Meet the Government & External Affairs Team
The UnityPoint Health Government & External Affairs team serves as the health system’s primary point of contact with state and federal legislators, government agencies and advocacy organizations to help shape policy as it is being created and to ensure laws and regulations implemented best serve our patients and communities. We use the expertise of our health care leaders, physicians, providers and staff to help communicate the vision and mission of UnityPoint Health, as well as the full spectrum of the services we provide and our economic impact on the communities we serve.
Executive Director, Government & External Affairs and Federal Government Affairs Lead
Cathy Simmons currently serves as Executive Director, Government & External Affairs under the UnityPoint Health Government & External Affairs department. She has been with UnityPoint Health since 2008.
In her current role, Simmons is responsible for advancing federal legislative, policy and regulatory priorities and leads the development of regulatory platforms for the health system. This includes efforts to remove regulatory red tape, promote sustainable reimbursement structures and position UnityPoint Health to be nationally competitive during application processes to participate in payment and service delivery innovation models. Simmons has facilitated applications to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and its Innovation Center for the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO), the Medicare Shared Savings Program, the Medicare Care Choices Program, the Next Generation ACO and the Rural Community Hospital Demonstration.
Simmons started her work at UnityPoint Health with the UnityPoint Health – Allen Hospital Foundation (Waterloo, IA) as its first grants manager. In 2009, Simmons joined the Government & External Affairs department to support grants and sponsored programs efforts. During her tenure in sponsored programs, Simmons was responsible for securing more than $35 million in grant funds.
Before her appointment with UnityPoint Health, Simmons held positions at the Nebraska Unicameral, Operation Threshold Community Action Agency, and the Northeast Iowa Food Bank.
Simmons received her bachelor’s from Grinnell College, juris doctorate from the University of Nebraska College of Law, and a master’s in public policy from the University of Northern Iowa. She currently serves on the governing board of Precedence, Inc.
Government & External Affairs
1776 West Lakes Parkway
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266