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C Speaker Biographical Sketches Atum Azzahir founded the nonprofit Phillips-Powderhorn Cultural Well- ness Center in 1996. It functions to provide a place where people can learn their own and each other’s cultural traditions and health practices. The mission of the center is to unleash the power of citizens to heal themselves and to build community. A major goal of the center is to be the recognized authority on cultural approaches for preventing sickness and improving the health of individuals in a community context. Azzahir is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Salzburg Fellowship, Salzburg Seminars, Salzburg, Austria, 1993; Community Health Leadership Award, 1995, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Community Camara Award, Young Entrepreneurs Institute, 1999; Ruby H. Hughes Elder and Outstanding Citizenship Award, 2000; Race Unity Award of the BaHai Faith, 2000; recognition of outstanding community leadership, Leadership for a Chang- ing World, 2002; and recognition as one of the 100 most influential health leaders in the Minnesota Physician August 2000 edition. Azzahir was also the recipient of the Leadership in Neighborhood grant to fund travel to Senegal and Benin, West Africa, Grenada in the West Indies, Jackson, Mississippi, and Cairo, Egypt, to study the role of elders in traditional African societies and compare them with the contemporary African elders in African American communities of the south. She has served on several key boards and committees, including the Minnesota Women’s Fund, Chair, 1990–1992; National Network of Women’s Fund, Chair, 1990–1993; The Sister Fund of New York, 1992; Medica Health Plans: Quality Committee, Community Affairs Committee, Executive Committee, 1997–2000; and HOPE Community Inc. Board of Directors, 1999–2001. Prior to found- 119
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120 POLICY INITIATIVES TO REDUCE HEALTH DISPARITIES ing the Phillips-Powderhorn Cultural Wellness Center, Azzahir served as vocational educational advisor, Minneapolis Technical Community College, 1981–1984; executive director, Harriet Tubman Women’s Shelter, 1984– 1989; and executive director, Way to Grow Youth Coordinating Board, 1989–1994. Azzahir currently serves on the Hennepin Health Systems Board as chair of the Governance and Mission Effectiveness Committee. Larry Cohen, M.S.W., is founder and executive director of Prevention Institute, a nonprofit national center that moves beyond approaches that target individuals to create systematic, comprehensive strategies that alter the conditions that impact community health. With an emphasis on health equity, Cohen has led many successful public health efforts at the local, state, and federal levels focused on injury and violence prevention, mental health, traffic safety, healthy eating and physical activity and chronic disease prevention. Prior to founding Prevention Institute, he formed the first U.S. coalition to change tobacco policy and created the nation’s first multicity smoking ban. He established the Food and Nutrition Policy Consortium and helped catalyze the nation’s food labeling law. Tom Granatir, A.M., serves as the Director of Public Health Initiatives at Humana, Inc. He has 20 years of experience in health policy at the Ameri- can Hospital Association, the Health Research and Educational Trust, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the Health and Medicine Policy Research Group, Humana Inc., and Humana Europe. His policy work has focused on patient-centered care, quality improvement, and public accountability in the mental health, hospital, long term care, and managed care sectors. He has served on the govern- ing boards of the American Health Quality Association, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, Bridges to Excellence, the National Association of Health Data Organizations, and Henry Booth House, a service agency for poor residents of Chicago. He has been an examiner for the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award Program and a member of the Health Policy Roundtable of the Michael Reese Health Trust. He currently serves on the Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity and the Elimination of Health Disparities of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and is on the board of the Alliance to Make U.S. Healthiest. Anthony Iton, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., is the Alameda County, California, Pub- lic Health Department director and health officer. Iton’s primary interest is the health of disadvantaged populations and the contributions of race, class, wealth, education, geography, and employment to health status. He has asserted that in every public health area of endeavor, be it immuniza- tions, chronic disease, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, obesity, or
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121 APPENDIX C even disaster preparedness, local public health departments must recognize that they are confronted with the enduring consequences of structural pov- erty, institutional racism, and other forms of systemic injustice. He further asserts that the only sustainable approach to eliminating health inequities is through the design of intensive, multisectoral, place-based interventions that are specifically designed to identify existing assets and build social, political, and economic power among a critical mass of community resi- dents in historically underresourced communities. Iton received his medi- cal degree at Johns Hopkins Medical School and subsequently trained in internal medicine and preventive medicine at New York Hospital, Yale University, and the University of California, Berkeley, and is board certi- fied in both specialties. He has also received a law degree and a master’s of public health degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and is a member of the California Bar. In 2006, he was awarded the prestigious Milton and Ruth Roemer Prize for Creative Public Health Work, awarded by the American Public Health Association to a U.S. local health official in recognition of outstanding creative and innovative public health work. Nicole Lurie, M.D., M.S.P.H., is a senior natural scientist and the Paul O’Neill Alcoa Professor of Health Policy at the RAND Corporation. She directs RAND’s public health and preparedness work as well as RAND’s Center for Population Health and Health Disparities. She has previously served in federal government, as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; in state government, as medical advisor to the commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Health; and in academia, as professor in the University of Minnesota Schools of Medicine and Public Health. Lurie has a long his- tory in the health services research field, primarily in the areas of access to and quality of care, managed care, mental health, prevention, public health infrastructure and preparedness, and health disparities. She attended college and medical school at the University of Pennsylvania and completed her residency and M.S.P.H. at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was also a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar. She serves as senior editor for Health Services Research and has served on edito- rial boards and as a reviewer for numerous journals. She has served on the council and was president of the Society of General Internal Medicine, is currently on the board of directors for the Academy of Health Services Research, and has served on multiple other national committees. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Association for Health Ser- vices Research Young Investigator Award, the Nellie Westerman Prize for Research in Ethics, and the Heroine in Health Care Award, and is a mem- ber of the Institute of Medicine. In addition to her work in health services
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122 POLICY INITIATIVES TO REDUCE HEALTH DISPARITIES research and health policy, Lurie continues to practice clinical medicine in the health care safety net. Sanne Magnan, M.D., Ph.D., was appointed Minnesota Commissioner of Health by Governor Tim Pawlenty on September 28, 2007. Magnan is responsible for directing the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). MDH is the state’s lead public health agency and is responsible for pro- tecting, maintaining, and improving the health of all Minnesotans. The department has approximately 1,300 employees in the Twin Cities area and in seven offices in greater Minnesota. Prior to being appointed com- missioner, Magnan served as president of the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI) in Bloomington, Minnesota. An independent, nonprofit organization, ICSI facilitates collaboration on health care quality improve- ment by medical groups, hospitals, and health plans that provide health care services to people who live and work in Minnesota and adjacent states. Magnan serves as a staff physician at the Tuberculosis Clinic at St. Paul-Ramsey County Department of Public Health and a clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota. She was named one of the 100 Influential Health Care Leaders by Minnesota Physician in 2004 and 2008. Magnan holds a medical degree and a doctorate in medicinal chemistry from the University of Minnesota. She earned her bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of North Carolina. Richard “Dick” Pettingill, M.A., is chief executive officer of Minneapolis- based Allina Hospitals and Clinics, a nonprofit health care organization serving communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Allina owns and operates hospitals, clinics, hospice services, pharmacies, medi- cal equipment, and emergency medical transportation services. It employs approximately 22,000 people. Prior to joining Allina in 2002, Pettingill served for 6 years with Oakland, California-based Kaiser Permanente, one of the nation’s largest health care systems. He was executive vice president and chief operating officer of Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Hospi- tals, president and chief executive officer of Kaiser’s California Division, and senior vice president/service area manager of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals. Before joining Kaiser Permanente, Pettingill served as president and chief executive officer of Camino Healthcare in Mountain View, California, and has held executive positions with El Camino Hospital and the El Camino Hospital District. He also served at Stanford University Hospital in Palo Alto, California, in several senior administrative roles. Pettingill’s educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in public administration from San Diego State University, San Diego, California, and a master’s of arts degree in health care administration from San Jose State University. In 2001, he completed the Harvard Business School Executive
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123 APPENDIX C Leadership Program. Pettingill serves on the Allina Hospitals and Clinics board of directors. In March 2004, he joined the board of directors of Texas-based Tenet Healthcare Corporation, a publicly traded company. R. T. Rybak was first elected mayor of Minneapolis in 2001 with his first run for public office and was just reelected to serve another term for the people of Minneapolis. Rybak has a broad background in business, jour- nalism, and community activism. Prior to becoming mayor, Rybak was a business consultant, newspaper publisher, Downtown Council develop- ment director, and a reporter with the Minneapolis Tribune. As mayor, Rybak streamlined the city’s economic development functions, created a $10 million housing trust fund, adopted the city’s first Code of Ethics, and saved taxpayers millions by reducing $72 million of inherited debt with six balanced budgets in 4 years. Minneapolis now leads the state in affordable housing production, job creation, and the arts, with nearly $3 billion of development investment under way. Rybak is a lifelong Min- neapolis resident and the son of a pharmacist in the Phillips-Powderhorn neighborhood. Rybak currently lives in the East Harriet neighborhood of Minneapolis with his wife, Megan, and their two children, Grace and Charlie. Professional history: reporter, Star Tribune, 1979–1986; devel- opment director, Downtown Council, 1986–1989; consultant, Eberhardt Development, 1989–1990; principal, R. T. Rybak Company (marketing consultant), 1990–1995; publisher, Twin Cities Reader, 1995–1997; vice president, Channel 4000, Internet Broadcasting, 1997–1999; principal, R. T. Rybak Company (Internet consultant), 1999–2001; and Minneapolis mayor, 2002–2005. Brian D. Smedley, Ph.D., is vice president and director of the Health Policy Institute of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washing- ton, D.C. Formerly, Smedley was research director and cofounder of a com- munications, research, and policy organization, The Opportunity Agenda (www.opportunityagenda.org), whose mission is to build the national will to expand opportunity for all. Prior to helping launch The Opportunity Agenda, Smedley was a senior program officer in the Division of Health Sciences Policy of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), where he served as study director for studies that culminated in publication of the IOM reports In the Nation’s Compelling Interest: Ensuring Diversity in the Health Care Work- force and Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care, among other reports on diversity in the health professions and minority health research policy. Smedley came to the IOM from the Ameri- can Psychological Association (APA), where he worked on a wide range of social, health, and education policy topics in his capacity as Director for Public Interest Policy. Prior to working at the APA, Smedley served as a
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124 POLICY INITIATIVES TO REDUCE HEALTH DISPARITIES Congressional Science Fellow in the office of Rep. Robert C. Scott (D-VA), sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Among his awards and distinctions, in 2004 Smedley was honored by the Rainbow/PUSH coalition as a Health Trailblazer award winner, in 2002 he was awarded the Congressional Black Caucus Healthcare Hero award, and in August 2002 was awarded the Early Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest by the APA. Gordon M. Sprenger, M.H.A, is the former president and chief execu- tive officer of Allina Health System. He was previously an executive for the HealthSpan Health Systems Corporation, Lifespan Inc., and Abbott Northwestern Hospital. Sprenger serves on the board of directors for the Joint Commission Resources and has held a number of other leadership positions with the Joint Commission. He holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College and a master’s in health administration from the University of Minnesota, where he also served as a faculty member until 2007. Mildred Thompson, M.S.W., is the senior director and director of the PolicyLink Center for Health and Place, where she leads the work of the organization’s heath team, participates in research focused on understand- ing community factors that impact health disparities, and identifies practice and policy changes needed to improve individual, family, and community health. She is also deputy director of the Robert Wood Johnson Founda- tion’s Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity. Thompson has authored several reports and journal articles focused on reducing health disparities, increas- ing awareness about social determinants of health, and effective ways to impact policy change. Prior to joining PolicyLink, she was director of Com- munity Health Services for the Alameda County, California, Public Health Department; Director of Healthy Start, a federal infant mortality reduc- tion program; and director of San Antonio, Texas, Neighborhood Health Center. Thompson has degrees in nursing and psychology and a graduate degree in social work from New York University. She has also taught at Mills College and San Francisco State University and has worked as an organizational development consultant. Thompson is frequently sought for presentations and keynote addresses and serves on several boards and commissions, including The Zellerbach Family Foundation; cochair, the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity and the Elimination of Health Disparities; the California Health Policy Institute; and the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children. Joel S. Weissman, Ph.D., is on leave from Harvard Medical School while he serves as the Senior Health Policy Advisor to the Secretary of the Execu- tive Office of Health and Human Services, Commonwealth of Massachu-
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125 APPENDIX C setts, and as professor of family and community medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School. Among his responsibilities are to provide general policy guidance and to lead multipayer, multistakeholder health reforms in the areas of primary care, avoidable readmissions, health infor- mation technology, and disparities for vulnerable populations. At Harvard, Weissman holds joint faculty appointments at the Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital and at the Harvard School of Public Health. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles on the topics of quality and patient safety; racial-ethnic disparities; the uninsured; health care financing, including uncompensated care; drug policy; and academic- industry relationships in biomedical research. He is author (Arnold Epstein as coauthor) of the book Falling Through the Safety Net: Insurance Status and Access to Care, with a forward by Hillary Rodham Clinton. Weissman received his doctorate in health policy from the Pew Fellows Program at the Heller School, Brandeis University. He has led numerous federally funded studies, including those examining the relation of patient safety to hospital crowding, the reporting and disclosure of medical errors to patients, access to clinical trials by uninsured participants, E-prescribing in Massachusetts, and alternative scoring methods for pay for performance and was the lead evaluator for Consumer’s Union Best Buy Drugs program. Weissman con- tinues to serve as codirector of a course on health services research methods for the Program on Clinical Effectiveness at the Harvard School of Public Health, portions of which have been taught for the Singapore National Healthcare Group and the University of Puerto Rico. Annette Williamson has undertaken the role of delivery manager for the Infant Mortality National Support Team since February 2009 within the Department of Health in the United Kingdom. Prior to her current role, she had 3 years’ experience as a program manager within the Birmingham Health and Wellbeing Partnership with responsibility for the implementa- tion of a multimillion-pound plan to reduce infant mortality within one of England’s most deprived cities. Williamson has worked within the National Health Service for 30 years, the last 7 of them as an operational commu- nity manager and subsequently as a commissioner of Children and Young Peoples Services before joining the Birmingham Health and Wellbeing Part- nership. Annette is by profession a registered general nurse, registered mid- wife, and registered health visitor; she holds a master’s degree in primary health service management and was selected to participate in a King’s Fund Leadership program, which included an international module. Winston F. Wong, M.D., M.S., serves as medical director, Community Benefit, Kaiser Permanente, and Director of Disparities Improvement and Quality Initiatives. Kaiser Permanente is the nation’s largest prepaid, mul-
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126 POLICY INITIATIVES TO REDUCE HEALTH DISPARITIES tidisciplinary health care provider, with 8.7 million members, a physician group of 12,000, and 134,000 employees. Wong is responsible for develop- ing partnerships with communities and agencies in advancing population management and evidence-based medicine, with a particular emphasis on safety net providers and the elimination of health disparities. A previous captain of the Commissioned Corp of the U.S. Public Health Service, Wong was awarded the Outstanding Service Medal while serving as both the chief medical officer for the Health Resources and Services Administration, Region IX, and its director of California Operations. Bilingual in Cantonese and Toisan dialects, Wong continues a small practice in family medicine at Asian Health Services in Oakland, California, where he previously served as medical director.