George Mason UniversitySchool of Business

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The Mason Collective Impact

America's Health Landscape: The Innovators, Advocates, and Providers

The Mason Collective Impact Summer Speaker Series aims to provide a forum to explore diverse areas of public interest, discuss current trends, and introduce students, alumni, and community members to those Mason alumni supporters and faculty behind the ideas. On Thursday, July 23, we'll explore America's Health Landscape: The Innovators, Advocates, and Providers, as co-hosted by the College of Health and Human Services, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the College of Science, and the School of Business.

Topics and speakers to include:

The Health Implications of Digitization
Brad N. Greenwood, PhD
Associate Professor, Information Systems and Technology Management,
School of Business, George Mason University

Advocacy in a Time of Upheaval
Katherine Fry, MBA '18
CEO, America's Blood Centers


Katherine (Kate) Fry currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer for America’s Blood Centers (ABC), North America's largest network of community-based, independent blood programs. Kate joined ABC in 2016 as Chief Administrative Officer and also serves as Executive Director of the Foundation of America’s Blood Centers (FABC). A recognized leader in health care association management and advocacy, Kate heads ABC’s strategy development and advocacy work before federal legislators, regulators, and strategic partners, promoting the importance of blood donation and a safe and robust blood supply as a national priority. During her tenure, she has restructured the organization to promote robust advocacy representation, integrate ADRP, an International Division of ABC, and strengthen the voice of independent blood centers at the national and international levels.

Kate brings nearly two decades of health care association experience. While in leadership positions at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Ms. Fry was responsible for directing multi-faceted, national advocacy campaigns; communication efforts; building member value; and managing multiple, large-scale projects. In addition, Ms. Fry brings significant expertise in representing the views of associations before members of Congress and their staff.

Kate received a Masters in Business Administration from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History from Dickinson College. Kate also received her Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential in 2019, the highest professional credential in the association industry. Less than five percent of all association professionals have achieved this mark of excellence. In 2013, Kate was the recipient of the prestigious Public Affairs Council “Volunteer of the Year” award. Kate is a regular speaker on trends in healthcare and advocacy and enjoys mentoring future generations of association leaders.

Using Virtual Care and Telehealth to Help Combat COVID-19
and Transform Care Delivery
Rod Cruz
General Manager, AT&T Healthcare Solutions  


Mr. Cruz currently serves AT&T’s Healthcare customers as the Healthcare Solutions General Manager. His team is responsible for developing corporate healthcare strategy, go-to-market approach, sales execution and creation of industry solutions for Providers, Payors, Pharmaceuticals and Medical Device Manufacturers.

Prior to his current assignment, Mr. Cruz’s responsibilities were focused on leading the service relationship with AT&T’s largest multi-national customers in the Southwest and all Wholesale customers in the United States. His teams managed the overall customer stewardship, service delivery and service assurance engagements among other service support activities. His organization owned the end-to-end customer service experience and customer satisfaction for AT&T’s most strategic clients.

Mr. Cruz earned his B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M University, and has a Master’s Certificate in Telecommunications Management and Project Management. He is a member of Project Management Institute, Institute of Industrial Engineering and the American Marketing Association.      

Value of Medicines and the Industry's Role in Fighting the Pandemic
Sharon Lamberton RN, MS '01 Health Systems Management
Deputy Vice President, PhRMA


Ms. Lamberton serves as Deputy Vice President of State Policy for PhRMA, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association of America, a trade association of 35 biopharmaceutical companies, based in DC. She provides policy analysis and support, clinical expertise and strategy for multiple industry related issues such as cost and value of medicines, adherence, access to insulin, prescription drug abuse and clinical trials. Ms. Lamberton works closely with the National Governors’ Association, National Federation of Women Legislators, and serves on the Corporate Advisory Council for the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Before coming to PhRMA, Ms. Lamberton worked for the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM), a seniors’ association of more than 5 million members devoted to retaining and enhancing Medicare and Social Security benefits. Other work experiences included: GAO, Office of Senator Chuck Robb, Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics at GMU University and NIH in Bethesda, where she worked as a clinical research nurse delivering direct patient care and working with research protocols on Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, brain and spinal cord cancers, and more.

Ms. Lamberton graduated from Texas Woman’s University in Houston with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and served as President of the Texas Student Nurses Association, which represented over 5,000 students and President of the National Student Nurses Association, an organization of over 74,000 student nurses. Because of the pre-professional student leadership positions, Ms. Lamberton moved from Texas to DC to pursue a career in health policy. She enjoys teaching as a guest lecturer for graduate policy courses for nurses and healthcare professionals for a variety of colleges.

REVOLT, Civil Rights- A Social Determinant of Health

Tonga Turner, MS, MBA
Director of Community Health, Kaiser Permanente
Advisory Board Member, College of Health and Human Services

Turner Headshot2

Tonga Turner serves as a Director in Kaiser Permanente’s Community Health division where she oversees the company’s Access & Social Health investment portfolio. In her role, Tonga, develops and executes the Access & Social Health strategy which focuses on changing, policy, systems and environments in communities that experience inequities around access social health care. Tonga also is responsible for Safety-net partnerships, and Charitable Care & Coverage programs which includes Medicaid. Most recently Tonga led the development of and establishment of the Kaiser Permanente Community Wellness Hub, located within the College of Health & Human Services at George Mason University. “The Hub” will provide access to co-located social services and resources to Northern Virginia’s most vulnerable community members.

Tonga joined Kaiser Permanente from the United States Department of Health & Humans Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid where she worked on federal policy and legislative matters on behalf of the Federal Coordinated Health Care Office. Under her leadership, she worked on several major federal policies, rules and regulations impacting the dual-eligible (Medicare-Medicaid) population, including the development and implementation of the CMS Medicare-Medicaid Health Plan Enrollment Disenrollment Guidance which is currently utilized by several States and Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) across the nation. Prior to her work at the federal level, Tonga has had a stellar career in the private sector, working for prestigious consulting firms such as Booz Allen Hamilton and the American Institute for Research as a senior leader in developing and implementing policies and initiatives focused on addressing health disparities and leveraging the social determinants of health to improve health outcomes in vulnerable communities

Monique van Hoek, PhD
Professor, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Associate Director of Research, School of Systems Biology
George Mason University


Prof. van Hoek joined George Mason University in August 2002. She was among the first faculty members to join the newly formed National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases. She joined The School of Systems Biology as an Assistant Professor in 2005, bringing her expertise in Francisella tularensis to the center and was promoted to Full Professor in 2017.

Her research program is actively focused on two areas:

1) biofilms and small-molecule communication in Francisella tularensis.

2) discovering and developing novel antimicrobial peptides against multi-drug resistant and biothreat bacteria, in particular against gram-negative bacteria. The antimicrobial peptide discovery project is a collaborative effort with Dr. Barney Bishop at GMU. Dr. van Hoek gave a TedXGMU talk on this topic and the team was featured in FreeThink’s video “The Real Mother of Dragons”.

Dr. van Hoek has published more than 50 papers and has led or co-led many large research projects, including projects funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and Office of Naval Research as well as Virginia’s Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CIT).

Prior to coming to Mason, Monique worked for Roche Molecular Biochemicals (formerly Boehringer Mannheim) as a Research Manager, developing and launching a portfolio of reagents and product support for Roche’s Molecular Biochemicals’ products and systems. Monique received her B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Victoria, Canada, and her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia Department of Microbiology, Charlottesville, VA.

Climate Change, COVID-19, and Equity:
The Work of the Medical Society Consortium
Mona Sarfaty, MD, MPH, FAAFP
Executive Director, Medical Society Consortium for Climate and Health,
Center for Climate Change Communication
George Mason University

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