Health Care For All Names Interim Director
He takes over for Amy Whitcomb Slemmer, who last month stepped down after eight years as executive director to finish the ordination process to become an Episcopal priest.
Rosenfeld's appointment was announced Oct. 31. Robert Restuccia, former executive director at Health Care For All (HCFA), and executive director of Community Catalyst, also a Boston-based nonprofit advocate for healthcare system reform, served as transition director in the weeks after Slemmer left the organization on Oct. 15.
Stephen Gorrie, HCFA board chair, said, "As a former member of the board of directors, Rosenfeld has a deep commitment to HCFA's mission. He founded Health Law Advocates Inc., a nonprofit public interest law firm dedicated to gaining access to health care for vulnerable populations in Massachusetts.
"Additionally, Steve has acted as a senior legal adviser and board member at Community Catalyst, a national non-profit consumer advocacy organization whose first priority is quality affordable health care for all."
HCFA said it aims to have a permanent leader in place within six months.
Rosenfeld has decades of experience in health access and health benefits law, healthcare consumer protection ,and long-term disability law. He is a known throughout the healthcare community and has been a longstanding advocate for access to mental health services. He served as chief legal counsel and chief of staff to Gov. Michael Dukakis.
Gorrie earlier lauded Slemmer's work expanding HCFA's multilingual reach to consumers across the state, celebrating the organizations 30th anniversary, and focusing on the cost and quality of health care experienced by the people of Massachusetts.
Slemmer, quoted recently in the Boston Business Journal, said her decision to leave HCFA was mutually made with the board.
"It's an important moment for the organization and for me to be able to step back and say after eight years, what are the experiences that I want to use in my next professional adventure?" She added, "The next opportunity will allow me to build on the experiences I've had."
HCFA works with state, federal, and local administrations to improve the healthcare system, in part, by convening relevant stakeholders, building coalitions to address specific issues, organizing communities, and education the public. It was instrumental in implementing health reform in Massachusetts in 2006 to payment, as well as delivery system reform in 2012.
With 2017 health insurance premiums rising at least 15% for one-quarter of the 234,000 people who buy coverage through the Massachusetts Health Connector, HCFA said it expects heavy call volume for its consumer HelpLine (800-272-4232) from consumers seeking information on their options. Open enrollment for 2017 began on Tuesday and will last three months.