About Us

Since its first meeting 10 years ago, PCORI’s Board of Governors has brought together a broad range of perspectives and expertise to guide the organization’s strategic direction.

Christine Goertz, DC, PhD
Chairperson, Board of Governors

This year marks a milestone in PCORI’s history, one where we honor the contributions of and bid farewell to several of our founding Board members and welcome new Board members to build on their remarkable legacy and accomplishments.

As we begin our second decade of work, we are pleased to welcome seven new Board members and look forward to the continuing service of Barbara McNeil, MD, PhD, who was reappointed to a second term on the Board.

The newest individuals appointed by the US Government Accountability Office represent the spectrum of stakeholders across the healthcare community. They include the following:

  • Kate Berry: Senior Vice President for Clinical Affairs and Strategic Partnerships at America’s Health Insurance Plans
  • Tanisha Carino, PhD: Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Alexion
  • James Huffman: Head of Benefits, Fidelity Investments
  • Connie Hwang, MD, MPH: Chief Medical Officer and Director of Clinical Innovation, Alliance of Community Health Plans
  • Eboni Price-Haywood, MD, MPH, FACP: Director of the Center for Outcomes & Health Service Research, Ochsner Health System
  • James Schuster, MD, MBA: Associate Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Medical and Behavioral Sciences, UPMC Insurance Services Division
  • Danny van Leeuwen, MPH, RN: Founder and Principal of Health Hats
Nakela L. Cook, MD, MPH
Executive Director

Our new Board members’ experiences and perspectives will enrich our leadership as they work closely with our veteran governors during their six-year terms. Together, they will help PCORI achieve our goal of generating the evidence to improve clinical practice and patient well-being through the research we fund and our efforts to disseminate the results of those studies for uptake into practice.

Bidding Farewell with Gratitude

These new Board members joined us as we bade farewell to four individuals who completed their terms of service: Larry Becker, Gail Hunt, Freda Lewis-Hall, MD, and Grayson Norquist, MD, MSPH.

Each of our outgoing Board members made indelible contributions to PCORI. We are sincerely grateful for their years of dedication and leadership. Together with their colleagues, they helped shape and guide PCORI’s approach to research done differently and established the foundation for research relevant to patients and the broader healthcare community. They have truly advanced PCORI’s mission to help patients and those who care for them make better-informed healthcare decisions.

Throughout his time on the Board, Larry served as the Chair of the Finance and Administration Committee; the Education, Dissemination, and Implementation Committee (EDIC); and the Conflict of Interest Committee and was a member of the Executive Compensation Committee. His experience in the business sector gave us new angles for how to think about evaluation questions, most recently around diversity and inclusion data and uptake of our research findings.

Gail made significant contributions to our palliative care initiative and was a passionate advocate for family caregivers. She served on the EDIC, the Science Oversight Committee, and the Selection Committee as a member and Co-Chair and was never afraid to ask the tough questions.


Members of the PCORI Board of Governors seated around a conference room table during a 2019 meeting.

Freda’s creative thinking and problem solving served us well as we thought through ways to transform research. Her ability to marry outside-the-box thinking and practical solutions was invaluable as we sought to launch novel projects. We’re grateful for her contributions as Chair of the Research Transformation Committee.

We also express our deep appreciation and gratitude to Gray, who so ably served as Chairperson of PCORI’s Board of Governors for six years. His leadership in engaging patients and stakeholders in our research efforts combined with a strong commitment to funding rigorous research were foundational to PCORI’s mission and vision. Gray was also a member of the EDIC and served as Chair of the Governance Committee.

Our outgoing members have all given PCORI 10 years of outstanding leadership, serving on the Board since PCORI’s inception and seeing us through our funding reauthorization. We are grateful for their commitment and for teaching us the importance of listening to our stakeholders, balancing their input, and translating it into innovative ways to examine research questions. We express our gratitude to them for showing us it’s possible to build an organization and weather uncertain times by remaining focused on delivering on our mission and building a robust and resilient organization that can move nimbly to serve its mission. We appreciate them for helping us take bold steps—and risks—to include patients and caregivers as partners in the research enterprise. We thank them for championing the important role of science, engagement, and implementation and dissemination in addressing critical health issues.

Each of our outgoing Board members made indelible contributions to PCORI. We are sincerely grateful for their years of dedication and leadership.

Moving Forward Boldly

We have a full agenda as our incoming class of Board members joins us. Last winter’s legislation reauthorizing our funding for 10 years included new research priority areas for us to address: strategies for improving maternal mortality and improving health for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Also, we are beginning a forward-looking re-examination of our National Priorities for Health and Research Agenda that guide our comparative clinical effectiveness research funding. Those efforts all fall within our strategic plan that we will shape in the months ahead.

And of course, we will continue our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing to bear our resources and unique place in the health research environment to add to knowledge on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of infection and disease. We look forward to our new Board members’ guidance and contributions to the important work we will do in the coming years.

We know our Board will provide thoughtful leadership to support our focus on new ways to meet our stakeholders’ needs for useful evidence, answering the questions vital to them as they make challenging decisions in an evolving healthcare system.

Please take a moment to learn more about our Board’s latest additions and refamiliarize yourself with their veteran colleagues.

What's Happening at PCORI?

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute sends weekly emails about opportunities to apply for funding, newly funded research studies and engagement projects, results of our funded research, webinars, and other new information posted on our site.

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