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Karen DeSalvo and Andrew von Eschenbach Join BPC as Senior Fellows

Washington, D.C.– The Bipartisan Policy Center today announced that leading health policy experts Dr. Karen DeSalvo and Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach are joining the organization as senior fellows. DeSalvo served as the acting assistant secretary for health and the national coordinator for Health Information Technology at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the Obama administration as well as New Orleans Health Commissioner. Von Eschenbach served as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the George W. Bush administration. In their new roles, they will advise on policy strategies to support BPC’s health program, which includes health innovation, prevention, and health care payment and delivery.

“Karen and Andy bring a wealth of policy experience to BPC as they have dedicated their careers to improving the health and health care of our country,” said BPC Senior Vice President Bill Hoagland. “Their work at the federal and state levels will be invaluable as we continue to create policy solutions to improve and reform America’s health care system. As physicians, they will lend additional knowledge and expertise to BPC’s bipartisan group of politically diverse health care leaders. We are fortunate to have them on board.”

Von Eschenbach is currently the president of Samaritan Health Initiatives, Inc. Over the past four years, he has served as a senior advisor to BPC’s health innovation initiative working on projects such as the 21st Century Cures Act, real-world evidence, and personalized and regenerative medicine. Under his leadership at FDA, he engaged in modernizing the agency and fostering creative projects such as the Critical Path Initiative, which was designed to bring modern tools of science to the product development process. He also launched the FDA’s Food Protection Plan and focused on ways to strengthen FDA’s workforce. As NCI director, von Eschenbach set the ambitious goal to eliminate suffering and death due to cancer by rapidly accelerating and integrating the discovery, development and delivery of new drugs in a safe and effective manner.

“I look forward to continuing my work with the Bipartisan Policy Center in this new capacity,” von Eschenbach said. “BPC has a long history of advancing bipartisan policy solutions to our nation’s most pressing health care challenges. I have enjoyed working with BPC health innovation director and fellow Janet Marchibroda and the organization’s other distinguished health leaders over the past four years. Their commitment to bringing the best minds to the table to craft policy is impressive.”

DeSalvo is currently a professor of medicine and population health at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas, Austin. Over the past two years, she has been involved with BPC’s SNAP task force and business and public health initiative. As HHS health IT coordinator, DeSalvo set a national strategy and policy on health IT and championed interoperability in health settings. As New Orleans Health Commissioner, she led a transformational effort to address public health challenges, including violence, nutrition, physical fitness and mental health, and led the reestablishment of a community public hospital.

“I am honored to enhance my affiliation with BPC as they are committed to developing politically viable solutions to reforming not only our nation’s public health but the health care system,” DeSalvo said. “BPC has vast experience in the policy arena. I fully share their goals of finding creative proposals to lowering health care costs, improving quality of care, and integrating social determinants in the health care system to accelerate positive health outcomes.”