Advocacy Days Image

Advocacy Days Speakers

Return to Advocacy Days General Information Page

Dr. Richard Bruch PhotoRichard Bruch, MD
Dr. Richard Bruch practiced Orthopaedic Surgery with Triangle Orthopaedics in Durham for over 34 years.  Since retirement from the daily practice of medicine, Dr. Bruch has served as Consultant to Triangle Orthopaedics, P.A., and as its North Carolina Registered Lobbyist.  Dr. Bruch advocates for physician-led medical care and the preservation of independent medical practice. 

Dr. Bruch continues to work actively in the following organizations:  North Carolina Orthopaedic Association Executive Committee, EmergeOrtho as its Federal advocate, and as Chair of The OrthoForum Advocacy Committee.


Secretary Mandy Cohen PhotoMelanie Bush, MPAff
Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
Melanie Bush, MPAff, is Chief Administration Officer for the North Carolina Division of Health Benefits (DHB), Department of Health and Human Services. In this role, Melanie provides leadership, strategic planning, and overall operations oversight for the North Carolina Medicaid program, which serves more than 2 million low-income parents, children, seniors, and people with disabilities who cannot afford health care. She has previously served as Deputy Director, Clinical and Operations, where she oversaw Medicaid policy development, and Assistant Director, Policy and Regulatory Affairs, where she managed the Division’s relationship with federal counterparts at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), led NC Medicaid’s implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act, and directed the Division’s legislative actions and implementation.


Secretary Mandy Cohen PhotoMandy K. Cohen, MD, MPH
Chief Administration Officer at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
Dr. Mandy Cohen was appointed to the role of Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in January 2017 by Governor Roy Cooper. Secretary Cohen and her team work tirelessly to improve the health, safety and well-being of all North Carolinians. DHHS has 17,000 employees and an annual budget of $20 billion serving as the home to NC Medicaid, Public Health, Mental Health/IDD/SUD, State Operated Hospitals and Facilities, Economic Services, Adult and Child Services, Early Childhood Education, Employment Services, and Health Services Regulation. Secretary Cohen and her team are focused on responding to and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, building a robust, efficient Medicaid program, improving early childhood health, safety and education, combatting the opioid crisis, and ensuring equitable access to health resources.


Treasurer Dale Folwell PhotoDale R. Folwell, CPA
State Treasurer of North Carolina 
Dale R. Folwell, CPA, was sworn in as State Treasurer of North Carolina in January 2017. As the keeper of the public purse, Treasurer Folwell is responsible for a $100 billion state pension fund that provides retirement benefits for more than 900,000 teachers, law enforcement officers and other public workers. Under Folwell’s leadership the pension plan was rated among the top five highest-funded in the country and won accolades for proactive management and funding discipline. In 2020 the state’s coveted AAA bond rating was reaffirmed by every major rating agency, making North Carolina one of only 13 states in the country to hold that distinction. Treasurer Folwell also oversees the State Health Plan, which provides medical and pharmaceutical benefits to more than 720,000 current and retired public employees and is the largest purchaser of health care in North Carolina.


Sue Ann Forrest PhotoSue Ann Forrest, MPA
Director, Legislative and Political Action, NC Medical Society
Sue Ann holds a BA in English and Communication Studies with a minor in Marketing from Campbell University, where she served as Student Government President, Miss Campbell University, and where she is still active as an Alumni Board Member and Student Union Foundations Board Member. She also recently attained her Masters of Public Administration at East Carolina University. In her precious free time she enjoys volunteering as a Scholarship Committee Member for the Miss North Carolina Scholarship Pageant and as a Steering Committee Member for the NC Museum of History Young Associates group. She grew up in Greenville, NC, and when she truly wants to relax, you’ll find her on the beach at the Outer Banks with a good book.

Return to Advocacy Days General Information Page