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Pennsylvania’s Safety-Net Hospitals

Pennsylvania's Safety-Net Hospitals

The Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania is staffed by two of Harrisburg's leading government relations consulting firms: DeBrunner & Associates and Greenlee Partners.

DeBrunner & Associates is Pennsylvania's leading health care policy and advocacy consulting firm. Supported by a staff of professionals with extensive experience in the health care industry and public sector, the firm specializes in consulting with providers on a variety of government health policy issues, especially Medicaid and Medicare. In addition to an extensive health policy consulting practice in Harrisburg, DeBrunner & Associates works with clients throughout the country and in Washington, D.C.

Greenlee Partners, LLC is Harrisburg's most respected government relations consulting firm. A full-service lobbying and business strategies firm with an outstanding staff of professionals, Greenlee develops and implements government relations strategies for major corporations, non-profit organizations, trade and professional groups, and clients in the education and health care fields. While specializing in state government relations in Harrisburg, the firm's practice extends throughout Pennsylvania.

Michael Chirieleison

Michael Chirieleison is SNAP’s president. He is responsible for evaluating SNAP’s public policy needs and direction, monitoring the status of state legislative and administrative actions that affect hospitals, managing the association’s political agenda, and directing strategic communication with state officials.

Mike is a respected source of information and expertise on the state’s Medicaid program and has 15 years of policy development and consulting experience. He began his career in public affairs on the staff of Pennsylvania state Senator Michael O’Pake (D-Berks), an author of various historic pieces of health care legislation. He then joined the Pennsylvania Treasury Department as a legislative liaison, developing strong relationships with key Senate and House members and staff and a keen understanding of the dynamics of the state legislative process. He also was awarded a fellowship by a major Pennsylvania health insurer to perform an organizational analysis of various financial and provider-related operations. Currently a partner with DeBrunner & Associates, Mike earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Franklin & Marshall College.

Kara Beem

A lobbyist, Kara Beem is SNAP's chief liaison to the Pennsylvania General Assembly and is responsible for tracking the introduction and progress of health care and budget legislation and advising the association on the political environment. She also handles most of SNAP's day-to-day lobbying, advocating the interests of safety-net hospitals before the state legislature.

A senior associate at Greenlee Partners, Kara is a long-time Harrisburg lobbyist. Before joining Greenlee in 2007 she was a public affairs associate for a Harrisburg government relations consulting firm and director of government affairs for the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. Kara earned a bachelor’s degree from Trinity University and a law degree at the Dickinson School of Law.

Joan Bradbury

Joan Bradbury serves as a liaison between SNAP and its members, with a special emphasis on working with the government relations staff of member hospitals and health systems. In addition, Joan manages specific policy issues of importance to safety-net hospitals, monitors legislation with a potential impact on those hospitals, and attends and reports on key state legislative hearings.

A senior associate at DeBrunner & Associates, Joan previously worked for LeadingAge PA, where she was a public policy analyst, regulatory affairs manager, and legislative affairs manager. Previously, she was a policy analyst for PAR – Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disabilities.  Joan earned a bachelor’s degree in social work at Bloomsburg University and a master’s degree in social service and another master’s in law and social policy from Bryn Mawr College’s Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research.

Ben DeBrunner

Ben DeBrunner is SNAP’s director of policy analysis, focusing on state legislative, policy, and regulatory changes with potential implications for SNAP and its members. In this role Ben is responsible for understanding the state Medicaid and health care policy environment; analyzing new and emerging policy directions and assessing how they will affect SNAP members; identifying the potential problems, opportunities, and options those new policy directions pose; and developing a policy foundation for SNAP’s strategic responses to those changes on behalf of its members. He serves in a similar capacity for DeBrunner & Associates. Ben graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a bachelor's degree in liberal arts.

Kate Finkelstein

Kate Finkelstein serves as the association's eyes and ears in Washington, D.C., monitoring federal legislative and regulatory developments of potential interest to Pennsylvania's safety-net hospitals and serving as the group's liaison to its congressional delegation. A consultant with DeBrunner & Associates, she is an effective advocate of the association's interests before Congress and the administration.

Kate has an extensive background in the health care field and has worked for a number of health care organizations, including the Georgetown University Medical Center, the George Washington University Medical Center, and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from Lamar University and earned a master's degree in library and information science from Louisiana State University.

Janel Gleeson

Janel Gleeson serves as SNAP's research and policy associate. In this role she monitors legislation and regulations, attends public meetings and hearings, and researches and analyzes issues of potential importance to Pennsylvania's safety-net hospitals. She also participates in the collection, organization, and analysis of the health care data used to guide SNAP's policy initiatives. She serves in a similar capacity for DeBrunner & Associates. Janel is a graduate of Dickinson College and Penn State Dickinson Law.

Ellen J. Kugler, Esq.

Ellen Kugler is SNAP's director of federal policy and is responsible for monitoring health policy developments in Washington, D.C. with a potential impact on SNAP hospitals and representing the interests of those hospitals before Congress and the administration. She is an expert in government health care policy, especially Medicaid and Medicare, as well as a skilled lobbyist with an extensive network of relationships on Capitol Hill.

Ellen's career in the public policy arena began in the public sector in the 1980s when she worked for various state legislative leaders and presidential candidates. She then came to Washington, D.C. and served on the staffs of prominent members of the health subcommittees of both the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In 1992, Ellen moved into the private sector as a lobbyist and health care policy consultant. Today, as a partner in DeBrunner & Associates, she represents health care clients on a variety of policy issues before Congress and the administration and advises those clients on complex Medicaid and Medicare policy issues. A lawyer by training, Ellen is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, where she concentrated on health care and government law. She earned a bachelor's degree in political science and urban planning from the University of California at Berkeley.

Matthew Steck

Matthew Steck serves as SNAP's state political director. In this capacity he is the lead lobbyist for SNAP's efforts to persuade the administration and General Assembly to develop and adopt policies that benefit Pennsylvania's safety-net hospitals. He has extensive experience as an advocate for the needs of clients in the health care field.

A partner at Greenlee Partners, Matt previously served as vice president of government relations for the Professional Insurance Agents Association of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware. In that capacity he directed lobbying, grass-roots activities, and political action committee activities. Previously, he spent four years as a research analyst for the Pennsylvania state Senate. Matt is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a degree in government administration and economics.

Joseph Steinbock

Joseph Steinbock is SNAP's writer, responsible for preparing policy documents, position papers, proposals, press materials, and correspondence. He also contributes to the development of communication strategies.

Joe has worked as a public policy writer for nearly 30 years and currently does so for DeBrunner & Associates. After serving as research director of the Committee of Seventy, a non-profit civic group in Philadelphia, he worked as a grant writer for the American Red Cross and Hahnemann University. For the past 20 years he has worked as a writer for Pennsylvania's largest government relations consulting firm, where he focused on health policy issues, and for a human resources and government relations consulting firm. Joe earned a bachelor's degree in urban studies from the University of Pennsylvania.

James Tomkins

James Tomkins directs SNAP's data analysis and policy development activities, managing the development of data needed to analyze the impact of proposed state Medicaid legislation and regulations on Pennsylvania's safety-net hospitals. He also oversees the development of data used to drive SNAP's own policy development and advocacy efforts.

A consultant with DeBrunner & Associates, Jim previously spent more than seven years with the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4). He also has worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Hamot Medical Center, in Erie. Jim has bachelor's degrees in statistics and economics from the State University of New York at Buffalo, a master's degree in health services administration from Gannon University, and a master's degree in business administration from Pennsylvania State University.