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News from The Hilltop Institute at UMBC

Gayle Nelson to Lead Hilltop’s Hospital Community Benefit Program

The Hilltop Institute at UMBC is pleased to announce that Gayle D. Nelson, JD, MPH, is the new director of its Hospital Community Benefit Program. Nelson is a senior policy analyst at The Hilltop Institute and has been with the program since she joined Hilltop in 2012. She is co-author of the program’s issue briefs and led the development and implementation of Hilltop’s online resource, the Community Benefit State Law Profiles, a compilation of each state’s community benefit laws and regulations, analyzed in the context of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) community benefit framework.

In her role as policy analyst for Hilltop, Nelson has been responsible for conducting research and analysis of issues related to hospital community benefits and assisting in the development of issue briefs and other resources and tools that can be used in promoting more accessible, coordinated, and effective health systems.

Nelson’s most recent position prior to coming to Hilltop was in the Office of the Director at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health, where she identified emerging federal and state policy issues arising from the adoption/implementation of the ACA, contributed to the preparation of the annual NIH Health Disparities Strategic Plan, and conducted research and prepared reports to Congress and others on issues pertaining to vulnerable populations.

Nelson replaces Martha Somerville, who retired on September 30.

Contact Nelson at 410.455.6803 or

Hilltop’s Hospital Community Benefit Program is a central resource created specifically for state and local policymakers who seek to ensure that tax-exempt hospital community benefit activities are responsive to pressing community health needs. The program provides tools to these and other stakeholders to use as they develop approaches that will best suit their communities. All program materials are provided for informational purposes only, not legal advice. The Hilltop Institute does not enter into attorney-client relationships.The program is funded for three years through the generous support of the Kresge Foundation ( and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (


The Hilltop Institute at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) is a non-partisan health research organization dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of vulnerable populations.  Hilltop conducts research, analysis, and evaluations on behalf of government agencies, foundations, and nonprofit organizations at the national, state, and local levels.  Hilltop is committed to addressing complex issues through informed, objective, and innovative research and analysis.

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