Boston, Mass., March 29, 2013 – The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), a leading academic comparative effectiveness research group based at the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Institute for Technology Assessment, today announced the new members of the 2013 New England Comparative Effectiveness Public Advisory Council (CEPAC). The 18 members of CEPAC represent a wide variety of backgrounds, specialties and perspectives, and come from all six New England states. CEPAC consists of practicing physicians and methodologists with experience in evaluating and using evidence in the practice of healthcare, as well as patient/public members with experience in health policy, patient advocacy and public health. Representatives of regional public and private payers are included as ex-officio members of CEPAC. A full list of CEPAC members, with brief biographies, is included below. An additional ex-officio member from a regional private payer will be appointed to serve this term.

CEPAC is a regional body whose goal is to provide objective, independent guidance on the application of medical evidence to clinical practice and payer policy decisions across New England. Initially supported by a federal grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and with backing from a consortium of New England state health policy leaders, CEPAC holds public meetings to consider evidence reviews of a range of topics, including clinical interventions and models for care delivery, and provide judgments regarding how the evidence can best be used across New England to improve the quality and value of health care services.  ICER manages the day-to-day operations of CEPAC as part of its flagship initiative meant to translate and implement existing evidence reviews to improve their usefulness for patients, clinicians, and payers.

The next public meeting of CEPAC will address community health worker programs and be held on Friday, June 28, 2013 inPortland, Maine. Members of the public are invited to attend. For more information on CEPAC and how to register to attend the public meeting, please visit the CEPAC website:
Council Members
Ellen Andrews, PhD
Ellen Andrews has been Executive Director of the Connecticut Health Policy Project ( from its inception in 1999. The Project is a non-partisan, non-profit organization working to improve affordable, quality health care for every Connecticut resident. The Project publishes regular policymaker issue briefs, conducts research on Connecticut health policy needs, hosts issue briefings at the Capitol and webinars with health care experts, coordinates a multi-state Health Policy Steering Committee for the Council of State Governments/Eastern Region, publishes Connecticut Health Notes, a bi-weekly electronic newsletter of timely health care issues in Connecticut, and the Connecticut Health Notes blog with updates on state health policy ( The Project also hosts the Consumer Health Action Network (, providing a statewide toll-free helpline assisting any Connecticut consumer with difficulty obtaining needed health care services or coverage. Dr. Andrews serves on over a dozen regional, state and local health policy committees, councils and boards. Dr. Andrews’ prior experience includes positions as Connecticut state legislative staff on health policy, non-profit health care advocacy, prenatal educator at a New Haven community health center, and academic teaching and research. She holds a PhD in Human Genetics from Yale University where she is on the faculty in the School of Nursing.
Robert H. Aseltine, Jr., PhD
Robert H. Aseltine, Jr., PhD is Professor in the Division of Behavioral Sciences and Community Health at the University of Connecticut Health Center, Deputy Director of the Center for Public Health and Health Policy and Director of the Institute for Public Health Research at the University of Connecticut. He is also the founding Director of the Connecticut Health Information Network, a federated network linking disparate health and human services databases maintained by Connecticut’s state agencies. Dr. Aseltine is a medical sociologist whose diverse research interests include adolescent mental health and social development, community-based risk prevention, and the development of innovative public health and medical information systems. He has expertise in quantitative research methods and statistics, particularly in designing large-scale population surveys and program evaluations. Over the past 20 years Dr. Aseltine has lead a number of studies investigating mental health and substance abuse funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the William T. Grant Foundation, and the Connecticut Health Foundation. Dr. Aseltine received his BA from Wesleyan University and his PhD from the University of Michigan.
R. William Corwin, MD
Dr. Corwin is currently working as the Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer at the Miriam Hospital in Providence Rhode Island. He returned to this clinical/administrative role in December, 2007 after four years at Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare where he was the Medical Director for Medical Management and Clinical Policy for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (the insurer). Prior to returning to HPHC, he managed a start up Hospitalist program for three years with a 60 physician group in Rhode Island. Dr. Corwin was born, raised, and educated in Ohio, graduating from Heidelberg College and The Ohio State University College of Medicine in 1973. His Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Training occurred at Rhode Island Hospital (Brown University Program) and included two years of Infectious Diseases at Emory University. He tried academics for a short six year period of time (at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center) at which time he realized that research at the basic science level was not his forte and abandoned it for a staff model pulmonary practice in Rhode Island at Rhode Island Group Health (RIGHA). In the late 80’s and early 90’s his career morphed into a management and administrative role as Rhode Island Group Health Association merged with Harvard Community Health Plan (staff and group model delivery system) which merged with Pilgrim Health Care (IPA model delivery system) to form Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. In 1999 HPHC closed its Rhode Island delivery system. In 2000 he briefly left the HPHC organization to return to full time practice as the Director of a Hospitalist program before rejoining HPHC in 2003. He continues to work as a Hospitalist at The Miriam Hospital on as needed basis.
D. Joshua Cutler, MD
Dr. Cutler is a Medical Director in MaineHealth’s Clinical Integration section and Executive Director of the Maine Heart Center. He practiced clinical and interventional cardiology in Washington, D.C. and in Portland, Maine, until 2007, leaving to participate in the Baldacci administration’s Dirigo health reform programs. He was a member of the administration’s Commission to Study Maine’s Community Hospitals and the Advisory Council on Health Systems Development, responsible for development of the State Health Plan. From 2007 – 2010 Cutler was Director of the Dirigo Health Agency’s Maine Quality Forum, which reports on and promotes health care quality and safety. At MaineHealth and its member organization the Maine Heart Center, his work concentrates on accountable care organization development and readiness. He practices clinical cardiology in the VA Maine Healthcare System. He has held prior medical faculty positions at the University of Oregon, Georgetown University, and the University of Vermont.
Charles B. Eaton, MD, MS
Charles Eaton, MD, MS is Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Epidemiology at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He also directs the Center for Primary Care and Prevention and the Heart Disease Prevention Center at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island. Dr. Eaton has been continuously funded for the past 20 years as principal investigator on a variety of epidemiologic, translational research and clinical trials related to chronic diseases, cardiovascular risk factor reduction and quality improvement in primary care practice. He has published over 150 peer reviewed articles related to chronic disease epidemiology, primary and secondary prevention, quality improvement, e-health and evidence-based medicine. He is presently principal investigator of the NHLBI funded Women’s Health Initiative, NIAMS funded Osteoarthritis Initiative, NIDDK funded Tailored Lifestyle Intervention in Obese Adults within Primary Care Practice. Dr Eaton’s 30 years of clinical experience and background in primary care, twenty year experience in epidemiology and quality improvement and 10 year experience in e-health and its application to a patient centered medical home provide an important perspective for CEPAC’s proceedings.
Teresa Fama, MD, MS
Dr. Teresa Fama is a practicing rheumatologist at Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin, Vermont. She was appointed recently to the Advisory Committee of the Green Mountain Care Board, whose mission is to establish a single payer health care system in Vermont. Prior to completing her medical training, Dr. Fama was a health policy analyst and consultant in Washington, DC. She worked in private consulting at Abt Associates and Lewin/ICF, for the Prospective Payment Assessment Commission, and most recently as Deputy Director of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “Chronic Care Initiatives in HMOs” program. Dr. Fama completed her medical training at the University of Vermont including residency and fellowship training at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Vermont. She completed undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York with a BA in Political Science and MS in Public Policy Analysis.
Austin Frakt, Ph.D.
Dr. Frakt is a health economist and assistant professor with the Boston University (BU) School of Medicine and the BU School of Public Health. His research interests include the interaction between economics and health care policy, with a focus on patient choice, insurer decision-making and their relations to health and market outcomes. Dr. Frakt has conducted research studies funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. His work has been published in Health Affairs, Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, Health Economics, and most recently the New England Journal of Medicine and the Milbank Quarterly. In addition to peer-reviewed literature, Dr. Frakt writes for and manages the popular economics and health policy blog The Incidental Economist. Dr. Frakt received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in statistical and applied mathematics. He also received a master’s degree from MIT, and his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in Applied and Engineering Physics.
Claudia B. Gruss, MD, FACP, FACG, CNSC (Chair)
Dr. Claudia Gruss is a gastroenterologist and internist and a partner in a multispecialty private practice group in Connecticut. She has an undergraduate degree and medical degree from Brown University. She did her internal medical residency and gastroenterology fellowship at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. She is board-certified in both internal medicine and gastroenterology and is a certified nutrition support clinician. She is a Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. In her practice, she is responsible for the managed care and government quality improvement incentive programs. She also is a clinical educator for the Yale-affiliated gastroenterology fellowship program at Norwalk Hospital. Her other hospital administrative functions include Chair of the Gastro-intestinal Patient Care Evaluation Committee and Chair of the Nutrition and Diet Committee. Her roles in organized medicine include Chair of the Connecticut State Medical Society Quality of Care Committee. She is an alternate to the AMA Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement.
Felix Hernandez, MD, MMM 
Felix Hernandez, MD, MMM is a cardiothoracic surgeon and Chief of Surgery at Eastern Maine Medical Center. He is a graduate of Fairfield University and the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He completed his residency in General Surgery at Wayne State University and did his Cardiothoracic Residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He received his Masters in Medical Management from the Heinz School of Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of Vermont School of Medicine and the University of New England School of Osteopathic Medicine. He is a founding member of the Northern New England Cardiovascular Study Group and has been involved in outcomes research in cardiovascular medicine and surgery with that group for over 20 years.
Christopher Jones, PhD
A native of Gilford, New Hampshire, Christopher Jones brings unique expertise to CEPAC. As assistant professor of surgery at the University of Vermont (UVM) College of Medicine, his present research focus is on using health information technology combined with incentives to attain cost-effective and cost-beneficial treatments for chronic disease. Dr. Jones also directs the Global Health Economics Unit in the UVM Center for Clinical and Translational Science, and teaches Health Economics in the UVM School of Business Administration. Educated at the University of Michigan (B.Sc. ’99) and University of Oxford (M.Sc. ’00; D.Phil. ’06), Dr. Jones worked for 5 years collaborating with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in London where he served as health economist for the Royal Institute of Psychiatrists’ National Guideline Development Group on six U.K. mental health initiatives. From this experience he gained considerable familiarity with voucher-based incentive programs for treating substance misuse and changing health-related behaviors. Mental health treatments were the center of his work, but not his perimeter. His doctoral dissertation was the first to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of in vitro fertilization (IVF) at the population level, the presentation of which led to national policy changes. Prior to joining UVM in 2011, Dr. Jones worked in international finance and in industry, most recently as director of global health economics for a publicly traded pharmaceutical firm specializing in rare diseases.
William Cyrus Jordan, MD, MPH
Dr. Jordan is the Director of the Vermont Medical Society’s Foundation for Research and Education, a public-benefit corporation that promotes public good through research, education and quality improvement in the field of health. Dr. Jordan’s principal initial goals are to: 1) design solutions and recruit resources that solve problems identified by Vermont’s rural health care practitioners and their communities; and 2) promote value and science driven health care by facilitating the availability of premier analytic and evaluative resources to public policy decision makers at both the state and local levels. Dr. Jordan assumed his position at the Foundation after serving as the Medical Director of the Vermont Program for Quality in Health Care, Inc. for 17 years. Dr. Jordan is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University Of Connecticut School Of Medicine. He completed both a residency in family medicine at the University of Vermont and a pediatric residency at Boston University. He received his Masters in Public Health from Harvard University. Prior to his career in quality measurement and improvement, Dr. Jordan practiced family medicine and pediatrics in inner city Boston and rural Vermont. Dr. Jordan served as chair of the board of directors of the Vermont Information Technology Leaders, Vermont’s HITECH Regional Extension Center from 2007-2009. He currently serves on the board of the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center, a federal and state partnership to promote production and service efficiencies in both the private and public sectors including state government, education and health care. He is on the faculty of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and is a member of the University’s Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences.
Toni Kaeding, MS, RN
Toni Kaeding works on special projects for the Green Mountain Care Board, which guides the healthcare reform effort in Vermont.  She is a nurse and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing & Health Sciences at the University of Vermont where she previously directed the RN to BS Program, and the Freeman Nurse Scholarship Program.  Toni holds a graduate degree from The Dartmouth Institute where her interest in the clinical evaluative sciences led to a fellowship in clinical and translational sciences at UVM’s College of Medicine.   Toni has worked extensively in health policy including an appointment from the governor on Vermont’s former Health Policy Council and a seat on Vermont’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Nursing.  In 2012, Toni was named recipient of the Vermont Medical Society’s Founder’s Award.
Stephen Kogut, PhD, MBA RPh
Dr. Kogut is Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy, specializing in the area of pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacoeconomics. In addition to his teaching within these topics, he directs a research program that aims to evaluate and improve medication use within health systems. His research has received more than $1 million in external funding from public and private sources. Dr. Kogut began his professional career in 1992 with the former Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan of New England, where he contributed to the development and delivery of managed care pharmacy protocols. In 1999 he left this position to become project manager for the Study of Clinically Relevant Indicators for Pharmacologic Therapy (the SCRIPT Project), a national effort of the Coalition for Quality in Medication Use, sponsored by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. His current research activities include collaborations with Healthcentric Advisors (the state’s Medicare-contracted Quality Improvement Organization), and with the Rhode Island Medicaid pharmacy program. Dr. Kogut served as an expert panelist for Medicare in its efforts to define quality measures for the Part D drug program, and for the National Quality Forum’s National Voluntary Consensus Standards for Therapeutic Drug Management Quality. He is a member of the R.I. Medicaid Drug Utilization Review Board, and a former member of the R.I. Board of Pharmacy. He serves as an editorial advisory board member for the Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy. Dr. Kogut earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island in 1991, and a Masters of Business Administration from Bryant University in 1998. In 2001, he earned his Doctoral degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Rhode Island.
Sandhya Rao, MD
Sandhya Rao, MD, is an internist at Women’s Health Associates at Mass General and the Associate Medical Director for Quality Improvement at the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization (MGPO) where she coordinates pay-for-performance initiatives and other quality improvement and incentive projects. She previously served as the team leader for Partners HealthCare High Performance Medicine Team 5, where she was instrumental in developing the Partners Clinical Process Improvement Leadership Program. Before becoming a physician, she worked as a business analyst in the New York office of McKinsey and Company, focusing on health care and finance engagements. She has also held internships at the American Public Health Association, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and the Office of Senator Jack Reed.  Rao earned a bachelor’s degree in community health from Brown University, where she graduated magna cum laude. She attended the New York University School of Medicine, and did her residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in partnership with Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates.
Jeanne Ryer, MS
Jeanne Ryer is Director of the NH Citizens Health Initiative, a multi-stakeholder statewide effort to create a system of care that promotes health, assures quality and makes care affordable, effective, and accessible to all New Hampshire residents. From 2003 until 2011, Jeanne was Program Director at the Endowment for Health, New Hampshire’s statewide health foundation, where she managed a portfolio of grants, projects, and policy initiatives addressing economic and geographic barriers to health. Her work focused on state and federal health system reforms, safety net health services and community transportation. She led efforts to develop and implement a Mission Related Investment strategy to create the Safety Net Loan Fund, a working capital loan fund for safety net primary care, mental health, and oral health clinics.  Before joining the Endowment, Jeanne served as Senior Program Officer for the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation managing the grants programs of two of its regional divisions and covering health issues statewide for the Foundation.  She also served as lead staff for the Lakes Region Charitable Foundation, a regional division of NHCF. Prior to working for the NHCF, Jeanne was the principal of a consulting firm specializing in community health and human services planning and primary health care access, focusing on the needs of the underserved in rural and remote areas. Earlier in her career she worked in direct service, patient education and program administration in community health programs. She is author and co-author of several books, including one of the early guides to the Internet and others on accessing health and medical information online. Jeanne received her BA from the University of New Hampshire and MS in Health Policy from the Center for Evaluative Clinical Sciences (now The Dartmouth Institute) at Dartmouth Medical School.
Keith A. Stahl, MD, FACP
A community-based internist for nearly 20 years, Dr. Stahl is the Medical Director for 10 hospital-owned Primary Care Practices in New Hampshire. Dr. Stahl is a full-time primary care internist and Adjunct Professor at Dartmouth Medical School. After completing his Internal Medicine residency at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital, Dr. Stahl joined the U.S. Air Force. After receiving his commission as a Captain, he served as a Staff Internist for the 380th Medical Group and received the Air Force Commendation Medal for developing a comprehensive Diabetic Education Clinic. Since joining the staff at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, NH, Dr. Stahl has served in a number of medical staff roles including Chief of Internal Medicine, Chairman of Credentials, and Medical Staff President, and has had hospital-appointed positions including Physician Advisor for Medical Management and currently serves on the hospital Board of Directors, Corporate Compliance Committee and Quality Management Committee.
Mitchell Stein, MBA (Vice-Chair)
Mitchell Stein is the Policy Director of Consumers for Affordable Health Care where he is responsible for directing the policy agenda of the organization. His work includes conducting health policy research and writing reports for advocacy efforts as well as presenting at public forums, including state legislature, press conferences, and other venues. Prior to this role, Mitchell served as a member of the Board of Directors for CAHC as well as doing health care policy consulting work for CAHC and the Maine Council of Churches. In 2007 Mitchell moved to Maine to work as the Director of Program Coordination for Health Dialog in Portland. Before that he worked in New York for Mercer Human Resource Consulting, Inc. in various roles including as their Global Intranet Director, as the Marketing Manager for the US Health Care Practice and as Director of the National Survey of Employer-sponsored Health Plans. He has extensively studied the Affordable Care Act and researched its implementation in and impact on Maine. He also has extensive background working with various aspects of the heath care environment including insurance benefits designs. Mitchell lives in Cumberland Foreside, Maine with his wife Martha and dog Sheba. He holds both a BA and MBA from the University of Chicago.
William Taylor, MD 
Dr. William Taylor is Associate Professor of Population Medicine and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS). He directs the Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s (BWH’s) residency program in primary care and population medicine affiliated with Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates and the Department of Population Medicine at HMS and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. Dr. Taylor has practiced and taught primary care for more than three decades in the hospital-based practice at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). He serves as associate master of one of HMS’s academic societies. Dr. Taylor earned his B.A. from Yale, and his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his residency in internal medicine and primary care at Boston City Hospital. He has held multiple roles in medical education at HMS, BIDMC, and BWH. Dr. Taylor served on the Internal Medicine Certifying Examination Writing Committee of the American Board of Internal Medicine. He was a Kellogg National Fellow, a Rabkin Fellow in Medical Education at BIDMC, and an associate editor of Journal Watch. He earned the “Humanism in Medicine” award from HMS and served as Harvard’s LCME faculty fellow for medical school accreditation. Dr. Taylor has written about medical education, clinical epidemiology, medical interviewing, decision analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, tuberculosis prevention, cancer screening, cholesterol reduction, and the periodic health examination. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Preventive Medicine.
Robert W. Zavoski, MD, MPH (ex-officio) 
Dr. Zavoski is the Medical Director of the Connecticut Department of Social Services, home of many health care programs including Connecticut’s Medicaid Program.  Among many projects, he is working to provide practice alternatives to managed care and improve the Department’s collaboration with Medicaid providers. Before joining DSS, Dr. Zavoski served as Medical Director of a community health center serving Connecticut’s poorest community where he was the primary author of a federal grant bringing $980,000 to improve healthcare access for Hartford’s uninsured. Previously, Dr. Zavoski directed the Primary Care Center at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and before moving to Connecticut was in private practice in Washington, PA. From 1993 through 2007, Dr. Zavoski served the Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics in several capacities, including Chapter President from 2003 – 2007 and as Government Liaison Committee Chair.  In advocating for children and pediatricians, Dr. Zavoski helped lead the Academy’s successful advocacy of Connecticut’s stricter teen-aged driving laws, improved Medicaid rates, public smoking ban, and Keep Kids Safe license plate program. Dr. Zavoski is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, New York Medical College, Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health, and completed a pediatric residency and chief residency at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.
A private payer ex-officio will be appointed prior to the June 2013 meeting.
About ICER
The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), based at the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Institute for Technology Assessment (ITA) and an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, provides independent evaluation of the clinical effectiveness and comparative value of new and emerging technologies. Structured as a fully transparent organization, ICER seeks to achieve its ultimate mission of informing public policy and spurring innovation in the use of evidence to improve the value of health care for all.  For more information, please visit