Ellen Kugler, Esq.

Ellen Kugler is responsible for formulating the alliance’s policy direction, developing legislative strategies, and lobbying Congress and the administration.  A key resource for the organization since its founding in 1993, she is an expert in government health care policy, especially Medicare and Medicaid – the two issues that are most important to the alliance and its members.  Ellen is an experienced lobbyist with extensive relationships on Capitol Hill and an outstanding track record for reaching key legislators and congressional staff and presenting persuasive and successful arguments on behalf of the needs of community safety-net hospitals.

Ellen’s Washington career began on the staffs of prominent members of the health subcommittees of both the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  She has now worked as a health policy consultant and lobbyist for nearly 30 years.  A lawyer by training, Ellen is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and previously earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and urban planning from the University of California at Berkeley.

Ben DeBrunner

Ben DeBrunner analyzes federal policy for ASH. He monitors the release of federal policies, regulations, and spending proposals governing Medicare and Medicaid, analyzes those that have a potential impact on community safety-net hospitals, and plays an important role in the alliance’s formulation of its own policy proposals. Ben is the resource to whom ASH members turn first with specific Medicare reimbursement questions. Ben graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts.

Kate Finkelstein

Kate Finkelstein directs ASH’s legislative affairs, monitoring legislative developments of potential significance to community safety-net hospitals and playing a key role in developing the alliance’s policy objectives and shaping the legislative strategies to achieve those objectives.  She takes advantage of her extensive network of contacts on Capitol Hill to lobby Congress, with an emphasis on working with key committee staff and the staff of members of Congress who have ASH-member hospitals in their districts or states.  Kate is the ASH resource to whom member hospitals turn most often with questions about how various Medicare policies affect their organizations.

Kate earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Lamar University and a master’s degree in library and information science from Louisiana State University.  She has been a key member of the ASH staff since 2005.

Janel Gleeson

Janel Gleeson focuses on federal regulatory changes that affect community safety-net hospitals, monitoring the release of federal regulations governing Medicare and Medicaid and working with ASH policy and data staff to determine their potential impact on community safety-net hospitals. She is an important part of the team that develops alliance proposals to address members’ policy concerns. Janel’s health care experience includes five years as public policy director of the Pennsylvania Homecare Association and as regulatory affairs manager for LeadingAge PA. Janel is a graduate of Dickinson College and Penn State Dickinson Law, after which she clerked for the Court of Common Pleas in Adams County, Pennsylvania.

James A. Tomkins

James Tomkins directs ASH’s data analysis and policy development endeavors.  He develops, manages, and employs databases that include extensive data for every acute-care hospital in the country.  Jim uses this data to analyze the potential impact of federal budget proposals, proposed changes in Medicare payment policies, and proposed legislation on community safety-net hospitals.  He also uses this data to contribute to ASH’s own efforts to develop policy alternatives that better meet the needs of ASH members and has been doing so since 2006.

Jim has an extensive background in the health care field, working for the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Hamot Medical Center, in Erie, Pennsylvania.  He also served as director of data and information services for the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council.  Jim has bachelor’s degrees in statistics and economics from the State University of New York at Buffalo, a master’s degree in health services administration from Gannon University, and a master’s degree in business administration from Pennsylvania State University.