Decision on State Exchanges Will Aid Patient Access to Medications

CEO of American Heart Association to Chair National Patient Advocacy Organization

Washington, DC (January 13, 2014) – The National Health Council (NHC) announced that Nancy Brown is the 2014 chairperson of the NHC’s Board of Directors. Brown is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Heart Association (AHA), headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

The AHA is a national voluntary health agency whose mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. During Brown’s tenure as CEO, the AHA has become a leader in the discovery and dissemination of heart disease and stroke science. She has also led the organization in the creation of new and innovative initiatives, including a focus on prevention and improving cardiovascular health, creating the Vision for Volunteerism program to create more opportunities for volunteers to engage with the AHA, and the development of new programs to expand both individual giving and major gifts to increase both the AHA’s revenue and impact in the community. 

Brown has been with the AHA since 1986, holding multiple leadership positions. Brown helped create the AHA’s Go Red for Women platform and led the strategy to achieve the Association’s 2010 Impact Goal to reduce coronary heart disease, stroke, and risk by 25 percent. 

The NHC is the only organization that brings together all segments of the health community to provide a united voice for the more than 133 million people living with chronic diseases and disabilities and their family caregivers.

In 2014, the priority issues for the NHC will include:

  • Empowering patients to effectively participate in the insurance marketplace and share their stories by launching the Exchange Experience Initiative website, which will include an out-of-pocket cost calculator.
  • Supporting the FDA in its continued implementation of the Patient-Focused Drug Development program and its effort to create a systematic approach to obtaining the patient perspective on disease severity and unmet medical need.
  • Encouraging the development of new treatments and diagnostic tools for people with chronic conditions through passage by Congress of the MODDERN Cures Act.
  • Supporting comparative effectiveness research by working with stakeholders to create consensus-based usability criteria that will ultimately provide patients with better information in order to make more informed decisions at the point of care.

Made up of more than 100 national health-related organizations and businesses, the National Health Council’s core membership includes approximately 50 of the nation’s leading patient advocacy organizations, which control its governance. Other members include professional and membership associations, nonprofit organizations with an interest in health, and major pharmaceutical, medical device, health insurance, and biotechnology companies. To learn more, visit the NHC website at

Nancy Hughes
Cell: 703-608-9709