Board | Staff | Education Committee | Policy Committee | Quality Committee

To reach any of the following departments call 202-640-1985 and:

Press 1 for membership
Press 2 for conferences and webinars
Press 3 for accounting
Press 4 for policy and advocacy
Press 5 for data and research
Press 6 for website technical support
Press 7 for the Institute for Accountable Care
Press 8 for all others

CLIF GAUS, President and CEO

Clif Gaus, Sc.D. is currently president and CEO of the National Association of ACOs which he helped found in 2012. NAACOS is the only national organization owned and managed by ACOs. It advocates for ACOs on policy and offers shared learning experiences through conferences, webinars, forums and work groups. Dr. Gaus has a diverse background as a public servant, entrepreneur and health executive. He served in senior health positions under Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Clinton. In the 1970’s and 80’s, as associate administrator of HCFA (now CMS), he directed the development of a broad range of innovations in health care financing and delivery, including the DRG hospital payment system, RBRVS physician payment system, Medicare Hospice Programs and Medicare payment of Physician Assistants. From 1994 to 1997 he was the Administrator of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (now AHRQ).

In the late 90’s Dr. Gaus held the position of executive vice president and chief administrative officer of WellPoint Health Networks Inc. Prior to WellPoint, he was senior vice president of the national Kaiser Permanente Health System in Oakland, California. From 2002-10 he served on the Board of Directors of the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford University. In recent years he has consulted for a number of prominent organizations, including a six month engagement with the Administrator of CMS working on the ACO regulations and the start-up of Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). He holds a master’s degree in health administration from the University of Michigan and a Doctorate of Science in health care management from The Johns Hopkins University.

JENNIFER ROTCHFORD, Senior Vice-President of Operations

Jennifer Rotchford has more than 25 years of experience leading core association activities such as membership and education. At NAACOS, she leads the operations team with responsibility for membership, educational events, communications, finance and operations.   As the former director of conferences and educational programs at AcademyHealth, Jennifer led this society’s key events for research dissemination and training. At Holy Cross Hospital, Jennifer implemented a patient information system for physicians and coordinated HIPAA compliance. Jennifer also has extensive experience managing core activities and strategic initiatives for health associations. At the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Jennifer launched the Network for Supervising Physicians, a resource for physicians to maximize the role of physician assistants on health care teams. During her seven-year tenure at the Association for Health Services Research, Jennifer’s role included membership, advocacy, and publications. Jennifer graduated with superior distinction from Georgetown University receiving a master’s degree in health systems administration. As an undergraduate, she studied Philosophy and Biology at Cornell University.

AISHA PITTMAN, Senior vice president of Government Affairs

Aisha Pittman, MHP, is the senior vice president of Government Affairs at the National Association of ACOs. In this role, Ms. Pittman leads NAACOS’ advocacy and thought leadership, promoting policies that will accelerate the adoption of value and highlighting the importance of provider-led transformation through value-based. She has over 20 years of experience in health care with a focus on payment, alternative payment models and quality. Ms. Pittman was previously vice president of policy with Premier, Inc., a group purchasing organization representing health systems. She was responsible for working with policymakers, providers, and other healthcare stakeholders to reduce costs and improve the quality of healthcare. Prior to Premier, Pittman held senior management roles with the National Quality Forum, the Maryland Health Care Commission and CenterLight Healthcare, in addition to experience at the NCQA She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and a Master of Public Health from The George Washington University. Ms. Pittman received GWU’s School of Public Health and Health Services Excellence in Health Policy Award.

DEBORAH BRAFFORD, Director of Financial Management

Deborah is the director of financial management for the National Association of ACOs and reports directly to the CEO bringing over 20 years of financial management experience in both the profit and non-profit sectors. She is responsible for managing all financial operations of the organization, which includes budgeting, pricing analysis, and management of human resources functions and accounts receivable. Deborah comes to NAACOS from the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) where she was senior director of business operations, communications and education for APhA’s government contract with Health Resources and Services Administration’s Office of Pharmacy Affairs management of the 340B Drug Pricing Program, responsible for financial and data management, contract compliance and reporting, oversight of subcontracts and subcontractors, communications and education. Prior to APhA she worked for the APhA Foundation and the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington, serving as director of finance in both organizations. She also brings operational, marketing and financial management experiences from two DC law firms, MCI and Citicorp. Deborah received her bachelor of arts degree in marketing and business management at DePaul University School for New Learning in Chicago.

DIWEN CHEN, Senior Director, Payer Policy

As the Sr. Director of Payer Policy, Diwen leads NAACOS’ work around accountable care arrangements across payers, identifying policy and sharing operational solutions that encourage adoption, growth, and success in value-based contracts across various lines of business. Diwen has 15 years of experience in value-based care and payment model design & implementation. Previously on the payer side, Diwen served as the staff VP of Payment Innovation, Value-Based Solutions for Elevance Health and Sr. Director of Payment Model Development at Aetna/CVS, launching programs such as the next generation of commercial ACOs, Prospective Ortho bundled payments, and hospital at home/home recovery care programs to further extend the continuity of care into the home setting. During her tenure on the provider side, Diwen served as the Executive Director, Payment Innovation at Dignity Health (now CommonSpirit Health) responsible for large-scale adoption of CMS Innovation demonstrations such as bundled payments, Medicare Shared Savings Programs, and CA Medi-Cal program execution. Diwen currently serves as a Managing Director/Advisor for Monarch Advisory Services, a boutique consulting firm supporting community-based organizations and risk-bearing entities focused on social health innovation for vulnerable populations. Diwen received her MPH in Health Care Management from Yale School of Public Health and BS in Biology from Texas A&M University.

ROBERT DALEY, Director, Legislative Affairs

Robert Daley is the Director of Legislative Affairs at NAACOS where he contributes to developing the association’s federal advocacy strategy on legislative, political, and regulatory issues. He has over a decade of experience in government relations and advocacy. Prior to joining NAACOS he worked in the public policy practice at an Am 100 law firm consulting on a wide range of health care issues. He also spent six years working on Capitol Hill where he gained a thorough understanding of the legislative process and the role stakeholders play in the development and implementation of public policy. He draws on this experience to help manage relationships with lawmakers to effectively communicate the association’s priorities during the policymaking process. Since joining NAACOS, Robert has helped secure favorable policy changes on several value-based care initiatives, including the passage of legislation extending financial incentive payments for ACOs participating in Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs).

MELODY DANKO-HOLSOMBACK, Vice President of Education

Melody Danko-Holsomback is the Vice President of Education, where she leads NAACOS’ education on value-based care and supports members’ educational needs. She has more than 27 years of practical experience in nursing, 21 of which have been within Geisinger Health. She has performed nursing roles in community practice, inpatient, and post-acute care settings, most recently as an Nurse Practitioner in the Skilled Nursing Facility setting. Additionally, she has worked in various analyst and consulting roles in information technology (IT) and population health consulting before entering her role as Chief Administrative Officer and Director of Operations and IT for Keystone Accountable Care Organization. She has served as a member of the NAACOS Quality Committee, the National Quality Forum Measure-Loop-Feedback Committee, Health Care Transformation Task Force committees and board, and is a Days-at-Home Technical Expert Panelist. Melody attended Ohio University for her BSN and Wilkes University for her MSN as an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner.

KAREN FETTEROLF, Education Manager

Karen Fetterolf is the education manager at NAACOS where she works directly with the vice president of education on tasks related to educational needs for members.  Prior to NAACOS, she worked for Keystone Accountable Care Organization, most recently as Beneficiary Engagement Liaison which encompassed publishing the quarterly newsletters and working with the operations team on compliance related notification and website updates.  Prior to that she served as the administrative assistant to the ACO that rounded out over 20 years’ experience as an administrative assistant within Geisinger Health System.

JENNIFER GASPERINI, Director of Regulatory and Quality Affairs

Jennifer Gasperini is the director of regulatory and quality affairs for the National Association of ACOs (NAACOS) where she works on federal regulatory issues facing ACOs. Ms. Gasperini brings 10 years of health policy experience on both the state and national levels. She came to NAACOS from the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) where she served as the director of health policy, working on a variety of state and federal health policy issues concerning physicians. Before joining the NCMS, she worked at the National Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) where she focused on federal legislative and regulatory issues pertaining to physician quality and payment including ACO issues, and value-based payment programs such as PQRS and the Value Based Payment Modifier. Ms. Gasperini holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism, minor in political science from the Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in legislative affairs from the George Washington University.

ELIZABETH HOLDER, Director of Information Technology

Elizabeth Holder has been with NAACOS nearly since its inception. She manages the development of web software, coordinates website development, and oversees technical support for members and staff.  She works closely with other teams on projects requiring research and data support. Elizabeth has 20 years of experience working in information technology and marketing. She is an active volunteer in her community, working with local organizations to feed needy families and individuals. Elizabeth received her Bachelors of Arts from California State University, Northridge.

ANNA LAFAYETTE, Director of Operations

At NAACOS, Anna LaFayette coordinates membership enrollment and renewals, content and registration for conferences and webinars, as well as the activities of the Board of Directors and many other things that keep the organization running day to day. Previously, Anna was a senior associate at AcademyHealth where she developed the content for its Annual Research Meeting by managing more than 500 speakers, a call for abstracts with 2,500 submissions, registration of 2,400 individuals, and several of adjunct meetings. Anna also has training and experience as a behavioral specialist in elementary schools. Anna received a master’s degree in forensic psychology from Marymount University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from St. Mary’s College of Notre Dame.

ROBERT MECHANIC, Executive Director of the Institute for Accountable Care

Robert E. Mechanic, MBA, is executive director of the Institute for Accountable Care, where he is responsible for leading its research agenda, data analytics, and health care learning and improvement activities. The Institute for Accountable Care is an independent 501(c)3 organization with a mission to build and disseminate evidence on the impact of accountable care delivery strategies on both quality and cost.  Rob is also a senior fellow at the Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, where he serves as executive director of the Health Industry Forum. His research focuses on health care payment systems and the adaptation of organizations to new payment models. He has helped hospitals, physician groups and integrated delivery systems evaluate financial, strategic and policy considerations under risk-based payment models. Rob was previously senior vice president with the Massachusetts Hospital Association and was vice president with the Lewin Group, a Washington D.C.-based health care consulting firm. His work has been published in The New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, and Health Affairs. He is a trustee of Atrius Health, an 800-physician multispecialty group practice and Next Generation ACO in Eastern Massachusetts, and he is a senior fellow of the Estes Park Institute. Mr. Mechanic earned an MBA in finance from The Wharton School and a BS in economics with distinction from the University of Wisconsin.

PHIL MEHER, Membership Manager

is the membership manager at the National Association of ACOs (NAACOS) where he maintains membership and marketing data, conducts engagement activities during the fall and spring Conferences, and provides customer service for several membership benefits. His background is mostly comprised of his work with the American Nurses Association – New York (ANA-NY) in program management where he handled program development, membership management, and event planning. He has also worked in the healthcare industry for over five years, in both hospital and office settings. He is expected to graduate with his bachelor of science in business administration in 2024.

Alyssa Neumann, Senior Analyst, Regulatory Affairs

Alyssa Neumann, MPH is senior analyst of regulatory affairs at NAACOS, where she works on a variety of regulatory issues related to ACOs and value-based care. Prior to NAACOS, Alyssa served as program coordinator at the Primary Care Collaborative, writing and managing grant projects related to primary care transformation and providing support for policy work and communications. She is an active volunteer in the community, working as a mentor with the Big Brother Big Sister program and a teaching fellow with Girls Health Ed, providing vital health information to vulnerable youth.  

Other prior experiences include work as a graduate teaching assistant in Biostatistics at the George Washington University, a Federal Affairs internship with the National Association of Community Health Centers, and university research focused on topics such as behavioral health, health literacy, and the social drivers of health. Alyssa earned her Master’s in Public Health in Health Policy and Management at the GWU Milken Institute School of Public Health, and she holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Sociology and Cultural Anthropology from the University of South Florida.

EMILY PERRON, Event Manager

Emily Perron is the event manager at NAACOS where she works directly with the director of operations on tasks related to the boot camp and the two annual conferences along with overseeing marketing and registration. Before starting at NAACOS, she previously worked at Police and Firemen’s Insurance Association (PFIA) in new business where she handled all incoming new life and disability insurance plans. While at PFIA, she obtained two Life Office Management Association (LOMA) certificates. She received her bachelors of science in elementary education from Liberty University.

DAVID PITTMAN, Director, Communications and Regulatory Affairs

David Pittman is senior policy advisor at the National Association of ACOs, where he works on various regulatory policy and legislative topics involving ACOs and CMS Innovation Center models. He also works on communications matters for NAACOS. He joined NAACOS in August 2018 as health policy and communications advisor. Before that, he worked as a healthcare journalist for nearly a dozen years, including at POLITICO where he helped launch the website’s eHealth coverage in 2014. He was a fellow of the Association of Health Care Journalists in 2014, researching how states were adopting payment and delivery system reforms as budgets struggled to recover from the recession of the late 2000s. David holds bachelor’s degrees in journalism and chemistry from the University of Georgia, where he graduated in 2006.

MARYJANE THOMAS, Director, Membership

MaryJane Thomas has over 13 years of experience in nonprofit membership marketing, with a focus in healthcare associations. At NAACOS, she leads member recruitment and retention initiatives, membership marketing campaigns, and manages partner relationships. Prior to joining NAACOS, she spent over 5 years at the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, working primarily on implementing and growing a new membership category for large healthcare delivery systems. She has extensive member engagement experience, from managing high profile volunteer committees to launching member onboarding campaigns. Before AAMI, MaryJane spent 8 years at the American Society of Clinical Oncology, where she worked on member recruitment and retention, traveling extensively both domestically and internationally to focus on membership growth and program awareness. MaryJane holds a bachelors degree from Villanova University, where she studied international business and marketing.