Researchers and Doers

Better Medicare Alliance and our team drives the future of health care forward through data-driven evidence and research supporting Medicare Advantage. Leading health care policy researchers, dedicated communications experts, and grassroots organizers create our effective team. As the leading voice on Medicare Advantage, Better Medicare Alliance’s staff, board of directors, and council of scholars are nimble and skilled, driving innovative solutions forward for Medicare.

Our Board of Directors

Our Board advises the coalition, provides key insights to drive our advocacy, and supports our Allies in their work to protect and strengthen MA.

Dennis Borel
Executive Director, Coalition of Texans with Disabilities
As Executive Director of the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities (CTD), Dennis is frequently called on for research, policy analysis and recommendations to the Texas Legislature and state agencies on issues surrounding disabilities. He serves on multiple advisory groups to state health and human services agencies and was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the State Independent Living Council and by HHSC Executive Commissioners to the Promoting Independence Advisory Council, the State Medicaid Managed Care Advisory Committee and the Drug Utilization Review Board. He has successfully advocated for positive change in government policy and practice in employment, transportation, housing, health care and architectural barriers to promote the full inclusion of people with disabilities in community life.  He was Project Director for CTD’s history-making Team Everest expedition, an internationally-recognized expedition by a team of people with diverse disabilities to the world’s tallest mountain.  Dennis has 40 years' experience as a senior manager of nonprofit organizations, during which time his programs have received numerous state recognitions and national awards from HUD, the Points of Light Foundation, the New York Interactive Film Festival, the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management and the Barbara Jordan Media Awards. In 2006, the University of Michigan honored him with the national James Neubacher Award for creating opportunities for people with disabilities, in 2009, he received the National Advocacy Award from the National Council on Independent Living and in 2019, he was accorded the national Health Equity Award from DentaQuest. He is a former high school teacher and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco.  
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Caraline Coats, MHSA
Regional President, South Florida, Senior Products, Humana Inc.
Caraline Coats is Humana's Regional Market President in South Florida. Prior to this role, she served as VP of Humana’s Venture Investing, Provider Alliances, where she led the strategy and execution of Humana’s value-based primary care provider alliance relationships.  Previously, Caraline was Humana’s VP of Bold Goal and Population Health Strategy, leading Humana’s mission to help improve the health of the communities it serves by making it easier for people to achieve their best health.  Coats is also serving as Humana Foundation’s interim CEO.  Coats has been with Humana for fourteen years. She started as a Regional Director of Medicare Operations in Arizona and relocated to Florida, where she became the Vice President of Network Management and subsequently, the Regional Vice President of Network Management for the East Region. In her role before joining the Bold Goal team, Coats served as Vice President of Humana’s Value-Based Strategies, leading the organizational advancement of innovative payment models that enable Humana to support providers as population health managers in value-based care relationships.     Prior to Humana, Caraline was Vice President of Operations with Sound Inpatient Hospitalists and Assistant Vice President of Managed Care for IASIS Healthcare in the Arizona and Nevada regions. She credits her understanding and experience working directly with physicians and hospitals for the opportunities she has had with Humana.     Caraline holds an undergraduate degree in biology and a Masters in Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan. She and her family reside in south FL.  Outside of Humana, Caraline spends her time with family and volunteers with the YWCA and A Prom to Remember.  In addition, she is an active board member with The Humana Foundation and Wider Circle and serves as a member of the Alzheimer’s Association Advisory Council. 
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Daniel Dawes, JD
Senior Vice President at Global Health, Executive Director of the Institute of Global Health Equality, Meharry Medical College

Daniel E. Dawes, is a widely respected healthcare and public health leader, health policy expert, educator, and researcher who serves as Senior Vice President of Global Health and the Executive Director of the Institute of Global Health Equity at Meharry Medical College.  Prior to this, he served as Executive Director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute and a Professor of health law, policy, and management at Morehouse School of Medicine. He is the author of two groundbreaking health policy books, 150 Years of ObamaCare and The Political Determinants of Health, both published by Johns Hopkins University Press.

Among his many achievements, he was an instrumental figure in developing and negotiating the Mental Health Parity Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, and the Affordable Care Act’s health equity-focused provisions, among other landmark federal policies, as well as the principal investigator for the nation’s first health equity tracker, co-founder of the Health Equity Leadership and Exchange Network (HELEN),  and a principal investigator of the HHS National COVID-19 Resiliency Network. Professor Dawes is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and an elected fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine.

He serves as an advisor to The White House COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, an appointed member of the CDC’s Advisory Committee to the Director where he co-chairs the CDC’s health equity work, and the NIH’s National Advisory Council for Nursing Research.

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Mary Beth Donahue
President and CEO, Better Medicare Alliance
Mary Beth Donahue was named President and CEO of Better Medicare Alliance in 2021, bringing nearly three decades of management, health care policy, and patient advocacy to the role.   Mary Beth began her career working in state government in her native Massachusetts and ascended to a role as Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under Secretary Donna E. Shalala during the Clinton administration.   Most recently, she served as Executive Director of Kidney Care Partners, a coalition of patient advocates, dialysis professionals, care providers, researchers, and manufacturers dedicated to improving quality of care for individuals living with kidney disease.   A leader in patient advocacy and health equity, Mary Beth additionally serves on the Board of Directors for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a national nonprofit dedicated to empowering children to develop lifelong healthy habits. She served as an Advisory Council Member to the Cancer Support Community.    Mary Beth is also the past Executive Vice President of Advocacy and Operations of AHIP, the trade association representing companies providing health insurance coverage in the United States.   She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Boston College and a master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy where she served on the Alumni Board of Directors.   Mary Beth lives in Maryland with her two daughters. 
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Joneigh S. Khaldun, MD, MPH, FACEP
Vice President and Chief Health Equity Officer, CVS Health
Dr. Khaldun is the Vice President and Chief Health Equity Officer for CVS Health. She leads the CVS Health strategy to advance health equity for patients, members, providers, customers, and the communities served across all lines of the CVS Health business. Prior to this role, she served as the Chief Medical Executive for the State of Michigan and Chief Deputy Director for Health in the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), where she was responsible for public health and aging programs, Medicaid, and behavioral health. She led Michigan’s COVID-19 response and is credited for Michigan’s early identification of and strategy to address disparities in COVID-19 outcomes. In 2021, she was named by President Biden to the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force.   Prior to her role at MDHHS, she was the Director and Health Officer for the Detroit Health Department, where she oversaw a robust community health assessment, spear-headed new human service and maternal and infant health efforts, and led Detroit’s response to the largest Hepatitis A outbreak in modern U.S. history. Her efforts contributed to Detroit having the lowest infant mortality rate in recorded history in 2019.   Previously, Dr. Khaldun was the Baltimore City Health Department’s Chief Medical Officer, where she expanded and modernized the department’s clinical services. She has held previous positions as the Director of the Center for Injury Prevention and Control at George Washington University, Founder and Director of the Fellowship in Health Policy in the University of Maryland Department of Emergency Medicine, and Fellow in the Obama-Biden administration’s Office of Health Reform in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  She currently serves on the National Advisory Board for the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation at the University of Michigan, the Board of Directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit, and on the Health and Medicine Committee of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. She is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the University of Michigan School of Public Health.    Dr. Khaldun has received numerous awards, including the 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health Award by the National Minority Quality Forum, the 40 Under 40 Leaders in Public Health award from the deBeaumont Foundation, and the George Washington University Monumental Alumni award. In 2020, she was named a Notable Woman in Health and Newsmaker of the Year by Crain’s Detroit. Dr. Khaldun obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania, MPH in Health Policy from George Washington University, and completed residency in emergency medicine at SUNY Downstate Medical Center/Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, NY, where she was elected chief resident in her final year.  She practices emergency medicine part-time at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. 
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Dan Lowenstein
Vice President of Government Affairs, Visiting Nurse Service of New York
Dan Lowenstein has over 25 years in health care policy and advocacy. He is Vice President of Government Affairs for the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY), one of the largest not-for-profit home and community-based healthcare providers in the U.S. Prior to joining VNSNY in 2017, Mr. Lowenstein was Senior Director of Public Affairs for the Primary Care Development Corporation. He previously held roles in global health advocacy and at the NYU Wagner School of Public Service. Earlier in his career he was Chief of Staff to the NYS Assembly Health Committee Chair and a NYS Senator. He holds an MBA from New York University. 
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Richard J. Migliori, MD
Executive Vice President, Senior Advisor, Ret. Chief Medical Officer, UnitedHealth Group
Dr. Richard Migliori serves as Senior Advisor at UnitedHealth Group, working to help accelerate growth priorities and advance client partnerships. He previously served as Chief Medical Officer for UnitedHealth Group, retiring from the role in December 2021. In 2013, Dr. Migliori was appointed executive vice president of medical affairs at UnitedHealth Group, working with businesses across the enterprise to help improve health care quality, access, and affordability. Dr. Migliori also took part in UnitedHealth Group’s enterprise-wide Innovation Council and was committed to deepening the value that UnitedHealth Group brought to the market through innovation, establishing critical strategic priorities, and driving cultural change and practical support for experimentation. Previously, as executive vice president for Health Services, Dr. Migliori was responsible for the ongoing development, design and adaptation of market-leading clinical innovations aimed at ensuring clinical excellence, improving clinical and economic outcomes, and delivering robust business performance on behalf of UnitedHealth Group’s largest public and private sector clients.   During his leadership at UnitedHealth Group, Dr. Migliori has spearheaded the design, organization, and management of national health care delivery networks. He has been appointed as a member of Governor Dayton’s Governor’s Committee at the University of Minnesota’s Medical School. He has previously served on the Harvard University / Kennedy School of Government Health Care Delivery Policy Committee. He is a member of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons and the Advisory Committee on Transplantation advising the Secretary of Health and Human Services on public policy for human organ transplantation. He has published more than 49 articles on topics ranging from continuous quality improvement methods in a clinical setting to surgical oncology and solid organ transplant.   Dr. Migliori received his Sc.B. (‘78), and MD (‘81) from Brown University, and completed a National Health Research Fellowship in immunology, transplantation, and oncology funded by the National Institutes of Health. He is certified by the American Board of Surgery. 
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Elena Rios, MD, MSPH, MACP
President and CEO, National Hispanic Medical Association
Dr. Elena Rios serves as President & CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association, (NHMA), representing 50,000 Hispanic physicians in the United States. The mission of the organization is to improve the health of Hispanics.  Dr. Rios also serves as President of NHMA’s National Hispanic Health Foundation to direct educational and research activities.  Dr. Rios also serves on Better Medicare Alliance and the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda Boards of Directors, Centene Health Policy Advisory Committee, Centene Health Equity Committee, Cancer Treatment Centers for America Hispanic Advisory Council, Morehouse Health Equity Committee, Office of Research on Women’s Health Advisory Committee, NIH, US Department of Health and Human Services, and the VA National Academic Affiliations Council. Dr. Rios has lectured, published articles and has received several leadership awards, including awards from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Congressional Black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American Caucuses, American Public Health Association Latino Caucus, Association of Hispanic Health Executives, Minority Health Month, Inc., Hispanic Magazine, Verizon’s First Pollin Community Service Award, and Amerigroup.  Dr. Rios was appointed to the Minority Alumni Hall of Fame of Stanford University in October, 2006, as a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine in 2007, the Institute of Medicine Global Forum for Health Professions Education in 2014, as a Fellow of the American College of Physicians in 2016, and as a member of the Society of Medical Administrators in 2017.  Prior to her current positions, Dr. Rios served as the Advisor for Regional and Minority Women’s Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health from November 1994 to October 1998. In 1998-2004, Dr. Rios served as Executive Director, Hispanic Serving Health Professions Schools. In 1993, Dr. Rios was appointed to the National Health Care Reform Task Force as Coordinator of Outreach Groups for the White House. From 1992-94, Dr. Rios worked for the State of California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development as a policy researcher.  Dr. Rios has also served as President, Chicano/Latino Medical Association of California, Founder of the National Network of Latin American Medical Students, member of the California Department of Health Services Cultural Competency Task Force, the Stanford Alumni Association, Women’s Policy Inc., Care First Blue Cross Blue Shield Board of Directors, Nurse Family Partnerships, Campaign Against Obesity, and Partnership for Prevention Boards of Directors, PacifiCare-UnitedHealthcare California Investment Committee, CDC Health Disparities Committee, ASU Health Futures Council and the AMA’s Disparities Commission and Minority Affairs Consortium Steering Committees.  Dr. Rios earned her BA in Human Biology/Public Administration at Stanford University in 1977, MSPH at the UCLA School of Public Health in 1980, MD at the UCLA School of Medicine in 1987, and completed her Internal Medicine residency at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose and the White Memorial Medical Center in East Los Angeles in 1990, and her NRSA Primary Care Research Fellowship at UCLA Division of General Internal Medicine in 1992. 
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Kenneth E. Thorpe, PhD
Robert W. Woodruff Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Policy & Management, Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University
Kenneth Thorpe, Ph.D., is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Policy & Management, in the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.   He is also the chairman of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD),  a coalition of over 120 national and state-based organizations consisting of patients, providers, community organizations, business, and labor groups, and health policy experts to raise awareness of the negative impact chronic disease has on the nation’s health and economy.  PFCD has crafted policy solutions globally.  Most recently his work has focused on COVID-19, chronic disease, and public health interventions to mitigate the virus. He is also Chair of the board of the Better Medicare Alliance an organization focusing on the Medicare Advantage program.   In addition to holding a number of faculty positions, Thorpe was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Policy in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1993 to 1995. In this capacity, he coordinated all financial estimates and program impacts of President Clinton’s health care reform proposals for the White House. He also directed the administration’s estimation efforts in dealing with Congressional health care reform proposals during the 103rd and 104th sessions of Congress.  As the executive director of the PFCD and respected health care expert, Thorpe regularly testifies before numerous committees in the U.S. Senate and House on many aspects of health care reform, including disease prevention, wellness, and coordination of care.   Thorpe has authored and co-authored over 100 articles, book chapters, and books and is a frequent national presenter at health care conferences, television, and the media. He has appeared on Nightline, NBC News, ABC World News Tonight, CNN, CNBC. Fox Business Channel and Newshour.   Previous academic positions held by Thorpe include the Vanselow Professor of Health Policy and Director, Institute for Health Services Research at Tulane University; Professor of Health Policy and Administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Associate Professor and Director of the Program on Health Care Financing and Insurance at the Harvard University School of Public Health; and Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Public Health at Columbia University. Thorpe has also held Visiting Faculty positions at Pepperdine University and Duke University.   In 1991, Thorpe was awarded the Young Investigator Award presented to the most promising health services researcher in the country under age 40 by the Association for Health Services Research. He also received the Hettleman Award for academic and scholarly research at the University of North Carolina and was provided an “Up and Comers” award by Modern Healthcare.   Thorpe received his Ph.D. from the Pardee Rand Graduate School, an M.A. from Duke University, and his B.A. from the University of Michigan. 
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