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Lisa A. Smith is vice president, advocacy and public policy for the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA), the national leadership organization of the Catholic health ministry representing the largest not-for-profit provider of health care services in the nation. She oversees CHA's advocacy agenda and public policy initiatives; directs membership advocacy activities; and leads the organization's legislative efforts with Congress, the White House and administrative agencies. She also serves as CHA's spokesperson for legislative, regulatory and public policy issues.
Previously, Ms. Smith served as senior director of government relations for CHA from 2005-2018. She worked to secure votes for successful passage of the historic Affordable Care Act (ACA), led CHA's efforts to prevent Congress from repealing the ACA and restructuring Medicaid as a block grant program, and spearheaded the ministry's engagement in the long-awaited 10-year reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program.
Prior to joining CHA, Ms. Smith served at Catholic Charities USA, the nation's largest social service provider network, as the organization's primary legislative advocate and policy analyst on health care, Medicaid, immigration and child welfare issues. She shaped and advanced through Congress the enactment of the state Children's Health Insurance Program and worked for protections of legal immigrants' access to safety net programs. She also founded the Children's Health Matters program, a collaboration of Catholic health systems and Catholic Charities agencies, which enrolled over a half-million pregnant women and children into state Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Programs and advocated for streamlined application and enrollment processes.
While pursuing graduate studies at The George Washington University, Ms. Smith was a research associate with the university's Intergovernmental Health Policy Project, now part of the National Conference of State Legislatures, where she tracked and analyzed trends in state health policy. She began her health policy career on the health and welfare staff of the United States Senate Finance Committee under Senator Lloyd Bentsen where she served as a research associate supporting the committee's Medicare and Medicaid legislative priorities.
Ms. Smith earned a bachelor of science degree in economics from the University of Maryland and a master of public administration degree from The George Washington University in Washington D.C.