Christie Hager has described her role in the passage of the Commonwealth’s landmark health insurance reform law in 2006 as that of “general contractor.” As chief health counsel to the Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 2004-2009, Hager, a public health lawyer, was a key behind-the-scenes player who worked to craft the legislation from proposals put forth by her boss, Sal DiMasi; then-Senate President Robert Travaglini; and then-Governor Mitt Romney. The law has resulted in a 98 percent health insurance coverage rate among Massachusetts residents―the best in the nation―and was the model for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Not surprisingly, Hager went on to serve in the Obama Administration from 2010-2014, as Regional Director of Region I of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services where she oversaw the implementation of the ACA in the six New England states.
At various times throughout her career, Hager has also held appointments on the faculties of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, University of Connecticut School of Medicine and Suffolk University Law School. Her work has appeared in such publications as the New England Journal of Medicine, American Journal of Law and Medicine, and Journal of Legal Medicine. She has also has held research and operations positions at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the Division of Public Health Practice, and at the Schneider Institute for Health Policy at Brandeis University’s Heller School, where she was appointed the first Senior Fellow. She has served as Chair of the American Public Health Association’s Health Law Forum, as President of the Massachusetts Public Health Association, and as Co-Chair of the Health Law Section of the Boston Bar Association.
Now, Hager is leveraging her expertise in health care policy to help combat the opioid crisis in Massachusetts and beyond as Senior Vice President for National Client Partnerships, New England Region, at Beacon Health Options. There, Hager oversees health plan and public sector business in New England, working with legislators and other stakeholders to strengthen Beacon Health’s partnerships in the region. Part of that work includes helping employers and policy makers address the problem of opioid addiction.
We’re excited to have Hager join us for the 2016 SPARK! Leadership Conference in Boston on Nov. 5, where she will lead a breakout session titled “Framing the Opioid Crisis.” Hager and Beacon Health Options view opioid addiction as “a chronic brain disease that is best treated by a chronic disease model of care.” As urban, suburban and rural communities–large and small, rich and poor–across the country continue to grapple with effective responses to the epidemic, Hager’s session will no doubt be of great value to those looking for insight into treating patients with opioid addiction. We hope you’ll join us for this important presentation.