Chip Joffe Halpern says Good-bye, Nancy Turnbull takes this seat

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Chip's term on the Connector board expired. AG Martha Coakley has named Nancy Turnbull to replace Chip. Here's the press release...BOSTON - Today, Attorney General Martha Coakley appointed consumer advocate and health policy expert Nancy Turnbull to the Board of the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector.

“Nancy Turnbull is a leading advocate in Massachusetts health policy and she will be a powerful voice for consumers,” said Attorney General Martha Coakley. “I am confident that Nancy will work cooperatively with all the stakeholders to advance the interests of citizens of Massachusetts as health reform goes forward over the next three years.”

Turnbull is a lecturer in health policy and the Director of Educational Programs in the Health Policy and Management Department at the Harvard School of Public Health. She also serves on the boards of Massachusetts Health Quality Partners, the Massachusetts Health Policy Forum, the Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund Commission, and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation. Additionally, she is a consumer member on the Member Appeals Committee at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.

Turnbull previously worked as Deputy Commissioner for Health Policy in the Massachusetts Division of Insurance and later as Acting CEO of Neighborhood Health Plan. Most recently, Turnbull served as the President of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts. She stepped down from this position earlier this year to return to Harvard.

Under the health reform law passed last year, the legislature established the Connector Board to ensure access to high-quality, affordable health insurance. The ten member board comprises three appointees of the Attorney General, three gubernatorial appointments and four ex officio members. Turnbull will join the Attorney General’s other appointees; Celia Wcislo, Assistant Division Director of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East and Louis Malzone, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Coalition of the Taft-Hartley Funds, on the Connector’s Board. Turnbull’s part-time, unpaid, three-year appointment runs through June 2010. Turnbull will replace Charles Joffe-Halpern, whose term expired last month.

“Chip served as a conscientious and extremely diligent member of The Connector Board, and served as a valuable contributor in the Board’s first year. I have asked him, and he has agreed to serve as a member of a newly-created Health Care Advisory Board which will assist the AG’s Health Care Division and others here to examine the Community Benefits programs at Health Care Non-Profits, and assist us as we look at the issues of regional access to Health Care,” said Attorney General Martha Coakley.

Since 1995, Joffe-Halpern has served as Executive Director of Ecu-Health Care, Inc., a model health care access program for uninsured residents of North Berkshire. He is also President of the Board of Directors of Health Care For All, the lead consumer health care advocacy agency in New England. Additionally he is a member of the Medical Care Advisory Committee to the Commissioner of Medicaid in Massachusetts. During his professional career, Joffe-Halpern has been a clinical social worker, social work supervisor and administrator in a number of mental health and medical settings in Western Massachusetts. He holds a Master’s Degree in Social Welfare from the State University of New York at Albany.

Attorney General Martha Coakley has made health care a top priority since taking office. In January, she created a Health Care Division within her Public Protection and Advocacy Bureau to focus on health policy and the enforcement of consumer protection laws relating to health insurance, pharmaceuticals, and other health issues.

This program aired on August 6, 2007. The audio for this program is not available.