The Institute for Health Quality and Ethics


The Institute for Health Quality and Ethics Staff

Thomas Nerney, Executive Director

Thomas Nerney has dedicated many decades to improving the lives of people with physical, medical, and developmental disabilities. His focus has been not only on best practices and quality, but also on the ethical foundations for decision-making — a consideration missing from too many public policy decisions.

Tom recently served as Director for The Center for Self-Determination, a national effort to work with states, individuals with disabilities, family members, and professionals to reform and implement the new health care and insurance provisions with a values-based self-determination perspective. He led the cross disability and aging alliance to create a reform agenda within the Center for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS) directly with key CMS appointments and served on the Obama pre-election Policy Committee, providing advice on Medicaid and long term care reform.

He was also the Co-Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s program entitled “Self-Determination for Persons with Developmental Disabilities,” a $7 million national program assisting states in transforming their service delivery systems into community support systems that facilitate persons with disabilities having control over the supports they need to live active and meaningful lives. The dual purposes included increased quality and in many cases reduced expenditures. Other roles have included Principal Investigator for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation project to determine changes in cost and quality of life for persons with disabilities when they gain control of the resources.

Other work consisted of writing, lectures, and involvement in research on public policy issues regarding persons with disabilities. Specific concerns included issues of cost reimbursement, including state and Medicaid funding, special education funding and practices, human rights and innovative practices in the field, redirecting Medicaid funds from institutional to community and family settings. He was also instrumental in creating and supporting amendments to the Rehabilitation Act regarding work incentives for those with significant disabilities, drafting the 1984 amendments to the Child Abuse Act, directing efforts to increase protections for human subjects and initiate general prohibitions against physically painful aversives for those with self-injurious behavior.

Other positions include: Executive Director of the Connecticut ARC; Founder of the Corporation for Independent Living, a not-for-profit group responsible for over $100 million in community housing for those with mental disability labels; Expert Consultant to the Assistant Secretary, U.S Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; Staff to the U. S. Senate Special Committee on Aging; Expert Consultant to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission on medical discrimination; Autism Society Director, Publisher and Editor of the Wallenberg Files; Consultant with the National Legal Services initiatives on medical discrimination; Unpaid advisor to Gannett News Service on disability issues; Resource to legal groups representing those with significant disabilities in several states; Keynote speaker and seminar leader at over 500 conferences and seminars before public and private public policy and disability groups across the country; Appeared on CNN, US News and World Report, NPR, and other media outlets; Authored numerous papers on quality and ethics in human services.

Tom was the recipient of a graduate fellowship in philosophy from Trinity College and a certificate in bio-ethics from Georgetown University. He was also one of the few who was awarded both the Kennedy Foundation Fellowship in Public Policy and the Mary Switzer Distinguished fellowship from the Institute for Rehabilitation and Research.


Julie Marron

Ms. Marron is one of the founding members of the Institute for Health Quality and Ethics.  She has spent many years in the consulting industry working with executive teams of Fortune 1000 companies in North America, Europe, and Asia to develop and implement corporate strategies.  She has worked extensively in the Healthcare Insurance and Financial Services industries, as well as in the Energy, Diversified Manufacturing, and Real Estate industries.  Ms. Marron has also conducted executive workshops for corporate executives centered around identifying and sharing best practices.  Her consulting work has emphasized designing and implementing customer driven strategies, benchmarking and incorporating cross-industry and cross-functional best practices, and implementing performance measurement systems which focus on customer value and ethical behavior while improving financial performance.

Ms. Marron has provided support and guidance to organizations in developing economies in Eastern Europe and Africa.  In the United States her advocacy activities have included supporting parents of adopted children with severe behavioral challenges and educational needs.  She has also advocated for individuals who have been impacted by unethical financial services and investment practices and mortgage lending policies.  Ms. Marron is a graduate of St. Johns College in Santa Fe, and she received her MBA from the University of Chicago. 

Website Builder