief Operating Officer. In this role, he provides senior management for the organization’s programmatic activities, including its public education campaigns, grant making, research and other tobacco control efforts.

Mr. Dobbins began his career as an attorney in private practice doing complex litigation, intellectual property and corporate transactions. One of his very first cases was working on the team defending noted tobacco industry whistleblower Dr. Jeffrey Wigand from claims brought against him by the tobacco company Brown & Williamson. Mr. Dobbins was also involved in working on nationwide class action suits brought against the insurance industry, based on the industry’s claims processing procedures. In that capacity, he served as a lead coordinator in a multi-party team addressing legal issues relating to that matter. In his corporate practice, Mr. Dobbins led acquisitions projects for a major publishing client and government contractor and oversaw the intellectual property portfolios of both these clients.

Mr. Dobbins joined the Truth Initiative (previously known as the American Legacy Foundation) in 2002 as its Associate General Counsel, and his work with the organization primarily consisted of overseeing the legal elements of the organization’s business practices and intellectual property portfolio. He was also actively involved in defending the Foundation in litigation against the Lorillard Tobacco Company. The Foundation ultimately prevailed against Lorillard’s claims that the Foundation’s truth® youth smoking prevention advertising constituted “vilification” and “personal attacks” prohibited by the Master Settlement Agreement.

Mr. Dobbins is a graduate of the University of Missouri and the University of Michigan Law School.


David Durenberger served as senior U.S. Senator from Minnesota (R-MN) from 1978 to 1995. He was elected to succeed Hubert and Muriel Humphrey and was the first Minnesota Republican ever elected to three terms in the Senate. Senator Durenberger’s health policy experience extends over three decades.

Sen. Durenberger began his lifelong commitment to public policy reform as Chief of Staff to Governor Harold LeVander of Minnesota in 1966, when Medicare, Medicaid and the Great Society’s myriad of categorical health, welfare and social programs were being launched in Washington.

In 1978 Sen. Durenberger was elected to the U.S. Senate. In 1980 he became chair of the Health Subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee and was catapulted into the leadership role in national health reform. He authored and co-authored most Medicare/Medicaid, health insurance and other health reform legislation from 1980 until President Clinton’s Health Security Act in 1993, including the original Health Insurance Reform Act, which eventually became Kassebaum-Kennedy in 1996 and the Medicare Choice reform, which was part of the Balanced Budget Act, passed in 1995 and vetoed by President Clinton.

During his Senate career, Sen. Durenberger chaired the Intergovernmental Relations Subcommittee, led President Reagan’s New Federalism effort in 1982, was a 14-year member of the Advisory Committee on Intergovernmental Relations, and served as Vice Chair of the Pepper Commission in 1989-1990.

Sen. Durenberger was also a member of HHS Secretary Otis Bowen’s Medicare Catastrophic Committee, the Congressional Bio Ethics Committee, the National Infant Mortality Commission and the Congressional Advisory Committee to the Office of Technology Assessment.

In addition to serving as Chairman of Citizens For Long Term Care, Sen. Durenberger was also the Senior Health Policy Fellow at the Graduate School of Business at the University of St. Thomas, and chair of their joint effort with the University of Minnesota to create the National Institute of Health Policy and the President of the Washington-based Medical Technology Leadership Forum. He authored Prescription for Change, a book on healthcare reform through consumer choice, and is an accomplished speaker on the subject.


(biography forthcoming)


Dr. Michael Maccoby is globally recognized as an expert on leadership. He is president of The Maccoby Group in Washington, DC and is an Associate Fellow of the Säid Business School, Oxford University.

For over 35 years, Dr. Maccoby has been consultant and coach to leaders in corporations, unions, universities, the World Bank and the State and Commerce Departments of the U.S. Government and the U.S. Army. He has worked in 36 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Dr. Maccoby became known internationally both for his books on leadership and his pioneering projects to improve the workplace. His book The Gamesman (1977), was the first bestseller to describe the new entrepreneurs and managers in high-tech industry. The Leader (1981) followed, presenting as an ideal, managers who developed both their organizations and people for a changing world. Why Work? Motivating the New Work Force (second edition, 1995), presents a new theory of motivation to fit the changing values of knowledge workers. It has been translated into 10 languages. Dr. Maccoby is co-author of Agents of Change: Crossing the Post Industrial Divide (2003), which describes his leadership of AT&T’s Workplace of the Future in the 1990s. His 2007 book, The Leaders We Need, And What Makes Us Follow, examines leadership from the point of followers as well as leaders.

His article “Narcissistic Leaders: the Incredible Pros, the Inevitable Cons”, January, 2000 won a McKinsey Award, which recognizes the two best Harvard Business Review articles published each year. It was the basis for the book, The Productive Narcissist: The Promise and Peril of Visionary Leadership, published in 2003. In 2007, Harvard Business School Press published the paperback with a new introduction, re-titled Narcissistic Leaders: Who Succeeds and Who Fails.

Dr. Maccoby was facilitator of the National Coalition on Health Care in developing specifications for a comprehensive U.S. health care policy and is on the board of the NCHC Action Fund. He has been a consultant on the management of change at health care centers, and received grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for the study “Leadership for Health Care in the Age of Learning”, which was published by the Association of Academic Health Centers in 2001. He is the senior author of Transforming Health Care Leadership, A Systems Guide to Improve Patient Health, Decrease Costs, and Improve Population Health (Summer, 2013).

Dr. Maccoby worked as a consultant, researcher and lecturer in Sweden from 1973-2005. His book Sweden At the Edge, Lessons for American and Swedish Managers (1991) described some of his work. In 2007, King Carl XVI Gustaf named him a Commander of the Royal Order of the Polar Star.

From 1978-90, Dr. Maccoby was director of the Program on Technology, Public Policy and Human Development at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He has taught at Harvard, University of Chicago, Cornell University, University of California, l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, Oxford, the Brookings Institution and the Washington School of Psychiatry. He received a B.A. in Social Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Social Relations from Harvard. He also studied philosophy at New College, Oxford, and psychoanalysis with Erich Fromm and graduated from the Mexican Institute where he was a training analyst. With Fromm, he wrote Social Character in a Mexican Village (1970, reissued in 1996). He has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, American Anthropological Association, Society for Applied Anthropology and the National Academy of Public Administration. He is a member of the boards of The Albert Shanker Institute, The Washington School of Psychiatry and Our Little Brothers and Sisters, an orphanage in Mexico, Honduras, Haiti, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia and Peru.


Shawn Martin, senior vice president, advocacy, practice advancement and policy at the AAFP, is responsible for overseeing the AAFP Division of Government Relations and the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care in Washington, DC, as well as the Division of Practice Advancement at the AAFP headquarters in Leawood, Kan. In this role, he directs legislative and private sector advocacy on issues such as physician payment and medical liability reform.

Martin serves on the board of directors of TransforMED, LLC. TransforMED is a subsidiary of the AAFP and was formed to facilitate the transformation of family medicine and primary care practices toward a new model of patient care.

Prior to joining the AAFP senior management team, Martin served as director of government relations and health policy and director of socioeconomic affairs at the American Osteopathic Association. He began his career at AOA as the assistant director of congressional affairs from 1999 to 2000, when he was promoted to deputy director of government relations and director of congressional affairs. In 2006, he was named director of government relations and health policy and, in 2011, he also became director of socioeconomic affairs at the AOA.

Martin has served on the National Quality Assurance Coalition Patient Centered Medical Home Advisory Board, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Practice Transformation Advisory Board, the Hospital and Facilities Accreditation Program Patient-Centered Medical Home Advisory Panel. He serves in leadership roles of several coalitions in Washington, including a six-year period as chair of the Health Coalition on Liability and Access. He also is an active member of the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative, where he has served in several official leadership roles since its inception in 2006.

In 2010, Martin received the Ryland Medal for Health Policy from the New York Institute of Technology, and in 2009, he received the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association President’s Citation. He was named by The Hill as one of the top 10 health care lobbyists in Washington, DC.

A native of Oklahoma, Martin earned his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and marketing from Phillips University in 1992.


Doug McKeever provides executive leadership for health policy and planning, health policy research, health plan contracting and administration, long-term care, retirement research and planning, state and federal legislation, and the CalPERS Center for Innovation. He oversees the purchase and delivery of health benefits to approximately 1.4 million people at a cost of more than $8 billion annually.

He has deep experience with the development and implementation of state and national policies relating to CalPERS’ health benefits program, as well as its rate negotiation strategies. In addition, he leads the development and implementation of innovations in the health care marketplace and is responsible for implementing health care reform efforts that impact CalPERS and its members.

Mr. McKeever joined the CalPERS team after serving as Director of Juvenile Programs at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). He also served as director of Mental Health at CDCR.

He serves on the board of the Pacific Business Group on Health, the board of the Public Sector Health Care Roundtable, and the board of the National Coalition on Health Care.

Mr. McKeever holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the California State University, Sacramento, and has earned a Project Management Certificate from the University of California, Davis.


Ms. Sonia Millsom is a healthcare executive with over 20 years of experience. She held a number of senior leadership positions at Best Doctors, Health Dialog, and United Healthcare. Sonia has a proven track record of entering new markets, building new lines of business and growing revenue. She consulted on employee benefits, managed client teams for a national health insurance carrier and led business development teams in the disease management and wellness industry. Sonia crafts innovative solutions with providers, payers and employers to improve clinical outcomes and reduce costs. In 2014, she received a Silver American Business Award for Female Executive of the Year for Consumer Services. She is a founding board member for The Amy Gallagher Foundation raising awareness for adult brain cancer. She is a mentor with Menttium for women executives and is a member of the Women Business Leaders in Healthcare.

Ms. Millsom earned a Masters in Public Health from Columbia University and a BA in Political Science from Boston College. She served as a Maternal and Child Health Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco, North Africa, She resides in Rhode Island with her husband and two children.


Mr. Damon A. Silvers is the Director of Policy and Special Counsel for the AFL-CIO. He joined the AFL-CIO as Associate General Counsel in 1997.

Mr. Silvers serves on a pro bono basis as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the state of New York. Mr. Silvers is also a member of the Investor Advisory Committee of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Treasury Department’s Financial Research Advisory Committee, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s Standing Advisory Group and its Investor Advisory Group.

Mr. Silvers served as the Deputy Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for TARP from 2008 to 2011. Between 2006 and 2008, he served as the Chair of the Competition Subcommittee of the United States Treasury Department Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession and as a member of the United States Treasury Department Investor’s Practice Committee of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets.

Prior to working for the AFL-CIO, Mr. Silvers worked for the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers, the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers, and as a law clerk at the Delaware Court of Chancery for Chancellor William T. Allen and Vice-Chancellor Bernard Balick.


Christine Simmon joined the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM) (formerly the Generic Pharmaceutical Association) in 2012 as the Senior Vice President of Policy & Strategic Alliances, marking her return to the Association where she had served as Vice President of Policy, Public Affairs & Development from 2002-2006. In her current role, Christine is responsible for leading policy development and issues management, as well as building relationships with strategic partners in the health care sector.

Before rejoining AAM, Christine was the Senior Director of Public Policy for CVS Caremark, where she was the policy lead for the integrated retail, convenient care clinic and PBM enterprise at both the state and federal levels. Prior to that, Christine was a policy, strategy and communications consultant to the health care industry, specializing in pharmaceutical matters. Previously, Christine was a Senior Policy Analyst at BlueCross BlueShield Association, where she helped position the insurer as a leading voice on pharmaceutical cost and safety issues.

Christine received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and her B.A. in American Studies from Georgetown University.


In September 2014, Dr. Susan Turney became the first CEO of Marshfield Clinic Health System.

Dr. Turney completed her internal medicine residency at Marshfield Clinic/St. Joseph’s Hospital and subsequently joined the staff at the Marshfield Clinic, where she practiced for 22 years and served as chair of the Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Director of Patient Financial Services.

In 2004, Dr. Turney became the CEO and executive vice president of the Wisconsin Medical Society. Among the Society’s accomplishments under her leadership was the founding of the Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network, created to improve individual and community health, promote patient-centered healthcare, and advance the use of information technology to improve healthcare quality and efficiency.

In October 2011, Dr. Turney became the President and CEO of MGMA-ACMPE, a national membership association for professional administrators and leaders of medical group practices whose members work in organizations that deliver 40 percent of healthcare services in the United States.

Dr. Turney has served on committees for the National Quality Forum and the American Medical Association and fulfilled appointments by the Wisconsin governor and the the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary. She served as the 2005-2006 MGMA Board chair and has been an ACMPE Fellow since 2005.


Dr. Debra Bailey Whitman is AARP’s Executive Vice President, Policy, Strategy and International Affairs. She is an authority on aging issues with extensive experience in national policymaking, domestic and international research, and the political process.

Dr. Whitman oversees AARP’s Public Policy Institute, Office of Policy Integration, Office of International Affairs and Office of Academic Affairs. She works closely with the board and National Policy Council on a broad agenda to develop AARP policy priorities and make life better for older Americans. An economist, she is a strategic thinker whose career has been dedicated to solving problems affecting economic and health security, and other issues related to population aging.

As staff director for the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, Dr. Whitman worked to increase retirement security, preserve a strong system of Social Security, lower the cost of health care, protect vulnerable seniors, safeguard consumers, make the pharmaceutical industry more transparent and improve our nation’s nursing homes. She has sought bipartisan, fact-based solutions to these and other challenges facing older Americans.

Dr. Whitman previously worked for the Congressional Research Service as a specialist in the economics of aging. In this capacity, she provided members of Congress and their staff with research and advice, and authored analytical reports describing the economic impacts of policies affecting older Americans, as well as the distributional and intergenerational effects of legislative proposals. From 2001 to 2003, she served as a Brookings LEGIS Fellow to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, working as a health policy adviser to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

Earlier in her career, Dr. Whitman conducted research on savings and retirement for the Social Security Administration, helping to establish the Retirement Research Consortium and serving as the founding editor of the Perspectives section of the Social Security Bulletin. She holds a master’s and doctorate in economics from Syracuse University and bachelor’s in economics, mathematics and Italian from Gonzaga University.

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