skip to Main Content

Avalere Health Expands Health Policy Expertise

  • This page as PDF


New team members add depth and experience across multiple health policy issues.

Avalere Health announced today that it has added two senior team members, Craig Burton and Cara Kelly, to increase its depth across the spectrum of healthcare issues. The addition of Craig Burton and Cara Kelly brings extensive senior level expertise to Avalere Health’s ability to offer comprehensive healthcare market analysis and policy strategy.

Craig Burton, Director

With more than 16 years of experience in federal health care policy, Craig has unique expertise in health reform, FDA policy, and the federal budget process. Craig will work directly with the firm’s life sciences clients to provide strategic support on their policy and government affairs priorities. He will help clients anticipate and plan for the impact of change stemming from legislative, regulatory, or other market dynamics, with particular attention to crafting policy options that are closely tied to a client’s specific business needs and strategy.

Prior to joining Avalere Health, Craig directed the federal health policy and government relations functions for Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. He also served as deputy assistant secretary for Legislation (Budget & Science) for both U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretaries Tommy G. Thompson and Michael O. Leavitt. In addition, he was health policy advisor for then-Senate Majority Leader William Frist, MD.

Cara Kelly, Director

With an emphasis on health insurance exchanges and insurance market reforms, Cara advises clients on the impact of health reform initiatives. She specializes in helping health plans, pharmacy benefit managers, and other healthcare stakeholders position strategically in the post-Affordable Care Act market. Cara also has expertise in Medicare Parts C and D.

Prior to rejoining Avalere Health—where she worked until 2010—Cara was at HHS’ Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO). At CCIIO, she focused on health insurance exchanges. Specifically, she developed policy and operational requirements for qualified health plans and served as a technical expert for issuers, states and other stakeholders. She has particular knowledge about issues affecting health plans in state partnership and federally facilitated exchanges, including certification standards and processes, the essential health benefits package, and operational requirements.

“This is an exciting time of change in healthcare, and Avalere Health is uniquely positioned to provide comprehensive insights to the healthcare community,” said Dan Mendelson, CEO of Avalere Health. “Craig and Cara bring practical and compelling insights into these changes from their experience with senior policymakers and business leaders.”

Back To Top