Laura Appel is executive vice president of government relations and public policy at the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA). In her current role, she has executive oversight of the MHA’s Capitol Advocacy Center, which houses the policy, advocacy and public affairs functions of the organization. She is an expert in auto insurance and legislative policy and has a proven ability to influence legislation and healthcare policy through her understanding of the issues, educating influencers and policymakers, and introducing fresh ideas.
Since joining the MHA staff in 2000, Appel has focused on strategic priorities related to state and federal lobbying and healthcare policy analysis. She served as vice president of federal policy and advocacy, executive director of the MHA Health Reform Resource Center, senior vice president of strategic initiatives, senior vice president and chief innovation officer, and senior vice president, health policy & innovation, prior to being named to her current position in February 2022.
Crain’s Detroit Business acknowledged Appel in 2020 as one of Crain’s 2020 Notable Women in Health, joining 40 other women recognized for making a difference for patients, their businesses and in the healthcare field.
Before joining the MHA, Appel started her career as a policy analyst at the Michigan Insurance Bureau (now the Department of Insurance and Financial Services [DIFS]) before moving to the Democratic policy staff of the Michigan House of Representatives, where she worked for 12 years, serving as director during her final year. She currently serves on the board of Southwest Solutions and the Michigan Fitness Foundation. She previously served on the Alliance for Advancing Nonprofit Health Care in Washington, DC.
Appel holds a master’s degree in health care transformation from the University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Additionally, she received an MBA certificate in design and innovation from Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Rapids, MI, to further her interest in design as it relates to creating and improving organizational systems and healthcare delivery.