Michael Sheppard, CPA, CAE
Mike Sheppard is a business professional with over 25 years of corporate leadership experience. As the Chief Executive Officer of the AUA, he is responsible for AUA's four corporate entities, including the Urology Care Foundation, AUA’s official foundation for urologic patient education and research. In over 23 years with the AUA, Mr. Sheppard has held several executive level positions and has served as AUA's CEO since 2005.
Prior to joining the AUA, Mr. Sheppard served in senior level business positions at USF&G Realty Advisors, Inc., as a real estate portfolio controller, and C.W. Amos and Company, LLC as a senior independent public auditor. In addition, he is a retiree of the U.S. Naval Reserves Service. He has numerous professional affiliations, including memberships with the American Society of Association Executives, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Greater Washington Society of Association Executives and Institute of Management Accountants Association. Mr. Sheppard received his MBA from Loyola College's Sellinger School. He is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Association Executive. Mr. Sheppard is the recipient of several awards, including many military honors. He has written a number of published articles and participates on several committees for medical-related organizations, including a past Treasurer and Board member of the Council of Medical Specialty Societies.
Sue Sedory, MA, CAE
Susan (Sue) Sedory, M.A., CAE, is a respected chief executive with more than 30 years of experience working in association, corporate and federal government sectors.
Currently, Ms. Sedory (formerly Sedory Holzer) is the Executive Director of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), the national medical society representing emergency medicine. As Executive Director, she oversees ACEP’s $42M annual operations and works on behalf of its 40,000 emergency physician members, and the more than 150 million Americans they treat each year. Through continuing education, research, public education and advocacy, ACEP promotes the highest quality of emergency care and is the leading advocate for emergency physicians, their patients and the public. As ACEP’s fourth executive director—and first female in this position—in the College’s more than 50-year history, Ms. Sedory’s thoughtful and incisive leadership style is guiding the organization through and beyond the current COVID-19 crisis to a newly defined era of emergency medicine.
Ms. Sedory has been the Executive Director of the Society of Interventional Radiology since 2011, leading the association of more than 8,100 interventional radiology physicians, scientists and clinical professionals in the shared goal to optimize minimally invasive patient care. Ms. Sedory also spent 10 years at the American Academy of Otolaryngology in various positions, including Chief Strategy Officer, and started her career as a researcher at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders at the National Institutes of Health and a health services researcher with The MEDSTAT Group.
Ms. Sedory holds a Master's Degree in Speech Science from the University of Maryland, and has authored numerous peer-reviewed papers. She received her Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation in 2008 and serves on the Advisory Board for Digital Now, the leading conference where association leaders tackle transformative and strategic issues.
Sue lives in Grapevine, TX, yet remains a die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers fan. She and her husband enjoy travel and just about any kind of indoor or outdoor fitness activities, especially if it involves their four grown children and their families.
Martha L. Liggett, Esq.
Martha L. Liggett is Executive Director of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), which represents over 17,000 hematologists and research scientists worldwide committed to preventing and curing blood diseases. Ms. Liggett joined ASH as Associate Executive Director in April 1996 and was named Executive Director in December 1996.
During her tenure, ASH has transitioned to self-management; undertaken self-publication of its journal, Blood; brought management of the Society’s annual meeting in-house; and purchased and renovated a headquarters building that was certified LEED Platinum upon completion. The ASH annual operating budget is approximately $80 million, annual meeting attendance is nearly 30,000, and Blood is published weekly along with a second online, open-access journal, Blood Advances. The ASH staff size is currently 137.
Ms. Liggett served as member of the board of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) from 2013 to 2016; during that time, she was a member of its Awards Committee, Leadership Committee, and Audit Committee. She continues as a member of the ASAE Key Professionals Associations Committee (KPAC), which she served as Vice Chair (2008-2009) and Chair (2009-2010). She is also a member of the Key Global Associations Committee (KGAC). Ms. Liggett was a member of the board of directors of the Association Mutual Health Insurance Company (AMHIC) from 2005 to 2010, serving as Vice Chair from 2009-10; she also chaired its Strategic Planning Committee.
Ms. Liggett received her undergraduate education at the University of Nebraska, School of Dentistry, her Master of Science degree from Columbia University in New York City, and her law degree from Georgetown University. She is admitted to the bar in the District of Columbia and Nebraska. In 2013, Ms. Liggett was named Cather Circle Alumna of the Year by the University of Nebraska.
Prior to joining ASH, Ms. Liggett was assistant professor, Department of Community Dentistry at Boston University School of Dental Medicine (1975-1976); Associate Professor, Department of Community Dentistry at Georgetown University School of Dentistry (1976-1981); and served as General Counsel and Assistant Executive Director at the American Association of Dental Schools (1981-96).
Ms. Liggett is married to James Bader, a dental health services outcomes researcher who recently retired from the faculty of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Their son, Nicholas, is a 2012 Boston College graduate. Nick served twice in the Peace Corps – in Nepal and in Rwanda – and will study International Development at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government beginning September 2019.
William T. Thorwarth Jr. MD, FACR
William (Bill) Thorwarth MD is the Chief Executive Officer of the American College of Radiology, assuming that role in April 2014.
After receiving his undergraduate and medical degrees from Dartmouth College and Medical School, he trained in internal medicine at Penn State in Hershey PA. He completed his radiology residency at the University of North Carolina, serving as chief resident his final year. He practiced interventional and diagnostic radiology as a member of Catawba Radiological Associates in Hickory, NC for nearly 30 years.
Dr. Thorwarth became actively involved with the American College of Radiology in 1986, initially at the state and subsequently at the national level. After initially being involved in the development of ACR Standards (now Practice Parameters and Technical Standards), he shifted his emphasis to Economics and Health Policy, chairing the Committee on Coding and Nomenclature while also assuming the position of ACR advisor to both the AMA Relative Value System Update Committee (RUC) and the AMA CPT Editorial Panel. He was then elected to the ACR Board of Chancellors where he chaired the Commission on Economics for 5 years before assuming the role of ACR President from 2003-2004.
In addition to the ACR activities, Dr. Thorwarth was appointed to a seat on the AMA Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Editorial Panel in 1999, which oversees the CPT coding process, and was appointed as Chairman of the Panel beginning October 2007, concluding that service in June 2011.
Dr. Thorwarth served on the Advisory Board to the Institute of Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), a nationally renowned body performing Clinical Effectiveness Research.
He has also been active in the RSNA, chairing the “Visionaries in Practice” fund raising program for the RSNA Research and Education Foundation. He was appointed to the R and E Foundation Board of Trustees in 2006 and subsequently to the RSNA Board of Directors where he served as Liaison for Publications and Communications until assuming his current position with the ACR.
Paul Pomerantz, FACHE
Paul Pomerantz is CEO of the American Society of Anesthesiologists®(ASA®). He received a Master of Business Administration specializing in health administration from Temple University, after which he served in executive roles at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Medical College of Pennsylvania (now Drexel). Pomerantz has held CEO roles at the Drug Information Association, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Society of Interventional Radiology, and Clinical Laboratory Management Association.
Pomerantz is also active in healthcare and professional leadership. In recent years, he served as chair of the Center for Association Leadership (ASAE Foundation) and treasurer of the National Health Council (NHC). He also served as chair of ASAE Business Services, Inc, and as Chair of ASAE Power of A committee. He currently serves as chair of Association Forum (Chicago) and is the founder and past co-chair of the Healthcare Collaborative. He is a frequent speaker and writer on topics of association, healthcare leadership, governance, and strategy.
AT LARGE MEMBER
Saul Levin, MD, MPA, FRCP-E, FRCPsych
Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A., FRCP-E, FRCPsych, is the Chief Executive Officer and Medical Director of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Prior to assuming this role in October 2013, Dr. Levin led the District of Columbia Department of Health (DOH). There, Dr. Levin was responsible for the health of the nation’s capital, including primary care for from infants to the seniors on Medicaid and Medicare, DC-funded health care, HIV/AIDS, addictions, health professional licensing and regulation, policy and planning. He was also responsible for health emergency preparedness, planning and coordinating alongside dozens of federal and local agencies to ensure the public’s health during major events such as President Obama’s second inauguration. Moreover, he promoted the development of a citywide health information exchange that connects health care providers, shares critical information to promote patient care, tracks outcomes, prepares for disasters and provides for public health surveillance.
Dr. Levin also served on the D.C. Health Exchange Board and chaired the Essential Health Benefits Package Subcommittee, where he successfully led the effort to ensure that residents of the District of Columbia had access to a full range of substance abuse and mental health services. He also co-chaired the committee that oversaw the integration of substance abuse and mental health services into the new Department of Behavioral Health.
In 2012, Dr. Levin served briefly as Senior Deputy Director of DOH’s Addiction Prevention and Recovery Administration. During his tenure, Dr. Levin promoted substance abuse prevention efforts in all eight wards of the city through the work of the Prevention and Access to Recovery teams, including implementation of over $20 million in federal grants for services, assessed and referred an increasing number of individuals into treatment services, and connected more clients to recovery support services.
Dr. Levin has long been involved in organized medicine and psychiatry. He served as Vice President for Science, Medicine, and Public Health at the American Medical Association. There, he oversaw programs related to evolving health delivery systems, such as in the areas of prevention and health care disparities. He also led efforts to improve the interface between clinical medicine and public health.
Among other positions Dr. Levin has held includes serving as a special expert appointee in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he led the initiative to integrate primary care, substance abuse, mental health, and HIV/AIDS response. While serving as President for Access Consulting International Inc., he worked with federal, state, and local governments and private companies to provide health policy, program, and research and evaluation services.
He is a former President and CEO of Medical Education for South African Blacks, an anti-apartheid education trust that provided scholarships to South African black students in health care. He helped award more than 11,000 scholarships to students studying to become physicians, nurses, substance abuse counselors and other health care professionals.
In 1982, Dr. Levin received his M.B.B.Ch. (M.D.) from the University Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and completed his residency in psychiatry at the University of California, Davis, Medical Center. In 1994, he received his master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians – Edinburgh, and Clinical Professor at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C.
AT LARGE MEMBER
Dina L. Michels, JD
Dina L. Michels, JD is the Senior Vice President and Chief Legal & Personnel Officer at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Ms. Michels joined ASCO’s office of the Executive Vice President in 2006. In the last decade, she has served as ASCO’s corporate secretary and as general counsel to the Foundation. Her current role is Senior Vice President and Chief Legal & Personnel Officer. She has been an active member of the CMSS General Counsel Component Group. She also led efforts to develop the CMSS Code for Interaction with Companies.
Ms. Michels has more than 20 years of experience as a health care and corporate attorney. Prior to joining ASCO, she was a partner with Ropes & Gray LLP, in its Corporate Department and Health Care Group. Ms. Michels anchored the firm’s mid-Atlantic health care practice and represented numerous academic medical institutions and hospitals. In 2004, she was honored by Nightingale’s Healthcare News as an “Outstanding Healthcare Transaction Lawyer.” She also has specialized expertise in Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations, health care reimbursement, nonprofit corporate governance, compliance, and managed care. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history and literature from Harvard College, and a law degree with honors from Georgetown University Law Center, where she was an editor of the Georgetown Law Journal. Ms. Michels is a member of the bar in Massachusetts, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
AT LARGE MEMBER
Patricia L. Turner, MD, FACS
Patricia L. Turner, MD, MBA, FACS is the executive director of the American College of Surgeons and a clinical associate professor at the University of Chicago Medicine. She was previously director of the Division of Member Services at the American College of Surgeons, and prior to joining the College, Dr. Turner spent eight years in full-time academic practice on the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where she was the surgery residency program director. Roles in national professional organizations or institutions include member of the Board of Directors of the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, and OceanFirst Bank (OCFC), chair of the American College of Surgeons’ Delegation to the AMA House of Delegates, chair of the Society of Black Academic Surgeons Foundation Fund, past chair of the AMA Council on Medical Education, past chair of the Surgical Section of the NMA, and past president of the Society of Black Academic Surgeons.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University, Dr. Turner continued her training as an intern and resident in surgery at Howard University Hospital in Washington, DC. Her fellowship training in minimally invasive and laparoscopic surgery was completed at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Weill-Cornell University School of Medicine, and Columbia University School of Medicine in New York City. Her MBA was completed at the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business. Dr. Turner is board-certified in surgery, is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and member of the American Surgical Association, Southern Surgical Association, Southeastern Surgical Congress, Society of University Surgeons, Association of Women Surgeons, Latino Surgical Society, and an honorary member of the Asociación Colombiana de Cirugia.
PUBLIC BOARD MEMBER
Donna Cryer, JD
Donna R. Cryer, JD is Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Global Liver Institute, the only patient-driven liver health nonprofit operating across the US, EU, and UK. GLI convenes the NASH, Liver Cancer and Pediatric and Rare Liver Disease Councils, as well as the Liver Action Network, collectively more than 200 organizations.
Mrs. Cryer has channeled her personal experience as a patient with inflammatory bowel disease and a 27-year liver transplant recipient into professional advocacy across a career in law, policy, consulting, public relations, clinical trial recruitment, and nonprofit management. She is the recipient of the 2021 Global Genes RARE Champions of Hope Founder’s Award and the 2021 AASLD Distinguished Advocacy Service Award.
At GLI, Mrs. Cryer has raised more than $10 million for liver health initiatives. Among her many accomplishments with GLI, she developed a program featured by the White House on Solving Organ Shortage/Transplantation. She has launched numerous other successful programs at GLI, including the Cure Campaign, Advanced Advocacy Academy (A3), Liver Matters Blog, Liver Matters Health Policy Memo, the NASH Council, the Liver Cancers Council and the Pediatric and Rare Liver Diseases Council.
She is a frequent speaker on the topic of patient-centeredness and patient engagement in healthcare transformation and created a unique model for advocacy that mobilizes patients, influences policy, and coalesces clinicians to improve patient outcomes. In May 2021, she testified before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, in a pivotal hearing on reforming the broken organ procurement system. Her testimony highlighted the racial disparities in organ transplantation. Thanks to consistent, fact-based advocacy from GLI, other allied groups, the media, and Congress, meaningful reforms to improve the system are finalized and forthcoming. Her advocacy for better representation of people of color in the organ procurement system includes urging the U.S. Office of Management and Budget to implement three concrete steps she identified to facilitate more transplants for people of color and an elevated performance for the entire system, benefiting all patients.
For almost a decade, Mrs. Cryer founded and led CryerHealth, a healthcare consulting firm providing strategic counsel to top biopharmaceutical companies, patient advocacy organizations and emerging technology firms on patient engagement in health information technology, drug discovery and clinical decision making.
Earlier in her career, Mrs. Cryer worked at the United Network for Organ Sharing in Richmond, Va., where she negotiated organ allocation regulations with the Department of Health and Human Services as part of the special executive staff/board member team. She also organized an immunosuppressive coalition of pharmaceutical companies, transplantation groups and key congressional offices, resulting in increased coverage of immunosuppressive medications under Medicare.
Mrs. Cryer serves on the Boards of Directors for the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, Sibley Memorial Hospital/Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Innovation and Value Initiative (IVI), and the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative. She was the first patient to serve on the ABIM Gastroenterology Specialty Board, was one of the founding members of the AASLD Patient Advisory Committee and is the Community Representative on the AASLD NASH Task Force. Previously, Mrs. Cryer served on the Executive Committee of the People-Centered Research Foundation. She was appointed by the U.S. Government Accountability Office to serve as the patient and consumer representative on the Health Information Technology Policy Committee, the federal advisory body to the National Coordinator for HIT. In addition, she served as a patient representative to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as a member of the Stakeholder Advisory Group to the NIH Learning Health System Research Collaboratory, as well as on the ABIM Gastroenterology Specialty Board and on an American Society of Clinical Oncology Guidelines Committee.
Mrs. Cryer was proud to serve as a member of the White House Task Force on e-health Equity in 2013. As part of the task force, she worked with a summit of experts on health disparities and health information technology to establish a framework to ensure that underserved populations benefit from advances in health technologies.
She has been named one of the Top Blacks in Healthcare by the Milken Institute at GW School of Public Health and BlackDoctors.org, one of the Top 10 Patients Who Make An Impact by Health 2.0 and one of PharmaVoice’s 100 Most Inspiring People. She is a frequent speaker on patient centricity in research and healthcare delivery at meetings of Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), National Quality Forum (NQF), American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) and the National Academy of Medicine (NAM).
Mrs. Cryer received an undergraduate degree from Harvard and a Juris Doctorate from the Georgetown University Law Center.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (ex-officio Board Member)
Helen Burstin, MD, MPH, MACP
Helen Burstin, MD, MPH, MACP is the Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) which represents 45-member specialty societies with collective membership of 800,000 U.S. physician members. CMSS works to support and strengthen specialty societies and catalyzes improvement through convening, collaboration, collective voice, and action. CMSS provides a proactive platform to assess and address emerging and critical issues across specialty societies that influence the future of healthcare and the patients we serve.
Dr. Burstin formerly served as Chief Scientific Officer of The National Quality Forum, a not-for-profit membership organization that works to catalyze healthcare improvement through quality measurement and reporting. In her role, she was responsible for advancing the science of quality measurement and improvement. She is widely recognized for her work in patient-reported outcomes, risk adjustment, disparities, and patient safety. Prior to joining NQF, Dr. Burstin was the Director of the Center for Primary Care, Prevention, and Clinical Partnerships at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). She led the development of the first National Healthcare Disparities Report and practice-based research networks. She provided oversight to the US Preventive Services Task Force. Prior to joining AHRQ, Dr. Burstin was Director of Quality Measurement at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. She was a Baldrige Executive Fellow in 2016.
Dr. Burstin is the author of more than 100 articles and book chapters on quality, safety and disparities. She has served on expert panels and steering committees for the US Department of Health and Human Services, National Quality Forum, and the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Burstin currently serves on the boards of AcademyHealth and the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine.
Dr. Burstin is a graduate of the State University of New York at Upstate College of Medicine and the Harvard School of Public Health. She spent a year in Washington, DC as National President of the American Medical Student Association. Dr. Burstin completed a residency in primary care internal medicine at Boston City Hospital. After residency, she completed fellowship training in General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at George Washington University where she serves as a preceptor in internal medicine and a Professorial Lecturer in the Department of Health Policy at George Washington University School of Public Health. She was awarded the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Voluntary Attending Award from the George Washington School of Medicine.
CMSS Leadership Throughout the Years
Past CMSS Executive Vice President & CEOs:
-Richard S. Wilbur, MD, JD – 1976-1992
-Rebecca Rhine Gschwend, MA, MBA – 1992-2002
-Bruce E. Spivey, MD – 2002-2005
-Walter McDonald, MD, MACP – 2005-2007
-Norman Kahn, MD – 2008-2017