Melinda Abrams Vice President, Delivery System Reform
The Commonwealth Fund
Melinda K. Abrams, M.S. is vice president and director of the Commonwealth Fund's Health Care Delivery System Reform program. Since coming to the Fund in 1997, Ms. Abrams has worked on the Fund’s Task Force on Academic Health Centers, the Child Development and Preventive Care program, and most recently, she led the Patient-Centered Coordinated Care Program. Ms. Abrams has served on many national committees and boards for private organizations and federal agencies, and is a peer-reviewer for several journals. Ms. Abrams was the recipient of a Champion Award from the Primary Care Development Corporation and a Primary Care Community/Research Leadership Awardfrom the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative. Ms. Abrams holds a B.A in history from Cornell University and an M.S. in health policy and management from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Disruptive Health Technology Insitute - Carnegie Mellon University
Disruptive Health Technology Insitute - Carnegie Mellon University
Lynn M. Banaszak is the executive director of the Disruptive Health Technology Institute (DHTI) at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). She is a respected healthcare innovation expert with national reach: guiding, mentoring and coaching professionals and start-up technology companies.
Since inception, DHTI has invested more than $5M in 38 projects led by CMU researchers who are working with industry, payers and providers striving to create disruptive healthcare solutions. Prior to her appointment at CMU, Lynn was Vice President and Chief Relationship Officer at the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, a biotechnology investment organization, where for nearly a decade, she worked with 400 start-up companies, helped deploy nearly $20M in direct investment in 75 companies leveraging over $900 million in additional capital to the region. Lynn is also one of the original Directors of the $8.1M Accelerator Fund, LLC life sciences venture firm.
Lynn was recruited by the University of Pittsburgh to facilitate the first Bench to Bedside course for the $5M Coulter Program, a campus-wide effort led by Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering that identifies, selects, funds and mentors translational research by clinician-engineer teams that address unmet clinical needs through innovative technologies. Lynn is a national innovation thought leader and advisor for events like the Louisville Innovation Summit, the AARP Innovation Competition, the SXSW Vegas and Impact Pediatric Health Pitch Competitions and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation Health Fellows Program. She currently mentors and coaches start-up companies in all life sciences sectors. Lynn was recently recognized as a Business Times Top Innovator and as one of only three Pittsburgh business women on the national American Business Journals 'Women to Watch' list - - selected from 1000 women across the country. She was designated One of the Best Personalities of Pittsburgh, was selected as a Pittsburgh Business Times 2016 BusinessWomen First award winner and was the 2015 Athena of Greater Pittsburgh Award Winner.
Lynn is the producer and co-host of the national podcast, Innovation Unleashed, which engages curious people who love discovering the “what’s next” in technology solutions to help all of us live better lives. She has given nearly 100 national invited talks.
In 2016, Lynn and her family started The Caileigh Lynn McDowell Foundation in honor of the beautiful life of her precious 17 year old niece Caileigh, who tragically passed away in April 2016 due to catastrophic injuries from undiagnosed Crohn’s Disease. The foundation is working to transform political, social and economic systems and institutions to create a kinder, more equitable and just society for all.
Keshia Bigler is the Population Health Manager for the Columbia Pacific CCO. She previously worked for another CCO dedicated to reducing hospital utilization in two regions in rural Oregon. She has extensive experience working in health research doing primary research focused on health disparities and working in the Kaiser Permanente Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) conducting systematic reviews and meta-analysis to inform clinical guidelines for the USPSTF, APA, and CDC Community Guide. She has worked with the Oregon Health Authority to refine the state cervical and breast cancer screening, WISEWOMAN, and genetic screening programs, and co-chairs the Pacific Northwest Community Paramedicine and Mobile Integrated Health Coalition. She has also served on state steering committees for Health Information Technology (HIT) and passion for health equity and social determinants of health. Keshia received her MPH from OHSU with a focus in Primary Care and Health Disparities.
Manik Bhat is the CEO of Healthify, a New York-based company on a mission to build a world where no one’s health is hindered by their need. Manik cofounded Healthify while working as a community health worker in Baltimore where he witnessed, first hand, how closely poor health outcomes and the increasing cost of care were tied to unmet social needs such as food insecurity and affordable housing.
Today, Healthify helps large healthcare organizations identify and manage the unaddressed social needs of their most vulnerable populations. Healthify delivers a leading solution to enable healthcare organizations to find community services for their members, track social needs across their population, and coordinate care with community-based services in an integrated network.
As a partner to health plans, social service agencies, and provider networks working with Medicaid and Medicare members, Healthify enables integrated care to fulfill the promise of a value-based healthcare system. Healthify’s solutions are used across the country by thousands of staff and have been featured by TEDMED, the Center for Healthcare Strategies, KPMG, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Forbes.
Dan Brillman is the Founder and CEO of Unite Us, a mission-driven technology company integrating the delivery of care between healthcare, government, and social services to build healthier communities. Unite Us launched in 2013 with a mission to improve care delivery and community collaboration for the Military and Veteran population and have expanded their services to support all populations. After graduating from Yale University in 2006, Dan worked in finance and consulting before joining the Air Force Reserves as a combat pilot, where he still serves today. As an aircraft commander assigned to the 76 ARS at McGuire AFB, NJ, Dan has earned several combat air medals during multiple deployments serving both in Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns. Dan earned his MBA from Columbia Business School in 2012, and worked in venture capital in NYC after graduation, where he focused on both investing and technological innovation and then started Unite Us shortly after in 2013. Dan, a recipient of the Jefferson award for public service, is passionate about helping others, tackling tough issues, and continues to be a huge advocate and supporter of public health issues.
Kimberly Brown, Chief Program Officer at DC Central Kitchen, has worked in education and workforce development for over 15 years. She began her career as a faculty member, teaching English Language Learners at Montana State University and the University of Maryland, then moved to Montgomery Community College where she developed specialized, employment-focused curricula and programs for refugees and other populations with high barriers to employment, including victims of human trafficking and domestic violence, survivors of torture and trauma, disconnected youth, and returning citizens. Kimberly specializes in developing industry partnerships, as well as using data to inform workforce development programming and to promote investment in frontline workers. Her areas of expertise include workforce development and continuing education, career pathways, and accelerated/contextualized programming. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics from the University of Montana, and an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Maryland.
Krista is a Partner at Sirona Strategies where she provides strategic advice on a broad range of state and federal legislative and regulatory issues around Medicaid, Medicare, accountable care, commercial insurance, digital health, public health and other areas. She also serves as the Chair of Aligning for Health and Executive Director of the Alliance for Connected Care.
Krista previously directed the Health Division at the National Governors Association’s Center for Best Practices where she oversaw technical assistance for governors’ health advisors. Prior to NGA, she was a Senior Advisor at the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) working in Medicaid and private insurance regulation. She also served as Deputy Director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services and spent five years on Capitol Hill where she was a health advisor to the Minority Whip Senator Dick Durbin, and Senator Debbie Stabenow, a member of the Senate Finance Committee.
Krista holds a BA from the University of Michigan and an MPP from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.
Clinical Integration Lead, Population Health Service Organization
Gigi Elizee Clinical Integration Lead, Population Health Service Organization
University of Maryland Medical System
Gigi Elizee is a healthcare IT/ quality leader with over 10 years of Epic EMR experience including EMR implementations, EMR optimization, and performance improvement initiatives. She exemplifies strong operational and project leadership experience with a passion for leveraging technology and optimizing the EMR to improve patient outcomes and clinician efficiency, with proven expertise in workflow analysis, full-cycle EMR implementations, quality improvement, regulatory reporting, Meaningful Use, MIPS, MACRA, and Value-based programs.
Gigi began her professional career in the US Navy as Nuclear Mechanical Operator aboard the USS George Washington. As one of the first female cohort in the program, she paved the path for other women to successfully navigate an intense and ground-breaking nuclear propulsion program. Upon leaving the Navy, Gigi embarked upon her career as an RN, earning her BSN in Nursing from Stony Brook University, MSN from the University of Phoenix, and a post graduate certificate in Nursing Informatics from the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
As a care provider, Gigi excelled at delivering empathy and compassion, known for her ability to de-escalate tough situations and bring people together. As an educator and informatics leader, Gigi served as a change agent, driving adoption of clinical processes and informatics systems and tools. Her combination of high emotional intelligence and political acumen set the stage for her successful move to providing sought-after consulting services in large scale academic health systems.
Serving as an EMR implementation, optimization, and regulatory reporting expert for most of her career, Gigi is now bringing her plethora of experience to developing and designing innovative and dynamic care management models, population health management programs, and data analytics solutions to the University of Maryland Medical System. As a pioneer in value-based care delivery, Gigi focuses on implementing and maturing programs designed to improve quality and patient outcomes, and increase wellness and engagement through partnerships with patients and clinicians.
A member of the Maryland chapter of HIMSS, Gigi is an advocate for nursing informatics, population health, and digital healthcare. In her spare time, Gigi enjoys discovering new adventures with her 5-year old son, Michael, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, web design, helping nurses transition from bedside care to business operations, and honing her tennis skills.
Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council for Trauma
Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council for Trauma
Eric Epley is the Executive Director at STRAC for over 20 years. He is a Certified Emergency Manager working in public safety response and administration. Mr. Epley has been a nationally registered paramedic for over 30 years and was a licensed police officer for 15 years, serving as a tactical paramedic at the Branch Davidian standoff, the Republic of Texas standoff and other high-profile Texas incidents. Epley served as a flight paramedic for San Antonio AirLife for 10 years where he also received the National Flight Paramedic of the Year award in 1996. He responded to New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina as one of the Strike Team Leaders on the Texas Task Force-1USAR Swiftwater team, and was director of the Regional Medical Operations Center (RMOC) in San Antonio for Hurricanes Rita, Dean, Dolly, Eduard, Gustav and Ike. Epley is certified as a Type III Incident Commander and served as a Deputy IC on the Alamo IMT. Mr. Epley serves as Chair of the Governor’s EMS & Trauma Advisory Council’s Disaster Committee and a member of the DSHS Preparedness Coordinating Council, which develops hospital and EMS response plans for statewide disasters and oversees the Texas Emergency Medical Task Force (EMTF) Program.
Since STRAC’s founding in 1998, Epley has led the growing organization through many initiatives. A few of the projects Epley has led include the deployment and implementation of a regional wireless electronic medical records (EMR) system for over 80 EMS agencies and 2 air medical programs that now has over 3 million medical records, regional clinical care registries for trauma, cardiac, stroke and ICU care from 35 hospitals in South Texas, a regional 12-lead EKG wireless transmission system, a trauma data network research project for the US Army Institute for Surgical Research through Dept. of Defense funding, the Texas Emergency Medical Task force (EMTF) program, which houses field hospitals, AMBUS’s, ambulances and other response capabilities. One of the shining achievements for Epley was the conceptualization, implementation and growth of the STRAC-ID smart card credentialing program for physicians and first responders in San Antonio and South Texas.
Phil Feisal is the President of Spartanburg Medical Center, a division of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System. He has been with Spartanburg Regional since 2009 and his healthcare career has spanned 30 years. Previously, he has served in executive leadership roles at the Greenville Hospital System and Bon Secours St. Francis Health System. Phil also holds an adjunct professorship in the Government Department at Wofford College.
Phil is active on a number of local Boards and Advisory Councils in Spartanburg and Greenville. Notably, he is involved with Spartanburg’s Northside Initiative, the Spartanburg Area Conservancy, the United Way of the Piedmont, the Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce & The USC Upstate Foundation.
Phil received an undergraduate degree in Finance at the University of Memphis and holds master’s degrees in Public Health and Business Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Phil and his wife, Katrina, have three children and have lived in the upstate of South Carolina since 1994.
Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick is an infectious diseases physician, CDC-trained medical epidemiologist and former Medical Director the Washington, DC Medicaid program. She is also a lecturer at the GW Milken Institute School of Public Health. She earned a B.A./M.D.at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a Masters in Public Health from the University of California-Berkeley School of Public Health.
Cristal Thomas Gary is a health policy expert and strategist who has dedicated her career to improving health care policy, operations and delivery ecosystems in support of better population health outcomes. She has served as a trusted advisor to governors, cabinet secretaries, and health system leaders as a state Medicaid Director, Deputy Governor, academic medical center executive, and consultant.
As Medicaid Director in Ohio, Cristal oversaw the implementation of Medicaid managed care and transition to a new MMIS system. As Deputy Governor of Illinois, she led the state’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid reform initiatives and alignment of the state’s Medicaid and human services programs. She is also a former Vice President of Community Health Engagement at the University of Chicago Medical Center where she worked to align the medical center’s community engagement strategies and investments.
Cristal is currently a Principal at Leavitt Partners, a health intelligence and advisory firm, where she focuses on helping clients navigate the rapidly evolving health care system and transition to value-based payment and care models.
Cristal holds a BS in molecular genetics from the Ohio State University and a MPP from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.
Tracy Goodman is an attorney and director at Children’s Law Center, a nonprofit which fights so every DC child can grow up with a loving family, good health and a quality education. She has been practicing public interest law for over two decades.
Tracy currently leads the Healthy Together medical-legal partnership, which brings Children’s Law Center lawyers side-by-side with pediatricians in health clinics, along with parents and caregivers themselves, to find and fix the root causes of a child’s health problem—often a health-harming legal need. She is particularly passionate about this program because in DC, a child in Ward 7 and 8 is 20 times more likely to end up in the emergency room for asthma than a child living in Ward 3. When the underlying issue—often a factor like unsafe housing—is fixed, the child’s health improves dramatically.
Under her leadership since 2002, the program has grown from one staff attorney to 10 attorneys, 2 investigators and a family outreach worker, and serves over 3,000 children and families per year. Healthcare partners include Children’s National Health System, Mary’s Center and Unity Health Care. As part of this effort, Tracy helped secure and now leads Children’s Law Center’s BUILD Health DC grant program. Through this program, Children’s Law Center partners with the DC Department of Health and IMPACT DC to reduce childhood asthma in a nationally replicable model.
Healthy Together also partners with families to ensure children with special education or mental health needs are receiving quality, appropriate educations. Tracy expanded the medical-legal partnership to encompass early childhood, focusing on infants and toddlers with developmental delays as well. In addition to advocacy for individual children and families, the team is involved with Children’s Law Center’s policy work, leading to systemic change in the District.
Prior to her work at Children’s Law Center, Tracy was an attorney at the Legal Aid Bureau of Maryland representing children in abuse and neglect proceedings, and she also worked with a non-governmental organization in Brazil specializing in labor rights issues. During law school, she represented individuals seeking political asylum in the United States, and also worked on issues related to domestic and family violence. Tracy received her Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center, and her Bachelor of Arts from American University’s School of Public Affairs. Tracy was the 2017 recipient of the Washington Council of Lawyers Legal Services Award.
Erica Hutchins Coe, a Partner in our Atlanta office, is the Leader of McKinsey’s Center for U.S. Health System Reform, a Leader with McKinsey’s Opioids Insights, and part of our broader Healthcare Systems & Services Practice. Erica has spent almost 15 years working with the management teams of leading public- and private-sector healthcare organizations. As Leader of McKinsey’s Center for US Health System Reform, Erica is the go-to voice for our Firm on health policies and health insurance markets more broadly and a known expert across the industry. Erica is leading the Firm’s efforts around social determinants of health, working with payer, provider, and government clients take specific action to move from philanthropic pilots to scaled programs that generate strategic and financial value. She is also a leader of McKinsey's research and client service related to behavioral health, focused on improving care delivery for mental health and substance use disorders and understanding implications of social determinants of health.
Jenné Johns Director Quality Improvement and Health Equity
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
Jenne Johns, MPH serves as Director of Quality Improvement and Health Equity at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. She is responsible for leading enterprise wide and health plan strategic priorities and programs that address health and health care disparities. Previously Jenné led the Health Equity portfolio at AmeriHealth Caritas a Medicaid Managed Care Organization serving 9 million people nationwide. Jenné has a diverse background working in academia, philanthropy, and community empowerment and held positions with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Policy Link, and Summit Health Institute for Research and Education (SHIRE). She has been recognized for her leadership and commitment to eliminating healthcare disparities by Congresswoman Robin Kelly, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust, The Network Journal Forty Under 40 Achievement Award, and she received the Top 100 Diverse Leader Under 50 Award by Diversity MBA Magazine.
Jenné holds a Master's Degree in Public Health from Temple University, and a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. She is a proud mother, author, and preemie advocate.
Lee A. Johnson is a veteran health care executive who has spent more than three decades providing hope and healing for her community and leading others with a shared mission.
During her 35-year tenure with AdventHealth, Lee has served in various roles ranging from a speech-language pathologist to operations to physician relations.
At the organization’s flagship Orlando campus, formerly known as Florida Hospital, Lee developed and led several unique endeavors including brain injury programs, the sports medicine/orthopedic program, transitional living facilities, the RDV Sportsplex partnership and a robust physician leadership program.
In her current role, Lee leads the Graduate Medical Education program, where she helped expand clinics for the underserved and uninsured.
Prior to joining AdventHealth, Lee served children in underserved communities in Texas, Nebraska and Florida.
Although her professional roles have changed over time, her passion for patients, leadership and change management has been constant.
Johnson received her bachelor’s degree in communication disorders from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and her master’s degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Houston in Texas. Her community service work focuses on kids, schools and sports and fitness.
Johnson has two wonderful daughters who are the light of her life. She loves reading, spending time with her family and sports.
Douglas Jutte, MD, MPH is Executive Director of the Build Healthy Places Network, a national organization that catalyzes and supports collaboration across the sectors of community development, finance, and health. The Network's goal is to increase investment in low-income neighborhoods while maximizing the health benefits of these investments.
Dr. Jutte sits on the Board of Trustees for Mercy Housing, the nation's largest non-profit affordable housing developer, and advisory boards for the Mercy Loan Fund and Enterprise Community Partners, both national community development financial institutions or CDFIs. He also helped initiate the Healthy Communities Initiative led by the Federal Reserve and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which has convened over 40 cross-sector gatherings across the country since 2010.
Previously, Dr. Jutte worked as a pediatrician for nearly 20 years in low-income community clinics and as a neonatal hospitalist, and he is currently an associate professor at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Dr. Jutte received his BA from Cornell University, MD from Harvard Medical School, and MPH from UC Berkeley. He trained in pediatrics at Stanford University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in population health at UCSF through the RWJF Health & Society Scholars program.
Brian Kelly is the Editor and Chief Content Officer of U.S. News & World Report, a publisher of news and consumer information products. Kelly is a member of the executive committee with primary responsibility for all the company’s content, which includes the website usnews.com, print and e-book guides on education and health care, and a conference and events business.
Kelly has led the transformation of U.S. News from a traditional print news magazine to a largely digital publishing company with a range of influential products including the Best Colleges and Best Hospitals rankings, and the new Best Countries rankings. Under his leadership, usnews.com has gained an audience of more than 40 million monthly users. Kelly and his team also expanded U.S. News’ Money, Personal Finance, and Health content and launched new Car and Travel products as well as two national conferences.
He is the chairman the Healthcare of Tomorrow conference, as well as U.S. News STEM Solutions, a national forum that brings together corporations, educators and policymakers working to help the U.S. fill jobs by creating a more skilled and competitive workforce.
Kelly joined U.S. News in 1998 after serving as a senior editor at The Washington Post; he was named editor at U.S. News in April 2007.
Kelly is the author of “Adventures in Porkland” (Random House, 1992) a study of the congressional budget process. With Mark London, he co-authored “TheFour Little Dragons” (Simon & Shuster, 1989), an exploration of the developing economies of Asia, and “Amazon” (Harcourt Brace, 1983), a look at the economic and cultural forces behind the clearing of the Amazon rainforest. They published a sequel, “The Last Forest,” in 2007.
Kelly has appeared on numerous television and radio programs including CBS This Morning, NBC’s Today Show, White House Chronicles and National Public Radio. He is a frequent speaker and panelist on issues related to media, national policy, politics and education. He is a Vice President of the Economic Club of Washington and a Board member of The Children’s Inn of The National Institutes of Health.
Jess is a Senior Expert at McKinsey & Company’s Washington DC office. She specializes in state Medicaid and Social Services Programs, public sector data and technology. Prior to McKinsey, Jess worked at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, with her last role serving as the Director for Data and Systems for Medicaid. Jess holds an MPH from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and BA’s in US Government and French Language from The University of Texas at Austin.
With professional roots in academic research and teaching, Michael founded Green River in 2000, and has grown the company into an internationally renowned team of software architects and programmers. As CEO, Michael provides entrepreneurial leadership, and coordinates engagements with clients that include Starbucks Coffee Company, the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition, the cities of Boston and Springfield, Massachusetts, the States of Massachusetts, Delaware, and Connecticut, numerous colleges and Universities, and many others. Michael’s company operates on the cutting-edge of custom web-based application development. They are known for their excellence in systems analysis, data analytics and visualization, and user experience design.
Prior to founding Green River in 2000, Michael served as faculty at Marlboro College Graduate School. He earned a Ph.D. from Yale University, with a concentration in environmental health, and a Masters in Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Michael focused his work at Yale in data science, and has expertise in spatial statistics, biostatistics, and social science statistics. He holds a BA in Biology from Wesleyan University.
Michael is passionate about social justice. He believes software can play a pivotal role in solving pressing social problems through enhanced transparency, efficiency, and informed decision making. Michael focuses Green River’s mission on promoting learning opportunities for all, public health for those in need, and progress toward a sustainable society.
Director of Strategic Development and Product Manager
Ian Kozak Director of Strategic Development and Product Manager
Ian Kozak is Director of Strategic Development and Product Manager for Open Path, Green River's platform for social services data integration. Ian works closely with organizations and communities to craft optimal technology solutions to support their innovation, tackling operational and analytic challenges, and has presented on the outcomes at conferences nationwide. Prior to joining Green River, Ian worked in IT management, and was the founding partner in two educational software development companies.
As a Senior Program Officer for the St. Joseph Health Community Partnership Fund, Jason works with community organizations and institutions to develop innovative projects that will positively impact the health of the region. Over the past 20 years in both the nonprofit and philanthropic fields, Jason has been dedicated to efforts that build the capacity of community-based organizations, allowing them to become more stable, self-sustaining, and better advocates for regional needs. Additionally, he values the importance of collaboration across all sectors in achieving programmatic and policymaking success. Jason has been recognized as Health Educator of the Year by the Society of Public Health Educators and was a recipient of the Civil Rights Leadership Award from the California Association of Human Relations Associations. Jason graduated from UCLA with a Master's in Public Health.
Patti is the Executive Director of the Aetna Foundation, an independent charitable and philanthropic affiliate of CVS Health. As an experienced heath care leader, she brings a broad industry view and a personal passion for community health to the team.
In her role, she directly supports CVS Health’s $100 million, 5-year Building Healthier Communities initiative, overseeing the Aetna Foundation’s suite of grant giving programs, strategic initiatives, national partnerships, and the multi-year collaboration with U.S. News & World Report, which produces the annual Healthiest Communities rankings. She is motivated and inspired by the opportunity to improve the well-being of people on their path to better health in communities across America by addressing social determinants of health.
Joining CVS Health as part of its acquisition of Aetna, Patti has over thirty years of experience working across many of Aetna’s legacy businesses, including all Commercial Group segments, Individual and Public Exchanges, Local Markets, and Specialty Products. Her diverse experience spans from Chief of Staff to Aetna’s Chairman and CEO, Mark Bertolini, oversight of the Office of Healthcare Reform Strategy and Implementation, creation of the Business Integrity Unit for the Individual Business, Business Development & Optimization for Group Disability, and Investor Relations throughout the company’s turnaround. Patti has also developed and implemented several business strategies, has deep health care industry knowledge and has a proven track record in complex program management and governance oversight, and customer, regulatory, and member satisfaction.
Chairman of the Leavitt Partners Board of Directors, Co-founded Leavitt Partners and served as the firm’s first CEO from 2009 – April 2017
Rich McKeown Chairman of the Leavitt Partners Board of Directors, Co-founded Leavitt Partners and served as the firm’s first CEO from 2009 – April 2017
Rich McKeown is the Chairman of the Leavitt Partners Board of Directors. He co-founded Leavitt Partners and served as the firm’s first CEO from 2009 – April 2017.
In previous roles he served as chief of staff for Mike Leavitt at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). At HHS, he directed and coordinated the activities of the largest department in the federal government, serving as the Secretary’s day-to-day manager for a department that employed 67,000 people and had an annual budget in excess of $840 billion. He also led the negotiations between China and the FDA regarding Drug, Device and Food issues which led to landmark agreements in 2008 and paved the way for the placement of US-FDA offices around the world. From November 2003 until January 2005, Rich served as senior counselor and chief of staff to Administrator Leavitt at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Rich co-authored with Mike Leavitt the highly-acclaimed book titled Finding Allies, Building Alliances.
Prior to his public service in Washington, D.C., Rich served as chief of staff to Governor Mike Leavitt and as commissioner of the Utah State Tax Commission. His background is as a private practice lawyer and educator. Rich received his juris doctorate from the University of Utah and bachelor’s degree from Ohio University.
Creagh Milford, DO MPH, FACOI is a physician executive who serves as the Chief Medical Officer for Healthcare Highways, a healthcare innovation company based in Dallas, Texas. He has a passion for improving healthcare, specializing in population health management, healthcare informatics, analytics, and innovation.
Dr. Milford has held several C-suite positions. Recently, he served as the Chief Executive Officer of FullWell, a population health management services company, which was sold in 2017. Previously, Dr. Milford served as the system-wide division president of population health services of Mercy Health. He served as Assistant Chief Medical Information Officer for Massachusetts General Physician Organization (MGPO) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a Harvard teaching hospital. He also served as Associate Medical Director for Population Health Management at Partners Healthcare, a Boston-based health system founded by MGH and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Dr. Milford remains engaged in national health policy. He was nominated as a Fellow of the National Academies of Medicine, where he participated on the Board on Population Health. He has also held positions within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, focusing on federal policy for value-based purchasing and health IT.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his D.O. degree from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University. Following a residency at the University of Chicago-North Shore and a fellowship in Health Management and Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital, he earned a master’s degree in Health Management and Policy from the Harvard School of Public Health, where he continues to serve as a guest lecturer.
Eddy Moratin is President of LIFT Orlando, a movement of business leaders partnering with residents for community revitalization. For 20 years his lifework has been to inspire and equip leaders to make a difference. As a social entrepreneur, Eddy has led purpose-driven organizations in communications, real estate, business services, and leadership development. As a nonprofit organization mobilizing corporate philanthropy in the interest of vulnerable communities, LIFT Orlando is reversing decades of disinvestment in the inner-city. In 2018 their first mixed-income community, Pendana at West Lakes, was met with national award recognition and media attention for its inspiring commitment to high-quality and affordability.
Beyond housing, LIFT Orlando’s neighborhood investment strategy is based on the idea that the communities where we live shape our life outcomes. Therefore, LIFT Orlando is presently embarked in a $100 million master plan development, designed to provide a neighborhood ecosystem where children and families can thrive. It includes investments in mixed-income housing, cradle to career education, health and wellness and economic development. Whether it's through philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, social impact investments or volunteer leadership Eddy is passionate about seeing business leaders leverage their influence for positive social change.
Prior to joining LIFT Orlando, Eddy spent seven years as the Executive Director of Lifework Leadership Orlando, a premier leadership development organization, after leading ventures in the co-working office space and call center industries. Since 2007 he has served as Senior Fellow at PathNorth in Washington D.C., a national organization founded to help senior leaders broaden their definition of success.
Eddy lives in Orlando, Florida with his wife, Giselle and their two children, Isabella and Kristopher.
Michael Monson Senior Vice President of Medicaid & Complex Care
Michael Monson is the Senior Vice President of Medicaid & Complex Care at Centene Corporation. Operating in 31 states and with revenue of $70 billion, Centene Corporation, a Fortune 61 company, is a leading multi-line healthcare enterprise that provides programs and related services to the rising number of under-insured and uninsured individuals. Michael has national product responsibility for Centene’s Medicaid and Complex Care product lines – TANF; CHIP; Foster Care; Medicaid Expansion; Aged Blind & Disabled (ABD); Managed Long Term Services & Supports (MLTSS); and Medicare-Medicaid Plans (CMS Financial Alignment Demonstration). These products operate across 22 states and collectively comprise more than 8.5 million members and ~$43 billion in revenue. Centene is #1 or #2 in national market share for these products. Additionally, Michael is responsible for Centene’s overall strategy for Social Determinants of Health (SDoH), Social Health Bridge Trust TM, and the Centene Center for Health Transformation, a collaboration with academic researchers.
Previously, Michael was the Chief Administrative Officer & Vice President of Residential Services at Village Care of New York where he had responsibility for a $60 million P&L as well as multiple corporate functions. Village Care is a New York City based integrated health system with more than $200M in revenue.
Michael joined Village Care after having spent more than eight years working at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY). With $1.6 billion in revenue, VNSNY is the country’s largest not-for-profit home-based healthcare company. As both a payer (Medicare Advantage, Medicaid Long Term Care) and a provider (homecare, hospice, long term care), VNSNY services more than 140,000 individuals a year in the metro New York City marketplace. At VNSNY, Michael was the Senior Vice President of Performance & Innovation. In this role, reporting to the CEO, he was responsible for VNSNY’s overall corporate strategy and innovation platform.
Prior to joining VNSNY, Michael spent six years working for McKinsey & Company where he worked primarily with media and nonprofit clients. Prior to working for McKinsey, Michael was the Finance Director for then Congressman Robert Menedez’s campaign. Michael has a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.
National Partnerships Lead, Business Strategy and Consumer Experience Group
Leila Nowroozi National Partnerships Lead, Business Strategy and Consumer Experience Group
Leila Nowroozi leads National Partnerships within the Business Strategy and Consumer Experience group at Aetna. Her expertise includes health policy with a focus on social determinants of health. Leila identifies and forges partnerships with community based organizations to address social and behavioral care gaps in the healthcare system in order to improve member health and quality of life. Areas of focus for partnerships include addressing food, transportation, housing, social isolation and education needs in communities across the United States. The programs are designed to drive patient-centered care that reflects the patient’s definition of value, and promotes the use of technology to inform health and wellness choices at the individual level. In collaboration with Aetna business lines and functional leaders, she creates a targeted enterprise strategy and forges unique national alliances that will also promote Aetna’s thought leadership by sharing program data and results for internal and external audiences. Her work enhances Aetna’s national reputation in promoting member health and ensuring Aetna as a partner of choice through strategic, scalable, and sustained investments and partnerships. National Partnerships serves as a centralized coordination point for all large scale relationships and coordinates with CVS Health to ensure a seamless market presence. Examples of partnerships include Meals on Wheels, YMCA, Area Agencies on Aging. Prior to joining Aetna, Leila was the Chief Marketing Officer of Avalere Health. She worked for a number of years in the pharmaceutical industry launching pharmaceutical products with J&J and Pfizer. Leila has her MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and her MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the University of South Carolina School of Public Health.
Naveen Rao is the founder and Managing Partner of Patchwise Labs, a creative strategy firm promoting social innovations in healthcare. Mr. Rao is a writer, storyteller, and analyst dedicated to separating the signal from the noise in social determinants of health. Prior to founding Patchwise Labs, he was a patient and consumer engagement analyst at Chilmark Research. He has roots in patient advocacy, leading cancer survivorship innovation at the LIVESTRONG Foundation, and spent three years in Washington DC as a health policy analyst during the passage of the HITECH and Affordable Care Acts. He was awarded a graduate degree from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, a certificate from George Washington University, and has finished coursework in creative writing, narrative psychology, and screenwriting.
As Senior Vice President of Business Development, Linda Roman brings health plan clients more than 20 years of diverse health care industry experience. She plays a lead role in ensuring our products and services meet current and emerging needs of the market. She also leads a team of client relations professionals, who oversee client implementations and ongoing client service.
Prior to joining the organization she spent more than a decade as the President and Chief Executive Officer of her own health provider companies; focused on serving Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries in both fee-for-service and disease management programs. In this capacity, she created programs to serve the chronic special needs populations; which used both technology and clinical best practices to achieve operational cost reductions. Throughout her career, Ms. Roman also has been actively involved in the development and application of technology advances in telemedicine, personal and electronic health records, integrated claims and clinical processing and analytics.
As a past President of the Kansas Healthcare Association, she served as a lobbyist and advocate, working extensively with the National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and congressional leaders. She has a bachelor’s degree in health care administration and a master’s degree in business administration. She also is certified in Lean Six Sigma.
Before starting TAVHealth, Jamo founded and led Medical Present Value, a revenue cycle company (now Experian Healthcare [EXPN]) and PTRX, a pharmacy benefit management company (now UnitedHealth Group [UNH]). Prior to his entrepreneurial career, Jamo practiced as a cardiac anesthesiologist. He is the current chair of the Texas Biomedical Research Institute and former chair of the Texas Property and Casualty Guaranty Association. He received his MD from UT Southwestern, a MBA from UT Austin, and trained at Mass General.
Alexander Shekhdar is the founder and Principal at Sycamore Creek Healthcare Advisors, LLC. Sycamore Creek Healthcare Advisors is a strategic healthcare advisory firm with government programs healthcare experience across domains (i.e. Medicare Advantage, Medicaid managed care, specialty behavioral healthcare)
Prior to starting Sycamore Creek, Mr. Shekhdar was in-charge of Federal and State policy for the Medicaid Health Plans of America (MHPA). In this role, Mr. Shekhdar was responsible for assisting in the promulgation of the association’s policy positions, as well as analyzing and responding to regulatory matters governing and implicating Medicaid managed care plans.
Mr. Shekhdar has two decades of business and policy experience in the government payor space with various providers including multiple managed care plans and pharmacy benefits management companies. In the managed care space, Mr. Shekhdar has been responsible for business development for both Medicare Advantage and Medicaid managed care plans. In addition, he has worked on product development for various specialty health business including those in the behavioral health and consumer healthcare spaces.
Finally, Mr. Shekhdar is a professional lecturer and adjunct faculty associated with The George Washington University and various schools within The University of Maryland system. Mr. Shekhdar frequently presents on issues related to health policy at numerous industry trade meetings, gatherings of state health plan associations, and audiences of financial analysts. Mr. Shekhdar is frequently cited as an expert in national industry trade publications such as Modern Healthcare, Inside Health Policy, AIS Health, etc.
Mr. Shekhdar holds his undergraduate and graduate degrees in public health from The Johns Hopkins University and his juris doctorate from the Seton Hall University School of Law.
System Director, Community Health Strategy and Benefit
Tamara Smith System Director, Community Health Strategy and Benefit
Tamara has deep southern roots that extend from Florida to North Carolina. She received a Bachelor’s of Science in health and exercise science at Wake Forest University and a Master’s of Science in Healthcare Management and Promotion from Nebraska Methodist College. For over fifteen years Tamara has worked in the healthcare field in strategy and program innovation, focusing on creating macro-level impacts for vulnerable populations. In her free time, Tamara loves to spend quality time with her husband and 2 toddler boys, sharing new experiences, and being a self-proclaimed foodie.
Director, Strategic Initiatives and Quality Assurance, Family Health and Wellness
Allyscaeioun Spears Director, Strategic Initiatives and Quality Assurance, Family Health and Wellness
Tennessee Department of Health
Dr. Allysceaeioun D. Britt is the Director of Strategic Initiatives and Quality Assurance at the Tennessee Department of Health where she is responsible for the oversight and strategic alignment of Maternal Child Health and Chronic Disease programs to advance population health efforts. She has led innovative initiatives targeting TennCare (Medicaid) and CoverKids (SCHIP) which include the design and implementation of the TennCare (Medicaid) and CoverKids enrollment assistance program for pregnant eligible women within local rural and metropolitan health departments, the statewide expansion, integration and sustainability of an evidence-based smoking cessation program targeted for pregnant women and established an agency Maternity Collaborative to engage TennCare (Medicaid) Managed Care Organizations to improve engagement and care coordination of TennCare enrollees served through TDH public health programs.
Dr. Britt has more than 20 years of public health experience with research interest in public health and healthcare administration and policy for Medicaid populations, program development and evaluation, population health engagement with a focus on social determinants health and vaccine-preventable diseases. She also serves as an adjunct professor at Trevecca Nazarene University Skinner School of Business Education and Technology -Health Care Leadership Program.
When she is not working or teaching, she enjoys serving in her community and promoting health as an activity member of Lake Providence Missionary Baptist Church Health Ministry; member of Kappa Lambda Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated Health Committee and an active member of the Music City (TN) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated Health and Human Services Facet.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Florida State University, Masters of Public Health – Health Care Administration and Policy from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and Doctorate in Public Health – Community Health from Walden University.
In her free time, she enjoys singing in her church choir, playing the piano and traveling with her family.
MSW, Social Services Manger, Population Health Partnerships
Toc Soneoulay-Gillespie MSW, Social Services Manger, Population Health Partnerships
Toc Soneoulay-Gillespie has over 20 years of experience working with and advocating for refugees and immigrants. As a 1.5 generation refugee, she brings a unique perspective for understanding the strengths and complexities of this community. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology/Sociology from Eastern Oregon University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Alaska Anchorage. As an interpreter, consultant, trainer, and community organizer, she believes strongly in raising awareness about meaningful language access and when introduced with humility, can reshape the narratives of historically under-served limited English proficient communities and ultimately transform systems. Ms. Soneoulay-Gillespie serves as a commissioner on the Oregon Commission on Asian Pacific Islander Affairs and in her current role as the Social Services Manager at CareOregon, she continues to be a fierce advocate, promoting health equity within the healthcare network.
Holly Stevens, Ph.D, Director of Evaluation and Learning
Children's Law Center
Holly R. Stevens, Ph.D., is the Director of Evaluation and Learning at Children’s Law Center, a non-profit legal services organization in Washington, DC. Children’s Law Center is home to Healthy Together, one of the oldest and largest medical-legal partnerships in the country. At CLC, Holly conducts program evaluation and research projects seeking to improve medical-legal partnership services and reduce health inequities. Currently, she is PI for an industry-leading study partnering with managed care organizations exploring the impact of medical-legal partnership services on healthcare cost and health outcomes.
In addition to these responsibilities, Holly leads initiatives to improve data processes and systems. Holly identifies problems and inefficiencies in current practices by conducting user-experience research. She creates and customizes products to advance data collection efforts and fidelity to program models with the goal of increasing data-use and improving client outcomes. Holly serves as a resource to the legal services community and the medical-legal partnership community for developing outcome-driven and data-informed programs.
Prior to joining CLC, Holly served as an Assistant Research Professor at George Mason University where she directed evaluations of several state and county public defender offices. She also served as Co-Principal Investigator on a federally funded grant focused on improving training for public defenders. Holly was a lead researcher and consultant on several projects funded at both state and federal levels focusing on access to justice, juvenile justice, and healthcare in juvenile justice facilities. She received her PhD in Criminology, Law and Society from George Mason University.
Karin VanZant VP/Executive Director, Life Services
Karin VanZant is the Vice President of Integrated Community Partnerships at CareSource. Since 2015, Mrs. VanZant oversees the work of Social Determinants of Health at CareSource and the full integration into the Population Health Model. Specifically, Mrs. VanZant has built the JobConnect Program - a workforce development program that assists CareSource members to enter into full-time, permanent employment. In 2015, JobConnect started in Ohio and has expanded to Indiana and Georgia as of 2017. Karin is currently working on food access and food insecurity pilots; in addition to establishing housing partnerships as a part of the SDOH integration into Population Health. Prior to joining CareSource, Karin was the co-founder and Executive Director of Think Tank, Inc. For ten years as this organization’s leader, Karin assisted the team to live out the mission of equipping and facilitating collaboration among people and organizations seeking ways to promote greater connectedness and a more thriving community.
Karin VanZant has a MPA in Public Administration (2008) and a BA in Social Work (1998) from Wright State University. Karin is certified in various curriculums that address comprehensive poverty issues in the United States. She has helped author presentations and curriculum for use within nonprofit, business and faith based organizations seeking to become relevant and holistic in their approach to poverty alleviation. Mrs. VanZant is an Adjunct Professor at Antioch Midwest University and Wright State University on a variety of subjects including US Hunger and Poverty, Introduction to Human Services, Grant Writing, Leading Change, Coaching as Management, Holistic Case Management and Emotional Intelligence. She lives in Springfield, Ohio with her husband and her son.
Sandra Viera, MPA, serves as an Associate Program Director for Prevention Institute, a national non profit organization focused on advancing primary prevention strategy across community health issues to support health equity. Having been drawn to efforts that support communities in securing better health outcomes during her undergraduate studies at Cal State Long Beach, Sandra worked with a grassroots non-profit organization in Santa Ana, CA for several years leading efforts to build more park space and increase safe places to play for kids and youth. As she pursued her graduate studies in public administration and policy in the Bay Area, Sandra joined Prevention Institute (PI) to advocate for healthier policies, systems and environmental changes at the state and national level. Since 2010, Sandra has supported projects and initiatives for city, county, and national leaders to help build skills for community prevention efforts. She serves as PI’s Project Director for the St. Joseph Health Community Partnership Fund’s Intersections Initiative, a seven-site, CA wide effort to build capacity of health system actors and community partners to engage in local policy change to advance health equity.
Kurt Waltenbaugh is a serial entrepreneur with a career focused on the consumer: using data to predict and influence behavior. Understanding consumer behavior, Kurt has built successful analytic solutions, products and companies in the health care, retail, education, and credentialing industries.
His previous companies were sold to Oracle and Pearson Education. Most recently, Kurt was responsible for product strategy at Optum, Inc.(UnitedHealth Group), building data analytic businesses for the provider, payer and employer markets.
When not working with customers, Kurt is with his wife, guiding their three children toward adulthood, and planning their next winter camping trek into Minnesota's Boundary Waters (BWCAW).
Dr. Walton is President and CEO of Dallas-based Genesis Physicians Group, the largest independent physician practice association (IPA) in North Texas, comprising more than 1,450 physician members representing more than 70 specialties. Joining Genesis in 2013, he led the organization to create one of the region’s first physician-led, clinically integrated accountable care organizations (ACO).
Dr. Walton is a 1982 graduate of the University of North Texas Health Sciences Center and is board-certified in Internal Medicine. He also earned a Master in Business Administration from the University of Michigan.
He is married and has four adult children and one granddaughter. He is an active volunteer and in 2016 joined the adjunct faculty at the University of Texas at Dallas, Naveen Jindal School of Business.
Karen Wilding Senior Director, Quality & Value Based Care
University of Maryland Medical System
Karen Marie Wilding is the corporate Senior Director of Quality & Value-based Care with the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS).
Karen is responsible for driving value based care efforts across acute and ambulatory care settings from revenue cycle optimization thru integrated care coordination. She works with commercial and government payers; facilitating work streams that are a growing 100M+ in annual quality / payment portfolio for the system.
In addition to her system-wide responsibilities, she leads major operating divisions for both the University of Maryland Quality Care Network (UMQCN) and UM Transform Health MD (Care Transformation Organization), within the organization’s clinically integrated network. Karen’s team provides state-wide support to clinicians and healthcare entities in the areas of quality, practice transformation, risk adjustment, health IT, data & analytics and federal policy/programs. Collectively, they are supporting over 1B in care for the state of Maryland and over 100,000 patients. Karen serves as an affiliate compliance officer, ensuring the emerging population health programs have a robust compliance program wrapped around them.
She was previously the Director of Operations for the enterprise Information & Technology Department at UMMS and has worked in Health IT for over fourteen years for both small and large organizations. She has completed hundreds of implementations, adding to her experience within all aspects of healthcare technology.
Karen is soon ending her two-year term as President of Maryland Chapter of HIMSS. With over 2000 members, the current board has advanced programming beyond traditional educational sessions and now specializes in executive engagement as well as diversity in health IT. Over the last two years, vendor partnerships have doubled, allowing expansion of programming for one of the largest chapters in the country. She has been an active member since 2011.
In fall 2017, she achieved board certification as a Certified Healthcare Chief Information Officer (CHCIO) with the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). In spring 2018, she was inducted as a Fellow of the Health Information Management Systems Society (FHIMSS) for her continued leadership and dedication to the industry and community at large. Karen has held an adjunct faculty appointment with the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) in the Health Information Technology Program since 2010.
She attended The George Washington University in Washington D.C and holds a Master’s certificate in Value-based Care from The Johns Hopkins University and Normandale CC. She resides near Annapolis, with her husband and three children.
Katie Zito is the Senior Government Relations Director for Anthem Indiana Medicaid. Katie draws on over 18 years of government relations experience to provide leadership and oversight for the health plan’s policy and legislative initiatives with Indiana state government. Previously, Katie served as the Strategic Policy Lead for Medicaid at Humana, where she was responsible for developing strategic policy positions on emerging trends and advising the company on legislative and regulatory matters regarding Medicaid and dual eligible issues. She has also worked at Magellan Health in a business development role and at WellCare Health Plans, where she oversaw the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Katie’s career started in Connecticut state government where she held positions with the Senate Majority Leader, Senate Majority Caucus and Lieutenant Governor. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Connecticut and is a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, with a BA in English and Political Science.