2022 Health Policy Speaker Series Speaker Bios

2022 Health Policy Speaker Series

Panelists Bios 

Thursday, October 27: 6:30-7:30 pm EST
Accountable Health Organizations: Lessons & Future Directions

Bradley Sakaguchi
Dr. Sakaguchi has a diverse background in medical business and finance. He is an accomplished physician and surgeon completing residencies in both general surgery and obstetrics/gynecology. Over the past 22 years, Dr Sakaguchi has held key executive and administrative positions in the military, large healthcare organizations and in the private sector. Recently he co-founded Kembra Group, a consulting company specializing in guiding organizations through complex healthcare challenges.

Dr. Sakaguchi has a passion for helping organizations manage their journey of healthcare reform and guiding leadership teams through successful change management. He specializes in value-based payment reform and aligning stakeholders during this challenging time.

Shriram Parashuram
Shri Parashuram is a health economist and Program Area Director at NORC. He has over 18 years of experience in health services research, policy analysis, and healthcare management. Parashuram leads multidisciplinary teams to monitor & evaluate innovative approaches to healthcare delivery & payment. He also steers NORC's efforts in conducting data-driven policy evaluations for clients, including studying impacts of newer models of accountable care for CMS. 

Tuesday, May 31: 1-2 pm EST               
Federal and State Health Policymaking Priorities Now

Audrey Smith 
Audrey is Senior Policy Advisor covering health, labor and education policy for Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV). She has worked with the Senator for over 3 years. Prior to joining the Senator’s office, she worked as Executive Director for the Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Coalition, where she represented small rural hospitals across the United States.

Audrey also worked on health care policy for The Joint Commission, and Mylan, Inc. where she analyzed legislation and monitored health care policy for hospital accreditation and generic pharmaceuticals. Before going to Mylan, Audrey served as Legislative Assistant to Congressman David B. McKinley (WV-1).

Audrey received her undergraduate degree from The Evergreen State College and her master’s in public policy from George Mason University.

Hemi Tewarson
Hemi Tewarson, JD, MPH is the Executive Director of the National Academy of State Health Policy (NASHP), a nonpartisan forum of policymakers throughout state governments, learning, leading, and implementing innovative solutions to health policy challenges. Ms. Tewarson joins NASHP from the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy where she had been a leader of the Center's emerging state policy portfolio, including COVID-19 testing and containment, vaccine distribution and education, coverage and health system reform, Medicaid system improvements and addressing equity within and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

Previously, Ms. Tewarson served as the director of the Health Division at the National Governors Association’s (NGA) Center for Best Practices, overseeing a broad project portfolio including Medicaid transformation and coverage, Medicaid data systems, health care delivery and payment system reform, workforce, opioids, and behavioral health and social determinants of health. She also served as senior attorney for the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. Government Accountability Office addressing Medicaid and related health care topics for members of Congress. Ms. Tewarson holds a JD from George Washington University, an MPH from George Washington University, and a BA in Psychology, University of Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, June 14: 1-2 pm EST                  
Policies to Reduce Harms from Substance Use Disorder

CAPT Jeffrey Coady
CAPT Jeffrey Coady, Psy.D., ABPP is a Commissioned Officer in the U. S. Public Health Service (USPHS) and a board-certified clinical psychologist. Since 2011, he has served as the Region 5 Administrator and is currently the Acting Director for the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP)

As the acting Center Director, CAPT Coady is the principal advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use on policy, program development, financing, of substance use disorder prevention. CAPT Coady’s career has been committed to advancing behavioral health through developing multisector collaborations, promoting public and private partnerships, and fostering resilient communities.

Prior to joining SAMHSA, he served as the National Behavioral Health Consultant for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Medicaid Integrity Group. In this position, he provided policy guidance to states for improving program integrity in behavioral health programs and reducing drug diversion. CAPT Coady served in the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) where he developed and implemented primary behavioral health care integration programs in Atlantic City, NJ and San Francisco, CA.

Since his commission in 2004, CAPT Coady has served a central role in conceptualizing, developing, and training federal mental health disaster response teams within the USPHS. He has served as a team leader and deployed to numerous public health emergencies including the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, multiple Tribal behavioral health emergencies, Scott County HIV outbreak, Flint Water Contamination Crisis, and COVID-19.

Prior to his commission in the USPHS in 2004, CAPT Coady served as Executive Director at the Roseland Community Mental Health Center within the City of Chicago, Department of Public Health spearheading collaborations with He began his career as a psychologist at the Core Center of Cook County Hospital/Rush University Medical Center, one of the nation's largest HIV/AIDS clinics, conducting applied research on integrated care.

CAPT Coady has received numerous professional, military, and civic honors throughout his career. He has an unwavering commitment to individuals with behavioral health disorders, their families, and the communities which they reside.

Elise Simonsen
Elise Simonsen serves as a senior policy analyst on the Public Safety and Legal team at the NGA Center for Best Practices. At NGA, Dr. Simonsen has provided research, policy analysis, and technical assistance to governors and senior state officials across a range of public safety and criminal justice issues, including broad criminal justice reform from pretrial to reentry, juvenile justice, probation and parole, stimulants and polysubstance use, and impaired driving.

Prior to joining NGA in 2018, Dr. Simonsen worked in academia. She served as an instructor at two higher education institutions in Florida. Dr. Simonsen’s published work includes topics such as gangs, substance use, childhood antisocial behavior, gubernatorial criminal justice priorities, and state-level opioid data.

Dr. Simonsen holds a doctorate in criminology, sociology and law with a concentration in criminal justice from the University of Florida, as well as master’s and bachelor’s degrees in criminology from the same institution

Tuesday, June 28: 1-2 pm EST 
Policies to Promote Health Equity

Cristal Gary
Cristal Gary is a health policy expert, strategist and healthcare executive, with an extensive record of leadership in public and private healthcare organizations. She is currently Chief Advocacy Officer for Ascension Illinois, a health system with 14 hospitals and over 150 care sites across the Chicagoland area. In this role she is responsible for developing Ascension’s policy positions and government affairs strategies for the Illinois market. She also leads the market’s diversity & inclusion, health equity, and patient experience initiatives.

Cristal has a track record of creating policies and strategies to achieve transformational change, resulting in better, more equitable outcomes for traditionally underserved populations. She is a former Ohio Medicaid Director, where she led the state’s transition to a managed care delivery model. She also served a term as Deputy Governor of Illinois, serving as the Governor’s senior advisor on all health care related issues and overseeing the state’s Medicaid expansion and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Since leaving public service, Cristal has advised health care executives and presidential campaigns on a variety of health care issues.

In her free time, Cristal is active in her community and serves on several Boards and Advisory Councils, including CommunityHealth, the largest volunteer-staffed free clinic in the country, and the Advisory Committee to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Melissa Monbouquette
Melissa Monbouquette is the Deputy Director of the BUILD Health Challenge, a national initiative that advances multi-sector, community-driven partnerships to improve health equity. She serves as a thought leader and key resource for awardees and partners by guiding BUILD’s strategy and implementation, and leads the program’s innovation efforts to drive sustainable improvements in community health. Melissa has over a decade of experience in nonprofit strategy and operation. She holds a master’s degree from The George Washington University Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration and a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University.

Jessica Nadler
Dr. Jessica Nadler is a scientist and Managing Director in Deloitte’s Government and Public Services practice with experience leading large scale transformation strategies for agencies aimed at integrating health services, improving health outcomes, and increasing healthcare efficiency across rural and inadequately served communities. She has advised senior executives across sectors, including HRSA, IHS, ACF, HHS, VA and non-profit advocacy and research organizations, and focuses on different aspects of the healthcare system, including the use of clinical and population outcomes data to inform basic research directions, as well as the use of innovations to expand access to care, improve health outcomes, and increase healthcare efficiency. Prior to Deloitte, Dr. Nadler spent 13 years studying animal models of human disease and as an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Following her research career, Dr. Nadler was an American Association for the Advancement of Science Policy Fellow at the US Department of Health & Human Services Personalized Healthcare Initiative. Dr. Nadler earned her PhD in Genetics from the University of Washington and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, July 12: 1-2 pm EST                 
Policies to Support the Health Care Workforce

Hannah Maxey
Dr. Hannah Maxey is Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Director of the Bowen Center for Health Workforce Research and Policy at the Indiana University School of Medicine. She is a nationally recognized expert in health workforce policy with more than two decades of experience in health care and public health.

Dr. Maxey has been a licensed dental hygienist in Indiana for over 20 years. She spent nearly a decade practicing in public health clinics operated by the Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD) prior to pursuing a Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Management (2011), and a Doctor of Philosophy in the same area (2014). Her experience as a practicing health care professional in public health clinics provided perspective on the intersection and relationship between health care and public health, as well as the critical role the health workforce has in ensuring availability and accessibility in both public health and health care services.

Dr. Maxey has been actively engaged in developing strategies and leading health workforce initiatives within multiple states since 2014. She serves as an expert consultant to the National Governor’s Association, and has worked on issues ranging from health workforce data collection to policy design and implementation.

Wednesday, July 27: 1-2 pm EST 
Policies to Promote Efficiency, Reduce Surprises and Elevate Transparency

Niall Brennan
Niall Brennan is the Chief Analytics and Privacy Officer at Clarify Health. Niall leads the company’s analytics and informatics strategy. He also leads the Clarify Health Institute, which leverages Clarify’s data assets to provide thought leadership and establishes research partnerships with academics and policymakers across the industry. Prior to Clarify, he was President and CEO of the Health Care Cost Institute and served as the Chief Data Officer at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, where he led the Obama administration’s health care transparency efforts, built an advanced analytics enterprise, and played a key role in implementing numerous Affordable Care Act provisions, including the Qualified Entity Program and the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. Niall received his MPP from Georgetown University and his BA from University College Dublin, Ireland. 

James C. Capretta
James C. Capretta is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a senior adviser to the Bipartisan Policy Center. He served in positions at the Office of Management and Budget and on the staff of the Senate Budget Committee during most of the period from 1987 to 2004. Among his recent publications is “Toward Meaningful Price Transparency in Health Care,” published by AEI in 2019.

Mr. Capretta has an MA in public policy studies from Duke University and BA in government from the University of Notre Dame.

Sharon A. Lamberton
Ms. Lamberton serves as Deputy Vice President of State Policy and External Outreach at PhRMA, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association of America, a trade association of 33 biopharmaceutical companies based in Washington, DC.  In her role, she analyzes policy, provides strategy, and serves as a lobbyist for the industry in the states issues such as Medicaid, cost and value of medicines, adherence, Insulin, vaccines, clinical trials and conducts outreach with patient and provider groups.   

Ms. Lamberton works closely with the National Governors’ Association and serves on Boards for the National Foundation of Women Legislators, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, the Food Allergy Research and Education organization, and most recently, appointed to the Advisory Board for her alma matter, the College of Public Health at Mason.   

Prior to working at PhRMA, she worked for a senior’s organization on Medicare and long-term care issues.  She has also worked at the GAO, on Capitol Hill for a former Virginia senator, at the Center for Health Policy, Research, and Ethics at GMU, and as a clinical research nurse at National Institutes of Health on neurological patient protocols such as Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, brain and spinal cord disorders, cancer and more.   

Ms. Lamberton graduated from nursing school at Texas Woman’s University in Houston and served as President of both the Texas Student Nurses Association and National Student Nurses Association. She currently enjoys being a guest lecture for graduate level health policy courses and motivating other healthcare providers to join the ranks of healthcare lobbyists that improve access and care for patients.  She works as a nurse volunteer, working with patients as part of the Virginia Medical Reserve Corp in Arlington.