Boston, Mass., April 11, 2014 – The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) today announced the new members of the 2014 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.

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. Backed 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 one of its core programs 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 management options for opioid dependence and be held on Friday, June 20, 2014 in Burlington, Vermont. Members of the public are invited to attend and can register here. For more information on CEPAC and how to register to attend the public meeting, please visit the CEPAC website.

Council Members

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.

Stacey L. Brown, PhD
Dr. Stacey Brown serves as Director for Community-based Education and Assistant Professor of Community Medicine and Healthcare at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. In these roles, Dr. Brown works with students to develop strategies to address the impact of social, economic, political and environmental influences on health. Dr. Brown is a sociologist who specializes in the study of social inequalities, multicultural health, cultural competency, and community health. She also serves as the Chair of the Connecticut Multicultural Health Partnership; a statewide coalition of public and private partners working to systematically and collaboratively address health disparities. Dr. Brown received her BS from Dayton University and her PhD from Kent State University.

R. William Corwin, MD
Dr. Corwin currently serves as the Physician Champion, Co-Lead on Epic Acute Care Implementation for Lifespan. Previously, Dr. Corwin served 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. 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.

Teresa Fama, MD, MS
Dr. Teresa Fama is a practicing rheumatologist at Central Vermont Medical Center (CVMC) in Berlin, Vermont. Dr. Fama was recently appointed to serve on the Clinical Advisory Board of OneCare Vermont, a statewide Medicare accountable care organization covering all of Vermont’s hospitals and including Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. She is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Green Mountain Care Board, whose mission is to oversee the design of Green Mountain Care, a comprehensive health care system to serve the health care needs of all Vermonters. She is “Physician Champion” at CVMC for the implementation of ICD-10. 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 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 with the Department of Veterans Affairs and associate professor with Boston University’s School of Medicine and 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, Health Services Research, Inquiry, the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and the Milbank Quarterly. In addition to peer-reviewed literature, Dr. Frakt is a contributor to The New York Times and founded and co-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 member of a large 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. She is a member of the Clinical Practice and Quality Management Committee of the American Gastroenterological Association. She also is a clinical educator for the Yale-affiliated gastroenterology fellowship program at Norwalk Hospital and a clinical instructor at Yale Medical School. Her other hospital administrative functions include Chair of the Gastro-intestinal Patient Care Evaluation Committee. She is Chair of the Connecticut State Medical Society Quality of Care Committee and is an alternate to the AMA Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement.

Claudio W. Gualtieri, J.D.
Claudio Gualtieri has been the Associate State Director of Advocacy with AARP’s Connecticut State Office since 2011 after serving more than 5 years with AARP as a Program Coordinator for Public Policy. AARP is a nonpartisan social mission organization with an age 50+ membership of nearly 37 million nationwide. AARP is a network of people, tools and information and an ally on issues that affect the lives of members and the age 50+ population in general. Mr. Gualtieri plans and executes AARP’s advocacy efforts on health care, long-term supportive services, and consumer protections in Connecticut. He has led consumer education initiatives that engaged thousands of adults 50+ on the Affordable Care Act, Medicare & Medicaid, home and community based long-term care and family caregiving resources. Mr. Gualtieri provides issue expertise and direct lobbying at the State Capitol in Hartford and represents AARP before administrative councils, consumer advisory boards and state working groups. He also serves on several health and long-term care committees, including Connecticut’s Money Follows the Person Steering Committee and the state’s Complex Care Committee for Medicare-Medicaid eligible individuals. Mr. Gualtieri’s prior experience includes positions as Congressional Clerk of the U.S. House Committee on Rules, public affairs associate, and grassroots field organizer. He holds a B.A. from Cornell University and a J.D. from UCONN School of Law. In 2010, Claudio was admitted to practice law in Connecticut.

Felix Hernandez, MD, MMM
Felix Hernandez, MD, MMM is a cardiothoracic surgeon and Medical Director of the surgical division and undergraduate medical education 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 and assistant professor of economics at the University of Vermont (UVM) College of Medicine, his present research focus is on predictive analytics and incentives at the point of care, in order to promote healthy behavioral change. Dr. Jones directs the Global Health Economics Unit in the Vermont Center for Clinical and Translational Science, and teaches an upper level health economics course that is going into its fourth year. 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. 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.

Toni Kaeding, MS, RN
Toni Kaeding works on special projects for health reform in Vermont. She is a nurse whose recent work has focused on the effective utilization/education of the nursing workforce and other designated projects for health reform in Vermont. Toni is former director of the RN to BS Program at the University of Vermont and the Freeman Nurse Scholarship Program. Toni holds a graduate degree from the Dartmouth Insititue where her interest in the clinical evalutative sciences led to a fellowship in clinical and translational sciences at UVM’s College of Medicine. Toni has worked extensively in health policy including a governor appointment to Vermont’s 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 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. Dr. 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.

Julie Rothstein Rosenbaum, MD
Julie Rothstein Rosenbaum is an Associate Professor at Yale School of Medicine. She serves on the Core Faculty of the Primary Care Residency in the Department of Internal Medicine, where she sees patients as well as teaches residents and students. She also serves as Director of the Workshop on Professional Responsibility for medical interns. She received her undergraduate degree in biomedical ethics from Brown University and her medical degree from Yale School of Medicine. She completed her residency at New York Hospital-Cornell and returned to Yale as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar, where she studied research methodology and health policy. Dr. Rosenbaum’s areas of scholarly focus include exploration of factors that hinder and support ethical and professional behavior, including the “hidden curriculum,” end-of-life communication, and appropriate relationships between physicians and the pharmaceutical industry. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Office-based Medicine Curriculum, a national disseminated ambulatory medicine curriculum used at over 170 health professional training programs. She was recently selected to serve on the American College of Physicians Ethics, Professionalism, and Human Rights Committee. She also is a member of the Society for General Internal Medicine Ethics Committee, as well as the Connecticut American College of Physicians Health Policy Leadership and the National Physicians Alliance Connecticut Chapter Steering Committee.

Cynthia Napier Rosenberg, MD (ex-officio)
Dr. Cynthia Napier Rosenberg is the Senior Medical Director at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in Wellesley, Massachusetts. In that capacity, she is responsible for the strategic development and implementation of new payer-provider care delivery models, including the patient-centered medical home program and bundled payments for surgical procedures and episodes of care, clinical quality and cost savings initiatives, and clinical policy. Prior to joining Harvard Pilgrim, Dr. Rosenberg served as the Senior Medical Director of Network Management and Provider Relations at the UPMC Health Plan in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she was responsible for the development and implementation of the patient-centered medical home program and pay-for-performance initiatives. Dr. Rosenberg has been active for over twenty-five years as a practicing physician, writer, educator, and health care administrator. She has extensive health care clinical, administrative, and operational management experience in private practice as well as in hospital, academic, disease management, and health plan settings. She has also developed health-related educational outreach materials in a variety of media venues, including newspaper, radio, and television. Following the completion of her medical degree at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Dr. Rosenberg completed her residency and fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC St. Margaret Hospital. She also completed a Master of Arts degree in English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan and additional postgraduate training through the executive MBA program at the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Rosenberg is board certified in Geriatrics and Family Medicine.

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.

Tom Simpatico, MD (ex-officio)
Dr. Simpatico trained at the University of Chicago, and then joined the Northwestern University Medical School faculty during which time he served for five years as the Metro Chicago Bureau Chief for the Illinois State Mental Health Authority. In that role, he created and directed a number of programs that have significantly helped to integrate mental health services. He is an expert in public psychiatry, public policy relating to serious mental illness, veterans’ services, complex systems and health care delivery systems. In his current role as Director of the UVM Human Services Integration Unit, he serves as the Chief Medical Officer for the Vermont State Medicaid Authority and is working to create and deploy a single payer system of health care. He also oversees several million dollars in funding for veteran’s services for Vermont, parts of NY State and NH. Dr. Simpatico and his team at UVM have created a suite of tools and technologies called MHISSION System which connects persons with treatment and service options by creating new paths for information exchange and interoperability among treatment and service providers, outreach agencies, law enforcement, corrections, veterans’ groups, and other entities that typically operate in isolation. The MHISSION System is currently being used in several New England states to support jail diversion and re-entry and veteran services. Dr. Simpatico is an active researcher and teacher. He was a panelist for the recent Fred Friendly Seminars production MINDS ON THE EDGE-Facing Mental Illness that aired nationally on PBS. He was the recipient of the 2010 Exemplary Psychiatrist Award of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the Featherfist Humanitarian Service Award. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and past president of the Vermont Psychiatric Association. He lives just outside Burlington, Vermont with his wife and two children.

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 an independent health care consultant with expertise in health care policy and strategy. In addition to his consulting work and participation on CEPAC, he is a member of the Maine Legislature’s Exchange Advisory Committee, the Maine Choosing Wisely Leadership Group, the Maine Community Health Options Advisory Board and the Maine Quality Forum Hospital Acquired Infections Subcommittee. He previously served as Policy Director of Consumers for Affordable Health Care (CAHC) where he was 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, ME. Previously he worked in New York for Mercer Human Resource Consulting, Inc. serving in various roles, including Global Intranet Director, Marketing Manager for 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. 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.

About ICER

The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) is an independent non-profit health care research organization dedicated to improving the interpretation and application of evidence in the health care system. For more information about ICER, please visit: