State Medicaid Advisory Committee (SMAC) Members

SMAC is composed of a 15-member committee and includes the following:

  • 9 - Members of the public
  • 8 - Health care providers or professionals
  • 3 - Ex-officio Members (AHCCCS, DHS, DES Directors, or their designees)

Members are appointed for two-year terms. Appointments are made on a staggered basis with half the public and professional/provider members completing their terms annually.

  • Ex-Officio Members
    • Thomas J. Betlach, Director, AHCCCS Administration
    • Kathy Waite, DES/AHCCCS Liaison, AZ Dept. of Economic Security
    • Cara Christ, Director, AZ Department of Health Services
  • Provider/Professional Members
    • Tara McCollum Plese, Director of Government & Media Relations, AZ Association of Community Health Centers
    • Barbara Fanning, Director of Government Affairs, AZ Hospital and Healthcare Association
    • Amanda Aguirre, CEO/President, Regional Center for Border Health
    • Kathleen Collins Pagels, Executive Director, Arizona Health Care Association
    • Kevin Earle, MBA, MPH, Executive Director, Arizona Dental Association
    • Peggy Stemmler, M.D., Pediatrician and Consultant, Arizona Academy of Pediatrics and Stemmler and Associates
    • Gina Judy, CAO, Encompass Integrated Care
    • Dr. Frank Scarpati, CEO/President, Community Bridges, Inc.
  • Public Members
    • Phil Pangrazio, AZ Bridge for Independent Living
    • Dr. Leonard Kirschner, Board Member, Arizona Perinatal Trust
    • Steve Jennings, Associate State Director, AARP Arizona
    • Kim VanPelt, Associate Director, St. Luke's Health Initiative
    • Vernice C. Sampson, Senior Pastor, Salt River Assembly of God
    • Joyce Millard Hoie, Executive Director, Raising Special Kids
    • Daniel Haley, Chief Executive Officer, H.O.P.E.
    • Nic Danger, President, The Next Step Peer Mentoring and More
    • Timothy Leffler, Member of the Public