Health care is deeply intertwined with public policy. After all, laws and regulations have a direct impact on how care is delivered and standards are maintained. The BJC Government Relations team is active in Washington, D.C., the Missouri and Illinois state capitols, and various local governing bodies to advocate for policies that promote the best interests of patients, families and communities as well as our own people.
Legislative Priorities Our legislative team tackles the most critical issues being debated in health care today.
Federal Focus From telehealth to drug pricing and more, we engage with the federal government to make health care more accessible and affordable.
Missouri Focus Eleven of our hospitals – and the majority of our people and patients – are located in Missouri, and we work tirelessly to be sure their voices are heard.
Illinois Focus With three hospitals in Illinois along with 6,000 employees who live there, BJC’s team is an active part of the state’s legislative process.
Regional Focus Ultimately, all health care is local, and we work closely with St. Louis City and County as well as a number of other local governing entities to promote policies and ensure fair distribution of funding opportunities.
Take Action Everyone has a say in health care policy. See how you can get involved.
Nearly every aspect of BJC HealthCare involves the government. From the requirements for storing radioactive materials used in cancer treatment to the Federal Aviation Administration regulations that our patient transport team must abide by, the government is present in every single episode of care delivered to our patients.
The BJC Government Relations team plays an active role in Washington, D.C., the Missouri and Illinois state capitols and with the several local governing bodies in the communities we serve. We advocate for public policies that reflect the best interest of the patients and families we serve, our employees, and the communities in which we reside.
We often partner with membership-driven organizations, such as the American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Illinois Health and Hospital Association, the Missouri Hospital Association, and the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in order to reach broad consensus and affect change when needed. We also work with the health systems affiliated with the BJC Collaborative on public policy issues of shared interest.
As vice president of government relations for BJC HealthCare, Leann Chilton manages the public policy and external affairs for one of the largest nonprofit health care organizations in the United States, delivering services to residents primarily in the greater St.Louis, southern Illinois and mid-Missouri regions. Chilton works collaboratively with elected and appointed government officials at the state, local and federal levels on behalf of BJC’s hospitals and service lines including inpatient and outpatient care, primary care, community health and wellness, workplace health, home health, community mental health, rehabilitation, long-term care and hospice.
With nearly 31,000 employees and $5.3 billion in net revenue, BJC HealthCare is the largest employer in the St.Louis region and one of the largest private employers in Missouri. Nearly half of BJC’s annual revenue is derived from government sources through Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement.
Prior to joining BJC HealthCare in 1999, Chilton worked in Denver and Washington D.C. in the telecommunications field.
Chilton serves on the Public Policy Council of the Regional Chamber and serves on the FOCUS St.Louis Board and is co-chair of the Community Policy and Engagement Committee. She also serves on the Missouri State Chamber Board, the Women's Policy Network, the Academic Health Center, the St.Louis Metropolitan Hospital Council and is a member of the Policy Steering Committee for the American Association of Medical Colleges. She has a MBA from Washington University and completed a residency at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
Chilton, a Chicago native, has called St. Louis her home since 1985.
Greg is director of public policy and has worked for BJC for since 1993. He began his health care career with Missouri Baptist Medical Center in the planning and marketing department. For the past several years, Greg has worked with state and local governments on regulatory matters, especially the bi-state certificate of need (CON) programs. Greg was instrumental in helping to design and execute the successful CON process that lead to approval for what is now Progress West Hospital.
He holds a master's degree in business administration from Washington University and a bachelor’s degree from University of Missouri - Columbia. Prior to joining BJC, Greg worked at a Kansas City newspaper and in arts management for the University of Iowa.
Ellie Harmon is the director of government relations for St. Louis Children's Hospital. In this role, she advocates on behalf of the hospital and children's health care issues in the Missouri and Illinois Legislatures, as well as in Congress in Washington, D.C.
The former director of the Office of Governmental Policy and Legislation for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Harmon helped shape and advocate for policies that improve the health and lives of Missourians. Prior to this role, Harmon also served two years as the legislative director for former State Senator Joan Bray.
Harmon is a native of Louisiana, Mo., and enjoys giving back to the communities around her. Aside from volunteering as a public administration teacher at Missouri Boys State, Harmon is involved with Pedal the Cause, a fundraiser for cancer patients at Siteman Cancer Center and St. Louis Children's Hospital. She also is a mentor for graduate students at the University of Missouri Truman School, a guest lecturer at her alma mater Truman State University, and was the 2014 Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life Amethyst Award winner.
Harmon graduated from Truman State University in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in political science, and received her masters of public affairs with an emphasis in public policy from the University of Missouri - Columbia in 2011. When not working or volunteering, Harmon enjoys reading, biking, running, laughing with her friends, and occasionally jumping out of airplanes.
Ginna Rivera is the external affairs manager for government relations at BJC HealthCare. In this role, she leads planning and implementation activities on behalf of Government Relations and develops work plans, metrics, and analysis to ensure BJC public policy positions are aligned with corporate and BJC Collaborative priorities.
Prior to joining BJC, Ginna worked in Strategic Business Development at Truman Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri. She holds a master of health administration from Missouri State University and a bachelor of science degree in political science from Truman State University. During graduate school, Ginna worked in an AmeriCorp program assisting Medicare beneficiaries in making educated decisions regarding their health care.
In her free time, Ginna enjoys spending time with her family and their rescue dog, Ginger. She is a founding member of the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) Unit 77 and enjoys volunteering for Missouri Girls State through the ALA. Ginna also has a passion for Haiti and has traveled there twice to support clean water and health missions.
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