National Policy and Reimbursement Specialist, Former Government Healthcare Appointee Joins National Patient Advocate Foundation as Executive Vice President of Government Affairs

Apr 07, 2011, 09:32 ET from National Patient Advocate Foundation

Health, Payment Policy Expert to Help Nation's Leading Patient Advocacy Organization Respond to Legislative and Regulatory Issues Impacting Patients' Access to Healthcare

WASHINGTON, April 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) – a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the mission of creating avenues of improved patient access to healthcare through public policy reform at the state and federal levels – welcomes Gwendolyn Mayes, J.D., M.M.Sc., former Director of Government Relations and Reimbursement at Abiomed, Inc., a cardiac assist device manufacturer, as its Executive Vice President of Government Affairs. In this position, Mayes will assist NPAF in monitoring, analyzing and responding to key federal legislation and policies related to patients' access to healthcare.

"NPAF is pleased to welcome Gwen Mayes to our leadership team, where her extensive experience in healthcare payment policy, as well as her legal and medical expertise, will strengthen our organization's ability to respond to key federal developments set to improve access to care for America's patients," said Nancy Davenport-Ennis, Founder and CEO of NPAF. "With more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry as a public health analyst and government relations strategist, we are fortunate to have Gwen on board."

During her tenure at Abiomed, Inc. Mayes was responsible for developing and advancing public policy and payment strategies for medical devices used in advanced cardiac support. In 2008, she spearheaded the reversal of a 22-year non-coverage decision for the artificial heart device, resulting in a positive CMS National Coverage Determination under Coverage with Evidence Development.

Before joining Abiomed, Mayes was Of Counsel with Weber & Rose in Louisville, Ky. following her appointment as the first Executive Director of the Office of Women's Physical and Mental Health for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Her advocacy for better public health screening, mental health parity and access to reproductive services by all women in need was credited as the "first voice" for women across the Commonwealth. While working in women's health, Mayes launched Writing With Insight®, and was the health columnist for Today's Woman magazine.

From 1988 to 1999, Mayes worked at the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services (DHHS) where she served as Chief of the Operations and Analysis Branch of the Division of Transplantation within the Health Resources and Services Administration. She was the Project Officer for the National Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network and the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients, two national contracts that remain the cornerstone for transplant policy in the U.S. Her interest in transplantation began at Emory University during the early 1980s when she was a practicing cardio-respiratory physician assistant coordinating heart and heart-lung procurement for some of the first organ transplant centers in the U.S. and Canada. While at DHHS, Mayes co-directed the Surgeon General's Workshop on Organ Donation and received numerous awards and recognition for her pioneering work in transplant policy.

"I look forward to working with NPAF to secure key legislative and regulatory measures that improve patients' access to care," said Mayes. "The provision of quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans remains one of the most critical challenges facing our nation, and I am thankful to be working with such an esteemed organization working on the front lines to improve patients' access to care."

Mayes, a native Kentuckian, received her B.A. from Transylvania University, her M.M.Sc. from Emory University, and her J.D. with Honors from the University of Maryland. She is a member of Kentucky Bar Association, WomenHeart, American Medical Writers Association and Leadership Kentucky. Mayes resides in Old Town Alexandria, VA.

NPAF and its companion organization, the Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF), were established in 1996 on the principle that health care is a basic human need and shared social responsibility.  NPAF is dedicated to working with Congress and all levels of government to overcome challenges and create solutions that will allow for high-quality, affordable health care for all. In 2010, PAF case managers assisted 82,963 patients, each with chronic, life-threatening or debilitating conditions struggling to access health care.  Additionally, PAF responds to millions of online requests for information or chat line support.  For more information see

SOURCE National Patient Advocate Foundation