John Thomas, Helena Appointed by Governor Schweitzer - Mr. Thomas is the Senior Health Officer of the Department of Administration Health Care & Benefits Division. He has worked in the healthcare and insurance industries for the past twenty years. Mr. Thomas was employed by Montana State Fund from 1990 to 1999 as a Medical Benefits Coordinator and had responsibility for the State Fund's Managed Care and Preferred Provider programs. He also served as the Executive Director/President of the Montana Physician Hospital Organization until accepting his current position in 2004. Mr. Thomas fulfills the qualification as a Management-level Member with knowledge of state employee health benefit plans.
Katherine Buckley-Patton, Helena/Dillon Appointed by Governor Schweitzer. Ms. Buckley-Patton is the Healthy Montana Kids Supervisor in the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. Ms. Buckley-Patton has more than 25 years experienceadvocating for families through different positions held in community, hospital and government agencies, including the last 15 years with DPHHS. She is a long-term supporter of addressing the needs of the uninsured in our state. Ms. Buckley-Patton fulfills the qualification of Management-level Member with knowledge of Medicaid services
Tim O'Leary, Missoula
Claudia Clifford, Helena Claudia Clifford is the Advocacy Director for AARP Montana, serving this role since 2004. She has worked for over 20 years on health policy issues. For seven years, Claudia served on the board of the Montana Comprehensive Health Association, the state’s health insurance program for high risk individuals.
Susan Witte, Attorney at Law, Helena Appointed by Commissioner Lindeen - Ms. Witte is currently the Regulatory and Compliance Officer for the Montana University System (MUS) Employee Benefits division in Helena. Her responsibilities include monitoring interim legislative work and related legislative committees and ensuring that the MUS employee benefits plan is in compliance with state and federal regulations, especially those pertaining to federal health care reform. Previously Ms. Witte served as an officer and general counsel with a domestic health insurance company and third party administrator in Montana; associate general counsel and public relations officer with another Montana health insurance carrier, and work with state regulatory agencies including the Montana Department of Insurance. She has also been in private practice in Helena and Livingston. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history-political science from the University of Montana and a law degree from the Antioch School of Law in Washington, DC. Ms. Witte is from Poplar, Montana.
David B. Kendall Appointed by Commissioner Morrison - Mr. Kendall is a health policy analyst best known for crafting a new progressive agenda for health care. At the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) and its affiliate, the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), Mr. Kendall has developed innovative policies for reforming health care financing and delivery. His work has been praised on the editorial page of The New York Times, by national columnists such as Morton Kondracke and James Glassman, and by former Senators Bob Kerrey (D-NE) and John Breaux (D-LA) and Congressman Bill Thomas (R-CA). Mr. Kendall fulfills the qualification of a Consumer Member representing the public interest.
Kelly Robinson-Konecny, Billings Mrs. Robison-Konecny is the Vice President of CK Construction, a small family owned construction business in Billings, MT since 2003. In addition, she is a Realtor with Century 21 Hometown Brokers since 2010 specializing in residential sales. Mrs. Robison-Konecny is 1996 graduate of the University of Montana with a BA in Sociology. From 1996-2003 she enjoyed a rewarding career in Child and Family Social Services and also Adult Corrections. Her last position prior to joining her family’s construction business in 2003 was Director of Therapeutic Foster Care-Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Community Based Services. Throughout her Social Service career she has been both a front line Human Service Worker as well as an Administrator focusing on program development, budgets, staffing, accreditation and licensing and has sat on numerous committees, leadership boards and acted as a liaison to the DPHHS and various managed care companies. At the current time she oversees all administrative and operating aspects of the small business of which she is an owner.