The Strategic Impact Committee is comprised of a diverse group of advocates, community leaders and volunteers and medical professionals who are committed to Compassion & Choices’ fundamental principle that patients should be the primary deciders in their end-of-life care. The committee’s expertise and first-hand experiences helped Compassion & Choices create an innovative and forward-looking strategic plan. The committee will guide the plan’s implementation over the next 5 years.

Sal M Anderton

Legislative Director – Porzio Governmental Affairs, Trenton, NJ

Sal M. Anderton, Esq. is Legislative Director for Porzio Governmental Affairs. Mr. Anderton’s background includes serving as legislative counsel for Assemblyman John McKeon who currently serves as Chairman of the Assembly Judiciary Committee and as a member of the Assembly Environment and Budget Committees. Subsequent to his work for the Assemblyman, Mr. Anderton served as Legislative Counsel for the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. In each position, he was responsible for drafting and monitoring relevant legislative and regulatory developments. Mr. Anderton is of Counsel at Porzio Bromberg and Newman concentrating on real estate and land use matters as well as Education law. He served as the attorney for the West Orange Planning Board and currently represents clients in all aspects of real estate development.

Mr. Anderton has assisted his community as a member of the West Orange Township Council and the Executive Committee of the Essex County March of Dimes WalkAmerica. He continues to actively participate in the Orange/West Orange Chapter of Unico National and the Montclair State University Alumni Association. He has been an adjunct professor of Law and Political Science at Montclair State University for over ten years.

Mr. Anderton earned a dual degree in philosophy and political science from Montclair State University and his Juris Doctor degree from Seton Hall University School of Law. He spends much of his spare time on the ice as a USA Hockey Certified Youth Hockey Coach.

Assemblyman Paul Baumbach

State Representative – Delaware General Assembly, Newark, Delaware

Paul is State Representative in Delaware’s 23rd District and Founder/Owner of Mallard Financial Partners in Newark. Paul has been part of the Newark community since 1990 when he relocated here with his wife, Pam. They have a son and daughter-in-law who live in the district as well as two rescue Corgi dogs, and a cat named Gizmo.  Paul graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in Computer Science and holds another Computer Science degree from Villanova University. He opened his business in 1996 and continues to serve his clients from his office in Newark.

Paul has a commitment to service in the community. He led his faith community’s social justice efforts for many years, which has driven Paul to champion equality and affordable housing issues in Dover. He has been a member of the Progressive Democrats for Delaware for several years, including a few as its president. This helped develop his passion for open and transparent good government. He is also former board member of Equality Delaware and a past member of the Newark Housing Authority. These positions helped to inform and inspire him to run for State Representative in 2012.

As State Representative, Paul uses his expertise and business background in such matters as the annual budget, income tax policy, proposed changes to insurance law, state resource management, best practices for income tax brackets, minimum wages and the earned income tax credit among other issues to insure efficiency and fairness in state matters.

Paul’s real passion is listening to constituents in his community. Through monthly coffees, active Facebook presence, biweekly district email updates, town hall meetings, community meetings, and going door to door in the district, Paul works to make a difference in the community he serves.

David Cook

Chair, Board of Directors, Compassion & Choices, Chevy Chase, MD

David brings extensive experience in nonprofit governance and organizational finance, as well as expertise in guiding coalitions of diverse stakeholders in pursuit of common legislative and policy initiatives. Formerly General Counsel of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation and Deputy General Counsel of the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, he has practiced law for more than 40 years. David holds Master of Theology and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Chicago. David and his wife Ann are longtime supporters of the movement for end-of-life options. He was elected to the board in 2014.

Debbi Gibbs

Board of Directors – Compassion & Choices, New York, NY

Debbi has been actively involved with Compassion & Choices since 2000. Her grandmother spent the last few months of her life distributing copies of Elisabeth Kubler Ross’ book On Death and Dying and preparing for a good death from the effects of cancer. Her mother was active in reproductive rights. Debbi Gibbs is the Director of Just Managing, a music agency, and has worked as an executive director in the broadcasting and entertainment industry for many years. She holds an Architecture degree and lives in New York with her son.

Joie Glenn

Advocate Home Care and Hospice, Retired, Volunteer – Advocacy for Home and Hospice Care Services of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

Joie Glenn was the Executive Director of the New Mexico Association for Home and Hospice Care for 25 years.  She stepped down from that position in December of 2016. She currently is on contract with the association to lobby for their members. Joie is also involved as a volunteer and serves on a number of state, regional and national boards and committees. Joie is a nurse and worked in the home health and hospice industry for 15 years prior to accepting the association management position.

Phil Hardy

Senior Vice President – Strategies 360, Washington, DC

A veteran Republican communicator and strategist, Phil offers strategic counsel to and lobbies on behalf of Strategies 360’s clients as senior vice president of federal relations in the firm’s DC practice. Previously, he served on the staff of Freedom Caucus founder Congressman Raúl Labrador (R-ID), based in DC and Boise. Phil served as a floor whip for the Donald Trump campaign during the Republican National Convention, and an informal advisor to President-elect Trump’s Idaho campaign.

Phil was most recently the vice president of government and media relations in S360’s Boise, Idaho office. In Idaho, Phil managed a diverse portfolio of clients, both as a registered state lobbyist and as a communications specialist. In 2014, 2015 and 2016 Phil was honored by the Idaho Press Club with first place awards on behalf of his clients for Best Public Affairs Campaign as well as numerous other first place awards during this period.

Prior to joining S360 in 2013, Phil served as both spokesman and district coalitions director for Congressman Raúl Labrador. In these dual roles Phil was responsible for overseeing communications with national and local media, as well as all inter-governmental relations with federal and state agencies in Idaho.

In addition, Phil served as communications director for the Idaho State Senate Majority and as a key aide to Lt. Governor Brad Little, for whom he acted as liaison to Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter’s staff. Before moving to Idaho, Phil spent 12 years in London where he owned and operated a music marketing and promotion agency.  A native New Yorker, Phil holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Seton Hall University.

Nancy Hoyt

Board of Directors – Compassion & Choices, Chicago, IL & Los Angeles, CA

Nancy is a counseling psychologist and educator who has worked with adolescents in underserved Chicago schools. She is currently the vice president of the Civic Leadership Foundation’s board, whose program helps students develop the skills and experiences necessary to become engaged civic leaders. She received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and her MA in organizational and counseling psychology from Teacher’s College, Columbia University. Nancy has served on many strategic planning committees in both secondary schools and colleges in New York and Chicago. She and her husband, Bob Hoyt, have been involved with Compassion & Choices for more than a decade.

Gene Hughes

Disability Rights Advocate, Utica, NY

Gene Hughes brings decades of experience working within the disability community. He is serving on the committee on his own volition. He has been employed at the Resource Center for Independent Living (RCIL) for 24 years and the Director of Advocacy Services for the past 10 years. Gene has done numerous outreaches on RCIL’s mission and the independent living philosophy. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Independent Living Council (NYSILC) and has spent the last 30 years advocating for individuals with disabilities in our right to make choices in life. He hopes he will not have to spend that much time advocating for end-of-life choices.

James H. Jones

Distinguished Professor of History, Emeritus – University of Houston, Washington, DC

James Jones is a noted author, historian, and bioethicist. His book, Bad Blood: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, was selected by The New York Times as one of the six best books in non-fiction published in 1981 and also won the American Public Health Association’s Arthur Viseltear Award, given annually for the best book on the history of public health. Art Caplan, a noted bioethicist, declared in a retrospective of bioethics written in 2007 that Bad Blood was the most important book in the history of the field.

Jones’s other publications include Alfred Kinsey:  A Public/Private Life, which was a finalist and runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize in biography in 1998, and numerous articles, including a feature article in The New Yorker. He has appeared on “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show,” and “CNN;” and he has been interviewed on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” and “All Things Considered.”  

In 2001, Jones retired as the Alumni Distinguished Professor at the University of Arkansas, the oldest endowed professorship at the university. Before joining the faculty at Arkansas, he taught for seventeen years at the University of Houston, where he rose to the rank of Distinguished University Professor.

Jones lives in Washington, D.C., where he pursues his interest in bioethics and the social history of American medicine.  

Ann Marchetti

Principal – AW Marchetti Consulting, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

For the past twenty-four years, Ann Marchetti has held leadership roles in several successful nonprofit agencies towards a singular goal – to improve the health and well being of children, youth and families. Drawing upon her unique combination of public policy, business and creative skills, Ann has assisted these nonprofits in optimizing their business models to build organizational capacity and develop sustainable programs. In 2008, Ann was awarded the Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding Service to Children and Youth by the National Child Labor Committee. This body remarked, “Ann has been at the forefront of action and has been the voice to improve the health, education, well-being and futures of millions of children.”

Most recently, Ann served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer for the Cambridge, MA based National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality (NICHQ), which specializes in improving the quality of care for children. Since 2004, Ann provided leadership in building the organization’s marketing, finance, human resources and board governance capacity.

Prior to joining NICHQ, Ann served as Program Director for the Southern Institute on Children and Families (SICF), based in Columbia, SC. There she also served as the Deputy Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Covering Kids/Covering Kids and Families National Initiative. Immediately prior, she was Associate Director of the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition (IMCHC). Ann earned her MS degree from Radford University.

Ann founded AW Marchetti Consulting in 2008. Her firm is dedicated to empowering a new generation of leaders to develop effective systems for capacity development and program delivery. Ann believes that collaborative solutions enhance sustainability and build shared and lasting solutions for a brighter and healthier future.

Sean Meloy

Political Director – Victory Fund, Gibsonia, PA

Sean Meloy is the Political Director at Victory Fund. Prior to joining Victory Fund, Sean was the Director of LGBT Engagement at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and worked to ensure LGBTQ support for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, including having the largest and most diverse group of LGBTQ Delegates in Democratic National Convention history. Prior to joining the DNC, Sean ran two congressional races, including the reelection of Congressman Mike Doyle (PA-14) in 2010 and Kristin Cabral’s 2012 race for District 10 in Virginia. Sean also served in Congressman Doyle’s Washington, D.C. office and advised the Congressman on LGBTQ affairs, education, campaign reform, and judiciary issues. Additionally, Sean has worked on building coalitions, grassroots and digital engagement, and legislative strategy in the areas of intellectual property, telecommunications access, and community college affordability. Sean is a Pennsylvanian through and through, living in Pittsburgh and graduating from the Pennsylvania State University with degrees in Secondary Social Studies Education and Political Science.

Charles F Miller, MD, FACP

Medical Oncologist – Doctors for Dignity, Honolulu, HI

Dr. Miller earned his MD from the University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California. He completed residency training at Tripler Army Medical Center Honolulu, Hawaii and fellowship in Hematology-Oncology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC. He is Board Certified in Medical Oncology, Hematology and Internal Medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He served for 30 years in the US Army Medical Department, serving as Commander, 3rd Combat Support Hospital, Nuremberg, Germany and completing his service as the Chief Consultant to the Surgeon General. After retiring from active duty he completed 9 years as Chief of Hematology-Oncology at Kaiser Medical Center, Honolulu Hawaii. He has served on the Hawaii Society of Clinical Oncology Board of Directors since 2002 and served as President for seven of those years. He remains actively involved at the national level with the American Society of Clinical Oncology working on various committees and policy groups and holds a clinical appointment to the University of Hawaii Cancer Center. He presently serves on the University of Hawaii Cooperative Institutional Review Board as well as the Physicians Advisory Group to the Hawaii Health Information Exchange. He has been an active supporter of Compassion and Choices since 2012 and has worked to support patient choice for end of life care for the people of the state of Hawaii as a member of Doctors for Dignity.

Maria Otero

Executive Director – Nuestra Salud, Albuquerque, NM

“I believe having medical aid in dying as an option at end of life is a basic human right. A terminally ill adult facing imminent suffering should not be denied a peaceful and dignified death.”

Maria D. Ulloa Otero is an immigrant, community leader, health educator and a grassroots activist who is committed to social justice and empowering communities to be active in their own healthcare. She has been a public health professional for more than 20 years and is the co-founder of Nuestra Salud, a community-based organization whose mission is to reduce health disparities affecting Hispanic communities in New Mexico through research, training and outreach.

Maria works with minority populations to provide health education on maternal child health, reproductive rights, tobacco use prevention, chronic disease risk factors and end-of-life choices. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals and lay media. She has provided numerous interviews, in English and Spanish, addressing the entire trajectory of public health and has received national and international awards for her professional accomplishments.

Maria received a bachelor’s of science degree from New Mexico State University and has dedicated her entire career to dismantling oppression and empowering communities to have a voice.

Dr. David Pratt

Former Medical Director – Care Choices, Rexford, NY

Dr. Pratt is a board certified internist with sub-specialty certification in pulmonary medicine and preventive medicine. He has a medical degree from Tufts University and a master’s degree in public health (from SUNY Albany). Dr. Pratt served in the US Public Health Service from 1973 to 1975 and in that capacity he was part of the successful global Smallpox eradication program run by the World Health Organization. He served in India with the Smallpox effort.

He practiced pulmonary medicine in Cooperstown, New York at Bassett Healthcare for 14 years. He also served as Corporate Medical Director for Hershey Foods and for GE’s Power and Water business. He was The Commissioner of Public Health Services for Schenectady County, New York from 2009-2012. From 2013 to 2016 he was the medical director for Care Choices an out patient palliative care program in Schenectady, NY Currently he is a private consultant in preventive medicine and public health. He is the author and coauthor of more than 50 peer reviewed health care publications.

Susan Rahn

Storyteller – Compassion & Choices New York Campaign, Rochester, NY

Susan Rahn, a Rochester, New York resident, is a mother, blogger/writer and metastatic research and medical aid-in-dying advocate. In 2013, at the age of 43, she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and has been fighting the disease ever since.

“I want to live more than anything. I want to see my son graduate college and medical school. And I want to hold my grandchildren. But eventually, my treatment options will run out. What I don’t want is to suffer and be in uncontrollable pain while my body shuts down for what could be weeks. My terminal illness has taken so much from me already, and ultimately it’s going to take my life. I want to be able to choose how I will die when my time comes. I don’t want my illness to make that choice for me.”

Lucille A Ridgill, MD

Medical Director – VITAS Healthcare, Rancho Palos Verde, CA

Lucille Ridgill is a Medical Director for VITAS Healthcare, the nation’s leading provider of end-of-life care. Board certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Dr. Ridgill received a Bachelor’s Degree from Creighton University and a Medical Degree from Creighton University Medical School, both in Omaha, Nebraska. Dr. Ridgill is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Ridgill holds membership with the National Medical Association, the American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine and the American Medical Association.

John F. Rohe

Vice-President, Philanthropy – Colcom Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA

Practiced law in northern Michigan for thirty years before joining Colcom Foundation in 2006. Undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University (1968-1972) and U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer (1972-1974).

Samantha Sandler

Board of Directors – Compassion & Choices, New York, NY

Samantha’s wide range of interests have found expression in both the for profit and not for profit worlds. She spent many years developing rental housing in New Jersey. She developed an art print business while raising her family in London. She did clinical social work at Mt Sinai Hospital in NYC and Beth Israel in Newark NJ. In the not for profit area she has served on various board supporting disabled young adults in a residential facility, supporting a local YMCA and contributing to the goals of the Nantucket Conservation Foundation. Her interest in Compassion & Choices began initially with a C&C lecture on Living Wills and quickly extended to attending and then sponsoring events to introduce others to the organization.

Jerri Shaw

Board of Directors – Compassion & Choices, Columbia, MD

Jerri is co-founder and President of JBS International, Inc., a consulting firm that works to strengthen health care, social service, and education systems in the U.S. and internationally. Her career has focused on vulnerable populations, expanding their access to and options for quality health care. Her work engages policy makers and program leaders in strengthening federal, state and community health care policy and service delivery.

Madison T Shockley II

Pastor – Pilgrim United Church of Christ, Carlsbad, CA

Rev. Madison T. Shockley II is the pastor of the Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Carlsbad, CA. He brings to Pilgrim Church a wealth of experience from his work in the religious, political, non-profit, and media environments. Originally ordained in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1979, he joined the United Church of Christ in 1990 when he accepted the call to the Congregational Church of Christian Fellowship, UCC, in Los Angeles. Madison was called to Pilgrim Church (as the first African American pastor of this predominantly Anglo congregation) in 2004. Beyond the pulpit, Madison was a grassroots candidate for the Los Angeles City Council in 1999 and 2003. In 1998 he began writing commentary for the Los Angeles Times and in 2005 became a contributor to the award winning website, Truthdig.com on a wide range of topics including religion, race, politics, reproductive choice and popular culture. A native of Los Angeles he was educated at Harvard College and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He holds the Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York City and has done advanced graduate work at Claremont Graduate University in New Testament Studies.

Dr. Haider Warraich

Board of Directors – Compassion & Choices, Durham, NC

Dr. Haider Warraich is a physician, writer, researcher and brilliant new voice in the discussion about death and end-of-life care options, which include patient-centered care, hospice and palliative care and medical aid in dying. He authored the book, Modern Death – How Medicine Changed the End of Life (St Martin’s Press), in which he discusses the impact modern medicine has had on the dying experience. He also regularly writes for the New York Times; has contributed to The Guardian, The Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times and the Boston Globe; and has made TV appearances on CNN, PBS, Fox, BBC Radio and NPR among others.

Haider is also an avid clinical researcher with articles published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association and the Lancet amongst others. Currently, he is training in cardiology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. Previously, he was a staff physician at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and instructor at Harvard Medical School, where he also received training in internal medicine.

Haider speaks regularly on care at the end of life, has delivered keynote addresses and lectures at conferences around the country include at academic medical centers such as Harvard, Yale, Wake Forest, Duke, UT Southwestern, UCLA and Columbia University amongst others.

Mark Weideman

Principal – Weideman Group, Sacramento, CA

Mark Weideman is Founder and Principal of the Weideman Group, a California-based legislative, strategy and public affairs consulting firm. Weideman is Compassion and Choices’ chief lobbyist in California and spearheaded the strategy that led to enactment of California’s End of Life Option Act. Weideman received his Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from the University of California at Berkeley. He earned his law degree with honors in written and oral advocacy from the University of California Hastings College of Law. He is a registered lobbyist with the State of California and a licensed attorney with the State Bar of California.

Thomas J White

Scientific Advisor – Human Rights Center, Univ. of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Dr. White received his B.A. in Chemistry from Johns Hopkins University and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley – including graduate studies in the Pharmacology Department at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. His postdoctoral research on breast cancer was carried out at the University of California Medical Center in San Francisco and on antibiotic resistance at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. From 1978-1988, White was employed at Cetus Corporation where he held the position of Vice President of Research and directed the research and development of products using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for multiple applications in basic research, molecular evolution, forensics and diagnostics. From 1989-2000 he worked for Roche Molecular Systems.

As Senior Vice President of Research and Development he was responsible for PCR-based tests for the medical diagnosis of genetic diseases, cancer, and infectious diseases, tests for bone marrow transplantation and screening the blood supply for HIV, HCV and HBV, and for developing new applications of PCR for basic research, forensics and the human genome project.  From 2001-2011, White was Senior VP of R&D and Chief Scientific Officer at Celera Corporation. This involved the development and FDA registration of molecular diagnostic products for cystic fibrosis, Fragile-X, HIV drug resistance, hepatitis C virus genotyping, thrombosis, as well as laboratory developed (CLIA) tests for complex common diseases and cancer. Dr. White retired in June 2011. At the University of California at Berkeley he is a member of the advisory boards of the Human Rights Center, the College of Natural Resources, and a Trustee of the University of California Press Foundation. He is a consulting scientific advisor for two nonprofit organizations: the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND.org), Global Oncology (globalonc.org) and for several biotechnology companies.

Judy Zerzan, MD, MPH

Chief Medical Officer – Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, Denver, CO

As Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Zerzan provides directly oversees the Pharmacy, Data Analysis, and Quality & Health Improvement sections for Colorado Medicaid. Dr. Zerzan has a role in the design and implementation of benefits, Colorado’s Accountable Care Collaborative, quality and health outcome improvement, and cost-containment efforts. She is the Medicaid representative to the Colorado Multi-Payer Collaborative.  She is also a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Colorado Denver.

Dr. Zerzan received her MD degree from Oregon Health and Science University in 1998 and her MPH in Health Policy and Administration from the University of North Carolina in 1999.  She completed the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Washington/Seattle VA in 2007. Dr. Zerzan was a 2008-2010 non-residential Health and Aging Policy Fellow in the office of Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia. During her fellowship, she worked on Medicaid, benefits for those dually-eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, and prescription drug policies. Dr. Zerzan was chair of the Medicaid Medical Director’s Network 2012-2013.