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GAO Makes MACPAC Appointments, Designates Chair

WASHINGTON, DC (May 4, 2017) – Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), today announced the appointment of five new members to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC).  He also named the Commission’s Chair.

“In making today’s five new appointments, GAO was able to draw upon a broad pool of candidates with outstanding credentials,” Dodaro said. “The men and women named to the Commission bring diverse professional experiences and an impressive level of knowledge and expertise that will benefit the Commission as it advises Congress on Medicaid and CHIP.”

The Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 established MACPAC to review Medicaid and CHIP access and payment policies and to advise Congress on issues affecting Medicaid and CHIP. The Act directs the Comptroller General to appoint MACPAC’s members.

The newly appointed members are Martha Carter, Frederick Cerise, Kisha Davis, Darin Gordon, and William Scanlon.  Current member Penny Thompson has been named the Commission’s Chair. Brief biographies of the new commission members and the Commission Chair follow:

New Commission Members:

  • Martha Carter, DHSc, MBA, APRN, CNM, is Chief Executive Officer of FamilyCare Health Centers in Scott Depot, West Virginia, where she provides the organization with leadership and strategic vision, manages its programs and operations, and represents the organization in the community. Previously, she provided clinical care for two decades as a Certified Nurse-Midwife at practices in West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky. Dr. Carter received her Doctor of Health Sciences degree from A.T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona, and her Master of Business Administration from West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. 
  • Frederick Cerise, MD, MPH, is President and Chief Executive Officer of Parkland Health and Hospital System, a large public safety net health system in Dallas, Texas. Previously, he oversaw Medicaid and other programs in Louisiana as Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals. Dr. Cerise also held the position of Medical Director and other leadership roles at various health care facilities operated by Louisiana State University. He began his career as an internal medicine physician and spent 13 years treating patients and teaching medical students in Louisiana’s public hospital system. Dr. Cerise received his degree in medicine from Louisiana State University and his Master of Public Health from Harvard University.
  • Kisha Davis, MD, MPH, is a family physician at the Casey Health Institute in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and is also Program Manager at the Center for Applied Research in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she supports projects focused on payment reform and practice transformation for family physicians to promote health system change. Previously, Dr. Davis was Medical Director and Director of Community Health at the Casey Health Institute and was also a family physician at a federally qualified health center in Maryland. As a White House Fellow at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, she established relationships among leaders of Federally Qualified Health Centers and the Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program. Dr. Davis received her degree in medicine from the University of Connecticut and her Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University.
  • Darin Gordon is President and Chief Executive Officer of Gordon & Associates in Nashville, Tennessee, where he provides health care-related consulting services to a wide range of public and private sector clients. Previously, he was Director of the Medicaid and CHIP programs in Tennessee for 10 years, where he oversaw various program improvements, including the implementation of a statewide value-based purchasing program. During this time, he served as President and Vice President of the National Association of Medicaid Directors for a total of four years. Before becoming Medicaid and CHIP Program Director, he was the Chief Financial Officer and Director of Managed Care Programs for Tennessee’s Medicaid program. Mr. Gordon received his Bachelor of Science degree from Middle Tennessee State University.
  • William Scanlon, PhD, is a consultant for the West Health Institute. He began conducting health services research on the Medicaid and Medicare programs in 1975, with a focus on such issues as the provision and financing of long-term care services and provider payment policies. He previously held positions at Georgetown University and the Urban Institute, was Managing Director of health care issues here at the GAO, and served on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. Dr. Scanlon received his PhD in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Commission Chair

  • Penny Thompson, MPA, is principal of Penny Thompson Consulting, LLC, and provides strategic advice in the areas of health care delivery and payment, information technology development, and program integrity. Previously, she held executive positions under multiple administrations at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She has also held senior positions in management consulting at information technology companies. Ms. Thompson received her Master of Public Administration from The George Washington University.

Dodaro thanked outgoing chair Sara Rosenbaum for her efforts, saying, “Sara provided steady leadership at a critical time for the Medicaid and CHIP programs, and I want to express my sincere appreciation for her service and dedication over the past seven years.”

Commissioners whose terms will expire in April 2018 are Gustavo Cruz, DMD, MPH, Senior Advisor, Health Equity Initiative; Leanna George, beneficiary representative who is the parent of two children covered under Medicaid and CHIP; Marsha Gold, ScD, Senior Fellow Emerita at Mathematica Policy Research; Charles Milligan, JD, MPH, Chief Executive Officer of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of New Mexico; Sheldon Retchin, MD, MSPH, Chief Executive Officer of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center; and Peter Szilagyi, MD, MPH, Executive Vice Chair and Vice Chair for Research of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Commissioners whose terms will expire in April 2019 are Brian Burwell, Vice President of Community Living Systems at Truven Health Analytics; Toby Douglas, MPP, MPH, Senior Vice President for Medicaid Solutions at Centene Corporation; Christopher Gorton, MD, MHSA, President of Public Plans at Tufts Health Plan; Stacey Lampkin, FSA, MAAA, MPA, Actuary and Principal with Mercer Government Human Services Consulting; Penny Thompson, MPA, Principal of Penny Thompson Consulting, LLC; and Alan Weil, JD, MPP, Editor-in-Chief of Health Affairs.

For more information about MACPAC, contact Anne Schwartz, MACPAC’s executive director, at (202) 350-2000. Other calls should be directed to Chuck Young in GAO’s Office of Public Affairs at (202) 512-4800. The official announcement will be published in the Federal Register.


The Government Accountability Office, known as the investigative arm of Congress, is an independent, nonpartisan agency that 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 assistance to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO provides Congress with timely information that is objective, fact-based, nonideological, fair, and balanced. GAO’s commitment to good government is reflected in its core values of accountability, integrity, and reliability.


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