Researchers and Doers

Our team at Better Medicare Alliance drives the future of health care forward through data-driven research and advocacy supporting Medicare Advantage. Leading health care policy experts, dedicated communicators, and seasoned advocacy professionals 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, working to improve health care through a strong Medicare Advantage.

Our Staff

Our in-house staff manages the day-to-day operations of the coalitions, ranging from organizing our grassroots supporters to setting vision, writing policy and attending hill briefings.

Mary Beth Donahue
President and Chief Executive Officer
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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Teal Baker
Chief Operating Officer
Teal Baker is the Chief Operating Officer at Better Medicare Alliance (BMA). She brings a strong track record of driving transformational growth through strategic execution and operational excellence with more than 15 years of experience in senior operational roles for political campaigns and professional services firms. At BMA, Teal collaborates across policy, government affairs, communications, and operations teams to optimize organizational performance, stakeholder engagement, and cross-functional initiatives. Her focus is on enhancing BMA's educational and advocacy impact to strengthen and protect Medicare Advantage. Prior to joining BMA, Teal served as executive vice president and chief operating officer at Invariant, guiding the firm's rapid expansion. She also held leadership positions on the Obama for America 2012 and 2008 presidential campaigns, and roles at a top lobbying firm and on Capitol Hill. Teal is the board chair of Girls on the Run - DC, a trustee of the Shenandoah National Park Trust, and a lifetime member of Leadership Greater Washington. She holds a bachelor's degree from Rhodes College. Email Teal at
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Chris Long
Chief Strategic Officer and Senior Vice President of Government Affairs
Chris Long joined Better Medicare Alliance as Vice President of Government Affairs in early 2022, bringing three decades of government relations, advocacy, and public service leadership. Long started his career as an aide to Congressman George “Buddy” Darden (D-GA) and, most recently, was partner at Bluestone Strategies LLC, a top bipartisan government affairs firm where he lobbied for over a decade on behalf of clients including Serco Inc., Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA), America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), and Kaiser Permanente. Prior to co-founding and leading Bluestone Strategies, Long served as Executive Vice President of Public Affairs for CareCore National, where he advocated for evidence-based specialty benefit management programs during the historic debate on the Affordable Care Act.  Earlier, Long served as Director of Congressional and Public Affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and as Director of Tax and Fiscal Affairs for the Associated General Contractors (AGC). Long hails from South Carolina, is a graduate of the University of Georgia, and holds a Master of Arts from American University. He served on the board of the Literacy Volunteers and is Chair of the local Young Life Committee in his community.  Email Chris at
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Susan Reilly
Vice President of Communications
Susan Reilly joined Better Medicare Alliance as Vice President of Communications in August 2023, bringing more than 15 years of communications and public affairs experience. In her role at Better Medicare Alliance, Susan serves as the primary spokesperson for the organization, including external communications and media relations, while overseeing digital and communications strategy. Prior to joining Better Medicare Alliance, Susan served as Director of Communications at the Association for Accessible Medicines, where she developed and executed AAM's communications strategy around promoting access to generic and biosimilar medicines. Susan has worked at leading global public relations agencies and healthcare trade associations, including the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) and Safe Kids Worldwide, a nonprofit affiliate of Children's National Hospital. Susan is a graduate of Hollins University where she received her B.A. degree in French. Susan and her husband live in Washington, DC where they raised their two, now young adult, children.   
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Don Dempsey
Vice President of Policy and Research
Don Dempsey joined Better Medicare Alliance as Vice President of Policy and Research in January 2024, bringing over two decades of health care policy experience in both government and private sector roles. Don oversees Better Medicare Alliance’s policy team and leads its research efforts into the impact of Medicare Advantage. Prior to joining the Better Medicare Alliance, Don oversaw the Marwood Group’s Washington, DC office. Before that, he was the Vice President for Policy and Regulatory Affairs at CVS health. He was also a Government Affairs Counselor at K&L Gates, and worked for Breakaway Policy Strategies. Don’s first position in his post-government career was as a Senior Vice President with the Marwood Group. Don served as the Associate Director for Human Resources Programs for the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), where he had direct responsibility for the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs, the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, Social Security, federal funding for education and many other programs. Previous to his work with the White House, Don was the Legislative Director for Senator Richard Burr, Director of Health Policy for the Senate Budget Committee and a Legislative Assistant for Senators Jon Kyl and Phil Gramm. Don received his bachelor’s degree from Christian Brothers University and a master’s degree in economics from George Mason University.
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Jennifer Nord Mallard
Vice President of Government Affairs
Jennifer Nord Mallard, a leader with over 20 years of policy, regulatory, and legislative expertise, is Vice President of Government Affairs at Better Medicare Alliance. Most recently, she served as Head of Government Affairs at Tempus, an AI-enabled precision medicine company.  She also served as Head of the Health Care Practice at The Vogel Group, working with clients in manufacturing, supply chain, tech, insurance, biopharma, and providers representing startups through Fortune top 10 corporations.  For close to a decade, she managed and led the world-renowned Mayo Clinic’s Washington D.C. office and was responsible for the analysis, evaluation, and implementation of the Clinic’s regulatory affairs and legislative initiatives.  Jennifer was also the Senior Associate Director of the American Hospital Association where she developed and implemented a diverse federal advocacy agenda.  She was the chief healthcare policy advisor to Congressman Rick Lazio in his congressional office and volunteered in a similar capacity for his Senate campaign.  She started her vast health policy career as a policy analyst at the National Conference of State Legislators.  Jennifer received her bachelor’s degree from the College of Saint Benedict/St. John’s University in Minnesota and a master’s degree in political science from American University.
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Kaitlyn Saal-Ridpath
Senior Director of Policy and Research
Kaitlyn Saal-Ridpath serves as Senior Director of Policy and Research at the Better Medicare Alliance. She first came to the organization in early 2021 as Policy Associate. Prior to joining the Better Medicare Alliance team, Kaitlyn worked across the public, private, and non-profit sectors, with a mission to improve the health and well-being of individuals across the country. She brings with her a range of public health, health law, and policy experience, focusing primarily on social determinants of health. Kaitlyn holds a JD and MPH in Health Policy & Management from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and Graduate School of Public Health, as well as a bachelor's degree in Public Health from Elon University. Email Kaitlyn at
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Jonathan Wolfe
Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships
Jonathan serves as Better Medicare Alliance’s Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships, a role in which he leads the organization’s Ally coalition and external partnerships. Jonathan brings 12+ years of experience in health and nonprofit communications to Better Medicare Alliance.
Prior to joining BMA, he was the Senior Director of Communications at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, a tenure that saw him lead communications strategy for the organization throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. He completed his undergraduate studies at Virginia Tech and earned his Master's of Business Administration from the University of Illinois. Jonathan lives in Virginia with his wife and daughter.
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Andrew Young
Director, Grassroots
Andrew Young joined the Better Medicare Alliance (BMA) in late 2023 as Director, Grassroots. Prior to joining BMA, he had spent over five years with the American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA), notably during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before his time at ACLA, he worked as a political consultant during the 2016 election campaign. Young previously served as the Wayne Townsend Legislative Fellow in the office of U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, where he worked on a range of policy issues, including health care. Young holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science as well as a minor in Public and Environmental Affairs from Indiana University. Email Andrew at
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Kristen Voyvodich
Administrative Manager
Kristen Voyvodich is the Administrative Manager at Better Medicare Alliance. Before working at Better Medicare Alliance, Kristen worked at AIPAC in the Marketing, Creative and Events department, where she was part of the Event Operations team, working on large-scale national and regional events. She holds two Masters degrees, one in Drama and Movement Therapy from the University of London and one in Shakespeare Studies from the Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham. Kristen has a BA from Mount Holyoke College. Email Kristen at
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Caroline Coopersmith
Policy Associate
Caroline Coopersmith joined Better Medicare Alliance as a Policy Associate in August of 2023. She is originally from Texas and has her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University where she majored in History and minored in Public Health and Theology and Religious Studies. Prior to Better Medicare Alliance Caroline interned for Pandemic Action Network as well as the American Red Cross
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