Venable Adds Seven-Member Healthcare Policy Team to Its Washington, DC Legislative and Government Affairs Group

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Washington, DC (January 18, 2022) – Venable LLP is pleased to announce the addition of seven senior healthcare policy advisors to the Legislative and Government Affairs Group in its Washington, DC office: Jodie A. Curtis, Debbie B. Forrest, Laura A. HanenJulie S. Hyams, Jennifer Taylor McBrideIlisa Halpern Paul, and Jim Twaddell.

Joshua H. Raymond, a co-chair of the firm’s Legislative and Government Affairs Group, said, “Federal healthcare policy touches every company and client we work with, not just those in the healthcare industry. We are excited to bring our clients in all industries additional perspectives and insights as we help them work through the most complicated policy issues at the federal and state levels. This group appreciates the issues affecting large employers, nonprofits, hospitals, individual providers, and medical device companies.”  

“This team knows the ins and outs of the complex healthcare policy space and the policymakers on Capitol Hill and in the agencies that occupy it. Given the massive footprint healthcare has in the federal policy space, this is a terrific combination with our bipartisan team,” said William R. Nordwind, a co-chair of the firm’s Legislative and Government Affairs Group.

Ms. Paul said, “We are thrilled to be joining the Venable Legislative and Government Affairs Group. The team has a stellar reputation as being well-connected, strategic policy advisors who work across the aisle to get great results for clients. We are excited to have our clients benefit from our new colleagues’ policymaking prowess and deep relationships on the Hill and with the Administration.”

Ilisa Halpern Paul has deep experience with and command of a wide range of domestic health, education, and workforce issues. She has particularly extensive knowledge of healthcare financing and delivery system reform, Medicare and Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, digital health and telemedicine, home health, and public health. Ms. Paul is a master of both the federal legislative and regulatory policymaking processes, helping clients to successfully secure policy changes. She has been recognized by The Hill as a top lobbyist for seven years.

Jodie Curtis is a former senior staffer on Capitol Hill, a former manager of a national association’s federal government relations program, and a former co-lead of a national lobbying practice. She is highly skilled in strategic planning and crafting smart tactics that help clients meet their public policy goals while forming relationships with members of Congress and their staffs. Ms. Curtis has been recognized by The Hill as a top lobbyist for four years. Besides healthcare, she practices in agriculture, trade, and manufacturing areas.

 Debbie Forrest is a public policy advocate who draws on her more than 30 years of experience on and off Capitol Hill to support clients in their legislative agendas. With her healthcare advocacy background, she helps clients navigate the complexities of pursuing their legislative and regulatory goals. Ms. Forrest specializes in biomedical research advocacy, HHS appropriations, coalition work, and stakeholder outreach. 

Laura Hanen worked for a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and has more than 25 years of experience crafting and implementing government relations strategy. Ms. Hanen has led government and public affairs for a number of prominent national organizations tackling complex public health challenges. She also specializes in building and directing coalitions of diverse stakeholders to achieve public policy success. 

Julie Hyams, a Capitol Hill veteran, builds support for healthcare initiatives among members of Congress, state legislators, and their colleagues and staff. She is involved in the annual appropriations advocacy and has experience working with start-ups and coalitions. Ms. Hyams  tailors outreach initiatives to client priorities and culture, and garners support from key individuals within government. Her previous experience includes work for an Appropriations Member as well as stints with healthcare non-profits and trade associations. 

Jennifer Taylor McBride, with more than 20 years of experience in federal government relations and public policy, brings her creative energies to developing and deploying strategies to help clients win congressional and stakeholder support for their objectives. Her sharp skills in grassroots organizing and planning Capitol Hill fly-ins for patient advocacy groups, education advocates, and healthcare companies and organizations benefit from her strong, personal rapport with advocates.

 Jim Twaddell is an experienced lobbyist with extensive experience with federal public policymaking, legislative and regulatory processes, strategic planning initiatives, and policy and political advocacy campaigns. A former senior staffer in the U.S. Senate, he is a skilled navigator of legislative issues related to healthcare policy, including advancing authorizing legislation and securing federal appropriations funding. 


Venable LLP is an American Lawyer Global 100 law firm headquartered in Washington, DC that serves as primary counsel to a worldwide clientele of large and mid-sized organizations, nonprofits, high-net-worth entrepreneurs, and other individuals. With more than 850 professionals located across the country, including in California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Virginia, and Washington, DC, the firm strategically advances its clients' objectives in the United States and around the globe. Venable advises clients on a broad range of business and regulatory law, legislative affairs, complex litigation, and the full range of intellectual property disciplines. For more information, please visit