Press Release GAO Announces Appointments to New National Health Care Workforce Commission

WASHINGTON, DC (September 30, 2010) – Gene L. Dodaro, Acting Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), today announced the appointment of 15 members to the new National Health Care Workforce Commission.

“Today’s appointees bring impressive expertise and professional credentials to their role of advising policymakers on ways to improve the health care workforce which is so essential to ensuring the health and safety of the American people,” Dodaro said.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act created the Commission to serve as a national resource for Congress, the President, and states and localities; to communicate and coordinate with federal departments; to develop and commission evaluations of education and training activities; to identify barriers to improved coordination at the federal, state, and local levels and recommend ways to address them; and to encourage innovations that address population needs, changing technology, and other environmental factors.

The Act requires the Comptroller General to appoint the Commission members and the members are required to be appointed for three-year terms, but staggered terms are mandated for the first 15 members appointed in September 2010. Those first set of appointments are set at one, two, or three years.

Commissioners whose first term will expire in September 2013 are:

  • Peter Buerhaus, PhD, RN, Professor of Nursing and Director, Center for Interdisciplinary Health Workforce Studies, Institute for Medicine and Public Health, Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Buerhaus will serve as Chair of the Commission.
  • Sheldon Retchin, MD, MSPH, Vice President for Health Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth University and Chief Executive Officer, VCU Health System. Dr. Retchin will serve as Vice Chair of the Commission.
  • Brian J. Isetts, PhD, Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems, University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy.
  • Harold M. Maurer, MD, Chancellor, University of Nebraska Medical Center.
  • Thomas Ricketts, PhD, Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, and Deputy Director for Policy Analysis, Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research.


Commissioners whose first term will expire in September 2012 are:

  • Mary Mincer Hansen, RN, PhD, Director, Masters in Public Health Program, College of Health Sciences, Des Moines University.
  • John E. Maupin, Jr., DDS, President, Morehouse School of Medicine.
  • Neil M. Meltzer, MPH, President and Chief Operating Officer, Sinai Hospital, Baltimore, MD.
  • Fitzhugh Mullan, MD, Professor of Public Health and Pediatrics, George Washington University.
  • Steven Zatkin, JD, consultant to health plans.


Commissioners whose first term will expire in September 2011 are:

  • Katherine A. Flores, MD, Director of the University of California (UCSF) Fresno Latino Center for Medical Education and Research.
  • Kim Gillan, Workforce Development and Training Coordinator, Montana State University’s Billings (MSUB) College of Professional Studies and Lifelong Learning.
  • Lisa Renee Holderby, Director of Health Equity, Community Catalyst.
  • Deborah King, Executive Director, 1199SEIU Training and Employment Funds.
  • Richard Krugman, MD, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, University of Colorado Denver and Dean, University of Colorado School of Medicine.


Attached are brief biographies of the new board members. The official announcement of the appointments will be published in the Federal Register. For more information, contact Mary Giffin of GAO's Health Care team at (202) 512-7114 or Chuck Young in GAO's Office of Public Affairs at (202) 512-4800, or visit GAO’s National Health Care Workforce Commission web page


The U.S. Government Accountability Office, known as the investigative arm of Congress, exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities. GAO also works to improve the performance of the federal government and ensure its accountability to the American people. The agency examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other data to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO's commitment to good government is reflected in its core values of accountability, integrity, and reliability.


Following are brief biographies of the new members of National Health Care Workforce Commission:

Peter Buerhaus, PhD, RN, (Chair) is Professor of Nursing and Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Health Workforce Studies at the Institute for Medicine and Public Health at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN. His research has addressed a broad range of health workforce issues including employment and earnings, forecasting, and quality of patient care. Prior to his work at Vanderbilt, he was Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management at Harvard School of Public Health where he developed the Harvard Nursing Research Institute. He served as assistant to the chief executive officer of The University of Michigan Medical Center’s seven teaching hospitals. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and serves on the Joint Commission’s Nursing Advisory Committee. He has served on the National Institutes of Health National Advisory Council for Nursing Research and on the National Quality Forum Steering Committee on Nursing Quality Performance Measures. He received a BS from Mankato State University, a masters in nursing health services administration from The University of Michigan, and a PhD from Wayne State University.

Katherine A. Flores, MD, is Director of the University of California (UCSF) Fresno Latino Center for Medical Education and Research. Dr. Flores is a practicing family physician in Fresno and has extensive experience in the arena of health professions diversity and health professions pipeline development. She is Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at UCSF Fresno. She is Chair of the California Health Professions Consortium and serves on the Governor's Healthcare Workforce Diversity Council. She received a BA from Stanford University and an MD from the University of California, Davis.

Kim Gillan is the Workforce Development and Training Coordinator at Montana State University’s Billings (MSUB) College of Professional Studies and Lifelong Learning. At MSUB, she coordinates short-term workforce trainings targeted at rural health care facilities and manages an innovative training effort to improve the job readiness and skills for underserved populations. Ms. Gillan serves on Montana's State Workforce Investment Board and the Montana Economic Development Advisory Board. She has been appointed as a commissioner of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, and is a delegate to the Pacific Northwest Economic Regional Council where she has worked on issues related to the U.S.-Canadian workforce. Ms. Gillan is a second-term State Senator in Montana. She received a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a masters in Regional Planning and Development from Cornell University.

Mary Mincer Hansen, RN, PhD, is Director of the Masters in Public Health Program at the College of Health Sciences at Des Moines University in Des Moines, IA and also is a faculty member with appointments in the College of Medicine Global Health Department and the College of Health Sciences Masters in Public Health Program. She previously served as Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health. She has also previously been Associate Professor in the Department of Nursing at the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Drake University, as well as Director of the Drake University Center for Health Issues. Dr. Hansen has served as President of the Iowa Public Health Foundation and President of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. She also served on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation National Advisory Committee for Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future and on the Council of State Governments Public Health Advisory Committee. She received her BSN from Creighton University and her PhD in Higher Education from Iowa State University.

Lisa Renee Holderby is Director of Health Equity for Community Catalyst, a national organization promoting consumer participation in the health care system, which is based in Boston, MA. Prior to joining Community Catalyst, she was a community health worker for nearly 20 years, and became the first executive director of the Massachusetts Association of Community Health Workers. She has held leadership positions with the American Public Health Association and serves as co-chair of APHA’s Community Health Worker Primary Interest Group. She previously served as co-chair for the Technical Advisory Group of the Health Resources and Services Administration Community Health Worker Workforce Study. She received an AS in Criminal Justice from Mt. Wachusett Community College and is a licensed social worker associate.

Brian J. Isetts, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy in Minneapolis, MN. He created the University’s student-driven Pharmaceutical Care Experiential Clinic for which he received an Innovation in Teaching Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. He also holds a faculty position in the Collaborative Practice of Pharmaceutical Care with Fairview-University Health Services and provides pharmacy consultation services to hospitals and nursing homes. In addition to teaching, Dr. Isetts conducts research examining the outcomes of medication therapy management services provided by pharmacists. He is currently an active member of the Pharmacist Services Technical Advisory Coalition, the Minnesota Pharmacists Association, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and the American Pharmacists Association. He received a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy and a PhD from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy.

Deborah King is Executive Director of the 1199SEIU Training and Employment Funds in New York, NY—an industry-based workforce development program that provides training, job placement, and quality improvement programs to health care employers and workers. She also serves as Executive Director for the Health Careers Advancement Program (H-CAP), a national project of SEIU locals and their employers to develop career ladders for healthcare workers. She is currently an adjunct professor at the NYSSILR-Cornell University and is a member of both the New York City and New York State Workforce Investment Boards. She received a BS from Cornell University.

Richard Krugman, MD, is Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver and Dean of the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Dr. Krugman is also a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado. He was the first director of the Colorado Area Health Education Center program. He also played a key role in starting rural health education and physician assistant training programs in Colorado. Dr. Krugman chairs the Special Interest Group on Health Care Education and the Oral Health Initiative at the Institute of Medicine. He formerly chaired the Council of Deans of the Association of American Medical Colleges and the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect. He received an AB from Princeton University and an MD from New York University.

John E. Maupin, Jr., DDS is President of the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA. Previous positions include President of Meharry Medical College, Executive Vice President of Morehouse School of Medicine, and Chief Executive Officer of Southside Healthcare Inc., a large health center that served as a clinical training site for Morehouse students. He helped to conceive Morehouse’s National Center for Primary Care. He also served as Deputy Commissioner of Health of the Baltimore City Health Department, responsible for all public health services including those in school settings. He was a career dental officer in the U.S. Army Reserve including active service during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Dr. Maupin served on the National Committee on Foreign Medical Education Accreditation of the U.S. Department of Education, and on the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He attended San Jose State College, and received his DDS from Meharry Medical College, and an MBA from Loyola College.

Harold M. Maurer, MD, is Chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in Omaha, NE, where he previously served as Dean of the College of Medicine. UNMC includes colleges of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Public Health and the School of Allied Health Professions. As Chancellor, he commissioned a 2009 study examining Nebraska’s health workforce projections and training needs, and he implemented accelerated family medicine and primary care residency programs. Under his leadership, UNMC has initiated pipeline programs increasing the number of rural practitioners across Nebraska. Prior to joining UNMC, he served as professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the Medical College of Virginia. As a physician and medical researcher, he specialized in pediatric oncology. He received an AB from New York University and an MD from State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center.

Neil M. Meltzer, MPH, is President and Chief Operating Officer of Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, MD. He is also Senior Vice President of LifeBridge Health, a regional health care organization, which includes acute and chronic care hospitals and nursing homes. Mr. Meltzer has led workforce development initiatives in Baltimore City and the State of Maryland, serving on the Baltimore City Workforce Investment Board and as Chairman of the Health Care Steering Committee of the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board. He is immediate past National Chairman of the Board of the American Heart Association. His other professional activities include membership in the American College of Health Care Executives and Chairman of the Maryland Hospital Association’s Council on Legislative and Regulatory Policy. Mr. Meltzer received his BS in Public Health from the University of Massachusetts and masters degrees in Public Health and Health Administration from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Fitzhugh Mullan, MD, is Professor of Public Health and Pediatrics at the George Washington University where his research focuses on U.S. and global health workforce issues. He previously served in the United States Public Health Service as a physician in and, later, director of the National Health Service Corps. He subsequently worked at the NIH, served on the staff of Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, directed the Bureau of Health Professions, and was appointed an Assistant Surgeon General. He has also been Secretary of Health and Environment for the State of New Mexico, on the President's Task Force on Health Care Reform, and is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. He received a BA from Harvard University and an MD from the University of Chicago.

Sheldon Retchin, MD, MSPH, (Vice Chair) is Vice President for Health Sciences at the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. As Vice President, he has academic responsibility for the schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing, Allied Health Professions, and the Massey Cancer Center. He is also Chief Executive Officer of VCU Health System with responsibility for the hospital, physician group and health plan. He is a member of the Council on Graduate Medical Education for the Bureau of Health Professions of the Health Services Administration and he chairs the Advisory Panel on Health Care for the Association of American Medical Colleges. He previously served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. His writings on workforce issues address interprofessional models of care and the challenges related to the supply of primary care physicians. Dr. Retchin received a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), and completed a master of science in public health from the UNC School of Public Health and an MD from the UNC School of Medicine. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine.

Thomas Ricketts, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, in Chapel Hill, NC. He is also Deputy Director for Policy Analysis at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at UNC, and Co-Director of the American College of Surgeons Institute for Health Policy Research. Dr. Ricketts has extensive experience in state and rural health workforce areas, and has published widely on a variety of healthcare workforce topics. He was formerly Director of the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program, and has served on many state and federal advisory committees. He received a BA in History and a PhD in Health Policy and Administration from UNC.

Steven Zatkin, JD, is a consultant to health plans and resides in Oakland, California. He recently retired as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals. In that role, he led Kaiser Permanente's legal, government relations and public policy activities which addressed a broad range of health care, health insurance, labor relations and workforce issues, and participated in its Labor-Management Partnership. Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, he served as senior legislative staff in the California Legislature, focusing on health sciences education and workforce policy issues. He has served on the boards of the American Association of Health Plans, the California Association of Health Plans, and the Alliance of Community Health Plans. He holds AB and MA degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and a JD from the University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

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