AUGUSTA – Senate President Troy Jackon, D-Allagash, presented his nominations to the newly created Advisory Council on Affordable Healthcare before the Legislature’s Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services Committee on Tuesday. All of President Jackson’s nominees – Carl Toney of Scarborough, Mallory Shaughnessy of Westbrook, Katie Fullam Harris of Yarmouth, Kate Ende of South Portland, and Annie Graham of North Yarmouth – earned unanimous support from the Committee.
President Jackson has also nominated Christy Daggett of Presque Isle to serve on the Council as someone with expertise in health economics and research. Her confirmation hearing will be held at a later date.
“Hardworking Maine families and seniors are done waiting for pharmaceutical executives and corporate conglomerates to do the right thing, and quite frankly, so are Maine lawmakers. It’s why we created the Office of Affordable Health Care to lower the cost of prescription drugs and make health care more affordable and accessible for regular, everyday people,” said President Jackson. “With this impressive slate of health care advocates, frontline health care workers and health care administrators serving on the Advisory Council of this new independent agency, I’m confident we can begin delivering on a health care system that works for Maine people.”
- Carl Toney of Scarborough will serve on the Advisory Council on Affordable Healthcare as a representative of the interests of older residents of this State. He began his career as a physician’s assistant and currently works with AARP-Maine as a Health Care Planning Associate and as a board member of the Southern Maine Agency on Aging. Toney has been a life-long advocate for compassionate health care, especially for vulnerable communities.
- Mallory Shaughnessy of Westbrook will serve on the Advisory Council on Affordable Health Care as a representative of behavioral health care provider interests. She is the Executive Director of the Alliance for Addiction and Mental Health Services. She has worked with addiction and mental health services that provide resources to Maine people across the state. She is deeply civically engaged in areas that include mental health and addiction and beyond.
- Katie Fullam Harris of Yarmouth will serve on the Advisory Council on Affordable Healthcare as a representative of hospital interests. She is the Chief Government Affairs Officer at MaineHealth, where she has worked in several roles since 2008. Prior to working at MaineHealth, she worked at several healthcare-focused organizations in Maine. She also holds a Masters of Health Policy and Management from University of Southern Maine.
- Kate Ende of South Portland will serve on the Advisory Council on Affordable Health Care as a representative health care consumer advocate. She is the Policy Director at Consumers for Affordable Health Care in Augusta. Kate works with CAHC to make sure that people across Maine have readily available assistance to navigate both public and private health insurance marketplaces. Prior to her position as Policy Director, Kate worked directly with health care consumers to answer their questions and assist them with getting health care coverage.
- Annie Graham of North Yarmouth will serve on the Advisory Council on Affordable Health Care as a representative of primary care provider interests. She is a career-long health care provider who obtained her Masters of Science in Nursing in 1986. As a nurse, she has worked as a pediatric nurse practitioner at practices in Yarmouth and Scarborough, as well as in schools. She has also served as faculty at St. Joseph’s College, as a member of the Maine House, and with the American Cancer Society.
All nominees will now go before the Maine Senate for a confirmation vote on Jan. 26. Motions to overturn the Committee’s recommendation, or reject the confirmation of a nominee require two-thirds support of the members present.
The Advisory Council on Affordable Healthcare was created during the 130th legislature as part of the Office of Affordable Healthcare. The Council was established to study in-depth trends and issues in Maine’s healthcare and make recommendations to the Governor and legislative oversight office. The Advisory Council includes 13 members who must be confirmed by the Committee on Health Coverage, Insurance, and Financial Services. Of these 13 appointments, six are made by the Senate President and five are made by the Speaker of the House. The Commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the Commissioner of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services each fill a non-voting role on the Council. All confirmed members will serve a 5-year term.