Ellen Marie Whelan, PhD, CRNP, FAAN

Alumni Designation


Ellen-Marie Whelan is a Senior Advisor at the Innovation Center within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services where she is working to develop, implement and test innovative payment and service delivery models strengthening primary care, accountable care, perinatal care, and community-based population health. She coordinates the Pediatric portfolio across the Innovation Center. 

Previously, Dr. Whelan was the Associate Director of Health Policy at the Center for American Progress, she was also a health policy advisor in the U.S. Senate for five years - working for both Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle and as Staff Director for the Subcommittee on Aging to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions with Senator Barbara Mikulski.  In this capacity she worked on developing and passing legislation related to Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, public health and the FDA. 

She has worked in a variety of primary care settings and started an adolescent primary care clinic in West Philadelphia. For this effort she received the Secretary’s Award for Innovations in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, presented by Donna Shalala and was one of the first nurse practitioners in Pennsylvania to obtain an independent Medicaid provider number. In 2011 the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) honored Dr. Whelan with their Luminary Award acknowledging her contributions in public policy.

Follow Dr. Whelan on Twitter: Ellen-Marie Whelan

Before Penn Nursing

Dr. Whelan earned her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.