Merrill Friedman, Senior Director
Merrill Friedman leads the Disability Policy Engagement team and advocacy strategy for Anthem, a leading health benefits company serving nearly 74 million people nationwide through its affiliates. She works collaboratively with consumers, advocates and stakeholders to ensure the diverse interests and preferences of older adults, individuals with disabilities, and children involved in child welfare programs inform Anthem’s health benefits approaches and related initiatives. Ms. Friedman also leads the National Advisory Board (NAB) on Improving Health Care Services for Older Adults and People with Disabilities and advances the integration of the NAB's six foundational principles, the independent living philosophy, and principles of self-determination throughout these programs, as well as Anthem’s member interactions and business practices. In addition, she leads strategic partnerships with national and local organizations to advance the development of inclusive public policy.
Ms. Friedman is a nationally recognized leader in Medicaid, LTSS and health services that reflect the needs and interests of older adults, people with disabilities and children and adolescents. Health program expertise includes disability, aging, social influencers of health (SDoH), foster care, mental health and substance use, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and justice involvement. Her extensive experience in program development, strategy, new business growth and operations management informs the innovation and development of home and community-based services and capacity building.
Ms. Friedman has served on numerous national boards and commissions. She was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities and by Governor Jennifer Granholm to the MI Statewide Independent Living Council where she also served as Board Chair. Currently, Ms. Friedman serves on the board of directors for Family Voices, Rebuilding Together, and is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) and the NASUAD MLTSS Institute Advisory Board.