Introducing the new RCA chapter leaders!

Since Right Care Action Week, we have been reaching out to our membership and beyond to find enthusiastic and committed chapter leaders to help organize our national campaign to lower drug prices. We have been lucky enough to find nearly 60 clinicians, patients, and activists from 18 cities dedicated to building a movement for right care in their community. You will be hearing much more from them over the next few months as we launch the campaign, but for now, you can learn more about our new chapter leaders below:

** This is a preliminary list and is subject to change. 

Northeast and Mid-Atlantic chapters

Ruth Palombo – Boston, MA chapter
Ann Strand – Boston, MA chapter
Dan Bednarz – Boston, MA chapter
Cardell Gelin – Boston, MA chapter
Diedre Waxman – Boston, MA chapter
Arlene Lowney – Boston, MA chapter
Connie Shi – Boston, MA chapter
Alan Meyers – Boston, MA chapter
Harry Sleeper – Boston, MA chapter
Leigh Simmons – Boston, MA chapter
Marlene Beggelman – Boston, MA chapter
Anu Kaul – Boston, MA chapter
Alex Arnold – Boston, MA chapter
Judy Sudhalter – Boston, MA chapter
Nancy Finn – Boston, MA chapter

Randy Pellew – New York, NY chapter
Jairo Mata – New York, NY chapter

“I believe that patients should get the type of care that does not undermine their quality of care or have barriers that restrict the care that patients should and need.”

Jeremy Dean Harrison – Philadelphia, PA chapter

“My daughter has been diagnosed with a heart condition. Three doctors told us she needed surgery, but the fourth doctor says absolutely nothing is wrong. I want to bring awareness to the subjective nature of the medical industry and make sure people know they have choice and the right to obtain valuable information.”

Thui Bui – Pittsburgh, PA chapter
Stuart Fisk – Pittsburgh, PA chapter

Midwest chapters

Selwyn Rogers – Chicago, IL chapter
Max Clermont – Chicago, IL chapter
Johanna Ryan – Chicago, IL chapter
Art Curtis – Chicago, IL chapter
Chelsea Troy – Chicago, IL chapter

“As a programmer, I wrote the mobile apps for four major insurance companies. But after my own health scare, I realized how expensive procedures are for patients and how the system sometimes obstructs the best thing for the patient.”

Daniele Valentini – St. Louis, MO chapter

“I am a first year Internal Medicine resident at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. I am originally from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. As a resident and future physician, I obviously have a lot invested in the medical community from a health care worker standpoint. However, as member of a family and also as a patient myself, I am also invested in the those who receive care. Being a health care worker, I have the unique advantage of being exposed to both sides of this complicated infrastructure. Together with right care, I hope to use this viewpoint to improve the effectiveness of healthcare for the health care worker, the patient, and the surrounding community.”

Ellie Ghoulam – St. Louis, MO chapter

Southern chapters

Khara’ Jefferson – Atlanta, GA chapter

“I am a doctorally prepared FNP who has worked primarily in emergency departments and urgent care centers.  I care about right care because I see the holes in our health care system. I have also been on the other side of care as a patient with a chronic health condition and I see the pitfalls, rising costs, misuse and overuse of the system and resources. I want to see improvements and in order for that to occur, there needs to be action and involvement in quality initiatives.”

 

Frederick Southwick – Gainesville, FL chapter

“I am a physician and Professor of Medicine who is teaching students to practice high value care as well as organizing skills. Unfortunately progress has been slow and a national campaign to change the present culture of health care in the U.S. is badly needed.”

Bonnie Sheeren – Houston, TX chapter

“I previously worked in patient education and I saw people choosing too much care out of fear and anxiety. I’ve always felt that we should educate patients so they view their care in terms of quality of life.”

John James – Houston, TX chapter

“I am a patient activist as a resulting of my son’s life being lost to ‘wrong care.’ I believe the framework of the RCA will enable me to advance my activist efforts to educate people on the risks and costs of health care and why the U.S. non-system is not serving the public very well.”

Victoria Scott – Houston, TX chapter

Tracy Hicks – Longview, TX chapter

“I care about right care because I believe all patients should receive right care utilizing an individualized holistic approach.”

Stephen Hicks – Longview, TX chapter
Pamela Evans – Longview, TX chapter
Shannon Blanton – Longview, TX chapter
Daytral Brown – Longview, TX chapter
Velesa Jones – Longview, TX chapter
Roshya Daniel Dotrey – Longview, TX chapter

Jeffrey Halbstein-Harris – Raleigh, NC chapter
Carol Lolley-Harris – Raleigh, NC chapter

“Together, Carol and I have assisted numerous friends, families, clients in navigating serious illness in both acute and chronic care dimensions and during end of life events. We believe that the current Business of Medicine is stuck in a systemic perverse loop where each stakeholder has no choice but to focus on their own survival, thereby increasing pressures created by payers and accreditation agencies. Raleigh is overwhelmed with polished messages about Medical Homes, Integrated Systems etc. Our city has two medical schools, huge endowments, supposed perfectly integrated systems yet I can’t even get my medication list square between providers. I am hoping we can teach thme Millennials and Boomers what they should expect and deserve thereby forcing open a window on what is actually the state of our local health system.”

Gregg DuBois – San Antonio, TX chapter

“My father was a hospital administrator, I have uncles that were doctors, my brother-in-law is an MD and my sister is nurse. I grew-up in a medical family at time before health care became a profit center. I also have a child that faced a life-threatening illness. What we went through to make sure our child received healthcare is something no one should have to go through. It’s not just the insurance companies but the doctors, hospitals and pharma – they all put profits before life. It is a perverse system. Beyond that, I was a business lobbyist many years ago. I saw how the industry worked the political process (as any special interest does). I have witnessed countless reforms that benefited; pharma, doctors, hospitals and insurance carriers. I believe that it is long overdue to have a patient led reform of our healthcare system.”

Kristina Kaiser Gerkhi – Washington, DC chapter

“I am a communication and education professional with personal and professional experience regarding how to communicate crisis and risk. I care about the right care initiative because I lost two family members to avoidable adverse drug reactions.”

Michael Pappas – Washington, DC chapter

” I am a 4th-year medical student at Georgetown School of Medicine who has been involved with the Lown Institute for multiple years and RCDC since its inception. I view the state of our healthcare system as a small example of what happens when the capitalist economic forces are used to “appropriately” distribute what should be an inherent right for each and every living person on this planet–quality health care. The corrupting influence of the profit motive into healthcare has led to the production of the current medical industrial complex we see today in the US, which has lead to some not having adequate access to medical care, while others who may have access, are either hurt through over treatment or plagued by insurmountable medical bills. Addressing these systems to create a more rational, effective healthcare system is, to me, what is at the essence of “right care.”

Daryl Wagner – Washington, DC chapter
Kayoko “Ky” Corbet – Washington, DC chapter
Lila McConnell – Washington, DC chapter
Christine Richardson – Washington, DC chapter
Robin Strongin – Washington, DC chapter
Kim DiGioia – Washington, DC chapter
Steve Findlay – Washington, DC chapter

West Coast and Mountain chapters

Thomas Wilson – Denver, CO chapter

“I am a member of several councils within this organization, a small business owner, a peer specialist and Community Advocate. I believe in right care because I believe everyone deserves the ethical and supportive care that ensures peaceful and loving treatment no matter their race, gender, mindset or views. I believe that effective healthcare is a right not a privilege and that we all must be held accountable for everyone’s well being. The voices crying out might be few but are worthy of safe, effective, quality treatment and the respect and dignity this organization believes in.”

Sandra Sebbas – Denver, CO chapter
Karima Osman – Denver, CO chapter

“I am an undergraduate student enrolled in the BA/BS-MD program at CU Denver. As a Somali-American Muslim woman, I use my multi-hyphenated identity to connect with various communities. I am particularly passionate and versed in the immigrant and refugee population, and have thus recognized the disparities and cultural values that both respectively contribute as obstacles to healthcare. As a poet, I recite untold narratives and restore dignity to the Somali culture that incessant war has aimed to suppress. As a future physician, I hope to practice integrative medicine to treat patients holistically, and increase healthcare equity.”

Patrick Finerd – Kingman, AZ chapter
Cosette Biggs – Kingman, AZ chapter
Theresa Ojala – Kingman, AZ chapter

Sanie Mikaelian – Los Angeles, CA chapter

“I have a strong sense of civic duty and social justice from my family, the last four generations of which have been refugees. On my 30th birthday, I was struck with a severe pain that turned out to be a rare form of blood cancer. This diagnosis has turned my life upside-down and set me on a path to learn about our health care system and why it needs change. I became acutely aware of the injustices in the health care system- the incredibly high costs, the difficulty in being ones own advocate, and the fact that patients’ best interests are rarely prioritized. I returned to school for an MPP, and began working with patient-centric organizations addressing the most pressing issues, including the Right Care Alliance. As a chapter leader for RCA I want to improve health care affordability, transparency, and access, and create alliances with other health care organizations in LA.”

April Dobroth – Santa Fe, NM chapter

International chapters

Susan Ieraci – Sydney, Australia chapter
Philip Hoyle – Sydney, Australia chapter

“I am Medical Director of a major referral hospital, actively trying to move the local medical culture away from heedless practice, into deliberative practice, especially with regard to choices about care. I want to help our clinicians to be more collaborative with consumers about options and choices, and see medicine do more good and less harm.”