CHICAGO — The American Medical Association (AMA) today announced the hiring of Andra K. Heller, J.D. as its new Senior Vice President and General Counsel. Heller most recently served as associate general counsel at IBM and general counsel of the IBM Watson Health business. She replaces Brian Vandenberg, J.D., who retired on March 1 after nearly 5 years with the AMA.

“We are tremendously pleased to add Andra to the AMA executive team,” said AMA Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President James L. Madara, M.D. “She has a significant, rich breadth of experience, including partner at a major law firm, to general counsel at a series of health data analytics companies, and eventually to IBM. A senior legal executive with more than 20 years of experience in the health care industry, Andra has deftly handled compliance, privacy, and HIPAA issues, and managed a team of attorneys and support staff. In a rapidly changing health care landscape, we are excited to bring Andra on board.”

“The AMA is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care, and their work has never been more important,” Heller said. “The challenges facing our physicians and health care system throughout the COVID-19 pandemic are immense, and I am confident that the AMA will continue to play a leading role in advocating both for patients and physicians. I am thrilled to accept this opportunity and excited by the possibilities as we shape the future of health care—removing obstacles that interfere with patient care, driving the future of medicine, and improving the health of the nation.”

Prior to joining IBM, Heller served in general counsel roles for Truven Health Analytics, Inc., the health care and science business of Thomson Reuters Corporation, and Solucient LLC. She began her career as associate attorney and eventually partner at Freeborn & Peters in Chicago.

Heller earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Iowa College of Law and received her Bachelor of Science degree in English from Iowa State University. Raised in Iowa, Heller resides in Chicago.

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About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.