ACLA Welcomes Mary Lee Watts and Elyse Oveson to Key Positions

December 11, 2023 Categories: ACLA News, ACLA Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – The American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) has welcomed Mary Lee Watts as Vice President of Government Affairs and Policy and Elyse Oveson as Chief of Advocacy Operations.

As Vice President of Government Affairs and Policy, Mary Lee will lead development and implementation of the organization’s strategic advocacy agenda to promote policy priorities in the areas of reimbursement, regulatory, and public health preparedness and infrastructure. She will also guide comprehensive advocacy efforts to influence policies and legislation that reflect the value of clinical diagnostics, support innovation, and expand access to testing services that improve health. 

Mary Lee most recently served as Director of Federal Affairs at the American Society for Microbiology, where she oversaw policy development, outreach and engagement with Congress and federal agencies with a broad focus on annual appropriations and issues impacting the microbial sciences and public health. She previously held advocacy positions with the American Association for Cancer Research, American Society for Nutrition, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Mary Lee holds a Master of Public Health degree in Nutrition from the University of North Carolina and a Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from Vanderbilt University. Additionally, she was recognized with a 2023 Top Lobbyist award by the National Institute for Lobbying & Ethics (NILE).

As Chief of Advocacy Operations, Elyse will leverage her policy and advocacy expertise and trade association experience to guide the organization’s execution of advocacy priorities. She will also advance ACLA’s strategic initiatives that highlight the value of clinical laboratories for policymakers and other key stakeholders.

Elyse previously served as Senior Director of Federal Relations for the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS), where she helped execute federal regulatory and legislative advocacy agendas, with an in-depth understanding of policy priorities related to hospitals, post-acute care settings, and safety net providers. She has held legislative positions with a former member of the New York State congressional delegation and with Park Strategies, LLC. Elyse has a Master of Arts degree in Government from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Union College.

“Mary Lee and Elyse bring a deep understanding of the health policy landscape and strong successes in advocacy that will further enhance ACLA’s mission to advance the policy priorities of the nation’s leading clinical laboratories, and the patients and clinicians they serve,” said ACLA President Susan Van Meter. “We’re thrilled that Mary Lee and Elyse have joined ACLA and know the knowledge and leadership they bring to their respective roles will be invaluable to our members.”  

Additionally, ACLA is pleased to announce that Holly Grosholz, who joined ACLA in 2022, has been promoted to Senior Director of Government Affairs. In her new role, she will manage the implementation of ACLA’s strategic advocacy agenda and coordinate with Congress and federal agencies on priority topic areas. This includes leading Congressional and stakeholder efforts relating to the Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act, a key policy issue for the organization. Holly previously served as Director of Government Relations at the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA). Prior to MITA, she worked at the American Public Health Association. Holly earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science at Bucknell University.


The American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) is the national trade association representing leading laboratories that deliver essential diagnostic health information to patients and providers by advocating for policies that expand access to the highest quality clinical laboratory services, improve patient outcomes, and advance the next generation of personalized care.

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