John Thomas Appointed by Governor Schweitzer - Mr. Thomas is the Senior Health Officer of the Department of Administration Health Care & Benefits Division. He has worked in the healthcare and insurance industries for the past twenty years. Mr. Thomas was employed by Montana State Fund from 1990 to 1999 as a Medical Benefits Coordinator and had responsibility for the State Fund's Managed Care and Preferred Provider programs. He also served as the Executive Director/President of the Montana Physician Hospital Organization until accepting his current position in 2004. Mr. Thomas fulfills the qualification as a Management-level Member with knowledge of state employee health benefit plans.
Katherine Buckley-Patton, Helena/Dillon Appointed by Governor Schweitzer. Ms. Buckley-Patton is the Healthy Montana Kids Supervisor in the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. Ms. Buckley-Patton has more than 25 years experienceadvocating for families through different positions held in community, hospital and government agencies, including the last 15 years with DPHHS. She is a long-term supporter of addressing the needs of the uninsured in our state. Ms. Buckley-Patton fulfills the qualification of Management-level Member with knowledge of Medicaid services
Amanda Harrow, Helena
Appointed by Governor Schweitzer - Ms. Harrow is the director of the Montana Small Business Alliance, an organization of small businesses across the state and an affiliate of the national Main Street Alliance. The Montana Small Business Alliance advocates for quality, affordable, and accessible health insurance for small business owners and their employees. Ms. Harrow represents MSBA on the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance's health insurance Exchange Stakeholder Advisory Council. She is a graduate of Bates College.
Betty Beverly, Helena Appointed by Governor Schweitzer - Ms. Beverly is a certified SHIP counselor and travels the state educating seniors and others about Medicare and Medicaid changes. Betty also raises service dogs for people with disabilities for the past 20 years and is rarely seen without a pup by her side. Ms. Beverly fulfills the qualification of a Consumer Member representing the public interest.
Susan Witte, Attorney at Law, Helena Appointed by Commissioner Lindeen - Ms. Witte is currently the Regulatory and Compliance Officer for the Montana University System (MUS) Employee Benefits division in Helena. Her responsibilities include monitoring interim legislative work and related legislative committees and ensuring that the MUS employee benefits plan is in compliance with state and federal regulations, especially those pertaining to federal health care reform. Previously Ms. Witte served as an officer and general counsel with a domestic health insurance company and third party administrator in Montana; associate general counsel and public relations officer with another Montana health insurance carrier, and work with state regulatory agencies including the Montana Department of Insurance. She has also been in private practice in Helena and Livingston. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history-political science from the University of Montana and a law degree from the Antioch School of Law in Washington, DC. Ms. Witte is from Poplar, Montana.
David B. Kendall Appointed by Commissioner Morrison - Mr. Kendall is a health policy analyst best known for crafting a new progressive agenda for health care. At the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) and its affiliate, the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), Mr. Kendall has developed innovative policies for reforming health care financing and delivery. His work has been praised on the editorial page of The New York Times, by national columnists such as Morton Kondracke and James Glassman, and by former Senators Bob Kerrey (D-NE) and John Breaux (D-LA) and Congressman Bill Thomas (R-CA). Mr. Kendall fulfills the qualification of a Consumer Member representing the public interest.
Erin McGowan Fincham, Helena Appointed by Commissioner Morrision- Ms. McGowan Fincham has recently joined the lobbying and consulting firm of Smith and McGowan, Inc., where she focuses on association management and government affairs in the fields of public health, health care access, and local government. She has spent her professional career in the rewarding arenas of tobacco control and health policy aimed at reducing the number of uninsured. Ms. McGowan Fincham fulfills the qualification of Consumer Member representing the small business community.