Josie Cooper, AfPA David Charles, MD, AfPA and BPC
Where Do We Go from Here? :
How a Pivotal Election Changes Health Care Policy
Alexander Ruoff, Bloomberg Government
Jennifer Snow, MPH, Xcenda Moderator: Gavin Clingham, AfPA
Increasing Options in Oncology:
Biosimilars & Cancer Care
Jeffrey VanDeusen, MD, PhD, AfPA Oncology Therapy Access Working Group Amanda Conschafter, AfPA
The Future of Health Care Flexibility:
Are COVID-Era Policy Changes Here to Stay?
Kirsten Sloan, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
Patrick Stone, National Psoriasis Foundation
Dharmesh Patel, MD, Partnership to Advance Cardiovascular Health Moderator: Amanda Conschafter, AfPA
Hope for My Daughters:
Biologics & the Intergenerational Burden of Migraine
Shirley Kessel, Miles for Migraine
Maintaining Mental Health During a Pandemic
Rimal Bera, MD, University of California Irvine School of Medicine
Josie Cooper, AfPA
Signs of Success:
Is the Biosimilars Market Delivering for Patients?
Cynthia A. Bens, Senior Vice President, Public Policy at the Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC), leads the Coalition’s policy development and government relations efforts and serves as its primary liaison with the U.S. Congress and federal regulators. Bens is responsible for implementing research, regulatory and reimbursement policy strategies that promote the understanding and adoption of personalized medicine concepts, services and products to benefit patients and the health system.
Before joining PMC, Bens was the Vice President of Public Policy at the Alliance for Aging Research. Bens guided the Alliance’s federal policy work, represented the organization in multiple national coalitions and directed all aspects of coalitions led by the Alliance. She spent more than a decade at the Alliance advancing policies to expedite the development of interventions for neurological diseases and physical frailty; to remove access barriers for cardiovascular disease treatments; and to enhance the quality of care for older adults living with multiple chronic conditions.
Prior to joining the Alliance, Bens was a Senior Manager of Government Affairs with the Loeffler Group. As part of its federal government affairs practice, she represented client interests before the U.S. Congress and the administration. Her core areas of focus included appropriations, budget, health care, education, telecommunications and international trade. Through various other positions on Capitol Hill and in the private sector, she has acquired extensive experience researching and analyzing federal legislation and regulations.
Bens holds a bachelor’s degree from New York University with concentrations in political science and women’s studies.
Rimal Bera, MD
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry,
University of California, Irvine School of Medicine
Rimal Bera, MD is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, Irvine Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Bera earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from the University of California, Irvine, and a medical degree from the University of California, Irvine in 1987. He completed his psychiatry residency at the University of California, Irvine in 1991. He has been a Full Time Faculty at the University of California, Irvine since 1991. His primary area of specialty is adult psychiatry with a focus on schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and memory disorders.
Dr. Bera is a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatry Association. He serves as Medical Director for Universal Care Behavioral Health for California and as Medical Director at the John Henry Foundation in Santa Ana, a high-level center for the treatment of Schizophrenia. At the John Henry Foundation, 4th year psychiatry residents from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, Irvine receive state of the art clinical training. He formally was chairman of the Public Affairs Committee of the Orange County Psychiatric Society from 1991 to 2016. He has been on the Board of Directors of the Mental Health Association of Orange County from 1991 to 2012 and served as a part President of the Board. He is the Past President of the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine Alumni. In 2014 Dr. Bera was the recipient of the Orange County Medical Association Physician of the Year Award. He has regularly been chosen as a Physician of Excellence for Orange County since 2012.
Dr. Bera has been a principal investigator and co-investigator in over 180 clinical trials over the last 30 years. Dr. Bera has lectured extensively in the United States, Canada, and Europe about the major mental illnesses and their latest treatments. More recently, over the past 7 years, his interest has evolved into health care policy, looking at models of care that combine high level care for both physical and mental disorders with an emphasis on health outcomes economic research. Today he works regularly with physicians of all specialties helping them incorporate mental health evaluations and treatments into their practices.
AfPA is led by founding member David Charles, MD, Professor and Vice-Chair of Neurology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He is a national leader in Movement Disorders research. Dr. Charles took leave from his practice in 1998 and spent a year on the staff of U.S. Senator Bill Frist, where he served as health policy advisor. Following this experience in Washington, he conducted Parkinson’s disease research in France as a Fulbright Senior Scholar.
Gavin Clingham is the Director of Public Policy for the Alliance for Patient Access. Gavin focuses on the access implications of healthcare policies and directs AfPA’s efforts to ensure such policies permit patient-centered care. Gavin has particular expertise in public policies impacting the availability of biologic medicines. Gavin brings two decades of experience engaging in public policy advocacy at the federal and state levels and leverages his understanding of the legislative and regulatory process learned serving as Congressional staff.
Gavin received his Juris Doctor degree from the Boston University School of Law and graduated from The Catholic University of America with a degree in Political Science. A lifelong Red Sox fan, Gavin lives in Maryland with his wife and two children.
Amanda Conschafter develops educational materials and communications content for the Alliance for Patient Access and its related organizations. She also serves as blog editor for the Institute for Patient Access policy blog, which analyzes news and policy surrounding issues of patient access.
Amanda’s background includes writing, communications, writing education and policy analysis. She previously served on the legislative staff of U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham and managed the Writing Services division of a Washington, DC-based public affairs firm, supporting both Fortune 500 clients and nonprofits. Prior to joining AfPA, Amanda worked on the proposal and marketing team for a federal government contractor in Reston, VA. Her issue knowledge spans health care, education, veterans issues, consumer protection, telecommunications and social welfare programs.
Amanda holds a B.A. summa cum laude in English and an M.A.T. in English Education from Converse College in Spartanburg, SC.
Josie Cooper serves as executive director of the Alliance for Patient Access. At AfPA, Ms. Cooper has worked in stakeholder and clinician mobilization, developing policy and educational strategies to improve patient access to care.
Ms. Cooper has a background in communications, research, grassroots organizations and campaign politics. Ms. Cooper has worked at the state and national level advising political campaigns and public affairs clients on supporter and stakeholder mobilization. She has worked on major races across the country, from presidential campaigns to Senate and congressional races. Prior to joining AfPA, Ms. Cooper worked for a DC-based consulting firm and for a trade association representing biotechnology companies.
Dr. Madelaine Feldman is a rheumatologist in private practice with The Rheumatology Group in New Orleans, LA. She is President of the Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations, Chair of the Alliance for Safe Biologic Medicines and past member of the American College of Rheumatology insurance subcommittee.
Dr. Feldman is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine, and lectures extensively to patients, physicians, regulators, and legislators both locally and nationally, speaking before the Health Subcommittee of Energy and Commerce in 2019. She has spoken and written on the drug supply channel, particularly the effect that formulary construction and utilization management tools have on pricing and access to drugs (availability & affordability).
Dr. Feldman received the Distinguished Service Award for Tulane Medical School, was named one of the Top Women in New Orleans by City Business in 2017 and is the former radio talk show host of “Driving with Dr. Mattie”.
Susan Hepworth is the director of media relations at the Alliance for Patient Access. She is a seasoned communications professional, having served in media relations and spokesman roles for Governor Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign and former Florida Governor Rick Scott. In addition to working with the Alliance for Patient Access, she also serves as executive director of the National Coalition for Infant Health. Susan has a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism. She was born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas and currently lives in Washington, DC.
Focused on improving health outcomes for people living with rare diseases by advancing the development of treatment and diagnostic opportunities for rare disease patients through science-driven public policy, Annie’s work includes building strong partnerships with policy makers, federal agencies, Industry, and alliances. Current areas of emphasis include leading the national Burden of Rare Disease Study, 21st Century Cures Act and PDUFA VII engagement, national newborn screening program engagement and state RUSP alignment legislation, and innovating around therapy valuation and access issues.
Annie has served within the community for nearly three decades through her roles with Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). In that time she helped lead legislative efforts around passage and implementation of the MD-CARE Act (2001, 2008, 2014), the Patient Focused Impact Assessment Act (PFIA) which became the Patient Experience Data provision within the 21st Century Cures Act (sec 3001), engagement with the FDA and Industry around regulatory policy and therapeutics pipelines, led access efforts as the first therapies were approved in Duchenne, and engaged with ICER around the development of the modified framework for the valuation of ultra-rare diseases.
Annie’s community roles include service on the Board of Directors of Cure SMA, the PFDD Works coalition, the Steering Committee of the Patient Driven Values in Healthcare Evaluation, Cures for Life, the FasterCures Patient Exchange Working Group, the National Health Council’s PCORI Valuation Group, National Health Council’s Medical Innovation Action Team, and recently served as a Design Team member of the NCATS/ORDR Tool Kit Project.
Shirley’s work experience in medical sales, teaching, non-profit volunteering, as well as thirty-five years in the medical administrative field, have enabled her to reach a pinnacle as a professional migraine advocate. During this time of evolutionary change in the headache space, she is leading Miles for Migraine, from a young non-profit, to the largest live, patient-participatory event host organization in the country. Her passion to finding a cure is through creating opportunities for people to advocate, learn, and be part of a thriving community, so they can teach their friends, family and employers how to change the message about migraine disease. Her role as a tribe creator and disease communication expert has assisted her to become one of the most vocal advocates in the migraine community.
Shirley became chronic at age 25, forcing her to leave behind an MBA program. Two of her 3 daughters inherited migraine.
Dr. Dharmesh Patel is President of the Board at the Partnership to Advance Cardiovascular Health and a practicing cardiologist at the Stern Cardiovascular Clinic in Southaven, Mississippi. He also serves on the Southeast Board of the National Lipid Association for America and on the Education Board of the American Society for Preventive Cardiology.
Executive Director, Global Value Access and Policy
As Executive Director, Global Value Access and Policy for Amgen’s Biosimilars Business Unit, Chad Pettit develops global market access launch strategy for Amgen’s portfolio of 10 biosimilar medicines. He serves as a liaison with the biopharmaceutical industry on policy matters in biosimilars, a rapidly growing segment of the Amgen business. With his global perspective, Chad is recognized as an expert on biosimilar commercialization, market access for biosimilars, and the policy measures required to facilitate cost savings for patients and the health care system over the long-run.
Chad’s 20 years of experience at Amgen have included services as the Amgen board member of the US Biosimilars Forum industry trade group, and a career focus on pricing, market access, and policy crossing all global regions in a broad range of roles in the US and Europe.
Chad received his MBA from the University of California Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management, and holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California Davis. In his spare time, he provides leadership and service within the community, enjoys the outdoors, and spends time with his wife Amy and four children.
Alex Ruoff covers the intersection of health policy and politics for Bloomberg Government, focusing on Medicare payment policies and insurance issues. He is a graduate of American University and a 2020 National Press Foundation fellow.
Kirsten Sloan is Managing Director for Policy for the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). In this capacity she manages a team of five senior policy principals and analysts with a focus on access to care, emerging science and prevention.
Prior to joining ACS CAN, Kirsten was Vice President of the National Partnership for Women & Families with responsibility for the organization’s multi-faceted health portfolio. Kirsten was also Director of Federal Health Issues for AARP. In that role, she served as chief health lobbyist and managed a team of senior lobbyists in AARP’s Government Relations Department. Kirsten and her team worked directly with Congress and the Administration on Medicare, prescription drugs, long-term care, Medicaid, managed care, and health insurance issues.
Earlier in her career at AARP, Kirsten worked as the National Coordinator for Health Issues, Health Team Deputy Director, Medicare lobbyist, and as Legislative Specialist with a focus on the Catastrophic Coverage Act. Prior to AARP, she was the Legislative Aide for Congressman Norm Dicks (D-WA) and was responsible for health care appropriations and aging issues.
Kirsten is a graduate of the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. She currently resides in Washington, DC.
Jennifer Snow, MPH, is the Vice President of Reimbursement Policy Insights and keeps clients and stakeholders informed on the latest legislative and regulatory updates and their commercial impact. Her team analyzes the healthcare environment and provides strategic guidance on how to best navigate challenges to patient coverage and access. Ms. Snow is a subject matter expert on the Affordable Care Act, quality measures, medication adherence and federal health programs, particularly the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit (Part D). Ms. Snow holds an M.P.H. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a B.S. in Russian from Georgetown University.
Patrick Stone joined the National Psoriasis Foundation in 2014. Mr. Stone brings to the NPF a decade of government relations experience including consulting with a fifty-state government relations firm and serving as staff in the Maryland State Legislature. In his current role, he oversees all federal and state advocacy activities for the organization. Prior to taking on his current role, he created and led the NPF state government relations team. Patrick has a Bachelor of Political Science from Towson University.
Dr. Jeffrey VanDeusen is a medical oncologist that has a clinical focus on breast malignancies, with a special interest in immunotherapy and novel therapeutic strategies for cancer. He is a researcher in the Translational Therapeutics Program and serves as the Medical Director of the James Cancer Network where he helps to coordinate cancer care among hospitals affiliated with The James.