Speakers

Kevin Allan

Kevin Allan is Executive Vice President of Changing Our World, a leading fundraising, nonprofit management, and corporate social engagement consultancy. An outcomes-oriented, relational leader, Kevin has spent his entire career helping social impact organizations strengthen their fundraising programs and achieve higher and more sustainable levels of support.

Kevin helps Changing Our World’s clients understand their revenue potential, strengthen their fundraising strategies, develop innovative partnerships, and organize for success. Kevin first joined Changing Our World in 2005 initially serving clients in the West California State Parks Foundation, Stand Up 2 Cancer, and AIDS Project Los Angeles. Later, he transitioned to New York to lead the firm’s global practice supporting organizations including The Global Fund, Texas Children’s Hospital, the U.S. Green Building Council, the National 4-H Council, and UNICEF and three of its national committees.

Following his initial tenure at Changing Our World, Kevin went on to serve in the chief fundraising role at The Culinary Institute of America, The Children’s Aid Society, and Americares, where he oversaw all private support, including more than $575 million in annual product donations from pharmaceutical companies and medical supply manufactures. In 2022, Kevin returned to Changing Our World where he supports the team in the development of ambitious and implementable strategies that empower our clients to step-change their revenues, address complex challenges, and uncover new areas of growth.

Calaneet Balas

Calaneet Balas became CEO and President of The ALS Association in December 2017. She joined the organization in June 2016 as Chief of Strategy, leading all three mission areas including global research, public policy and care services, which work in an integrated fashion to find a cure, advance treatments and enhance the quality of life for people living with ALS.

Prior to joining the fight against ALS, Calaneet served as Chief Executive Officer of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA).

Ms. Balas also worked at the Arthritis Foundation, where she was part of an executive team that integrated and restructured four separately incorporated chapters into one region representing the Arthritis Foundation.

She served as Chief Strategy Officer of the newly created Mid-Atlantic Region of the Arthritis Foundation from 2010 until September 2012. Previously, she served as President and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation’s Metro DC Chapter from 2005-2009, bringing financial stability to the chapter and increasing its fundraising efforts.

In December 2018, she was elected as Chairwoman of the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations. She also sits on the board of the Truman State University Foundation.

Ms. Balas holds a Master of Business Administration from Herriot-Watt University, a Master of Science in Human Movement Science Education from the University of Memphis, and a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Truman State University.

Kelly Brantley

Kelly Brantley works with biopharmaceutical companies, health insurance plans, and patient organizations to develop customer-specific solutions that predict and respond to the ever-changing health policy landscape. Kelly understands her clients’ needs to design and execute data-driven projects and focuses much of her time considering the impact of health policy on consumers and patients. Kelly has supported a broad range of our customers since 2010.

Prior to joining Avalere, Kelly worked closely with the State Health Insurance Assistance Programs at the Health Assistance Partnership, a project of Families USA. Before Families USA, Kelly consulted for the ECRI Institute where she analyzed online tools promoting quality health and healthcare.

Kelly holds a BS in biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an MPH in health promotion, and a graduate certificate in health policy from the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.

LaVarne Burton 

LaVarne Addison Burton is President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Kidney Fund (AKF), a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to fight kidney disease and help people live healthier lives. Ms. Burton has led AKF since 2005. AKF works on behalf of the 37 million Americans living with kidney disease, and the millions more at risk, with an unmatched scope of programs that support people wherever they are in their fight against kidney disease — from prevention through transplant. With programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy, no kidney organization directly impacts more lives than AKF.

Before joining AKF, Ms. Burton was a senior partner at Martin & Associates, a consulting firm to the health care industry and to major

health information management and technology companies. Previously, she served as President of the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA), the national trade association representing pharmacy benefit managers and their partners.

Ms. Burton served as Executive Secretary to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services where she managed policy development and regulations, and was advisor to the Secretary of the federal government’s largest domestic agency. Prior to that, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget Policy at HHS and as Senior Analyst to the Budget Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, advising the Committee on funding policy and legislative positions for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other health programs.

Ms. Burton was born in Augusta, Georgia and attended public schools there. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard University and Master of Arts from George Washington University, both in Washington, D.C.

Lisa Butler 

Lisa Butler officially joined the Foundation staff in December, 2013. She first learned of the Foundation in 1992 when her father-in-law was diagnosed with GBS. Ten years later, Lisa’s son, Stuart, was diagnosed with GBS. Following Stuart’s recovery, Lisa became the parent Liaison for the Foundation for “parents with children diagnosed with GBS”.

Lisa maintains a BA in English in addition to having a ten-year career in marketing and event planning for nonprofits. Prior to assuming her position as Executive Director, in 2015, Lisa managed the Foundation’s marketing and development programs. She was recently recognized by Patient Services, Inc. (PSI) with the 2016 Extraordinary Support Award.

Lisa recently joined the Board of Directors for the National Health Council and is a member of the Finance Committee.

Lisa, and her husband Tom – a mergers and acquisitions specialist – have three sons. They most enjoy spending time visiting their sons in Boston, Colorado and at Bucknell University. Lisa enjoys yoga, reading, and spending time outdoors, walking trails and beaches.

Barbara Collura

Barbara Collura joined RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association in September 2004 as the Director, Chapter & Constituent Services. In April 2007, Barbara was named the President & CEO of RESOLVE.

Barbara Collura serves as the President/CEO of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. Barbara is a nationally recognized expert on infertility and the family building journey, with a special emphasis on the personal experience of those struggling to build their family. Barbara has worked with the World Health Organization on infertility definitions and clinical guidelines, worked with ACOG on their clinical definitions for infertility, and served a four-year term on the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at NIH. A frequent guest speaker at medical conferences, Barbara is an expert on public policy issues facing the infertility community that impact both patient access and clinical care. Barbara has been a guest on the TODAY ShowMSNBCFox & Friends, and Nightline.

Barbara is passionate about RESOLVE’s mission as the organization was a source of support and information during her own battle with infertility.

Prior to joining RESOLVE, Barbara ran a high-tech recruiting organization serving as Vice President of Operations; she also owned her own high-tech recruiting firm. Barbara has served as a volunteer with RESOLVE, The American University Alumni Association, her church, and other social service organizations.

Barbara received her undergraduate degree from the University of Montana and her Master of Arts degree in International Affairs from American University.

Wendy Ellis, DrPH, MPH

Wendy Ellis is an Assistant Professor in Global Health and the Founding Director of the Center for Community Resilience at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. Dr. Ellis has spent the last fifteen years developing and working to grow a ‘resilience movement’ to address systemic inequities that contribute to social and health disparities that are often transmitted in families and communities from generation to generation.

The Building Community Resilience (BCR) collaborative and Resilience Catalysts networks are implementing Dr. Ellis’ BCR process and the Community Resilience framework she developed during her doctoral studies at The George Washington University. Ellis’ innovations provide a platform for crosssector partners to align resources, programs and initiatives with community-based efforts to address adverse childhood experiences and adverse community environments– or as Ellis has coined it “The Pair of ACEs”. The strengths-based approach is aimed at building the infrastructure to disrupt cycles of structural racism, foster equity and promote resilience in communities by improving access to supports and buffers that help individuals ‘bounce back’ and communities thrive. The BCR process and Community Resilience framework are being used in more than 20 cities and states across the country. Dr. Ellis’ Community Resilience framework is featured in a special issue of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice focused on addressing structural racism as a public health initiative.

Leveraging her extensive background in communications, in 2022 Dr. Ellis produced a documentary, “America’s Truth: Cincinnati” that follows her team’s innovative approach to centering conversations on structural racism that galvanized a resilience movement to foster equity through systems and policy change. On the heels of that success, Dr. Ellis and her team have launched a Truth & Equity movement in Washington, DC. Dr. Ellis holds several leadership positions in public health including Chair of the National Academy of Science’s, Enhancing Community Resilience in the Gulf States Committee, Scientific Advisor to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Prevention and Injury Center and the National Academy’s Culture of Health Advisory Board. In 2018 Dr. Ellis was selected as an Aspen Institute Ascend Fellow to support her leadership in developing cross-sector strategies to address childhood trauma, foster equity and build community resilience.

Susan Gaffney

After nearly 30 years of experience working with non-profits across the country, Susan Gaffney joined the National Health Council in March 2020 and is now its Executive Vice President of Membership, Development, and Events.

Gaffney provides strategic direction for the groups fundamental work of ensuring that its robust membership is engaged and supported while tackling the critical issues related to chronic health conditions, which are at the heart of the NHC’s mission. Gaffney’s progressive experience in both the health and non-profit sectors allows her to draw on a range of skills and experiences in helping to drive the NHC’s work.

Previously, Gaffney had been the National Director of Membership and Governance at NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, where she focused on nonprofit governance, compliance, strategy, and member support.

Gaffney earned a master’s in Nonprofit Management and Public Policy from the Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment at The New School in New York City, and a bachelor’s in history from St. Bonaventure University. She is certified in Group Facilitation by the Institute of Cultural Affairs and as a Change Management Practitioner by Prosci.

Diana Gray

As President and CEO, Diana is responsible for leading the Hydrocephalus Association (HA), fulfilling its strategic vision, implementing its core values, accomplishing its mission and executing its strategic plan.  Diana manages the overall operations, staff and resources, and in partnership with the staff and Board of Directors, continually seeks to grow and develop the organization’s programs, supporters, volunteers and mission impact. Diana has been working in the public health and nonprofit sectors for more than 30 years and began her tenure with HA in November 2015.

Prior to joining HA, Diana served as the Vice President for Network Development for the Lupus Foundation of America, Inc. (LFA), where she was responsible for growing network capacity and impact, as well as advancing excellence in volunteer leadership engagement, constituent service delivery, business operations and community outreach. She arrived at LFA after spending more than 11 years serving in various capacities with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Int’l (JDRF).

In December 2017, Diana was elected to the National Health Council (NHC) Board of Directors and in 2021 is serving in the capacity of Board Chair. She is thrilled to be representing the Hydrocephalus Association along with 133 million Americans living with a chronic disease or disability through the work of the Council. In addition, Diana was honored to join the Board of Directors for the Rudi Schulte Research Institute in May 2019. Diana has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Anderson University and a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Ball State University.

Charles D. “Chuck” Henderson 
Chief Executive Officer of the American Diabetes Association® (ADA).

Chuck joined the ADA in January 2020 after spending 24-plus years in for-profit sectors and volunteering in the non-profit sector. Philanthropy and Sales/Fundraising are threaded through the fabric of his DNA. Chuck comes to the ADA from Champion Life Safety Solutions where he was CEO and President. Before that, he was a Field Sales Executive running multi-billion-dollar territories across the country for Dell Healthcare, Common ground Marketing (including executing special events in the field), and Viacom. His professional skill set and success, coupled with his passion and desire to give back, make this a perfect time to lead a non-profit organization. He is passionate about spending the balance of his career in a space that will make a significant impact on the lives of millions across the country.

Chuck is skilled in building trusted and collegial working relationships, relationship selling/fundraising, driving productivity, leading, and supporting change-management initiatives. He has deep experience developing best-of-breed, solution-selling leaders who think as strategic business partners, with a culture of winning as a team and over-delivering results.

A native Texan, Chuck has a strong commitment to his family, community, and church. An avid golfer, Chuck is also involved with his alma mater, Texas A&M where he serves on boards and leverages his professional skills to raise money for the school in different capacities. When he is not working on fundraising for A&M causes, he is working on raising capital funds for his church, where he serves on the Board of Trustees. Chuck is married to his beautiful wife Courtney, and together they have a bright teenage daughter, Charlie.

Leah Howard

Leah M. Howard, J.D., is the President and CEO of the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF). She is a lawyer and patient rights advocate leading the largest psoriatic disease support and research nonprofit organization in the world. NPF represents more than 8 million individuals in the U.S. who live with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis with the shared vision of creating a world free from the burdens of psoriatic disease.

Howard has lived with psoriasis for 21 years and has more than two decades of experience working with national health and disability organizations, local governments, and leading health care and research institutions. She believes that solving today’s health care challenges begins with talking individuals living with chronic diseases, like psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Over the last decade, Howard has empowered people with psoriatic disease to share their challenges with policymakers at the state and federal level, as well as with regulators, and health agency management. This led to a number of improvements for the community including more than 40 new state laws improving access to treatment.

 

Howard has positioned NPF as a leading voice in efforts to measure value and reflect patient preferences in health outcomes. She has also piloted efforts to engage non-traditional patient advocacy partners including health insurers, pharmacy benefit managers, and employers – beginning with the launch of the NPF Payer Roundtable series in 2016. Under Howard’s leadership, NPF has prioritized serving all segments of the community. Today, NPF connects with over 2.75 million individuals each year through its highly accessible website.

Howard has a bachelor of arts degree in government and international relations from the University of Notre Dame and a law degree from George Mason University School of Law. Howard is based at NPF headquarters in Alexandria, VA.

Devin Jopp

Dr. Jopp joined APIC as CEO on December 7, 2020. He brings to APIC more than two decades of association leadership with a wide array of experience and accomplishments from across the healthcare and nonprofit sectors. He has been recognized as one of the top 100 most influential healthcare leaders by Healthcare Management International Magazine and one of the top 50 healthcare IT experts by Health Data Management Magazine. 

Prior to APIC, he served as CEO for the American College Health Association, the principal leadership organization for advancing the health and well-being of the nation’s 20 million college students and their campus communities through advocacy, education, and research.  He has also previously served as president and CEO for the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), a national nonprofit advisor to the Secretary of Health and Human Services focused on enhancing the exchange of healthcare information.  Before joining WEDI, he served as chief operating officer for the Service Corp of Retired Executives, a national nonprofit organization that provides business mentoring and training to American entrepreneurs.  Earlier in his career, Dr. Jopp held leadership positions at URAC, an independent, nonprofit healthcare accreditation organization, and at the Health Insurance Association of America. 

Dr. Jopp received a Bachelor of Arts in computer information systems from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, a Master of Science in computer and information sciences from Hood College, and a Doctor of Education in human and organizational learning (EdD) from the George Washington University.

William (Bill) Lawrence
Sr. Director, Nonprofit Organizations, Healthcare Solutions

Bill has over 25 years of B2B experience in a variety of industries related to healthcare, federal policy, and emerging technology. He served the first 9 years of his career as a senior advisor in the US House of Representatives working for the ranking member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services. Starting in 2016, Bill joined Prometheus Research to help senior management focus their business development and, ultimately, bring some of the most progressive patient data initiatives to market. His experience and insights led Prometheus to their most successful sales acquisition year to date in 2019, laying the groundwork for their acquisition by IQVIA in 2020.

Bill is currently the Senior Director for the patient advocacy and medical specialty nonprofit markets under IQVIA’s U.S. Healthcare Solutions division. He has built a team of experienced business and market strategists with a shared focus on empowering nonprofit organizations to accelerate advancements to improve patient outcomes and quality of life.  

Bill graduated from the University of Virginia and still calls Charlottesville home, where he lives with his wife and dog, Guinness.

Kenneth Mendez

Kenneth Mendez became CEO and President of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) in early 2018. He came to AAFA from AdvaMed, the world’s largest medical technology association, where he served as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer for 12 years.

Mendez’s career has bridged the corporate and non-profit sectors. Early in his career, he worked on Wall Street in investment banking and then in business development at The Walt Disney Company. His career focus evolved to the non-profit sector based on a connection to causes about which he is passionate. Mendez, an avid fly fisherman, left Walt Disney to become the Chief Operating Officer of the nonprofit, Trout Unlimited, America’s largest cold-water fisheries conservation organization. Based on his success at Trout Unlimited, he was recruited by AdvaMed to develop and launch new business initiatives, manage business operations and lead strategic planning. He has built his career in the senior leadership of nonprofits by growing the reach of these organizations, a track record he brings to AAFA.

Since joining AAFA, he has led the organization in establishing a new multi-year strategic plan that emphasizes dramatically reducing the impact of asthma and allergies on the underserved and tripling the size of AAFA’s online asthma community. The new strategic plan’s vision is for AAFA to be recognized as the most trusted ally serving the asthma and allergy community.

John Nosta

First and foremost, John is a thinker. A thinker entrenched in the world of science, medicine and innovation. John is the founder of NOSTALAB—a digital health think tank.   He’s currently ranked as the #1 global influencer in digital health and generally regarded as one of the top global strategic and creative thinkers in this important and expanding area. He is also one the most popular speakers around the globe presenting his vibrant and insightful perspective on the future of health innovation. His focus is on guiding companies, NGOs, and governments through the dynamics of exponential change in the health/tech marketplaces.

In 2018, he received a PhD, honoris causa from Udabol Internacional: Oficial Universidad de Aquino Bolivia and from the Latin America Foundation, University of Science and Informatics Peru and Centre for Neuroscience.  He was also awarded the diploma of honour from the Bolivian government for his work in health technology in promoting innovation and engagement around the world. In 2019, he was named to the World Health Organization’s Digital Health Roster of Experts.

John has an established reputation as a vocal advocate for strategic thinking and creativity. He has built his career on the “science of innovation,” a process where strategy and creativity work together to create inflection points in the market. He has also been recognized for his ability to translate difficult medical and scientific concepts into material that can be more easily communicated to consumers, clinicians and scientists. Additionally, John has distinguished himself as a scientific thinker. Earlier in his career, John was a research associate at Harvard Medical School and has co-authored several papers with global thought-leaders in the field of cardiovascular physiology with a focus on acute myocardial infarction, ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death.

John cut his teeth at the “big” agencies including Ogilvy CommonHealth, where he has held a series of positions including Chief Creative Officer, Chief Strategic Officer and unit President.

Michael Osso

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is the world’s largest public foundation dedicated to creating a world free from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). As CEO, Michael Osso leads the mission and operations of this national organization headquartered in New York, New York with offices in 40 locations across the U.S.  

Michael began his association with the Foundation in 2013, when he joined the senior leadership team as Chief Business Development Officer, driving significant revenue growth. He was named president and CEO in August 2015.

Michael is deeply committed to the mission of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and has focused his efforts on ensuring the Foundation plays the essential role of leader, convener, and innovator for the IBD community. Working with hundreds of dedicated staff and thousands of volunteers, under Michael’s leadership the Foundation has introduced several transformational initiatives aimed at accelerating innovative IBD research and advancing patient advocacy and care. 

Since graduating from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Michael has spent his entire professional career advancing the missions of non-profit organizations. Prior to joining the Foundation, Michael spent seven years at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – first as the Executive Director of its New York City Chapter and then as SVP of Revenue at the national office. Before his work in the health arena, Michael was the Executive Director of Careers through Culinary Arts Program, and worked for a variety of cultural organizations, including the Mark Morris Dance Group, José Limón Dance Foundation, and City Center Theater.

Sabeen Perwaiz

Sabeen Perwaiz is President & CEO of Florida Nonprofit Alliance where she strengthens, promotes and advocates on behalf of Florida’s nonprofit sector. During her tenure, FNA has expanded on its research portfolio with Florida’s first nonprofit economic impact report, nonprofit compensation surveys and a state of the sector. Prior to joining the organization, Perwaiz was a researcher for Vital Voices Global Partnership, served as Special Projects Manager for Pace Center for Girls, implemented an Early Childhood Education program with Aide et Action in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and led the Earn Up initiative for the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce.

Perwaiz serves on the board of directors of the National Council of Nonprofits and United Way of Northeast Florida and as Vice President of Women’s Giving Alliance. She is a graduate of Leadership Jacksonville and Leadership Florida Connect. Perwaiz has been named an Aspen Ideas Scholar, Woman of Influence, 40 under 40 and a National Business Journal Influencer. She has also received a One Jax Humanitarian award. Perwaiz served on Florida’s Commission on Community Service from 2018-2021. She led the all volunteer team for TEDxJacksonville from 2012-2022.

Perwaiz earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and pre-medicine from City College of New York and her master’s in International Development from the University of Birmingham in the UK. An avid traveler, Perwaiz has visited over 42 countries and hopes to visit at least 100 in her lifetime. She and her husband, Asghar, are proud parents of Raza and Ayah.

Sue Peschin, MHS, is president and CEO of the Alliance for Aging Research, the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the pace of scientific discoveries and their application to vastly improve the universal human experience of aging and health. The Alliance’s vision is to create a culture that respects aging as a greater good and values investments that advance independence, dignity, and equity. Ms. Peschin has led efforts to increase federal investment in aging research; raise awareness of geriatric cardiovascular diseases; develop an older patient and family caregiver research engagement network called Talk NERDY to Me (NERDY-Nurturing Engagement in Research and Development with You); advocate for patient affordability and equity-based value frameworks; and improve Medicare treatment access. Ms. Peschin serves on the Boards of: Heart Valve Voice U.S.; the National Health Council; the Committee for Advancement of Respite Research; the Preparedness

and Treatment Equity Coalition; and Voices of Alzheimer’s; as well as on the Science Advisory Board for the UCSF-Stanford Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (CERSI); the USP Council of the Convention (CoC); and on the UMD Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center Community Advisory Board. Previously, Sue served in senior roles at the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, Consumer Federation of America, Hadassah, and the Violence Policy Center. Ms. Peschin earned a B.A. in Sociology from Brandeis University, and a M.H.S. degree in Health Policy from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Sue lives in Rockville, MD with her husband Steven, and sons Max and Nathan.

Eric Racine, Pharm.D, MBA
Vice President & Head
U.S. Public Affairs and Patient Advocacy

Eric Racine is Vice President & Head of US Public Affairs and Patient Advocacy at Sanofi.  Eric leads the Sanofi team that partners with the US advocacy community to improve patient access to breakthrough medicines and vaccines that can transform lives and change the practice of medicine.

Eric and his team engaged with the advocacy community, to listen to their perspectives, understand what matters most to patients, and champion these insights internally and externally. The team works with the patient communities in oncology, neurology, dermatology, respiratory, gastroenterology, rare diseases, rare blood disorders, diabetes, cardiovascular, transplant, and vaccine preventable diseases.

Throughout his career, Eric has held multiple leadership positions in US and global spanning marketing, market access, healthcare policy, patient advocacy and public affairs. Prior to entering the biopharmaceutical industry, Eric held various positions in clinical pharmacy in the US and Canada including academic, formulary management, and direct patient care roles.

Eric holds a Doctor of Pharmacy from Wayne State University, Michigan, an Executive MBA from Rutgers University, New Jersey, and a Bachelor of Sciences-Pharmacy from Laval University in Quebec, Canada.

Randy Rutta

Randall “Randy” Rutta is a senior health care executive dedicated to policy-to-practice solutions that interpret, influence, and improve federal and state health care policies to enhance public and private sector health care innovation, outcomes, and efficiency.

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.Rutta served as Principal at ConnectHealth, LLC a Washington, DC-based consulting services company that he established in 2017 to provide strategic insight and support in achieving objectives across the health care eco-system.

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 currently chairs the Board of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD), a national coalition of nearly 100 patient, provider, and community organizations, business and labor groups, and health policy experts committed to raising awareness of chronic disease in America and globally. He has been involved with PFCD as a partner organization leader and board member since 2007. He also is a Vice President and Secretary of American Eagle Lifecare Corporation and has been a member of its Board of Directors since 2008.

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.

Anthony Shop

Anthony Shop believes in the power of people-centered branding and marketing to create a bright future. He chairs the National Digital Roundtable, the premier convener of digital innovators, leaders and policy shapers, and hosts The Communications Board’s forthcoming podcast, Chief Influencer. Anthony is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Social Driver, a digital services firm that helps companies and non-profits establish winning strategies with social media, websites, creative, and advertising. An enthusiastic presenter and teacher, he has led executive-level training for Amazon, PepsiCo, NASA, The British Embassy and the Bipartisan Policy Center. He has been recognized as an “OUTstanding LGBT Role Model” by The Financial Times, “40 Under 40” by The Washington Business Journal, and Business Leader of the Year by the DC Chamber of Commerce. A former newspaper reporter, 

Anthony was the first new media professional elected to the National Press Club’s Board of Governors. He currently serves on the board of Leadership Greater Washington. He earned his MBA from The George Washington University School of Business, where he teaches as an adjunct lecturer.

Schroeder Stribling

Schroeder Stribling is the President and CEO of Mental Health America, the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting the overall mental health of all. She is a lifelong social justice advocate with over 20 years of experience managing organizations focused on mental health, homelessness, poverty, and racial justice. 

Prior to joining Mental Health America, Stribling was the CEO at N Street Village, a nonprofit providing housing support services for women and families in Washington, DC. Under her leadership, N Street Village expanded from one to eight locations. She helped diversify revenue streams, create partnerships with government entities, lead city-wide policy initiatives on homelessness, and acquire a smaller nonprofit organization. Prior to her time at N Street Village, Stribling was a Senior Social Worker at Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital, where she was responsible for the implementation of new mental health programs in the inner-city Head Start school system.

Earlier in her career, she worked as a Clinical Social Worker and served as a Coordinator for the Dual Diagnosis Program on the Inpatient Psychiatry Unit at Suburban Hospital, which is now a part of Johns Hopkins. 

Stribling received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Wellesley College, a master’s in social work from Smith College School for Social Work, and a certificate in nonprofit management from Georgetown University. She speaks and writes frequently on topics related to mental health and racial and economic equity and is an ever-passionate spokesperson for mental health and social justice in our times.

Steven Taylor

A mission-first leader in the voluntary health space, Steve has over three decades of experience devoted to making life better for patients with life-altering diseases.

Since joining the Arthritis Foundation in 2021, Steve has established the organization’s multi-year strategic mission plan, which outlines the Foundation’s clear pathways to finding a cure and improving quality of life for the nearly 60 million Americans diagnosed with arthritis.

Steve is passionate about aligning the Arthritis Foundation’s advocacy agenda and science strategy with the organization’s priorities, which are shaped by patient voices. Steve’s leadership is guided by the Foundation’s strong community of patients and volunteers — who are critical in driving the organization’s progress in boldly attacking arthritis and its effects.

Prior to being named president and CEO in 2022, Steve served as the Arthritis Foundation’s executive vice president for mission and strategic initiatives for the prior year.

Previously, he served as president and CEO of the Sjögren’s Foundation for 18 years, from 2003 to 2021. While there, Steve worked to make Sjögren’s a household name, increasing awareness among the general public and health care professionals. He also notably led the development of the first-ever Clinical Practices Guidelines for Sjögren’s, a resource to help physicians treat, manage and monitor their patients.

Steve holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Boston University and an executive MBA from Auburn University. He is the proud father of three sons.

Kenneth Thorpe, Ph.D.

Kenneth E. Thorpe, Ph.D., is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Policy & Management, in the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He was the Vanselow Professor of Health Policy and Director, Institute for Health Services Research at Tulane University. He was previously Professor of Health Policy and Administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; an Associate Professor and Director of the Program on Health Care Financing and Insurance at the Harvard University School of Public Health and Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Public Health at Columbia University. Dr. Thorpe has also held Visiting Faculty positions at Pepperdine University and Duke University. Dr. Thorpe was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Policy in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1993 to 1995. In this capacity, he coordinated all financial estimates 

and program impacts of President Clinton’s health care reform proposals for the White House. He also directed the administration’s estimation efforts in dealing with Congressional health care reform proposals during the 103rd and 104th sessions of Congress.

Dr. Thorpe is Chairman, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, an international coalition of more than 100 groups focused on highlighting the key role that chronic disease plays in the growth in healthcare spending, and the high rates of morbidity and mortality. PFCD focuses as well on identifying best practice prevention and care coordination strategies and scaling them countrywide. He also serves as co-chair of the Partnership for the Future of Medicare, a non-partisan organization focused on identifying long-term reforms that would make the program more efficient and improve the quality of care provided to beneficiaries.

Jeff Todd

Jeff Todd is President and Chief Executive Officer of Prevent Blindness, the leading eye health and safety organization in the United States dedicated to preventing blindness and preserving sight across all age and eye conditions. 

Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness fulfills its mission by educating the American public about conditions related to vision and eye health; advocating for public policy that advances equitable access to eyecare; promoting early detection as a key to the prevention of vision loss and blindness; supporting public health research to identify the scope of vision problems across the United States; and developing resources that meet patient and caregiver needs.   

Jeff joined the organization in 2003 as Director of Public Health and later served as Chief Operating Officer until becoming President & CEO in April 2018.  His contributions to the organization have included establishing the Center for Vision and Population Health, a national coordinating body for effective practices, state-level technical assistance, and programmatic interventions; launching the National 

Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health, a resource that promotes a continuum of eye health care for children across the country; fostering an annual national summit as a forum for the exchange of ideas relating to vision and public health; and overseeing the development of leading public health research, which has become widely used to capture the prevalence and cost of vision problems across the United States.

Originally from Indiana, Jeff currently resides in Chicago.  He holds a J.D. from Indiana University School of Law–Indianapolis, a Master’s degree in communications from Butler University, and a Bachelor’s degree from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University–Bloomington.

David Voccola

In his role as a Senior Principal and Global Strategy Lead in IQVIA’s Integrated Heath Practice, David informs IQVIA’s direct-to-patient and registry product directions, while serving as an expert consultant to health non-profits as they navigate the modern patient data landscape and explore partnerships with life sciences and others to accelerate better outcomes for their communities. He is a regular author and presenter on several topics about which he is passionate, including embracing patient-mediated access to electronic health information and leveraging patient-centric designs to reduce burden and expand inclusivity in research.

Prior to joining IQVIA in early 2020, David co-founded Prometheus Research (now an IQVIA business), an innovation leader in registry technologies for patient organizations, medical specialties, and academic research institutions. During his 15+ years at Prometheus, David was privileged to hold senior roles on exceptional teams investigating domains spanning neurodevelopmental disorders to blood cancers.

David is a graduate with honors from Fairfield University.  He resides in Fairfield, Connecticut, with his wife, children, and dogs.

Alexandra Weiss

Alexandra Weiss is a Director of Nonprofit Strategy within the Healthcare Solutions team at IQVIA, focusing on patient advocacy-led health data and registry initiatives. Alex directs partnership engagements with patient organizations to create and deliver comprehensive, tailored data solutions and long-term strategies to meet organizational missions of improving health care and patient outcomes. She plays a key role in the development of patient- and advocacy-centric thought leadership on numerous topics that address building organizational health data and research infrastructure strategy.

Alex has extensive background in patient advocacy and is a patient and caregiver advocate herself. She leverages her insights and knowledge to strategize and implement solutions for clients, enabling mission-driven capabilities through advocacy-led health data and research initiatives.

Prior to joining the IQVIA team, she spent over six years leading life science industry relations and engagement for an oncology patient

advocacy organization. During that time, she worked closely on the organization’s Scientific & Medical Initiatives, raised significant funds to drive progress, and represented the patient voice for industry hosted initiatives.

Alex serves as the past-chair of her local hospital’s cancer institute board where she has been an active member for six years. She has spent over a decade in philanthropic leadership roles. Alex has a B.A. in Psychology from Southern Methodist University and resides in Long Beach, CA.

Mike Zincone is the US Senior Director of Patient Advocacy on Pfizer’s Global Patient Advocacy team.  He has 25 years of diverse bio-pharma experience (all at Pfizer) with demonstrated success and credibility in working with patient advocacy organizations and leading teams.

During his tenure with Pfizer he has worked across multiple roles in positions of increased accountability.  Some highlights worth noting include:

    • A diversity of jobs which allowed him to work across multiple disease areas that include Diabetes, CVD, Neurology, Women’s Health, Pain, Long Term Care, Oncology, Anti-infectives and Rare Disease.
    • 10+ years of directly leading teams at Pfizer across both sales and advocacy based positions.
    • 12+ years of patient advocacy experience in Oncology, Rare Disease, Vaccines, Anti-infectives and Public Policy.
    • Served on multiple leadership and advisory positions in Pfizer and the advocacy community around topics such as long term care, patient navigation, survivorship, biomarker testing, shared decision making, health literacy, developing patient advocacy functions and patient centered clinical development.

Mike believes that all successful partnerships are built upon maximizing the collective expertise of relevant stakeholders.  From this foundation the sky is the limit on what can be accomplished on behalf of patients.  He is a graduate of Rutger’s Cook College with a degree in Environmental Business & Science.  He resides in Glenmoore, PA with his wife Michele and their 3 children Matthew(18), Nate (16) and Lexi (15).