Advisory Committee Bios

Daniel Blaney-Koen, J.D., is a senior legislative attorney with the American Medical Association Advocacy Resource Center (ARC). Koen has held several roles at the AMA, including serving as a public information officer, policy analyst and speechwriter.

Currently, his focus is on state legislation and policy, including the nation’s opioid epidemic, treatment and prevention, health care costs, and private payers and market reforms. Prior to joining the AMA in 1999, Koen earned his Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from Colorado State University, his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Arizona, and his law degree from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

David Elton, D.C., serves as Chief Strategy Officer for UHG Ventures Orthology. Previously he served in several leadership roles at Optum.

David has and continues to serve on advisory boards and working groups focusing on patient care and pain management, including the United Health Group Opioid Task Force and Pain Management Work Group, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

He has delivered several presentations on pain including before the American Physical Therapy Association and National Academy of Sciences.  Elton received his B.S., Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Northwestern Health Sciences University, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Tracy Gaudet, M.D. led a vast, system-wide change to provide personalized, proactive, patient-centered health care to America’s veterans as the immediate past Executive Director of the Veterans Health Administration’s National Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation. She is the former Executive Director of Duke Integrative Medicine and a founding Executive Director of the University of Arizona’s Program in Integrative Medicine.

Robert J. Gatchel, Ph.D., ABPP, served in the University of Texas (UT) System for over 40 years, where he was the Chairman of Psychology, a member of the U.T. Arlington Academy of Distinguished Scholars, and mentored over 125 students. Dr. Gatchel was an early major advocate of the biopsychosocial model of chronic illness and disability. He also is a strong proponent of the interdisciplinary treatment approach to chronic pain and disability.

He retired from U.T. in 2019, and is currently active in consulting work. Among Dr. Gatchel’s many accolades, he has authored/edited hundreds of peer-reviewed articles, and 31 books, including co-authoring the initial textbook in health psychology with Dr. Andy Baum, which helped to introduce health psychology as a major discipline in psychology and medicine in an integrated manner.

Christine Goertz, D.C., Ph.D. is a Professor in Musculoskeletal Research at the Duke Clinical Research Institute and Director of System Development and Coordination for Spine Health in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Duke University. She is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Spine Institute for Quality and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health at the University of Iowa.

Dr. Goertz’s 25-year research career has focused on working with multi-disciplinary teams to design and implement clinical and health services research studies designed to increase knowledge regarding the effectiveness and cost of complementary and integrative healthcare delivery. She has received nearly $32M in federal funding and has authored or co-authored nearly 100 peer-reviewed papers. Dr. Goertz currently serves on the Board of Governors for the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), recently appointed in September 2019 as Chairperson of the PCORI Board of Governors by the Comptroller General of the United States.

Patricia Herman, N.D., Ph.D., serves as a Senior Behavioral Scientist at the RAND Corporation, specializing in health economics, innovative care models, and the overall impact of health on individuals’ lives. Dr. Herman is an NIH/NCCIH-supported methodologist, resource economist, and licensed naturopathic doctor. In 2003, Dr. Herman received her degree in Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University and she practiced for 5 years at an inpatient facility that treated addiction and chronic pain.

Among Dr. Herman’s many published works and presentations, she has published three systematic reviews of economic evaluations of complementary and integrative medicine, and co-authored a commissioned paper on the economics of integrative medicine for the Institute of Medicine’s 2009 Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public.

Rebecca Kirch, J.D., is Executive Vice President of Healthcare Quality and Value for the National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF), providing strategic focus and leadership in bringing the millions of patient and family voices to the forefront of national health care quality improvement efforts.

Prior to her current role, Kirch served 15 years with the American Cancer Society and its advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), as the Society’s first Director of Quality of Life and Survivorship. She serves in several advisory capacities, and has also authored numerous articles and book chapters, including publications in the New England Journal of Medicine, Health Affairs, and other professional journals. She has a law degree from Boston College Law School and an undergraduate degree in Biology from Wells College.

Kate Nicholson is a civil rights attorney, writer, speaker and advocate on the treatment of pain and addiction in the context of the opioid crisis. Nicholson is a former attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, and graduate of Harvard Law School. She is widely published on the challenges of pain and addiction, including the American Journal of Law and Medicine, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times.

Nicholson has also delivered several keynote speeches including the CATO Institute and the National Academy of Medicine, as well as media interviews on National Public Radio, Fox News and Harvard Business Journal.

Bonnie Sakallaris, Ph.D., R.N. is TLI Foundation’s Vice President for Optimal Healing Environments. She has conducted research on holistic approaches to health, wellness and chronic conditions.

Bonnie also works with international corporate and not-for-profit leaders on the issue of global well-being and serves as the convener to bring diverse experts together around global wellness issues. Dr. Sakallaris holds a B.S. in Psychology from Northeastern University, B.S.N. from Boston University, M.S.N. from the Catholic University of America, and Ph.D. is from George Mason University.

Eric B. Schoomaker, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.P. served in active duty for 32 years achieving the ranks of Lieutenant General, U.S. Army (Retired) 42nd U.S. Army Surgeon General and Former Commanding General of the U.S. Army Medical Command. Dr. Schoomaker committed his military career to meeting the health needs of soldiers, their families and veterans, focusing on soldier medical readiness, enhancing battlefield care, establishing a comprehensive behavioral health system of care, fostering a culture of trust, advancing comprehensive pain management, and promoting health by preventing combat wounds, injury and illness. He recently retired as Professor and Vice-Chair for Leadership, Centers and Programs in the Department of Military & Emergency Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) in Bethesda, MD. Dr. Schoomaker is the recipient of numerous military awards, including the 2012 Dr. Nathan Davis Award from the American Medical Association for outstanding government service, and the Philipp M. Lippe Award from the American Academy of Pain Medicine for outstanding contributions to the social and political aspect of Pain Medicine.

Adam Seidner, M.D., M.P.H., is the Chief Medical Officer for The Hartford insurance, leading strategy and policy across all lines of business with a particular focus on workers’ compensation and disability management. Prior to his current role, Dr. Seidner was Global Medical Director for Travelers Insurance.

He earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from SUNY Health Science Center, a Master’s degree in public health from the University of Connecticut, and an A.B. in Anthropology from Hamilton College. He is also board-certified by the American Board of Preventative Medicine: Occupational and Environmental Medicine and American Board of Family Medicine.

Vanila Singh, M.D. is an American physician, educator, policy maker, and patient advocate dedicated to public health and currently tackling one of the nation’s most widespread, expensive, and devastating epidemics of our time: the opioid and greater drug epidemic. She is an expert in treating and understanding the underlying mechanisms of complex acute and chronic pain. In 2017, Dr. Singh was appointed by the White House administration to serve as the Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH). She was later concurrently appointed by the Assistant Secretary for Health as the Acting Regional Director for Region 9 (CA, NV, AZ, HI, and the Pacific Islands) and served dual leadership roles through her HHS tenure. Dr. Singh is double-board certified Stanford physician in both anesthesiology and pain medicine with a background in molecular and cell biology, and economics. She is widely published in various news journals including Time Magazine, Modern Healthcare, and Medscape. Dr. Singh has also received awards for Visionary Leadership Award, Lifetime Achievement award, and Presidential Commendation Award from various organizations.

 

 

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