Speak Up for Better Health Award Judges

Elena Hung


Elena Hung is the President and Co-Founder of Little Lobbyists, a family-led organization that advocates for children with complex medical needs and disabilities. Her daughter Xiomara was born with a number of medical issues, and is thriving today as a result of quality care (and a bit of luck). Elena, Xiomara, and families like them have been visiting Capitol Hill and offices across the country to speak with lawmakers and their staffers about what is possible with access to quality, affordable health care, and what is at stake without it.

Her opinion pieces have been published in the New York TimesBaltimore SunVoxHuffPost, and other publications.  She was honored with the inaugural "Speak Up For Better Health" award by the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation at Community Catalyst and recognized as "Ally of the Year" by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (2018).  She is a frequent speaker at conferences (including Families USA, Netroots, RESULTS International, Family Voices), as well as press conferences and rallies.  She has testified before Congress twice on health care matters.  

Elena is also one of the national co-chairs of Health Care Voter, a campaign holding elected officials accountable for their votes on health care.

Tara Oakman

Tara Oakman, PhD, is a senior program officer and theme operations lead at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, where she works to transform health and health care systems so that they meet the goals and needs of the people they serve.

Prior to joining the Foundation in 2013, Oakman served as director of the Quality Team in the Exchange Policy and Operations Group at the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In this role, she oversaw implementation of the sections of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that set the quality-related requirements for the new Health Insurance Marketplaces and participating issuers. She also helped to write some of the first market reform regulations under the ACA. Earlier, she was an international health officer with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Global Health Affairs implementing the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. She also served as a program analyst in the HHS Budget Office with responsibility for evaluating the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention budget.

Oakman received a BA in political science from Brown University, a Masters of Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a PhD in health care policy from Harvard University. She has written and lectured on the uninsured, Medicare, health care reform, and a host of other issues.

Tara lives in Princeton, N.J., with her husband and children.

Barbara Petee

Barbara Petee has served as the inaugural Executive Director of the Root Cause Coalition since its founding in October 2015. Drawing from more than 34 years of experience in healthcare communications and government relations, Ms. Petee leads the Coalition's efforts to unite cross-sector organizations under the common goal of achieving health equity. In less than three years, the Coalition's membership has grown from 17 inaugural partners into a diverse collection of more than 65 leading organizations from various states, sectors and services. For the past decade, Ms. Petee's focus has been addressing food insecurity and other basic needs so as to help develop and lift-up sustainable solutions that can be scaled and replicated across the nation, thereby improving the health and well-being of individuals and communities. Committed to helping develop and implement a new model of healthcare delivery that considers all the various social, physical and mental needs of individuals, Ms. Petee’s work in the social determinants has been widely recognized across the nation. She has served on myriad local, regional and national boards and committees, and is currently a board member of the Alliance to End Hunger, an affiliate of Bread for the World; a member of the Government Relations Officers Network for the American Hospital Association; and serves on the Legislative Policy Panel for the Michigan Health and Hospital Association.

Soma Saha (Soma Stout)

Soma Saha (Soma Stout), MD, MS, Vice President, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), is deeply committed to improving health, wellbeing, and equity globally. A global public health practitioner for more than 20 years, she has also worked as a safety net primary care internist and pediatrician. She serves as Executive Lead of 100 Million Healthier Lives, convened by IHI, which brings together hundreds of partners across sectors and communities to support 100 million people globally to live healthier lives by 2020. Dr. Stout has consulted with health system leaders from across the world in Guyana, Sweden, the UK, Singapore, Australia, Tunisia, and Brazil. Previously, she served as Vice President for Patient Centered Medical Home Development at Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), where she led a whole system transformation that garnered numerous national awards for achieving breakthrough results in health outcomes and cost. She also served as Co-Director of Leadership Development at the Harvard Medical School (HMS) Center for Primary Care, where she helped develop a cadre of change leaders across the system. She continues as faculty at both CHA and HMS. In 2012, Dr. Stout was recognized as one of ten inaugural Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Young Leaders for her contributions to improving the health of the nation.

Loel Solomon

Loel Solomon, Ph.D., M.P.P., joined Kaiser Permanente’s Community Benefit Program in 2003 and currently serves as Vice President for Community Health.  In this role, Dr. Solomon oversees the design, execution and evaluation of the organization’s community-based programs, and leads efforts to ensure the Community Benefit Program’s responsiveness to evolving community health needs.  He also works closely with other health plan and medical group leaders to develop and implement Kaiser Permanente’s multi-faceted strategy for addressing the social determinants of health, including its efforts to identify and address the social and non-medical needs of its members and the communities it serves.  He is a co-founder of the Convergence Partnership, a collaborative of national funders, which advances policy and environmental approaches to community health and a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Obesity Solution, serving as chair of that panel’s committee on clinic-community integration.  Prior to coming to Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Solomon served as Deputy Director of the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) for Healthcare Quality and Analysis where he oversaw the state’s hospital outcomes reporting program and analyses of racial and ethnic health disparities.  He served as a senior manager at the Lewin Group in Washington, D.C. and as a member of Senator Edward Kennedy’s health staff.  Dr. Solomon received his Ph.D. in Health Policy from Harvard University and a Master of Public Policy degree at University of California, Berkeley.