New Appointments: Thomas Woodruff, Ph.D.-Director of Health Economics

TCW Head Shot Nov 2014Thomas Woodruff is director of the Healthcare Policy & Benefit Services, Division of the Office of the Connecticut State Comptroller. The Division is responsible for investment policy and administration of the state’s $4.5 billion dollar defined contribution retirement plans as well as state’s employee and retiree medical, dental, and pharmacy benefit programs for 210,000 employees, retirees, and their family members. This year, Dr. Woodruff has been a member of the State’s Steering Committee for a federally sponsored State Innovation Model initiative that is developing a state-wide plan for healthcare delivery and payment reform. Dr. Woodruff’s research focuses on the study of the optimum use of healthcare services for the improvement of total population health.

Prior to joining state service in June of 2004, Dr. Woodruff had over 25 years of experience in employee benefits, management, research, insurance, employment policy, investment, collective bargaining and pension plan product development, legislation, and regulation. Dr. Woodruff was the executive director of the President’s Commission on Pension Policy during the Carter administration, a visiting professor at Cornell University, executive director of the foundation-supported Commission on College Retirement and the CEO of his own consulting firm. Dr. Woodruff has three degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Economics, Planning, and Management.

New Appointments: Ronald Preston, Ph.D. – Director of Health Policy

Preston, Ronald 2014 JGelineau #20

Ron Preston specializes in science policy and the coordination with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) necessary for states to enhance and sometimes to preserve critical health and human services. He is currently UConn’s liaison to the State Innovation Model (SIM) initiative, a member of the SIM core workgroup and has been the facilitator for SIM workforce initiatives. He is also UConn Health’s lead for eConsult and for the collaboration between UConn and CT’s Department of Social Services (Medicaid). He has a faculty appointment in UConn Health’s Department of Community Medicine as well as the Center for Quantitative Medicine. From 1991 through 2002, Dr. Preston was the associate regional administrator for Medicaid and State Operations responsible in New England for federal oversight of Medicaid and the survey and certification of Medicare and Medicaid providers. For the next three years, Dr. Preston was the Massachusetts’ Secretary of Health and Human Services. During his tenure, he restructured seventeen state agencies, met the budget crisis of the last recession without a reduction in critical services, and designed and negotiated the 1115 waiver that is the mainspring of Massachusetts’ universal coverage reforms. Dr. Preston has worked with the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the University of New Hampshire and Dartmouth Medical School on building collaborations with states to enhance the administration of Medicaid and the delivery of mental health services. While at CMS, Dr. Preston participated in designing and negotiating all of the New England state’s Medicaid waivers, including those that are the foundations for the Vermont Health Access Plan (VHAP), MassHealth and RIte Care. Prior to CMS, Dr. Preston worked for the first military base closing commission, was staff director for the Congressional Coalition on Adoption (1 year), was a deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Education (3 years), and a senior staff member of the U. S. Senate Committee on Labor & Human Resources (7 years).