Meet Our Staff


Marc M. Boutin, JD
Chief Executive Officer
Eleanor M. Perfetto, PhD, MS
Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives

Mary Crowther
Associate, Development
Jennifer Dexter
Director, Policy
Eric Gascho
Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs
Christina Howerton, MA
Manager, Communications and New Media
Maddie Mason
Associate, Policy
Elisabeth M. Oehrlein, PhD, MS
Senior Director, Research and Programs
Aimee Lee Russell
Associate, Programs
Jennifer Schleman, MPS, APR
Senior Director, Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations
Silke Schoch
Senior Associate, Programs
Katherine Scott
Senior Manager, Membership Services and Certifications


Marc M. Boutin, JD, is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Council. He has been a leading voice for greater patient involvement at every stage of the health care continuum, starting with the development of new drugs, to regulatory oversight of health care delivery, to shared decision-making at the point of care. Under his leadership, the National Health Council has convened a broad range of stakeholders to create and effectively implement pragmatic strategies and public policy that address diverse issues, such as enhancing patient engagement, advancing the development of new treatments, and developing a better health delivery system to meet the needs of people with chronic conditions.

Boutin has a long history of board and committee service. Currently he serves as a member of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Patient Engagement Advisory Panel, FasterCures Benefit-Risk Advisory Council, and the Medical Device Innovation Consortium (MDIC) Patient-Centered Benefit-Risk Steering Committee.

Boutin has been actively involved in patient advocacy organization management, health advocacy, and both federal and state policy throughout his career. He is a founding member of the international Patient-Focused Medicine Development consortium and has served on the Governing Board of the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations as a member and treasurer. He is also a former member of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease Board of Directors, the Humana Cares Clinical Advisory Board, the eHealth Initiative Leadership Council, Community Health Charities Board of Directors, Healthcare Systems Research Collaboratory, and the North America Advisory Board to the Drug Information Association.


Eleanor M. Perfetto, PhD, was named Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for the National Health Council (NHC) in July of 2015 and promoted to Executive Vice President in January 2019. Dr. Perfetto also holds a part-time faculty appointment at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy where she is Professor of Pharmaceutical Health Service Research. Her research and policy work primarily focus on patient engagement in health care, including comparative effectiveness and patient centered-outcomes research (CER-PCOR); medical product development; patient-reported outcome selection and development; value assessment; and health care quality.

Prior to joining the University faulty, Dr. Perfetto was with Pfizer Inc. for over almost eight years, most recently as Senior Director, Federal Government Relations; past positions were in Evidence-Based Strategies and Payment Policy Analysis. She served in the U.S. Public Health Service as senior pharmacoepidemiologist at the Agency for Health Care Policy & Research (now Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality) and began her government career by serving for 6 years as a pharmacist in the Indian Health Service in South Dakota and Oklahoma.

Dr. Perfetto served as co-chair for the 2016 ISPOR Annual Meeting, and as a past board chair for the Pharmacy Quality Alliance. She is a current board member for the Center for Medical Technology Policy. In the past, she has served as a member of the CMS MedCAC; co-chair of the National Quality Forum Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Project and Patient-Reported Outcomes Expert Panel; a member of the Health Industry Council Board of Advisors; and past president and board member for the Drug Information Association Board.

Dr. Perfetto holds BS and MS degrees in pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island, and a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health with concentrations in health policy and epidemiology.

Dr. Perfetto has served as an Assistant Editor for the Journal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy and serves as a peer reviewer for journals, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, government granting agencies, and pharmacy professional organizations. She has spoken at many national and international conferences on patient-focused drug development, CER-PCOR, value assessment, healthcare quality, and related policy and regulatory topics. She has contributed book chapters, published in professional journals, and presented at numerous scientific meetings. In 2009, she received the Distinguished Alumni award from the University of Rhode Island.

As a caregiver for a spouse who suffered from dementia due to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Dr. Perfetto is a recognized advocate for patients with head-trauma-related dementia and their families. In May 2007, she received the Alzheimer’s Association New York City Chapter Advocacy Leadership Award. In 2010, she received the Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area Chapter Award for Advocacy & Awareness. In 2012, she received the Legacy Award from the Concussion Legacy Foundation, for which she is past board president and member.


Mary Crowther is the Associate, Development. Prior to joining the National Health Council in October 2019, she worked as the Deputy Finance Director for U.S. Representative David Price (NC-04). In her role, she supports the overall efforts of the development program. She graduated from North Carolina State University in 2018 with a B.A. in Communications and a minor in Nonprofit Studies.


Jennifer Dexter is the Director, Policy. She has been working in the public policy field for more than 20 years. In her role, Dexter helps the National Health Council and its member organizations develop policy positions that seek to improve the lives of people with chronic diseases and disabilities and advocates for these policies on Capitol Hill and within the executive branch. Prior to joining the NHC in September 2019, Dexter spent two and a half years as a product director at Anthem, Inc. helping them develop and shape Medicaid solutions that supported people with disabilities, older adults and children in foster care. Prior to that, Dexter led Easterseals’ efforts with Congress annually to assure funding for all federal programs serving people with disabilities and older adults, including Easterseals’ federal programs. She worked with Congress to create and strengthen public policy affecting people with disabilities and older adults, particularly in long-term services and supports. Dexter earned her BA in political science from Washington University in St. Louis.


Eric Gascho is the Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs. He has been with the National Health Council since August 2009. In his role, Gascho helps the National Health Council and its member organizations develop policy positions that seek to improve the lives of people with chronic diseases and disabilities and advocates for these policies on Capitol Hill and within the executive branch. Prior to joining the NHC, he worked in the government relations department of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. Gascho earned his BA degrees in government and business management from the University of Redlands in California.


Christina Howerton is the Manager, Communications and New Media. In her role at the NHC, she manages digital platforms including the website and social media properties. She works on NHC’s branding and email marketing, as well as graphic design. Prior to joining the NHC in May 2017, she worked as Digital and Social Media Specialist at the Committee or a Responsible Federal Budget. Howerton earned a MA in International Media from American University in Washington, D.C., and a BA in News/Editorial Journalism and French from Western Kentucky University.


Maddie Mason is the Associate, Policy. Prior to joining the NHC in April 2019, she worked at Targeted Victory as a community manager. She graduated from the College of Charleston in 2018 with a BS in Public Health and a minor in Political Science. In her role, Mason supports the Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs.


Elisabeth M. Oehrlein, PhD, MS, is Senior Director, Research and Programs at the National Health Council, joining the organization in July 2018. In this role Dr. Oehrlein crafts the NHC’s annual research and programmatic agenda in service to our mission. She conducts research, writes white papers, presents at conferences, secures grants, and executes a variety of research and programmatic projects for the NHC.  Dr. Oehrlein is a mixed-methods researcher with experience and expertise in epidemiologic, qualitative, and patient-engagement methods, as well as patient-focused medical product development and patient centricity. She holds a BA degree from Franklin & Marshall College, an MS in Epidemiology from the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Department of Epidemiology and Human Genetics, and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Health Services Research with a concentration in Comparative Effectiveness Research/Patient-Centered Outcomes Research from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. Dr. Oehrlein is an active member of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) and serves as Co-Chair of the Digest of Databases and on the leadership group for the Patient-Centered Special Interest Group.


Aimee Lee Russell is the Associate, Programs. In her role, she supports the Senior Director, Research and Programs. Aimee Lee supports the NHC’s value portfolio, including coordinating the NHC’s Value Work Group and Value Assessment training. Prior to joining the NHC, she served as the interim Grants Administrative Coordinator at the non-profit KaBOOM!. Russell graduated from Villanova University with a BA in three major areas: Psychology, French and Francophone Studies, and Gender and Women’s Studies.


Jennifer Schleman, MPS, APR, is the Senior Director, Marketing, Communications and Public Relations. She provides strategic direction for all the National Health Council’s marketing, communications, and public relations activities and is the steward of the NHC brand. Using her more than 20 years of professional experience, Schleman is continually developing and improving communications approaches to advance the NHC’s mission, program strategies, and values. Prior to joining NHC in January 2018, she was Senior Associate Director of Media Relations for the American Hospital Association, where she focused on quality of care and physician issues. She has also worked in a variety of communication roles for the International Food Information Council and for public relations firms based in Washington, DC and Cincinnati. Schleman earned a master’s in strategic public relations from The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management and is a cum laude graduate of Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She earned her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) in 2007. Schleman has volunteered for PRSA on the national level and is a past board member of PRSA’s National Capital Chapter in Washington, DC. 


Silke Schoch is the Senior Associate, Programs. Prior to joining the National Health Council in June of 2017, she worked at American University as an office coordinator. She graduated from American University in 2017 with a BA in International Studies. In her role, she supports the Senior Director, Research and Programs.


Katherine Scott is the Senior Manager, Membership Services and Certifications. Prior to joining the National Health Council in August 2019, she worked as the Membership Associate for the National Council for Behavioral Health as well as the Project Coordinator for the SAMHSA-HRSA sponsored Center for Integrated Health Solutions. In her role, she supports NHC members by ensuring they maximize their benefits and manages the Standards of Excellence certification process. Scott graduated from the University of Florida in 2014 with a B.A. in Linguistics and English and minor in French. She is also a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).