2024 National Leadership Conference Speakers

Bernie Sanders

U.S. Senator for Vermont

Bernie Sanders is serving his third term in the U.S. Senate after winning re-election in 2018. Sanders remains on the veterans committee and was tapped by Senate leadership to be the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

Vivek Murthy

U.S. Surgeon General

Dr. Vivek H. Murthy is the founder of Doctors for America and is currently serving as the 21st U.S. Surgeon General.

Kavita Patel, MD, MS

Primary Care Physician

A primary care physician with extensive health policy expertise and experience working on Capitol Hill and in the White House.

Ellana Stinson, MD, MPH, MBA

President of the New England Medical Association

A board-certified, emergency medicine physician and the president of the New England Medical Association.

Cedric Dark, MD, MPH

ER Physician and Associate Professor

An ER physician and Associate Professor in the Henry J. N. Taub Department of Emergency Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

Alister Martin, MD, MPP

ER Physician and Assistant Professor

An ER physician and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Kennedy School.

Charles Gaba

Founder of ACASignups.net

Launched ACASignups.net as a hobby, using crowdsourcing to track enrollments in real time. His work soon caught the attention of major media outlets, and has been cited and used as a resource ever since.

Cynthia Cox

VP & Director of the Program on the ACA

A vice president and Director of the Program on the ACA, where she conducts economic and policy research on the Affordable Care Act and its effects on private insurers and enrollees. Her work focuses on enrollment, pricing and competition in the ACA’s exchange markets.

Zachary Baron

Director of the Health Policy and the Law Initiative

A director of the Health Policy and the Law Initiative at the O’Neill Institute and an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law. He focuses on providing technical assistance for policymakers and public education on health policy legal issues.

Aliya Bhatia

Executive Director at Vot-ER and Civic Health Month

Executive Director at Vot-ER and Civic Health Month where she works to bring voter registration into health care settings, including emergency rooms, hospitals, and community health centers.

Hussain Lalani, MD, MPH, MSc

Practicing Primary Care Internist

A board-certified and practicing primary care internist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and a medical officer in the Learning and Diffusion Group at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Anand Parekh

Chief Medical Advisor at the Bipartisan Policy Center

Led specific efforts tackling a variety of policy issues including the COVID-19 pandemic, future of public health, opioid crisis, obesity epidemic & nutrition, health & housing, domestic and global HIV/AIDS, business & public health collaboration, emergency preparedness, social isolation, rural health, and prescription drug costs.

Cecelia Spitznas, PhD

Senior Science Policy Analyst

Senior Science Policy Analyst at the Office National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), a component of the Executive Office of the President. She has been a career federal employee for 23 years including 12 years at the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Andrew Kolodny, MD

Medical Director for the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative

Serves as President of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, an
organization that advocates for more cautious opioid prescribing. He is one of the
nation's leading experts on the opioid crisis.

Gretta Gardner

Chief Legal Officer

Serves Ujima Inc., The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community as Chief Legal Officer. Gretta is primarily responsible for managing operations and staff; engaging in state, local, and federal policy discussions impacting Black survivors of gender-based violence.

Tiffany Garner

Policy Advocate for Children & Health

Policy Advocate for Children & Health at Futures Without Violence in Washington, DC. Prior to her time at Futures, she focused on preventing further firearm violence and homicides through advocacy and lobbying for legislation that establishes community- based violence intervention and prevention funding throughout the states.

Jennifer Jones-Vanderleest, MD

Senior Science Policy Analyst

Has 20 years of experience partnering with socially marginalized people at the clinical medicine and public health interface. She has experience in building cross-sector collaborations to improve health outcomes, and appreciates working with others who are invested in health equity & intersectional justice.

Sabrina Talukder

Director of the Women’s Initiative at Center for American Progress

Sabrina Talukder is the director of the Women’s Initiative at American Progress. Talukder also worked at The Legal Aid Society in New York City for six years, where she started as an equal justice works fellow.

Sanjay Jumani, MD

First-Year Clinical Fellow

Sanjay Jumani, is a first-year clinical fellow in the Inter-Institute Endocrinology Training Program. Under the mentorship of NICHD Director of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, Veronica Gomez-Lobo, MD, he studies metabolic outcomes in transgender adolescents and young adults.

Skye Perryman

President and CEO of Democracy Forward Foundation

A lawyer, advocate, and leader with a track record of taking on and winning critical fights that advance democratic values, stop abuses of power, and improve the wellbeing of people and communities.

Britt Walsh

Director of Gender Affirming Care at Whitman-Walker Health

Britt Walsh leads a team of Trans Care Navigators in supporting medical patients of Whitman-Walker Health to access gender-affirming surgery.

George Chochos

Senior Program Associate with Vera’s Unlocking Potential Initiative

George Chochos is a senior program associate with Vera's Unlocking Potential initiative, where he provides technical assistance to college-in-prison programs.

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