Top 25 Emerging Leaders
Michael Dalton, 37
Director of state government relations, MetroHealth System
Six months after Michael Dalton successfully advocated for expanding Medicaid in Ohio, he saw a man enter a health facility with his bag of medications in hand. The man was "beaming and proud," Dalton recalled, as he finally had healthcare coverage and could afford to visit a physician. It's moments like these that remind Dalton of what he's fighting for.
Dalton was introduced to the complexities of healthcare while working in Congress as district director for Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio). "We were going through two very difficult issues at the time. One was the Affordable Care Act. We had people picketing our office on a daily basis," Dalton said. "I decided if I was going to transition from the congresswoman's office, it was going to be something really challenging, complicated and complex that would allow me to pursue my passion of lifelong learning. In healthcare, I've definitely gotten that."
In which TV medical drama would you star? "ER"
What musician would you dream of having perform at your next birthday celebration? The Black Keys
What superhero are you? Wolverine
Since leaving Congress, Dalton has taken on numerous health policy roles. While at MetroHealth he led a group of safety-net providers who were able to secure $200 million from the CMS to combat the state's opioid epidemic through the Care Innovation and Community Improvement Program. He's also led a coalition of health facilities in advocating against cuts to the 340B discount drug program.
"I've really come to enjoy the complexities and strategies that comes with government relations. When I say 'government relations,' I don't mean just meeting with legislators. It's really about diving in to help policy and effect change."