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Gov. Steve Sisolak delivers his first State of the State address in the Assembly Chambers on Jan. 16, 2019. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)

Gov. Steve Sisolak announced on Thursday the members and executive director of the long-awaited Patient Protection Commission, a body tasked with a top-to-bottom review of health care in Nevada and promised by Sisolak during his campaign.

Appointees to the commision include an academic, two doctors, two hospital CEOs, one union health trust representative, one private insurer representative, one drug company executive, a regional behavioral health coordinator and two patient advocates. They are:

  • Dr. John Packham, associate dean for the Office of Statewide Initiatives at the UNR School of Medicine, who will serve as the commission’s chair
  • Dr. Howard Baron, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition Associates
  • Dr. Ikram Khan, president and partner at Quality Care Consultants
  • Dr. Anthony Slonim, president and CEO of Renown Health
  • W. Mason Van Houweling, CEO of University Medical Center
  • Bobbette Bond, senior director of health policy for UNITE HERE Health Fund, which covers Culinary Union members
  • Shaun Schoener, vice president of network development and provider services at UnitedHealthcare
  • Flo Kahn, deputy vice president of state advocacy over the Western region for the national drug lobbying association PhRMA
  • Jessica Flood, northern regional behavioral health coordinator
  • Yarleny Roa-Dugan, a registered nurse at Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center
  • Theresa L. Bohannan, an advocate for those with special health care needs with experience and education in the health care field

The commission also includes three ex-officio members who will serve in an advisory capacity: Richard Whitley, director of the Department of Health and Human Services; Barbara Richardson, insurance commissioner; and Heather Korbulic, executive director of the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange.

Sisolak has also appointed Sara Cholhagian as the board’s executive director. Cholhagian has spent nearly a decade as a lobbyist, most recently working at Ferrari Public Affairs and, before that, at the McMullen Strategic Group and Porter Gordon Silver Communications.

Sisolak, in a statement, called the Patient Protection Commission a “top priority” and described its membership as “a highly respected, multi-faceted team of health care experts, advocates, providers, and industry professionals.”

“The PPC is designed to provide a forum for all stakeholders to come to the table and work together on the critical task of improving health care access and affordability in Nevada,” Sisolak said. “I’m also looking forward to seeing what Sara can accomplish with her years of work in the legislative affairs in Nevada and her extensive experience with health care issues.”

The commission will begin meeting early next year.

This story and all others about the Patient Protection Commission are edited by Managing Editor Elizabeth Thompson and/or Assistant Editor Michelle Rindels. Sara Cholhagian, the commission’s executive director, is in a relationship with Editor Jon Ralston.

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