Executive Committee & Board
Michael L. Kappel – Chair
Tom Koutsoumpas – Immediate Past Chair
Barbara Hoffman, J.D. – Secretary
Samira K. Beckwith – Vice Chair
Lyman (Sandy) Welton – Treasurer
Neeraj K. Arora, Ph.D. – Federal Liaison
Michael L. Kappel
Michael L. Kappel served as the acting President & CEO and as a board member continues to serve the organization, representing NCCS at conferences and other meetings ensuring the voice of the survivor remains at the center of health policy reform and quality improvement. He retired in 2011 as the Senior Vice President, Government & Industry Relations for McKesson Technology Solutions. He served as an advocate for healthcare policies that enable improved care through the use of information technology. He was responsible for developing McKesson Technology Solutions’ responses to emerging legislation and regulatory initiatives. He previously served as Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning where he was responsible for product direction and long-range strategic planning. Kappel is active in a number of the healthcare industry’s information technology organizations. He was elected a Commissioner for the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology where he previously served as co-chair of the Network Certification Workgroup, the Certification Process Workgroup and the Advisory panel. He is past chair of the Policy Committee of the National Alliance for Healthcare Information Technology and currently serves as a member of the Leadership Council of the eHealth Initiative and the steering committee of Connecting for Health. He currently is a member of HIMSS Electronic Health Record Association which he helped to found in 2004 and where he has served as a past member of the Executive Committee.
Kappel brings to this position more than thirty years of experience in healthcare information technology development, strategic planning and business development. During his career, Kappel has served in numerous positions in private industry. Prior to rejoining McKesson in 2002, he was executive vice-president of ProVation Medical Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota. Prior to joining ProVation Medical Inc., Kappel was chief executive officer of MedSpecialists, Inc., a start-up company that was acquired by ProVation in 2001. Kappel also held numerous leadership positions over 16 years with McKessonHBOC and HBO & Company.
Kappel earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the College of William and Mary and a master of business administration degree in finance and healthcare administration from Cornell University.
Tom Koutsoumpas has more than 30 years experience in government, public policy, politics, issue advocacy, public relations and crisis communications.
His expertise in Government Relations comes from his multifaceted experience at the Federal and State levels. He has long been engaged in health policy issues and been a strong advocate for health care providers, patients, and caregivers. Prior to joining UnitedHealth Group, Tom served as Executive Vice President and Chief of public affairs with VITAS Healthcare Corporation, the nation’s largest and one of the oldest providers of end-of-life care. Preceding his work for VITAS Healthcare Corporation, he was Senior Advisor and Executive Assistant/Federal Affairs to Indiana Governor, now Senator Evan Bayh. He has also served as Government Relations Representative at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Hogan and Hartson and as Government Relations Counselor for Burson-Marsteller, one of the nation’s largest public relations firms. Tom began his work in Public Policy in Washington, D.C., serving for over 11 years on the staff of United States Senator Birch Bayh where he performed a variety of staff and legislative functions.
Mr. Koutsoumpas currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Hospice Foundation; served on the Board of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and its Public Policy Steering Committee. He is also a member of the Business-Government Relations Council and a former member of the Board of Regents of Georgetown University, where he remains an active alumnus.
Tom is a graduate of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and holds a degree in American Studies.
Barbara Hoffman, J.D., is a member of the legal research and writing faculty of Rutgers School of Law — Newark and is the founding chair of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. She is the author of numerous book chapters, articles, Web content and consumer booklets on the legal rights of cancer survivors She is the editor of A Cancer Survivor’s Almanac: Charting Your Journey, John Wiley & Sons (3d ed. 2004).
Since the early 1980s, Professor Hoffman has advocated for the rights of cancer survivors and individuals with disabilities. She has spoken at more than 100 conferences and programs about cancer survivorship. She has served as a consultant to the National Cancer Institute, comprehensive cancer centers, nonprofit organizations and websites. Professor Hoffman was an area specialist to the Cancer Survival Toolbox. She is a member of the Princeton University Alumni Schools Committee. Professor Hoffman is the recipient of the President’s Award from the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship and of an Image Award from DateAble, Inc.
Samira K. Beckwith, a two-time cancer survivor, has over 30 years’ experience in professional healthcare and social services. She has served as President and CEO of Hope HealthCare Services, based in Fort Myers, Florida, since 1991.
Under her leadership, Hope has created a unique array of services for the frail elderly and children and today serves nearly 3,000 people and their families in a 10,000 square-mile area throughout southwest and mid-Florida.
In 2010, Samira was appointed as a Team Leader on Florida Governor-elect Rick Scott’s Health and Human Services Transition Team. Former Governor Jeb Bush described her as a visionary who provides leadership on a local and national level – “passionate about ensuring the highest quality” of service in her role as President of Hope. With that in mind, he appointed Samira to the state’s Long-Term Care Policy Council, focused on providing the most cost-effective, community-based services for Florida’s elderly. She has testified before a US House Judiciary subcommittee on the need for legislation to enable better care and comfort for those at the end of life.
Samira currently maintains leadership roles in multiple national, state, and community organizations including the Board of Directors of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, Florida Hospices and Palliative Care, and The Ohio State University Alumni Association Board. Samira is the Founding President of the Florida PACE Association – the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly.
Awards and honors bestowed upon Samira include the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor, presented to distinguished Americans who “represent the very essence of the American way of life.” She has twice been honored by the National Association of Social Workers, as a Community Action Hero and a Social Work Pioneer. She has received the Ohio State University Alumni Association’s Medalist Award, and has been inducted into the Ohio State University College of Social Work Hall of Fame.
Since joining Burson-Marsteller nineteen years ago, Tom Dowling has developed an expertise in corporate positioning, corporate reputation, brand development, and product marketing across a wide spectrum of business-to-business, technology and consumer clients.
He undertakes an assignment by assessing the issues his client faces and addressing them head on with the most appropriate strategy and channel. He has adopted an integrated communications approach, employing tactics from media relations to interactive marketing to image advertising in order to deliver business results.
Tom has led international media relations and advertising programs to help build reputation for numerous Fortune 500 companies including Cooper Industries, Bayer Corporation, Eaton Corporation, PPG, and QuadTech. He has also managed the integration of global acquisitions that have included brand integration, internal communications and external announcements. In addition, Tom’s corporate reputation work has included a range of issues management/crisis management assignments, such as product recalls, contest tampering, litigation and plant closings, as well as managing off-shore reincorporation for a Fortune 500 company.
Tom started his career in (and continues to enjoy) corporate and product marketing. He has helped business-to-business companies launch products and consumer goods companies like Pittsburgh Paints, PPG, GlaxoSmithKline and Transitions Optical build awareness and market share through a range of public relations activities including media relations, naming, events, and advertising. Often, Tom looks for non-traditional methods to help his clients reach their objectives, including utilizing grass roots campaigns to change legislation and coalition-building to exert influence on purchasing decision-makers.
Tom has won a number of prestigious industry awards, including many Pittsburgh PRSA Renaissance Awards, inside PR’s Creativity in Public Relations Award. He was a media relations finalist for the Holmes Report SABRE Awards. In 2007 Tom was inducted into PRSA Pittsburgh’s Chapter Renaissance Hall of Fame for outstanding impact in the region.
Tom earned his Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from West Virginia University and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Duquesne University.
Eleanor Winter serves as Senior Vice President of Special Projects for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association in Washington, D.C. Ms. Winter is responsible for CablePAC, the cable television industry’s political action committee. In this capacity, she organizes and coordinates fundraising events for federal candidates and Members of Congress. In addition, Ms. Winter advises NCTA member companies on their fundraising strategies.
Before joining NCTA, Ms. Winter worked for the public relations firm Cribben, Miller and Moses. The firm, with offices in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, concentrated on political and corporate fundraising projects.
Prior to that, Ms. Winter worked for Senator John Stennis from Mississippi and later for Senator Paul Simon from Illinois. Ms. Winter is a cancer survivor.
Lyman (Sandy) Welton
Throughout his long career, Sandy Welton has demonstrated the dual qualities of leadership and service to others. In the first decade of his career, he established himself in the not-for-profit sector through work with urban street academies on the Lower East Side of New York, the Vietnamese Children’s Fund, and The Justice and Policy Center Against the Death Penalty in North Carolina. His commitment to and experience working for causes pertaining to social justice eventually led him to found Suruban Partners, a communal living center in Durham, NC which served as a base for organizing people to promote the causes of peace and social justice. The leadership skills he developed, along with a strong attentiveness to the needs of others, traveled with him to work at First Union Bank in 1977, where he served as a director of the bank’s leadership and career development efforts.
Two years later, he joined the health care sector and founded Morehead Associates, a firm of 60 people who serve hospitals in all fifty states, and served as President and CEO until 2011. His commitment to people was made evident through Morehead’s work, which is to conduct employee and physician opinion surveys for hospitals. Using Morehead’s data, the hospitals can then facilitate change aimed at improving quality of care, safety, leadership, and other qualities necessary to helping others.
In addition to his work with Morehead, Mr. Welton has served on several boards, including the Self-Help Credit Union, Charlotte Chamber Music, and the Duke Institute for Care at the End of Life, as well as on the board for NCCS. He currently serves on the board of Health Care for All—Charlotte, a new grassroots organization that advocates for some version of Medicare for All in NC and across the nation. He is a father to four daughters.
Neeraj K. Arora, Ph.D.
Dr. Neeraj K. Arora is a research scientist and program director in the Outcomes Research Branch of the Applied Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), NIH, DHHS, USA. He has over 15 years of experience conducting research that emphasizes the patient’s perspective and aims to facilitate the delivery of high quality “patient-centered” cancer care. His research integrates the areas of health communication, outcomes research, and cancer survivorship. Dr. Arora’s research expertise includes the assessment of patient-reported outcomes such as patients’ experiences and satisfaction with care, their information needs and information seeking behavior, and their health-related quality of life. His research also focuses on the measurement, determinants, and impact of patient-clinician communication across the cancer continuum. At the NCI, Dr. Arora leads a research program aimed at facilitating the ongoing assessment, monitoring, and improvement of patient-centered care processes as part of routine cancer care delivery. Dr. Arora is also the project scientist for NCI’s CanCORS initiative, one of the largest evaluations of quality of care delivered to lung and colorectal cancer patients and survivors in the U.S.
Dr. Arora received his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering with a major in Health Systems from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he received training in health care quality assessment and improvement as well as in health services research. While at the University of Wisconsin, he evaluated issues related to health-related quality of life among women newly diagnosed with breast cancer and examined how computer-based support systems might help breast cancer patients in playing more active roles in their health care. Dr. Arora has guest edited a journal special issue on patient-centered communication and published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in the broad areas of health communication, quality of care and outcomes research, as well as cancer survivorship. For more than a decade, he has been highlighting the “voice of the patient” in several invited presentations on the quality of patient-clinician communication at national and international conferences. Dr. Arora is also a long-term cancer survivor and his personal cancer experience has complimented his research expertise in facilitating a program of research that focuses on improving the quality of health care delivery from the patient’s perspective.
Ysabel Duron is an award-winning journalist who started her 39th year in television news broadcasting in September of 2009. In June 2009 she was inducted into the National Association of Hispanic Journalist’s Hall of Fame. The senior anchor of the KRON 4 Weekend Morning News in San Francisco for the past 17 years, Duron was one of the first Latinas to work in mainstream television breaking through in 1971 in the San Francisco Bay Area in what was mostly a white male domain. As a journalist she has won recognition nationally and regionally with two Emmy’s, a John Swett Award from the California Teachers Association and another from the Society for Professional Journalists. She’s an inductee of the Silver Circle in the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for over 25 years of meritorious work in journalism.
As a Latina, she has been a role model to and influenced many young Latinas; been named both a Latina Pioneer by the La Raza Media Association of the Bay Area, and received a Living Legacy Award from the Chicana-Latina Foundation of San Francisco. She received the President’s Award from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in 2006 for her journalism and community work around issues of cancer. She is featured in a 2008 publication, Building the Latino Future, Success Stories for the Next Generation by authors, Frank Carbajal and Humberto Madrid.
Throughout her career, Duron has turned the spotlight on Latino issues as well as culture, political battles, educational challenges, health needs and labor conflicts. Her own 1998 battle with cancer was turned into an award winning series that touched on treatment, support and research issues. As a result she created a non-profit, Latinas Contra Cancer. The agency celebrated 6 years of survivorship this September. LCC offers a Spanish language support group as well as case management, patient navigation, educational workshops and a bilingual resource website.
In June 2007, Duron was chosen one of the 100 Latino Influentials in Silicon Valley and voted the number one Latino Influential in the Media. In February 2008, she was selected one of the 80 Women of Influence in Silicon Valley by the Silicon Valley Business Journal and NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners).