Boston, Mass., April 24, 2015 – The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) has announced the new members of the 2015 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 economists with experience in evaluating and using evidence in the practice of health care, 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. Members of CEPAC are chosen based on their expertise in reviewing and applying medical evidence in a variety of contexts and are not selected based on their specific expertise in a given clinical area. A full list of CEPAC members, with brief biographies, is included below.
The next public meeting of CEPAC will address strategies to integrate behavioral health into primary care and be held on Friday, May 1, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. Members of the public are invited to attend and can register here. For more information on CEPAC, please visit the CEPAC website.
Mitchell Stein, MBA (Chair)
Mitchell Stein is an independent consultant with expertise in health care policy, communications, and strategy. He has extensive experience with the Affordable Care Act and other aspects of the heath care environment. 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, and Maine Community Health Options’ Advisory Board. He is often quoted in Maine’s media regarding the ACA and other health system issues. He previously served as Policy Director of Consumers for Affordable Health Care where he was responsible for directing the policy agenda of the organization. In 2007, Mitchell moved to Maine to work as the Director of Program Coordination for Health Dialog. 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 holds both a BA and MBA from the University of Chicago.
Teresa Fama, MD, MS (Vice-Chair)
Dr. Fama is a rheumatologist at Central Vermont Medical Center (CVMC), in Berlin, VT, which is part of the University of Vermont Health Network. She serves 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 Medical Group Practice Management Committee and the Medical Executive Committee at CVMC. She also is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Green Mountain Care Board. 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.
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 that 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.
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
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 (www.aarp.org/ct) 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 (www.aarp.org). 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, Medical Director of Undergraduate Medical Education and Financial Advisor for Surgical Services 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 a Regional Assistant Dean at 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 fifth 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 is a nurse whose work has spanned clinical, academic and policy positions in Vermont. She served health reform efforts under Governors Dean and Shumlin and in recent months worked on special projects for the Green Mountain Care Board. Toni worked at the University of Vermont for many years where she held both faculty and administrative appointments in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. She has a long-standing interest in the usefulness of specific nursing interventions and how they relate to the appropriateness of medical interventions and system-wide considerations overall.
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.
Eleftherios Mylonakis, MD, PhD, FIDSA
Dr. Mylonakis is Chief of the Infectious Diseases Division and Dean’s Professor of Medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. His work combines biostatistics, decision-making analysis, risk assessment, outcomes research and cost effectiveness studies along with molecular biology and immunology to answer complex scientific questions, such as the identification of populations at risk and the development of new antimicrobial strategies. His research has received support from the National Institutes of Health and private foundations and he has published more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific articles. Dr. Mylonakis has also edited five books on infectious diseases, served on the editorial board of 10 scientific and peer reviewed journals and is the founding editor-in-chief of Virulence. Dr. Mylonakis’ scientific contributions have led to several prestigious national awards, including awards from the American Society for Microbiology and the Infectious Disease Society of America. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. from the National University of Athens, Greece. He completed a chief residency at the Miriam Hospital and Providence VA Medical Center, Brown University, and a fellowship at Harvard Medical School.
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 nationally 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.
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.
Jason H. Wasfy, MD, MPhil
Jason Wasfy is an Assistant in Medicine (Cardiology) at the Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as an Instructor in Cardiology at Harvard Medical School. In addition, Dr. Wasfy serves as Associate Medical Director for the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization’s E-Consult Service, and is currently a member of the Practice Innovation and Clinical Excellence Research and Publications Committee (PINNACLE) for the American College of Cardiology. Dr. Wasfy’s research interests include cost-effectiveness, variation analyses, population health management, and health policy. Dr. Wasfy completed his postdoctoral fellowship and residency at the MGH, and has also acted as the Roman DeSanctis clinical scholar at the MGH. He received his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, holds his MPhil from Oxford University, and an MD from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Wasfy is currently pursuing a MS degree in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Rob Zavoski, MD, MPH (ex-officio)
Dr. Zavoski is the Medical Director of the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS), home of many health care programs including Connecticut’s Medicaid Program. Among many projects, he is working to provide practice alternatives to managed care. Before joining DSS, Dr. Zavoski served as Medical Director of a community health center serving Connecticut’s poorest community and previously directed the Primary Care Center at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. From 2003 – 2007, Dr. Zavoski served as President of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and 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, and Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health. He and his wife, Martha Steeves, a pharmacist and author, raise alpacas on their farm in West Simsbury. Their daughter, Kate, is a law student at Suffolk University in Boston.
The New England Comparative Effectiveness Public Advisory Council (CEPAC) is an independent, regional body of practicing physicians, methodological experts, and leaders in patient advocacy and engagement that provides objective, independent guidance on the application of medical evidence to clinical practice and payer policy decisions across New England. Council members are elected for three-year terms, and represent a diversity of expertise and perspective; they are purposely not selected for expertise in the clinical topic under discussion in order to maintain the objectivity of the Council and to ground the conversation in the interpretation of the published evidence rather than anecdotal experience or expert opinion. Acknowledging that any judgment of evidence is strengthened by real life clinical and patient perspectives, CEPAC recruits subject matter experts for each meeting who provide input to Council members before the meeting to help clarify CEPAC’s understanding of the different interventions being analyzed in the evidence review. The same clinical experts serve as a resource to the Council during their public deliberation, and help form recommendations with CEPAC on ways the evidence can be applied to policy and practice.
Led by the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, CEPAC is supported by a broad coalition of state Medicaid leaders, integrated provider groups, public and private payers and patient representatives. For more information on CEPAC, please visit www.cepac.icer-review.org.
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. ICER directs two core programs: the California Technology Assessment Forum (CTAF), and the New England Comparative Effectiveness Public Advisory Council (CEPAC). For more information about ICER, please visit ICER’s website, www.icer-review.org.