WASHINGTON—As part of its ongoing efforts to provide governors and state policymakers with assistance and technical support on health care issues, the National Governors Association (NGA) has formed a State Health Policy Advisory Board.

NGA aids governors and their staff on a myriad of health policy topics, from the overarching issue of health system transformation to the specifics of Medicaid cost containment, state employee health benefits, improvements to the health care workforce and the challenges states face in implementing the Affordable Care Act. This timely and objective consulting is delivered through national and regional meetings, webinars, research, reports and in-state technical assistance.

In times of complex navigation of health care implementation, the advisory board was created to bring both a broader and deeper perspective to the existing health care assistance NGA provides to governors. The board comprises prominent experts rich in both political and policy experience.

“States are at the center of major changes to their health care marketplaces,” said NGA Executive Director Dan Crippen. “The members of this board will provide expert counsel on NGA’s health agenda and various other topics over the coming years as we continue to serve the nation’s governors.”

Members of the board include:

  • Joe Anderson, former CEO, Schaller-Anderson
  • John Breaux, former U.S. senator from Louisiana
  • Jim Douglas, former governor of Vermont
  • Patricia Gabow, former CEO, Denver Health
  • George Halvorson, chairman, Kaiser Permanente
  • Carmen Odom, president, Milbank Memorial Fund
  • Peggy O’Kane, president, National Committee for Quality Assurance
  • Mark Smith, M.D., CEO, California Healthcare Foundation
  • Olympia Snowe, former U.S. senator from Maine
  • Stephen Somers, president, Center for Health Care Strategies

Members of the board serve two year terms. The board previously met following the NGA Winter Meeting. It will meet again in August.