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Meet Families USA’s Board of Directors

Shannon Brownlee

Shannon Brownlee is Senior Vice President of the Lown Institute, a think tank based in Boston, MA, that was founded by cardiologist and humanitarian Bernard Lown. She is co-founder of the Right Care Alliance, a group of clinicians, patients, and community leaders that is working to spark change in health care through social activism. She also serves as a visiting scientist at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

Ms. Brownlee has been a national leader in highlighting the scope and consequences of the overuse of health care. An internationally known writer and essayist, her book, Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine Is Making Us Sicker and Poorer, was named the best economics book of 2007 by the New York Times. Her articles and essays on medicine and health care have appeared in such outlets as The Lancet, The Atlantic, New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, Time Magazine, and The Sunday Times of London.

Ms. Brownlee holds a master’s degree in marine science from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Ms. Brownlee joined the Board of Directors in June 2013. She is a member of the Policy and Communications and the Strategic Planning Committees, as well as the Ad Hoc Committee on Board Self-Evaluation.

Sister Simone Campbell

Sister Simone Campbell has served as Executive Director of NETWORK since 2004. She is a religious leader, attorney, and poet with extensive experience in public policy and advocacy for systemic change. In Washington, she lobbies on issues that help “mend the gaps” in income and wealth in the U.S., focused specifically on how they disproportionately affect people of color and women. Around the country, she is a noted speaker and educator on these public policy issues.

During the 2010 congressional debate about healthcare reform, Sister Simone wrote the famous “nuns’ letter” supporting the reform bill and had 59 leaders of Catholic Sisters sign on. This action was cited by many as critically important in passing the Affordable Care Act. Since 2012, Sister Simone has led five cross-country “Nuns on the Bus” trips, focused on economic justice, comprehensive immigration reform, voter turnout, and bridging divides in politics and society.

Prior to coming to NETWORK, Sister Simone served as the Executive Director of JERICHO, a California interfaith public policy organization that works to protect the interests of people living in poverty. Before JERICHO, she served as the general director of her religious community, the Sisters of Social Service. In 1978, Sister Simone founded and served for 18 years as the lead attorney for the Community Law Center in Oakland, California.

Sister Simone has a JD from the University of California at Davis, where she was an editor of the law review. She earned her BA from Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles, where she graduated with honors.

Sister Simone joined the Board of Directors in February 2013. She is a member of the Executive Committee and Ad Hoc Community Catalyst Committee

Robert Crittenden

Dr. Crittenden is currently the Executive in Residence of Cambia Grove.

Prior to his work there, Dr. Crittenden was the Senior Policy Advisor for Health for Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Executive Director of the Herndon Alliance prior to that. The Herndon Alliance is a national coalition of more than 200 organizations focused on communications and coordination with the goal of achieving affordable, quality health care for all people in America. He was also a professor in the Departments of Family Medicine and Health Services at the University of Washington School of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Crittenden has been a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow with Senator George Mitchell, special assistant to Governor Gardner for health issues, and an employee of the state legislature. He was on the board of Northwest Health Law Advocates, on the steering committee of the Healthy Washington Coalition, and President of the Rainier Institute. In addition, he was Co-Chair of the Primary Care Coalition in Washington, a nonpartisan coalition of more than 30 organizations that is focused on strengthening primary care in the state. He has practiced as a family physician, caring for people in underserved, urban communities in central and southeast Seattle, for more than 30 years.

Dr. Crittenden has a BA with honors from the University of California, Berkeley; a Special Diploma in Social Studies from Oxford University; and an MD and MPH from the University of Washington.

Dr. Crittenden has been on the Board of Directors since 1993 and is a permanent member of the Board. He is Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee.

Melanie Townsend Diggs

Ms. Diggs is a professional librarian who has more than 20 years of experience in public and school librarianship. In 1998, she was named one of 50 Spectrum Scholars by the American Library Association (ALA). This scholarship enabled her to pursue an MS in Library Science (2001) from The Catholic University of America. In 2016, Ms. Diggs received the Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced With Adversity from ALA.

Ms. Diggs is also very active in her community. She is a licensed minister affiliated with the United Council of Christian Community Churches of Maryland and Vicinity. She is an Associate Minister and Director of Christian Education of the First Mount Carmel Christian Community Church. As Director of Christian Education, she endeavors to reach and teach children and young adults.

As a result of her desire to give back to the community, Ms. Diggs has become an advocate for health care in Maryland. Her story, which was featured inFaces of Maryland’s Newly Insured in 2010, shows how she benefitted from Medicaid coverage at a time when she and her family were uninsured. She will never forget the benefits of having Medicaid, which included dental care, medication for an extreme case of eczema for one of her children, and prenatal care.

Ms. Diggs lives in Baltimore, Maryland, and continues to support the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative and the Health Care for All! Coalition.
Ms. Diggs joined the Board of Directors in 2014. She is a member of the Policy and Communications Committee.

Rushika Fernandopulle

Dr. Fernandopulle is a practicing physician and cofounder and CEO of Iora Health, a health care services firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company’s mission is to build a radically new model of primary care to improve quality and service and to reduce overall expenditures. He is also on the staff of Massachusetts General Hospital and a faculty member at Harvard Medical School.

In 2012, Dr. Fernandopulle was named an Ashoka Global Fellow, and he is also a member of the Albert Schweitzer and Salzburg Global Fellowships. He was the first Executive Director of the Harvard Interfaculty Program for Health Systems Improvement, as well as the Managing Director of the Clinical Initiatives Center at the Advisory Board Company. He is co-author or editor of several publications, including Health Care Policy, a textbook for physicians and medical students, and Uninsured in America: Life and Death in the Land of Opportunity.

Dr. Fernandopulle earned his AB, MD, and MPP from Harvard University, and he completed his clinical training at the University of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Fernandopulle joined the Board of Directors in June 2015. He is a member of the Strategic Planning Committee.

Sam Karp

Sam Karp recently retired after spending 17 years working at the California HealthCare Foundation. For the last nine of those years, he served as the Vice President of Programs, where he was responsible for leading the foundation’s overall programmatic and grant-making activities. Mr. Karp previously served as the foundation’s Director of Health Information Technology and its Chief Information Officer.

During his tenure at the California Healthcare Foundation, Mr. Karp was known as an innovator and pioneer in the promotion of health information technology as a tool to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of care delivery. He developed and led successful initiatives to establish data standards for the secure exchange of clinical information, designed new approaches for data integration, fostered policy initiatives to establish stronger health privacy safeguards, and developed new models to streamline enrollment in health and social service programs.

Prior to joining the foundation, Mr. Karp was the founder and Chief Executive Officer of HandsNet, a national nonprofit technology intermediary that enabled thousands of nonprofit organizations to adopt and effectively integrate Internet-based tools into their work. He previously directed a large community-based health and nutrition organization in Santa Cruz, California, where he promoted integrated service delivery for low-income children, families, and the elderly. Mr. Karp has also been involved in the formation, governance, and leadership of a variety of nonprofit organizations, as well as state and national campaigns, and he has consulted internationally.

Mr. Karp received his bachelor’s degree from Washington and Jefferson College.

Mr. Karp joined the Board of Directors in 2014. He is a member of the Policy and Communications and Development Committees.

Gov. John A. Kitzhaber

John was born in Colfax, Washington, March 5, 1947; graduated from Dartmouth College, 1969; and the University of Oregon Medical School, 1973. He did his internship in Denver with four rotations in the emergency departments of Denver General Hospital, Denver Children’s Hospital and University Hospital. Following his internship, he practiced Emergency Medicine in Roseburg, Oregon from 1974-1989 with one year of general practice and surgery from 1976-1977.

He was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 1978, the State Senate in 1980, 1984 and 1988, serving as Senate President from 1985-1993. John is Oregon’s longest-serving governor, holding that office from 1995-2003 and 2011-2015.

Between 1978 and 1989, John practiced emergency medicine while simultaneously serving in the legislature. This gave him a unique perspective on the implications of public policy at the point of delivery. He also saw many medical problems that started first as social problems in the home, which led to his lifelong commitment to at-risk children and families.

As Senate President, he authored the groundbreaking Oregon Health Plan, which challenged federal policy around categorical eligibility and sought to prioritize health services based on social values and clinical effectiveness. Hundreds of thousands of low and moderate-income Oregon families and their children still have access to health care because of this work.

During his terms as governor, John developed the Oregon Children’s Plan; led the transformation of Oregon’s early childhood delivery system; and the creation of the Early Learning Council and local Early Learning Hubs. During his third term, he was the chief architect of Oregon’s Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs), the first effort in the country created on a statewide basis to meet the Triple Aim—better health, better quality, lower cost—with a focus on community and population health.

Over the past five years, Oregon’s new CCO care model has reduced the Medicaid cost trend by two percentage points per member per month, realizing a new total funds savings of over $1 billion. At the same time, benefits were maintained, enrollment was expanded by 385,000 people and all the CCOs met rigorous outcomes and quality metrics. Today nearly a million people—one out of every four Oregonians and fifty percent of Oregon’s children—get quality care through a CCO.

In 2013, Modern Healthcare Magazine ranked John #2 on list of the “100 Most Influential People in Health Care,” and #1 on the list of the “50 Most Influential Physician Executives”. In 2013, Governing Magazine named John “Public Official of the Year.” John has served on the boards of the Oregon Environmental Council, the Pacific Rivers Council and the Wild Salmon Center; and is the recipient of the Richard L. Neuberger Award (Oregon Environmental Council); The Distinguished Service Award (Trout Unlimited); and The Guardian of the Future Award (Resource Renewal Institute).

John is currently a writer, speaker and private consultant on health policy and politics; early childhood development; and sustainable natural resource management. He lives in Portland and spends his free time fly-fishing and white-water rafting on Oregon’s wild and scenic rivers.

Matt Morrison

Matt Morrison is the executive director of Working America, a three-million-member labor organization mobilizing working people who don’t have the benefit of a union at their jobs. He is a leading political practitioner with experience working in over 500 elections throughout his career. Most recently, Working America has achieved a 76 percent win rate in the 87 competitive elections it has worked in since November 2016.

The American Political Science Association has described Morrison’s work as a “bedrock of experimentation in American politics” and recognized him as “influential on our understanding of political campaigns within political science” (2018).

In his earlier role as Working America’s political director, Morrison led the refinement of the organization’s field and member communications programs through the use of clinical testing and advanced analytics. Under his direction, Working America combines innovative integration of traditional field organizing with analytics to increase targeting accuracy and voter turnout for candidates who support a fair economy for working-class Americans.

Prior to joining Working America, Morrison served on John Edwards’ 2008 presidential campaign, in the government affairs department of the American Federation of Teachers and on Capitol Hill in the office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.).

He holds undergraduate and law degrees from Washington University in St. Louis.

Philippe Villers

Mr. Villers is the cofounder of Families USA. In 1981, he and his wife, Kate Villers, founded the organization, which was initially called The Villers Foundation. He has served as its President and as a permanent member of the Board of Directors since its inception.

Mr. Villers is also the founder of Computervision Corporation (a Fortune 500 company for many years); Automatix, Inc.; and Cognition, Inc. He has been a guiding force in innovative and successful high-tech corporations for more than 40 years. In addition, he is President of GrainPro, Inc., a “green, not only for profit” company working on improving food security, food safety, and small farm income in 107 countries using its patented, pesticide-free hermetic storage  technology. Mr. Villers also serves on the ACLU President’s Committee as well as Amnesty International USA’s Executive Directors Council.

Mr. Villers holds an AB with honors from Harvard and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from M.I.T.

Mr. Villers is a member of all Board committees and is a permanent member of the Board of Directors.

Andrew Webber

Andrew Webber is an experienced health care association executive and a thought leader and advocate for value based purchasing, population health improvement, and employer and consumer engagement in health and health care. He has dedicated his career to advancing the triple aim of better health and health care at an affordable cost. Mr. Webber is a Senior Advisor to the Discern Health consulting firm working with diverse clients on the development of strategies, programs, and policies that advance health care value.

Mr. Webber currently serves on the Board of Directors for Families USA, the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC), and the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute (HCI3). He is a member of the National Advisory Committee for the Value Based Insurance Design (VBID) Center and a Co-Chair of the Business Collaborative for Population Health Improvement, an outgrowth of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Roundtable on Population Health. Mr. Webber previously served on the boards of the National Quality Forum, the Leapfrog Group, the Network for Regional Health Improvement, URAC, and Maine Quality Counts. He was a member of the IOM’s Roundtable on Population Health and the National Advisory Council for the Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

Mr. Webber has held senior positions for both national and state organizations. He served as the President and CEO of the Maine Health Management Coalition (MHMC), the President and CEO of the National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH), the Executive Vice President of the American Medical Peer Review Association (AMPRA), the Vice President for Public Policy at the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), and the Senior Associate at the Consumer Coalition for Quality Health Care. Mr. Webber started his health policy career in 1978 as an employee of the National Business Group on Health (NBGH), rising to the position of Vice President for Public Policy.

Mr. Webber is a graduate of Harvard College. He enjoys golf, sailing, kayaking, cross country skiing, and hiking in the woods with his wife Orysia, daughter Nastia, and family dog, Aza.