A handful of former Capitol Hill staffers, campaign workers and health policy analysts have been tapped to round out the newly created HHS Office of Health Reform, a division aimed at speeding an effort to streamline and improve how care is delivered.
Jeanne Lambrew, a longtime fixture in Washington health policy circles, will head the department, along with two senior advisers and congressional committee veterans: Michael Hash and Neera Tanden. Hash previously held senior positions at the Health Care Financing Administrationnow the CMSand on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Tanden worked on both the Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigns and in the Senate.
Other key staffers include: Meena Seshamani, M.D., a physician and health economist who will coordinate research activities for the department; Caya Lewis, a former staffer for Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who will head outreach and public health policy; Jennifer Cannistra, an Obama campaign organizer now tapped as a policy analyst and director of special projects; Karen Richardson, a former policy director for the Democratic National Committee, who will be outreach coordinator; and Michael Halle, previously on the health policy team at the Center for American Progress, who will be special assistant.
Linda Douglass, former managing editor for the National Journal and a Capitol Hill correspondent for ABC News, will head the communications teams. The department was created by an executive order on April 8.