National Advisory Board

The National Advisory Board assists the Institute in achieving and monitoring its mission and goals. The Board consists of local, national, and internationally recognized leaders with demonstrated expertise in the areas of healthcare delivery, public policy, research, education, business, and philanthropy. 

Board Members

David Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.P.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Commonwealth Fund

David Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.P. became President and CEO of the Commonwealth Fund, a national health care philanthropy based in New York City, in January, 2013. Previously, he served as Chief Health Information and Innovation Officer at Partners Health System in Boston, MA, and was Samuel O. Thier Professor of Medicine and Professor of Health Care Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital/ Harvard Medical School.

From 2009 to 2011, Blumenthal was the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology under President Barack Obama.  In this role he was charged with building an interoperable, private and secure nationwide health information system and supporting the widespread, meaningful use of health IT. Prior to that, he was a practicing primary care physician, director of the Institute for Health Policy, and professor of medicine and health policy at Massachusetts General Hospital/Partners Healthcare System and Harvard Medical School. As a renowned health services researcher and national authority on health IT adoption, he has authored over 250 scholarly publications, including the seminal studies on the adoption and use of health information technology in the United States. Blumenthal received his undergraduate, medical, and public policy degrees from Harvard University and completed his residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Garth Graham, M.D., M.P.H.

President, Aetna Foundation

Garth Graham is a leading authority on social determinants of health. President of the Aetna Foundation and Vice President of Community Health for Aetna, Inc., Garth is also a cardiologist and public health expert.

He oversees the community health initiatives for the Foundation and Aetna, Inc., bringing his experience as a former deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Obama and Bush administrations where he also ran the Office of Minority Health. He directed the development of the federal government’s first National Health Disparities Plan released under the Obama administration.

He has been a contributor to The Hill, The Chicago Tribune, Fortune, Quartz, Health Affairs and has been featured in CNN, and The New York Times among others. His original research has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, American Journal of Public Health, Health Affairs and other publications. Along with his role at the Aetna Foundation, Garth is a clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Connecticut.

Prior to joining the Foundation, in his role as the assistant dean for health policy at the University of Florida School of Medicine, Garth led several research initiatives looking at how to improve outcomes and readmission rates in cardiac patients in underserved populations. He contributes to several boards including being named by the President to the U.S. Federal Coordinating Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research, the Institute of Medicine Board on Population Health, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Associational National Quality Oversight Committee, the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Data Standards and many others

Dr. Graham holds a medical degree from Yale School of Medicine, a master’s in public health from Yale School of Public Health and a bachelor of science in biology from Florida International University in Miami. He completed clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Johns Hopkins where he trained in cardiology and interventional cardiology. He holds three board certifications including internal medicine, cardiology and interventional cardiology.

James K. Haveman, M.S.W.

President, The Haveman Group
Former Director, Michigan Department of Community Health

James K. Haveman was appointed on September 1,2012 by Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan as the Director of the Michigan Department of Community Health. He was chosen to drive the Governor’s aggressive health and wellness agenda forward- a critical piece for reinventing Michigan. Haveman retired from that position on September 12, 2014. He previously served in this position from 1996-2003 and as the Department of Mental Health Director from 1991-1996. Haveman was appointed to both of these positions by Governor John Engler.

Previously Haveman served as Executive Director of Bethany Christian Services, the largest child welfare/adoptive agency in the United States, Executive Director of the Kent County Community Mental Health Program and the Executive Director of Project Rehab, a substance abuse program that was located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Haveman currently is President of the consulting firm, the Haveman Group. He is a Board member of the Grand Rapids Public Museum Foundation, Youngsoft Inc., and H2H Solutions. He serves as the Finance Chair of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Foundation Board.  He is President of the Cornerstone Foundation and a Trustee for Northern Michigan University. A social worker by training, Haveman is a 1966 graduate of Calvin College. He earned his master’s degree in social work from Michigan State University. 

Michael M.E. Johns, M.D.

Professor, Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Emory University

Dr. Michael M.E. Johns is an internationally recognized head and neck cancer surgeon and leader in academic medicine. His robust career includes serving as chancellor of Emory University, and leading the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center, which includes Emory Healthcare, the schools of Medicine, Nursing and Public Health, and the Yerkes Primate Center.  Prior to coming to Emory, he served as dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Most recently, Dr. Johns served as interim executive vice president for Medical Affairs at the University of Michigan. 

Johns is a member of the Institute of Medicine, has served on various private-sector and philanthropic boards, including Johnson & Johnson, the Genuine Parts Company, AMN Healthcare, and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Board of Regents. 

He received his bachelor's degree at Wayne State University in his hometown of Detroit. He graduated with distinction from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1969 and remained at Michigan for his internship and residency. He joined the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army and was assistant chief of the Otolaryngology Service at Walter Reed Army Medical Center from 1975 to 1977. In 1977, he joined the Department of Otolaryngology and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Virginia Medical Center, where he rose to the rank of Professor. In 1984, Dr. Johns was recruited to Johns Hopkins as professor and chair of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, a department he built into one of the country's largest and most prestigious. Most recently, Dr. Johns was the recipient of the 2015 Castle Connolly National Physician of the Year Award for Lifetime Achievement.


Gary S. Kaplan, M.D., FACP, FACMPE, FACPE

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Virginia Mason Health System

Gary S. Kaplan has served as chairman and CEO of the Virginia Mason Health System in Seattle since 2000. He is also a practicing internal medicine physician at Virginia Mason. 

Kaplan received a degree in medicine from the University of Michigan and is board certified in internal medicine. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (FACP), the American College of Medical Practice Executives (FACMPE) and the American College of Physician Executives (FACPE). He is recognized as one of the most influential physician executives in health care and in 2013, was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine. Kaplan is past-chair of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Board of Directors and chairman of the National Patient Safety Foundation Lucian Leape Institute. He is a founding member of Health CEOs for Health Reform and has held leadership positions with numerous organizations, including the Medical Group Management Association and the Washington Healthcare Forum.

Paul McCreadie, M.B.A., M.S.

Partner, COO, Arboretum Ventures

Paul McCreadie joined Arboretum Ventures in 2006. Paul invests in capital-efficient medical technology, service, and health IT companies focusing on the application of innovative technologies to underserved markets. He currently serves as a board director for Adavium Medical, BioIQ, Delphinus Medical, Rethink and Wellfount. Paul is the former Chief Operating Officer for CerviLenz, an Arboretum portfolio company based in Ohio, where he led the redesign of the company’s first commercial product from concept to launch.

Prior to joining Arboretum, McCreadie worked at Ford Motor Company for eight years, holding management positions within product development, manufacturing, and business strategy. He was an associate with the Wolverine Venture Fund (WVF) while an M.B.A. student at Michigan's Ross School of Business. McCreadie earned a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Lewis G. Sandy, M.D., M.B.A., FACP

Executive Vice President, Clinical Advancement, UnitedHealth Group

Lewis G. Sandy MD FACP is Executive Vice President, Clinical Advancement, at UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) a diversified health care company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and helping make the health system work better for everyone. UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. At UnitedHealth Group (UHG) he focuses on clinical innovation, payment/delivery reform practice and policy, and physician/health professional collaboration.  From 2003 to 2007, he served as EVP and Chief Medical Officer of UnitedHealthcare.  From 1991 to 2003, he served as VP and EVP of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health. Prior to this, he was a physician executive at the Harvard Community Health Plan in Boston, Massachusetts. An internist with over 20 years in practice, Sandy received his B.S. and M.D. degrees from the University of Michigan and an M.B.A. degree from Stanford University. He was a faculty member, fellow and RWJF Clinical Scholar at the University of California, San Francisco, and served his internship and residency at the Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. He serves on a number of Boards and Advisory Groups, including the Board of the National Quality Forum (NQF) and Panel of Health Advisors for the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).  He is a senior fellow of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management.

Lisa Simpson, M.B., B.Ch., M.P.H., FAAP

President and Chief Executive Officer, AcademyHealth

Lisa Simpson, M.B., B.Ch., M.P.H., FAAP, has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of AcademyHealth since 2011. A nationally recognized health policy researcher and pediatrician, she is a passionate advocate for the translation of research into policy and practice. Her research, and over 80 articles and commentaries in peer reviewed journals, focuses on the role of evidence and data to improve health and healthcare, particularly for children and vulnerable populations.

Before joining AcademyHealth, Dr. Simpson spent eight years as a professor of pediatrics, first as an Endowed Chair in Child Health Policy at the University of South Florida and then as the Director of the Child Policy Research Center at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati. She served as the Deputy Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality from 1996 to 2002. Dr. Simpson serves on the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program and Health Policy Scholars Program National Advisory Councils, and the Editorial boards for the Journal of Comparative Effectiveness Research. In October 2013, Dr. Simpson was elected to the Institute of Medicine.

Dr. Simpson's areas of expertise include translating research into policy; quality and safety of health care; health and health care disparities; childhood obesity; and child health services.

Antonia M. Villarruel, Ph.D., R.N., M.S.N., FAAN

Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing, School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania
Professor of Nursing, School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania

Antonia M. Villarruel, PhD, RN, FAAN is the Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and Co-Director of the School's WHO Collaborating Center for Nursing and Midwifery Leadership. Villarruel also holds an appointment as Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania. As a bilingual and bicultural nurse researcher, Dr. Villarruel has extensive research and practice experience with diverse Latino and Mexican populations, and health promotion and health disparities. She incorporates a community-based participatory approach and has been the PI/Co-PI of over eight randomized clinical trials on reducing high-risk behaviors in teens. She developed one such program to reduce sexual risk behavior among Latino youth ‚ entitled ¡Cuídate! which was disseminated nationally.

Additionally, Dr. Villarruel has assumed leadership in many national and local organizations. She currently chairs the National Academy of Medicine's Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity. She also co-chairs the Strategic Advisory Council of the AARP/RWJ Center for Health Policy Future of Nursing Campaign for Action. Dr. Villarruel is a Trustee of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation and an invited member of the Aspen Health Strategy Group. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine as well as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. She is recipient of many awards and honors including: the President's Award for Health Behavior Intervention Research from the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research and the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame Award.

Villarruel earned her BSN from Nazareth College, an MSN from the University of Pennsylvania and her PhD in nursing from Wayne State University.

Gail R. Wilensky, Ph.D.

Senior Fellow, Project HOPE

Gail R. Wilensky, Ph.D. is an economist and senior fellow at Project HOPE, an international health foundation. She directed the Medicare and Medicaid programs and served in the White House as a senior adviser on health and welfare issues to President GHW Bush. She was also the first chair of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. Her expertise is on strategies to reform health care, with particular emphasis on Medicare, comparative effectiveness research and military health care.

Wilensky currently serves as a trustee of the Combined Benefits Fund of the United Mine Workers of America and the National Opinion Research Center, is on the Board of Regents of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), and the Board of Directors of the Geisinger Health System Foundation, United Health Group, Quest Diagnostics and Brainscope. She is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine, served two terms on its governing council and chaired the Healthcare Services Board. She is a former chair of the board of directors of Academy Health, a former trustee of the American Heart Association and a current or former director of numerous other non-profit organizations. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Michigan and has received several honorary degrees.