About The DoCanto Group

LICY M. DO CANTO is founder and president of the Do Canto Group, a bipartisan government relations firm specializing in public health and health care legislative and regulatory policy, with a particular focus on underserved communities. An expert in health care policy with more than 25 years of inside the Washington DC beltway experience, Licy has a track record of building bipartisan consensus, guiding federal legislation into law, and directing national issue campaigns and coalitions. Describing him as a “highly regarded healthcare lobbyist” among his peers, and Congressional officials and other decision-makers across the federal government, the prominent Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill named Licy one of Washington DC’s top lobbyists for eight consecutive years, earning the recognition in 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010 to present.

 

Prior to founding the Do Canto Group, Licy was a principal at the Raben Group, where he lead the firm’s Health Practice Group, providing clients with a range of services, including policy development and analysis, coalition building, direct lobbying and strategic counsel and communications.

 

Licy also served as chief executive officer of the AIDS Alliance for Children Youth and Families, a leading national, non-profit advocacy organization focused on improving access to HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment for underserved communities across the United States. Mr. Do Canto is largely credited with significantly strengthening the Alliance's operational and policy structure and considerably expanding and fortifying its relations with public and private sector partners.

 

Prior to the Alliance, Licy served as the director of federal affairs for the National Association of Community Health Centers, the largest association of nonprofit clinics and health centers in the United States, representing over 1,000 clinics and 6,000 clinic sites that serve over 17 million people. Licy helped oversee the historic doubling of funding for the Federal Health Center program while also successfully managing the Association's legislative priorities on health center reauthorization and the Medicare, Medicaid and state Children's Health Insurance Programs.

 

While at NACHC, Licy also founded and chaired the Association's Partnership for Medicaid, a nationwide coalition of eighteen safety net providers and other key organizations, including nursing homes, community health centers, public hospitals and unions, focused on improving the Medicaid program. In addition, he co-founded and served as chair of the Association's twenty-two member Partnership for Primary Care Workforce, a nationwide coalition of national professional, provider and educational organizations dedicated to strengthening the health care workforce.

 

Before NACHC, Licy served as senior manager for federal affairs in the American Cancer Society's Federal Government Relations Department, directing the Society's federal legislative and executive branch advocacy efforts on health disparity issues. He also has extensive Capitol Hill experience, having served as senior legislative assistant for domestic policy to U.S. Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) and held a number of positions in the office of Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA).

 

Licy is well known to key Congressional committee and non-committee staff with jurisdiction over health issues, having authored and successfully guided into law the $25 million bipartisan Patient Navigator Outreach and Chronic Disease Prevention Act (aimed at helping low-income patients overcome health system barriers), the first piece of health legislation signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2005.

 

He successfully advocated for, and authored an array of, other key bipartisan-supported health policy issues before Congress, including passage of the Native American Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Technical Amendment Act; passage of the "Rep. Deal" amendment preserving hundreds of millions in Medicaid funding for Community Health Centers; the creation of a $50 million medical home program in Medicaid; a $100 million Health Center Medicare payment system; a $85 million Health Center financing system in the State Children's Health Insurance Program; and the establishment of a $1.5 billion Federal Early Childhood Home Visitation program within the US Department of Health and Human Services.

 

Licy also served as staff to Commissioner John Rugge on the 2005-06 US Department of Health and Human Services National Medicaid Advisory Commission, established to advise the HHS Secretary on ways to strengthen and modernize the Medicaid program.

 

Licy is often quoted in the media, including Politico, The Hill, Roll Call, Financial Times, Reuters, Bloomberg, Inside Health Policy, among others, on a broad range of issues relating to health and health care policy.

 

The DoCanto Group’s current and former clients include First Focus, AARP, the Nurse Family Partnership, the California Endowment, the New York State Health Foundation, the Direct Care Alliance and The MENTOR Network, as well as the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery and the Climate Reality Project.

 

A native of Boston and fluent in Spanish and Cape Verdean Portuguese, Licy is a 1995 graduate of Duke University, with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science, International Affairs and Spanish Studies. He also holds a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Certificate in Public Health Leadership from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Public Health and Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Testimonials

  • “Do Canto is an ardent defender of public health programs and makes disadvantaged communities his main focus. His is a name to know in the competitive world of Washington advocacy.”

    The Hill Newspaper
     

  • “…the former aide to Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) is a highly regarded healthcare lobbyist.”

    The Hill Newspaper
     

  • “Licy is an expert lobbyist and strategist. He helped us effectively navigate the federal policymaking landscape, and maximize our impact.”

    David Ward, Former CEO
    Direct Care Alliance

  • “Licy is an extremely effective and accomplished professional who has contributed enormously to our firm, and has done a first-rate job on behalf of our clients.”

    Robert Raben, Founder/President
    The Raben Group

  • “Health centers are still benefiting from Licy's success in Medicaid...Our legislative success would not have happened without him.”

    Craig Kennedy, VP Federal & State Affairs
    Nat'l Assn Community Health Centers

  • “Licy's contribution to my work, and the public interest, was enormous.”

    Former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)



Biographical Statement