Meet Families USA’s Board of Directors
Deborah Bachrach uses her significant experience with both public- and private-sector health policy and financing to help states, providers, insurers and foundations analyze and implement the Affordable Care Act. She also counsels clients on Medicaid coverage, payment policies, delivery systems and other healthcare reforms.
Before rejoining Manatt, Deborah served as Medicaid director and deputy commissioner of health for the New York State Department of Health’s Office of Health Insurance Programs, where she managed coverage, care and payment policies for more than four million children and adults enrolled in the state’s Medicaid and Child Health Insurance programs. She led reforms to streamline Medicaid’s eligibility and enrollment process, and improve its purchasing strategies.
Deborah has advised the Center for Health Care Strategies, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Before working with the state of New York, as a Manatt partner Deborah provided legislative, regulatory and strategic counsel to academic medical centers, safety net hospitals, community health centers, health plans and other healthcare companies.
Deborah has also worked as vice president, external affairs, at St. Luke’s–Roosevelt Hospital Center; as New York State chief assistant attorney general; and as chief of the Office of the New York State Attorney General’s Civil Rights Bureau.
Deborah was an adjunct professor of law at the New York University School of Law, where she taught a seminar on federal health reform from 2011 to 2013.
Deborah joined the Board of Directors in 2020 and is a member of the Policy and Communications Committee and the Development Committee and is the Chair of the New Directions Committee.
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.
Dr. 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 where he oversaw the Governor’s health policy priorities and the implementation of the ACA in Washington. He was Executive Director of the Herndon Alliance prior to that. The Herndon Alliance was 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 through the passage of the ACA.
He is a professor emeritus 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, a policy staff in the state legislature and a Soros Fellow. He was on the board of Northwest Health Law Advocates, on the steering committee of the Healthy Washington Coalition, on the board of the Children’s Dental Health Project, President of the Rainier Institute and Co-Chair of the Primary Care Coalition in Washington. He has started three clinics for low-income people in Central and South Seattle and practiced as a family physician caring for people in underserved urban communities in central and southeast Seattle for 39 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 a permanent member of the Board of Directors since 1993. He is Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee and on the Executive 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. Currently, Ms. Diggs is the South Area Manager of the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System.
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.
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 in Faces 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. “She is a member of the Policy and Communications Committee and the Chair of the Board Self-Evaluation Committee. Ms. Diggs additionally worked with the staff to develop a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement for the organization and the Board.
Dr. 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 and the New Directions Committee.
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 the Chair of both the Board Nominating Advisory Committee and the Development Committee. He is also a member of the Executive Committee and the Personnel Committee.
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.
Gov. Kitzhaber joined the Board of Directors in 2019. He is a member of the Strategic Planning Committee and the New Directions Committee.
Angela Monson retired from the Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center as Associate Provost for the Office of Community Partnerships and Health Policy in August 2018. She was responsible for providing OUHSC with strong, visible leadership in the planning, development, and implementation of diversity initiatives designed to increase the representation of minorities and others who are underrepresented in health care professions. She also served as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine frequently lecturing on cultural competence in clinical settings.
An Oklahoma native, Angela began her life of community service as a teenager when at the age of 15 she was elected as a youth member of the Black Board of Education, a community wide elected board established by the Urban League to shadow the Oklahoma City Board of Education which, at the time, had no members of color. The actions of the Urban League and the Black Board of Education ultimately led to the election of the first African American to the Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education.
After graduating from Douglass High School, Angela attended Oklahoma City University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Corrections in 1976. She also holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Oklahoma at Norman and has been recognized by both OCU and OU as a Distinguished Alumnus.
Angela has been employed in various capacities during her professional career, including a probation and parole officer for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections; counselor at the Council for Resocialization of Ex-offenders and later as the director of the Youth Offender Program; Field Operations Supervisor for the 1980 Decennial Census; traveling city manager for six predominately African American Oklahoma towns; and fiscal analyst for the Oklahoma State Legislature.
Access to high-quality health care has been both a personal and professional passion of Monson’s and in 1986 until her election to the State Legislature, she served as the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Health Care Project. Monson was charged with the development of a statewide coalition of organizations to address health care access and financing issues and through the efforts of the 100 plus member coalition, Medicaid coverage for children and women in Oklahoma was substantially expanded. The organization also worked to maintain local health care delivery systems in rural areas and to eliminate health care access limitations for many special needs populations.
Angela was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives from District 99 in 1990. She served the district for 3 years and in 1993, was elected to the Oklahoma State Senate to represent District 48, serving until 2005 when she termed out of office. As a legislator, Monson was the primary author of many of the laws pertaining to health care, including Mental Health Parity, Medicaid expansion for children and pregnant women, and the bill that resulted in first responders’ capability to locate 911 calls from cellular devices. Senator Monson served as the First Assistant Majority Floor Leader, the highest-ranking position ever held by an African American in the Oklahoma Senate. She also served as the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee and the Education Committee.
Senator Monson is a past president of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the first African American woman to serve in that position. She also served as chair of the NCSL Health Committee and as a member of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators Executive Committee. During her tenure as the NCSL Health Committee Chair, Monson was instrumental in developing the Conference’s position and actions on the Tobacco Settlement Agreement between the states’ attorneys general and the tobacco companies, and also testified before several Congressional Committees on Medicaid and Medicare.
Monson is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Health Policy Development, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation National Advisory Committee for the Coverage Team, the Board of Directors of Families USA, the Steering Committee of the Milbank Memorial Fund Reforming States Group, and the Public Health Law Association. In 1998, Monson was appointed to the National Advisory Council to the National Health Service Corps by then Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala. She was later appointed chair of the Council.
Monson also made statewide and national impact in other areas including tax reform and foster care. She served as Co-Chair of the Streamline Sales Tax Implementing States, a recognized group of almost 40 states and the District of Columbia established to develop a simplified and uniform internet sales tax collection process and also as a member of the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care, working to improve state and federal foster care and adoption systems.
In 2009, Monson was elected as Chairperson of the Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education, a district-wide elected position, and served one term.
For more than five decades, Monson has worked with schools, churches and other community organizations in many roles. She is a past president of the Oklahoma City Branch of the NAACP and also served on the Oklahoma City/County Board of Health, the OU Medical Center Board of Trustees, and many other boards as chairperson and board member. Currently, Monson serves as Managing Editor of the Oklahoma City Herald, a weekly news publication focused on the African American community. She has held that position since the inception of the paper in July 2002. Monson also serves as the lead for the Oklahoma City Chapter of Together Oklahoma, the grassroots advocacy arm of the Oklahoma Policy Institute, a progressive think tank focused on statewide policy issues.
The recipient of many honors and awards, Monson was presented the first Legislative Health Champion Award by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma and other sponsoring entities. She also received the Distinguished Legislator of the Year Award from the American Psychiatric Association. She was named Advocate of the Year by the Families USA Foundation, and Legislator of the Year by many other national and statewide associations and organizations.
Sen. Monson was recognized as the Woman of the Year in Government by the Redlands Council of Girl Scouts and was selected as a Journal Record Woman of the Year finalist in 2005. She was among the first group of inductees to the Oklahoma Child Advocacy’s Children’s Hall of Fame and received the Friends of Children Award from the Oklahoma Association for the Education of Young Children. She is also an inductee into the Oklahoma African American Hall of Fame. In 2003, Monson was recognized in Italy by the Tuscan regional government for her work in human rights, receiving the Silver Banner Award, the highest honor conferred by the Tuscan government and was also honored by the Brazilian government for her work with women’s rights organizations in that country.
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. Morrison is a member of the Policy and Communications Committee, the Audit and Finance Committee, and the New Directions Committee.
Mr. Villers is the President and 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.