Marie E. Michnich is the Senior Director of Health Policy Educational Programs and Fellowships for the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). She is a national health policy strategist, senior executive consultant, and educator who brings together health and health care experience spanning clinical practice, health services research, federal legislative service, and public policy.
During a leave of absence from the NAM in 2007, Dr. Michnich served as the Executive Director of the President’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors, Co-chaired by Senator Robert Dole and Secretary Donna Shalala. The Commission evaluated and made recommendations to improve the care of injured service members from the time when they are evacuated from the battlefield up to their return to active duty or civilian life. The Commission presented a landmark report to the President recommending fundamental changes to the disability determination and compensation systems of the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and expansion and improvement of coordination of benefits and services for service members and their families. Report recommendations have been basis for broad policy changes in DoD and VA and several legislative proposals. Dr. Michnich was awarded the Secretary of Defense Award for Outstanding Achievement. Prior to her current work at the NAM, Dr. Michnich served as a Senior Executive for both the Health Policy and the Clinical Practice and Scientific Services Divisions of the American College of Cardiology. She led the areas of public and private sector health policy and quality of care, including: development of clinical practice guidelines, clinical privileges, consensus statements and clinical alerts; performance and outcomes measures; clinical and data standards; research services; and scientific committee coordination and collaboration. Her accomplishments included creating nationally recognized programs and initiatives in state and federal government relations, coding and reimbursement, private sector relations, health policy research and public policy. During her tenure at the College, she spearheaded a joint effort of the American Heart Association and the College in the development of physician performance measures, and secured cardiology’s role in coding and reimbursement policy through the production of the authoritative and highly successful coding manual, and positioning the specialty within the national forums with jurisdiction in these areas. Dr. Michnich came to Washington, D. C., when she was awarded a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy fellowship and subsequently served as a legislative assistant to the United States Senate Majority Leader, Robert Dole (R-KS), for health policy, including Medicare, Medicaid, maternal and child health, and the Peer Review Organizations. Major legislative initiatives included graduate medical education reform, physician payment reform, catastrophic health insurance, and initial efforts to create a Medicare drug benefit. She was staff liaison to the Executive branch, House and Senate offices, as well as health professional and trade associations. She began her health policy career as an assistant professor of Health Services at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. She was co-principle investigator on over $1 million in federal grants in the areas of health promotion and disease prevention in ambulatory care, and she taught courses on medical care organization, program evaluation, ambulatory care management, and health services research. Dr. Michnich is an active member of several national health policy groups and has served as the editor of two news publications. From 1994 to 2001, she was a Board member, then Chair of the Health Care Quality Alliance, a national coalition of 100 organizations that joined to preserve quality of health care in the United States. She served on the Advisory Board of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows program, the program she now directs, and was elected as the first public member of the Board of Directors of the American Pharmacists Association Foundation where she received the 2011 Jacob W. Miller Award for Outstanding Leadership In Improving People’s Health. She also received the 2011 American Academy of Nursing Civitas Award for Distinguished Service. Dr. Michnich currently serves on the Board of Providence Hospital in Washington, D.C. Dr. Michnich received her undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut, and in 2002 received an Award for Outstanding Leadership. She received her Masters in health services administration and Doctorate in health services research from the University of California, Los Angeles.