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HHS Secretary Appoints New Members to AHRQ National Advisory Council

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Press Release Date: September 19, 2000

Health and Human Services Secretary Donna E. Shalala today announced the appointment of eight new members to the National Advisory Council (NAC) for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The Council provides advice to the Secretary and to the Director of the Agency. The 21-member Council is composed of private-sector experts and includes top federal health officials.

"These eight new members bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that will enrich the Council's ability to advise AHRQ on its policy direction and research portfolio," said Secretary Shalala. "Their imaginative and creative leadership will help the agency achieve its goal of improving the quality of health care services for all Americans."

The eight new Council members are:

  • William Allen Schaffer, M.D., F.A.C.P, Chief Medical Officer, Senior Vice President, Medical Strategy & Health Policy, CIGNA HealthCare, Hartford, CT.
  • Robert F. Meenan, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., Dean and Professor of Health Services at Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA.
  • William F. Jessee, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of the Medical Group Management Association, Englewood, CO.
  • Janice H. Platner, J.D., M.P.A., Director of Programs, National Breast Cancer Coalition, Washington, D.C.
  • Arthur Garson, Jr., M.D., M.P.H., Senior Vice President and Dean for Academic Operations, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX.
  • Marita G. Titler, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., Director of Research, Quality and Outcomes Management, Department of Nursing Services and Patient Care, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IO.
  • Mary Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., Professor and Director of the Center for Health Policy at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia.
  • Jo Ivey Boufford, M.D., Dean, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University, New York, New York.

The reappointed Council members are:

  • Donald Berwick, M.D., M.P.P., President and CEO, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Boston, MA. Council Chairman)
  • Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., Professor and Dean, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Nashville, TN.
  • Dennis G. Fryback, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI.
  • Vanessa N. Gamble, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President for Community and Minority Programs, Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, DC.

In addition to the private-sector members, representatives from seven federal agencies serve as ex-officio members: the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Office of Personnel Management, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Health Care Financing Administration.

Editor's Note: The NAC's next meeting will be on Friday, November 3, 2000. It will be held at AHRQ in the Fourth Floor Conference Room at 6010 Executive Blvd., Rockville, MD 20852 (Select for Map and Directions).

For additional information and biographical sketches, please call Nancy Comfort at (301) 427-1866 or E-mail

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