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Mary Ella Payne Senior Vice President, Policy and System Legislative Leadership

Based in Ascension Health’s Washington, D.C. Advocacy Office, Mary Ella Payne leads the organization’s government relations strategy and outreach. Ms. Payne solidifies relationships with the White House administration, on Capitol Hill and with various partners, and serves as the organization’s chief advisor on policy and legislative issues.

Prior to working for Ascension Health, for 10 years, Ms. Payne was senior legislative aide to Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV). Ms. Payne advised Senator Rockefeller on a wide variety of healthcare issues, including comprehensive healthcare reform, Medicare and Medicaid policies, and creation of the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Early in her career, Ms. Payne was a staff nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit and a member of the neonatal transport team at Kosair-Children's Hospital in Louisville, Ky.

Ms. Payne graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a master’s degree in public health, and graduated with honors from the University of Louisville with a bachelor’s degree in nursing.


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