CHA has promoted Lisa Smith to vice president, advocacy and public policy. She leads strategy and day-to-day operations of CHA's advocacy and public policy department, which includes government relations, grassroots engagement, community benefit and public policy development.
Smith had been the senior director, government relations for CHA for 14 years, representing the Catholic health ministry's legislative priorities with Congress and the administration. She worked to secure votes needed for the passage of the Affordable Care Act and has advanced the ministry's work to prevent Congress from repealing the ACA and restructuring Medicaid as a block grant program.
Smith also worked to ensure the enactment of legislation to delay the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital funding cuts set forth in ACA as a tradeoff for increased insurance coverage in the U.S. population. She supported the 10-year reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program, a program she was engaged in shaping and advancing through Congress in her prior position as senior director of health and welfare policy for Catholic Charities USA, the nation's largest social service provider network.
Smith joined CHA's advocacy staff in 2005 when the organization was bolstering its resources to advocate for health reform, Medicaid and Medicare policy. She brought experience in public policy analysis, grassroots outreach and advocacy at the state and federal levels.
At Catholic Charities, Smith had been the organization's primary legislative advocate and policy analyst on health care, Medicaid, immigration and child welfare issues. She founded the collaborative outreach and enrollment program, Children's Health Matters. The program, which brought together Catholic health systems and Catholic Charities agencies, 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 her master's of public administration in health policy at The George Washington University, Smith was a research associate with the university's Intergovernmental Health Policy Project, now part of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Smith began her health policy career on the health and welfare staff of the United States Senate Finance Committee where she was a research associate supporting the committee's Medicare and Medicaid legislative priorities.
Since assuming the vice presidency at CHA in February, Smith has added two directors of government relations in the association's Washington office, Paulo Pontemayor and Lucas Swanepoel.
Pontemayor joined the advocacy staff in February from The Joint Commission where he was associate director for federal relations. He previously was a legislative analyst in the office of the assistant secretary for legislation at the Department of Health and Human Services.
Swanepoel joined CHA in late April from Catholic Charities USA where he was the vice president of social policy. An attorney, Swanepoel previously was associate director of government relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
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