OUR Moderator

Charlie Gibson

Charlie Gibson is a former United States broadcast television anchor and journalist. He was a host of Good Morning America from 1987 to 1998 and 1999 to 2006 and anchor of World News with Charles Gibson from 2006 to 2009.  Gibson's career spanned from 1965 to 2009, with beginnings as the news director for Princeton University's student-run radio station, a radio producer for RKO, and a reporter for local television stations. In 1975, he joined ABC News, where he worked as a general assignment reporter and correspondent from Washington, D.C., until becoming a host of Good Morning America in 1987. He held that position until 1998, but hosted the show again from 1999 to 2006. Gibson was the anchor for World News with Charles Gibson from 2006 until he retired in 2009.


Dr. Delos “Toby” Cosgrove, CEO of the Cleveland Clinic


Delos M. Cosgrove M.D., is president and chief executive officer of Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Cosgrove first joined Cleveland Clinic in 1975. As CEO, Dr. Cosgrove presides over a $8 billion healthcare system comprised of the Cleveland Clinic, nine regional hospitals, 21 family health and ambulatory surgery centers, Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Cleveland Clinic Toronto, and Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. Under his leadership, Cleveland Clinic has consistently been named among America’s top five hospitals (U.S.News & World Report) and is one of only two hospitals named among “America’s 99 Most Ethical Companies” (Ethisphere Institute).

Dr. Cosgrove received his medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville and completed his clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Brook General Hospital in London. His undergraduate work was at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

He was a surgeon in the U.S. Air Force and served in Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam as the Chief of U.S. Air Force Casualty Staging Flight. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Republic of Vietnam Commendation Medal.

Joining Cleveland Clinic in 1975, Dr. Cosgrove was named chairman of the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular surgery in 1989. Under his leadership, Cleveland Clinic’s heart program was ranked number one in America for ten years in a row (U.S. News & World Report).

He has published nearly 450 journal articles, book chapters, one book and 17 training and continuing medical education films. He performed more than 22,000 operations and earned an international reputation for expertise in all areas of cardiac surgery, especially valve repair. As an innovator, Dr. Cosgrove has 30 patents filed for developing medical and clinical products used in surgical environments.

Dr. Cosgrove is a sought-after speaker worldwide. He has addressed the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, in Washington, D.C. He is regularly quoted and featured in national magazines and newspapers, including a cover story in Time, and major articles in Newsweek, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. He has appeared on CNN, Fox, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, “The Charlie Rose Show” on PBS, and other national media outlets.

The recipient of Cleveland Clinic’s Master Clinician Award, Innovator of the Year Award and Lerner Humanitarian Award, Dr. Cosgrove is also a member of Cleveland Medical Hall of Fame and Cleveland Business Hall of Fame. In 2007 he was named Cleveland Business Executive of the Year by the Sales and Marketing Executives of Cleveland, and Castle Connolly’s National Physician of the Year. He also received the Woodrow Wilson Center Award for Public Service as well as Harvard Business School’s Award from HBS Alumni, Cleveland, and the Humanitarian Award of the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio. Dr. Cosgrove topped Inside Business’s “Power 100” listing for Northeast Ohio, and is highly ranked among Modern Healthcare’s “100 most powerful people in healthcare” and “most powerful physician executives.

Jeremy L. Clark, Market Chief Executive Officer, Hilton Head Regional Healthcare

Jeremy Clark.jpg

Jeremy Clark was appointed Market Chief Executive Officer for Hilton Head Hospital in January 2015 after serving as CEO of Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett, a 196-bed acute care hospital outside Memphis, Tennessee.  Clark also previously served as Vice President and Chief of Staff for Tenet CEO Trevor Fetter at Tenet’s corporate headquarters in Dallas, Texas.  He was named to the 2014 Becker's Hospital Review’s list of "Rising Stars: 25 Healthcare Leaders Under 40," a list recognizes men and women who have demonstrated excellence in their healthcare organizations and professional lives before turning 40.

Clark received a bachelor’s degree in biology and history, and a master’s degree in business administration, from Duke University.  He is married to Amanda and they have a three year old daughter, Madison Grace, and a 1 year old son, Jackson.

Al Delia, Director,  Office of Health Access at the Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University

Al Delia serves as the Director of the Office of Health Access at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. Mr. Delia is charged with establishing and leading the Office of Health Access in response to the transformation of healthcare delivery in the United States. The Office of Health Access is designed to help educate stakeholders and local, state and federal policy-makers about the opportunities, benefits, and challenges presented by the options available to the State of North Carolina in implementing healthcare reforms. In this position, Delia informs and educates all affected stakeholders – particularly patients, providers and payers – about requirements and opportunities in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and other relevant state and federal legislation and regulation. The focus of the Office of Health Access is to help eastern North Carolina achieve the “triple aim” of healthcare reform – improving the experience of care, improving patient health and reducing costs. Further, Delia initiates and coordinates efforts by relevant stakeholders to develop and implement programs to achieve the triple aim.

Before returning to East Carolina University (ECU), Delia was appointed by Governor Beverly Perdue as the 11th Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, where he served until 2013. Prior to leading the largest and most complex department in the State, Al was senior advisor and policy director to the Governor. 

Before joining the governor’s office, much of his career was focused on economic and community development in some of the most challenged areas of North Carolina.

From 2006 to 2009, he was president and CEO of North Carolina’s Eastern Region Development Commission, overseeing business recruitment, retention, expansion and creation in a 13-county region.  

Delia also served, for more than 10 years, as Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, Economic Development and Community Engagement at East Carolina University (ECU), where he provided direction and oversight for the University’s units involved in public service and outreach related to economic and community development.  

Other positions which he held at ECU include director of the university’s federal relations office, a position that required him to work closely with congressional offices and federal agencies; establishment of the L.T. Walker International Human Performance Center – serving as its president and interacting with national Olympic committees in  developing nations; and director of the Eastern Regional Office of the NC Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), a position he left to become associate state director of the SBTDC at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Deborah DiSanzo, General Manager, IBM Watson Health

Deborah DiSanzo is the General Manager for IBM Watson Health, the business unit founded to support IBMs next ‘moonshot’: to advance health at a global scale.

As the top executive for Watson Health, Deborah leads more than 2,000 IBMers worldwide from the unit’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has an ambitious mandate to scale the business globally, expand the capabilities of the IBM Watson Health Cloud, and broaden the ecosystem of start-up companies and established industry leaders building on IBMs cognitive computing platform. Further, she oversees a growing roster of marquis clients, collaborators, and ecosystem partners including Johnson & Johnson, Apple, Medtronic, Epic, CVS Health, and Teva Pharmaceuticals.

Deborah has a distinguished career working at the intersection of healthcare and technology. Prior to joining IBM, she served as CEO of Philips Healthcare, a $10 billion euro company providing technology in healthcare informatics, patient monitoring and patient analytics, home healthcare, imaging systems, and healthcare consulting. Earlier in her career she held executive and management positions at Hewlett-Packard and Apollo Computer.

Notably, Deborah was a pioneer in the field of Automated External Defibrillators (AED). She was instrumental in introducing the industry’s first AED designed specifically for use by the lay public to resuscitate a person in Sudden Cardiac Arrest. The widespread availability of AEDs in highly trafficked public areas, including airports and office buildings, is credited with saving hundreds of thousands of lives.

A dedicated community and business leader, Deborah is a board member and member of the audit committee of Project Hope, a non-governmental organization dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health problems in underserved areas of the world. She is also a board member of Embrace Innovations (a social enterprise working to help millions of vulnerable babies through its revolutionary infant warmers) and ReWalk Robotics (a company which aims to bring mobility to spinal cord injury victims with wearable robotic technology).

Deborah chaired the World Economic Forum’s steering board for the project on Health Systems Leapfrogging in Emerging Economies. She has been honored as a Top 100 women-led business in Massachusetts by the Boston Globe and the Commonwealth Institute (2013), and named one of the Inspiring Fifty, a recognition honoring women in business and high technology in the Netherlands. Deborah was awarded the American Heart Association’s Cor Vitae award for creative volunteerism, public education, community involvement, and $1M in fundraising.

A sought-after speaker, Deborah addresses organizations such as Harvard Business School, Bloomberg, Women in Big Data, McKinsey, and Forbes on crucial issues such as the rising incidence of chronic health conditions, an aging global population, health care provider shortages, escalating healthcare costs, the future of healthcare, and leadership. 

Deborah earned a Master’s of Business Administration from Babson College, and a Bachelor of Science from Merrimack College. Ms. DiSanzo was inducted into the Babson Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, and received Babson’s Founder’s Day Award for Entrepreneurship.

Tim Hardison, MATCH Wellness Program Director at East Carolina University

Tim Hardison earned both BS, and MA at East Carolina University in Physical Education with a concentration in exercise physiology.  While a Graduate Research Assistant, he was involved in the development of the Human Performance Laboratory’s Cardiac Risk Factor Reduction Program.  Hardison earned American College of Sports Medicine certifications as an Exercise Test Technologist and Exercise Specialist.  While working in Cardiac Rehabilitation at the Medical University of South Carolina, he directed the Noon Physical Training program at the Citadel for “overweight and underweight” cadets.  In the mid 80’s while working for the Wilson Clinic, PA he developed the Wilson Wellness Center and served as Program Director of the Health Risk Reduction Program.

After a short stint of teaching, coaching, and development of baseball related businesses, he began to teach science at Williamston Middle School. Hardison worked in the area of School Improvement, developing programs that were nationally recognized in “Closing the Achievement Gaps” in No Child Left Behind subgroups.  Disturbed with news reports of the growing epidemic of Childhood Obesity, he developed MATCH, Motivating Adolescents with Technology to CHOOSE HealthTM. in 2006.  MATCH Wellness results have been presented both nationally and internationally 14 times, twice being published in Childhood Obesity.

Tim is currently MATCH Wellness Program Director at the Pediatric Healthy Weight Treatment and Research Center at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.

Kester S. Freeman, Jr., Executive Director, SC Institute of Medicine and Public Health

Mr. Freeman is the retired founding Chief Executive Officer of Palmetto Health, the largest integrated healthcare delivery system in South Carolina.  Palmetto Health includes a regional teaching hospital and tertiary center, an acute care hospital, a heart hospital, a children’s hospital, and a psychiatric hospital.


As President of KSF Consulting, Mr. Freeman serves as a healthcare consultant to Palmetto Health and to the law firm of Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart, PC.  He also serves as chair of the South Carolina Research Foundation Board and as a member of the Palmetto Health Foundation Board.  He previously served as a member of the American Hospital Association’s Mental Health Task Force, as founding chair of the South Carolina Hospital Association’s Universal Coverage Work Group, as a member of the Sabal Medical, Inc., Board, as a member and chair of the finance committee of the Virginia Healthcare Foundation Board, as chair of the Premier, Inc., blog group, and as a member of the advisory committee of Perfect Select, Inc.

As Chief Executive Officer of Palmetto Health, Mr. Freeman spearheaded the creation and development of Health Sciences South Carolina – an inclusive, collaborative, public-private partnership that brings together universities, health systems, and other partners committed to the vision of using health science education and research to drive economic growth and improved health status throughout the state.  He served as founding chair of the Health Sciences South Carolina board, which is currently comprised of the Greenville Hospital System, the Medical University of South Carolina, Palmetto Health, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, the University of South Carolina and Clemson University.

Mr. Freeman is the recipient of the South Carolina Hospital Association’s 1998 Distinguished Service Award, its highest honor presented to individuals who have contributed significantly to health care in South Carolina.  He also received the Association’s Merit Award for Distinguished Service.  He served as chair of the South Carolina Hospital Association board, as chair of the Carolina HealthChoice Network board, as a member of the American Hospital Association’s Organizational Ethics Task Force, as a COTH representative to the Association of American Medical Colleges Assembly, as a member of Duke University’s Alumni Association board and as president of that university’s Hospital and Health Administration Alumni Association, and as chair of the H. Carl Rowland Memorial Library board of The Duke Endowment.  He also served for seven years as a member of the Premier, Inc. board of directors and as chair of their audit committee, as a member of the National Committee on Quality Health Care board, and as a delegate to the Academy for International Health Studies.

In his role as a community leader, Mr. Freeman served as founding chair and member of the executive committee of the City Center Partnership board, chair of the United Way of the Midlands board, as a member of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce executive committee and board, as chair of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce board, and as a founding member of the Midlands Business Leadership Group executive committee and board.

Mr. Freeman earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics from the College of William and Mary where he also minored in Sociology.  He earned his master’s degree in Hospital Administration from Duke University.  He began his career in health care administration as an officer in the US Navy’s Medical Service Corp and at the Greenville Hospital System.  He subsequently served as executive vice president at The Fairfax Hospital Association, now known as INOVA, and later returned to South Carolina where he served as chief executive officer and president of Richland Memorial Hospital.  In that capacity he helped spearhead the merger in 1998 of Richland Memorial Hospital and Baptist Healthcare System, Inc., into what is now known as Palmetto Health.

Julie Rovner, Robin Toner Distinguished Fellow


Julie Rovner, the Robin Toner Distinguished Fellow, joined KHN after 16 years as health policy correspondent for NPR, where she helped lead the network’s coverage of the passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. A noted expert on health policy issues, Rovner is the author of a critically-praised reference book Health Care Politics and Policy A-Z, now in its third edition. In 2005, she was awarded the National Press Foundation’s Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting of Congress for her coverage of the passage of the Medicare prescription drug law and its aftermath. Prior to NPR, Rovner covered health policy for National Journal's CongressDaily and for Congressional Quarterly, among others. She has a degree in political science from University of Michigan.

Neal Kassell,  Chairman, Focused Ultrasound Foundation

Neal Kassell, MD is a Distinguished Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Virginia, where he served as department co-chair for nearly 10 years. Prior to UVA, Dr. Kassell served on the faculty at the University of Iowa. He is a founder of numerous private ventures including Interax, Inc; the Virginia Neurological Institute; Multimedia Medical Systems; the Neuroclinical Trials Center; Neuroventure Fund; and MedSpecialist. He currently serves as a director of the Virginia National Bank and the La Gesse Foundation, and is on the editorial board of Neurosurgery and Stroke. Dr. Kassell has been a recipient of the McKenzie Memorial Award of the Canadian Neurosurgical Society and the Grass Award of the Society of Neurological Surgeons. He has published more than 450 scientific papers. Dr. Kassell received his undergraduate and medical education at the University of Pennsylvania.

Mark T. O’Neil, Jr., FACHE, Former CEO of Hilton Head Hospital

With thirty years of Healthcare leadership experience, Mark O’Neil provides consulting services in the areas of Leadership Development, Governance, Strategic Planning and Operations improvement.

Mark most recently served as the Chief Executive Officer of Hilton Head Regional Healthcare, a Tenet owned facility in South Carolina.  Previously, he served in several leadership positions at Catholic Health East, including President and Chief Executive Officer of Mercy Health System of Southeast Pennsylvania, Executive Vice President of the Mid-Atlantic Division and Corporate Chief Operating Officer.  As Chief Operating Officer, he was responsible for coordinating operations of over 100 Health Care facilities in 11 states, with over 46,000 employees and a 4.6 billion dollar operating budget.

Earlier in his career, Mark served as a member of the Senior Management Team at the University of Rochester’s Strong Memorial Hospital where he gained valuable experience in academic medicine and provided leadership for several administrative and support functions.  He served as President and Chief Executive Officer of United Health Services in Binghamton, N.Y., where he facilitated the development of an 85 member multispecialty physician group, home care companies, rural hospitals and a long term care facility into the Integrated Health Care System.

Mark’s uncompromising integrity and commitment to excellence have led to board positions with several professional organizations including the Central New York Hospital Association, the Iroquois Healthcare Alliance, VHA of Upstate NY, the Hospital Association of New York, the Catholic Hospital Association of Pennsylvania and the South Carolina Hospital Association.  Mark also served on Governor Mario Cuomo’s Health Care Advisory task force and as Chairman of the Board of the Keystone Mercy Health Plan, a Medicaid Managed Care plan serving several states, with over 850,000 members.

An advocate for community service, Mark has served as the Chairman of the Board of United Way and the Chamber of Commerce and volunteered his time as a member of many not for profit and educational organizations throughout his career.  Mark’s high-level of community involvement and extensive knowledge of the Health Care environment have made him a frequent guest speaker at community group meetings and events. 

Mark received his Bachelors and Masters degree in Business Administration from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY.  He is a fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives.

Dr. Ken Thorpe, Ph.D., Robert W. Woodruff Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Policy & Management, Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University

Kenneth E. Thorpe, Ph.D., is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Policy & Management, in the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He was the Vanselow Professor of Health Policy and Director, Institute for Health Services Research at Tulane University.  He was previously Professor of Health Policy and Administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; an Associate Professor and Director of the Program on Health Care Financing and Insurance at the Harvard University School of Public Health and Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Public Health at Columbia University. Dr. Thorpe has also held Visiting Faculty positions at Pepperdine University and Duke University. Dr. Thorpe was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Policy in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1993 to 1995. In this capacity, he coordinated all financial estimates and program impacts of President Clinton’s health care reform proposals for the White House. He also directed the administration’s estimation efforts in dealing with Congressional health care reform proposals during the 103rd and 104th sessions of Congress.

As an academic, he has testified before several committees in the U.S. Senate and House on health care reform and insurance issues. In 1991, Dr. Thorpe was awarded the Young Investigator Award presented to the most promising health services researcher in the country under age 40 by the Association for Health Services Research. He also received the Hettleman Award for academic and scholarly research at the University of North Carolina and was provided an “Up and Comers” award by Modern Healthcare. Dr. Thorpe was awarded the annual Excellence in Patient Care prize from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores in 2014.  He also received the 2012 Champions for Healthy Living Award presented by the YMCA of the USA.

Dr. Thorpe has authored and co-authored over 120 articles, book chapters and books and is a frequent national presenter on issues of health care financing, insurance and health care reform at health care conferences, television and the media.  He has worked with several groups (including the American College of Physicians, American Hospital Association, NationalCoalition on Health Care, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Service Employees International Union, AHIP and the United Hospital Fund) and policymakers (including Senators Wellstone, Corzine, Bingaman, Snowe, Feinstein, Cassidy, Carper, Clinton, Obama and Kennedy) to develop and evaluate alternative approaches for providing health insurance to the uninsured. He serves as areviewer on several health care journals.

Dr. Thorpe is chairman, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, an international coalition of over 80 groups focused on highlighting the key role that chronic disease plays in the growth in healthcare spending, and the high rates of morbidity and mortality. PFCD focuses as well on identifying best practice prevention and care coordination strategies and scaling them countrywide. He also serves as co-chair of the Partnership for the Future of Medicare, a non-partisan organization focused on identifying long-term reforms that would make the program more efficient and improve the quality of care provided to beneficiaries.

Chris Trimble, Adjunct Associate Professor of Business Administration, Dartmouth

Chris is an expert on making innovation happen in large organizations.

He is a frequent speaker on the topic. He has delivered keynote addresses at major conferences and has also worked with dozens of private clients — including GE, IBM, Microsoft, Thomson Reuters, Fidelity, and the New York Times Company — in roundtable discussions and executive education programs.

Chris is on the faculty at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and at The Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science. He has written five books.

Dr. Gail Wilensky, Senior Fellow at Project Hope


GAIL WILENSKY is an economist and senior fellow at Project HOPE, an international health foundation. She directed the Medicare and Medicaid programs from 1990 to 1992 and served in the White House as a senior health and welfare adviser to President GHW Bush. Dr. Wilensky currently serves as a trustee of the Combined Benefits Fund of the United Mine Workers of America and the National Opinion Research Center, is on the Board of Regents of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) and the Geisinger Health System Foundation. She also served as president of the Defense Health Board, a Federal advisory to the Secretary of Defense, was a commissioner on the World Health Organization’s Commission on the Social Determinants of Health and co-chaired the Dept. of Defense Task Force on the Future of Military Health Care.

She is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and has served two terms on its governing council. She is a former chair of the board of directors of Academy Health, a former trustee of the American Heart Association and a current or former director of numerous other non-profit organizations. She is also a director on several corporate boards.

From 1997 to 2001, she chaired the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, which advises Congress on payment and other issues relating to Medicare and previously chaired one of its predecessor commissions, the Physician Payment Review Commission. From 2001 to 2003, she co-chaired the President’s Task Force to Improve Health Care Delivery for Our Nation’s Veterans and in 2007, served as a Commissioner on the President’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors (Dole/Shalala Commission).

Dr. Wilensky testifies frequently before Congressional committees, serves as an advisor to members of Congress and other elected officials, speaks nationally and internationally before professional, business and consumer groups. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Michigan and has received several honorary degrees.