Biographies of Committee Members
George J.Isham, MD, Chair
Dr. Isham is Medical Director and Chief Health Officer for HealthPartners. He is responsible for Quality and Utilization Management, chairs the Benefits Committee, and leads Partners for Better Health, a program and strategy for improving member health. Before assuming his current position, Dr. Isham was Medical Director of MedCenters Health Plan in Minneapolis. In the late 1980s, he was Executive Director of University Health Care, an organization affiliated with the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Dr. Isham received his master of science degree in preventive medicine/ administrative medicine at the University of Wisconsin Madison; he received his doctor of medicine degree from the University of Illinois; and he served his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison. Dr. Isham’s practice experience as a primary care physician included 8 years at the Freeport Clinic in Freeport, Illinois, and more than 3 years as Clinical Assistant Professor in Medicine at the University of Wisconsin. HealthPartners is a consumer-governed Minnesota health plan. Formed through the 1992 affiliation of Group Health, Inc., and MedCenters Health Plan. HealthPartners is a large managed health care organization in Minnesota, representing nearly 800,000 members. Group Health, founded in 1957, is a network of staff medical and dental centers located throughout the Twin Cities. MedCenters, founded in 1972, is a network of contracted physicians serving members through affiliated medical and dental centers.
Brian Austin is Deputy Director of Improving Chronic Illness Care, and as such has responsibility for overall administrative leadership of the program. He is Manager of the MacColl Institute for Healthcare Innovation, which he helped found in 1992. The MacColl Institute is devoted to developing, testing and disseminating innovations in the delivery of healthcare and is housed within Group Health Cooperative’s Center for Health Studies in Seattle. Mr. Austin also serves on the administrative leadership team for the Center, a 200 person health services research department whose mission is to create and disseminate public-domain information regarding prevention and treatment of major health problems. He is active in all aspects of ICIC and the MacColl Institute, with special interest in incorporating new technologies into the primary care setting and the development of expert systems and improved practice team communication methods to enhance care delivery.
Stephen Berman, M.D.
Dr. Berman, a practicing primary care pediatrician, is a leader in child advocacy and health policy, a clinical researcher, and an educator. He is a Professor of Pediatrics and directs the Academic Section of General Pediatrics at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He also served as past-President of the American Academy of Pediatrics. His commitment to clinical practice resulted in writing a textbook entitled Pediatric Decision Making. Dr. Berman has authored six child health bills enacted by his state legislature. These laws provide health insurance to low-income children; require seat belt use, and mandate immunizations and preventive care in insurance plans. He has developed several successful community service projects including the Reach Out project (funded by the RWJ foundation) to increase the participation of physicians in private practice in programs that serve low income underserved children, the Mile High Healthy Beginnings project (funded by both national and local foundations) to provide medical services to children enrolled in subsidized child care centers, and the Bright Beginnings project (funded by the Carnegie Foundation and local foundations) to provide volunteer home visits for families of newborns.
Karen A.Bodenhorn, RN, MPH
Karen A.Bodenhorn, RN, MPH, is President and CEO of the Center for Health Improvement (CHI), an independent, non-partisan, prevention-focused health policy and consulting center. CHI was founded with the mission to protect and improve the health of all Californians and has since established an impressive record for developing timely, user-friendly health policy documents, convening legislators and policy advocates to address health policy issues, and providing hands-on technical assistance to widely divergent groups within the healthcare community. Prior to launching CHI, Ms. Bodenhorn founded and directed Partnership for Prevention in Washington, D.C., a nonprofit organization created to increase national priority for prevention in health policy and practice. She also served as Vice President of Health Policy for a government relations consulting firm, representing a variety of clients before Congress and federal agencies. Ms. Bodenhorn earned her Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Duke University.
David M.Cutler, Ph.D.
David M.Cutler is a professor in the Department of Economics at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (1991-present). He is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, specializing in aging, health care, public economics and productivity programs. During 1993, Dr. Cutler served as a senior staff economist at the Council of Economic Advisors and Director of the National Economic Council. His research examines the impact of medical care on the public sector, the value of medical innovation and how population health is changing over time. He is editor of the Journal of Health Economics and has edited two books: The Changing Hospital Industry: Comparing Not-for-Profit and For-Profit Hospitals and Medical Care Productivity and Output. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, he was inducted into the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2001. He has served on two IOM Committees: the Committee on Future Directions in Behavioral and Social Sciences Research at NIH and the Committee on the NIH [National Institutes of Health] Research Priority-Setting Process.
Jaime A.Davidson, MD, FACP, FACE
Jaime A.Davidson is currently with Endocrine and Diabetes Associates of Texas, and is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School. He is a regent for Midwestern State University, by appointment of the former Governor of Texas, George W.Bush. He serves as chair for the Managed Care Report Card of the Texas Diabetes Council, Texas Department of Health. He is also an advisor to the Food and Drug Administration for endocrinology and metabolic diseases. Dr. Davidson is serving a second term on the board of directors of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, as well as the American College of Endocrinology. In the past he served as chair of the Texas Diabetes Council, Texas Department of Health as well as on the National Diabetes Advisory Board at NIH; the Technical Advisory Committee, Centers for Disease Control (CDC); the Translation Committee and Latino Advisory Group to CDC for which he served as chair. He also served on the board of directors of the American Diabetes Association, and was chair of the Minority Committee and of “Diabetes Awareness and Resources for U.S. Latinos.” He is past President of the American Diabetes Association, Texas Affiliate, and past President of the Endocrinology and Diabetes Association in the Texas Medical Association. He presently serves on several editorial boards: Medico, Endocrine Practice, Medicina y Cultura, and Revista de Nutricion y Metabolismo. He has received numerous awards, most recently the Rainbow Award from the American Diabetes Association and the Order of the Eagle from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.
Benjamin G.Druss, MD, MPH
After graduating medical school, Dr. Druss received postgraduate training in primary care medicine, psychiatry, and health services research. He has been on the faculty of the Yale School of Medicine since 1996. His work has focused on understanding and improving care at the primary care/mental health interface in the United States. This research has examined such issues as the work and general health costs of mental illness, the quality of mental health care, and the quality and outcomes of general medical services for people with serious mental disorders. Dr. Druss collaborated on a study, recently published in Health Affairs (November/ December 2001), that compared the national economic burden of five chronic health conditions. He is currently working on developing strategies for improving the linkages between research and mental health policy. He has collaborated with and consulted for a number of public and private agencies, including the National Institute of Mental Health, the Washington Business Group, the
National Center for Quality Assurance, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the American Psychiatric Association. He was the recipient of the 2000 American Psychiatric Association Early Career Health Services Research Award, the 2000 Association for Health Services Research Article-of-the-Year Award, and the 2001 Chairman’s Award for Outstanding Performance from the Yale Department of Psychiatry.
Jack C.Ebeler, MPA
Jack Ebeler is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Alliance of Community Health Plans, a national alliance of leading health plans whose members serve more than 11 million Americans, with approximately 100,000 affiliated physicians. Previously, he was Senior Vice President and Director of the Health Care Group at The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In 1995 and 1996, he served in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation/Health and then as Acting Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. Prior to that time, he served as Principal at Health Policy Alternatives, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in developing health policy and strategy options for a wide range of national and state health care associations and organizations (1987–1995). Previously, he was Vice President at Group Health, Inc. (now HealthPartners), a managed care plan in Minnesota, leading various departments including marketing and sales, strategic planning, member services, and corporate services (1983–1987).
Lisa I.Iezzoni, MD
Dr. Iezzoni is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Co-Director of Research, Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Her research interests include: using risk adjustment to predict clinical outcomes and resource consumption; using administrative and clinical data to evaluate outcomes and assess quality of care; and improving daily functioning and quality of life for people with disabilities, especially impaired mobility. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, elected to the IOM in 2000. She has also served on three IOM committees: the Committee on Multiple Sclerosis: Current Status and Strategies for the Future, the Institutional Review Board Committee and the Committee to Advise the National Library of Medicine on Information Center Services.
Charles B.Inlander is President of the nonprofit People’s Medical Society. Since its founding in early 1983, Mr. Inlander has guided the People’s Medical Society to its status as one the most influential consumer health advocacy organizations in the United States. Mr. Inlander is a faculty lecturer at the Yale University School of Medicine; an adjunct faculty member at the Chicago-Kent College of Law; and a Fellow of the Institute for Science, Law and Technology at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He is a health commentator on Public Radio International’s MARKETPLACE, heard throughout the country on public radio stations. He is a founder of the Civil Justice Foundation and serves, or has served, on the board of directors of Consumers for Civil Justice, the National League for Nursing, the Pennsylvania League for Nursing, and the Lehigh Valley Business Conference on Health Care. He is on the advisory boards of the Citizen Advocacy Center, the Primary Care Management Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, HealthMarket, and Bottom Line/Personal Publications. He was a columnist in Nursing Economics and a contributing editor for Medical Self-Care magazine. He has authored or coauthored more than 20 best-selling consumer health books. His
articles regularly appear in such publications as The New York Times, Glamour, and Boardroom. Prior to joining the People’s Medical Society, Mr. Inlander established a national reputation as an advocate for the rights of handicapped citizens.
Joanne Lynn, MD
Dr. Lynn is a geriatrician who has taken on the challenge of improving end-of-life care. She has worked extensively to generate awareness of this need in both the public and private arenas. She is currently Director of The RAND Center to Improve Care of the Dying, a multidisciplinary center for research and education aimed at improving the care of seriously ill persons. She is also President of Americans for Better Care of the Dying (ABCD), a nonprofit public interest organization that promotes public understanding and coalitions across organizations to improve end-of-life care. Dr. Lynn was Project Director of the President’s Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research and principal writer of that commission’s book, Deciding to Forego Life-Sustaining Treatment: A Report on the Ethical Medical and Legal Issues in Treatment Decisions. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, she was elected to the IOM in 1996. She has served on numerous IOM committees, including the Committee on Care at the End of Life and the Committee to Study the Social and Ethical Impact of Biomedicine.
C.Tracy Orleans, Ph.D.
Dr. Orleans is responsible for program development and evaluation in the areas of health and behavior, tobacco control, and chronic disease management as Senior Scientist at The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. During 1995–1999, she served as convener for the foundation’s Tobacco Working Group. Since 1999 she has directed the foundation’s new efforts to promote the adoption of healthy behaviors, with special emphasis on physical activity. She has developed and led or co-led several of the foundation’s major national programs in these areas, including Smoke-Free Families: Innovations to Stop Smoking During and Beyond Pregnancy (1993–2003), Cutting Back: Managed Care Screening and Brief Intervention for Risky Drinking (1996–2002), Addressing Tobacco in Managed Care (1996– 2003), The National Spit Tobacco Education Program (1996–2003), Bridging the Gap: Research Informing Practice for Healthy Youth Behavior (1997–2002), Improving Chronic Illness Care (1998–2003), Physical Activity Policy and Environmental Research Initiative (2000–2005), and Helping Young Smokers Quit (2001–2005). A clinical psychologist, she is currently an Adjunct Full Member of the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She also serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and as a member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
Greg Pawlson, MD, MPH
Dr. Pawlson became Executive Vice President of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) on January 1, 2000. His areas of responsibility at NCQA include performance measurement development, research, analysis, state and federal contracts, and the corporate-foundation relationship. Prior to joining NCQA, Dr. Pawlson was at The George Washington University Medical Center as Senior Associate Vice President for Health Affairs. Previously, he had served as Chairman of the Department of Health Care Sciences (DHCS) and Director of the Institute for Health Policy, Outcomes and Human Values at The George Washington University. Dr. Pawlson’s areas of policy and research interest have included health professions education, health policy, health care financing, and, more recently, quality measurement and reporting.
His clinical career in geriatrics included both providing direct patient care and serving as a medical director in several nursing homes in Washington, D.C. Within organized medicine, Dr. Pawlson served as Chairman of the Public Policy Committee and later as President and Chairman of the Board of the American Geriatrics Society. He also served as a member of the National Council of the Society for General Internal Medicine and as Chairman of the Council of Department Chairs of the Society of Teachers of Preventive Medicine.
Paul D.Stolley, MD, MPH
Dr. Stolley is Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where he served as Department Chair during 1991–1999. Dr. Stolley is an epidemiologist and internist who trained at CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service and The Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, where he also joined the faculty in the Department of Epidemiology. He then founded and led the Clinical Epidemiology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, where he served as Herbert Rorer Professor of Medicine. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the IOM, where he has served on numerous committees, most recently the Committee on Examination of the Evolving Science for Dietary Supplements. He was previously President of the American Epidemiological Association, the American College of Epidemiology, and the Society for Epidemiologic Research.
Eugene Washington, MD, M.Sc.
Dr. Washington is Professor and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He is Director of UCSF’s Medical Effectiveness Research Center for Diverse Populations and is also Director of the UCSF/Stanford Evidence-Based Practice Center. During 1990–1995, he served as a member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health, Department of Health and Human Services. His research interests include the effectiveness of reproductive health services, prevention of diseases in women, and how to explain and eliminating racial/ethnic health disparities. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, elected in 1997 to the IOM. He has served on numerous committees, most recently the Committee for Behavior Change in the 21st Century: Improving the Health of Diverse Populations and the subcommittee on Creating an Environment for Quality in Health Care.
Kevin Weiss, MD, MPH, FACP
Dr. Weiss is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Center for Healthcare Studies at Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois, and Director of the Midwest Center for Health Services and Policy Research at Hines VA [Veterans Administration] Hospital, Hines, Illinois. Prior to assuming his current joint positions at Northwestern and the VA, Dr. Weiss was Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at Rush Medical College and Director of the Center for Health Services Research at the Rush Primary Care Institute, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center Chicago, Illinois. Previously, he was Associate Professor of Health Care Sciences and Medicine at The George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, DC, and Research Fellow at the Center for Health Policy Research at the George Washington University. He has previously held positions at the National Center for Health Statistics at the CDC, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the NIH. He is also a former Robert Wood Johnson Generalist Physician Faculty Scholar. Dr. Weiss conducts collaborative epidemiological and health services research
projects addressing quality and access to care through practice guideline development and guideline implementation, chronic care disease management, and outcomes measurement. He has served on an IOM subcommittee on Building the 21st Century Health System.
Gail Wilensky, Ph.D.
Dr. Wilensky serves as John M. Olin Senior Fellow at Project HOPE, where she analyzes and develops policies relating to health reform and to ongoing changes in the medical marketplace. She also serves as Co-Chair of the President’s Task Force to Improve Health Care Delivery for Our Nation’s Veterans, which addresses health care for both veterans and military retirees. Dr. Wilensky testifies frequently before congressional committees; acts as an advisor to members of Congress and other elected officials; and speaks nationally and internationally before professional, business, and consumer groups. From 1997 to 2001, she chaired the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, which advises Congress on payment and other issues relating to Medicare, and from 1995 to 1997, she chaired the Physician Payment Review Commission. Previously, she served as Deputy Assistant to President Bush for Policy Development, advising him on health and welfare issues. Prior to that, she was Administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration, overseeing the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Dr. Wilensky is an elected member of the IOM and its Governing Council, and serves as a trustee of the Combined Benefits Fund of the United Mineworkers of America and the Research Triangle Institute. She is an advisor to The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund and is a director on several corporate boards. Dr. Wilensky received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Michigan.