PLENARY SPEAKERS

Sanjeev Arora, MD, FACP, FACG
Director and Founder - Project ECHO

Don Berwick Headshot

Sanjeev Arora, MD, FACP, FACG, is the Director and Founder of Project ECHO. He is a Distinguished Professor of Medicine with tenure in the Department of Internal Medicine at University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. The Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) Model was developed as an innovative paradigm to expand access to specialty medical care for vulnerable populations and underserved areas. Using videoconferencing technology integrated with clinical management tools, ECHO builds capacity among community-based clinicians via case-based learning and co-management of patients. This helps rural clinicians develop knowledge and self-efficacy so they can adopt research findings and deliver best practice care for complex and chronic health conditions. The first teleECHO clinic was developed in 2003 to respond to a growing health crisis hepatitis C and has since expanded to cover over a dozen other specialty areas and at Academic Medical Centers across the United States and around the globe. The Veterans Health Administration and the Department of Defense have also adopted the ECHO model to enhance access to specialty care. In 2007, Project ECHO came in first among more than 300 entries from 27 countries in winning the Changemakers award. This international competition was sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Ashoka Foundation to identify programs that are changing the paradigm of how medicine is practiced. In 2011, ECHO published a prospective cohort study in the New England Journal of Medicine, to prove that treatment for HCV by primary care providers using the ECHO model is as safe and effective as treatment by specialists at an Academic Medical Center. Over the last 10 years Dr Arora has received more than 27 million dollars of grant support. Dr Arora has been awarded numerous prestigious awards including: the Teresa Heinz and the Heinz Family Foundation 19th Heinz Award for Public Policy, Second Rosenthal Award from the Rosenthal Family Foundation, and the American College of Physicians and the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) President’s Award. Dr Arora was also recognized during World Hepatitis Day 2014, at the White House in Washington DC, DC as a leader in advancing efforts to address viral hepatitis and the goals of the Action Plan for the Prevention, Care, and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis.

Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP
President Emeritus and Senior Fellow -
Institute for Healthcare Improvement

Don Berwick Headshot

Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP, FRCP, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, is also former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. A pediatrician by background, Dr. Berwick has served on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, and on the staffs of Boston's Children's Hospital Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Brigham and Women's Hospital. He has also served as Vice Chair of the US Preventive Services Task Force, the first "Independent Member" of the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees, and Chair of the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. He served two terms on the Institute of Medicine's (IOM's) Governing Council, was a member of the IOM's Global Health Board, and served on President Clinton's Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Healthcare Industry. Recognized as a leading authority on health care quality and improvement, Dr. Berwick has received numerous awards for his contributions. In 2005, he was appointed "Honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire" by the Queen of England in recognition of his work with the British National Health Service. Dr. Berwick is the author or co-author of over 160 scientific articles and six books.

David Blumenthal, MD, MPP
President and CEO - Commonwealth Fund

David Blumenthal Headshot

David Blumenthal, MD, MPP became President and CEO of the Commonwealth Fund, a national health care philanthropy based in New York City, in January, 2013. Previously, he served as Chief Health Information and Innovation Officer at Partners Health System in Boston, MA, and was Samuel O. Thier Professor of Medicine and Professor of Health Care Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital/ Harvard Medical School.  From 2009 to 2011, Dr. Blumenthal was the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology under President Barack Obama.  In this role he was charged with building an interoperable, private and secure nationwide health information system and supporting the widespread, meaningful use of health IT. Prior to that, Dr. Blumenthal was a practicing primary care physician, director of the Institute for Health Policy, and professor of medicine and health policy at Massachusetts General Hospital/Partners Healthcare System and Harvard Medical School.

As a renowned health services researcher and national authority on health IT adoption, Dr. Blumenthal has authored over 250 scholarly publications, including the seminal studies on the adoption and use of health information technology in the United States.

Dr. Blumenthal received his undergraduate, medical, and public policy degrees from Harvard University and completed his residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Patrick Conway, MD, MSc
Acting Principal Deputy Administrator
Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Chief Medical Officer, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid

Kate Goodrich Headshot

Patrick Conway, MD, MSc, is the CMS Acting Principal Deputy Administrator and Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality & CMS Chief Medical Officer. As the CMS Acting Principal Deputy Administrator and CMS Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Conway is responsible for overseeing the programs that serve the over 130 million Americans that access health care services through Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the Health Insurance Marketplace. He and the CMS team focus on health system transformation by improving quality, affordability, access to care, and health outcomes.

Dr. Conway is also Director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) at CMS. The CMS Innovation Center is responsible for testing numerous new payment and service delivery models across the nation that reward quality and value.  Models include accountable care organizations, bundled payments, primary care medical homes, state innovation models, and many more.  These models involve millions of people and hundreds of thousands of providers across the nation.  Successful models can be scaled nationally. The CMS Innovation Center budget is $10 billion over 10 years.

In 2014, he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine Institute of Medicine (IOM) recognizing individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine. He is a practicing pediatric hospitalist and was selected as a Master of Hospital Medicine from the Society of Hospital Medicine.  He has received the HHS Secretary’s Distinguished Service award. This is the Secretary’s highest distinction for executive excellence.  He is a former White House Fellow, Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar, and leader of quality improvement, research, and clinical operations at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.  He completed pediatrics residency at Harvard Medical School's Children's Hospital Boston, graduated with High Honors from Baylor College of Medicine, and graduated summa cum laude from Texas A&M University.

Darren A. DeWalt, MD, MPH
Director, Learning and Diffusion Group -
Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation

Kate Goodrich Headshot

Darren A. DeWalt, M.D., M.P.H. is Director of the Learning and Diffusion Group at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  As Director of the Learning and Diffusion Group, Dr. DeWalt leads an expert team in designing and supporting improvement and learning activities across the Innovation Center’s portfolio of new models of care.  

Prior to joining the Innovation Center in 2014, Dr. DeWalt was faculty at the University of North Carolina.  He was the principal investigator for the North Carolina Infrastructure for Maintaining Primary Care Transformation (NC IMPaCT) grant from AHRQ. For NC IMPaCT, Dr. DeWalt directed a regional leadership collaborative for improvement leaders across the State of NC, a pilot collaborative for 10 practices working on transitions in care, and dissemination of the NC model to 4 other states seeking to improve primary care infrastructure.  Dr. DeWalt led the design team and was a national improvement advisor for the Improving Performance in Practice (IPIP) program for the boards and specialty societies of internal medicine, family medicine, and pediatrics.   IPIP helped practicing primary care physicians improve care systems through working in improvement networks, measuring and sharing performance data, and receiving improvement education and training.  As part of IPIP, he also provided technical assistance to the RWJF Aligning Forces for Quality program transforming healthcare in 17 communities across the United States.  Dr. DeWalt was also an improvement advisor to the Cincinnati Beacon Community PCMH and diabetes quality improvement collaborative.

He also researched self-management interventions for patients with low-literacy and focused on chronic diseases like diabetes, heart failure, COPD, and asthma. His focus was on patient-physician communication and health system design to achieve better outcomes for vulnerable populations.  His work in health literacy includes epidemiological studies, systematic reviews, communication tool development, and clinical trials.  He also led a practice-based intervention to reduce hypertension disparities funded by NHLBI.  He is the lead author of the AHRQ Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit.

Dr. DeWalt was the principal investigator at the UNC research site for the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS). PROMIS develops advanced tools for measurement of symptoms, function, and quality of life.  Dr. DeWalt is interested in the use of self-report measurements among vulnerable populations, particularly those with low literacy.

Dr. DeWalt is a former Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He completed his residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he also served as chief resident in internal medicine. He received his medical degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Kate Goodrich, MD MHS
Director, Center for Clinical Standards and Quality -
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Kate Goodrich Headshot

Dr. Kate Goodrich joined the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in September of 2011 where she serves as Acting Director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality (CCSQ). This Center is responsible for over 20 quality measurement and value-based purchasing programs, implementation of the new Merit-based Incentive Payment System and the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act, quality improvement programs in all 50 states, clinical standards and survey and certification of all providers across the nation, and all coverage decisions for treatments and services for CMS.  The Center budget exceeds $1.3 billion annually. 

Previously, Dr. Goodrich served as the Director of the Quality Measurement and Value-based Incentives Group in CCSQ where she oversaw the implementation of over 20 quality, value-based purchasing and public reporting programs across multiple settings. She also co-lead an HHS-wide group to align quality measures across programs, and more recently has worked with numerous private payers to align measures across the public and private sectors. From 2010 – 2011 she served as a Medical Officer in the office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at DHHS where she managed a portfolio of work on comparative effectiveness research and quality measurement and improvement.

Dr. Goodrich is a graduate of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at Yale University where she received training in health services research and health policy from 2008-2010. From 1998 to 2008, Dr. Goodrich was on faculty at the George Washington University Medical Center (GWUMC) and served as Division Director for Hospital Medicine from 2005-2008 and was chair of the Institutional Review Board from 2004-2008. She went to medical school at Louisiana State University in Shreveport, LA, and completed her internal medicine residency and chief medical resident year at GWUMC. She continues to practice clinical medicine as a hospitalist and Associate Professor of Medicine at GWUMC.

Debbra M. Hattery RN, MS
Deputy Director, Center for Clinical Standards and Quality - 
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Kate Goodrich Headshot

Debbra (Debbie) Hattery is the Deputy Director for the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality (CCSQ). Prior to this she was the Director of the Information Systems Group in the Center for Clinical Standards. She was responsible for providing leadership for the information technology systems and investments that support quality data collection, processing and reporting for the Quality Improvement Organization program, Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), hospital inpatient and outpatient quality reporting, Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC), Psychiatric Facility Reporting, End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) coverage and benefits, Post-Acute patient assessment instruments, Survey and Certification complaint and survey data, and both the Hospital and ESRD value based purchasing programs.     

She has worked at CMS for 15 years and has a variety of Medicare program experience.  She began her career at CMS in CSG writing Conditions of Participation for hospitals, and has also worked in program integrity, post-payment medical review, and for the past 13 years in a variety of leadership positions in CCSQ including as Special Assistant in the OCSQ Front Office, as a Division Manager in the Quality Improvement Group and Deputy Director of QMHAG.  

Ms. Hattery is a graduate of American University in Washington, DC and the University of Maryland.  She is a Registered Nurse with a Masters Degree in Nursing and Health Policy.  Prior to a career at the CMS she held a variety of nursing positions both in direct patient care and as a Director of Nursing.

Jeneen M. Iwugo, MPA
Deputy Director, Quality Improvement & Innovation Group
Center for Clinical Standards & Quality -
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Kate Goodrich Headshot

Jeneen Iwugo is the Deputy Director of the Quality Improvement & Innovation Group in the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. With a formal education in Speech Communication and Pub-lic Policy, she has concentrated her QIO work in the Beneficiary and Family Cen-tered Care tasks of the Quality Improvement Organization program. Since joining QIIG in 2008, she has served as a subject matter expert, GTL, QIO confidentiality regulation lead, Special Assistant and Division Director. Jeneen led the revision of the QIO regulations to expand eligibility for QIO contracts beyond the previous state based structure. She also led the transition of the 10th Scope of Work QIO case review task into the now sep-arate BFCC task in the QIO 11th Scope of Work.
Prior to her various roles within CCSQ, Jeneen worked in Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services. on Medicaid managed care policy, state plan amendments, demonstrations and waivers. Jeneen has also served as Adjunct Faculty for the Community College of Baltimore County teaching Speech Communication.

Dr. Cara James, PhD
Director, Office of Minority Health - 
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Kate Goodrich Headshot

Dr. Cara James is the Director of the Office of Minority Health (OMH) at the Centers for
Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The principal aim for CMS is better care, healthier people, and smarter spending. To help achieve this aim, CMS OMH ensures that the voices and needs of minority and underserved populations are present in the development, implementation, and evaluation of CMS programs and services. CMS OMH serves as the principal advisor and coordinator to the Agency dedicated to fulfilling that commitment for minority and other underserved populations. As such, CMS OMH provides the leadership, vision, and direction to address goals and objectives, identified by HHS and CMS, related to improving minority health and achieving health equity. 

Under Dr. James’ leadership, CMS OMH has tripled in size and makes consistent strides towards achieving its mission of improved minority health, reduced health care disparities, and the attainment of health equity. Her guidance has led to the development of two of the Office’s flagship initiatives, From Coverage to Care and CMS’s Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare. These initiatives are aimed at helping consumers understand their coverage and connect to care, and reducing health care disparities across a variety of settings. During Dr. James’ tenure, CMS OMH has committed to strengthening the quality and quantity of patient demographic data to improve the understanding and awareness of health disparities and their causes

Prior to joining the Office of Minority Health at CMS, Dr. James was with the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, where she served as the Director of the Disparities Policy Project and the Director of the Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholars Program. While with the Foundation she worked on a broad array of health and access issues for racial and ethnic minorities, including the potential impact of the Affordable Care Act and understanding state-level disparities in health and access to care.  Before joining the staff at Kaiser, she worked at The Picker Institute and Harvard University. 

Dr. James is a member of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity and the Elimination of Health Disparities and has served on several IOM committees including the Committee on Leading Health Indicators for Healthy People 2020.  She also serves on a National Academy of Sciences consensus study entitled, Educating Health Professionals to Address the Social Determinants of Health. She is well published in the areas of health disparities and minority health and co-authored one of the background chapters for the IOM Report Unequal Treatment. She also is a board member of Health Care Access Maryland. Dr. James received both her Ph.D. in Health Policy and her A.B. in Psychology from Harvard University.

Shari M. Ling, MD
Deputy Chief Medical Officer  - 
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Jean Moody-Williams Headshot

Dr. Shari M. Ling currently serves as the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and Medical Officer in the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality (CCSQ).  She assists the CMS Chief Medical Officer in the Agency’s pursuit of better health care, healthier populations, and smarter spending.  Dr. Ling’s long-standing focus is on the achievement of meaningful health outcomes through delivery of high quality person-centered care across all care settings, with special interests in the care of persons with dementia, multiple chronic conditions, functional limitations, and reducing health disparities. 

Dr. Ling represents CMS on several Health and Human Services (HHS) efforts.  She leads the Clinical Services federal workgroup for the National Alzheimer’s Project Plan, and represents CMS on the workgroups to eliminate and prevent Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) and the National Strategy to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance. 

Dr. Ling is a board certified Geriatrician, Rheumatologist and Internist who received her medical training at Georgetown University School of Medicine and received  her clinical training in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology at Georgetown University Medical Center, and Geriatric Medicine training at Johns Hopkins University.  She served on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine for 5 years before joining the Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health at the National Institute on Aging as a Staff Clinician to study human aging and age-associated chronic diseases with attention to musculoskeletal conditions and mobility function for 8 years  Dr. Ling is also a Gerontologist who served as the Clinical Services Co-director of the Andrus Older Adult Counseling Center after receiving her training in Direct Service from the Leonard Davis School at the University of Southern California.

Paul McGann, MD
Chief Medical Officer for Quality Improvement, Center for Clinical Standards and Quality - Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Jean Moody-Williams Headshot

Paul McGann, MD is the Chief Medical Officer for Quality Improvement at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Dr. McGann also serves as the Co-Director of CMS Partnership for Patients. He is also the Co-Director of the Transforming Clinical Practices Initiative.

In 2002, Dr. McGann joined the staff of CMS, and in July 2007 was promoted to Deputy Chief Medical Officer. He has contributed to the ongoing re-design of the End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Network Program, identification and reduction of health care disparities, and introduction of the principles of geriatric medicine into numerous CMS programs.

From February to May 2011, Dr. McGann served as the Acting Chief Medical Officer for CMS, reporting to the CMS Administrator. He received a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and a master’s degree in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He graduated from the McGill Faculty of Medicine in Montreal and completed both internal medicine and geriatric medicine training in Canada, where he practiced geriatric medicine for 14 years. Dr. McGann is board-certified in both internal medicine and geriatric medicine in the United States and in Canada. In 1995, Dr. McGann became the founding Clinical Director of the J. Paul Sticht Center on Aging at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. He was named the first American Geriatrics Society-Health Care Financing Administration (AGS-HCFA) Health Policy Scholar in 1999 and contributed to the development of the active Health and Aging Policy Fellowship Program. Dr. McGann received the prestigious Nascher-Manning Award from the American Geriatrics Society and the CMS Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.

He is the co-author of a chapter on “The Key Elements of Effective Collaborative Design” in the newly-released book All In: Using Healthcare Collaboratives to Save Lives and Improve Care.

Jean Moody-Williams, RN, MPP
Deputy Director, Center for Clinical Standards and Quality -
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Jean Moody-Williams Headshot

Jean D. Moody-Williams, RN, MPP, is the Deputy Director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality. Jean is a member of the leadership team responsible for one of CMS’ Centers that has more than 400 employees and a $3 billion annual budget. She is responsible for working with a great team to lead policy activities for Quality Improvement Programs, End Stage Renal Disease Networks, Survey and Certification, Quality Measurement and Health Assessment, Clinical Standards, Coverage and Analysis, Quality Innovations Models and many of the agency’s Value Based Purchasing and public reporting programs for hospitals, physicians and ambulatory settings.

Prior to this, she was the Group Director for the CMS Quality Improvement Group (QIG) in CMS and provided oversight for the nation’s Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs), and the End Stage Renal Disease Quality Networks which provide a national infrastructure to support technical assistance, learning and action networks, and a variety of value and quality improvement efforts across the entire continuum of care.  She also served as the Director of Quality for CMS Medicaid Programs.

Prior to joining CMS, Ms. Moody-Williams served as an executive at a number of state and private entities working to improve care for patients and families including, the Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC), the National Resource Center for Health Policy and Strategies, Quality Improvement Organizations and a health care system in Dallas. She is also a clinician.

She is the author of the book, Transitions, Trust and Triumph: A Daily Devotion for Caregivers. She received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Hampton University and a Masters of Public Policy and Management from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Andy Slavitt
Acting Administrator -
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Dennis Wagner Headshot

Andy Slavitt is the Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). A leader with decades of experience, Andy has shaped and delivered important health care services and programs for millions of consumers. 

As Acting Administrator, Slavitt oversees programs that provide access to quality health care for 140 million Americans, including Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the Health Insurance Marketplace. Slavitt and the CMS team are focused on improving quality, health outcomes, access and affordability while addressing health disparities and protecting program integrity, including combatting health care fraud.

Since joining CMS on July 8, 2014 as Principal Deputy Administrator, Slavitt has been integral to strengthening the performance of the Health Insurance Marketplace and the success of the 2014 Open Enrollment season. Since taking the role in February, Slavitt's focus as Acting Administrator is on strengthening CMS's role in helping the health care delivery system meet the evolving needs of consumers by transforming the way care is paid for, providing the tools to make the system thrive and by fostering simplicity and transparency.

Slavitt’s ability to spearhead complex management challenges stems from over two decades of experience working as a leader in the health care and technology private sector. Throughout his career, Slavitt’s work centered on improving the consumer experience and access to care, program integrity, data use and transparency, and delivery system reform. He has a demonstrated a track record of successfully delivering and improving programs that benefit the health and well-being of millions of Americans.

Most recently Slavitt served as Group Executive Vice President for Optum where he oversaw the delivery of clinical, technology and operational solutions to health care clients and consumers. Prior to his role at Optum, Slavitt was CEO of OptumInsight from 2006 through 2011.

He was founder and CEO of HealthAllies, a consumer health care service company focused on serving people who are uninsured or underinsured by contracting affordable care on their behalf nationwide. Prior to that, he was a strategy consultant with McKinsey & Company, and an investment banker with Goldman Sachs.

Slavitt lives in Minnesota with wife and two teenage boys. He has served in a number of leadership and board capacities in health care, literacy, education and the community. Slavitt graduated from the Wharton School and The College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, and received his Master of Business Administration degree from the Harvard Business School.

Vikki Wachino, MPP
CMS Deputy Administrator/Director
Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) -
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Dennis Wagner Headshot

Ms. Wachino serves as the Director for the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As CMS Deputy Administrator and Director of CMCS, Vikki leads activities related to national Medicaid and CHIP policy and program operations, and works closely with states in the implementation of their Medicaid and CHIP programs.

In her past CMS career, Vikki was responsible for implementing major provisions of the Affordable Care Act as Director of the Children and Adults Health Programs Group, and served in that role at a historic moment in the development of eligibility and enrollment policy for the low-income population. In that capacity, Vikki played a key role in implementation of the Medicaid expansion of coverage to low-income adults. She also oversaw the CHIP program, efforts to improve the quality of care for Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries, and worked closely with states on progress toward key goals such as delivery system reform through section 1115 demonstration waivers.

Vikki is a nationally-recognized expert on health policy, particularly as it pertains to health coverage for the low-income population. She has served as a senior fellow at NORC at the University of Chicago, where she lead the organization’s work on delivery system reform and Medicaid managed care. Vikki has also served as Health Policy Director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Associate Director of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, and as an independent consultant. Vikki previously served in government at the White House Office of Management and Budget. Vikki is the author of many publications on Medicaid and CHIP coverage and financing.

Vikki holds an M.P.P. from Harvard University and a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College.

Dennis Wagner, MPA
Director, Quality Improvement and Innovation Group
Center for Clinical Standards and Quality -
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Dennis Wagner Headshot

Dennis Wagner, MPA is the Director of the Quality Improvement and Innovation Group in the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality. He also serves as the Co-Director of both the Partnership for Patients and the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative. In these roles, Dennis leads a team of committed individuals in developing and delivering innovative and collaborative initiatives to improve healthcare.

Prior to his current roles at CMS, Dennis served as the Associate Deputy Director and then Acting Director of CMS’ Office of Clinical Standards and Quality. Dennis worked for 12 years at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), including a final stint as Acting Director of HRSA’s Office of Health Information Technology and Quality. While at HRSA, Dennis led major national initiatives to increase the donation and transplantation of organs. After years of relatively flat national organ donation levels, this work generated unprecedented and lasting national increases in organ donation over a four-year period.

Dennis is a national and international leader in the fields of healthcare quality improvement, the environment and social marketing. He is a frequent keynote speaker at national conferences and symposia, and has received numerous honors and awards for his work in public service. Dennis is recognized by his peers as an enthusiastic, thoughtful and strategic person who believes in committing to and delivering on bold aims in work and life. 

Dennis received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Montana State University. He recently co-authored a chapter entitled “The Key Elements of Effective Collaborative Design” in the book, All In: Using Healthcare Collaboratives to Save Lives and Improve Care.

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