Mary Agens, RN Executive Nursing Director for Clinical Informatics
FL Department of Health
Mary Agens has been a professional nurse for 36 years serving over half of her career in executive leadership positions. Mary took her first role in health IT 10 years ago with the Florida Department of Health. Together with her esteemed colleagues, Mary lead her team to create the Florida Department of Health's Health Management System ONC certified EHR, which has been utilized in all 67 Florida County Health Departments in more than 120 unique public health clinical settings since 2012, supporting more than 9000 users daily and 1,000,000 patients annually.
Mary graduated from the University of Alabama School of Nursing in 1984 and has been a Certified Public Manager for 20 years. Her career includes serving as an Executive Director of Nursing in both the public and private sectors. Mary is recognized as a health care accreditation expert having lead hospitals in successful Joint Commission surveys, as well as being a strategic partner in leading the Florida Department of Health in achieving the honor of being the first centralized state public health agency to achieve national Public Health Accreditation Board accreditation.
Mary has 28 years experience in state government and has served on special teams for the Florida Office of the Attorney General Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the Governor's Inter-agency Committee for Women's Health and was group facilitator for Governor Crist's Re-Entry Summit.
Mary has been recognized as Who's Who in America Nursing by the Society of Nursing Professionals and is a 5 time winner of Florida's prestigious Davis Productivity Award, a Florida Sterling Team Showcase Winner and a certified six sigma green belt professional.
Eleanor Beaber is Director of Social Impact Strategy with UnitedHealthcare Community & State. UnitedHealthcare Community & State serves more than 6.6 million Medicaid members in 31 states, plus Washington D.C. UnitedHealthcare is a division of UnitedHealth Group, a health and well-being company with a mission to help people live healthier lives and help make the health system work better for everyone. In her current role, Eleanor focuses on developing partnerships that support community and population health and build health, social service, and community capacity. Her portfolio includes programmatic work in affordable and supportive housing, food insecurity, social impact investment, and community engagement. Before coming to UnitedHealthcare, Eleanor managed a community health program at the Friedman School of Nutrition at Tufts University. She has a Master of Science in Exercise Science/Public Health from Northeastern University and a Bachelors of Arts from Tufts University.
International Bestselling Author of Contagious, Invisible Influence, and The Catalyst and Professor
Jonah Berger International Bestselling Author of Contagious, Invisible Influence, and The Catalyst and Professor
Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania
Jonah Berger is a Marketing Professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, an internationally bestselling author, and a world‐renowned expert on change, influence, word of mouth, natural language processing, consumer behavior, and how products, ideas, and behaviors catch on. He has published over 50 articles in top-tier academic journals, teaches Wharton’s highest rated online course, and popular accounts of his work often appear in places like The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Harvard Business Review. Over a million copies of his books, Contagious, Invisible Influence, and The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind are in print in over 35 countries around the world. Berger often keynotes major conferences and events like SXSW and Cannes Lions, advises various early stage companies, and consults for organizations like Apple, Google, Nike, Amazon, GE, 3M, and The Gates Foundation.
Currently, Adrienne serves as Director, Community Impact for ProMedica where she oversees local neighborhood strategies for Social Determinants of Health. A strong advocate for community change, her leadership direction focuses on systematic change and growth accomplished through innovative approaches and long-term community solutions. She finds purpose in designing, facilitating, and executing interventions to bring multi-stakeholder groups together to work towards a shared purpose. Adrienne specializes in community building, process design and organizational development. Prior to ProMedica, Adrienne served as Associate Vice President, Community Impact for United Way of Summit County where she led United Way’s community impact agenda and creation and oversight of United Ways programs and participation in collective impact initiatives within the community. Additional roles she has held have been Assistant Director, National Programs at The Financial Clinic, as well as Manager, Programs for the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, and Program and Development Coordinator with United Way of Miami-Dade in Miami, Florida. Adrienne earned her B.A. in Communications from the University of Toledo and her Executive Master’s degree in Organizational Development from Bowling Green State University. Currently she sits on the board of Equality Toledo and volunteers at various non-profit organizations. She was selected by the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce as a 30 for the Future recipient in 2014 and was featured as “One to Watch” in Inside Business Magazine August 2015 issue. Adrienne currently resides in Toledo, Ohio with her partner Ray and their son, Sebastian.
Stuart Butler is a Senior Fellow in Economic Studies at The Brookings Institution. Prior to joining Brookings, Butler spent 35 years at The Heritage Foundation, as Director of the Center for Policy Innovation and earlier as Vice-President for Domestic and Economic Policy Studies. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution. He is a member of the editorial board of Health Affairs and the board of Mary's Center, a group of Washington DC-area community health centers.
Butler also serves on several advisory councils, including for the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, the Aspen Institute's Family Prosperity Innovation Community, and the March of Dimes. He is also a member of the Advisory Group for the National Academy's Culture of Health Program.
Previously he was a member of the Board on Health Care Services of the National Academy of Medicine, and served on the panel of health advisers for the Congressional Budget Office. For over 10 years he taught as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy and in 2002 he was an Institute of Politics Fellow at Harvard University. In 1990, he served as a member of Housing Secretary Jack Kemp's Advisory Commission on Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing.
Most recently, Butler has played a prominent role in the debate over health care and reform, arguing for solutions based on individual choice, state innovation, market competition, and social determinants of health. He has also been working on a wide range of other issues, including budget process reform, the future of higher education, economic mobility, and federal entitlement reform.
Stuart Butler was born in Shrewsbury, England and emigrated to the United States in 1975. He was educated at St. Andrews University in Scotland, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and mathematics in 1968, a Master of Arts degree in economics and history in 1971, and a Ph.D. in American economic history in 1978.
As the Chief Analytics Officer at Highmark Health, Richard focuses on delivering innovative data and advanced analytic solutions that fulfill Highmark Health’s mission of creating a remarkable health experience, freeing people to be their best.
Richard initially trained as a Neuroscientist and Biophysicist. Since moving out of academia, his experience includes large-scale data/ analytic transformations, building and scaling advanced analytic products, and building and managing Data Science teams. Richard is passionate about delivering business impact through advanced analytics, growing leaders that connect analytics to the business, and building diverse teams.
Richard arrived at Highmark in 2016 to assume the role of Vice President, Advanced Analytics and Reporting. Prior to that time, he was at McKinsey & Company for 9 years. While at Highmark, Richard has led several Analytics teams as well as Product, Clinical Services, and Human Centered Design. In 2020, he moved into the Chief Analytics Officer role, overseeing all Data and Analytics for Highmark Health.
Richard holds a B.S. in Neuroscience from Allegheny College and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC), a joint program between CMU and the University of Pittsburgh. During his doctoral work he studied under Dr. Jon Johnson and published 4 peer-reviewed articles that utilized a mixture of wet-lab research and kinetic modeling to investigate the functioning of NMDA receptors.
On a personal note, Richard and his wife, Shauna, have been married for 16 years and live in the Pittsburgh area. They have 2 children and 1 very loved dog. When not at work, Richard enjoys golfing, fishing and reading fantasy novels.
Barbara Crider, JD, is the Executive Director at York County Community Action in southern Maine, which is both a Community Action Agency and a Federally Qualified Health Center. Barbara has an extensive history of involvement with the health and human services sectors Maine.
Prior to her tenure with YCCAC, Barbara was an attorney in private practice, representing clients in Maine’s District, Superior, and Supreme Judicial Courts. She is the Founder and first Director of the Penquis Law Project, which provides legal counsel and representation primarily to victims of domestic violence. Barbara is the recipient of several awards, including the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service and the Robert M. Howes Visionary Award.
Manager, Ebeid Center & UpTown Ebeid Neighborhood Promise
Malcolm Cunningham Manager, Ebeid Center & UpTown Ebeid Neighborhood Promise
Malcolm Cunningham manages the Ebeid Center and the Ebeid Neighborhood Promise, focusing on the UpTown neighborhood in Toledo, Ohio. Both the Center and the Promise initiative aim to improve community health and wellbeing by addressing the upstream social determinants of health. His career to date reflects a few core questions: which interventions, supports, and funding structures are most critical to resilience? What does it take, at scale, to generate upward mobility and build health equity? What does it take, again, at scale, to mitigate the weathering and rapid aging that happen despite mobility and resilience?
It has, admittedly, taken several years to elucidate these questions and determine how to answer them best. This career includes building schools in Malawi, developing youth health education camps in Rwanda, and establishing an urban farm that taught youth with mental illnesses how to grow and prepare organic food. These experiences were personally meaningful and professionally impactful; however, he moved towards population health to engender a macro understanding of soil-level work. Regardless of where he intervenes, grounding his work in community voice and choice are guiding principles. Malcolm recently helped design a community engagement process that invested $2.8 Million in his childhood neighborhood, redlined in the late 1930s. Malcolm graduated from Ohio State with a BS in Psychology. Malcolm also dabbles in visual art, is a master urban farmer, and enjoys turning all of the things he grows or forages into either a galette or ice cream.
Kristen D. Daugherty, LISW, LCSW, MBA Chief Executive Officer
Emergence Health Network
Kristi Daugherty, CEO for Emergence Health Network, has over fifteen years of experience in the behavioral health arena. As chief executive for El Paso County’s Mental Health/Intellectual Disabilities Authority for El Paso County, Ms. Daugherty is responsible for all clinical and oversight services delegated through performance contracts with Texas Health & Human Services.
Previously, Ms. Daugherty served as Chief Clinical Officer for Emergence and as Director for Sun City Behavioral Health Care, Emergence’s non-profit subsidiary. She also has extensive experience in the private behavioral health sector, serving as Director of Clinical Services University Behavioral Health in El Paso and Director of Outpatient Services Mesilla Valley Hospital in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Ms. Daugherty is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Texas and a Licensed Independent Social Worker in the State of New Mexico. She has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from New Mexico State University and is a graduate of the Executive MBA Program at the University of Texas at El Paso.
Deb Donovan Vice President, SDOH Strategy & Operations
Deborah J. Donovan serves as the Vice President, SDOH Strategy & Operations, for Highmark Health, a national health and wellness organization and the second largest integrated health delivery and financing system in America. Her responsibilities include the development of organizational strategy and the implementation of a framework designed to create social and physical environments that promote good health for all. Efforts to impact Social Determinants of Health is focused on engaging matrixed partners to include hospitals, health systems, providers and community partners as to optimize integration of services and evolve the development of systems of care to routinely and effectively address patients’ social needs as an integral part of their medical care.
Earlier positions at Highmark include the Director of Clinical Integration with responsibility for strategy development for health plan and health system partnerships for clinical co- management of populations. She also had previous responsibility for the development and implementation of innovative value based reimbursement programs. Her areas of focus included Patient Centered Medical Homes, Accountable Care Organizations and Value-Based Reimbursement models.
Prior to joining Highmark, Ms. Donovan was the Chief Quality Officer for a multi hospital health system in Southwestern Pennsylvania. She has over 25 years of healthcare experience with a focus on health care quality improvement, patient safety and health information management.
Ms. Donovan received her Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management from the University of Pittsburgh and her Master of Arts in Leadership and Liberal Studies from Duquesne University.
Manager, Community Engagement Operational Performance
Kimberly Dull Manager, Community Engagement Operational Performance
Kimberly Dull is the Senior Manager of Operational Performance for Community Engagement at Novant Health, a not-for-profit integrated system of 18 medical centers and 680 clinics throughout the South East. Wanting to use her powers of empathy and intellect for good, she has held various leadership roles in not-for-profit higher education and healthcare, excelling in strategic planning, data analysis, collaborative communication and performance enhancement for 14 years.
In her current work, she utilizes data analysis and strategic communication to identify needs and elevate assets for maximum health, social, and financial impact at the patient, system and community level. She and her team share a vision of health equity and upward mobility in all communities.
She earned her B.A. in Broadcasting, B.S. in Political Science, and M.B.A. from Appalachian State University. Kimberly lives in the North Carolina mountains with her husband, Matt.
Administrator, Community Health Improvement/Executive Director
Ellen Fink-Samnick, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, CCM, CRP, DBH(s) Non-Executive Director
RISE SDoH Community
Ellen Fink-Samnick is an award-winning industry thought leader who empowers healthcare's transdisciplinary workforce. Known and highly respected as 'The Ethical Compass of Professional Case Management', she is a sought out professional speaker and author with hundreds of offerings and publications to her credit.
Ellen is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Board-certified Case Manager, Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, Certified Mental Health Integrative Medicine Provider, and Certified Rehabilitation Provider. Her academic affiliations include roles as subject matter expert for Western Governors University, and adjunct faculty for the University of Buffalo’s School of Social Work, and George Mason University’s Department of Social Work. She is also a Doctor in Behavioral Health candidate at Cummings Graduate Institute of Behavioral Health Studies.
Ellen's passion is evident across her varied roles as professional speaker, industry consultant, educator, blogger, continuing education content developer, accreditation specialist, clinical social work supervisor and professional mentor to the case management community. Her contributions transverse the industry’s professional associations and credentialing organizations. A past commissioner for the Commission for Case Manager Certification, and Chair of their Ethics and Professional Conduct Committee, member of the Board of Directors for the Case Management Society of America, Ellen serves on the editorial boards for the Professional Case Management Journal, Case Management Monthly, and RAC Monitor. More detailed information is available on her LinkedIn Profile.
Niesha N. Foster
Vice President, Product Access Global Health & Social Impact
Niesha N. Foster Vice President, Product Access Global Health & Social Impact
Niesha Foster is Vice President, Product Access, Global Health & Social Impact where her team is focused on health equity & eliminating the patient affordability challenge. In this role she is accountable for US Patient Assistance Programs, administered through Pfizer RxPathways, signature international product donation programs, such at the International Trachoma Initiative, and co-leading Pfizer’s Multicultural Health Equity Collective (MHEC). In partnership with patient advocacy and community-based organizations, the MHEC focuses on achieving health equity across ethnic groups and other underrepresented communities facing significant health disparities.
During her 17+ year Pfizer career, Niesha has led strategic and operational programs across commercial and platform functions. She was the finance lead for Pfizer’s HIV franchise and COPD program, responsible for developing the short and long-range forecasts for the brands. Niesha obtained compliance experience while creating and implementing Pfizer’s policies for interactions with healthcare professionals, the success of which aided in fulfilling the company’s requirements under its 2015 Corporate Integrity Agreement. Niesha is an operations expert having served as Chief of Staff to the Senior Vice President of Policy as well as to the President of Worldwide Research & Development. In addition, she was Corporate Affairs Lead focused on shaping the operating & access environment for the Rare Disease and Inflammation & Immunology business groups. In Rare Disease she created unique community partnerships, including with the National Newspapers Publishers Association, to amplify the needs of the sickle cell disease community.
Her professional experience prior to Pfizer, includes forecasting the National Football League’s (NFL) Annual Salary Cap and partnering with the NFL Players Association to ensure teams’ compliance with key elements of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. She was also an auditor at Price Waterhouse responsible for financial statement accuracy for clients ranging from The Girl Scouts USA to Viacom. Niesha holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Syracuse University and an MBA from the University of Virginia, Darden School of Business. She is currently a Board Member of New York Edge, the largest provider of after school programming for NYC public schools.
Ann Gantzer is the Vice President of Patient Services/Chief Nursing Officer at SwedishAmerican Health System in Rockford, Illinois. Central to this position, Ann is responsible for patient care delivery within two hospitals, along with home health care and pharmacy. Strategic direction, financial oversight, and service excellence are priorities in her current role. Ann has been a nurse for 30 years working in both clinical and academic settings. Ann is adjunct faculty in both the undergraduate and graduate programs for University of Phoenix.
Ann Gantzer has a PhD in organizational leadership with her dissertation focusing on “The Impact of Emotional Intelligence in the Nurse Leader and the Nursing Practice Environment”. She has earned both an MSN and MBA and is certified as a Nurse Executive, Advance by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Senior Vice President, Member and Community Health
Eve Gelb Senior Vice President, Member and Community Health
SCAN Health Plan
As the Senior Vice President of Member and Community Health at SCAN Health Plan, Eve works to develop programs and services that address the most critical needs of older adults. In her role she is responsible for the functions that focus on delivering a person-centered approach, including care management and coordination that go beyond healthcare alone. The goal is to meets the unique needs of older adults at every stage of their aging journey.
As a member of national coalitions that focus on supporting the most vulnerable of the older adult population, she serves as their voice, advocating for policy and legislation on their behalf. She is also an active member of the community advisory committee of the MPH program at Long Beach State University. She holds a Master of Public Health from Tulane University and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Dr. Linda Genen, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at ProgenyHealth, oversees our medical management and quality operations. As an experienced physician executive who has focused on maternal child health, Dr. Genen most recently served as a Senior Research Fellow for UnitedHealth Group Research and Development helping to advance research and develop innovations in healthcare. Prior to moving to R&D, she was most recently the Chief Medical Officer for Women’s Health at Optum servicing Fertility, Maternity and NICU programs. Previous roles involved National Medical Director at ParadigmHealth and Alere.
Dr. Genen earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and graduated with honors from Wellesley College. She received her Doctor of Medicine from the Status University of New York – Downstate Medical Center. She completed her pediatric residency at Columbia Presbyterian Babies and Children’s Hospital and her neonatology fellowship at Yale New have Children’s Hospital. Dr. Genen became interested in clinical research and attended the Yale School of Public Health during her fellowship, where she earned a master’s degree in public health focusing on evidence-based medicine. Dr. Genen remains clinically active as a neonatologist at Northwell Cohen Children’s Hospital and is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Hofstra University Medical School.
As executive vice president and chief of staff, Robert Gibson supports the achievement and measurement of the strategic plan and other key initiatives for Volunteers of America. As part of the organization's strategic direction, Gibson provides direct leadership for advancing innovation across the organization as we look for new ways to serve the nation's most vulnerable. This includes the organization's pilot effort "VOA Innovation for Impact." building a culture of innovation, selecting promising concepts, and developing and prototyping execution plans around those concepts. Gibson's team also supports capital development efforts within the organization, including real estate and structured financing products that will support growth opportunities. Prior to his current position, Gibson was senior vice president of housing operations and capital finance within Volunteers of America. Before coming to Volunteers of America, he worked for an international development nonprofit, focusing on community business development and financial products development in southern Africa. Gibson has bachelors and masters degrees in applied economics from the University of Wisconsin Madison.
John is the Founder and Chairman of Nightingale Partners LLC, a leading healthcare investment and advisory firm connecting capital to payers and providers of care to the medically underserved. John is the former Founder and former Executive Chairman of Gorman Health Group, at the time the industry’s leading consulting practice which spun-out nearly a dozen entrepreneurial ventures in government health programs. John’s work focuses on Medicare, Medicaid, and Affordable Care Act strategy, governance, and turnaround of distressed health plans. Prior to founding the firm, John served as Assistant to the Director of Health Care Financing Administration’s (HCFA, now CMS) Office of Managed Care, where he provided day-to-day management and served as the external liaison for the Medicare and Medicaid managed care programs. During the 1993 debate on national health care reform, John was chief lobbyist on health care financing issues for the National Association of Community Health Centers, an organization of federally-funded primary care clinics for the medically underserved. John’s career in Washington began as Press Secretary and Staff Director for U.S. Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), then Chairman of the Government Operations Committee. John serves on the Board of Directors of Henry Ford Health System’s Health Alliance Plan in his birthplace of Detroit, MI, and serves as a Senior Advisor to Premier, Inc., the hospital purchasing cooperative, on Medicare Advantage and Medicaid matters.
About Nightingale Partners LLC: Nightingale is a Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund and advisory firm connecting capital to payers and providers of care to the medically underserved, based in Washington, DC. Nightingale’s mission is to improve the quality of care and reduce unnecessary health care expenditures for the nation’s most vulnerable patients through advanced technology, locally-curated social services providers, and innovative financing to address Social Determinants of Health (SDOH).
Todd is a visionary Chief Product Officer with over 20 years of achievement driving growth, innovation, and profitability in the high-tech sector. As CPO, Todd brings this expertise to Clarify to deliver scalable technology solutions to our customers. Todd is responsible for the teams that lead product vision, innovation, design, development, and implementation. Todd fundamentally believes that through the deployment of technology and clinical expertise, we can improve the lives of patients and those that care for them.
Prior to founding Clarify Health, Todd was the EVP and CTO at Advent Software, where he led cutting-edge development efforts from ideation through revenue generation, serving as the critical bridge between business and engineering. Advent grew to service customers in 60 countries and over $18 trillion in assets before being acquired for $2.7B in 2015.
Todd holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology.
Catherine Hamilton Vice President, Consumer Services & Planning
BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont
Catherine is responsible for strategic planning, customer service and supporting board communications internally and externally. She is an advocate for health and wellness, a better consumer experience in health care and addressing root causes of health care outcomes.
Prior to her position at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont, she worked as a regulator of health plans at the City of New York’s Mayor’s Office of Medicaid Managed Care and in External Affairs for the Human Resources Administration in New York City. She has an academic appointment with the University Of Vermont School Of Medicine and is a lecturer in the Graduate School of Public Health.
She has an undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College and holds a doctorate in public administration from New York University in health services research, policy and management. Catherine has served on the boards of Girls on The Run Vermont, the Community Health Centers of Burlington, Steps to End Violence, Go Red for Women Vermont and the Green Mountain United Way. Currently, she is the Chair of the Board of THRIVE, an Accountable Community for Health in Central Vermont.
Catherine intentionally makes space for empathy and purposeful action in the workplace by encouraging her staff and fellow employees to embrace their own leadership abilities. By doing so, she creates a fearless, engaged, and generous culture. This approach to living with purpose plays an instrumental role in enhancing the corporate culture, reminding employees to be human, and to always put our members first.
Catherine is a professor of Public Health at the University of Vermont and a certified yoga instructor with a passion for adapting yoga to the chair. She is married and has four boys ages 14 to 26.
Amit Kale, MD, MHA Director of Healthcare Transformation
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ
Amit is a physician leader with extensive experience in healthcare payor, provider, and technology companies.
Amit serves as Director of Healthcare Transformation at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. He is responsible for designing and executing innovative clinical transformation & community healthcare programs across Horizon’s health system partners.
Amit is the architect of Horizon’s statewide Social Determinants of Health program, which is unique in its approach of a payor/provider collaborative model utilizing Community Health Workers and Personal Health Assistants. He has designed observational studies in Genomics/Proteomics and facilitated care delivery transformation in Supportive Care and Oncology.
Amit has led multiple initiatives related to Population Health, Value Based Care, Care Management Redesign and Operating Model Transformation.
Prior to working at Horizon BCBSNJ, Amit worked for 7 years in management consulting and healthcare startups in the payor, provider, and financial services industry. Amit received his medical degree from University of Mumbai and his master’s degree in health administration from Cornell University.
Mindi Knebel is the founder & CEO of Kaizen Health, as well as Chair of the company’s Board of Directors.
A startup junkie who is passionate about social entrepreneurship, Mindi has worked across several industries and has seen companies from inception through successful exit.
Mindi was on the founding team at MATTER, a healthcare technology incubator formed through a public-private partnership in the city of Chicago. Prior to her time at MATTER, she led sales operations, accounting/finance, human resources and corporate development initiatives for growth stage companies in service, veterinary, and technology industries.
Mindi holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and a master’s in business from Colorado Technical University. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, running, yoga, reading and is an avid Packers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Cubs, Bulls and Blackhawks fan.
Elena Marks leads the Episcopal Health Foundation (EHF), a $1 billion+ Houston-based foundation dedicated to improving community health by partnering with local organizations to implement innovative approaches to address the non-medical, root causes of poor health, rather than just treating symptoms.
She is also a non-resident fellow in health policy at Rice University's Baker Institute where her work focuses on health reform and access to care for low-income and uninsured populations. She serves on the boards of Grantmakers in Health, the largest national health philanthropy organization; Harris Health System, a public hospital system serving over 300,000 patients annually; and Community Health Choice, a nonprofit, community-based health plan with more than 400,000 members. Elena previously served as the Chairman of the Board of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and worked as the City of Houston's Director of Health and Environmental Policy.
Elena works with communities to inspire change in the health system by addressing SDOH. Medical care is only 20% of what contributes to a person's health. The remaining 80% is determined by social and economic status, health behaviors, and the physical environment, among other factors. There can be more than a 20-year difference in how long Texans live in one neighborhood compared to another, even though they may only be a few miles apart.
Andy McMahon Vice President, Health and Human Services Policy
UnitedHealthcare Community & State
Andy McMahon is the Vice President of Health and Human Services Policy at UnitedHealthcare Community & State. UnitedHealthcare Community & State proudly serves nearly 6.4 million Medicaid members in 31 states, plus Washington D.C. UnitedHealthcare is a division of UnitedHealth Group, a health and well-being company with a mission to help people live healthier lives and help make the health system work better for everyone.
In his current role, Andy focuses on integrating and collaborating across an array of public systems to provide better care at lower costs for populations with complex health needs. Andy works with UnitedHealthcare’s Medicaid managed care plans and the myConnections™ team, employing a multi-pronged strategy including policy/systems reform, partnership building, impact investments, and data analytics to better support our members. Andy’s programmatic portfolio includes work in affordable and supportive housing, human services, justice-involved populations and child welfare.
Prior to joining UnitedHealthcare, Andy worked at the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) for 15 years, most recently as the Vice President for Policy and External Affairs. At CSH, Andy led an array of national, state, and local efforts to align systems and integrate resources to create supportive housing opportunities for vulnerable populations. Andy also led CSH's work to develop Pay for Success and impact investing models for supportive housing.
Prior to CSH, Andy held positions in both state and local government, as a lobbyist for state housing and community development agencies in Washington, D.C., and helped found and was the first executive director of a non-profit housing organization in Minnesota.
Senior Vice President, Health Outcomes and Informatics
David Meyer Senior Vice President, Health Outcomes and Informatics
David Meyer is a nationally recognized thought leader and change agent, with over 20 years of experience in healthcare commercial and government programs operations, data science, clinical outcomes, revenue and quality. He currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Health Outcomes and Informatics at NationsBenefits, where he is building-out the Research and Data Services unit of the company. In pervious roles, he has run revenue, quality and healthcare informatics for both regional and national health plans, spanning both Medicare Advantage and Commercial products. He has been a RISE Advisory Executive Board Member 12+ years, and is a frequently invited speaker at conferences and summits.
Len M. Nichols in a non-resident Fellow at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., and an Emeritus Professor of Health Policy at George Mason University. For the past 10 years he was the Director of the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics (CHPRE) at George Mason. He has been intimately involved in health reform debates, policy development, and communication with the media and policy makers for 20+ years, after he was Senior Advisor for Health Policy at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in the Clinton Administration. Since that time he has testified frequently before Congress and state legislatures, published widely and spoken to a very large number of hospital associations, physician groups, and health policy forums around the country. Len is often asked to provide technical expertise to members of Congress, governors, state legislators, and other policy officials around the country. He has consistently sought to add moral arguments to the technical health policy debate.
After OMB Len was a Principle Research Associate at the Urban Institute, Vice President of the Center for Studying Health System Change, and Director of the Health Policy Program at the New America Foundation. Len is also on the Board of Directors of the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Len has been an advisor to the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative, the Virginia Health Reform Initiative, an Innovation Advisor to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation at CMS, and has been the Principal Investigator on PCMH evaluation studies as well as more general ways to use payment and delivery reform to achieve triple aim and health equity goals. Len served on the Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC), which advises the Secretary of HHS on Alternative Payment Models, from 2015-2019. Len’s research focus now is on incentivizing collaborative financing of social determinants of health. Len’s first job was teaching economics at Wellesley College from 1980-1991, where he became Associate Professor and Economics Department Chair, after receiving his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Illinois in 1980. Len got his B.A. from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, and an M.A. in Economics from the University of Arkansas.
Angel Oddo VP, Clinical Care Services/Gov’t Program
Results driven executive with 25+ years of experience in health care administration and operations driving utilization and case management, clinical quality, provider engagement programs and healthcare technology solutions in senior level and C-Suite positions.
Ms. Oddo serves as the Vice President of Clinical Care Services for Government Programs for Sentara Health Plans. In this role Ms. Oddo has primary P&L accountability for the oversight and administration of utilization and case management for Medicare and Medicaid members, along with clinical initiatives focused on cost savings and improving quality outcomes.
Prior to joining Optima Health Plan, Ms. Oddo was the Vice President of Healthcare Operations for ARDX, Inc., a healthcare consulting and technology organization. As the executive leader with responsibility for quality improvement and achieving CMMI Level 5, product development, sales, human resources and operations, Ms. Oddo was responsible for driving revenue growth for the federal, state and local government contracting sectors through the development and oversight of solutions focused on healthcare policy, population health and data analytics.
Prior to ARDX, Ms. Oddo was the Senior Vice President of Quality Products and Solutions for Inovalon, serving as the GM for all aspects of clinical and technical program functionality, operations, and outcomes performance. Inovalon is a technology company using data-driven intervention platforms to support health plans and providers with clinical and quality outcomes, utilization, and financial performance. Ms. Oddo also served as the national clinical quality leader for Anthem, Inc. In this role, Ms. Oddo drove company strategy and execution for 48 health plans’ clinical quality performance for Medicaid, Medicare and Commercial populations and products with accountability for results tied to HEDIS, CMS QRS Stars, CMS HEDIS Stars, Medicaid Value Based Purchasing Programs as well as NCQA and URAC. Previous roles in other organizations have included the Vice President of Clinical Health Services and Quality for Aetna (formerly Coventry), Chief Operating Officer for Vale-U-Health and other innovation positions in medical management with UPMC Health Plan and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Ms. Oddo holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Penn State University, a master’s degree in Public Management with a concentration in Health Systems from Carnegie Mellon University H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Health, and completion of the Business Analytic Program at Harvard University, a collaboration between Harvard’s Business School (HBS), School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS). She holds active Registered Nurse Compact Licensure (25 states), is a member of the American College of HealthCare Executives, the American Association of Managed Care Nurses and Sigma Theta Tau Beta Sigma Chapter of the International Honor Society of Nursing. Ms. Oddo is also a board certified executive and currently serves as a Board Member of ARDX Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on mental wellness.
Jane Pirsig has over 30 years leadership experience in mental health, social service, and aging services. Jane led the successful integration of Milwaukee’s oldest family service agency into Aurora Health Care (now Advocate Aurora Health), a $5 billion regional healthcare provider, establishing innovative services in clinic social work, social service navigation, chronic illness supportive counseling, public benefits counseling, emergency department interventions with high utilizers, targeted home visitation services for families of high risk infants, and training in medical family therapy.
Jane is a subject matter expert in the translation of social care integration from concept to operational reality. Since 2018 Jane has advanced local and national innovation in addressing social determinants of health through work with electronic health record provider EPIC, Wisconsin Association of Child & Family Agencies (WAFCA), Root Cause Coalition, and the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, the national social action network of over 1,000 social care leaders.
Jane holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and a MSW from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Helen Bader School of Social Welfare.
Rev. Alexander Plum Director, Clinical & Social Health Integration
Henry Ford Health System
Rev. Alexander Plum, MPH, CHES, is Henry Ford Health System’s Director of Clinical and Social Health Integration, a Senior Investigator with Henry Ford’s Global Health Initiative, and a provisionally ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church. In his roles, Rev. Plum serves as a bridge builder between the church and the world, leading efforts to address the social determinants of health and improve the primary health care of populations, specifically in line with God’s preferential option for the poor. At Henry Ford, Alex establishes, directs, and evaluates programs designed to connect integrated care teams with community social services with a special focus on business sustainability, value-based care, and return on investment. In his global health role, Alex guides and evaluates Henry Ford’s “global to local” portfolio of programs to improve and optimize equitable clinical care delivery by adapting and applying evidence-based models from low-resource settings around the world. At Cass Community United Methodist Church, Rev. Plum partners with student doctors from Wayne State University to facilitate a weekly free clinic. Alex is a Salzburg Global Fellow, a former Paul D. Coverdell Fellow, and a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Micronesia, 2008-2011). He is a 2015 alumnus of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University (MPH, Behavioral Science & Health Education), which honored him that year with the Emory University Humanitarian Award. Alex graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Michigan State University (BA, International Relations & Political Economy) in 2008. He is currently pursuing an MBA in entrepreneurship and innovation at Wayne State University.
Melissa has a decade of experience in health care regulatory policy and implementation at both the federal and state levels. Melissa is a Vice President at Sirona Strategies, where she focuses on healthcare policy and regulatory analysis and strategy development related to healthcare financing, benefits and coverage, Health IT, drug pricing, public health, and other issue areas. Additionally, Melissa is the Co-Chair of Aligning for Health, a social determinants advocacy organization focused on advancing policy solutions to improve wellbeing and health equity. In this role, she works closely with payers, providers, health systems, non-healthcare organizations, state and local governments, the federal government, and Congress, in developing and promoting cross-sector, coordinated solutions to address health and social needs. Prior to joining Sirona Strategies, Melissa spent five years at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight working on a range of Affordable Care Act implementation activities. She also has experience in issues related to Medicaid eligibility, verification, and pharmaceutical policy from her time in the Office of the Governor of Alabama, and advising the Massachusetts Medicaid program as part of her Master’s Practicum. Melissa holds a BS from Cornell University and an MPP from the Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Senior Vice President, Government Markets and Strategic Initiatives
Sara Ratner Senior Vice President, Government Markets and Strategic Initiatives
Sara is currently the Senior Vice President, Government Markets and Strategic Initiatives at Icario. Previously, Sara was the CEO of HealthEHR where she helped venture-backed organizations develop Medicare and Medicaid program strategies for emerging markets leveraging CMS and state frameworks to generate opportunities for program development and expansion. Sara has also served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Systems and Compliance at RedBrick Health, President of NeoPath Health, and as General Counsel, VP of Strategic Partnerships and Human Resources at CVS CareMark (MinuteClinic division).
Sara serves on several Boards of Directors, including Proximal Health, a venture-backed health insurance company that she co-founded; she has also previously served on other for-profit and nonprofit Boards of Directors. Throughout her career Sara has received notable awards such as the Business Journal Top 25 Women to Watch, Top 40 under 40, and was named part of Twin Cities Business Real Power 50.She earned a B.A, cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis, and her J.D. from St. Louis University graduating magna cum laude.
Dr. Reider joined Alliance because as a family physician, he wants the world to be more healthy. He has worked for decades to improve the health of our communities through the innovative use of technology, and the promotion of benevolence in business. He is currently CEO of Alliance For Better Health, a New York DSRIP care transformation initiative, Chief Health Officer of Health Coda, and co-founder of RS Partners, a health IT consulting and investing firm. He previously served as the Deputy National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the US Department of Health and Human Services. In his three years at HHS, he was responsible for the policies and programs designed to improve health through the development and implementation of safer, more resilient, reliable, usable, helpful and interoperable information technology. He has more than 20 years of experience in health information technology with a special interest in user experience, clinical decision support and information portability. He served as the CMIO of Allscripts, one of the nation’s largest health IT developers, and was Associate Dean for Biomedical Informatics at Albany Medical College where he continues to teach on an adjunct basis. He co-founded four successful health IT start-up companies, and has held Directorships on boards of both non-profits and private companies. He has also held leadership roles in the American Medical Informatics Association and the New York State Academy of Family Physicians. His interests include organizational leadership and culture, shared clinical decision-making and evidence-based management of common outpatient conditions.
Dr. Andrew Renda Vice President of Population Health
Dr. Andrew Renda is Vice President of Humana’s Bold Goal and Population Health Strategy, leading Humana’s mission to help improve the health of the communities it serves by making it easier for people to achieve their best health.
His work includes leading four population health and social determinants of health work streams: Insights, Strategy & Execution, Informatics, and Thought Leadership. A published author and speaker in the fields of population health, social determinants of health and chronic disease, Dr. Renda’s work strives to inform co-created solutions to improve community health.
Previous roles have included advancing clinical models of care through development, implementation and evaluation of population health initiatives aimed at preventing and delaying progression of chronic disease. This included product and benefit design, as well as health projects ranging from messaging campaigns and self-care interventions to clinician-led disease management programs. Significant initiatives include: Chronic Condition Special Needs Plans (C-SNP), Metabolic Syndrome Support Service, Asthma and COPD disease management and self-care programs, Sleep Apnea diagnostics and management strategy, Flu and pneumonia campaign, Tobacco cessation service integration and outreach.
Dr. Renda has a B.S. in psychology and biology from the University of Kentucky where he was a National Science Foundation Undergraduate Fellow. He received his medical degree and a diploma in clinical psychiatry from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, followed by a Masters in Public Health from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Ali Rosenberg is a project manager for quality data at the Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) where she supports members hospitals in utilizing data to make improvements on a variety of patient safety metrics. Throughout her career in healthcare, she has worked on a number of quality initiatives from increasing access to medications for opioid use disorder to implementing multidisciplinary rounding in the pediatric ICU. Ali earned her Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in maternal and child health at the George Washington University.
April Schetler, MS, RD, FAND AVP, Community Health Engagement
April Schetler is the Assistant Vice President of Community Health Engagement and Chair of the Community Health Institute at Virtua Health. She is a Registered Dietitian and Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as well as adjunct professor at Rowan University. In her role at Virtua, April has the privilege of leading a robust enterprise-wide community health strategy. She advances health equity by creating and guiding community improvement programs that address health disparities, with an emphasis on ensuring our communities have access to healthy, affordable food.
April holds a Bachelor of Science in Coordinated Dietetics from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ and a Master of Science in Exercise Science and Health Promotion from California University of Pennsylvania.
April is a 15 time marathon finisher, self-proclaimed food nerd and most importantly, mother to her 4 year old son, Jackson.
Melissa Sherry Vice President of Social Care Integration
Melissa Sherry is the Vice President of Social Care Integration at Unite Us, where she works to design payments technology and services to increase funding for social care and community capacity building. She previously served as Director of Population Health Innovation and Transformation at Johns Hopkins HealthCare, where she implemented population health management strategies focused on addressing the social determinants of health. Dr. Sherry specialized in translating available population health data into meaningful and actionable strategies to reduce costs, improve health outcomes, and improve patient satisfaction, with a focus on long-term sustainability.
Dr. Sherry has over 12 years of experience working on population health management and public health strengthening initiatives, both domestically and internationally, including work in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Europe. Dr. Sherry has worked with organizations such as the World Health Organization, Jhpiego, and Johns Hopkins International on initiatives to strengthen healthcare systems and improve population health, and has authored manuscripts and book chapters on topics related to strengthening population health through community engagement, cross-sector partnerships, and creating evidence for action.
Dr. Sherry holds a Masters in Public Health degree with a focus on Health Systems, a Certificate in Global Health, and a PhD from the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Sherry also holds a BS and a BA from The Ohio State University.
Megan Shreve is the CEO of South Central Community Action Programs (SCCAP), which serves more than 30,000 individuals in South Central Pennsylvania. Over the past 35 years, Megan has worked in the health and human service field implementing numerous programs designed to help at risk children, youth, and families build a better future. She has also worked in the private sector consulting on business process analysis, implementation, and training around large change management projects. Megan is committed to working on the micro and macro level to reduce poverty and strengthen the economic and social infrastructure of communities. Her current work, in partnership with local health systems, on the Social Determinants of Health has brought a deeper commitment to whole family wellbeing. She recently served as the chair of a local hospital Board of Directors and currently serves as the vice chair of a regional health system Board of Directors. She volunteers for the Adams and Franklin County Support Circles initiatives and enjoys walking alongside families on their journey to a better future.
Tamara has 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 meaningful outcomes for communities that need it most. Through her work, Tamara has established initiatives that have achieved significant health improvements and financial impacts, building models of care delivery that are improving access to quality healthcare for all. In her free time, Tamara loves to spend quality time with her husband and 2 sons, sharing new experiences, and being a self-proclaimed foodie.
Suzy Sonnier Vice President, Strategy and Development
Suzy Sonnier is a dynamic leader with more than 20 years of experience advocating for healthcare, human services and education. She is especially passionate about driving results within complex systems through shared strategies, innovative thinking and focused execution.
Prior to being selected as Vice President of Strategy and Development for UnitedHealthcare Community and State, Sonnier served as the founding Executive Director of the Baton Rouge Health District. In her role, she worked with hospital administrators, government agencies, community leaders and healthcare professionals creating a unified medical community to coordinate investment decisions, enhance care in the region, facilitate economic development and position Baton Rouge as a healthcare destination.
Sonnier previously served as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services where she managed Louisiana’s child welfare, child support enforcement, disability determination services and low-income economic assistance programs. Prior to that she was Chief Operations Officer for the Louisiana Workforce Commission, Deputy Secretary for the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services and Director of Policy for the Louisiana Department of Health. She holds a Master of Science in Public Administration from Louisiana State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
Sonnier is a graduate of the Nashville Health Care Council 2020 Fellows program and currently serves on the Chattanooga Interagency Council on Homeless and Chattanooga FUSE Advisory Council.
Population Health Lead, Population Health Strategy
Jennifer Spear Population Health Lead, Population Health Strategy
Jennifer Spear is a Population Health Strategy Lead with Humana’s population health team. Jennifer is in charge of executing interventions and programs that address food insecurity in Humana’s member population and the communities they serve. Additionally, she works closely with community partners, the clinical community and other partners to address the health related social needs, particularly food insecurity, of people, where they are receiving care. Spear previously led employee awareness strategies dedicated to raising awareness around the importance of social determinants of health and Healthy Days. Prior to her role working with food insecurity, Spear implemented member call programs that focused on Healthy Days assessments, which is how Humana is tracking progress toward its Bold Goal – that the communities it serves will be 20 percent healthier by 2020 and beyond.
Dr. Ellen (Ellie) Stang is a board-certified pediatrician and in 2003, founded ProgenyHealth®to address the need for improved care management and health outcomes for premature and medically complex newborns. Today, ProgenyHealth works with thousands of NICUs in all fifty states and is a recognized leader in deploying evidence-based neonatal care management services.
Prior to founding ProgenyHealth, Dr. Stang spent her career dedicated to the pursuit of providing high quality health care to pediatric patients. Her career has spanned working in private practice where she was Co-Director of the newborn nursery, to working as a regional pediatric medical director for a managed Medicaid health plan. She received her undergraduate BS degree from Dickinson College and her MD from The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. She completed her pediatric residency at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia.
Dr. Stang has received many awards and recognitions for her work, and most recently received the 2017 March of Dimes Roosevelt Award for Humanity. She was also selected as a 2015 Brava Award winner as a leading female CEO. In 2014, she also was a finalist for the Philadelphia Business Journal Innovation awards for Health Care CEO of the year. She was honored in 2013 as the Gold Winner for Female Entrepreneur of the Year at the 10th Annual International Stevie Awards for Women in Business in New York City. In 2012, Dr. Stang was recognized as one of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women. She is also the past-President, and currently a board member, of the Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs in Philadelphia, and is also a member of the Board of Trustees at Gwynedd Mercy University.
Built Environment Coordinator
Office of Primary Prevention - Tennessee Department of Health
Office of Primary Prevention - Tennessee Department of Health
Shannon Velasquez graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 2011 with a B.S. in Biology. While serving in the Air Force as a Space Operations Officer, she had training for the additional duty of Physical Training Leader, designing physical activity plans to keep her troops healthy. Upon moving to Tennessee, she started working for the Office of Primary Prevention at the Tennessee Department of Health in 2019. As Built Environment Coordinator and Grants Manager, she supports the State’s seven regional Healthy Development Coordinators in various programs and initiatives that promote access to physical activity and healthy foods through healthy built environment planning, programming, and infrastructure projects. She is currently working on her M.S. in Biology at Middle Tennessee State University with a focus on Forensics and Epigenetics.
Regina Vercilla Vice President, Clinical Strategy and Innovation
Regina is the Vice President, Clinical Strategy and Innovation for Gateway Health, an MCO based in Pittsburgh. In this role, she is responsible for driving strategy to create member centric solutions to support the member journey to self-reliance, including innovative and transformative programs related to technology and social determinants of health. During her time at Gateway, she has overseen the development of the SDOH strategy as well as implementation of a number of initiatives, including programs focused on transportation, food, housing and community driven initiatives. Regina has more than 35 years of healthcare operational and consulting experience and a history of progressive hospital leadership experience. Prior to joining Gateway, she was with Deloitte Consulting, where she worked with organizations on Case Management redesign, Capacity Management, as well as assessing and implementing Clinical Effectiveness initiatives. Prior to Deloitte, Regina held various roles in healthcare, including Director, Vice President in acute care, and CEO of an LTACH.
Regina has supported numerous philanthropic/community organizations throughout her career, including Allies for Health and Wellbeing, Coro Center for Civic Leadership, and Off the Floor (The Furniture Bank). She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
Regina received a BSN from Carlow University in Pittsburgh, and a Masters in Health Services Administration from the University of St. Francis.
As the Division Chief of Training for the Rockford Fire Department, Bob is responsible for the administrative and management work involved in planning, organizing, directing and supervising the Department's fire and emergency medical services training programs. Bob previously held the position of the Department's EMS Coordinator, and was directly involved in the development and implementation of the Department's Mobile Integrated Healthcare Program (MIHP). Bob has been with the Rockford Fire Department for 32 years.
John Vick, Ph.D
Evaluation and Assessment Director
Office of Primary Prevention - Tennessee Department of Health
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).
Anna Wetherbee Principal, Technology Innovation and Integration
Blue Shield of California
Anna Wetherbee has 15 years experience in the healthcare industry, in both start up and large integrated systems. In her current role, Anna leads strategy execution for Blue Shield of California programs in clinical quality, risk adjustment, population health, and clinical data infrastructure transformation. She is passionate about creating measurable change in the healthcare industry to improve quality, access and sustainability. Anna holds a Master of Business Administration, and certifications as a Project Management Professional and Lean Black Belt.
Essey Yirdaw received her Master’s degree from Colorado School of Public Health in 2015 in Health Systems, Management and Policy. Before CHA, she worked at the University of Colorado for more than 6 years where she served in several capacities in the Department of Medicine – from program manager to division administrator – most recently working as program manager for the School of Medicine. Essey is most passionate about using data to help hospitals and health systems improve patient outcomes while providing quality care and reducing costs.
Wayne Young is the Chief Executive Officer of The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD, the state-designated Local Mental Health Authority and Local Intellectual and Developmental Disability Authority for Harris County, Texas. As the CEO of one of the largest behavioral health organizations in the nation, Wayne is passionate about the planning and delivery of large-scale behavioral health and intellectual and developmental disabilities services to a population who rely upon safety net systems of care. Wayne previously served as the chair of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Behavioral Health Advisory Council and was recently appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas and Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas to the Texas Judicial Commission on Mental Health. In 2019, Wayne was honored to have been named to Modern Healthcare’s list of Top 25 Innovators and to have received the Charley H. Shannon Advocate for Justice Award from NAMI Texas.