Getting to Know: Aimee Lee Russell, Programs Associate

Following is a Q&A to get to know Aimee Lee Russell, Programs Associate, who began working at the National Health Council (NHC) in 2019. 

Putting Patients First (PPF) Blog: Why did you want to work for the NHC? 

I knew I wanted to work for the National Health Council (NHC) because I wanted to be part of an organization that works to make the world a better place. I do not have a traditional background in public health. But being a life-long patient made me want to be part of an organization that works to raise the patient voice at all levels of the health care ecosystem. Everyone deals with the health care system at some level, and I believe their voice should be part of ensuring they receive the care they deserve.


PPF Blog: What upcoming project are you excited about working on? 

I’m looking forward to the release of new resources designed to help patient groups have meaningful engagement with value assessment bodies. One of the infographics that will be released soon is one that I saw a draft of on my first day at the NHC. So it’s exciting to see it be finalized and helpful for patient organizations.

PPF Blog: What’s your favorite part about working at the NHC? 

My favorite part of working at the NHC are the collaborative colleagues I work with every day. We all have personal reasons for getting into the field, but we share a common goal at the end of the day, so we put our strengths together to create positive change in the world for our members and ultimately patients. 

PPF Blog: You coordinate the NHC’s Value Work Group and Value Assessment training. Tell us about the NHC’s value work and why it’s important. 

The NHC’s value work is important because as people are becoming increasingly concerned with the rising costs of health care, they ask the question, “Is the cost worth spending for the quality of care I will get?” Value assessments in the U.S. work to try to determine the value of a treatment. Oftentimes, value assessments rely on clinical trial data that do not account for what actual patients want to get out of a treatment. The NHC Value Initiative works to provide patients and patient organizations with the tools they need in order to effectively advocate for the inclusion of the patient perspective in value assessments. At the end of the day, treatments are created to serve patients. So, it only makes sense that patients and their perspectives be considered when evaluating their value. 

PPF Blog: What’s your favorite spot in D.C.? Why? 

My favorite spot in D.C. is the National Portrait Gallery. I love art museums in general, but the portrait gallery is my personal favorite because I like learning about history through the people who lived it. When I first arrived in DC, I visited the museum and stumbled upon a great exhibit on the tension between the police and marginalized communities in the US. I always know when I visit, I’ll find an exhibit I enjoy.