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Mary Ella Payne

Senior Vice President, Policy and System Legislative Leadership

Based in Ascension Health’s Washington, D.C. Advocacy Office, Mary Ella Payne leads the organization’s government relations strategy and outreach. Ms. Payne solidifies relationships with the White House administration, on Capitol Hill and with various partners, and serves as the organization’s chief advisor on policy and legislative issues.

Caroline Battles

Senior Director, Advocacy and External Relations, Ascension Health

Caroline Battles leads alignment of Ascension Health’s strategy for advocacy and community health improvement and community engagement, guiding public acceptance of the organization’s efforts to transform healthcare.

Connie Brooks, RN, MPH

Senior Director, Ascension Health

Connie J. Brooks, RN, MPH, oversees Ascension Health’s community health initiatives, and serves as project director for Ascension Health's Navigator Grant, which provides outreach, education and assistance in navigating the health insurance enrollment process. Previous to this work, Ms. Brooks developed access initiatives for the organization, and supported local coalitions striving to achieve 100% access and 100% coverage.

Nicole Commodore, JD

Senior Associate, Government Relations, Policy and Coalitions, Ascension Health

Based in Ascension Health’s Washington, D.C. Advocacy Office, Nicole Commodore, JD, serves as the organization’s federal lobbyist, advocating for key healthcare issues with elected officials and policy makers. Ms. Commodore communicates, to a variety of audiences, Ascension Health’s position on key policy issues including the Affordable Care Act, state Medicaid Expansion and the 340B Drug Pricing Program. She serves as a liaison between the Washington, D.C. office and the 30+ government relations associates that serve in the organization’s Health Ministries. She also represents the Ascension Health on eight national healthcare policy organizations/grassroots coalitions.

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