Petty appointed executive director of PNHP

November 7, 2013

Contact: Mark Almberg, communications director,

Physicians for a National Health Program announced today that Matthew Petty has been appointed executive director.

Petty, who has most recently served as the group’s director of operations, will be responsible for mobilizing PNHP’s membership in advocating for single-payer reform at the national and state levels, growing its membership and financial base, and enhancing its outreach programs, media work and ties with coalition partners.

Of the new responsibilities Petty will assume, Dr. Andrew Coates, PNHP’s president, said: “Our new executive director will coordinate a remarkably talented team of professionals in our national office.”

Pointing out that public debate over health care remains acrimonious and that PNHP’s perspective is often sought, Coates added: “The PNHP Board of Directors chose Matt as executive director with an awareness that we have entered a new period characterized by the growth of private, profit-centered corporate influence over the practice of medicine.

“At a time when we need to develop a new generation of physician leaders, Matt, only 30 years old, has grown with the organization. He has proven himself by taking day-to-day responsibility to safeguard our ability to fulfill our mission and grow our organization.”

Following his appointment, Petty said, “I look forward to continuing to serve members of PNHP in this new role as we work together to achieve single payer and to restore the doctor-patient relationship, free from corporate dictates.”

Petty, a native of Fargo, N.D., majored in social policy at Northwestern University, with a special concentration in health policy. While at Northwestern, he conducted research in racial disparities in infant mortality, diversity in health professions, rural prison expansion, and Social Security. He minored in political science and obtained his bachelor’s degree in 2005. He spent time working on Capitol Hill, and has worked for PNHP for the last eight years.

PNHP is a nonprofit, 18,000-member research and educational organization of doctors who support single-payer national health insurance, or “an improved Medicare for All.” It was founded in 1986. Headquartered in Chicago, the group has become a nationally influential voice on health policy, with chapters and spokespeople throughout the United States.

Petty’s appointment became effective on Nov. 3 by action of PNHP’s national board, which met in Boston at the conclusion of the group’s Annual Meeting. The meeting was its largest gathering ever, organizers said.