College of Health and Human Services
George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

CHHS Welcomes Three New Advisory Board Members

May 17, 2019   /   by Danielle Hawkins

Three new members have joined the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) Advisory Board: Ellie Dehoney, vice president of policy and advocacy at Research!America; Karen Remley, senior fellow at the de Beaumont Foundation; and Tonga Turner, director of Kaiser Permanente Community Health Division.

As new members of the board, they will join the 10 current members in advising and assisting the Dean in strategic planning for the College.

“We’re delighted to welcome Ellie Dehoney, Karen Remley, and Tonga Turner to our advisory board,” says Dr. Germaine Louis, Dean of the CHHS. “Their expertise will be instrumental to the College as we work together to build Virginia’s first College of Public Health and strive to improve the public’s health and well-being across the lifespan.”

Read more about the three new advisory board members below and visit the advisory board page to learn more about the current members of the board.


Ellie Dehoney, Vice President of Policy and Advocacy, Research!America

Ellie Dehoney

Eleanor (Ellie) Dehoney, has been vice president of policy and advocacy at Research!America since March of 2011.  Prior to joining Research!America, Ellie served as legislative director in the office of Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH).  Ellie also served as the legislative director for Brown in the House of Representatives, where she maintained lead responsibility for work related to his role as Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee.  Before joining Brown’s staff, Ellie served as a legislative assistant for former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD).  Previous positions included serving as a special assistant in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) within the Department of Health and Human Services and in other executive branch and private sector roles focused on health care financing and delivery. 

Ellie received a BA in Economics and English from the College of William & Mary and an MSPH from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 


Dr. Karen Remley, Senior Fellow, de Beaumont Foundation

Dr. Karen RemleyDr. Karen Remley joined the de Beaumont Foundation in August 2018 as a senior fellow. Remley, who has more than 30 years of experience in public health and health care, previously served as CEO of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which represents 67,000 practitioners dedicated to the health, safety, and well-being of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.

In her role as senior fellow, Remley serves an advisory and leadership role in the Foundation’s efforts to create practical solutions to build healthier communities. She brings a unique combination of public health, health care, and clinical experience, and a track record of improving social and economic factors that result in better health for all.

In addition to leading the AAP, Remley has had a diverse career as a commissioner of health for the Commonwealth of Virginia, a pediatric emergency physician, and the chief medical director of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Virginia. As Virginia’s health commissioner from 2008 to 2012, she advised the governor on public health issues and helped lead improvements in the rates of teen pregnancy, infant mortality, and cardiovascular disease. She is a professor of pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School and has held senior leadership roles in hospitals and health nonprofits, including Operation Smile Inc., Physicians for Peace, and Sentara Healthcare.

Remley earned an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, an MPH at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and her MD from University of Missouri in Kansas City. She completed her pediatrics residency at St. Louis Children’s Hospital-Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.


Tonga Turner, Director, Kaiser Permanente Community Health Division

Tonga TurnerTonga Turner serves as a director in Kaiser Permanente’s Community Health division where she oversees the Northern Virginia Community Health portfolio. In her role, Tonga, develops and executes the overall Northern Virginia Health Strategy which focuses on changing policy, systems, and environments in communities that experience inequities with the goal of promoting health, equity and justice.

Tonga joined Kaiser Permanente from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), where she worked on federal policy and legislative matters on behalf of the Federal Coordinated Health Care Office. Under her leadership, she worked on several major federal policies, rules and regulations impacting the dual-eligible (Medicare-Medicaid) population, including the development and implementation of the CMS Medicare-Medicaid Health Plan Enrollment Disenrollment Guidance, which is currently utilized by several states and Managed Care Organizations across the nation.

Prior to her work at the federal level, Tonga worked for Booz Allen Hamilton and the American Institute for Research as a senior leader in developing and implementing policies and initiatives focused on addressing health disparities and leveraging the social determinants of health to improve health outcomes in vulnerable communities. Tonga holds a bachelor’s degree in health sciences from Howard University, an MBA from the University of Maryland, and a Master’s in Health Care Administration from the University of Maryland. Tonga’s passion for community transcends into her private life; she volunteers and serves as a mentor to young women at several Maryland and Northern Virginia education and workforce development community non-profits.