Governor Sisolak Appoints 11 Members and Executive Director to Patient Protection Commission

Carson City, NV – December 19, 2019

Today, Governor Steve Sisolak announced the appointment of 11 members and an executive director to the Patient Protection Commission (PPC). The PPC, which was created by Senate Bill 544 and signed into law this past legislative session, will take a comprehensive look at the state of health care in Nevada and identify areas for improvement to ensure every Nevadan has access to affordable and quality health care. Under the direction of the Chair and Executive Director, the PPC will begin meeting early next year.

The following 11 members representing experience from across the health care spectrum have been appointed to the PPC:

Representative Engaged in the Academic Study of Health Care Policy/Public Health:

Dr. John Packham, Associate Dean for the Office of Statewide Initiatives, UNR School of Medicine, who will also serve as Chair of the PPC.

Representatives of Providers of Health Care

Dr. Howard Baron, Pediatric Gastroenterologist, Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition Associates
Dr. Ikram Khan, President & Partner, Quality Care Consultants, LLC

Representatives of Hospitals

Dr. Anthony Slonim, President and CEO, Renown Health
W. Mason Van Houweling, CEO, University Medical Center

Representatives of Health Insurers

Bobbette Bond, Senior Director, Healthcare Policy, UNITE HERE Health Fund
Shaun Schoener, Vice President, Network Development/Provider Services, UnitedHealthcare

Representative of the Prescription Drug Industry

Flo Kahn, Deputy Vice President, State Advocacy, Western Region, PhRMA

Representative of the General Public

Jessica Flood, Northern Regional Behavioral Health Coordinator, Nevada Rural Hospital Partners

Representatives for Patients

Yarleny Roa-Dugan, Registered Nurse, Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center
Theresa L. Bohannan, Advocate for those with special health care needs with experience and education in the health care field

The Governor also appointed Sara Cholhagian as Executive Director. She previously spent nearly a decade as a legislative and government affairs professional. From 2018 to 2019, Cholhagian worked as an associate with Ferrari Public Affairs. From 2014 to 2018, she served as a Legislative and Government Affairs Manager for The McMullen Strategic Group and for Porter Gordon Silver Communications. In the aforementioned roles, Cholhagian fostered and maintained relationships with legislators, regulatory personnel and committee staff, and she managed and oversaw the establishment of legislative strategies, policies, and plans. She also gained valuable experience working for a wide range of health care clients at the state and local levels.

“The Patient Protection Commission was a top priority for me when I entered office, and I’m very pleased with its membership that includes a highly respected, multi-faceted team of health care experts, advocates, providers, and industry professionals to steer the work of the PPC. The PPC is designed to provide a forum for all stakeholders to come to the table and work together on the critical task of improving health care access and affordability in Nevada,” Governor Sisolak said. “I’m also looking forward to seeing what Sara can accomplish with her years of work in the legislative affairs in Nevada and her extensive experience with health care issues.”

Additionally, the PPC includes three nonvoting members who will serve on the PPC in an advisory capacity and bring the resources of their respective agencies to support the work of the PPC:

  • Richard Whitley, Director of the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services
  • Barbara Richardson, Insurance Commissioner, Nevada Division of Insurance (Department of Business and Industry)
  • Heather Korbulic, Executive Director of the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange



Ryan McInerney
Communications Director