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Paragon Health Institute Adds New Director — Theo Merkel

Theo Merkel

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Theo Merkel was previously the Legislative Director for Senator Pat Toomey

WashingtonMarch 1, 2023 — Paragon Health Institute is pleased to announce the addition of a new director: Theo Merkel.

Merkel joined Paragon last week as the Director of the Private Health Reform Initiative and Senior Research Fellow. He brings over a decade of experience in public policy, holding roles in the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.

Previously, Theo served as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy at the National Economic Council in the White House (2019-2020). In addition to his work in the executive branch, Theo worked for his home state Senator Pat Toomey for a decade, most recently as Legislative Director.

During his time in the White House, Theo had a wide-ranging portfolio that included Medicare, Medicaid, the commercial market, and drug pricing reform. He oversaw the development and implementation of several key presidential initiatives to improve competition, efficiency, and access in health care including Improving Price and Quality Transparency in American Healthcare to Put Patients First (Executive Order 13877).

While on staff in Congress, Theo served in a variety of capacities for Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. This included directing policy and research on the then most expensive congressional campaign in history, advising on health care and entitlement reform, and finally overseeing his legislative agenda.

A native of Carbon County, Pennsylvania, Theo received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and currently resides in Washington, DC.

The President of Paragon Health Institute, Brian Blase, PhD, spoke highly of adding Merkel to the organization. “I’ve enjoyed being the Director of the Private Health Reform Initiative since Paragon’s founding, and I’ve always planned to give those responsibilities to the right person at the right time. I’m thrilled that person is Theo Merkel, who I’ve known and trusted for many years. Theo knows health programs inside and out, and is a fantastic addition to the Paragon leadership team.”

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