Headshot of Christine Petrin, MD

Christine Petrin, MD, MPH

Chair

Dr. Christine Petrin is a resident in the Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Residency Program at Georgetown University. She joined DFA as a medical student and served as a medical student Board Member before joining the Executive Committee as Secretary and is currently the Vice Chair. She also served as the Co-Chair of the Substance Use Disorder Work Group. Before medicine, she spent time in D.C. researching issues related to provider reimbursement, value based care, and health care quality. As a graduate student intern with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, she helped states establish and operate Health Insurance Exchanges, as well as other provisions of the Affordable Care Act. She attended Tulane University School of Medicine, Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, and Barnard College. She is passionate about primary care, improving our public health infrastructure, and demanding equity and justice throughout the health care system.

Meenakshi Bewtra

Meenakshi Bewtra, MD, MPH, PhD

Vice Chair

Dr. Meenakshi Bewtra is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine; and a Senior Scholar in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania, with a focus on inflammatory bowel disease including natural history; outcomes of disease and medication safety using observational data and statistical modeling; measures of risk and risk tolerance for therapies using discrete choice experiment; and clinical trials for educational interventions and novel therapies. Dr. Bewtra’s work has been funded by the NIH, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, AGA, PCORI, pharmaceutical industries, and private philanthropy. While in medical school, Dr. Bewtra experienced first-hand the discrimination and difficulties of healthcare before the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act and became dedicated to expanding healthcare. She is also dedicated to increasing both physicians and scientists voices in reducing gun violence; protecting women’s reproductive rights; and expanding and protecting healthcare services such as Medicaid, preventative care (vaccines), and CHIP. She speaks on-air and in-person about these issues and hopes to inspire more healthcare professionals to stand up and speak out because “facts are voiceless.”

Jeff Huebner

Jeff Huebner, MD

Treasurer

Jeff Huebner, MD (Associate Clinical Professor - UW School of Medicine and Public Health) is the Lead Medical Officer for the Wisconsin Medicaid program at the Department of Health Services. Medicaid (BadgerCare) currently serves over one million people in the state by providing health insurance and other health programs for low-income residents, and partners with health systems and public health in their health equity work. Dr. Huebner brings important family medicine perspective and population health experience into his Medicaid work, and believes Medicaid can drive the transformation to integrate medical and social care and achieve better health for all in our nation.

Prior to this role, Dr. Huebner served for seven years as the Medical Director in UW Health’s Office of Population Health, where he worked to improve care and lower costs for patient populations at risk for poor health outcomes due to medical complexity and structural barriers to health. Dr. Huebner’s leadership contributed to the launch of home-based primary care, the current clinical pharmacist program, and Connect Rx. His team also contributed to the expansion of Collaborative Care across UW Health’s entire primary care system and recently launched an initiative to expand advance care planning. He trained at the Medical College of Wisconsin, the University of Washington Family Medicine residency, and has held many health policy internships and leadership advocacy roles throughout his career, including current service on the Board of Doctors for America.

Meghana Rao

Meghana Rao, MD

Past Chair

Dr. Meghana Rao is an OBGYN working for an FQHC that serves Maryland and Washington, D.C. She completed medical school and residency at Johns Hopkins University. She has been involved with health policy advocacy for over 10 years serving Doctors for America as the Maryland State Director and the Regional State Director. She has also served in ACOG as the Maryland Section Junior Fellow Legislative Chair, the District IV Junior Fellow Legislative Chair, a member of the Government Affairs Committee, and a member of the Ob-Gyn PAC Governing Committee. Meghana lives in Maryland with her husband, three young children, and dog.

Bich-May Nguyen

Bich-May Nguyen, MD, MPH

Bich-May Nguyen believes all patients should have affordable access to high quality health care they need and none of the care they don't. During the day, she is a clinical associate professor at the Tilman J. Ferttita Family College of Medicine in Houston, TX. Dr. Nguyen directs a preclinical course that teaches clinical skills and health systems science, works with community-based organizations to study Vietnamese Americans and COVID-19, and sees patients one day each week. By night, she serves on the board of Doctors for America where she co-directs the Gene Copello Health Advocacy Fellowship and is a board liaison to the Access for Affordable Care impact area. Dr. Nguyen graduated with a M.D. from Baylor College of Medicine and a M.P.H. from the Harvard T. Chan School of Public Health. She completed her residency training in family medicine at Boston University/Boston Medical Center. In her free time, Dr. Nguyen promotes civic engagement and watches South Korean dramas.

Justin Lowenthal

Justin Lowenthal, MD, PhD

Justin is an MD-PhD candidate at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, simultaneously pursuing clinical training and biomedical research in bioengineering and stem cell biology. He recently completed requirements for his PhD focused on cardiovascular developmental biology and tissue engineering. After graduating summa cum laude from Yale University, he completed a fellowship in bioethics and public health policy in the National Institutes of Health Department of Bioethics. Upon entering medical school, a desire to complement wonky health policy interests with grassroots health and social justice advocacy led him to become increasingly involved in DFA. He is one of two medical trainees on Doctors for America (DFA)'s national Board of Directors and currently serves as DFA's Director of Partnerships & Strategy. He previously co-chaired DFA's Drug Affordability Action Team, Gun Violence Prevention Working Group, and Maryland State Chapter, among other roles. He is thrilled to be part of the DFA family and to serve on the board. Justin enjoys living in Baltimore with his miniature schnauzer, Darby, exploring all of the hidden gems offered by Charm City. He can be followed on Twitter at @jilowenthal.

Cedric Dark

Cedric Dark, MD, MPH

Dr. Cedric Dark is Founder and Executive Editor of Policy Prescriptions. A graduate of Morehouse College, Dr. Dark earned his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine. He holds a master’s degree from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. He completed his residency training at George Washington University where he served as Chief Resident. Currently, Dr. Dark is an Assistant Professor in the Henry J. N. Taub Department of Emergency Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Dark is the 2017 recipient of the Texas Medical Association’s C. Frank Webber Award, a 2019 American College of Emergency Physicians Choosing Wisely Champion, and one of emergency medicine’s Top 45 Under 45. He currently participates on the editorial advisory board for the monthly publication ACEP Now. His policy experience includes work for the United States House of Representatives and the Kaiser Family Foundation. His policy interests include the study of health reform at the intersection with international health systems. He has spoken on this topic nationwide.

Julie Parsonnet

Julie Parsonnet, MD

Dr. Julie Parsonnet is the George DeForest Barnett Professor in Medicine and Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health at Stanford University. Dr. Parsonnet is a practicing Infectious Diseases specialist and has an active research enterprise in which she studies the way infections contribute to the development of chronic diseases including cancer, allergy and obesity. During the COVID pandemic, Dr.Parsonnet has led large surveillance studies of SARS-CoV2 immunity, clinical trials of outpatient treatments, and development of over-the-counter SARS-CoV2 diagnostics. Dr. Parsonnet also has a strong interest in medical education and served for five years as Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education during which time she directed overhauls of Stanford’s curriculum, advising and admissions programs. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, Association of American Physicians, American Epidemiological Society, the American Society for Clinical Investigation and is a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Dr. Parsonnet is also on the Board of Directors of Doctors for America and is President of the Board of Directors of SAFE, an organization with chapters in over 50 medical schools dedicated to teaching physicians how to help reduce firearms injuries and deaths.

Charles Gaba

In 2013, when neither the government nor the mainstream media provided consistent, reliable reporting of enrollment data for the Affordable Care Act, Charles Gaba 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 by media outlets spanning the ideological spectrum including the Washington Post, Forbes, Bloomberg News, Vox, MSNBC, the New Republic, USA Today, the CATO Institute, National Review Online and The New York Times among others, as well as prominent medical journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine. Since launching this project, he has expanded his analysis to include the impact of the ACA's Medicaid Expansion and Basic Health Plan provisions, the impact of Silver Loading and a variety of other ACA-related policies and their impact on and by the U.S. healthcare system as a whole. He's also expanded into tracking and analyzing off-exchange individual market enrollment, annual average premium rate changes and a wide range of healthcare policy/health insurance-related issues such as the pros & cons of moving towards single-payer healthcare, establishing a federal public option, lowering the Medicare eligibility age and so on. He spent 18 months as a part-time healthcare data consultant for the Center for American Progress. Charles lives in Michigan with his wife and son.

Bijou Basu

Bijou is an MD-PhD candidate at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine, pursuing both clinical training and a PhD in genetics and genome sciences. She is currently researching new gene therapies targeting the hormone asprosin. Bijou pursued her undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis where she double majored in Math and Biology. After graduation she spent one year working at the National Institutes of Health as a Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award recipient. Bijou joined DFA in the spring of 2020 to continue pursuing her passion for health equity and justice. She’s been particularly passionate about improving health equity and accessibility for marginalized groups of people, reproductive justice, and LGBTQ+ healthcare. She previously co-chair DFA’s Women’s Health Workgroup and was the 2022 Health Justice and Equity Impact Area chair before joining the board. Bijou also runs a nonprofit called No Longer Voiceless, where her team helps those with serious chronic illnesses and at the end of life create a written legacy for themselves and their families. Outside of her advocacy work, you can find Bijou thrifting rare books and hiking National Parks. She can be followed on Twitter @bijoubasu.

Tom Ellison, MD, PhD

Dr. Ellison is the Co-Founder of Health Education Linkage Programs Inc. (PROJECT H.E.L.P. USA) a Non Governmental Community Based Health Organization. a member of the United Nations Humanitarian and Medical Relief and Rescue Team, that also provides Community Based Health Centers in indigent areas of the world, Best Practices with divisions of DHHS, NHI, and CDC as well as Community Based Research. H.E.L.P.’s Mission is to Improve the Quality of Life in our Lifetime by Decreasing Disparities, Morbidity, Mortality, Unintentional Injuries and Negative Behaviors while Increasing Access, Knowledge, Sensitivity, and Services. PROJECT H.E.L.P. USA also Sponsors the Project HELP Medical Reserve Corps a Division of Department of Health and Human Services ASPR Division and Homeland Security.