Homecoming Week Alumni Profile: Karen L. Pollitz
Homecoming weekend is almost here! Starting on Thursday afternoon with the announcement of the Homecoming Court, the Homecoming festivities include a parade and big divisional football match between the Brush Arcs and Shaker Heights Red Raiders on Friday, and the Homecoming dance on Saturday. In honor of Homecoming Week, we feature a Class of 1976 Brush Alumni, Karen L. Pollitz, who was inducted into the Brush Wall of Achievement last year.
Karen L. Pollitz is a researcher on health care policy. She earned a B.A. in political science at Oberlin College in 1980 and an M.P.P. (Master’s Degree in Public Policy) at the University of California, Berkeley in 1982.
Karen began her career as a research associate with Common Cause from 1982–1984. From 1987-1989, she was a legislative assistant in the office of Congressman Sander Levin. Karen drafted amendments to expand Medicare coverage of mental health services, which were enacted in 1987. From 1989-1991, Karen was a legislative assistant in the office of Senator John D. Rockefeller, IV. Karen “drafted legislation to reform Medicare physician payments, which in 1989.”
She was the assistant director of the Washington DC office of the American Academy of Family Physicians from 1991-1993 and from 1993-1997, Karen was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Legislation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She was the "legislative liaison on all federal health care issues including national health care reform, Medicare, and Medicaid.”
From 1997-2010, Karen was the project director of the Georgetown University Institute for Health Care Research and Policy. She conducted “research on health insurance reform issues that affect consumers and patients.” Her “areas of focus included regulation of private health coverage by federal and state government, access to affordable health insurance, managed care consumer protections, and confidentiality of medical records." Since 1999, Karen has been an adjunct professor in the Graduate Public Policy Institute at Georgetown University.
In the spring of 2010, Karen joined the Obama Administration as the Director of the Office of Consumer Support, Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, US Department of Health and Human Services. “CCIIO is the new agency tasked with implementing the private insurance market changes of health care reform.”
In August of 2011, Karen joined the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation as a senior fellow. She directs and sponsors “research related to consumer protections and transparency in private health insurance."
Karen is a very accomplished researcher on health care policy. We look forward to reading more about her achievements in years to come.