Margaret “Peg” O’Connell
Advisor—Government and Public Affairs
Peg O’Connell has over 25 years of experience in governmental, regulatory, and public affairs, healthcare, media and grassroots advocacy at the state and federal levels. Her knowledge of the legislative and healthcare processes combined with her management skills in grassroots organizing and media advocacy provide Fuquay Solutions clients with a unique combination of expertise in healthcare, media relations, legislative knowledge, and government relations.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE
An attorney by profession, Peg has spent most of the past 25 years working in government affairs and communications, focusing on healthcare policy, insurance and public health advocacy. Prior to joining Fuquay Solutions in 2009, she served as the manager of external affairs for the National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. The National Forum was created to provide leadership for the implementation of CDC’s “A Public Health Action Plan to Prevent Heart Disease and Stroke.” As manager of external affairs, she worked with representatives of federal and state agencies and federal policymakers to create and implement a policy agenda for the National Forum. In addition, she served as the primary media contact and lead staff for the Forum’s communications efforts developing and implementing the overall media plan for the National Forum, as well as creating news releases, working with national and regional reporters to develop stories, and writing and editing the organization’s e-newsletter.
Prior to joining the National Forum, Peg served as the chief communications officer for The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence (CCME), the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) for both North and South Carolina for 12 years. Her primary focus was to communicate with state and federal legislators, healthcare policymakers, beneficiaries and stakeholders, including the healthcare provider community, about CCME and the quality improvement program, generally. At CCME, she led the corporate communications and government relations team in collaborative efforts with a variety of provider and public health partner organizations to positively impact the health and quality of life and the quality of care for residents of both Carolinas.
Peg also has a great deal of experience in issue-oriented media advocacy, working with partner organizations to create effective media strategies aimed at educating the media and the public on health policy issues and she knows the value in developing and maintaining key relationships and trust among these many constituencies, all of which can ultimately best serve our Fuquay Solutions clients.
PROFESSIONAL LEADERSHIP AND RECOGNITION
Peg is the chair of the Safe Kids North Carolina Steering Committee, immediate past chair of the board of directors for North Carolina Prevention Partners and is a member of the board of directors of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine, the North Carolina Stroke Association and the National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. She was also appointed as a member of the Justus Warren Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Task Force by Governor Beverly Perdue. She is the 2011 recipient of the American Heart Association Excellence in Advocacy Award, a two time recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the 2000 recipient of the North Carolina Public Health Association Distinguished Service Award and the first recipient of the North Carolina Prevention Partners POWER Award.
Peg O’Connell graduated magna cum laude from Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio, earning a BA in history and political science, and received her law degree from the Ohio State University College of Law. She holds the designation of Group Health Associate from the Health Insurance Association of America. As an undergraduate, she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa and a variety of other academic honor societies.