Jennifer Dexter, Vice President of Policy, National Health Council

Jennifer Dexter is the Vice President of Policy with the National Health Council, and she helps the NHC’s member organizations to establish policy positions which seek to improve the lives of people with chronic diseases and disabilities.

Dexter is also one of the NHC’s most visible public faces, often making her way over to Capitol Hill itself where she further advocates for critical health care reform policies with key lawmakers and representatives from the executive branch.

Prior to joining the NHC in September 2019, Dexter spent two and a half years as a product director at Anthem, Inc. helping them develop and shape Medicaid solutions that supported people with disabilities, older adults, and children in foster care. Prior to that, Dexter led Easterseals’ efforts with Congress annually to assure funding for all federal programs serving people with disabilities and older adults, including Easterseals’ federal programs.

Dexter worked with Congress to create and strengthen public policy affecting people with disabilities and older adults, particularly in long-term services and 

supports. From her time at Easterseals’ to her current work with the NHC, the continued protection and enhancement of legislation such as the Affordable Care Act has been a top priority for Dexter and her team. During her down time, Dexter is kept happily occupied as the mother an incredibly busy teenage son, as they bond over their shared love of basketball. Dexter earned her BA in political science from Washington University in St. Louis.

Matthew Fuentes, Health Care Advisor, Office of Senator Charles E. Schumer

Matt Fuentes serves as the primary health care advisor to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. He has been with Leader Schumer since 2017, prior to which he worked at the Senate Finance Committee, the Alliance of Community Health Plans, House Majority PAC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He also received a Master of Public Health degree from George Washington University.

Eric Gascho, Senior Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs, National Health Council

Eric Gascho is the Senior Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs. He has been with the National Health Council since August 2009. In his role, Gascho leads the National Health Council’s advocacy efforts by working with its member organizations to develop policy positions that seek to improve the lives of people with chronic diseases and disabilities and advocating for these policies on Capitol Hill and within the executive branch. He also represents the NHC in the national media, the broader health care community through public speaking engagements, and in coalitions. Gascho serves on the Steering Committee of the Partnership to Protect Coverage and the NIH’s PCOR Chronic Conditions Monitoring Board.
Prior to joining the NHC, he worked in the government relations department of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine.

Gascho earned his BA degrees in government and business management from the University of Redlands in California.

Ryan Long, Senior Policy Advisor

Ryan is a Senior Policy Advisor for Speaker McCarthy responsible for health care and telecommunication policy.  Prior to joining Leader McCarthy in January of 2021, Ryan was the Deputy Staff Director for the Energy and Commerce Committee from March of 2018 until September 2020 and then Staff Director for the remainder of the 116th Congress.  Prior to returning to the Committee Ryan spent five years in private practice. Ryan had previously spent nearly a decade at Energy and Commerce in various roles including Professional Staff Member, Counsel, and the last seven years as Chief Health Counsel under then Chairmen Joe Barton and Fred Upton (2004-2013).  Before coming to the Energy and Commerce Committee Ryan worked for five years in the office of Rep. Joe Barton as a Legislative Assistant and then Legislative Director.  Ryan began working in the House in the office of Rep. Charlie Norwood.

Matin G. Reiser, Principal, S-3 Group

Marty Reiser most recently served as Policy Director for House Minority Whip Steve Scalise. He has had a long career in government focused on health care, tax, trade and pension policy and financial services. He was the lead policy staff for the House Republican Whip operation on all major legislation since 2014, including Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), Tax Cut and Jobs Act, USMCA, CARES Act and all COVID-related legislation, the American Health Care Act, Budget Reconciliation, tax extenders, multi-employer pension plan reform, 21st Century Cures and Opioid bills. Marty also directs all coalition efforts for the House Republican conference – including outreach to business community, trade associations, issue advocacy groups and state and local governments. Since May 2020, Marty has had additional role as chief health policy advisor for the minority on the Select Subcommittee on the Corona Virus Crisis. In that role he has worked on daily basis with CDC, FDA, HHS, the White House, Treasury, the Federal Reserve and the small business community on oversight issues related to the federal government’s response to COVID.

Mr. Reiser began his career at the U.S. Department of Commerce. He holds a law degree from George Mason University and a Master’s in International Affairs from George Washington University. He earned a BA from Holy Cross.

Randy Rutta, Chief Executive Officer, National Health Council

Rutta joined the National Health Council (NHC) in February 2021 as the organization’s Chief Executive Officer. As CEO, Rutta leads the NHC, as it enters its second century, with the goal of affecting change across the entire health system and promote increased access to affordable, high-value, sustainable health care. The NHC brings diverse organizations together to forge consensus and drive patient-centered health policy, and Rutta inspires the NHC staff to implement a Board-driven strategic plan and public policy and advocacy efforts.

Prior to joining the NHC, Rutta was the President & CEO of the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association (AARDA), a national organization dedicated to addressing the problem of autoimmunity, the major cause of more than 100 serious chronic diseases. AARDA initiated and hosts the 40-member National Coalition of Autoimmune Patient Groups and is a longtime member of the NHC. Prior to his role as President & CEO, he served as AARDA’s Federal Policy Consultant since March 2018.

In 2017, Rutta transitioned from the position of President and CEO at Easterseals, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to the health, well-being, and success of people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and families. For most of his 36 years at Easterseals, he was located in Washington, DC, at the organization’s Office of Public Affairs, overseeing federal and state legislative and regulatory activities, federal grant development, and international knowledge exchange. His career experience has been in acute care, health care quality assurance, and health policy development and implementation.

Rutta holds a Master of Arts in Politics, focusing on international health policy, from Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Conor Sheehey, Senior Health Policy Advisor, Minority Staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance

Conor Sheehey serves as a Senior Policy Advisor for the Minority Staff of the Senate Finance Committee, where he handles a range of health care issues, including drug pricing and Medicare Parts B and D.  Prior to joining committee staff, Conor spent four years in the Office of Senator Tim Scott, where he ultimately served as Deputy Legislative Director.  Before coming to Capitol Hill, Conor was a Teach For America Corps Member in the Bronx while earning his Master’s degree.  Conor received his B.A. from the University of Virginia, which he attended as a Jefferson Scholar.

Polly Webster, Senior Counsel, Health, Democratic for Senate Finance Committee 

Polly Webster is the Senior Counsel, Health for the Democratic for  Senate Finance Committee. Polly has expertise in prescription drug policy, experience working in the House and Senate, and the ability to work collaboratively across a diverse set of stakeholders. 

Prior to serving the Senate Finance Committee, Polly worked at the Association for Accessible Medicine (AAM) as Vice President of Federal Affairs. In this role, Polly advocated on behalf of AAM’s interests to congressional leaders and the White House. Previously to joining AAM, Polly was the Principal Policy Advisor, Government Relations for Kaiser Permanente, where she led the organization’s work on prescription drug policy and regulations. Polly also served as Health Policy Director for Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO), Health Policy Fellow on the Democratic Senate Committee on Finance and with Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV).Polly received her Bachelor’s Degree from Denison University, her Master of Public Health from George Washington University, and her Law degree from Georgetown University.