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WASHINGTON, DC — The Comptroller General of the United States, Gene L. Dodaro, who serves as the head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), has announced the appointment of six new members of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute’s (PCORI) Board of Governors.

PCORI’s Board of Governors consists of up to 21 representatives of the patient, health care consumer, clinical, health insurance, employer, research, industry, policy and other health care sectors appointed by the Comptroller General, plus the directors of the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or the directors’ designees. The newly appointed Board members are as follows:

  • Christopher Boone, Ph.D., Vice President, Global Head of Health Economics and Outcomes Research, AbbVie
  • Ryan Bradley, N.D., M.P.H., Director of Research and Senior Investigator, National University of Natural Medicine
  • Zoher Ghogawala, M.D., FACS, Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, Tufts University School of Medicine and Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center
  • Debbie Peikes, Ph.D., M.P.A., Vice President, Humana Healthcare Research
  • Kimberly Richardson, M.A., Founder, Black Cancer Collaborative
  • Christopher L. White, Esq., General Counsel and Chief Policy Officer, Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed)

“We congratulate the new appointees and welcome them to the PCORI Board of Governors,” said Nakela L. Cook, M.D., M.P.H. “Their exceptional experience and perspectives will be invaluable to PCORI’s initiatives to help patients and those who care for them make better-informed health care decisions. We look forward to working with them to continue funding comparative clinical effectiveness research that provides evidence to tackle important health and health care challenges facing the nation.”

In addition, current PCORI Board members Russell M. Howerton, M.D., FACS, President for Wake Forest Health Network and Senior Vice President, Clinical Operations and Kathleen Troeger, M.P.H., Senior Director of Real World Evidence Solutions, Medical Device and Diagnostics at Aetion, Inc., were reappointed to second terms.

Dodaro also named Howerton and current Board member Jennifer DeVoe, M.D., D.Phil, Chair of the Oregon Health & Science University Department of Family Medicine, as the new Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of PCORI’s Board, respectively.

“We are delighted with the designation of Russell Howerton and Jennifer DeVoe as the next Board Chairperson and Vice Chairperson, respectively, and look forward to working with them in these roles,” Cook added. “Their unparalleled leadership in delivering health care and engaging patients, and their commitment to generating evidence that will help people make informed health care decisions will be important in advancing PCORI’s mission.”

Cook also thanked several outgoing Board members for their service on the Board since PCORI’s inception. They are as follows:

  • Christine Goertz, D.C., Ph.D., Professor in Musculoskeletal Research at the Duke Clinical Research Institute and Director of System Development and Coordination for Spine Health in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Duke University
  • Sharon Levine, M.D., Associate Executive Director for The Permanente Medical Group of Northern California
  • Ellen Sigal, Ph.D., Chair and founder of Friends of Cancer Research
  • Robert Zwolak, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of Surgical Services at the Manchester VA Medical Center

“Each of these outgoing Board members made indelible contributions to PCORI and we are grateful for their 12 years of dedication and leadership as founding Board members,” Cook added. “Their legacy includes leading PCORI’s recent strategic planning, including the identification of National Priorities for Health and establishment of a Research Agenda, to advance PCORI’s mission. Their commitment to strengthening the foundation for comparative clinical effectiveness research relevant to patients and the broader health community is commendable.”

Cook added, "I also want to note special thanks to Drs. Goertz and Levine, who served as Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of PCORI’s Board of Governors, respectively, for the past three years. They led the Board through an incredibly important and exciting time at PCORI, including reauthorization of PCORI’s funding in 2019 and, along with their Board colleagues, the strategic planning for PCORI’s future."

For more information, please contact Ray Sendejas on GAO’s Health Care team at (202) 512-7113 or Chuck Young in GAO's Office of Public Affairs at (202) 512-4800, or visit the GAO's website.


The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is the nation’s leading funder of patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER). By comparing two or more health or healthcare approaches, CER generates evidence that helps people make better-informed decisions and improves healthcare delivery and outcomes. PCORI takes a holistic approach to its work, ensuring that patients and other health decision makers are engaged as partners throughout the research process, supporting dissemination and implementation of results in practice and strengthening clinical research infrastructure to advance patient-centered CER. PCORI is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress.

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