Speakers


Patricia Baker

President and CEO, Connecticut Health Foundation 

pat@cthealth.org 

When Patricia Baker became the Connecticut Health Foundation’s (CT Health) founding leader in 1999, she brought over two decades of experience as a visionary and pragmatic leader in health care policy-making, service provision, advocacy, and community engagement. Prior to undertaking the directorship of the foundation, Patricia served as the national program director for the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, director of Connecticut government programs at Oxford Health Plans, executive director of Planned Parenthood of Connecticut, and associate executive director of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.

Under Patricia’s leadership, CT Health has become the state’s largest independent health foundation. By using grant-making and technical assistance to improve the health status of Connecticut residents — particularly underserved populations — the foundation has literally changed and saved lives. “But no one can do this work alone,” Patricia says. “I am very proud of the role we play. But I’m also humbled every day when I witness the dedication of our grantees and partners as we work together to build a more equitable system.”

Patricia, who holds a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin in urban and regional planning, is affiliated with a number of policy and planning organizations. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Roundtable for the Promotion of Health Equity through the Elimination of Health Disparities; a member of the board of directors of Grantmakers in Health; vice chair of the governor’s Health Care Cabinet; chair of the State Health Improvement Plan advisory council; and serves on several other advisory committees.

Gregory B. Butler

Board Chair, Connecticut Health Foundation

butlegb@nu.com

Assistant: Kathy Schmidt kathy.schmidt@eversource.com

Gregory B. Butler is senior vice president and general counsel of Eversource Energy. Butler also serves on the board of directors of The Mark Twain House & Museum, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Eversource Energy Foundation, the New England Legal Foundation, and is a committee member of the Energy Bar Association.

Previously, Butler held several positions at Eversource Energy (formerly Northeast Utilities), including secretary, vice president and general counsel, and vice president of governmental affairs. He also served as vice president of federal affairs at New England Electric System and senior counsel at Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, senior attorney with the United States Department of Justice and associate counsel to the minority leader for the New York State Assembly.

In addition to serving as chair, Butler serves on the foundation’s governance and public policy committees.

Judith Feder

Professor, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University                

federj@georgetown.edu

Judy matches her own contributions to policy with her contributions to nurturing emerging policy leaders. As dean from 1999 to 2008, she built Georgetown’s Public Policy Institute into one of the nation’s leading public policy schools, whose graduates participate in policymaking, policy research, and policy politics, not only throughout Washington but throughout the nation and the world.

Judy Feder is a professor of public policy and, from 1999 to 2008, served as dean of what is now the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. A nationally-recognized leader in health policy, Judy has made her mark on the nation’s health insurance system, through both scholarship and public service. A widely published scholar, Judy’s health policy research began at the Brookings Institution, continued at the Urban Institute, and, since 1984, flourished at Georgetown University. In the late 1980s, Judy moved from policy research to policy leadership, actively promoting effective health reform as staff director of the congressional Pepper Commission (chaired by Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV) in 1989-90; principal deputy assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the Department of Health and Human Services in former President Bill Clinton’s first term; a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress (2008-2011) and, today, as an Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute.                      

Judy is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Public Administration, and the National Academy of Social Insurance; a former chair and board member of AcademyHealth; a member of the Center for American Progress Action Fund Board, the Board of the National Academy of Social Insurance, and the Hamilton Project’s Advisory Council; and a senior advisor to the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. In 2006 and 2008, Judy was the Democratic nominee for Congress in Virginia’s 10th congressional district. Judy is a political scientist, with a B.A. from Brandeis University, and a master’s and Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Wendy Brown Helmkamp

Partner, The Clarion Group

helmkamp@theclariongroup.com

Wendy is adept at thoroughly understanding her clients’ needs and delivering outcomes that help them to improve their organization’s effectiveness. She is accomplished at taking a strategic idea or conceptual design and understanding what it will take to make it operational. Wendy is valued for her ability to develop solutions with her clients that help them overcome organizational resistance and facilitate change.Wendy Brown Helmkamp has over 20 years of experience in organizational and cultural transformation efforts for large and small companies across a wide range of industries. Her experience includes extensive work helping business leaders address organizational design issues. She is highly skilled at helping her clients navigate change successfully, enhancing the effectiveness of her work.

Aranthan (AJ) Jones II

Chief Policy and Communications Officer, Kellogg Foundation

aj.jones@wkkf.org

Assistant: Shanelle English, shanelle.english@wkkf.org

Jones comes to the Kellogg Foundation having recently served as the first head of worldwide government affairs for Gilead Sciences a leading biotech company.  In this capacity, he led a global team to develop, advance, and engage public policies and regulations to expand access and pharmaceutical innovation.  Additionally, he led domestic/international cross-functional teams to align strategic communications and public policy engagements for governmental and nongovernmental audiences.Jones leads the execution of policy, communications, and advocacy strategies worldwide.  He manages the foundation’s worldwide communications, policy, and advocacy staff.  Additionally, he has established regional communication and policy network hubs to further advance the foundation’s and its grantees’ strategic priorities.

Prior to joining Gilead, Jones was health practice chairman and principal at the Podesta Group. He served as lead strategist and public policy consultant for Fortune 500 companies, national non-profit organizations, and global foundations at the firm.  He was the company’s first African American health practice chairman and the only African American health chairman of a top-ranked lobbying firm.  Additionally, he served on the firm’s management committee and was co-chairman of its investment committee.

Before joining the Podesta Group, Jones was the policy director for the U.S. House of Representatives (USHR) Majority Whip office, headed by Rep. James E. Clyburn of South Carolina. He was one of four policy directors within the leadership of the USHR, the first African American policy director in the leadership of the USHR and the highest-ranking African American healthcare advisor in the USHR.

Bill McKendree

Founder of The Clarion Group

mckendree@theclariongroup.com 

Bill’s accomplishments are best reflected in how he shows up. Bill brings practical, hands-on experience in large organizational settings with a talent for listening and hearing the real issues that are at play in an organization. He is highly valued for his insights into situations. He is sought out for his ability to frame solutions to complex problems, inspire and cause clients to address them, and advise and coach on implementation. People see Bill’s greatest accomplishment as being who he is, and frequently say that it is his courage, integrity, leadership, and respect that cause them to seek him out.Founder of The Clarion Group, Bill McKendree is an expert in the areas of organizational design, strategy development and implementation, management process development, and creation of executive alignment. During a career spanning over 30 years, he has had diverse experience as a line executive managing large complex businesses and working as a strategic internal consultant.

Donna Cohen Ross

Principal, Health Management Associates      

dcohenross@healthmanagement.com

Donna Cohen Ross is a mission-driven policy expert, dedicated to improving the health and well-being of low-income families and individuals. With a focus on reducing poverty, she works with clients on projects that make the critical link between health and school readiness, food security, income security and other pressing concerns for low-income families and communities.  Her clients include national nonprofit organizations with state and local networks, private foundations, government agencies, health care providers, community-based groups and others.

Donna knows how to shape policy and put it into action. Her expertise spans a variety of wide variety of programs including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Earned Income Tax Credit, food assistance programs and other public benefits. She produces creative, high-impact outreach campaigns that achieve immediate and sustainable results, and skillfully engages diverse stakeholders to build meaningful partnerships. Her tactical guides and consumer-oriented tools are used by states, health care providers, community organizations, school districts and others nationwide. A dynamic communicator, Donna delivers training programs for diverse audiences and is a featured speaker at state and national conferences.

As a senior policy advisor and the director of enrollment initiatives at the CMS Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS), Donna advanced new Medicaid and CHIP enrollment policies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the CHIP Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA). A tireless advocate for simplifying access for eligible individuals, Donna designed and helped implement guidance for states on strategies to jump-start Medicaid enrollment using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) data.  As a result, hundreds of thousands of adults and children in six states gained health coverage in the first year of implementation, and additional states have since begun employing these effective enrollment methods. Donna also developed and led the national Connecting Kids to Coverage Campaign, which has played an important role in boosting Medicaid and CHIP participation rates and reducing the percentage of uninsured children and teens nationwide.

Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman

ltgovernor.wyman@ct.gov

Senior Advisor: Martin Heft martin.heft@ct.gov

In 1994, she was the first woman ever elected State Comptroller. For 16 years, she advocated on behalf of taxpayers for fiscal responsibility and accountability. After serving for eight years on the Tolland BOE, Wyman was elected to four terms in the State House of Representatives where she was the chair of the Education Committee and held a leadership position on the Appropriations sub-committee on Elementary and Secondary education. Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, a former x-ray technician, was elected to serve her second term as Connecticut’s 108th Lieutenant Governor.  She began a career in public service more than 30 years ago when she successfully sought a seat on the Tolland Board of Education.

Beginning in 2010 and throughout their first term in office, Lieutenant Governor Wyman has been a true partner to Governor Dannel P. Malloy in the work to bolster statewide economic recovery and build a strong foundation for growth, long-term stability, and prosperity.

She chairs the board of the Interagency Council for Ending the Achievement Gap and is the Chair of the Board of Access Health CT, Connecticut’s official health insurance marketplace. Created in 2011 to comply with the federal Affordable Care Act, Access Health CT is recognized nationally as one of the best health exchanges in the country, with other states implementing Connecticut’s technology.

One of her highest priorities is the welfare of Connecticut’s military and veterans.  In 2007, she spearheaded the effort to establish Connecticut’s Wall of Honor, a tribute at the State Capitol that honors the military men and women who lost their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq. She chairs the Rocky Hill Veterans Home advisory group and works closely with the Connecticut National Guard to support service members and their families.

Lt. Governor Wyman is a longtime supporter of the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford, and in 2013 was named to the school’s Board of Directors. She is prominent in efforts to raise funds for breast cancer research, has been closely involved with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the National Kidney Foundation and the American Heart Association.