Meet Our Staff


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

Kelly Garrity
Senior Director, Membership Services and Development
Eric Gascho
Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs
Christina Howerton
Manager, Communications and New Media
Elisabeth M. Oehrlein, PhD, MS
Senior Director, Research and Programs
Jennifer Schleman, MPS, APR
Senior Director, Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations
Silke Schoch
Office Associate
Katie Soisson
Policy Associate
Kimberly Williams
Senior Associate, Member Services and Development


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, MS, was named Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for the National Health Council in July of 2015. Her policy work and research 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; health care quality; and value assessment. Dr. Perfetto also holds a part-time faculty appointment at the University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Pharmacy where she is Professor of Pharmaceutical Health Service Research.

Dr. Perfetto was with Pfizer Inc for over seven years, most recently as Senior Director, Federal Government Relations; past positions were in Evidence-Based Strategies and Payment Policy Analysis. Dr. Perfetto currently serves as a board member for the Pharmacy Quality Alliance and Center for Medical Technology Policy, and on the Avalere/FasterCures Patient-Perspective Value Framework Advisory Panel. In the past, she served as: 2016 ISPOR Annual Meeting Co-chair; CMS MedCAC member ; co-chair of the National Quality Forum (NQF) Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Project and member of the Patient-Reported Outcomes Expert Panel; Health Industry Council Board of Advisors member; Assistant Editor for the Journal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy; and Drug Information Association Board of Directors member, of which she is a past President.


Kelly Garrity is the Senior Director of Membership Services and Development. She has been with the National Health Council since July 2008. In her role, she is responsible for new member development, administration of the Standards of Excellence Certification Program (r), and fundraising. She previously worked with human resources at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP and Brandon Technology Consulting. She received her BA in International Business from Strayer University in 2005 and completed her MS in Administration from Central Michigan University in 2011.


Eric Gascho is the Vice President of 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 of Communications and New Media. Prior to joining the National Health Council in May 2017, she worked as Digital and Social Media Specialist at the Committee or a Responsible Federal Budget. She 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.


Elisabeth M. Oehrlein, PhD, MS, is Senior Director, Research and Programs at the National Health Council. 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.


Jennifer Schleman, MPS, APR, is the Senior Director, Marketing, Communications and Public Relations for the National Health Council. Prior to joining NHC, she was Senior Associate Director of Media Relations for the American Hospital Association (AHA). She has also worked in a variety of communication roles for the International Food Information Council and for public relations firms based in Washington, D.C. and Cincinnati. Schleman earned a Masters 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 currently a board member for the PRSA-National Capital Chapter. 


Silke Schoch is the Office Associate. Prior to joining the National Health Council in June of 2017, she worked at American University as an office coordinator. In her role she is responsible for administrative support for the Associate Director of Meetings and Conferences and the Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives.


Katie Soisson is the Policy Associate. Prior to joining the National Health Council in October 2017, she was a research assistant at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation and an intern at the American Red Cross. She earned a BS in Public Health Science from the University of Maryland.


Kimberly Williams is the Senior Associate, Member Services & Development. Prior to joining the National Health Council in May 2017, she was Training Coordinator at Hobsons and served two AmeriCorps terms with City Year Washington, DC. She earned a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies (concentrating in education, history, and math) from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.