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Direct Primary Care Coalition Steering Committee


Garrison Bliss, MD, Chairman - DPCC

BlissMD - Seattle, WA

Dr. Bliss is widely credited with being the first in the country to adopt the DPC model. He was the founder of Qliance, the first large scale DPC practice in the country. Dr. Bliss graduated Harvard College with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology in 1972, University of Utah Doctor of Medicine 1977; Internship: University of Washington Internal Medicine 1977-1978 Residency: University of Washington Internal Medicine 1978-1980.

Erika Bliss, MD

Equinox Primary Care

Seattle, WA

A trail-blazer in DPC, Erika runs Equinox after serving as CEO of Qliance. Erika is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. She received her undergraduate degree in History from San Francisco State University and a Master's degree in Latin American Studies from Stanford. She completed her medical training at the Swedish Family Medicine Residency Program in Seattle in 2003. She was also Clinical Site Director and Director of Clinical Quality at Carolyn Downs Family Medical Center in Seattle where she served as staff physician.

Rushika Fernandopulle, MD

Iora Health

Cambridge, MA

Rushika has spent more than ten years involved in efforts to improve the quality of healthcare delivered to patients. He was the first Executive Director of the Harvard Interfaculty Program for Health Systems Improvement, and served as a Managing Director of the Advisory Board Company. He serves on the faculty and earned his AB, MD, and MPP from Harvard University. He completed his clinical training at the Massachusetts General Hospital. 

Clint Flanagan, MD

Nextera Healthcare

Firestone, CO

Clint is the founder of Nextera Healthcare, the first Direct Primary Care company in Colorado and has been a local Primary Care physician and Emergency Medicine physician for over a decade. He is Board Certified in Family Medicine and has over 14 years experience as an ER physician and maintains certificates in Advanced Cardiac and Advanced Trauma Life Support. Clint completed medical school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center then went on to residency at St Mary’s Family Medicine Program in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Mason Reiner


Philadelphia, PA

As CEO and Founder of R-Health, Mason draws on broad and successful experience as an investor, entrepreneur, and start-up company executive. He has launched and managed growth-stage companies across multiple industries, including renewable energy, information technology,real estate, and healthcare. He is  a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania. He currently serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations in Greater Philadelphia.

Philip Eskew, DO, JD, MBA

Frontier Direct Primary Care

Cheyenne, WY

Phil also serves as VP of Clinical Development and General Counsel for Proactive MD. He completed his family medicine residency at the Heart of Lancaster Regional Medical Center in Lititz, Pennsylvania in June 2015. Phil has become one of the leading policy and legal scholars on direct primary care, and was a Visiting Scholar at the Robert Graham Center.

Chris Miller, MBA

Paladina Health

Chris brings over 12 years of leadership, strategic analysis, and corporate development experience from notable health care organizations. He oversees the strategy and growth of Paladina Health bringing quality direct primary care to patients across the country. To ensure Paladina provides a superior level of care, he works in partnership with our clinical operations, field operations, population health management and business development teams.

Denver, CO

Jeffrey Gold, MD

Gold Direct Care, PC

Marblehead, MA

Dr. Jeff opened his practice Gold Direct Care in 2015 drawing on his experience in private practice and hospital based practice in Massachusetts. He completed his undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, attended the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and completed his residency in Family Medicine in 2005 in Scottsdale, AZ. Dr. Jeff is one of the leading voices in the Massachusetts Direct Primary Care Coalition.


Greenville, SC

John is CEO of Proactive MD, a company which offers comprehensive health management solution that extends well beyond the clinic walls with access to on-site physicians, full direct primary care services, and excellent client support. Proactive MD engages the workforce, offering them a personal relationship with a primary care physician to deliver measurably better outcomes, making people happier, healthier,and more productive while significantly lowering overall medical costs for employers. 

Joel Bessmer, MD

Strada Healthcare - Omaha, NE

Dr. Joel Bessmer and his wife Katherine founded Strada Healthcare in 2016 because of the growing need for cost-effective and efficient healthcare. He is the Medical Director of Strada and founder of Members MD. Dr. Bessmer is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and served as associate director of the internal medicine residency program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. 

Kathryn Dreger, MD

Prime-plc  - Arlington, VA

After 14 years in a private Internal Medicine practice, Dr. Kathryn Dreger founded Prime Direct Primary Care, PLC to focus on innovative patient care.  She compliments her clinical practice with teaching Georgetown University medical students and residents as an Assistant Professor of Medicine.  She is Vice Chief of the Department of Medicine at Virginia Hospital Center and has also been voted by her peers as a Washingtonian “Top Doctor” annually since 2015.  Dr. Dreger serves on the board of The PPRNet Foundation, a charitable organization focused on helping primary care physicians improve patient care and population health.  She believes passionately that Direct Primary Care can transform the practice of medicine and provide the type of care all patients deserve.

Kenneth Qiu, MD

Newport News, Virginia


Kenneth is a first year resident at Riverside Family Medicine in Newport News, VA. He graduated with a Bachelors in Neuroscience from the College of William and Mary and attended Virginia Commonwealth University for medical school. 

Michael Freedman, MD

Evolve Medical Clinics

Annapolis, MD

Dr. Mike Freedman, Founder of Evolve, has a long history of providing care to fit the needs of under-served populations in Maryland. He received his Medical Degree from Hahnemann University Medical School in Philadelphia. While there, he led a group which built the largest student-run medical system for the homeless in the country, and was awarded the 807th Daily Point of Light by then President George Bush. Then, as Medical Director of Annapolis Outreach Clinic, Dr. Freedman personally grew the number of participating physicians from roughly 12 to well over 150. He also serves on the AAMC Medical Executive Board Strategic Planning Committee.

Rebecca Hart, MD

South Shore Medical Center

League City, TX

Dr. Hart received her medical degree from University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and has been in practice for more than 20 years specializing in Family Medicine. She completed her residency at Baylor College of Medicine.

Tom Banning

Texas Academy of Family Physicians (TAFP), CEO

Austin, TX

Tom Banning is the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians, which is Texas' largest medical specialty society with more than 6,000 members. It focuses on the role of family physicians in providing quality, comprehensive care to all Texans. 

John Blanchard, MD

Premier Private Physicians Management LLC, CEO

Troy, MI

Dr. John Blanchard is the founder of Premier Private Physicians and was past President of the American Academy of Private Physicians. He is board certified by the American Academy of Family Physicians in the specialty of Family Medicine and has full staff privileges at William Beaumont Hospital, where he completed three years of postgraduate residency training and served as chief resident.

Bethany Burk

American Academy of Family Physicians

Leawood, KS

As AAFP's representative on the DPCC Steering Committee, Bethany plays a vital role running the Academy's programming on direct primary care. She serves as a Quality and Practice Specialist at AAFP and has a BS from Park University in Business and Healthcare Administration.

Troy Burns, MD

ProPartners Healthcare


Leawood, KS


Dr. Burns is the founder of ProPartners Healthcare, Kansas City’s leading Direct Primary Care practice. He has been in private practice since 1987 and transitioned ProPartners to the DPC practice model in 2013. He previously founded and built a multi-state medical practice specializing in men’s health with 36 practices in 23 states. He received his Medical Degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and completed an Internal Medicine internship at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City.

Betty Rich, RPh

Connected Health, LLC 

Wexford, PA

Betty Rich, RPh is a registered pharmacist and co-owner of Connected Health in Wexford, PA. Connected Health is proactive, preventative, and patient-centered primary care with a mission is to help patients reach their health and wellness goals. Connected Health provides patients with a wide variety of professionals that include a primary care physician, pharmacist, nutritionist, top of the line fitness center and physical therapist. 

Andrew DeMarco, MD

Connected Health Medical Services

Wexford, PA

Andrew DeMarco, M.D. is a physician at Connected Health and has over 25 years of experience. Andrew graduated from Wright State University School of Medicine in 1989. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. Started in 2014, Connected Health connects the dots from physical well-being to nutrition to fitness and beyond, and focuses on being proactive and preventative to keep patients healthy. 

Dr. James Pinckney II, MD

Diamond Physicians


Dr. James Pinckney II is the founder and CEO of Diamond Physicians in Texas. Founded in 2012, Diamond Physicians is a membership medicine practice that focuses on the patient-physician relationship taking a holistic approach to medicine incorporating nutrition and fitness into the lifestyle of their clients. James has many awards and achievements such as the Jackie Robinson Foundation “42 Under 40” National Award (2014) and Super Doctors Texas Rising Stars (2015, 2016, 2017).

Lester Baskin, MD

Baskin Clinic

Portland, Oregon

Lester Baskin, M.D. is the owner of the Baskin Clinic in Portland, OR. Started in 2005, the Baskin Clinic is a direct primary care practice serving individuals, families, and employers. Lester enjoys helping people understand their medical problems and address them at the highest level—without time constraints. Lester completed his B.A. at Stanford University, 1990, his M.D. at OHSU, 1995 and Internal Medicine Residency at Legacy Portland Hospitals in 1998.  He has been certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine since 1998.

Jay Keese, Executive Director, DPCC

Direct Primary Care Coalition

Washington, DC

The founder of Capitol Advocates, a Washington, DC government relations firm, Jay has over two decades of experience as a health policy professional working with providers, employers, payers, healthcare technology firms, and states on critical delivery system reforms and advanced primary care models. 

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