(BOSTON, MA) – Lisa Renee Holderby, Director of Health Equity for Community Catalyst, was today appointed to the new National Health Care Workforce Commission by Gene L. Dodaro, Acting Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Holderby, a Worcester resident and long-time community health worker and advocate, is among 15 people in the nation chosen to advise policymakers on ways to improve the health care workforce.

“The voice of consumers and communities is crucial to the work of the National Health Care Workforce Commission,” said Holderby. “In order to better serve communities across the nation, the health care workforce must understand diverse community needs. Community Catalyst is committed to ensuring the consumer voice is heard in all aspects of health care, and this appointment is a great opportunity to bring a much-needed consumer perspective to the Commission’s important work.”

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act created the Commission to serve as a national resource for Congress, the President and states and localities; to communicate and coordinate with federal departments to develop and commission evaluations of education and training activities; to identify barriers to improved coordination at the federal, state and local levels and recommend ways to address them; and to encourage innovations that address population needs, changing technology, and other environmental factors.

“Throughout her career Lisa Renee has worked to promote a more responsive, just health care system that meets the needs of local communities,” said Robert Restuccia, Executive Director, Community Catalyst. “Her years of experience as a community health worker and recognized leader in the community health worker movement make her deeply attuned to the needs of health care workers, and she brings a particularly important perspective to the Commission.”

As Community Catalyst’s Director of Health Equity, Holderby leads efforts to use Community Catalyst’s policy and coalition-building experience to identify concrete actions and strategies at the state and national level to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health care. Holderby has almost 20 years experience working to improve health in Massachusetts as a community health worker (CHW). Prior to joining Community Catalyst, she served as the first executive director of the Massachusetts Association of Community Health Workers (MACHW). She has held leadership positions with the American Public Health Association (APHA) and serves as co-chair of APHA’s Community Health Worker Primary Interest Group. She served as co-chair for the Health Resources and Services Administration Community Health Worker Workforce Study’s Technical Advisory Group. Holderby was honored as the recipient of APHA’s 2008 Helen Rodriguez-Trias Social Justice Award for her work to increase access to health care and social services.

To access the GAO’s press release and learn more about other appointees, including their bios, go here.

About Community Catalyst
Community Catalyst is a national non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to quality affordable health care for all.  Since 1997, Community Catalyst has been working to build the consumer and community leadership required to transform the American health system.  With the belief that this transformation will happen when consumers are fully engaged and have an organized voice, Community Catalyst works in partnership with national, state and local consumer organizations, policymakers, and foundations, providing leadership and support to change the health care system so it serves everyone – especially vulnerable members of society.  For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org.