Press Release

GAO Announces Appointments to CO-OP Program Advisory Board

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 23, 2010) — Gene L. Dodaro, Acting Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), today announced the appointment of 15 members to the Advisory Board to the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) Program. The board, newly created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, will make recommendations to the Department of Health and Human Services on grants and loans to establish nonprofit, member-run health insurers serving the individual and small-group markets.

“The health reform legislation assigned GAO several new responsibilities, including naming members of the advisory board to the CO-OP Program. A number of highly qualified candidates applied for positions on the board. Today’s appointees bring a range of impressive credentials and diverse experiences to this important advisory body,” Dodaro said.

The Act directed the Comptroller General to appoint board members with expertise or experience related to health insurance and health care delivery but without significant interests in the insurance sector. The CO-OP program must award all grants and loans by July 1, 2013; the Advisory Board may continue its work until December 2015.

Below are brief biographies of the appointees. For more information, contact Chuck Young, Managing Director of GAO’s Office of Public Affairs, at (202) 512-4800 or visit GAO’s health care advisory committee web page at

James Brosseau, MD, MPH. Dr. Brosseau is a practicing physician, a clinical professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of North Dakota, and the Director of Altru Diabetes Center in Grand Forks, ND. His work focuses on the coordination of care and the treatment of chronic diseases. He previously held positions with the U.S. Public Health Service and the Indian Health Services.

Herbert C. Buchanan, Jr., MBA. Mr. Buchanan is the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, MD. He was previously Vice President of Operations for Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, IL, and Vice President for Operations and Process Improvement at Huntsville Hospital System in Huntsville, AL.

David S. Buck, MD, MPH. Dr. Buck is a practicing physician, Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, and the Founder and President of Healthcare for the Homeless -- Houston, TX. He is also on the governing board of the Harris County Healthcare Alliance, which has partnered with other local organizations to launch the TexHealth Harris County 3-Share Plan, a program designed to make health benefits affordable for uninsured employees of small businesses.

David A. Carlyle, MD. Dr. Carlyle is a practicing family physician and Co-Medical Director of Homeward Hospice in Ames, IA. He is Chair of Iowa’s Legislative Health Care Coverage Commission, and served on the state’s Legislative Commission on Affordable Health Care Plans for Small Businesses and Families.

Jon B. Christianson, MS, PhD. Mr. Christianson is James A. Hamilton Chair in Health Policy and Management in the Division of Health Policy and Management at the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health. He has conducted a large number of research studies related to health care regulation and finance, HMOs and other health plans, and rural health.

Rick Curtis, MPP. Mr. Curtis has been the President of the Institute for Health Policy Solutions in Washington, DC since 1992. Previously, he was Director of Health Policy Studies for the National Governors Association, Executive Director of the National Academy for State Health Policy, and Director of the Department of Policy Development and Research at the Health Insurance Association of America.

Allen Feezor, MA. Mr. Feezor most recently served as the Deputy Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. He currently coordinates the Department’s efforts to implement health reform. He previously held positions as the Assistant Executive Officer, Health Benefit Services, of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and as Chief Deputy Commissioner for the North Carolina Department of Insurance.

Terry Gardiner. Mr. Gardiner is the National Policy Director of the Small Business Majority. As a commercial fisherman in Alaska, he helped to organize fishermen cooperatives and served five terms in Alaska’s House of Representatives. He also served previously as the President of NorQuest Seafoods in Seattle, WA.

Patricia K. Haugen. Ms. Haugen is the South Dakota Coordinator for the National Breast Cancer Coalition in Sioux Falls, SD and has served as a consumer member of the National Quality Forum Clinician-Level Cancer Care Steering Committee and Outcomes Steering Committee. She is retired from IBM Corporation, where she held positions as a client executive, senior location manager, branch manager, and account principal.

Donna C. Novak, FCA, ASA, MAAA, MBA. Ms. Novak is an actuary and the President of NovaRest Consulting in Sahuarita, AZ, which specializes in reducing health care costs and measuring the financial health of insurers. She has held several leadership positions at the American Academy of Actuaries, including Vice Chair of its Health Practice Council and Vice President of its Financial Reporting Council.

William Oemichen. Mr. Oemichen is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Cooperative Network, an association representing more than 600 member cooperatives from Minnesota and Wisconsin. He was formerly Deputy Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the top trade and consumer protection official for the state of Wisconsin.

Michael Pramenko, MD. Dr. Pramenko is a practicing physician and the President-elect of the Colorado Medical Society in Grand Junction, CO. He previously served two terms as President of the Mesa County Medical Society.

Tim Size, MBA. Mr. Size is the Executive Director of the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative in Sauk City, WI. He is also a member of the Wisconsin Hospital Association’s Rural Health Council and the state of Wisconsin’s Rural Health Development Council, and serves as the Vice Chair of the Wisconsin Health and Educational Facilities Authority.

Margaret Stanley, MA, MHA. Ms. Stanley, currently retired, previously served as the Executive Director of the Puget Sound Health Alliance in Seattle, WA. She also held positions as Health Benefits Administrator of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and Administrator of the Washington State Health Care Authority.

Barbara Yondorf, MPP. Ms. Yondorf is the President of Yondorf & Associates, a health policy consulting firm. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative in Denver, CO. She previously held senior positions with the Colorado Division of Insurance, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the Colorado Department of Health.


The U.S. Government Accountability Office, known as the investigative arm of Congress, exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities. GAO also works to improve the performance of the federal government and ensure its accountability to the American people. The agency examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other data to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO’s commitment to good government is reflected in its core values of accountability, integrity, and reliability.