Ellen-Marie Whelan, PhD, CRNP, FAAN

HomeFellows & AlumniFellow BiographiesEllen-Marie Whelan, PhD, CRNP, FAAN

  • 2012 Fellow
    Ellen-Marie Whelan

Senior Advisor

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Innovation Center

Washington, DC

Ellen-Marie Whelan is a Senior Advisor at the Innovation Center within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services where she is working to develop, implement and test innovative payment and service delivery models strengthening primary care, accountable care, perinatal care, and community-based population health. She coordinates the Pediatric portfolio across the Innovation Center´╗┐. 


Previously, Dr. Whelan was the Associate Director of Health Policy at the Center for American Progress where her research, publications, and speaking engagements focused on development and passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, system delivery and payment reform, safety net providers, primary care, health workforce policy, and prevention. During health reform she was an invited guest by many media outlets including NPR, C-SPAN, Bloomberg TV, BBC World Service, and MarketPlace Radio and has been cited in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The Economist, National Journal, Reuters, AP, Gannet, and Congressional Quarterly. 


Prior to joining CAP, she was a health policy advisor in the U.S. Senate for five years - working for both Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle and as Staff Director for the Subcommittee on Aging to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions with Senator Barbara Mikulski.  In this capacity she worked on developing and passing legislation related to Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, public health and the FDA. 


Before coming to Capitol Hill, Dr. Whelan was a health services researcher and faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University and practiced as nurse practitioner for over a decade. She has worked in a variety of primary care settings and started an adolescent primary care clinic in West Philadelphia. For this effort she received the Secretary's Award for Innovations in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, presented by Donna Shalala and was one of the first nurse practitioners in Pennsylvania to obtain an independent Medicaid provider number. In 2011 the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) honored Dr. Whelan with their Luminary Award acknowledging her contributions in public policy.


Dr. Whelan holds a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University, a master's degree and Ph.D. in nursing and health policy from the University of Pennsylvania and The Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in primary care policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.