Michael Allen is a Partner at Relman, Dane & Colfax. Michael joined the firm in 2006. His civil rights litigation practice focuses on the Fair Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and related civil rights laws, with an emphasis on dismantling barriers to integration on the basis of disability and of race. Prior to joining Relman, Dane & Colfax, Michael was senior staff attorney at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law where he focused on civil rights policy development and litigation involving people with psychiatric disabilities and an attorney with Legal Services of Northern Virginia representing low-income clients in housing litigation and policy advocacy.
Josh (“J”) Auer, MBA, is the CEO of Acumen Inc. and Direct Care Innovations. J has supported individuals with disabilities for over 22 years of leadership in Medicaid organizations. J has significant experience running disability services companies and is a thought-leader in the Fiscal/Employment Agent (F/EA) industry. J provides Medicaid, Medicare, and Managed Care expertise for designing state-of-the-art services, systems, and technologies for the F/EA industry.
Julia Bascom serves as Executive Director at the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN). Previously, she did state-level work in her home state of New Hampshire, where she served on the DD council and co-led an inter-agency team to revitalize self-advocacy within the state. Julia edited Loud Hands: Autistic People, Speaking, an anthology of writings by autistic people, and currently serves on the Centene National Disability Advisory Council, the advisory board of Felicity House, and the boards of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities and Allies For Independence.
Dan Berland is the Director of Federal Policy at NASDDDS. In this role, he crafts the federal policy strategy of the association and pursues the interests of state developmental disability agencies on Capitol Hill and the executive branch of the federal government. Dan engages with federal legislators and executive branch policy-makers, represents the association within the federal policy arena, and publishes reports and analyses of federal statutory and regulatory changes. In his 17 years with the association, Dan has played a key role in NASDDDS activity around Medicaid HCBS and ICF/IDD policy.
Kelly Buckland, Executive Director for the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), is a person with a disability who has been actively involved in disability issues since 1979. Kelly started his career as an employee for Idaho’s Protection and Advocacy system. He served for over twenty years as the Executive Director of the Boise CIL, Living Independence Network Corp. and the Idaho State Independent Living Council. He has served on the Idaho Developmental Disabilities Council, the State Employment and Training Council, and the State Help America Vote Act Steering Committee. He has worked on issues affecting people with disabilities, including passage of the Personal Assistance Services Act and the Fathers and Mothers Independently Living with their Youth (FAMILY) Child Custody Laws.
Sarah Corcoran is Guide Consulting Services’ Senior Director of Government Relations, bringing over five years of experience working with federal agencies such as DHS, HHS, and DOJ. Sarah leads all public affairs operations, Congressional Briefings, Capitol Hill Fly-in Day logistics, grassroots outreach and social media strategy for clients. Sarah manages GCS operations and staff, and provides legislative research and analysis, strategic planning, and regulatory drafting for her clients. Sarah received her Bachelors of Arts in Political Science, United States History and Sociology from Arizona State University, and attended law school at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.
Anne Dwyer, JD, MPH, serves as Senior Health Counsel for the United States Senate Finance Committee under Ranking Member Ron Wyden. As Senior Health Counsel, her portfolio includes Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, women’s health, mental and behavioral health, and prevention. Prior to joining the committee as professional staff, Ms. Dwyer was a David A. Winston Health Policy Fellow. Before arriving in Washington, D.C., she spent time with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, the Minnesota Disability Law Center, and the State of Wisconsin. As a Midwest native, Ms. Dwyer received a JD with a concentration in health law and bioethics from the University of Minnesota Law School, MPH in Public Health Administration and Policy from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, and BA from the University of Wisconsin.
Caleb Graff is currently Professional Staff for Energy & Commerce. He handles Medicaid, CHIP, Medicare Advantage, and 340B. He has been with the Committee for three years. Before that, he spent a year with the House Budget Committee and before that a year and a half with Speaker Boehner. Caleb has a Masters from Claremont Graduate University in American Politics and Public Policy and received his undergraduate degree from Bethel University in St. Paul Minnesota.
Alfonso Guida Jr., J.D. is President and CEO of Guide Consulting Services. With more than three decades of experience in health public policy and government relations, he is adept at advancing legislation and public policy, and impacting government and regulatory issues. Most notably, Al secured $15 million funding for Mental Health First Aid and the 2014 inclusion of the Excellence in Mental Health Act during a period when few mental health legislations were passed. Before starting Guide Consulting Services, Al served as the Executive Director of the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign (NMHAC). He also previously served as Senior Vice President for Government Relations and Public Policy at the National Mental Health Association (now called Mental Health America).
Melissa Harris has been with CMS since 1995, and is currently the Acting Deputy Director for the Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group (DEHPG). Prior to this role, Melissa was a Senior Policy Advisor in DEHPG, developing and implementing a myriad of policies advancing home and community-based services as an alternative to institutional placement. Before joining the Office of the Group Director, she was the Director of the Division of Benefits and Coverage from 2012 to 2015, in which she was responsible for overseeing implementation of most Medicaid benefits, including benefits provided to individuals in the Medicaid expansion population, and the establishment of national benefit policy.
Angela King, MSSW is President and CEO of Volunteers of America Texas. Previously she held the position of Senior Vice President and Aging Services for Volunteers of America, the affiliate’s national office, where she had the opportunity to see programs all around the country that offer services to people who are aging. Her experience includes program management of a wide variety of social services including residential and in-home supports, treatment programs, independent living, medical coordination and other supports. Working in aging and disability services has made her an expert in Medicaid, Medicare and healthcare policy. Angela is also a co-author of several articles related to best practices for end of life care for people with intellectual disabilities. Angela King is immediate past president of the ANCOR Board of Directors.
Kris Kubnick, CSW, MPA serves as the Chief Member Experience Officer for Inclusa Inc. Inclusa is the largest Managed Care Organizations in Wisconsin that supports the lives of elders and adults with intellectual or physical disabilities through the State of Wisconsin’s Family Care program. Mr. Kubnick has held a variety of leadership roles in Wisconsin’s Long-term Care system over the last decade. His experience as a multi-disciplinary leader at Inclusa has provided him with a unique perspective on managed long-term care, and led to the development of nationally recognized innovations in the managed care industry. Kubnick holds a Sociology degree from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, a Masters degree In Public Administration with an concentration on Health Care Agencies from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and is a Certified in the state of Wisconsin as a Social Worker.
Ralph Lollar is the Director of the Division Long Term Services and Supports, Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group at CMS. Ralph worked for more than 30 years for the New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities (NJDDD). In his role as administrator for the NJDDD, Medicaid/Waiver Unit, Mr. Lollar had significant involvement in services for seniors and people with disabilities through a Medicaid State Plan service delivery system in both a Managed Care and Fee for Service Model. Ralph's work included close involvement with the Money Follows the Person demonstration project. He worked with fellow waiver administrators in the management of a bi-monthly New Jersey HCBS Committee to ensure statewide coordination of all five 1915(c) HCBS waiver programs. He has a master's degree in social work from Rutgers University and is a Certified Public Manager.
Shannon MacKenzie is the Clinical Operations Consultant for Simply Connect Care Management technology. She has a foundation of 15 years in health and human services, a core team on the NASUAD Business Development Learning Collaborative, an advisor and steering committee member of the Altair Accountable Care Organizations and was the Principal Behavioral Health Consultant for Data Across Sectors of Health (DASH) grant through the Robert-Wood Johnson Foundation. Shannon is passionate about developing alternative payment models and assisting organizations in finding creative solutions to weather an ever-changing landscape.
Bette Ann Mobley has worked with state and national organizations in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities for more than 35 years. She has served in many leadership roles supporting people with disabilities through advocacy, developing and implementing quality systems, and providing consultation to organizations that provide supports and services. As Director of the ABLE program in Maryland, through her work with in Maryland and with the NAST ABLE sub committees, she is excited to be a part of the continued development and implementation of this new opportunity for people with disabilities and their families.
Michael Morris, JD, is the founder and Executive Director of the National Disability Institute. He is a former legal counsel to the US Senate Subcommittee on Disability Policy and is a key architect of the ABLE Act. He serves as a subject matter expert on financial inclusion and poverty reduction concerning youth and young adults with disabilities to the FDIC, IRS, National Council on Disability, US Departments of Education and Health and Human Services and multiple state ABLE programs. He was the first Kennedy Foundation Public Policy Fellow and worked in the office of Senator Lowell Weicker (CT).
Stephanie Patrick is the Executive Director of Disability Rights Center - New Hampshire, the state's protection and advocacy agency which advocates for the legal rights of people with disabilities across the state. She was formerly the Director of Policy and Planning at the Advocacy Center, DRC-NH’s sister agency in Louisiana, where she worked on legislative advocacy, coalition building and programmatic compliance. She graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2003 with a Master’s of Social Work and also holds an undergraduate degree in social work from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.
Josh Trent is a principal with the firm Leavitt Partners where he advises healthcare sector clients on federal health care policy and strategy. He specializes in public insurance under Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), private health insurance, the 340B program, the Affordable Care Act. Prior to joining Leavitt Partners, Josh most recently served as Chief Health Counsel for Chairman Greg Walden of the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the U.S. House of Representatives playing a key role in the passage of bipartisan legislation to combat the opioid crisis. During his previous tenure as Deputy Chief Health Counsel for Chairman Walden, he helped secure historic funding extension for CHIP; led the development of policies improving Medicaid; helped develop policies strengthening Medicare Advantage and CHIP; led the Committee’s efforts on the 340B drug discount program; and helped develop The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 and the 21st Century Cures Act.
Rick Van Buren is a Health Counsel focusing on Medicaid and CHIP with the majority staff of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Prior to joining the Committee, he was a senior analyst at the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission where he focused on policies relating to the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program and Medicaid Managed Care. He also previously served in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Legislation and as Legislative Counsel for Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. He is a graduate of Georgetown Law and the University of Pittsburgh.