Our Staff

Ceci Connolly, President & CEO
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Primary Contact for CEOs and ACHP's Board of Directors

Ceci Connolly, a nationally recognized health care leader, took over as president and CEO of the Alliance of Community Health Plans in January 2016. In her role, she works with some of the most innovative executives in the health sector to provide high-quality, evidence-based, affordable care. She is passionate about transforming America’s system to deliver greater value to all.

Connolly has spent more than a decade in health care, first as a national correspondent for the Washington Post and then in thought leadership roles at two international consulting firms. She is a leading thinker in the disruptive forces shaping the health industry and has been a trusted adviser to c-suite executives who share her commitment to equitable, patient-centered care.

She is co-author of the book “LANDMARK: The Inside Story of America’s Health Law and What it Means for Us All,” has covered six presidential campaigns and numerous natural disasters including Hurricane Katrina. She is the first non-physician to receive the prestigious Mayo Clinic Plummer Society award for promoting deeper understanding of science and medicine and in 2001 was awarded a fellowship to Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

For four years, Connolly served on the board of Whitman-Walker Health, a $26 million nonprofit, community health center, serving 15,000 clients a year. She is a founding member of Women of Impact (WOI) for Healthcare and serves on the national advisory committee of the Altarum Institute Center for Sustainable Health Spending. She is a graduate of Boston College.

Michael Bagel, Director, Public Policy
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As Director of Public Policy, Michael Bagel manages ACHP’s policy portfolio and serves as the lead expert on policy priorities.  Michael brings more than 10 years of policy development and legislative experience to work with federal policymakers to advance regulatory and legislative proposals.

Michael joins ACHP from the Department of Health and Human Services where he served as a senior advisor in the Office of the Secretary.  Prior to his time at HHS, Michael served as an attorney with the Office of Management and Budget, a law clerk at the US Department of Labor and a Health Policy Associate with the Senate Finance Committee.

Michael has a BA from the State University of New York at Geneseo and a law degree from William & Mary Law School.

Tricia Brooks, Vice President, External Affairs
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As Vice President of External Affairs, Tricia Brooks oversees communications, policy and legislative efforts for ACHP. She has over 25 years of advocacy, lobbying and policy development.

Prior to her position at ACHP, Tricia served as Vice President of Public Affairs at Novo Nordisk. She has also served as the Managing Director of Alliance Development at BIO, as well as being part of the team that successfully integrated Michael J. Fox into the 2006 national campaign cycle to raise awareness of the embryonic stem cell research debate. Notably, Tricia was the Director of Government Relations for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.

Tricia has a BA in Political Science from Fordham University and a MA in Public Policy from George Washington University.

Sophia Bushong Nelson, Executive Assistant
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Sophia joined ACHP in January 2014. Through this position, she provides support for ACHP President and CEO Ceci Connolly.

Sophia hails from outside the world of health care, having spent the majority of her career in the theatre arts. She has served as actor, director and producer for numerous plays throughout the United States. She trained extensively at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, The American Globe Theatre in New York, N.Y., and with Robert Perillo of the Stella Adler Studio. She is a regular contributor of theatre reviews and feature articles for Washington City Paper.

Sophia holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Dramatic Arts from Dickinson College.

Kelly Crowe, Vice President, Operations
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Kelly Crowe joined the Alliance of Community Health Plans in December 2017 as the Vice President of Operations. In this role, Kelly manages operations of the organization, and oversees finance, human resources, administrative and business development activities.

Kelly honed her sophisticated financial and management skills working for more than a decade in the finance industry and years in management roles. She also previously served as the CEO of NASCHO, which represented 23 nonprofit health insurance co-ops.

Tod Didier, Digital Communications Manager
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Tod joined the Alliance of Community Health Plans in 2016. Prior to his work at ACHP, he served as an editor of two different commentary sites and was the PunditWire Fellow at American University. He is responsible for coordinating ACHP’s digital efforts, including social media and the ACHP website.

Tod has received his M.A. in political communication from American University and B.A.s in history and English from the University of Northern Colorado.

Matt DoBias, Associate Director, External Affairs
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As associate director of external affairs, Matt supports and advances ACHP’s strategic vision in a number of ways, including through federal advocacy campaigns, targeted communication efforts and member relations. He has nearly 20 years of collective health policy experience.

Previously, Matt worked as an award-winning reporter for a number of national healthcare publications before shifting into a research, data and client-intensive role at a global consulting firm. Most recently he worked on the policy and advocacy side for an influential government relations firm, where he helped shape Medicare, Medicaid and ACA-related payment policies on behalf of hospitals, health systems and insurers.

Matt has lived in Washington, D.C., for nearly two decades. A Virginia native, he studied journalism at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

Molly Edelman, Membership Coordinator
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As Membership Coordinator, Molly plays a key role in ACHP’s Membership activities including recruitment, retention and engagement. She also spends time supporting the External Affairs/Advocacy team, and provides administrative aid to the Operations team.

Molly recently moved to Washington, DC from her hometown of Philadelphia, PA. Prior to joining ACHP, she acted as project manager and administrative support in the hospitality and construction industries. Molly graduated from Temple University with a B.A. in Theater, which she still gets to put into practice, from time to time.

Toni Fanelli, M.F.S., Senior Manager, Membership and Governance
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*Primary contact for membership inquiries

Toni is the Senior Manager of Membership and Governance at the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP). In this role she manages the membership and board operations portfolio including the member experience and recruitment efforts. Toni joined the staff in April of 2010 as an executive assistant and has also overseen the administrative operations of the organization.

Toni received her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees from Michigan State University in Criminal Justice and Human Biology. She holds a Masters of Forensic Science from the George Washington University.

Stephenie Gambrell, Office Coordinator
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As the office coordinator at ACHP, Stephenie coordinates and oversees day-to-day office operations, including the development of administrative and logistical processes. Stephenie also manages ACHP’s technology and telecommunication infrastructure and provides key administrative support to the organization as a whole.

Prior to her position at ACHP, Stephenie was a grants and contracts specialist at the Office of Population Health in the Virginia Department of Health, where she prepared proposals and contracts and handled grant submissions.

Tricia Barrentine Guay, Director of Legislative Affairs
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As Director of Legislative Affairs, Tricia Barrentine Guay  is responsible for advancing the policy interest of ACHP and its member organizations before federal policy makers. She has over 30 years of legislative, advocacy, lobbying and policy development experience.

Prior to joining ACHP, Tricia served as Director of Federal Government Affairs at WellCare Health Plans, Inc. She also served as the Vice President of Petrizzo Strategic Group representing several life science institutes from the Pacific Northwest before Congress and the Administration. Tricia also has extensive health care policy and legislative experience having served as senior staff to former Members of Congress.

Tricia has a BA in Political Science from the University of South Florida and an MA in Legislative Affairs from George Washington University.

Leah Hunter, Communications Director
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Leah Hunter joined ACHP in 2017. As Director of Communications, Leah oversees external communications initiatives and plays a key strategic role in promoting the Alliance’s advocacy agenda.

Leah comes to ACHP from the Department of Health and Human Services, where she served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs. Prior to her time at HHS, Hunter served as Press Secretary for Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and as Communications Director for Congressman Ron Kind. She also spent time at DBC PR+New Media and Rippe Keane Marketing. She has a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin.

Connie Hwang, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer
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Dr. Connie Hwang is a general internist with expertise in quality measurement and population health. At the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP), she is Chief Medical Officer and Director of Clinical Innovation, providing clinical leadership on health care transformation, value based care partnerships, and quality improvement. Prior to ACHP, Dr. Hwang was Vice President of Quality at Evolent Health where she led improvement initiatives for Medicare Advantage Star Ratings, CMS ACOs, State Medicaid quality programs, payer partnerships and NCQA HEDIS performance. Dr. Hwang is a former RWJ Clinical Scholar and MPH graduate from Johns Hopkins. She completed her Internal Medicine residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia and graduated with her medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

Courtney Johnson, Pharm.D., Clinical Innovations Program Manager
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Courtney Johnson joined the Alliance of Community Health Plans in July 2019.  In her role as the Clinical Innovations Program Manager, she will lead the Pharmacy Directors Collaborative and assist with executing ACHP’s clinical and policy agendas.

Prior to joining ACHP, Courtney completed a PGY-1 Residency at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Virginia.  Courtney earned a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Science from The Ohio State University and a Doctorate of Pharmacy from Howard University.  She is a licensed pharmacist in the State of Virginia.

Megan Knauss, LGSW, Innovation Programs Manager
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Megan Knauss joined the Alliance of Community Health Plans in November 2016.  As the Innovation Programs Coordinator, she assists with executing ACHP’s learning and innovation strategy, which supports and advances ACHP’s vision and mission and guides its learning and innovation efforts.  Megan assists with implementing the strategy on a daily basis to improve ACHP member performance.

Prior to joining ACHP, Megan worked for a wildlife conservation and animal advocacy nonprofit where she served as the Program & Executive Assistant.

Megan received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Birmingham-Southern College and a Master of Social Work from the University of Alabama.  She is a Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW) in the District of Columbia.

Lauren Leeman, Senior Data Analyst
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Lauren joined the Alliance of Community Health Plans in July 2019. She supports ACHP’s market competitiveness analytics initiatives through the creation and maintenance of quantitative plan performance assessments.

Prior to her work at ACHP, Lauren served as a senior data analyst for Trinity Health, where she supported the development and implementation of outpatient-based mortality and readmission risk adjustment models.  She has a B.S. from Eastern Michigan University.

Dan Lemle, Communications Manager
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Dan Lemle joined ACHP in April 2019. In his role as Communications Manager, he assists with the development of external communications initiatives and the promotion of ACHP’s advocacy agenda.

Prior to joining ACHP, Dan managed events and policy-focused communications for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), including NAB Show, which is the world’s largest electronic media event. He also has experience cultivating earned media for the Human Rights Campaign and a variety of other nonprofits and agencies. Dan has a B.S. from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

Anthony Montoya, Public Policy Associate
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Anthony Montoya joined ACHP in a permanent capacity after nearly a year as a graduate fellow for health policy.  As a Public Policy Associate, Anthony analyzes policy developments both on Capitol Hill and from federal agencies as part of ACHP’s advocacy team. Prior to working at ACHP, Anthony interned for two Members of Congress both in Washington D.C. and in his adopted home of Portland, Oregon. Anthony is currently completing his Master’s Degree in Legislative Affairs from George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management.

Kiana Moore, Director, Market Strategy and Analytics
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Kiana Moore joined the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) in January 2019 as the Director of Market Strategy and Analytics. In this role, Kiana leads ACHP initiatives using data-driven strategies to improve the market competitiveness of member plans through a combination of data analytics, market assessment, and market strategy development. In addition, she collaborates closely with ACHP’s Advocacy and Clinical Innovation teams to develop analytic products and data insights that further the organization’s policy agenda and improves quality.

Prior to joining ACHP, Kiana was a Vice President at IMPAQ International where she led their Advanced Analytics and Health Insurance Access & Value Base Care divisions. Kiana earned her Bachelors and Master’s degrees from the George Washington University in Systems Engineering & Computer Science and Engineering Management, respectively.

Eva Powell, Senior Manager, Quality Programs
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As the Senior Manager of Quality Programs, Eva helps guide ACHP’s clinical performance improvement strategy and oversees ACHP’s efforts to share clinical innovation. She also serves as a liaison to various quality measurement organizations. Prior to joining ACHP, Eva was an independent consultant working on projects related to community health, advanced payment models and enhanced use of technology to support patient engagement. She previously worked as Senior Director of Quality and Innovation at Evolent Health and led consumer focused Health IT advocacy for the National Partnership for Women & Families.

 

Christine Shen Moreschi, Controller
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Christine Shen Moreschi joined the Alliance of Community Health Plans as Controller in January 2008. Before assuming her position at ACHP, she was the manager of domestic accounting for the U.S. Grains Council where she was responsible for managing the full range of domestic daily accounting operations. She was also responsible for monthly financial statements preparation, budget tracking and projection, managing multiple federal and state grants and reports, supervising the annual audit, troubleshooting accounting software and providing general support for other managers.

Christine earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Strayer University, a Master of Science in Computer Science from the University of Northern Virginia and a Business Administration Certificate from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Doug Todak, Program Coordinator
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Doug Todak joined the Alliance of Community Health Plans in March 2019 as Program Coordinator, providing full administrative and logistical support to both the Clinical Innovation and Marketplace Competitiveness teams, as well as working in tandem with the Events, Membership, and Communications teams.Prior to joining ACHP, Doug served as the Executive Assistant to the University Chaplain at Catholic University and Campus Ministry Office Manager for many years. He brings decades of extensive administrative experience working in government, university, and for-profit organizations to his role at ACHP.

Doug earned his B.S. in Political Science from Central Michigan University and an M.A. in Education from Michigan State University.

Maria Velasco, CMP, Manager, Events and Business Development
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*Primary contact for sponsorship inquiries

Maria joined the Alliance of Community Health Plans in August of 2017. In her role as Manager of Events and Business Development, she coordinates events hosted by ACHP and oversees sponsorship opportunities. Prior to her work at ACHP, she served as the Meetings Coordinator and Registrar for the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA).

Maria is a certified meetings professional and holds a BA in Art History from the University of Cadiz, Spain and an AAS in Hospitality from Montgomery College.

Virginia Whitman, Public Policy Associate
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Virginia Whitman joined the Alliance of Community Health Plans in April 2019 after nearly a year as a Graduate Fellow for health policy with ACHP. Virginia previously worked in clinical fields ranging from EMT to researcher before deciding to affect broader change in health policy. She is responsible for policy review and analysis to support the Policy and Advocacy component of ACHP’s External Affairs team. Virginia received her M.S. in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown University and her B.S. in Biology from Rhodes College.