SACRAMENTO, CA – Insure the Uninsured Project (ITUP), a statewide policy institute focused on expanding and improving health care coverage in California, today announced the appointment of its new Executive Director, Deborah Reidy Kelch, M.P.P.A. of Elk Grove, CA.
Howard Kahn, retired CEO of L.A. Care Health Plan and Chair of the ITUP Board stated, “The ITUP Board is delighted to welcome Deborah Kelch as ITUP’s Executive Director. Deborah has the deep knowledge, experience and collaborative spirit that has made ITUP the ‘go-to’ resource for policymakers and health leaders.”
Ms. Kelch is a respected health policy researcher and strategist with more than 30 years of experience analyzing and working to improve health care in California. Her professional experience includes 15 years as policy and fiscal staff to the California Legislature, including serving Chief Consultant to the Assembly Health Committee.
Ms. Kelch is the owner and principal of Kelch Associates, a health policy research and consulting firm providing independent analysis, technical assistance and strategic advice to state and legislative leaders implementing health care reform in California. Ms. Kelch has a B.A., in Political Science from UCLA and a Master in Public Policy and Administration from CSU Sacramento.
ITUP, currently based in Santa Monica, CA, conducts policy-focused research to educate policymakers, stakeholders and the media on public and private health care programs in the state. ITUP is a trusted resource, honest broker and successful convener of state and regional stakeholders across the health care community – payers, advocates, public and private providers, labor and small employers. ITUP promotes innovative approaches to advance access, preserve a viable health care safety net and improve health care delivery in California.
“I am honored to be chosen as ITUP’s executive director at this transformative time for health care in the state and the nation,” said Kelch. “ITUP embodies values I have embraced my entire career – fact-based decision-making, inclusive problem-solving and dedication to the needs of uninsured and underserved populations.”
“While California has made dramatic progress in addressing the problem of the uninsured, leading the country in implementing health reform, the original vision of ITUP is not yet fully achieved,” Kelch continued. “Millions of Californians are still without coverage and many who do have coverage face barriers of all kinds in accessing the health care resources they and their families need. I look forward to ensuring ITUP continues to be a thought leader, consensus-builder and valued resource as we confront these ongoing challenges.”
Ms. Kelch will replace Lucien Wulsin, ITUP’s founding Executive Director, who is retiring in mid-March after 45 years of exemplary service and statewide leadership. ITUP announced the selection of Ms. Kelch at its statewide conference held each year in Sacramento. This year’s event marks ITUP’s 20th anniversary, offering networking and educational programming for the state’s health care leaders and diverse stakeholders.
“I know Deborah will be a terrific leader taking ITUP into its next decade and facing the challenges of much better integrated care and reimbursement that rewards improved patient outcomes while completing the job of coverage for every Californian; she has the experience, dedication and passion that California needs” said Lucien Wulsin.