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Heroes in Health 30th Anniversary Celebration

An Evening to Celebrate Integrity, Collaboration, and Healthy Aging


September 26, 2023
3:00 PM – 9:30 PM


Waldorf Astoria
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004


Sarah Delgado
Vice President of Development
[email protected]

Event Recap

The Alliance celebrated its commitment to older adults at the
Heroes in Health 30th Anniversary Celebration:
An Evening to Celebrate Integrity, Collaboration, and Healthy Aging

held on:
Tuesday, September 26, 2023 at the Waldorf Astoria in Washington, DC

and featured:
Conversations with the FDA and CMS:
3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Reception and Annual Awards Dinner: 6:00 PM – 9:30 PM

Conversations with the FDA and CMS

Since 2013, the Conversations with the FDA and CMS, convened and moderated by the Alliance, has provided leaders from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) with the opportunity to reflect on progress their agencies have made in implementing major policy changes to improve the health of older adults. The event was also an opportunity for these leaders to offer their insights on future changes that may positively impact healthcare innovation.


  • Registration: 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM
  • Conversation with CMS: 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
  • Reception: 4:30 PM – 5:00 PM
  • Conversation with the FDA: 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Conversation with CMS

Coverage, Affordability, Access, and Quality for the Medicare Population

Innovation continues in care redesign, as stakeholders consider the coverage and reimbursement paradigms needed to holistically care for the aging population. Medicare is central to these efforts as the predominant healthcare payer for the 65 and older population. Dr. Doug Jacobs, Chief Transformation Officer in the Center for Medicare at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), joined the panel with policy leaders from the Alliance and industry. The panel discussed best practices and lessons learned to advance patient-centered care, and focused on individuals living with dementia and the role of caregiving.


MODERATOR: James G. Scott (Applied Policy)

James G. (Jim) Scott, President & CEO of Applied Policy, founded the company in 2009 from a desire to apply his in-depth knowledge of federal health policy and help healthcare providers and companies succeed. As a respected member of the health policy community, he offers valuable experience and access to key players in government and industry.

Prior to founding Applied Policy, Jim helped introduce optimal Medicare coding and coverage for all Hoffmann-La Roche pharmaceutical products. While at Roche, he also worked to resolve Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement issues at federal level and served as the pharmaceutical manufacturer’s principal contact with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Jim served as Senior Legislative Advisor at CMS, advising the CMS Administrator on congressional intent in implementing the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 and engaging Members of Congress in the implementation process. He received agency-wide awards for his work with Congress in 2005 leading to successful implementation of the new Medicare prescription drug benefit and with congressional appropriators on the FY 2006 President’s Budget request.

Prior to his service with CMS, Jim was an Assistant Counsel with the Office of the Legislative Counsel of the U.S. Senate, where he was a principal drafter of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 along with other Medicare legislation. Jim and his work were recognized through the unanimous passage of a Senate Resolution and in numerous statements by Senators and Representatives printed in the Congressional Record.

Jim serves on the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Aging Research, founded the Northern Virginia Health Policy Forum and is a member of the Steering Committee of the Partnership for a Healthier Alexandria.

Doug Jacobs, M.D. (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)

Dr. Doug Jacobs is the Chief Transformation Officer in the Center for Medicare at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). At CMS he is helping lead Medicare’s efforts to promote value-based care, advance health equity, and encourage delivery system transformation. He most recently served as the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Innovation Officer for the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, helping to oversee the state Medicaid and human services programs amidst the pandemic for the 16,000 person state agency. He was tapped by Governor Wolf to lead the state’s Whole Person Health Reform initiative, which included expanding value-based care, promoting health equity, and addressing the social determinants of health. Under his leadership, the Department of Human Services created Pennsylvania’s first equity incentive program in Medicaid, established new rules incorporate community-based organizations to address the social determinants of health, and oversaw Medicaid’s increasing movement towards value-based care. He also helped lead the COVID-19 response for the agency, creating programs to protect long-term care facilities and roll out the COVID-19 vaccine to vulnerable populations. Dr. Jacobs is a practicing board-certified internal medicine physician and is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center. He is also an avid writer, having published pieces in the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, New York Times, and Washington Post. He trained in Internal Medicine Primary Care at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and served as Chief Resident at the West Roxbury VA hospital, received his M.D. at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, his M.P.H. at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and his Bachelor’s in Sciences from Brown University.

Amanda Bartelme (Eisai Inc.)

Amanda Bartelme serves as Executive Director, Policy at Eisai, Inc. In this role, she leads Eisai’s engagement with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), focusing on ensuring Medicare beneficiaries have appropriate access to treatments. Ms. Bartelme also provides internal support on issues related to access, reimbursement and drug pricing, as well as represents Eisai on workgroups with PhRMA and BIO focused on these areas.

Prior to joining Eisai in May 2022, Ms. Bartelme was Director of Coding and Reimbursement, US Public Policy at GSK, where she supported access to vaccines, oncology, respiratory, rheumatology, HIV, and Covid treatments. She also served as Associate Director at Policy and Reimbursement at Baxalta, where she focused on hemophilia, oncology, and plasma-based therapies. Ms. Bartelme began her career in health policy and reimbursement at Avalere Health, where she spent over a decade working on access for drugs, devices, and services with a special focus on physician administered drugs, diabetes, biosimilar payment policy, the 340B program, and the evolving drug pricing and payment landscape.

Ms. Bartelme earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University. She has authored articles published in The Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, as well as Diabetes Therapeutics & Technology.

Molly Burich, M.S. (Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.)

Molly Burich, M.S., is the Senior Director of Public Policy at Otsuka Pharmaceuticals Inc. where she leads the public policy team. Ms. Burich develops strategies to support and execute on Otsuka’s policy platform to support all of Otsuka’s products. Ms. Burich was formerly the Head of Public Policy at Boehringer Ingelheim, Inc. In her role she led the public policy team with specific focus on biosimilars as well as reimbursement across the existing and pipeline portfolio for Boehringer Ingelheim. Ms. Burich has held previous positions in federal and state government affairs, public policy and reimbursement across other organizations including Xcenda, an Amerisource Bergen company and Avalere Health. Ms. Burich holds a master of science in public service management with an emphasis in public policy from DePaul University and a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of Northern Colorado.

Michael Ward, M.S. (Alliance for Aging Research)

Michael Ward leads the Alliance for Aging Research’s regulatory and legislative efforts to support research, promote patient access, and advance high-quality care. In this role, he conducts direct advocacy and strategic planning for engagement with Congressional offices, the White House, and federal agencies, including the FDA, CMS, and the CDC. Michael serves as a convener for multiple coalitions that elevate the patient voice within policy spheres of influence to advance affordability, access, equity, and funding for healthcare research. His work at the Alliance has also focused on advancing patient-centered value assessment, improved methods of quality measurement, and reducing out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries.

Previously, Michael worked in leading policy development roles at Premier, Inc., the American Hospital Association, and Avalere. Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Religious Studies from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Science degree in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

Conversation with the FDA

Future of Breakthrough Therapy Designation and Clinical Trial Design in Age-Related Diseases

The ability to develop and bring therapeutics to market for difficult-to-treat and rare diseases has been transformed by breakthrough designations, first authorized by Congress during the early 1990s during the HIV epidemic. More recently, Congress passed new authorities for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure the timely completion of confirmatory trials for therapeutics approved through the accelerated approval pathway. Dr. Hilary Marston, Chief Medical Officer at the FDA, was joined by patients, device, and pharmaceutical experts to discuss how their stakeholders were thinking about the present and future of expedited approval pathways.


MODERATOR: Sue Peschin, M.H.S. (Alliance for Aging Research)

Sue Peschin, M.H.S., is president and CEO of the Alliance for Aging Research, the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the pace of scientific discoveries and their application to vastly improve the universal human experience of aging and health. The Alliance’s vision is to create a culture that respects aging as a greater good and values investments that advance independence, dignity, and equity. Ms. Peschin has led efforts to increase federal investment in aging research; raise awareness of geriatric cardiovascular diseases; develop an older patient and family caregiver research engagement network called Talk NERDY to Me (NERDY-Nurturing Engagement in Research and Development with You); advocate for patient affordability and equity-based value frameworks; and improve Medicare treatment access. Ms. Peschin serves on the Boards of: Heart Valve Voice U.S.; the National Health Council; the Committee for Advancement of Respite Research; the Preparedness and Treatment Equity Coalition; and Voices of Alzheimer’s; as well as on the Science Advisory Board for the UCSF-Stanford Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (CERSI); the USP Council of the Convention (CoC); and on the UMD Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center Community Advisory Board. Previously, Sue served in senior roles at the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, Consumer Federation of America, Hadassah, and the Violence Policy Center. Ms. Peschin earned a B.A. in Sociology from Brandeis University, and a M.H.S. degree in Health Policy from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Sue lives in Rockville, MD with her husband Steven, and sons Max and Nathan.

Hilary Marston, M.D., M.P.H. (U.S. Food and Drug Administration)

Hilary Marston, M.D., M.P.H., Chief Medical Officer, FDA, serves as the primary clinical advisor to the Commissioner and oversees the Office of Clinical Policy and Programs. She leads cross-cutting initiatives that support the FDA’s centers in making effective, safe, and innovative medical products available for patients.

Dr. Marston previously served as the Senior Advisor for Global COVID-19 Response on the White House COVID-19 Response Team. Her previous roles also include Director for Medical Biopreparedness and Response at the U.S. National Security Council and Medical Officer and Policy Advisor for Pandemic Preparedness at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health. Dr. Marston also served in positions with McKinsey & Company and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Dr. Marston trained in Internal Medicine and Global Health Equity at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. She completed her M.P.H. at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Sean Curtis, M.D., M.P.H. (Merck)

Sean Curtis is senior vice president and Head of Global Regulatory Affairs and Clinical Safety (GRACS) and Quality Assurance (QA) within Merck Research Laboratories (MRL).

GRACS is responsible for driving innovative regulatory and safety strategies to enable rapid and efficient licensure pathways and maintain product registration. QA serves as the organization that provides oversight to ensure subject safety and research integrity through-out the drug development life cycle. In his capacity as head of GRACS, Sean serves as an Ad-Hoc representative to the ICH Assembly for PhRMA and as Vice-Chair of the Charles Forum. Within MRL, he co-chairs the MRL Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Governance Committee and serves as an Executive Sponsor of both the New Jersey Chapter of Merck’s League of Employees of African Descent Employee Business Resource Group (LEAD EBRG) and of the Pennsylvania Chapter of Merck’s ALIANZA EBRG. In 2023, he became a member of the Year Up National Advisory Board. Prior to his role in GRACS, Sean spent over 20 years working in Clinical Development; most recently as the Late-Stage Clinical Therapeutic Area Head for Respiratory and Immunology. From 2015 through 2020, he also led the Global Center for Scientific Affairs, and during this time period also led the MSD China development organization.

Sean received his MD/MPH from Tufts University School of Medicine, completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and a post-doctoral clinical and research fellowship in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City.

Candace DeMatteis, J.D., M.P.H. (Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease)

Candace DeMatteis has served as the Policy Director for the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) since January 2008. PFCD is committed to both raising awareness of the human and economic toll chronic diseases exact and highlighting solutions that addressing these challenges equitably for all affected.

As the Policy Director, Mrs. DeMatteis is responsible for monitoring and shaping health policy relating to chronic disease prevention and management, including many aspects of health reform implementation relating to enhancing health for all.

Mrs. DeMatteis brings more than 25 years of public policy experience to PFCD. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from North Carolina State University, and received her Juris Doctor and Master of Public Health degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Nadim Geloo, M.D. (Abbott Laboratories)

Dr. Nadim Geloo joined Abbott as senior medical director for the company’s structural heart division in 2022. In this role, he supports all global medical affairs activities for the business.

Prior to joining Abbott, Dr. Geloo worked at Virginia Heart where he was director of structural heart. He was also director of the catheterization laboratory QA committee at Inova Heart and Vascular Institute. Prior to that, Dr. Geloo worked as an interventional cardiologist at Sentara Healthcare and East Carolina University. He brings many years of experience in the field of structural interventions from a structural fellowship at Sentara.

Dr. Geloo holds a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and a medical doctorate degree from the Medical College of Virginia. He is a Fellow of both the American College of Cardiology and Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions.

Annual Awards Dinner

The Annual Awards Dinner has become widely recognized as Washington DC’s signature social event following Congress’ return from its traditional August recess. As one Capitol Hill regular put it, “This is like Back to School Night for Washington’s health policy community – you see everyone here.”

The Annual Awards Dinner also has a deeper purpose: to honor individuals for their contributions to advance the science of human aging.


  • Registration & Reception: 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
  • Awards Dinner Program: 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
  • Dessert Reception: 9:00 PM – 9:30 PM


The 30th Annual Awards Dinner featured the following awards:

  • Claude Pepper Award for Advancing Healthy Aging: presented each year to a Democratic member of Congress who is leading the way for policies encouraging medical research, innovation, and care to benefit Americans as they grow older.
  • Distinguished Public Service Award: presented each year to a Republican member of Congress who is leading the way for policies encouraging medical research, innovation, and care to benefit Americans as they grow older.
  • Silver Innovator Award: presented to an individual who anticipates and embraces the evolution of high-quality research aligned with the needs of older patients.
  • Daniel Perry Founder’s Award: presented to an individual or group who is helping to change the paradigm of how we view aging and well-being as we age.
  • Perennial Hero Award: presented each year to honor an older individual who is actively contributing to create positive societal change and serves as a role model for people of all ages.


The Alliance for Aging Research is pleased to consider these prestigious leaders as our partners in healthy aging:

Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) | Claude Pepper Award for Advancing Healthy Aging

Like the Silicon Valley region she represents, Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo exemplifies innovation. She’s creative, productive, a problem solver and a consensus builder. For over two decades in Congress, Rep. Eshoo has defended consumers, promoted American competitiveness and innovation, fought for access to health care for families and children, protected the environment, and encouraged development of clean energy technology. 

Rep. Eshoo’s work consistently earns the highest approval from a wide range of organizations, including the League of Conservation Voters, the Humane Society, the American Association of University Women, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the American College of Emergency Physicians, and the Science Coalition. The San Jose Mercury News named her one of the ten most powerful women in Silicon Valley “because she sits on committees that oversee the Internet and biotech—areas vital to the valley’s interests.” In 2017, Rep. Eshoo was awarded the Statesmanship Award by the bipartisan United States Association of Former Members of Congress for her distinguished Congressional service and commitment to improving the lives of others. 

On January 15, 2019, the Democratic Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to elect Congresswoman Eshoo as the first woman ever to serve as Chair of the Health Subcommittee. Rep. Eshoo has served on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee since 1995, and she previously served as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology for six years, the first woman in the history of the Subcommittee to serve in a leadership role.


Congressman Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) | Distinguished Public Service Award

Brad Wenstrup was elected in 2012 to represent the people of Ohio’s Second Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives.  He brings experience as a doctor, Army Reserve officer, Iraq War veteran, and small business owner to help Congress tackle the economic and security challenges facing the nation.

In the 118th Congress, Brad serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He also serves as Chairman of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic. Previously, Congressman Wenstrup spent six years on the Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. As a member on the Ways and Means and Intelligence Committees, Brad is working to address the national health and systemic poverty issues, while strengthening our national security. He has long been a voice of support for southern Ohio’s veteran community. He also serves as a Co-Chair of the GOP Doctors Caucus.

A Cincinnati native, Brad graduated from Saint Xavier High School and the University of Cincinnati.  He went on to earn a medical degree in Chicago as a podiatric physician and after completing his surgical residency he established private practice in Cincinnati, treating patients for 26 years.

Brad served in U.S. Army Reserve from 1998-2022, retiring with the rank of colonel.  In 2005-06, he served a tour in Iraq as a combat surgeon, and was awarded a Bronze Star and Combat Action Badge for his service. In 2018, Colonel Wenstrup was awarded the Soldier’s Medal for heroism.

During his time in Congress, Brad fulfilled his Reserve duties by serving as the Medical Policy Advisor for the Chief of the Army Reserve as well as seeing patients at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda.

Brad and his wife, Monica, reside in Southern Ohio with their two children.

Henry Buchwald, M.D., Ph.D. | Silver Innovator Award

Henry Buchwald, M.D., Ph.D., FACS, Hon FRCS (Eng) is Professor of Surgery and Biomedical Engineering and the Owen H. and Sarah Davidson Wangensteen Chair in Experimental Surgery Emeritus at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Buchwald attended Columbia College and the College of Physicians Surgeons of Columbia University. He was the Principal Investigator of the twenty-year Program on the Surgical Control of the Hyperlipidemias, the first randomized clinical trial to demonstrate that cholesterol lowering by his partial ileal bypass operation resulted in reductions in cardiovascular disease and prolonged life expectancy. Buchwald was a pioneer in bariatric surgery and the coauthor and primary advocate of the concept of metabolic surgery. He holds 20 patents for bioengineering devices, including the first implantable infusion pump used in insulin delivery and continuous chemotherapy delivery. Buchwald is the author of over 360 peer-reviewed medical publications and more than 100 book chapters and books. He has served as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Obesity Surgery and writes a bi-monthly column for General Surgery News. The past president of five surgical organizations, Buchwald is the recipient of numerous awards and honors in recognition of his clinical and scholarly accomplishments, including the American College of Surgeons Jacobson Innovation Award (2019) and the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons gold medal for achievement in research (2020). He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, England. He lives with his wife, Emilie Buchwald, in Minneapolis.

Chad Worz, PharmD, BCGP | Daniel Perry Founder’s Award

Chad Worz, PharmD, BCGP, is the chief executive of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) and a board certified geriatric pharmacist. 

The American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) is the only international professional society devoted to optimal medication management and improved health outcomes for all older persons. ASCP’s senior care consultant pharmacist members manage and improve quality of life of geriatric patients and other individuals residing in a variety of environments, including nursing facilities, sub-acute care and assisted living facilities, psychiatric hospitals, hospice programs, and home and community-based care. 

A board-certified geriatric pharmacist and graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Pharmacy, Worz’s career has focused on the medication management of older adults. Worz developed an innovative clinical practice in a long-term care setting in Ohio and directed the pharmacy practice of a regional, independent pharmacy. Worz went on to establish a nation-wide, geriatric-based pharmacist consulting company to educate and provide medication management services to nursing facility residents, nursing facility administration, long-term care pharmacies, and the public. During the pandemic he helped amplify the role of the pharmacist in testing, treatment, and vaccination, bridging front line pharmacists and government agencies. He presents nationally on medication management.

Edwin L. Walker, J.D. | Perennial Hero Award

As the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging of the Administration on Aging (AoA) within the Administration for Community Living, Edwin L. Walker serves as the chief career official for the federal agency responsible for advocating on behalf of older Americans.

In this capacity, he guides and promotes the development of home and community-based long-term care programs, policies and services designed to afford older people and their caregivers the ability to age with dignity and independence and to have a broad array of options available for an enhanced quality of life. This includes the promotion and implementation of evidence-based prevention interventions proven effective in avoiding or delaying the onset of chronic disease and illness.

A strong and experienced advocate for older persons, he has served as the primary liaison with Congress on legislation related to aging services and programs. For more than 30 years, he has been characterized as a consummate professional civil servant who can be relied upon to represent the best interests of our nation’s senior citizens.

Prior to joining the Administration on Aging, Mr. Walker served as the Director of the Missouri Division of Aging, responsible for administering a comprehensive set of human service programs for older persons and adults with disabilities.

He received a Juris Doctor degree in law from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Media Arts from Hampton University.

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