HHS Secretary Sebelius Appoints Key Staffers to New HHS Office of Health ReformHHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Monday named nine key staff members to the newly established HHS Office of Health Reform, CQ HealthBeat reports (CQ HealthBeat, 5/11). The creation of the new office was included in an executive order that President Obama signed last month that also established the White House Office of Health Reform (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 4/9).
In a statement, Sebelius said, "The HHS Office of Health Reform and the White House Office of Health Reform will work in tandem to advance legislation and take immediate actions to cut costs, assure quality and affordable health care for all Americans, and guarantee Americans can choose their doctor and their health plan."
The nine new staff members of the HHS Office of Health Reform are:
- Jeanne Lambrew, a senior health official in the White House Office of Management and Budget during the Clinton administration, who will be director of the new office. Lambrew also taught at George Washington University and the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, and she was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress;
- Michael Hash -- a former deputy administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration, which is now known as CMS, and former staffer on the House Energy and Commerce Committee -- who will be a senior adviser;
- Neera Tanden, a domestic policy director in Obama's presidential campaign, who also will serve as a senior adviser;
- Linda Douglass, a former ABC News correspondent and spokesperson for Obama's campaign, who will be director of communications;
- Meena Seshamani, a health economist and resident physician in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Johns Hopkins University, who will be director of policy analysis;
- Caya Lewis, a former deputy staff director for health in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, who will be an adviser on prevention and public health issues and coordinate how the new office interacts with other key players in the health care system;
- Karen Richardson, a former policy director at the Democratic National Committee, who will be outreach coordinator;
- Jennifer Cannistra, former Pennsylvania state director for the Obama campaign, who will serve as a policy analyst and director of special projects; and
- Michael Halle, a member of the Obama inaugural committee, who will serve as a special assistant (CQ HealthBeat, 5/11).