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NAVIGATION
PNHP RESOURCES

Speakers Bureau - Northeast

To request a PNHP speaker, please contact us at info@pnhp.org or (312) 782-6006.

Philip Caper, MD, MS - internal medicine, Portland, ME

Dr. Phil Caper received his BA, MS and MD degrees at UCLA, and trained in internal medicine on the Harvard Medical Unit at Boston City Hospital. He has held professorships at Dartmouth Medical School and the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he was also Vice-Chancellor for Health Affairs, chief of the medical staff, and hospital director. He has been an adjunct lecturer on health policy and management at the Harvard School of Public Health, a research associate at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and an associate in health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. From 1971 to 1976, he was a professional staff member on the United States Senate Labor and Human Resources subcommittee on health, chaired by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.).

Dr. Caper was a charter member of the nation’s top health care advisory panel, the National Council on Health Planning and Development from 1977 to 1984, chairing the panel from 1980 to 1984. He was also founder and chairman of the Codman Group from 1986 to 2001, a health care software and consulting company with an international reputation and clientele. He is a founding member of the National Academy of Social Insurance and is a founding board member of Maine AllCare, the Maine chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program. He also serves on PNHP’s national board of directors. He has published numerous articles in professional journals and written many letters to the editor and op-ed articles advocating for a publicly run universal health care program.


Andrew D. Coates, MD, FACP - internal medicine, Albany, N.Y.

Dr. Andy Coates is a past president of Physicians for a National Health Program, chief of hospital medicine at Samaritan Hospital in Troy, New York, and an assistant professor of medicine and psychiatry at Albany Medical College. Board certified in internal medicine as well as hospice and palliative care medicine, Dr. Coates graduated from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Dr. Coates is a co-founder of the Capital District chapter of PNHP and founder of Single Payer New York. He previously served on the statewide executive board of the Public Employees Federation, AFL-CIO. He provides commentary on WAMC Northeast Public Radio.


Sherif Emil, MD,CM, FRCSC, FACS, FAAP - pediatric surgery, Montreal

Dr. Sherif Emil is director of the division of pediatric general and thoracic surgery at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, associate chair for education and departmental citizenship in the Department of Pediatric Surgery, and professor of pediatric surgery, surgery, and pediatrics at McGill University. He also co-directs Canada’s first multidisciplinary Chest Wall Anomalies Clinic at the Shriners Hospital for Children.

Dr. Emil received his medical degree from McGill University and completed a residency in general surgery at Loma Linda University. During his residency he spent two years in laboratory research at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Following residency, he lectured at Loma Linda and completed a fellowship in pediatric surgery at McGill. Dr. Emil returned to California to join the surgical faculty at the University of California, Irvine, serving as chief of pediatric surgery until his move to Montreal Children’s.

Dr. Emil has published more than 90 manuscripts and several book chapters on many topics in pediatric surgery. He also has a passion for teaching and has been honored with several teaching awards. His article, “The Quest for Significance,” based on his 2010 School of Medicine commencement address at UC Irvine, was published in the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons and gained wide traction within the surgical community.

Dr. Emil is active in numerous professional organizations and has served as program chair for the surgical section of the American Academy of Pediatrics and chair of the workforce committee of the Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgeons. His many accomplishments led to his selection as one of America’s Best Doctors in 2007 and one of Canada’s Best Doctors for the years 2009 to 2014. Dr. Emil also serves on the board of Mercy Ships Canada. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Governor General of Canada for his service to children around the world and his academic accomplishments in pediatric surgery.


Oliver T. Fein, MD, FACP - internal medicine, New York City

Dr. Oliver Fein is professor of clinical medicine and clinical public health at Weill Cornell Medical College, where he serves as associate dean responsible for the Office of Affiliations and the Office of Global Health Education. He is a general internist and active in clinical practice.

Dr. Fein is a past president of Physicians for a National Health Program and chair of the New York Metro Chapter of PNHP. He is a past vice president of the American Public Health Association, where he served four years on the executive board.

Much of Dr. Fein’s work has focused on health system delivery reform and access to care for vulnerable populations. His recent writings include a chapter (with Joanne Landy) on the feasibility of fundamental health reform in the new book “10 Excellent Reasons for National Health Care”; an article on ethical issues and global health in Academic Medicine; an editorial in Medical Care; and an article on U.S. health care reform and the presidential candidates in the Journal of Health Services Research and Policy. He has also published opinion pieces in the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Dr. Fein received his medical degree from Western Reserve University in 1967 and completed his internship at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital and his residency at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx. In 1977 he became director of general medicine outpatient services at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and subsequently acting-director of the division of general medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. He was a Robert Wood Johnson health policy fellow in 1993-1994, where he worked as a legislative assistant for the Senate Democratic Majority Leader, George Mitchell.

Dr. Fein received the Elnora M. Rhodes Service award from the Society of General Internal Medicine in 1999; the Haven Emerson Award from the Public Health Association of New York City in 2001; and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowships Program in 2008.


Margaret Flowers, MD - pediatrics, Baltimore

Dr. Margaret Flowers is a pediatrician and currently serves as a national board adviser for Physicians for a National Health Program.

Dr. Flowers, a mother of three teens, graduated cum laude and AOA from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and completed residency training in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

She was director of the pediatric hospitalist program and chief of pediatrics at Carroll County General Hospital, a rural hospital in Maryland. While at CCGH, she oversaw the opening of a level II nursery. She has taught Pediatric Advanced Life Support for the Johns Hopkins H.O.P.E. program and served on the Fetus and Newborn Committee of the Maryland chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Subsequently, she practiced primary pediatrics in a small community practice and then at an all-girl boarding high school.

Dr. Flowers left practice in May 2007 to work on health care reform full-time. In November 2008 she joined the steering committee of the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care. Dr. Flowers is a national board member of Healthcare Now, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to popularizing the single-payer perspective.

After multiple meetings with and requests to members of Congress to include single payer in the health care debate were unsuccessful, she joined seven other physicians and advocates in an action in the Senate Finance Committee in May 2009 and was arrested. She testified before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in June 2009.


Adam Gaffney, M.D.Adam Gaffney, MD – pulmonary and critical care medicine, Boston

Dr. Adam Gaffney is a national board member of Physicians for a National Health Program, chair of the Massachusetts chapter of PNHP, and a co-chair of the Working Group on Single-Payer Program Design, which developed the “Physicians’ Proposal for Single-Payer Health Care Reform,” recently published at the American Journal of Public Health. Dr. Gaffney is a prolific writer and blogger on health policy and also frequently appears on radio.

Dr. Gaffney is a pulmonary specialist at Cambridge Health Alliance / Harvard Medical School. He received his medical degree from the New York University School of Medicine and completed residency training at Columbia University Medical Center. He recently completed a clinical and research fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.


David U. Himmelstein, MD, FACP - internal medicine, New York/Boston

Dr. David Himmelstein is a distinguished professor of public health and health policy in the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College, adjunct clinical professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and lecturer in medicine at Harvard Medical School. He has served as chief of the division of social and community medicine at Cambridge Hospital.

Dr. Himmelstein has authored or co-authored more than 100 journal articles and three books, including widely cited studies of medical bankruptcy and the high administrative costs of the U.S. health care system. His 1984 study of patient dumping led to the enactment of EMTALA, the law that banned that practice.

A co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program, Dr. Himmelstein co-edits PNHP’s newsletter and is a principal author of PNHP articles published in the JAMA and the New England Journal of Medicine in conjunction with Dr. Steffie Woolhandler. A sample of Dr. Himmelstein's grand rounds at the University of Southern California Keek School of Medicine is available here.

Dr. Himmelstein received his medical degree from Columbia University and completed internal medicine training at Highland Hospital/University of California San Francisco and a fellowship in general internal medicine at Harvard.


Donald E. Moore, M.D., M.P.H.Donald E. Moore, MD, MPH - general medicine, New York City

Dr. Donald Moore runs a full-time general medicine practice in Brooklyn and has distinguished himself through service to his community and his profession. He is also an attending physician at New York Methodist Hospital and teaches medicine students at Weill Cornell Medical College and nurse practitioner students at NYU and Hunter College. He is a board member of the New York Metro chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program.

Dr. Moore has served as president of the Association of Yale Alumni in Medicine (AYAM) and president of the Medical Society of the County of Kings. He had received numerous awards including the Distinguished Alumni Service Award from AYAM and awards for teaching excellence from Weill Cornell. He has been recognized for his humanitarian efforts in health care delivery by the New York State Senate and U.S. Congress.


Mary E. O'Brien, MD - primary care, New York City

Dr. Mary O’Brien has been a practicing primary care physician in New York City for the past 35 years – first as associate director of an urban emergency department for 10 years and now as a primary care physician at Columbia. She is double-boarded in internal medicine and emergency medicine. For several summers she has volunteered at a rural clinic in the Mississippi while the medical director takes vacation time. She currently precepts fourth-year medical students at Columbia in their primary care rotation. A member of the board of directors of Physicians for a National Health Program, Dr. O’Brien is also a member of the New York Metro chapter’s executive committee.


Deborah Richter, MD - family medicine, Montpelier, Vt.

Dr. Deb Richter is a family practitioner in Montpelier, Vt. A former president of Physicians for a National Health Program, she is currently involved with Vermont Health Care for All and is an outspoken advocate and coalition-builder for universal access to health care.

Dr. Richter frequently appears in print and on television and radio to advocate for single-payer issues. Her years of experience caring for the uninsured and extensive knowledge of the Canadian health system make her an outstanding spokesperson, being described as “a force of nature” for her tremendous energy and organizing ability.


Elizabeth R. Rosenthal, M.D.Elizabeth R. Rosenthal, MD - dermatology, New York

Dr. Elizabeth Rosenthal is a retired dermatologist residing in Westchester County, where she practiced for 31 years. She continues to serve on the volunteer faculty of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where she supervises residents and students in the pediatric dermatology clinic. Dr. Rosenthal comes from a family of doctors and graduated from NYU Medical School. She completed her postgraduate training in Syracuse, Detroit, and Boston. Dr. Rosenthal is a member of the executive committee of the New York Metro chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program.


Gordon Schiff, MD - internal medicine, Boston

Dr. Gordy Schiff is associate director of the Center for Patient Safety Research and Practice at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is a founding member and past president of Physicians for a National Health Program, and he is author of PNHP’s JAMA paper on quality health care reform. He was previously professor of medicine at Rush University and a senior attending physician at Cook County Hospital, where he worked for more than 30 years as director of clinical quality research and improvement for the Department of Medicine.

Dr. Schiff is currently the clinical and research director of a 3-year AHRQ-funded Massachusetts statewide malpractice and patient safety improvement initiative. He is a member of the editorial boards of Medical Care and the Journal of Public Health Policy, and author of numerous articles on patient safety, diagnosis error, and medication quality improvement. He is past chair of the medical care section of the American Public Health Association (APHA), recipient of the 2005 Institute of Medicine Chicago (IOMC) Patient Safety Leader of the Year award, and the Institute for Safe Medical Practices (ISMP) 2006 Lifetime Achievement award. In 2006 he was selected by Modern Healthcare as one of the “30 People for the Future”—national leaders most “likely to continue to shape health care in the years and decades ahead,” and the 2010 Rx for Excellence in Quality Award from the Massachusetts Medical Law Report.


Diljeet K. Singh, MD, DrPH - gynecologic oncology, Washington, DC.

Dr. Diljeet Singh is a gynecologic oncologist with the Mid-Atlantic Permanante Medical Group in Washington, DC. She recently relocated from Phoenix, AZ, where she was the program director of gynecologic oncology and the program director of Cancer Prevention and Integrative Medicine at the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Gilbert, Arizona.

Dr. Singh received her medical degree from Northwestern University and master’s degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. She completed an obstetrics and gynecology residency at the Johns Hopkins and a gynecologic oncology fellowship at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. She completed her doctoral degree in public health on cost analysis at the University of Texas School of Public Health and an associate fellowship in integrative medicine at the University of Arizona. She is a national board member of Physicians for a National Health Program.


Peter Steinglass, MD, DLFAPA, FAAAP - psychiatry, New York City

Dr. Peter Steinglass is president emeritus and director of the Ackerman Center for Substance Abuse and the Family. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, he is clinical professor of psychiatry at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He is also a member of the Physicians for a National Health Program New York Metro chapter’s board of directors.

Dr. Steinglass has received many honors for his work in academic psychiatry as well as for his clinical and research collaborations with medical and mental health institutions, including the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy’s Cumulative Contribution to Family Therapy Research Award, and the Distinguished Contribution to Family Therapy Research Award from the American Family Therapy Academy. He is also a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a Fellow of the American Academy for Addiction Psychiatry.

Most recently, Dr. Steinglass was the recipient of the 2009 Mona Mansell Award from New York’s Freedom Institute, signifying his contributions to the substance abuse treatment field. His research on alcoholism and on chronic medical illness as they affect family life has provided vital information for the clinical community. Dr. Steinglass has written more than 90 articles, book chapters and books on these subjects.


Walter H. Tsou, MD, MPH - internal medicine/public health, Philadelphia

Dr. Walter Tsou is a past president of the American Public Health Association and former health commissioner of Philadelphia. He is a founding member of the National Board of Public Health Examiners and a board adviser to Physicians for a National Health Program. An expert on health reform and health care financing, he frequently briefs members of Congress on health care issues.

Dr. Tsou is a contributing editor of Physician’s News Digest and Pennsylvania Medicine. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Public Health Recognition Award from the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the Leadership Award from the Delaware Valley Healthcare Council, and the Broad Street Pump Award from Physicians for Social Responsibility. He was named Practitioner of the Year by the Philadelphia County Medical Society in 2001.

Dr. Tsou received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. He holds an honorary doctorate in medical sciences from Drexel University.


Steffie Woolhandler, MD, MPH, FACP - internal medicine, New York/Boston

Dr. Steffie Woolhandler is a practicing primary care physician, distinguished professor of public health and health policy in the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College, adjunct clinical professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and lecturer in medicine at Harvard Medical School, where she co-directed the general internal medicine fellowship program and practiced primary care internal medicine at Cambridge Hospital.

Dr. Woolhandler earned her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University; her medical degree from Louisiana State University; and her master’s degree from the University of California. She worked in 1990-1991 as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation health policy fellow at the Institute of Medicine and the U.S. Congress.

Dr. Woolhandler is a frequent speaker and has written extensively on health policy, administrative overhead and the uninsured. She has authored more than 150 journal articles, reviews, chapters, and books on health policy. A sample of Dr. Woolhandler's grand rounds at the University of Southern California Keek School of Medicine is available here.

A co-founder and board member of Physicians for a National Health Program, Dr. Woolhandler co-edits PNHP’s newsletter and is a principal author of PNHP articles published in the JAMA and the New England Journal of Medicine in conjunction with Dr. David Himmelstein.


Robert L. Zarr, MD, MPH, FAAP - pediatrics, Washington, D.C.

Dr. Robert Zarr is a board-certified pediatrician at Unity Health Care in Washington, DC, where he cares for a low-income and immigrant population. He is the immediate past president of Physicians for a National Health Program.

Dr. Zarr is a past president of the DC Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and he holds adjunct professorships at Children’s National Medical Center and George Washington University. He also co-directs the Washington, DC chapter of PNHP. He is “physician champion” of DC Park Rx, a community health initiative to prescribe nature to patients and families and encourage time in one of 350 parks and green spaces in Washington, DC.

Dr. Zarr is fluent and literate in Spanish and has worked in the U.S. and abroad with Spanish-speaking populations. He is active in Washington, DC, in a variety of quality improvement initiatives including asthma management, injury prevention, literacy promotion, breastfeeding awareness, youth advocacy, tuberculosis prevention, and compliance with early and periodic screening, diagnostic and treatment standards.

Dr. Zarr received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and completed his pediatric residency at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. He also has a master’s degree in public health, specializing in international health, from the University of Texas School of Public Health.