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GAO Makes Appointments to PCORI Governing Board, New Chair and Vice Chair Named

WASHINGTON, DC (September 22, 2022) — Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), today announced the appointment of six new members to the Governing Board of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).  Dodaro also reappointed two members and designated the Governing Board’s new chair and vice chair.

“The individuals named today bring strong credentials and experience to the PCORI Governing Board’s mission of funding and evaluating patient-centered research, with the goal of helping patients make better health-care decisions,” Dodaro said.  “I am very pleased to announce this latest round of appointments.”

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 established PCORI as a nonprofit organization to assist patients, clinicians, purchasers, and policymakers in making informed health decisions by carrying out research projects that provide quality, relevant evidence on how diseases, disorders, and other health conditions can be effectively and appropriately prevented, diagnosed, treated, monitored, and managed.

The newly appointed members are Chris Boone, Ph.D., Vice President, Global Head of Health Economics and Outcomes Research, AbbVie; Ryan Bradley, ND, MPH, Director of Research and Senior Investigator, National University of Natural Medicine; Zoher Ghogawala, MD, FACS, Professor, Department of Neurosurgery at Tufts University School of Medicine and Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center; Debbie Peikes, Ph.D., MPA, Vice President, Humana Healthcare Research; Kimberly Richardson, Founder, Black Cancer Collaborative; and Christopher L. White, Esq., General Counsel and Chief Policy Officer, Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed).

Dodaro also reappointed Russell Howerton, MD, FACS, President for Wake Forest Health Network and Senior Vice President, Clinical Operations, and Kathleen Troeger, MPH, Senior Director of Real World Evidence Solutions, Medical Device and Diagnostics at Aetion, Inc., to second terms that will expire in September 2028.

In addition to the six newly appointed board members, Russell M. Howerton, MD, FACS, was named as chair and Jennifer (Jen) DeVoe, MD, DPhil, as vice chair.

Brief biographies of the six new members follow:

Dr. Chris Boone is the Vice President and Global Head of Health Economics and Outcomes Research at AbbVie, a biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover and develop innovative medicines that solve serious health issues today and address the medical challenges of tomorrow. In this role, he is primarily responsible for defining and aligning an enterprise vision and strategic roadmap on the generation, capture, storage, analysis, and innovative use of big data sources to generate evidence and insights on the real-world performance of drug and digital companion therapies. He also directly oversees the development, implementation, and evaluation of several global programs. Before joining AbbVie, Dr. Boone was the Vice President and Global Medical Epidemiology & Big Data Analysis lead at Pfizer. He also serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor teaching healthcare informatics and policy courses at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Dr. Boone received his Ph.D. in Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Dallas, his Masters of Science in Healthcare Administration at the University of Texas at Arlington, and his Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems from the University of Tulsa. He will serve a four-year term through September 2026.

Dr. Ryan Bradley is the Director of Research and a Senior Investigator at the Helfgott Research Institute of the National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM), the oldest accredited naturopathic medical university in North America. In this role, he is responsible for the continuing development, implementation, and delivery of all research projects and activities within the university. Dr. Bradley has earned an international reputation for his scientific research in integrative medicine. He also successfully helped launch a clinical research training partnership between the University of Washington and NUNM, which provides multidisciplinary training in clinical research in complementary and integrate health to both natural medicine providers and conventionally trained researchers in biomedical and public health disciplines. He received his Doctor of Naturopathy from Bastyr University in 2003 and his Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Washington in 2009.

Dr. Zoher Ghogawala is a board-certified neurosurgeon who serves as a Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Tufts University School of Medicine.  He also serves as Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington, Massachusetts. He is also currently the Co-Director of the Lahey Comparative Effectiveness Research Institute. He previously served as faculty at Cornell University School of Medicine and Yale University School of Medicine. As well, he served as Director of the Wallace Clinical Trials Center, which focused on comparative effectiveness research. He has also led multiple peer-reviewed and externally (federally) funded clinical trials that aim to understand the effectiveness of spinal procedures.  He has published the results of major clinical trials in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). He is a past-chair of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons-Congress of Neurological Surgeons Joint Spine Section.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Cervical Spine Research Society, where he leads their registry effort.  He also has been an active member of the North American Spine Society (NASS), where he has held numerous leadership roles, including Research Council Chair and Health Policy Council Director, among others. He will soon serve as First Vice President of NASS. He received his A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard University and his M.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Medical School. 

Dr. Debbie Peikes is the Vice President of Humana Healthcare Research, where she leads a team of 40 researchers, programmers, and analysts who conduct high-quality, actionable research aimed at improving quality of care and population health. She is a nationally recognized healthcare researcher and leader with a passion for using evidence to improve patient outcomes. Her interest in health policy began as a Fulbright Scholar. Dr. Peikes then spent 22 years leading multiple interdisciplinary research teams at Mathematica, and several years teaching a graduate course on program evaluation at Princeton University. She is a widely published expert on primary care, care coordination, value-based payment, disability policy, and methodological advances. Her publications have earned awards from AcademyHealth, the National Institute for Health Care Management, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Peikes received her Bachelor of Arts, Master in Public Affairs, and Ph.D. from Princeton University.

Kimberly Richardson is a survivor of ovarian cancer and early stage, triple positive breast cancer. She recently founded the Black Cancer Collaborative, a nonprofit organization that creates partnerships between Black cancer patients and the medical and scientific communities on issues of health equity, patient inclusion, and clinical trials participation. She has also served on various advisory boards, including those for the National Quality Forum and the National Cancer Institute, to create educational content on cancer research and clinical trials. She established a special commission on gynecological cancer in Illinois and was the 2021 recipient of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship’s Ellen L. Stovall Award for Innovation in Patient-Centered Cancer Care. Prior to her cancer diagnoses, Ms. Richardson had 30 years of urban planning and community economic development experience. Ms. Richardson received her Bachelor of Science and Masters of Urban Planning and Public Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Christopher L. White is the General Counsel and Chief Policy Officer of AdvaMed, the world’s largest trade association of companies producing medical devices, diagnostic products, and health information systems that are transforming health care through earlier disease detection, less invasive procedures, and more effective treatments.  AdvaMed’s more than 450 members range from the smallest to the largest medical technology innovators and developers. Mr. White leads AdvaMed’s work to develop policy positions enhancing patient access to medical technology as well as the association’s strategic planning activities. In March 2020, Mr. White was appointed the organization’s COVID-19 Action Team Leader, heading all COVID-19-related initiatives and policy. Mr. White received his Bachelor of Science at Wake Forest University and his J.D. at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law. He will serve a two-year term through September 2024.

 Brief biographies of the new Chair and Vice-Chair follow:

Dr. Russell M. Howerton, the new Chair, is President for Wake Forest Health Network and Senior Vice President, Clinical Operations. He provides leadership for quality of service and clinical and operational excellence across the health care system, and oversees the non-faculty physician network and medical group practices. His clinical leadership and operational purview include quality in service and clinical excellence in collaboration with the clinical chairs, the chief nursing officer and administrative co-management partners. Prior to being named President of the Wake Forest Health Network and Senior Vice President, Clinical Operations, Dr. Howerton had served as System CMO since 2009, and as Associate Chief of Professional Services since 2004. A professor of surgery (general surgery), Dr. Howerton serves in leadership roles on numerous boards and was re-appointed chair of the American College of Surgeons’ Committee on Applicants District 5 for 2010. Dr. Howerton earned his bachelor’s degree with honors from Johns Hopkins University and his medical degree from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He completed a fellowship in surgical endoscopy/laparoscopy at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. He served as senior registrar in the Hepatobiliary Surgical Unit of Hammersmith Hospital at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School of the University of London.

Dr. Jennifer (Jen) DeVoe, the new Vice Chair, is a practicing family physician and health services researcher. As Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the Oregon Health & Science University, Dr. DeVoe leads a department with over 200 faculty and nearly 80 resident physicians who serve on several inpatient and outpatient family medicine teams across Oregon. She also co-directs the BRIDGE-C2 (Building Research in Implementation & Dissemination to Close Gaps & Achieve Equity in Cancer Control) Center, an implementation science center funded by the National Cancer Institute. She was the first Chief Research Officer at the OCHIN community health information network and the Executive Director of OCHIN’s practice-based research network, a unique community laboratory with a robust safety net research database of aggregated electronic health record data from hundreds of community health centers in multiple states. Her research interests include access to health care, disparities in care, and how policy changes and innovations in primary care affect patients’ health outcomes. She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2014. Dr. DeVoe received her MD from Harvard Medical School and her MPhil and DPhil in Economic and Social History from the University of Oxford.

For more information, contact Ray Sendejas on GAO's Health Care team at (202) 512-7113, or Chuck Young in GAO's Office of Public Affairs at (202) 512-4800, or visit the GAO Health Care Advisory Committees web page at


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GAO Makes First Appointments to Newly Created Tribal Advisory Council


WASHINGTON, DC (September 15, 2022) – Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), today announced the first appointments to GAO’s newly established Tribal Advisory Council, which will provide the congressional watchdog with insights and recommendations on matters affecting Tribal Nations and their citizens.