11 local health professionals named ‘innovation advisors’

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has named 11 health care providers from New England, including four from Boston, to join the first class of “innovation advisors.”

The advisor program, created by the Affordable Care Act, is designed to give medical professionals the skills they need to assess and change the health care of large groups of patients, including in areas of economics and population health.

They also will become point people for testing and ramping up pilot programs for changing the health care system.

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“We’re looking to these innovation advisors to be our partners,” said Dr. Rick Gilfillan, director of the agency’s Innovation Center. “We want them to discover and generate new ideas that will work and help us bring them to every corner of the United States.”

Seventy-three people were chosen from among 920 applicants, according to a press release from the agency. They begin a six-month orientation program this month. The program this year could enroll up to 200 people, with their home organizations each receiving a $20,000 stipend.

The local advisors are:

  • Dr. Clay Ackerly, a geriatrician at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  • Dr. Randi Berkowitz, a geriatrician at Hebrew SeniorLife, Boston
  • Barbara Blakeney, a nurse and part of the Center for Innovations in Care Delivery at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  • Gary Christensen, chief operating officer at Rhode Island Quality Institute, Providence, RI
  • Dr. Stephen Liu, a hospitalist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH
  • Jeanne McAllister, director of the Center for Medical Home Improvement at the Crotched Mountain Foundation, Concord, NH
  • Judith Rabig, vice president of innovation and research for an institute of the Masonic Health System of Massachusetts, Leeds, Mass.
  • Nancy Roberts of the Kent County Visiting Nurse Association, Warwick, RI
  • Jean Sanders, an administrator at Aquidneck Medical Associates, Inc., Newport, RI
  • Dr. Winnie Suen, a geriatrician and palliative care consultant at Boston Medical Center, Boston
  • Dr. Betty Vohr, a pediatrician and researcher at Women & Infants Hospital, Providence, RI