Navicent Health President and CEO Dr. Ninfa M. Saunders among additions to United States of Care Founding Council Members

United States of Care has announced the addition of twelve new members to its Founder’s Council. These members represent doctors, nurses, patient advocates, and professionals from across the healthcare industry. Together, their guidance and expertise will help United States of Care continue changing the direction of the healthcare conversations and placing healthcare over politics.

The new Founder’s Council members, including Navicent Health President and CEO Dr. Ninfa M. Saunders, will join United States of Care’s current 59-member Founder’s Council. The Founder’s Council upholds United States of Care’s mission to work with Americans from across the country. With members including Atul Gawande, M.D., former astronaut Mark Kelly, former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, and Kaiser CEO and Chairman Bernard Tyson, United States of Care is dedicated to bringing together respected and influential members to offer perspective and diversity of thought on its work.

Peter B. Bach, M.D.: Bach, a pulmonary and critical care physician, serves as the Director of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Center for Health Policy and Outcomes. An expert in drug pricing, he focuses his research on pharmaceuticals and their relation to Medicare.

Donald M. Berwick, M.D.: Berwick is both President Emeritus and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Additionally, he is the former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President Barack Obama. Berwick is a Lecturer in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School and works globally on improving the quality of healthcare systems.

David Brailer, M.D., PhD.: Brailer serves as the Chairman of Health Evolution, an organization committed to educating healthcare leaders and improving healthcare. Additionally, he was the nation’s first National Coordinator for Health Information Technology during George W. Bush’s presidency and is a leader in health information technology.

Matthew Cortland: Cortland is a chronically ill patient, patient advocate, and lawyer. His work revolves around helping patients access healthcare, and he is a great proponent of disability rights.

Charles Grim, D.D.S.: Grim serves as the Executive Director of Cherokee Nation Health Services. Formerly, he was the Director of the Indian Health Service under President George W. Bush, where he advocated and provided healthcare for American Indians and Alaska Native people. Grim also has a background in dentistry.

Beverly Malone, PhD., R.N.: Malone is the CEO for the National League for Nursing and Past President of the American Nurses Association. A leading healthcare and policy professional, she was also elected to the boards of the Institute of Medicine and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Thomas M. Priselac: Priselac is the President and CEO of Cedars-Sinai Health System, a Los Angeles healthcare services, education, and research organization. He has also chaired the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees and the Association of American Medical Colleges. Throughout his work, Priselac advocates for increased access to healthcare and researches how policy issues affect this access.

Ninfa M. Saunders: Saunders is the President and CEO of Navicent Health, a Georgia health system that strives to provide medical aid to its patients at low costs. With over fifty years of hospital administration experience, Saunders has worked in healthcare facilities throughout the country and has a strong understanding of rural health disparities.

Lan Sena: Sena brings with her knowledge and experience as a community leader and healthcare advocate. A cancer patient, Sena’s personal stakes in these issues have motivated her to take action.

Meena Seshamani, M.D., PhD: Seshamani is the Director of Clinical Performance Improvement at MedStar Health. Prior to working at MedStar, she served as the Director of the Office of Health Reform at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Randi Mayem Singer: Singer is a screenwriter, producer, and showrunner. Her advocacy for Alzheimer’s Disease and support for Medicaid highlight Singer’s dedication at expanding and maintaining healthcare access.

Gary Wertish: Wertish was elected Minnesota Farmers Union President in 2017 and has a long history of work with the Union. Prior, Wertish was the Agricultural Director for Senator Mark Dayton and has worked on multiple committees in the Department of Agriculture.

“These new members bring even more depth to our Founder’s Council. Adding to our already strong list of members, they reinforce our commitment to bringing a diverse set of voices to the table in search of solutions that make healthcare more accessible and affordable for all Americans,” said Emily Barson, Executive Director.

United States of Care values the voices of patients and patient advocates as particular individuals who navigate healthcare on the ground level. New members Lan Sena, Matt Cortland, and Randi Singer will join members including Elena Hung, Natalie Weaver, Alice Wong, Rebecca Cokley, and Pete Davidson as patients and patient and disability advocates on the Founder’s Council. Their experiences will guide United States of Care as the organization works to improve healthcare for everyone.

The United States of Care’s Founder’s Council members participate in learning events, provide informal counsel, and act as resources and ambassadors for United States of Care in its mission. Members engage with United States of Care individually or in groups, not as a single body, with no policymaking, voting, or governance responsibility.

For more information on the Founder’s Council and United States of Care, please visit www.unitedstatesofcare.org/about-us/.

About United States of Care

United States of Care is a nonpartisan organization committed to ensuring that every single American has access to quality, affordable healthcare. The organization supports endorsing state-based policies, building resources to understand current and new ideas, and educating and mobilizing the public to make progress toward this mission.

About Navicent Health

Navicent Health was incorporated on November 17, 1994, as a nonprofit corporation whose primary purpose is to coordinate The Medical Center, Navicent Health and other affiliated entities in their mission of providing a comprehensive continuum of high quality, reasonably priced healthcare services to the region. Navicent Health has 970 beds for medical, surgical, rehabilitation and hospice purposes. The health system includes The Medical Center, Navicent Health, a nationally recognized tertiary teaching hospital; Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health, the region’s only dedicated pediatric hospital; Navicent Health Baldwin and Medical Center of Peach County, Navicent Health, both rural hospitals; Rehabilitation Hospital, Navicent Health, the region’s oldest and most experienced rehabilitation provider; Pine Pointe, Navicent Health, which provides palliative and hospice care in homes and in its facility; Carlyle Place, Navicent Health, the area’s first continuing care retirement community; Navicent Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Navicent Health; as well as diagnostic and home care services. For more information, please visit www.navicenthealth.org.


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