Sharon Lewis is a nationally lauded expert in disability policy spanning home and community-based services (HCBS), education, employment, independent living supports, and person-centered services. At Health Management Associates (HMA), she works with federal partners, states, providers and consumer advocates to advance opportunities for people with disabilities to fully participate in all aspects of community, across the lifespan. Ms. Lewisis a collaborator and consensus builder with a natural ability to put policy into practical perspective.
Ms. Lewis came to HMA having served in presidentially appointed leadership roles at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) including Principal Deputy Administrator of the Administration for Community Living, Senior Disability Policy Advisor to the HHS Secretary, and Commissioner of the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. At HHS, she improved access to quality integrated home and community-based services across multiple programs and funding sources in collaboration with states, stakeholders and other federal agencies. At HHS, Ms. Lewis co-founded the Administration for Community Living, established in 2012 to maximize the independence, well-being and health of older adults and people with disabilities, their families and caregivers. As part of the executive leadership team, she helped manage $1.9 billion in national, state and local programs. Ms. Lewis championed investments in preventative home and community-based supports and social services, reducing reliance on unnecessary facility-based care. In collaboration with CMS leadership, Ms. Lewis led significant reforms in Medicaid HCBS policy and regulations to ensure community integration and increase person-centered services. She also increased investment in research and development in HCBS quality metrics.
As Senior Disability Policy Advisor to the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor, and as a Kennedy Public Policy Fellow for the U.S. Senate HELP Subcommittee on Children and Families, she advised members on legislative strategy and disability-related policy issues in education, employment and health care, including passage of amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Affordable Care Act. At the state level in Oregon, Ms. Lewis led public policy, legislative strategy and grassroots organizing for multiple non-profit advocacy organizations and coalitions working on issues of importance for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and families of children with disabilities and special healthcare needs.
Ms. Lewis’s personal passion is ensuring that the perspectives of people with disabilities, and their families, are central to the development of policies and programs that affect their lives. As a parent to three wonderful daughters, one who experiences intellectual and developmental disabilities, she hopes to help build accepting, diverse and inclusive communities for all.