New members’ broad leadership experience — closing health disparity gaps and implementing major national health policy reforms — will guide ICER in its mission to achieve a health system in which all patients benefit from fair pricing, fair access, and future innovation

BOSTON, March 22, 2021 – The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) today announced the election of two new Governance Board members: Joy Lewis, MSW, MPH, Senior Vice President of health equity strategies at the American Hospital Association; and Chris Jennings, the President and Founder of Jennings Policy Strategies and an over three decades-long health policy veteran of the White House, the Congress, and the private sector. ICER’s Governance Board provides strategic counsel to ICER’s leadership team while maintaining fiduciary responsibility for the organization’s overall operations.

“We are proud to announce this expansion of our Governance Board with the addition of two leaders who have dedicated their careers to making the US health system more equitable and effective,” said Steven Pearson, MD, MSc, President of ICER. “They share with us the sense that ICER’s role as an independent, objective source of evidence is critical to help support more transparent health care policy decisions. Together, their combined expertise and guidance will strengthen ICER’s ability to help the US health system provide better access to high-value care that all Americans can afford.”

Ms. Lewis said, “The ongoing pandemic has only reinforced that the US health system has a long way to go to reduce disparities and achieve more fair access to high-quality care across all communities and patient populations. Historically, negotiations over drug pricing and insurance coverage have happened among corporate interests behind closed doors, and I strongly support ICER’s ability to force these conversations out into the open, where a diverse set of patient voices can participate. It is through transparent, evidence-based efforts like these that we can all make US health care more just.”

Mr. Jennings added, “To successfully execute any meaningful and sustainable health care reform, policy makers always need a clear diagnosis of the system’s current shortcomings, based on a rigorous and objective synthesis of the evidence. For more than a decade, ICER has served as a trusted and independent arbiter of evidence for public policy, holding up a mirror to the US health system to identify areas that are delivering good value to American patients, and other areas where we continue to overspend and underachieve. ICER can accelerate the development of evidence to advance high-value innovation that benefits patients, providers and payers alike. I look forward to advising the organization on how it can best assist public and private purchasers in securing an enhanced return on the nation’s multi-trillion dollar investment in health care.”

Biographies of New Board Members

Joy Lewis is the Senior Vice President of health equity strategies at the American Hospital Association (AHA). In her role, Lewis has broad oversight for several key association priorities related to diversity, health equity and inclusion to support and build healthy communities. Ms. Lewis, who previously served as AHA’s Vice President for strategic health planning, also serves as Executive Director of the Institute for Diversity and Health Equity, where she contributes to shaping strategy and leading the implementation of initiatives and programs that improve health by reducing disparities and promoting just and equitable health care. Prior to joining AHA in 2018, Ms. Lewis spent nearly two decades at Kaiser Permanente. Over the years, she occupied different leadership roles, and spent the last several years as senior health policy leader at the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy, where she developed expertise across a broad range of policy topics, including work linked to promoting equity in care and closing the disparities gap. Ms. Lewis holds dual master’s degrees in social work and public health. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and sociology from Wesleyan University.

Chris Jennings is a health policy veteran with more than three decades of experience within the White House, Congress, and the private sector. Mr. Jennings is the President and Founder of Jennings Policy Strategies, 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 health care. He is also a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center where he works to develop coverage, cost and value-based policies to address a wide variety of priority health reform issues. As the senior health policy advisor in both the Obama and Clinton White Houses, Mr. Jennings helped implement access and delivery reform provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and played leadership roles in the development, passage, and implementation of bipartisan programs such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), 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. This work built on his nearly 10 years of service as a senior advisor to multiple Chairs of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging where he worked on a wide variety of issues of impacting older Americans, including prescription drug costs and long-term care. Mr. Jennings holds bachelor’s degrees in philosophy, political science, and gerontology from Miami University.

About ICER

The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) is an independent non-profit research institute that produces reports analyzing the evidence on the effectiveness and value of drugs and other medical services. ICER’s reports include evidence-based calculations of prices for new drugs that accurately reflect the degree of improvement expected in long-term patient outcomes, while also highlighting price levels that might contribute to unaffordable short-term cost growth for the overall health care system.

ICER’s reports incorporate extensive input from all stakeholders and are the subject of public hearings through three core programs: the California Technology Assessment Forum (CTAF), the Midwest Comparative Effectiveness Public Advisory Council (Midwest CEPAC), and the New England Comparative Effectiveness Public Advisory Council (New England CEPAC). These independent panels review ICER’s reports at public meetings to deliberate on the evidence and develop recommendations for how patients, clinicians, insurers, and policymakers can improve the quality and value of health care. For more information about ICER, please visit ICER’s website.