We exist to guide our clients by identifying key options and solutions in order for our clients to confidently navigate and influence public and governmental healthcare policies and policymakers, while mitigating any risk of policy adoption delays.
We analyze the political and regulatory environment in which our clients operate.
We develop unique strategies for creating “policy windows,” offering solutions for policy issues affecting our clients.
We provide political and regulatory education to clients on legislative session timelines, rules and procedures, and bill tracking for policy issues affecting our clients.
We create advocacy plans to generate awareness and discussion among policymakers and other stakeholders.
We coordinate and provide direct engagement with policymakers, advocacy groups, physician groups, media, and other groups on behalf of our clients. We also provide access to policymakers through a unique network of lobbying firms across the United States.
The Garner Group was founded in 2020. Michael Garner and George Kitchens, CEO of Artia Solutions, long-time friends and professional partners, came together to bring a combination of their healthcare policy experience, clinical expertise, and advocacy strategies to provide clients with a unique resource for their government relations needs. In 2021, Lisa Rawlins joined The Garner Group as Senior Vice President. With over 100 years of collective experience among the partners, the team has worked as advocates and analysts on health, environmental, and educational policy issues in both the private and public sectors.
Chief Executive Officer
Michael has worked as an advocate and analyst on health, environmental, and educational policy issues for both the private and public sectors since 1992.
Previous to starting The Garner Group, Michael retired as the Senior Director of Government Relations for Anthem Inc. and its affiliates in Florida. In this role, he was the lead lobbyist responsible for advocating legislative and regulatory policies on a wide range of issues affecting health care coverage, professional and facility regulation, prescription drug pricing and distribution, and health information collection and access for consumers. Michael was also heavily involved in health plan operations, mergers and acquisitions, and participated in developing successful responses to multi-billion-dollar invitations to negotiate/requests for proposals to provide health coverage in Medicaid, Medicare, and Children Health Insurance Programs.
Prior to Anthem, Michael served for many years as the President and CEO of the Florida Association of Health Plans (FAHP), the state trade association for health plans in Florida. He was the industry’s primary advocate, lobbyist, and spokesperson, representing almost 20 health plans serving every health care market in the state, including Commercial, Medicaid, Medicare, Children’s Health Insurance, and the Federal Employee Health Plan.
Michael was recruited to run the Association after a distinguished career in the Florida Legislature, included working in the Legislature’s program and policy evaluation office, the House of Representatives’ Committee on Health Care, and the Senate’s Health, Aging, and Long-Term Care Committee. Michael worked on a wide range of policy issues while with the Legislature including commercial health insurance reform, Florida’s CHIP Program, Medicaid, healthcare fraud and abuse prevention and detection, environmental assessment methodologies, and administrative structures in school districts in Florida. He also served as the lead professional staff on the Senate Select Committee on Medicaid Reform transforming the state’s Medicaid program from a fee-for-service to mandatory managed care program.
Michael has worked for the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville establishing a Medicare outpatient reimbursement system; Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida (BCBSFL) as a Senior Policy Analyst and advocate focusing on state and federal health policies including health coverage mandates, mental health parity, civil remedy for HMO liability, and the implementation of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996; and started his career in a nonprofit health planning council conducting community healthcare needs assessments and implementing community programs providing prenatal screening and perinatal services for pregnant women and infants.
Dr. Garner received his Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate from the University of Florida in Political Science/Public Affairs with specialties in health and environmental policy. He researched the effects of persistent impoverishment on health status in rural counties throughout the country, examined the effects of maternal and child health programs on reducing low weight births and infant mortality, and worked on establishing and operating community recycling programs.
Senior Vice President
As Senior Vice President of The Garner Group, Lisa serves in developing and implementing advocacy/engagement strategies and public policy changes to promote the interest of clients of The Garner Group, while advocating and lobbying for specific political and/or policy decisions on behalf of The Garner Group clients.
Lisa joins The Garner Group with more than 30 years as an accomplished leader, bringing a unique skill set of connecting the dots of the nation’s complex healthcare ecosystem: from drafting policy, executing regulatory strategy, to operationalizing health system redesign. Her experience includes hospital administration to developing and launching breakthrough healthcare technology platforms with a consistent focus on transparency, data analytics, and population health.
Her health care consulting services includes working with internationally based health information technology companies, to the Bipartisan Policy Center in DC. In her former role as Vice President of Population Health Informatics for the nations third largest non-for-profit health care system, Providence St Joseph Health, Lisa led the development of a population health care management platform, designing algorithms addressing a patient’s SDOH needs relating to their clinical profile, while assisting in creating the health systems first Population Health Division.
Lisa led the federal efforts in the south Florida health care community in assisting the adoption of electronic health records in the private physician community, as the former Executive director of the South Florida Regional Extension Center. At the state level, after crafting a comprehensive health care reform bill in the state of Florida, Lisa was recruited to lead and execute many of the breakthrough provision of the 2003 Affordable Health Care Act for Floridian’s at Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration. Lisa launched the state’s first healthcare transparency initiative: floridahealthfinder.gov and myfloridarx.com. Lisa’s accomplishment placed Florida as the first state to publish hospital outcomes using the AHRQ PSI and IQI measure, and CAHPS measures. At this time, Lisa co-developed 3M’s data analytics tool known as Potential Preventable Readmissions. Simultaneously, Lisa served as the Executive Director for the first state-wide HIE Advisory Board created by Governor Jeb Bush in 2004 in anticipation of the formation of the Office of National Coordination for Health Information Technology.
While creating the Florida Office of Health Information Technology under the Florida Center for Health Information and Policy Analysis, a division of Florida’s AHCA, Lisa was responsible for the State’s health information exchange initiatives, including securing funding, monitoring the grants program aimed to facilitate HIE. Notably, Lisa lead Florida’s Health Information Security and Privacy Project (HISPC), documenting the privacy and security regulations that created barriers to HIE and working with key stakeholders and experts to develop national and state solutions. This nationally funded effort through the National Governors Association lead to the federal privacy regulatory changes known as HITECH. While at AHCA, Lisa created the agency’s HIECC and the Legal Working group to support the state’s HIE efforts.
As Senior Legislative Analyst for the Florida House of Representatives Health Care Committee, Lisa planned, executed and facilitated one of the first and only bicameral Health Policy Summits for the Florida Senate and House of Representatives in collaboration with AHRQ and Academy Health.
Lisa’s leadership accomplishments include serving on several State and National committees including a former member of the National Quality Forum’s 2007 Additional Hospital Quality Measurement Workgroup and the CCHIT HIE workgroup.