Press Release GAO Makes MACPAC Appointments and Reappointments
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 2, 2022)—Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), today announced the appointment of four new members to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC). He also reappointed two members.
“MACPAC is an important source of information and advice on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP),” Dodaro said. “Once again, a number of outstanding individuals expressed an interest in serving on the Commission, and I’m very pleased to announce today’s four new appointments and two reappointments.”
The newly appointed members are Sonja L. Bjork, Jennifer L. Gerstorff, Angelo P. Giardino, and Rhonda M. Medows. Their terms will expire in April 2025. In addition, current members Tricia Brooks and Dennis Heaphy were reappointed to new terms, which will also expire in April 2025.
The Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 established MACPAC to review Medicaid and CHIP access and payment policies and to advise Congress on issues affecting Medicaid and CHIP. The Act directs the Comptroller General to appoint MACPAC’s members. Brief biographies of the new commission members and reappointees follow.
New Commission Members:
Sonja L. Bjork, JD, is the Chief Operating Officer of Partnership HealthPlan of California (PHC), a non-profit community based Medicaid managed care plan. PHC provides healthcare to 635,000 members in 14 Northern California counties. During her tenure at PHC, she has overseen multiple benefit implementations and expansion of the Plan’s service area. Ms. Bjork served on the executive team directing the Plan’s $280 million strategic investment of health plan reserves for the purpose of addressing social determinants of health. These included medical respite, affordable housing, and substance use disorder treatment options. Before joining PHC, Ms. Bjork worked as a dependency attorney representing youth in the child welfare system. Ms. Bjork received her Juris Doctorate from UC Berkeley School of Law.
Jennifer L. Gerstorff, FSA, MAAA, is a principal and consulting actuary with Milliman's Seattle office. Since joining the firm in 2006, she has served as lead actuary for several state Medicaid agencies. In addition to supporting state agencies through her consulting work, Ms. Gerstorff actively volunteers with the Society of Actuaries and American Academy of Actuaries workgroups, participating in research efforts, developing content for continuing education opportunities, and facilitating monthly public interest group discussions with Medicaid actuaries and other industry experts. She received her Bachelor’s in Applied Mathematics from Columbus State University.
Angelo P. Giardino, MD, PhD, MPH, is the Wilma T. Gibson Presidential Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Utah’s Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine and Chief Medical Officer at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. He received his medical degree and doctorate in education from the University of Pennsylvania, completed his residency and fellowship training at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and earned a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Massachusetts. He also holds a Master’s in Theology from Catholic Distance University and a Master’s in Public Administration from University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Prior to moving to Utah, Dr. Giardino worked at Texas Children’s Health Plan, Inc. and Texas Children’s Hospital from 2005 to 2018.
Rhonda M. Medows, MD, is a nationally recognized expert in population health and health equity. As President of Providence Population Health Management, Dr. Medows uses her platform to change the way health care organizations approach large-scale issues, such as improving equity in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Before joining Providence, she was an executive vice president and chief medical officer at UnitedHealth. In the public sector, she served as commissioner for the Georgia Department of Community Health, secretary of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, and chief medical officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Southeast Region. Dr. Medows is also a Family Medicine Physician who practiced medicine at Mayo Clinic and at Kaiser Permanente. Dr. Medows received her medical degree from the Morehouse School of Medicine.
Tricia Brooks, MBA, is a research professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and a senior fellow at the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families (CCF), an independent, non-partisan policy and research center whose mission is to expand and improve health coverage for children and families. At CCF, Ms. Brooks focuses on issues relating to policy, program administration, and quality of Medicaid and CHIP coverage for children and families. Before joining CCF, she served as the founding CEO of New Hampshire Healthy Kids, a legislatively created non-profit corporation that administered CHIP in the state, and served as the Medicaid and CHIP consumer assistance coordinator. Ms. Brooks holds a master of business administration from Suffolk University.
Dennis Heaphy, MPH, MEd, MDiv, is a health justice advocate and researcher at the Massachusetts Disability Policy Consortium, a Massachusetts-based disability rights advocacy organization. He is also a dually eligible Medicaid and Medicare beneficiary enrolled in One Care, a plan operating in Massachusetts under the CMS Financial Alignment Initiative. Mr. Heaphy is engaged in activities that advance equitable whole person–centered care for beneficiaries in Massachusetts and nationally. He is a cofounder of Disability Advocates Advancing Our Healthcare Rights (DAAHR), a statewide coalition in Massachusetts. DAAHR was instrumental in advancing measurable innovations that give consumers voice in One Care. Examples include creating a consumer-led implementation council that guides the ongoing development and implementation of One Care, an independent living long-term services and supports coordinator role on care teams, and an independent One Care ombudsman. Previously, he worked as project coordinator for the Americans with Disabilities Act for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. He received his master of public health and master of divinity from Boston University and master of education from Harvard University.
For more information about MACPAC, contact Moira Forbes, MACPAC’s acting executive director, at (202) 350-2000. Other questions should be directed to Chuck Young in GAO’s Office of Public Affairs at (202) 512-4800. The official announcement will be published in the Federal Register.
The Government Accountability Office, known as the investigative arm of Congress, is an independent, nonpartisan agency that exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities. GAO also works to improve the performance of the federal government and ensure its accountability to the American people. The agency examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO provides Congress with timely information that is objective, fact-based, nonideological, fair, and balanced. GAO’s commitment to good government is reflected in its core values of accountability, integrity, and reliability.
GAO’s Latest COVID Relief Report Makes 15 New Recommendations on Improper Payments, Public Health Data Collection, and Critical Manufacturing
WASHINGTON, DC (April 27, 2022)— As the country enters its third year of the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is making new recommendations to reduce improper payments in COVID-19 programs and improve public health data collection. Those recommendations can be found in GAO’s 10th comprehensive report on the nation’s COVID-19 relief efforts under the CARES Act, which the agency is releasing today.