Based in Washington, D.C., the Better Medicare Alliance team works to build a coalition of organizations and beneficiaries who share the goal of improved care, affordability, and simplicity for Medicare beneficiaries. BMA works to inform policymakers of evidence-based research and innovative care, as well as beneficiaries’ experience offered under Medicare Advantage. BMA offers commentary and insight on policy, rules and regulations and leads advocacy efforts to maintain and strengthen MA for current and future enrollees.
President & CEO
Allyson Y. Schwartz
Allyson Y. Schwartz, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania who served from 2005-2015, is a nationally recognized leader on health care issues. Throughout her professional life she has worked on issues such as affordability, prevention, primary care, coordinated care, and increased access to coverage.
Having worked as a health service executive, Schwartz was elected to the Pennsylvania State Senate in 1990, serving 14 years until her election to Congress. In the state Senate, Schwartz was the driving force behind Pennsylvania’s CHIP program, which was a model for the federal CHIP program five years later.
In Congress, Schwartz was appointed to the powerful Ways and Means committee in her second term, and served as a senior member of the Budget Committee. In both capacities, Schwartz was a strong advocate for Medicare. She was the leader in Congress on physician payment reform to encourage value over volume, supported research, innovation, and use of technology to improve quality, efficiency, and contain costs.
Schwartz was instrumental in the passage of landmark health reform legislation, authoring key provisions such as the ban on pre-existing condition exclusions for children and increased access to primary care.
Schwartz is a Distinguished Policy Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania's Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, Visiting Fellow at the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative, Senior Fellow for Health Policy at the Center for American Progress, and Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center Health and Housing Task Force.
Schwartz earned a B.A. from Simmons College, and a Master of Social Service (MSS) from Bryn Mawr College. She is married, has two grown sons, a daughter-in-law, and a 2 ½-year-old granddaughter.
Molly T. Turco
Director of Policy and Research
Molly T. Turco is a former senior healthcare policy analyst for Marwood Group, a healthcare-focused advisory and consulting firm, where she led the payer analysis team and specialized in Medicare Advantage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Turco’s experience also includes work as a healthcare policy researcher in the State of Vermont Office of the Health Reform Director, within the University of Pennsylvania Health System as part of a Chronic Care Initiative, and on research projects at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.
Turco holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice and a BA from Middlebury College.
Director of Communications
Adjoa Adofo brings a decade of strategic communications and health public affairs experience, both on and off the Hill. She previously worked on Capitol Hill as Communications Director for Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Seniors and a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In her role, Adofo managed communications and media relations strategies on issues such as Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. After Capitol Hill, Adofo ran health public affairs and media relations campaigns at Schmidt Public Affairs and IR Media LLC.
Adofo holds a Master of Science in Health Communications from Boston University and a BA in Political Science from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.
Senior Policy Associate
Amanda Hurley is the Senior Policy Associate at the Better Medicare Alliance. She was most recently a Policy Director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). Before that, she served as the Legislative Director for Dr. Raul Ruiz (CA-36). She was the Western Research Director at the DCCC in 2012 and the Research Director for the Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico Diane Denish in the Governor’s race in 2010. Amanda graduated from American University in 2008 with a political science degree.
Raven Garris is the Community Manager at the Better Medicare Alliance. Raven was most recently employed as a Public Health Intern at the Eastern Shore Health District, working in health communications, social marketing, outreach, and research. She was also employed as a Health Educator at the University of Virginia, where she led several wellness programs and interventions. Raven holds a Master in Public Health from George Washington University and a BA in Biology from the University of Virginia.
Special Assistant to the President and Coalition Liaison
Andrea Gutierrez is the Special Assistant to the CEO and Coalition Liaison at Better Medicare Alliance. She was most recently Legislative Director to Assemblywoman Marie Waldron (CA-75) where she created/implemented legislation while working on coalition building and strategic communications. Andrea specialized on health issues and advised the Assemblywoman on the California Assembly Health Committee where she focused on expedited appeals, surprise billing, Medicare, Denti-Cal and patient access/doctor-patient relationship. Before that she worked for Assemblymember Jeff Miller (CA-71) and Assemblymember Mike Morrell (CA-40). Andrea has also assisted on numerous campaigns across California, served as a board member for the California Latino Capitol Association and is an Alumna of Sigma Kappa Sorority. Andrea holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from California State University, Sacramento.
Deidre L Grant is the Administrative Manager at the Better Medicare Alliance. Most recently, she served as an Executive Assistant for Health Net, Inc's Government Relations and Public Policy Department. Deidre has also held positions at the American Chemistry Council and the National Council for Adoption. Deidre has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Marymount University, Arlington, VA.
Board of Directors
Kenneth E. Thorpe, Ph.D., is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Policy & Management, in the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He is a former professor of health policy and administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Harvard, Columbia, and Tulane Universities; and former deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from 1993 to 1995. In this capacity, he coordinated all financial estimates and program impacts of President Clinton’s health care reform proposals for the White House.
He also directed the administration’s estimation efforts in dealing with Congressional health care reform proposals during the 103rd and 104th sessions of Congress. Dr. Thorpe brings his extensive knowledge of health care and politics to the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease – a coalition representing more than 100 of the nation’s most influential health care stakeholders – where, as executive director, he leads an effort to increase awareness of the growing crisis of chronic illness in the United States and develops solutions to address it.
Dr. Elena Rios is President & CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association, (NHMA), representing Hispanic physicians in the United States. She is also President of NHMA's National Hispanic Health Foundation affiliated with the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University, to direct educational and research activities. In 2006, Dr. Rios was appointed to the Minority Alumni Hall of Fame of Stanford University and in 2007, was appointed as a Fellow to the New York Academy of Medicine. Dr. Rios has lectured and published articles and has received several leadership awards, including the 2009 Top 100 Influential and Innovative Hispanics from Hispanic Business Magazine.
Dr. Rios has also served as the Advisor for Regional and Minority Women's Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health from November 1994 to October 1998; as the National Health Care Reform Task Force Coordinator of Outreach Groups at White House in 1993; and as a policy researcher at the State of California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development in 1992. In addition, Dr. Rios has served as President, Chicano/Latino Medical Association of California, founder of the National Network of Latin American Medical Students (now called LMSA), member of the California Department of Health Services Cultural Competency Task Force, Stanford Alumni Association and Women's Policy Inc. Boards of Directors, and the American Medical Association's first Minority Affairs Consortium Steering Committee.
Dr. Donald W. Fisher is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Medical Group Association (AMGA), a trade association that represents medical groups and other organized systems of care, including some of the nation’s largest, most influential integrated health care delivery systems. Dr. Fisher also serves as Secretary of the American Medical Group Foundation, AMGA’s nonprofit arm whose mission is to enable medical groups and other organized systems of care to consistently improve health and health care, as well as Chair of the Board of AMGA’s subsidiary Anceta, LLC, a health informatics company engaged in the development and utilization of a national data warehouse comprised of comprehensive, longitudinal patient health care information.
He is also a member of the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, and former Chair of the American International Health Alliance; a member of the American Association of Medical Society Executives; a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives; a member of the American Society of Association Executives; and serves on the IAMMM Center for Health as Social Equity Senior Fellows Advisory Council. In addition, Dr. Fisher has been appointed as Senior Fellow, Martin Luther King, Jr. Center Society of Fellows (2009-present); appointed to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Health Equity Program Section Head for Advanced Health Information Technology and appointed as Member, Editorial Board - Health Equity and Disparities Policy Blog (2010-present).