Insights and Impact

AUdacious Changemaker: Duty of Care

Kevin Hagan, SIS/MA ’97


Photo­graphy by
Jeff Watts

Kevin Hagan stands against a backdrop of pill capsules that are half red, half made of US currency bills

Every January, health care deductibles reset, plunging millions of Americans into financial distress. Anguish over out-of-pocket costs—shared by nearly half of households—is then compounded by difficult decisions, like whether to forgo heat or rent to pay for expensive medications or care before insurance kicks in.

“Even small amounts can cripple an individual or family,” says PAN Foundation CEO Kevin Hagan. “It’s important for Americans to know that we can do better as a country when it comes to health.”

Hagan and his colleagues at the DC-based organization lighten that burden. Since September

 2021, he has headed the nonprofit, which has disbursed $4 billion in medication copays and other assistance to more than one million patients in need over the last 18 years. In addition, PAN’s advocacy arm has led the way on important policy issues such as aspects of the Inflation Reduction Act, signed in August. That includes tandem “cap and smoothing” provisions for Medicare patients that will limit out-of-pocket prescription medication costs to $2,000 annually and provide an option to pay deductibles over 12 months beginning in 2025.

Health has been a throughline in Hagan’s career as a nonprofit executive, from a three-year run stabilizing and updating domestic and international programming for Feed the Children to a two-year tenure guiding the American Diabetes Association through financial difficulty. He spent his first year at PAN “listening and learning” while leading a strategic planning initiative that the organization hopes will triple its impact, by patients served, in the next five years.

“We have some of the most sophisticated medicine in the world. We have some of the best pharmaceuticals in the world,” Hagan says, but access to these lifesaving innovations often falls woefully short. Patient by patient, he and the PAN Foundation push for a health care system with a wider, more equitable reach.