Texas Association of Health Plans
1001 Congress Avenue, Suite 300
Austin, Texas 78701

Tel: (512) 476-2091


Jamie Dudensing, Chief Executive Officer


Jamie Dudensing is the chief executive officer of the Texas Association of Health Plans (TAHP), an advocate for public and private health plans, improving access to quality health care for the uninsured, committed to enhancing consumer choice and affordability of health insurance for all Texans.

Jamie, a graduate of the Texas Tech School of Nursing, began her career in Austin after being recruited to become the Capitol nurse. After gaining a Masters in Public Affairs from the LBJ School, she served two sessions as the Health and Human Services Budget Analyst on the House Appropriations Committee. She then joined Lt. Governor Dewhurst’s staff where she first served as Senior Advisor for Budget and Policy. Most recently, Jamie served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Policy Director for Lt. Governor Dewhurst.

With more than a decade of engagement in health care and appropriations policy, Jamie provides TAHP with an extensive record of coordinating legislative strategies, testifying before legislative committees and working closely with state agency administrators to formulate and implement policy.

Jason Baxter, Director of Government Relations


Jason Baxter joined the Texas Association of Health Plans in 2014 after more than a decade in the Texas Senate as a top aide to former Senator Tommy Williams. In that capacity, Jason served as Deputy Committee Director of the Senate Finance Committee where he was responsible for the oversight of all tax policy legislation.

Jason’s service in the Senate provided him with the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with key legislators and staff members and work on a variety of issues, including state budget, taxes, transportation and insurance issues.

He is a lifelong resident of Austin and a graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio.

Patti Doner, Director of Operations


Patti Doner serves as TAHP’s Director of Operations, managing all of the association’s quarterly and annual events, including the Medical Directors Forum, the Managed Care Conference and Trade Show, regular networking receptions and member events. Patti oversees day-to-day operations at the TAHP office, including managing accounts and existing memberships, as well as recruitment of new members. Prior to joining TAHP, Patti worked in the office of Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the policy division, following  service in the Texas Senate for Sen. Jane Nelson. Patti is a native Texan and resides in San Marcos.

Laurie Vanhoose, Director of Policy, Government Programs


Laurie Vanhoose joined TAHP in May 2016 as the Director of Policy, Government Programs. Prior to joining TAHP, Laurie served as the Director of Medicaid and CHIP Policy Development at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission directing the work of policy and clinical staff in the design, development and implementation of Medicaid medical and program policies.  Before taking the Director position, Laurie was a Senior Policy Advisor for HHSC and worked on the development of Medicaid Substance Use Disorder services and led the transition of the Medicaid Women’s Health Program to the state funded Texas Women’s Health Program.  Prior to working for the State of Texas, Laurie worked for several advocacy organizations in Texas and Washington, DC ensuring access to health care for individuals with disabilities and older Texans.

Colleen Grace, Director of Health Plan Operations


Colleen Grace joined TAHP in May 2016 as the Director of Health Plan Operations after 31 years of service with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Colleen spent many of those years within Health Plan Management where she was responsible for the monitoring and compliance of the 19 Medicaid Managed Care Organizations and 2 Dental Maintenance Organizations. Colleen has joined the Texas Association of Health Plans as the Director of Health Plan Operations.

Melissa Eason, Regulatory Counsel


Melissa Eason has practiced law for over 20 years and is currently Regulatory Counsel with TAHP. Prior to her work with TAHP, she practiced in the insurance section of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld before acting as in-house counsel for two major carriers, most recently United Healthcare. Melissa graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and the UT School of Law (with honors). She is super-awesome.