Dr. Donald Berwick is President Emeritus and Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, is also former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. A pediatrician by background, Dr. Berwick has served on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, and on the staffs of Boston’s Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He has also served as Vice Chair of the US Preventive Services Task Force, the first “Independent Member” of the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees, and Chair of the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
He served two terms on the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM’s) Governing Council, was a member of the IOM’s Global Health Board, and served on President Clinton’s Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Healthcare Industry.
Recognized as a leading authority on health care quality and improvement, Dr. Berwick has received numerous awards for his contributions. In 2005, he was appointed “Honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire” by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his work with the British National Health Service. Dr. Berwick is the author or co-author of over 160 scientific articles and six books. He currently serves as Lecturer in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School.
Mary Ashkar has worked as an attorney for the Center for Medicare Advocacy since 2002. She is currently a senior attorney, co-manages the cases of the Center’s largest client, and provides legal assistance, education, and representation on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries who have been unfairly denied Medicare coverage or access to health care. Ms. Ashkar has extensive experience handling Medicare appeals through the appeal system, including at the Administrative Law Judge level. She also produces educational materials, and is a contributing author to the Medicare Handbook. Before coming to the Center for Medicare Advocacy, Ms. Ashkar practiced law at a firm in Dubuque, Iowa where she worked in litigation and employment law.
Ms. Ashkar is an attorney licensed in Connecticut and Iowa. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 1997 and received her law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law in 2000. Her law practice is limited to federal Medicare law; she is admitted in Connecticut and Iowa only.
Ben Belton is the Director of Global Partner Engagement in AARP’s Office of International Affairs. In that role, he is responsible for targeted international outreach and positioning AARP as a global thought leader. As Director, he develops and leads efforts to shape the international discussion on population aging. He speaks at domestic and international forums and manages the Aging Readiness and Competitiveness Initiative – an original body of research highlighting global policy innovations.
Prior to joining AARP International, Mr. Belton was the Chiplin Senior Fellow at the Center for Medicare Advocacy. He was also the inaugural recipient of the Center’s Alfred J. Chiplin, Jr., Social Justice & Advocacy Award. At the Center, he managed a portfolio encompassing health equity, elder justice, Social Security Disability Insurance, and strategic partner development.
In the administration of President Barack Obama, Mr. Belton served as Senior Advisor to the Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration. In that role, he advised the Acting Commissioner on key policy, regulatory and external affairs issues. He also served at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and within the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Mr. Belton played an integral role in planning the 2015 White House Conference on Aging and moderated policy sessions during the conference’s regional forums. Throughout his time in the Obama administration he worked closely with the White House, federal agencies and stakeholders on policy issues impacting older persons.
Mr. Belton has over 14 years of experience in aging, having also worked at the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, and on the first Obama for America campaign, where he helped direct strategic outreach to older voters. He has also served on numerous boards, councils and committees for the National Alliance for Caregiving, HelpAge USA, Dementia Friendly America, NGO Committee on Ageing, New York; and the national Eldercare Locator.
Dr. Emily Cleveland Manchanda is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine, and works clinically in the Emergency Department at Boston Medical Center. As the Director for Equity Initiatives within the department, her research and advocacy work focuses on mitigating the effects of racism and other forms of discrimination in clinical care. She is passionate about health equity and developing strategies to support equitable care for patients of all races, ethnicities, genders and abilities.
After graduating from Yale with a degree in Art History and French, she spent two years working in Liberia for the Clinton Foundation before attending medical school at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She initially matched into plastic surgery at NYU, but changed course after her PGY2 year to pursue a career in Emergency Medicine. She served as a chief resident at the Harvard-Affiliated (MGH-BWH) Emergency Medicine residency and the chair of the Massachusetts Medical Society’s Resident and Fellows Section. She continues to be active within the American Medical Association and the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.
Robert Espinoza is the Vice President of Policy at PHI, where he oversees its national policy advocacy, research, and public education division. In 2020, he was selected for the first-ever CARE 100 list of the most innovative people working to re-imagine how we care in America today and as one of Next Avenue’s 2020 Influencers in Aging.
Robert is a nationally recognized expert and frequent speaker on aging, long-term care, and workforce issues. For more than 20 years, he has spearheaded high-profile advocacy campaigns and written landmark reports on aging and long-term care, LGBT rights, racial justice, and immigration, among other topics. He has appeared in multiple media outlets, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, and The Washington Post, and his writing has been published in The Huffington Post, The Hill, and POLITICO, among others.
Robert serves on the board of directors for the American Society on Aging and the National Academy of Social Insurance. In 2015, he was appointed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to its Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education, as well as by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to its Forum on Aging, Disability and Independence. In 2018, he was appointed to the Academies’ Committee on the Health and Medical Dimensions of Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults, which released its landmark report in February 2020.
Prior to PHI, he was the Senior Director for Public Policy and Communications at SAGE, the country’s premier organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older adults. At SAGE, he established its national advocacy program—achieving historic wins and numerous distinctions—while authoring multiple seminal reports, such as Out and Visible, a report on the largest, most comprehensive study examining the experiences and attitudes of LGBT older people. In 2010, he co-founded the Diverse Elders Coalition, a historic, federal coalition focused on improving aging supports for communities of color and LGBT communities.
Robert received his MPA, with honors, from New York University, and his BA in English and BS in Journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he graduated summa cum laude. He is a 2013 graduate of the Rockwood Leadership Institute, and lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Judith Feder is a professor of public policy and, from 1999 to 2008, served as dean of what is now the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. A nationally-recognized leader in health policy, Ms. Feder has made her mark on the nation’s health insurance system, through both scholarship and public service. A widely published scholar, Ms. Feder’s health policy research began at the Brookings Institution, continued at the Urban Institute, and, since 1984, flourished at Georgetown University. In the late 1980s, Ms. Feder moved from policy research to policy leadership, actively promoting effective health reform as staff director of the congressional Pepper Commission (chaired by Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV) in 1989-90; Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the Department of Health and Human Services in former President Bill Clinton’s first term; a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress (2008-2011) and, today, as an Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute.
Ms. Feder matches her own contributions to policy with her contributions to nurturing emerging policy leaders. As dean from 1999 to 2008, she built Georgetown’s Public Policy Institute into one of the nation’s leading public policy schools, whose graduates participate in policymaking, policy research, and policy politics, not only throughout Washington but throughout the nation and the world.
Ms. Feder is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Public Administration, and the National Academy of Social Insurance; a former chair and board member of AcademyHealth; a member of the Center for American Progress Action Fund Board, the Board of the National Academy of Social Insurance, and the Hamilton Project’s Advisory Council; and a senior advisor to the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. In 2006 and 2008, Ms. Feder was the Democratic nominee for Congress in Virginia’s 10th congressional district. Ms. Feder is a political scientist, with a B.A. from Brandeis University, and a master’s and Ph.D. from Harvard University.
Amy Hall is the Staff Director, Subcommittee on Health, Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives. She previously served as a senior professional member, Subcommittee on Health, Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives (2011-2015); director, Office of Legislation, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (2009-2011); and professional staff member, Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives (1997-2009). She holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Delaware and a BA degree from Wellesley College.
Chris Jennings is an over three decades-long health policy veteran of the White House, the Congress and the private sector. In January, he departed from his second tour of duty in the White House where he served President Obama as Deputy Assistant to the President for Health Policy and Coordinator of Health Reform. He served in a similar capacity in the Clinton White House for nearly eight years.
From his positions in the executive branch, Mr. Jennings has helped implement the Affordable Care Act’s access and delivery reform provisions (for President Obama) as well as played leadership roles in the development, passage and implementation of bipartisan health reforms, such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) of 1997 and major Medicare reforms in the Balanced Budget Act (BBA) of 1997 (for President Clinton).
In his decade of service in the U.S. Senate, he served as the Deputy Director of the Special Committee on Aging for three Senators (Glenn, Pryor, and Melcher) and led major reform efforts in the areas of long-term care, prescription drug coverage/cost containment, and rural health care. In this capacity, he also served in a major role for the U.S. Bipartisan Commission on Comprehensive Health Care (also known as the “Pepper Commission”).
Outside of government service, Mr. Jennings has been a senior health policy advisor to six Presidential campaigns, including to one of his former bosses, Hillary Clinton. He also served as the health care policy advisor to the 2008 Democratic Platform Drafting Committee. Recognizing his pragmatic nature and experience with key Democratic policymakers, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) sought Chris to serve as a senior advisor on a number of health reform projects, including reports and recommendations on access, delivery reforms, cost containment, and long-term care.
Jennings Policy Strategies (JPS) is a nationally respected health care consulting firm committed to assisting foundations, purchasers, health systems and other aligned stakeholders develop policies to ensure higher quality, more affordable and sustainable health care. He has consistently worked to develop administrative, legislative, and private sector policies/interventions to ensure better stewardship of and a greater return on investment on the nation’s $4 trillion investment in health care. In addition to his consulting work and his collaborations with think tanks such as the BPC, Mr. Jennings is a frequent contributor on health reform issues to the New England Journal of Medicine
Kata Kertesz is a Policy Attorney who joined the Center for Medicare Advocacy in 2014. Her legal work focuses on the rights of those dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, the Medicare Savings Programs, and other matters regarding access to health care for lower-income people. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Kertesz worked on Medicare issues at the National Council on Aging (NCOA), a non-profit agency that focuses on health care and consumer protection issues for older adults. While at NCOA, Ms. Kertesz engaged in administrative and legislative advocacy through coalitions of consumer protection groups.
Ms. Kertesz earned her B.A. degree from Georgetown University and her J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center. She was executive editor of the Georgetown International Environmental Law Review, and a student editor for the ABA’s Entertainment and Sports Lawyer. Also while in law school, Ms. Kertesz worked on consumer protection issues for the federal government, including as an honors law clerk at the Environmental Protection Agency, as a legal intern at the Department of Homeland Security, and as a law clerk for Commissioner Robert M. McDowell at the Federal Communications Commission. Prior to attending law school, Ms. Kertesz was a journalist at the Associated Press in Washington, DC. Ms. Kertesz is admitted to the bars of the District of Columbia and Maryland, and the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Wey-Wey Kwok has been a staff attorney at the Center for Medicare Advocacy since 2002. In addition to her work with the Litigation Unit, she represents Medicare beneficiaries in appealing coverage denials of home health and skilled nursing facility care. Previously, Ms. Kwok worked as an attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii in Hilo, Hawaii, specializing in family law, public benefits, and domestic and elder abuse. As a project attorney for the AARP Foundation’s National Training Project, she designed and delivered materials and training on elder law for aging advocates across the country.
Ms. Kwok graduated from Yale and received a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center, where she was a Public Interest Law Scholar. Ms. Kwok is a member of the Hawaii (inactive), Washington, DC (inactive) and New York Bars.
David Lipschutz is the Associate Director, Center for Medicare Advocacy and has been a with the Center for Medicare Advocacy’s Washington, DC office since July 2011, having joined the Center as an attorney in its Connecticut office in 2010. Prior to joining the Center, from 2005 to 2010, Mr. Lipschutz worked as a staff attorney at California Health Advocates (CHA), a nonprofit organization that provides advocacy and education for California Medicare beneficiaries. While at CHA, he engaged in Medicare policy work and provided technical assistance to Medicare counselors and advocates. He also testified before Congress and the California state legislature, and was a frequent lecturer and trainer regarding myriad Medicare issues. From 2003 to 2010, Mr. Lipschutz co-authored a chapter on Medicare in California’s Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) publication California Elder Law, Resources, Benefits, and Planning. Before joining CHA, Mr. Lipschutz worked as a staff attorney at the Center for Health Care Rights, a non-profit agency that provides direct services to Medicare beneficiaries in Los Angeles County.
Patricia Neuman is a senior vice president of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Director of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Program on Medicare Policy and Project on Medicare’s Future. Dr. Neuman’s work at the Foundation focuses on a broad range of issues pertaining to the Medicare program and the population it serves.
Dr. Neuman is widely regarded as a Medicare policy expert, with broad knowledge of issues associated with coverage, financing and care of elderly and disabled Americans. She has published numerous articles on topics related to health coverage and financing for the Medicare population, and has been invited several times to present expert testimony before Congressional committees and other key audiences. She has authored and co-authored several papers and reports related to Medicare proposals; recent examples include “Raising the Age of Medicare Eligibility: A Fresh Look Following Implementation of Health Reform,” “Transforming Medicare into a Premium Support System: Implications for Beneficiary Premiums,” and “Policy Options to Sustain Medicare for the Future.”
Dr. Neuman has appeared as an independent expert on NPR, the NBC Nightly News, the CBS Evening News, the Today Show, the NewsHour, and other major, national media outlets. Before joining the Foundation in 1995, Dr. Neuman served on the professional staff of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health in the U.S. House of Representatives, and on the staff of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging working on health and long-term care issues. Dr. Neuman received a Doctorate of Science degree in health policy and management and a Master of Science degree in health finance and management from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland.
Senator Jay Rockefeller served the people of West Virginia and the nation for nearly 50 years. Rockefeller first came to West Virginia in 1964 as a 27-year-old VISTA volunteer serving in the small mining community of Emmons. Many of the lessons that Rockefeller learned in Emmons shaped his public service career and led to his life-long commitment to improving the lives of West Virginians and all Americans.
As a long-time advocate of accessible and quality healthcare and long-term services and support, Rockefeller is recognized as a champion for health care reform. He had an extensive and distinguished career of fighting to reduce the number of uninsured children and working families, protecting and improving seniors’ and veterans’ health care, and fighting for the promised health benefits of retired coal miners and steelworkers.
Rockefeller graduated from Harvard University in 1961 with a B.A. in Far Eastern Languages and History. In 1976, Rockefeller was elected Governor of West Virginia, and was re-elected in 1980. In 1984, he was elected to the United States Senate, and re-elected in 1990, 1996, 2002 and 2008. Senator Rockefeller retired from the Senate in 2015. Senator Rockefeller and his wife, Sharon Percy Rockefeller have four children and six grandchildren.
Judith Stein is the Executive Director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy, which she founded in 1986. She has focused on legal representation of older people since beginning her legal career in 1975. From 1977 until 1986, Ms. Stein was the Co-Director of Legal Assistance to Medicare Patients (LAMP) where she managed the first Medicare advocacy program in the country. She has extensive experience in developing and administering Medicare and related advocacy projects and conferences, representing Medicare beneficiaries, producing educational materials, teaching and consulting. She has been lead or co-counsel in numerous federal class action and individual cases challenging improper Medicare policies and denials – including, Jimmo vs. Sebelius, which is opening doors to Medicare coverage and access to care for people with longer-term and chronic conditions.
Ms. Stein is an editor and author of books and articles regarding Medicare including the Medicare Handbook (Wolters Kluwer Publishers, 20th Edition, 2019; updated annually). She is a past President and a Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, a past Commissioner of the National Long Term Care Commission and the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging, an elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, and a recipient of the Health Care Financing Administration (now CMS) Beneficiary Services Certificate of Merit. She was a delegate to the 2015 and 2005 White House Conference on Aging, received the 2020 Excellence in Elder Law Award from the National Elder Law Foundation, the 2018 Chairman’s Award from the American Medical and Rehabilitation Providers Association, the 2017 Association of Retired Americans-CT Advocacy Award, the 2015 Grantmakers in Aging Diversity Award, and the 2007 CT Commission on Aging Age-wise Advocate Award. Ms. Stein is a member of the Executive Committee of the Connecticut Elder Action Network (CEAN).
Ms. Stein graduated cum laude from Williams College and received her law degree with honors from Catholic University School of Law.