Value of Innovation Policy Forum
Laura Bonnell is the mother of two college age daughters with cystic fibrosis. Bonnell started The Bonnell Foundation: Living with cystic fibrosis in 2010. Bonnell wanted to help other parents navigate the CF Road, and offers them a “roadmap to CF”. Her Foundation gives college scholarships (about $150,000 so far), lung transplant grants ($24,000) and medical assistants (thousands of dollars).
The Bonnell Foundation has also donated over $30,000 to the CF Foundation for research. Bonnell has always advocated for people with CF, she took her daughter to Washington, D.C. 6 years ago to speak to lawmakers about the important of backing CF legislation and programs.
David Charles, MD
IfPA is led by our Medical Director, David Charles, M.D., who is Professor and Vice-Chair of Neurology at Vanderbilt University Clinical Neurosciences Institute.
Dr. Charles is a national leader in Movement Disorders research. He served as a health policy advisor in the U.S. Senate and conducted Parkinson’s disease research in France as a Fulbright Senior Scholar.
Gavin Clingham is Director of Public Policy for the Alliance for Patient Access, advising on federal and state policies that impact patient access to health care.
With more than two decades of public policy advocacy experience, Gavin brings a comprehensive understanding of the legislative and regulatory process, having served as Legislative Director for a senior Member of the US House Committee on Appropriations. In his role with AfPA, he engages with federal agencies including CMS and FDA, the US Congress and various state legislatures to ensure the health care providers perspective is considered as access policies are developed and implemented.
Gavin received his Juris Doctor degree from the Boston University School of Law, graduated from The Catholic University of America and is a member of the bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. A lifelong Red Sox fan, he lives in Maryland.
Amanda Conschafter brings more than a decade of experience in
communications, advocacy education and writing training. Ms.
Conschafter has provided writing and editing services on behalf of
Fortune 500 companies, industry leaders, government contractors,
and nonprofits dedicated to education, veterans employment and
health policy. She has led writing tutorials and workshops in both
academic and business settings.
Ms. Conschafter also served on the legislative staff of Senator Lindsey Graham, where she communicated the senator’s policy positions on education, the judiciary and entitlement programs. Ms. Conschafter holds a B.A. summa cum laude in English and an M.A.T. in English Education from Converse College.
Josie Cooper serves as executive director of the Alliance for Patient
Access. At AfPA, Ms. Cooper has worked in stakeholder and clinician
mobilization, developing policy and educational strategies to improve
patient access to care.
Ms. Cooper has a background in communications, research, grassroots organization and campaign politics. Ms. Cooper has worked at the state and national level advising political campaigns and public affairs clients on supporter and stakeholder mobilization. She has worked on major races across the country, from presidential campaigns to Senate and congressional races. Prior to joining AfPA, Ms. Cooper worked for a DC-based consulting firm and for a trade association representing biotechnology companies.
Erin G. Doty, MD
Dr. Doty is a board-certified neurologist with subspecialty certification in headache medicine.
She graduated from the University of Florida College of Medicine with Research Honors in 2000 and completed Neurology Residency at Emory University in 2004. Dr. Doty practiced neurology in a private practice setting in Jacksonville, Florida for 14 years where she also supervised clinical trials in Alzheimer’s disease, migraine, and multiple sclerosis.
She joined Eli Lilly and Company in 2018, initially working in migraine and later transitioning to Neuroscience supporting Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Doty is committed to raising awareness and educating healthcare providers about the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on patients and their loved ones and the opportunities to improve the accuracy of Alzheimer’s diagnosis. She remains hopeful for effective therapeutic interventions.
Howard Fillit, MD
Howard Fillit, MD, is a geriatrician, neuroscientist, and innovative philanthropy executive, who has led the ADDF since its founding. Dr. Fillit has held faculty positions at The Rockefeller University, the SUNY-Stony Brook School of Medicine and the Cornell University School of Medicine. In 1987, he joined the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where he is a clinical professor of geriatric medicine and palliative care, medicine and neuroscience. Dr. Fillit also maintains a limited private practice in consultative geriatric medicine with a focus on Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.
He has authored or co-authored more than 300 publications and is the senior editor of Brocklehurst's Textbook of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology. Dr. Fillit is the recipient of many awards and honors including the Rita Hayworth Award from the Alzheimer's Association. He is a fellow of the American Geriatrics Society, the American College of Physicians, the Gerontological Society of America and the New York Academy of Medicine. Dr. Fillit earned his bachelor of arts in neurobiology cum laude from Cornell University and his medical degree from the SUNY-Upstate Medical University.
Patricia A. Gibson, MSSW, DHL, ACSW
Patricia Gibson, MSSW, DHL, ACSW, is a founding member of Epilepsy Alliance America and presently serves as the volunteer Executive Director of the Epilepsy Alliance NC. She is an associate professor in the Department of Neurology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine where she provides individual, group and family counseling and is actively involved in medical student, nursing, patient and community education. She also serves as Director of the Epilepsy Information Service, a nationwide telephone information line for patients and their family members in operation since 1979.
Ms. Gibson received her Master’s of Science in Social Work degree from the University of Tennessee. In 2012 she was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Queens University in Charlotte, NC. Ms. Gibson has organized and conducted numerous state, regional, and more than 40 national and international conferences on epilepsy. She set up the Epilepsy Medication Fund for the state of North Carolina in 1987 and conducts numerous fundraisers for this Fund. She has received national and international awards for her work to improve the care of those with epilepsy.
David Heath is an award-winning investigative journalist. He has worked at several news organizations, including CNN, USA Today, and the Center for Public Integrity. His work has helped to change policies and laws and has even led to criminal indictments. His articles have exposed illegal insider trading in drug research, questionable medical research and political influence to derail tougher toxic-chemical standards. His work has appeared on PBS Frontline, PBS NewsHour, the CBS Evening News, the Huffington Post, The Atlantic, Time, Newsweek, the Daily Beast, Vice News, Scientific American, and Mother Jones.
He has won more than two dozen national journalism awards, including the Goldsmith, the Gerald Loeb, and George Polk. His work with others has been nominated for a national Emmy and he has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize three times. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.
Ian N. Kremer, JD
Ian N. Kremer, JD, has worked on federal, state and local dementia policy since 1996. Since 2012, Kremer has served as Executive Director of the LEAD Coalition (Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer’s Disease) the uniting voice of over 200 member and allied organizations.
The LEAD Coalition accelerates transformational progress in care and support to enrich the quality of life of those with dementia and their caregivers, detection and diagnosis, and research leading to prevention, effective treatment, and cures. The LEAD Coalition has helped to secure historic funding increases for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), expand Medicare services for people with dementia and protect dementia-relevant components of Medicaid and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, expand the role of people with dementia and their care partners in medical product development, build a nation-wide network of dementia-friendly communities, and worked with a dozen federal agencies to overcome health disparities, clarify regulatory pathways, combat elder abuse, and improve cognitive impairment detection and diagnosis, clinical care, and access to home and community-based services.
Pam Traxel serves as the Senior Vice President for ACS CAN, the advocacy affiliate of the America Cancer Society. Pam is responsible for helping ACS CAN develop relationships with companies and individuals to help further the fight against cancer through dynamic partnerships, events, and forums.
Pam began her career with ACS CAN in 2007. She has been integrally involved in helping to establish ACS CAN as a nationwide advocacy organization that influences and shapes public policy at all levels of government to impact our mission and to represent the voices of all cancer patients and their families.
Michelle Winokur, DrPH
Michelle Winokur serves as Executive Director of the Institute for Patient Access where she leads the development of the organization’s educational content, policy blog, data analysis projects and medical education.
Prior to working with IfPA, Michelle developed educational content for health care clients as a member of the communications team at a DC-based public affairs firm. Before that, she spent more than a decade in public service including executive roles in the offices of Florida’s governor and chief financial officer as well as at the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Department of Health. She also worked for several years as a management consultant, an adjunct professor and has led a niche medical society.
Michelle earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Florida State University. She also has a Doctorate of Public Health in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Florida A&M University.