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GAO Makes Appointments to PCORI Governing Board

WASHINGTON, DC (September 23, 2020) — Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), today announced the appointment of seven new members to the Governing Board of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).  Dodaro also reappointed one member.

“Today’s appointees bring a range of experiences and perspectives that should greatly benefit the PCORI Governing Board as it funds and evaluates research to help patients make better health-care decisions,” Dodaro said.  “We had a number of exceptional candidates this year, and I am pleased to name these latest additions to the Board.”

The newly appointed members are Kate Berry, Senior Vice President for Clinical Affairs and Strategic Partnerships at America’s Health Insurance Plans; Tanisha Carino, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Alexion; James Huffman, Head of Benefits at Fidelity Investments; Connie Hwang, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Clinical Innovation at the Alliance of Community Health Plans; Eboni Price-Haywood, MD, MPH, FACP, Director of the Center for Outcomes & Health Service Research at the Oschner Health System; James Schuster, MD, MBA, Associate Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Medical and Behavioral Sciences at UPMC Insurance Services Division; and Danny van Leeuwen, MPH, RN, Founder and Principal of Health Hats.

In addition, Dodaro reappointed Dr. Barbara McNeil, MD, Ph.D., the Ridley Watts Professor and founding head of the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School, to a second term through September 2026. Two of the new members are appointed for a four-year term through September 2024 and five of the new members are appointed for a six-year term through September 2026. All new members may be reappointed for one subsequent six-year term. Brief biographies of the seven new members follow:

Kate Berry is the Senior Vice President for Clinical Affairs and Strategic Partnerships at America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), a national trade association representing the health insurance community whose members provide coverage for health care and related services through employer-sponsored coverage, the individual insurance market, Medicare and Medicaid.  In this role, she leads a wide variety of clinical initiatives, including prevention and population health, behavioral health, opioids prevention and treatment, maternity care, medical management, and the social determinants of health. She also coordinates engagement with member chief medical officers and prevention and population health leaders on clinical and policy issues, including comparative effectiveness research. Prior to joining AHIP, Ms. Berry was the Chief Executive Officer for the National eHealth Collaborative and served in leadership roles with Surescripts. Ms. Berry received her Master of Arts in Public Policy Studies from Duke University and her Bachelor of Arts from Goucher College. Her four-year term extends through September 2024.

Dr. Tanisha Carino is the Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of Alexion. In this role, Dr. Carino oversees Alexion’s work in global communication, reputation, and public affairs, including high-level relationship management with policy stakeholders and governments around the world. Prior to joining Alexion, Dr. Carino served as Executive Director of FasterCures, a Center of the Milken Institute, a nonpartisan think tank whose mission is to work with global government, philanthropic, and business leaders to accelerate treatment to patients. She also previously worked at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, where she supported the inclusion of patient perspectives as part of Medicare’s approach to coverage policy. Dr. Carino has co-chaired the National Academies of Science Action Collaborative, Advancing the Science of Patient Input in Medical Product R&D Action Collaborative and is on the Board of Directors of the National Health Council, a nonprofit association of health organizations and leading patient advocacy organizations. She earned her PhD in health policy from Johns Hopkins University.

James Huffman is the Head of Benefits at Fidelity Investments, where he oversees a full suite of benefits—including comprehensive health, financial and wellness benefits—for more than 45,000 employees. In this role, he has focused on better aligning people, processes, and products to the benefit needs of employees. Mr. Huffman previously served as the Head of Benefits at Bank of America, where he was responsible for the strategy, design, and management of employee benefits for more than 250,000 employees and retirees. He also was the Senior Manager of U.S. Benefits at Dell Computer Corporation. Mr. Huffman earned his B.S. in Business Administration from Worcester State University.

Dr. Connie Hwang, MPH is the Chief Medical Officer and Director of Clinical Innovation at the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP), an organization that convenes nonprofit health plans spanning 35 states and covering over 22 million Americans. Dr. Hwang engages with clinical leaders across ACHP member plans to identify emerging health care trends and provide leadership on ACHP initiatives that drive improved patient outcomes and experience. She also collaborates with industry organizations and other stakeholders to align on principles of value-based care. Dr. Hwang previously served as Vice President of Quality and Clinical Performance at Evolent Health, a population health management company, where she led the organization’s quality infrastructure, including initiatives related to Medicare Advantage Star Ratings. She also served as the Vice President of the Measure Applications Partnership—a public-private collaboration convened by the National Quality Forum consisting of over 60 national organizations and nine federal agencies. Dr. Hwang earned her MD from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and her Master of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr. Eboni Price-Haywood is the Director of the Center for Outcomes & Health Service Research at Ochsner Health. In this role, she leads a system-wide research center whose goal is to accelerate discovery of new knowledge concerning clinical and cost-effectiveness of health care delivery innovations; translate research into practice; and disseminate research findings to improve clinical, administrative, and policy decision making. Dr. Price-Haywood has spent her career as a primary care physician, focusing on disease prevention, health promotion, and care delivery improvements, with a particular focus on addressing health disparities and advancing health equity. In addition to her clinical and research endeavors, she is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Queensland’s Ochsner Clinical School, an Associate Professor of Epidemiology (Adjunct), and a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine (Adjunct) at the Tulane University School of Medicine. She has also held key leadership roles within the Society of General Internal Medicine as an elected council member, as Co-Chair of the Health Equity Commission, and as an editorial board member of the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Dr. Price-Haywood earned her MD from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and an MPH at the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health.  

Dr. James Schuster is the Associate Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Medical and Behavioral Sciences for the UPMC Insurance Services Division and the Chief Medical Officer of Community Care Behavioral Health Organization, a behavioral health managed care organization and subsidiary of UPMC.  In these roles, he provides leadership for medical services as well as strategies that integrate approaches to medical and behavioral health. Dr. Schuster also responsible for overseeing the UPMC Center for High-Value Health Care, which has a broad research portfolio on a variety of themes, including integrated care, shared decision making, and medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorders. He has served as a principal investigator on several of the Center’s awards. Dr. Schuster earned his MD from the University of Louisville and his MBA at the University of Pittsburgh, where he is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry. He is board certified in psychiatry and in the subspecialties of geriatric and addiction psychiatry. His four-year term extends through September 2024.

Danny van Leeuwen, MPH, RN is the Founder and Principal of Health Hats, where he advocates for patients and caregivers, focusing on health equity, healthcare decision making, and communicating health information. He previously served as the Vice President for Quality Management at Advocates, Inc., providing support services to individuals and families with mental illness and developmental disabilities, among other challenges. He also led Boston Children's Hospital's Patient-Family Experience Initiative. As a patient-caregiver activist, a person with disabilities from Multiple Sclerosis, and a registered nurse for more than 45 years, he serves widely as a member or technical expert. For example, he is a National Quality Forum Patient and Caregiver Engagement advisor and serves as a member of their Standing Committee for Cost and Efficiency Measures. Mr. van Leeuwen serves as a technical expert for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services-funded panel for Physician Cost Measures and Patient Relationship Codes and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) Digital Healthcare Research Strategy Plan. He served on the steering committee of AHRQ’s Patient-Centered Clinical Decision Support Learning Network. Mr. van Leeuwen earned his MPH from the University of Minnesota, his BA from Glenville State College, and his RN from Wayne County Community College.

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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