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Press Release

USofCare Announces Policy Fellowship Program, Jason Helgerson and John McCarthy Named Inaugural Fellows

Published On July 25, 2018

By: Tom Kise

Washington, DC – United States of Care (USofCare), a non-profit dedicated to affordable health care coverage for every single American, is pleased to announce the formation of its Fellowship Program and has named Jason Helgerson and John McCarthy as its inaugural fellows.  

The USofCare Fellowship Program will consist of experts in specific areas of health care who can provide advice to policymakers and advocates. Helgerson and McCarthy are two leaders in state-based health policy, having served as Medicaid directors for Governors Cuomo of New York and Kasich of Ohio, respectively.

The policy fellows will harness their specialized knowledge and on the ground experience to help USofCare develop and refine policies that ensure a regular source of care and better health for more Americans so they don’t have to choose between health care and other commitments in their life.

Helgerson and McCarthy will initially focus on becoming a resource for states and providing technical support for initiatives as part of USofCare’s policy team.

“John and Jason have been on the front lines of just about every important health care issue to hit a state for over a decade, from coverage expansion in public programs to significant delivery system reforms.  Their service as Medicaid directors and deep understanding of the needs and challenges of states will help USofCare as we work to assist states across the country,” said USofCare Executive Director Emily Barson.

“I am extremely excited to be named an inaugural policy fellow. It is incredibly exciting to be part of an effort establishing a positive path to unifying Americans on health care and I’m excited to do my part,” Helgerson said about the appointment.

McCarthy added, “I am looking forward to working with the USofCare team to help states develop new initiatives to address the issue of the high cost of health care.”

Kristin Wikelius, USofCare’s policy director said, “I’m thrilled to be working closely with our first policy fellows on USofCare’s top priorities.  Their deep knowledge and experience, not just with Medicaid programs, but with the entire health care system, will help us immensely as we engage with states looking to enact policies that help people get affordable health care.”


Jason A. Helgerson
Jason served as New York’s Medicaid Director under Governor Andrew Cuomo for over seven years; prior to that, he served the same role in Wisconsin under Governor Jim Doyle. After more than 20 years of public service, he has launched a multifaceted private sector career, where he is focused on helping companies, providers, payers, and governments make the move to value in health care.  In 2015, Jason was also recognized as a Public Official of the Year by Governing Magazine.

John McCarthy
John McCarthy has more than 20 years of health care consulting and government leadership experience. He served as Medicaid Director in Ohio under Governor John Kasich and under Mayor Adrian Fenty in the District of Columbia. He is a nationally recognized expert in Medicaid reforms, value based purchasing, delivery system design, system implementation, and reimbursement policy, and served on the board and as Vice President of the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD).  In 2017, he and two partners launched Speire Healthcare Strategies where he advises government and private sector clients on strategy, operations, and health policy.