Community Catalyst Appoints Ann Hwang, MD, as Director of the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation

Dr. Hwang brings clinical, policy and research expertise to new Center focused on bringing the consumer experience to health system change

Community Catalyst today announced it has appointed Ann Hwang, MD, as Director of the new Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation, a hub devoted to teaching, learning and sharing knowledge to bring the consumer experience to the forefront of health innovation. The Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation will formally launch in January 2016 and is housed at Community Catalyst’s headquarters in Boston.

As Director of the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation (the Center), Dr. Hwang is charged with launching and developing a strategic direction for the Center that maintains the long-term focus on centering the new American health system on the consumer. This entails overseeing research and evaluation, investments in state advocacy, leadership development, fundraising, consultative services to health plans and delivery systems, and efforts to build a strong presence in Washington D.C. and state capitals.

“Ann’s perspective on the health system and her vision of what a person-centered health system should and can be are shaped by her experience working both inside and outside the system as a clinician, policy expert and researcher,” said Robert Restuccia, executive director of Community Catalyst, a national consumer health advocacy organization that works in more than 40 states. “The depth and breadth of her experience will make her an effective leader of the Center and a thought leader on health system transformation issues.”

“I believe that the power of the consumer voice is critical to the success of health system transformation. It is only with engaged, informed and sustained consumer input that transformation efforts can deliver on the promise of better health and better value for all Americans,” said Dr. Hwang. “I am honored to be joining this organization that combines deep roots in consumer advocacy with a forward-looking approach to health reform.”

Dr. Hwang is a visiting Fellow at the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School where she teaches and contributes to research on health care policy. As the former Director of Health Care Policy and Strategy for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Dr. Hwang played a leading role in the implementation of the state’s major health care initiatives, including the Affordable Care Act, payment and delivery system reform, and the Commonwealth's State Innovation Model grant. She has also served as a Senior Health Policy Advisor to the Massachusetts Health Connector, advised states on ACA implementation as a Senior Consultant with the Wakely Consulting Group, and worked on HIV and global health issues as a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin (D-IL).

Dr. Hwang received her medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco, completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and has worked as an attending physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the VA Boston Healthcare System. In addition to leading the Center, she will continue her clinical practice in Internal Medicine, focusing her practice on care for vulnerable communities.

Supported by The Atlantic Philanthropies and The John A. Hartford Foundation, the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation will provide health advocates with the “next-generation” skills they will need to assess the financial complexity and risk involved with new models of care and the organizing and technical skills necessary to fully participate with powerful stakeholders in health system transformation debates.

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About Community Catalyst
Community Catalyst is a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1998 with the belief that affordable quality health care should be accessible to everyone. We work in partnership with national, state and local organizations, policymakers, and philanthropic foundations to ensure consumer interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and the health system are made: in communities, courtrooms, statehouses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org. Read our blog at http://blog.communitycatalyst.org. Follow us on Twitter @HealthPolicyHub.