AAFA’s Kenneth Mendez to Lead 2023 National Health Council Board of Directors


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Jennifer Schleman
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AAFA’s Kenneth Mendez to Lead
2023 National Health Council Board of Directors

(WASHINGTON, DC, December 6, 2022) At its annual membership meeting today, the National Health Council (NHC) elected its officers and new members of the Board of Directors for 2023. Kenneth “Kenny” Mendez, President & Chief Executive Officer, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, was named the Chair of the NHC Board of Directors for 2023. Other members of the 2023 Executive Committee are: Chair-Elect Jeff Todd, President & Chief Executive Officer, Prevent Blindness; Vice Chair Schroeder Stribling, President & Chief Executive Officer, Mental Health America; Secretary Sue Peschin, President & Chief Executive Officer, Alliance for Aging Research; Treasurer Harold Wimmer, National President & Chief Executive Officer, American Lung Association; and Immediate Past Chairperson LaVarne Burton, President & Chief Executive Officer, American Kidney Fund.

“Kenny is a true patient advocate in every sense of the word and will be an exceptional Board leader,” said Randall Rutta, NHC’s Chief Executive Officer. “As we continue to transition to a new normal, Kenny’s leadership will be essential in furthering the NHC’s objective of increasing access to affordable, high-value, sustainable, equitable health care.”

Four new members are joining the 2023 NHC Board of Directors: Lisa Butler, Executive Director, GBS|CIDP Foundation International; Daniel Gillison, Chief Executive Officer, NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness); Leah Howard, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Psoriasis Foundation; and Leonard Valentino, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Hemophilia Foundation. One current Board member was re-elected for a new term: Eric Racine, PharmD, MBA, Vice President & Head of U.S. Public Affairs and Patient Advocacy, Sanofi.

These new and re-elected members join current Board members: Nancy Brown, Chief Executive Officer, American Heart Association; Burton; Matt Eyles, President & Chief Executive Officer, America’s Health Insurance Plans; Julie Louise Gerberding, MD, MPH, Chief Executive Officer, Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH); Diana Gray, MA, President & Chief Executive Officer, Hydrocephalus Association; Cassandra McCullough, MBA, Chief Executive Officer, Association of Black Cardiologists; Mendez; Michael Osso, President & Chief Executive Officer, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation; Peschin; Gary A. Puckrein, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Minority Quality Forum; Stribling; Lisa Simpson, MB, BCh, MPH, FAAP, President & Chief Executive Officer, AcademyHealth; Todd; Wimmer; and Steve Ubl, President & Chief Executive Officer, PhRMA.

In addition, the NHC would like to thank Patricia Furlong, Founding President & CEO, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, who is leaving the Board, for her service. Her leadership and contributions are much appreciated.


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Created by and for patient organizations 100 years ago, the National Health Council (NHC) brings diverse organizations together to forge consensus and drive patient- centered health policy. We promote increased access to affordable, high-value, sustainable health care. Made up of more than 150 national health- related organizations and businesses, the NHC’s core membership includes the nation’s leading patient organizations. Other members include health-related associations and nonprofit organizations including the provider, research, and family caregiver communities; and businesses representing biopharmaceutical, device, diagnostic, generic drug, and payer organizations. Learn more at: https://www.nationalhealthcouncil.org