AHIP Announces Leadership Changes

Jeanette Thornton joins the leadership team to lead policy and strategy
Kristine Grow named Acting Head of Public Affairs and Strategic Initiatives as David Merritt heads to Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

WASHINGTON, DC – (September 19, 2022) – Today, AHIP announced changes to key leadership positions as it continues its work to improve health care coverage, access and affordability for every American. First, Jeanette Thornton is promoted to Executive Vice President of Public Policy and Strategy, effective immediately. Second, with the announcement of David Merritt, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Strategic Initiatives, departure for the Blue Cross Blue Shield associationKristine Grow will become acting chef.

“AHIP’s strong team of employees and leaders are driven by a resolute commitment to driving real solutions that improve the health, well-being and financial stability of every American,” said Matt Eyles, President and CEO. from the management of AHIP. . “We look forward to building on our very strong foundation to make further progress in improving the affordability, access, equity and value of health care.”

With nearly 20 years of experience in health policy and government, Jeanette Thornton is one of the nation’s foremost experts on health insurance law, regulation and operations. Thornton joined AHIP in 2006, leading public policy related to the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the individual market.

After holding several positions of extended responsibility, Thornton most recently served as Senior Vice President of Product, Employer and Business Policy for AHIP. In this role, she led policy initiatives and research on many difficult and far-reaching issues, including stabilizing the individual market, legislation to end surprise medical bills for patients, working with health care the White House and the administration to address COVID-19 and mental health. health care needs and management of health issues for women and LGBTQIA+ people.

Prior to his tenure at AHIP, Thornton held positions in the Office of Budget and Social Security Management and Administration.

“Health care impacts everyone, and Jeanette’s leadership has been essential in guiding AHIP and our members through some of the most impactful and difficult legislative, regulatory and implementation issues over the years. last 15 years,” Eyles said. “I look forward to further enhancing our policy-focused strength, growth, insight and alignment as Jeanette now takes the lead in AHIP’s comprehensive policy practice and joins our leadership team.”

“The public policy team is a central and essential part of AHIP’s advocacy capabilities, projecting how new policy proposals might impact the health and financial stability of all Americans,” Thornton said. “I am excited to work with my colleagues, the AHIP Board of Directors, and member organizations in this new role to further expand the ability of health insurance providers to guide better health.”

David Merritt, executive vice president of public affairs and strategic initiatives, will leave AHIP in October to become senior vice president of policy and advocacy at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Since joining AHIP in 2016, Merritt has led many key initiatives that have increased AHIP’s reach and influence inside the Beltway and in the states. Merritt also advanced the reputation of health insurance providers as a contributor of value to the health and financial security of Americans, in AHIP’s engagement with multiple health care coalitions, and in the strong driving force AHIP Health Care Advocacy.

“Under David’s leadership, we have made great strides in demonstrating the value of health insurance providers and promoting real health care solutions for American families,” Eyles said. “I greatly appreciate David’s strategic insights and results-oriented initiatives, which have repeatedly benefited our members. I wish him the best and look forward to continuing to collaborate as he pursues this next stage of his career.

“Throughout my tenure at AHIP, I have seen time and time again how health insurance providers rise to the challenge of improving affordability and access to health care,” Merritt said. “It has been an honor to work with this outstanding team, who never waver in their commitment to improving care and coverage for all.”

Kristine Grow, senior vice president of communications and public affairs, will lead AHIP’s public affairs and strategic initiatives team on an interim basis, as Merritt’s replacement is sought. Grow served as Aetna’s Vice President of Corporate Communications before joining AHIP in 2016. With over 25 years of experience in communications and public affairs, her work at AHIP has included leading initiatives that put highlights the industry’s role in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic, improving access to mental health care, and championing Americans’ health care privacy. Grow also led the AHIP brand refresh last year to better align with health insurance providers’ commitment to Leading Greater Health for All Americans.

“AHIP is driven by a team culture that encourages collaboration, innovation and results,” Eyles said. “Kristine has been integral to the success of AHIP, and her leadership will provide important continuity as we continue to build on our strategy and vision for 2023 and beyond.”

“AHIP continues to be a leading national voice in health care advocacy and a highly influential organization that delivers real results for its members and the millions of consumers they serve,” Eyles concluded. “We go into the remainder of this year in a very strong position with our recent advocacy successes and with a deep and talented team that is extremely well prepared to advance our industry’s key goals.”

About the AHIP

AHIP is the national association whose members provide health care coverage, services and solutions to hundreds of millions of Americans every day. We are committed to delivering market-based solutions and public-private partnerships that improve healthcare and make coverage more affordable and accessible to everyone. Visit www.ahip.org to learn how, working together, we guide greater health.

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