2024 Speakers

Association for Community Affiliated Plans

Jennifer McGuigan Babcock

Senior Vice President for Medicaid Policy
State of Nebraska

Kevin Bagley, DHA, MBA, FACHE

Former Medicaid Director
Rosarium Health

Cameron Carter

CEO and Co-Founder
Catholic Medical Partners

Carmela Costiniuk, B.Sc. OT, MHA, D. EdD (C)

Vice President, Population Health and Clinical Transformation
AmeriHealth Caritas DC

Karen M. Dale, R.N., MSN

Market President , Chief, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer
Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation

Kate Davidson, LCSW

Director, Learning and Diffusion Group
Washington State Health Care Authority

Glory Dole, BSN, MA, RN

Section Manager, Medicaid Contract and Compliance, Medicaid Programs Division
Health Plan of San Mateo

Chris Esguerra, MD

Chief Medical Officer
Wider Circle

Bill Friedman

VP of Payer Engagement
Elevance Health

Merrill Friedman

Regional Vice President, Inclusive Policy & Advocacy
SAMHSA

Neeraj Gandotra, MD

Chief Medical Officer
Wolomi

Layo George, BSN, MHSA

CEO and Founder
Sentara Health Plans

Kristyn Greifer, MD

SVP, Chief Medical Officer
UCare

Jon Hamdorf, MBA

Former Kansas Medicaid Director, Market President
ADvancing States

Camille Infussi Dobson

Deputy Executive Director
Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services

Lisa Jobe-Shields, Ph.D.

Behavioral Health Division Director
Kaizen Health

Mindi Knebel

Founder & CEO
Sentara Health Plans

Robert Krebbs

Vice President, Value Based Care & Provider Enablement
Arkansas Department of Human Services

Janet Mann

Deputy Director of Health and State Medicaid Director
Partners Health Plan and Care Design NY

Steven Merahn, MD

Medical Director
Genesee Health Plan

Jim Milanowski

CEO
Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan

Jennifer Nuovo, MD

Chief Medical Officer
Medical Director, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Joe Parks, MD

Chief Medical Officer, firsthand
Catholic Medical Partners

Margaret Paroski, MD, MMM

President & CEO and Chief Medical Officer
Salo Health Strategies

Matt Salo

Founder/CEO
K. Scott Concepts

Kalin Scott

Principal
ACHP

Nissa Shaffi

Associate Director, Public Policy
Elevance Health

Catherine Kelley Silva, MPP

Senior Director, Government Relations, Virginia
Banner Health Plans

Sarah Spiekermeier

Chief Operating Officer
Catholic Medical Partners

Barry Stelmach

Chief Financial Officer
UVA Health

Jonathan Swanson, MD

Chief Quality Officer, Children’s Services, Medical Director, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Aetna/Medicaid

Marti Taylor

CEO, OhioRISE
Vice President
Banner Health Plans

Ryan Thomsen

Senior Director, Government Programs—Medicaid
Mostly Medicaid

Kris Vilamaa

Partner and Chief Growth Officer
Virginia Center for Health Innovation

Lauryn Walker

Chief Strategy Officer
Elevance Health

Alyssa M. Ward, Ph.D., LCP

Behavioral Health Clinical Director, Virginia Medicaid Line of Business
Speakers Biographies


Jennifer McGuigan Babcock

Senior Vice President for Medicaid Policy
Association for Community Affiliated Plans

Jennifer McGuigan Babcock is ACAP’s Senior Vice President for Medicaid Policy. She also spent over four years as ACAP’s Vice President for Exchanges. In 2010, she served the Eligibility and Enrollment team within the Office of Health Insurance Exchanges in the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (OCIIO, now known as CCIIO), focusing primarily on the interplay between Medicaid and Exchange coverage. Before joining OCIIO, Jennifer served as ACAP’s Director of Policy, working primarily on Medicaid and CHIP health plan issues. Previously, she worked on policy related to Medicaid, CHIP, the uninsured, and private health insurance in the Office of Health Policy for the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at the Department of Health and Human Services.

She has also held positions with CHIP at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as special assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Health Care Financing at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and as an associate consultant with The Lewin Group in Falls Church. Jennifer also served as an MPH Fellow at the Consumer Health Foundation in Washington, D.C., and as Executive Director of the Lovelight Foundation, an anti-poverty organization in Detroit. She has a Masters of Public Health from the University of Michigan, Department of Health Management and Policy, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Kalamazoo College in Michigan. Jenny was recently given an award for Excellence in a Federal Issue Campaign by the Professional Women in Advocacy for her work to require states to report on pediatric quality measures in CHIP and Medicaid.

Kevin Bagley, DHA, MBA, FACHE

Former Medicaid Director
State of Nebraska

Kevin Bagley, DHA, MBA, FACHE is passionate about finding ways to improve the systems of care that support Medicaid participants across the country. Kevin’s most recent role was as the Medicaid Director for the state of Nebraska, serving under two Governors, Pete Ricketts and Jim Pillen. Prior to serving as Nebraska’s Medicaid Director, Kevin served as the Director of LTSS for the state of Utah’s Medicaid program.

Kevin served on the Board of Directors at the National Association of Medicaid Directors, the Nebraska Health Information Technology Board and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Kevin earned his Doctor of Healthcare Administration from Central Michigan University and his Master’s in Business Administration from Utah State University. Kevin enjoys reading at night with his four kids, playing board games and walking the dogs with his wife.

Cameron Carter

CEO and Co-Founder
Rosarium Health

Cameron Carter is the CEO and Co-Founder of Rosarium Health (Rosarium). Rosarium is a value- based enablement platform to address the home environment as a form of care with home modifications. Prior to launching Rosarium, he spent the past decade in value-based care operation and business development roles at DaVita Inc, Bright Health, Evolent Health, and Truven Health Analytics. Cameron began his career in academia studying the physiological effects of healthcare disparities.

Carmela Costiniuk, B.Sc. OT, MHA, D. EdD (C)

Vice President, Population Health and Clinical Transformation
Catholic Medical Partners

Carmela Costiniuk is Vice President of Population Health and Clinical Transformation at Catholic Medical Partners, the largest network of independent practice physicians in Buffalo, NY, with nearly 900 physician members. She develops and implements population health and operational strategies and oversees the operations team, which provides direct support to physician practices to improve quality performance and care coordination across the health continuum.

A native of Canada, Carmela earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Toronto and her Masters in Health Services Administration from D’Youville University where she is currently completing her Doctoral Degree in Health Administration.

  Carmela has held various administrative positions in home and community based care, acute care, long-term care, and the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) Ontario Ministry of Health.

Karen M. Dale, R.N., MSN

Market President, Chief, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer
AmeriHealth Caritas DC

Karen M. Dale is the Market President for AmeriHealth Caritas’ Medicaid managed care organization (MCO) in Washington, D.C. the Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer (CDEIO) for the AmeriHealth Caritas Family of companies. As CDEIO, Dale leads the planning and implementation of diversity and inclusion strategies across the organization to link workforce, workplace, health equity, and supplier diversity with measurable business and company cultural outcomes. Having held multiple positions of leadership over several decades, Dale has worked with a broad group of stakeholders to address policies and other key factors impacting the delivery of health care services. Dale’s vision for health equity is notably reflected in key programs addressing Black maternal health, racism, housing, transportation, violence interruption, and food insecurity. She works tirelessly to inspire leaders to re-imagine healthcare as an ecosystem that promotes wellness without barriers, holistic human-centered approaches, collaborative relationships with providers and community partners, and use of alternative payment models to create scalable solutions with positive community, social, clinical and quality impact.

Kate Davidson, LCSW

Director, Learning and Diffusion Group
Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation

Kate Davidson, LCSW is the Director of the Learning and Diffusion Group (LDG) at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  In this role, Ms. Davidson leads CMMI’s team focused on accelerating healthcare system transformation by leveraging improvement science within and across models, as well as leading the multi-payer alignment strategy for the Center through the Healthcare Payment Learning and Action Network (HCP-LAN). Prior to joining CMS, Ms. Davidson led Policy and Practice Improvement efforts at the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, where she managed payment reform, quality improvement, and workforce development initiatives in mental health and addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery organizations and provided training and technical assistance to human services organizations, counties and states. Ms. Davidson began her career in healthcare as a social worker researching, testing and scaling interventions in primary care, behavioral health and community-based settings.  Ms. Davidson has an MSW from Fordham University and a BA from Loyola College in Maryland.

Kerry Delaney

CEO
Partners Health Plan and Care Design NY

Kerry Delaney currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Care Design NY (CDNY), Partners Health Plan (PHP), and Partnership Solutions. These three companies collectively serve nearly 30,000 New Yorkers with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD), providing comprehensive and integrated care management, a managed care program for dual-eligible individuals with I/DD and a management service organization dedicated to bringing top-tier administrative and management services to I/DD organizations. Prior to joining these organizations, Kerry served for over four years as the Acting Commissioner of the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), a service provider, employer of over 18,000 staff, and oversight agency for over 700 providers. In this capacity, she constituted a stakeholder Transformation Panel and oversaw implementation of its 40-plus recommendations to improve the system of services for people with developmental disabilities; developed and oversaw implementation of Care Coordination Organizations, a new, comprehensive care coordination model developed by OPWDD providers; put the State on a path toward provider-led managed care for developmental disability services; and oversaw a redesign of the State’s rate structure and quality measurement for OPWDD not-for-profit providers. Prior to serving as Acting Commissioner, she served as Executive Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel at OPWDD and was an Assistant Counsel to the Governor. Ms. Delaney is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Albany Law School where she served as an Executive Editor for Lead Articles on the Albany Law Review and a Dean Thomas Sponslor Honors Teaching Fellowship.

Glory Dole, BSN, MA, RN

Section Manager, Medicaid Contract and Compliance, Medicaid Programs Division
Washington State Health Care Authority

Glory Dole has been a nurse for 2 decades. She oversees Washington State Health Care Authority’s Medicaid Contracts and Compliance. She is experienced in bringing people together to develop collaborative and effective solutions in complex systems, and is particularly focused on reducing health disparities in access through the Complex Discharge Program in Medicaid Managed Care.

Chris Esguerra, MD

Chief Medical Officer
Health Plan of San Mateo

An experienced healthcare leader, Chris Esguerra, MD, MBA, FAPA, CHCQM has led systems transformation, program evolution, and public/private partnerships leading to outcomes meeting the quadruple aim of improving health, cost effectiveness, enhancing patient experience, and supporting provider well-being. He serves as Chief Medical Officer for Health Plan of San Mateo, a local community plan serving Medicaid and dually eligible Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. He also advises nonprofits partnering in healthcare delivery, healthcare startups, and provider groups. His experience encompasses health care provider and systems leadership, managed care operations, novel payment models, public-private partnerships, and health care transformation. He has led significant efforts around integration of care and services for a variety of populations, holistically addressing social determinants of health in healthcare delivery, and helping people remain and age in the community with appropriate long-term services and supports. He most recently served on a National Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine committee that published Integrating Social Needs Care into the Delivery of Health Care to Improve the Nation's Health.

Dr. Esguerra is board certified in both Psychiatry and Health Care and Quality Management and is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians. He received his BS in Chemistry and Medical Degree from the University of Southern California. He completed his residency training in Psychiatry at San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Psychiatry Residency Training Program. He also received his MBA in business management from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Bill Friedman

VP of Payer Engagement
Wider Circle

Bill has deep expertise in selling and marketing digital health engagement solutions to payers and providers with an intimate knowledge of the health payer landscape. Most recently, Bill led payer sales at Carrot Fertility, a global provider of fertility benefits. Prior to Carrot, Bill led all sales and lead generation for Zipari, a SaaS-based consumer engagement solution for health insurers. His team was instrumental in the company's growth from startup to scale and eventual acquisition by Thoma Bravo, a leading private equity firm. Additionally, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Sales Officer for Health Republic Insurance of New York, the largest CO-OP health insurance carrier in the nation, leading sales operations, broker relations, strategic sales planning, and marketing growing the company from startup to 220,000 members in less than three years. Prior to joining Health Republic, Bill served as Senior Vice President of Sales at Easy Choice Health Plan of New York, where he was vital in launching the company’s Medicare Advantage products, and Atlantis Health Plan, a provider-owned HMO focused on the commercial health insurance space.

Mr. Friedman’s recent speaking engagements include AHIP and The RISE Summit on Social Determinants of Health.

In his spare time, Bill enjoys live music, playing guitar, the NY Yankees, and he is currently studying for his private pilot’s license. He lives in New York's lower Hudson Valley with his wife, Lisa, four children, and two poodles.

Merrill Friedman

Regional Vice President, Inclusive Policy & Advocacy
Elevance Health

Merrill leads inclusive policy and advocacy for Elevance Health. She works collaboratively with advocates, community leaders, and stakeholders to ensure the diversity of individuals and personal experiences inform Elevance Health’s health benefits approaches and healthcare programs. Ms. Friedman advances the integration of the independent living philosophy, self-determination, lived experience, and person-centeredness along with the National Advisory Board (NAB) on Improving Healthcare Services for Older Adults and People with Disabilities six foundational principles throughout policy, programs, individual interactions, and business practices. In addition, she leads strategic partnerships with national and local organizations to advance access, health equity, and inclusive public policy.

Previously, Ms. Friedman was interim director at a nonprofit foster care agency serving children and adolescents who experienced severe neglect and abuse. She also served as president and chief executive officer of a private organization that owned and operated residential treatment facilities, group homes and home and community-based services in several states for adolescents with mental health disabilities, substance use disorders, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and/or justice involvement.

Ms. Friedman has served on numerous national boards and commissions. She was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities and by Governor Jennifer Granholm to the MI Statewide Independent Living Council where she served as Board Chair. Currently, Ms. Friedman serves on the board of directors for Mental Health America (MHA), the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI), and EveryLife Foundation, and is an Advisory Board member for Uplift, Institute for Exceptional Care (IEC), and ADvancing States’ MLTSS Institute

Neeraj Gandotra, MD

Chief Medical Officer
SAMHSA

Dr. Neeraj Gandotra serves as the Chief Medical Officer for SAMHSA. Dr. Gandotra began his addiction career in public health by training within an underserved community in Washington D.C., where he developed his perspective of how a nationwide approach to local addiction treatment is greatly needed. Later, as medical director of Addiction Treatment Services at Johns Hopkins, he directed and delivered care through implementation of department initiatives and medical center resources. Dr. Gandotra was tasked with both administrative and supervisory roles for all providers and clinics within Addiction Treatment Services. At Johns Hopkins, he was responsible for developing program policy and procedure based on new research findings with the goal of improving outcomes and reducing risk for patients with substance use disorder. In addition, he managed the administration and clinical treatment within an OTP multidisciplinary team setting. He provided physician support for research conducted at the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit, related to various conditions co-occurring with substance use disorders. Dr. Gandotra has also worked as a Medical Director for federally qualified health centers, where it was necessary to develop policies sensitive of the specific catchment area cultural and ethnic needs. Immediately prior to joining SAMHSA, Dr. Gandotra served as the Chief Medical Officer for a large nationwide addiction treatment network, where he has developed national strategies specifically aimed at reducing risk, improving outcomes, and provider development. He is familiar with the development and utilization of medical services budgets, nuances of regulations and code across various states, and most importantly provider perspectives as he delivered direct patient care. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Gandotra is a member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry. Dr. Gandotra has worked with the Maryland State Attorney General on cases of physician misconduct, specifically those involving prescriptions of controlled substances. Dr. Gandotra also has been a consultant for the NFL player’s assistance program for substance use disorders and for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Dr. Gandotra received his Bachelor of Science in Biology at University of Maryland, his Doctor of Medicine from the Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE) School of Medicine and completed his Psychiatric residency at Howard University. He completed an Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Gandotra had served on the faculty at Johns Hopkins University and Howard University Hospital for a decade.

Layo George, BSN, MHSA

CEO and Founder
Wolomi

Layo George is currently the CEO and Founder of Wolomi. Wolomi is a perinatal health company that strives to create innovative ways to improve outcomes for women of color. Layo has experience working in both acute and primary care settings. She also has expertise in assisting healthcare organizations transition from pay for performance to value-based, patient focused and outcome- based systems. Layo has worked on one of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services innovative grants pioneering the way for city-wide care coordination in the District of Columbia (DC). She has also worked as a Quality Improvement Specialist at District of Columbia Primary Care Association leading primary care members through care and practice transformation. Layo was appointed to the DC Board of Nursing continuing her work in strengthening the healthcare system. She previously served as the vice-chair on the District of Columbia Department of Healthcare Finance’s HIE stakeholder subcommittee. She is currently on the board of Unity Healthcare System the largest Federally Qualified Health Center in the District of Columbia. Layo is a nurse with a Master’s in Health System Administration from Georgetown University. Layo can be found supporting motherson social media @wolomiapp.

Kristyn Greifer, MD

SVP, Chief Medical Officer
Sentara Health Plans

Dr. Kristyn Greifer has a dual role as SVP, Chief Medical Officer, Sentara Health Plans and SVP, Enterprise Care Management and Utilization, Sentara Health. Dr. Greifer’s role includes clinical oversight and leadership for utilization management, population health, quality, accreditation, and pharmacy operations for Sentara Health Plan as well as responsibility for all aspects and clinical program development in Care Management including Health Plan, Inpatient, Ambulatory and Clinical Integration. In addition, she leads the Sentara Health Physician Advisor Program and has responsibility for Behavioral Health at the health plan and across the health system.

Dr. Greifer has more than 25 years of experience as a practicing internal medicine physician and leader in the industry with a passion for population health, value-based care, clinical improvement, and quality. Prior to joining Sentara, she served as the VP, Chief Medical Officer, BayCare Health Plan and BayCare Physician Partners (CIN) in Clearwater, FL. Her previous experience also includes time as VP, Chief Medical Officer, Memorial Hermann Health Plan and Population Health in Houston; VP, Population Health Management, WellStar Health System, and Medical Director for Piedmont- Wellstar Health Plan in Atlanta. She spent 15 years at Kaiser Permanente in Georgia, most recently serving as Associate Medical Director for Resource Stewardship, Hospital and Acute Care.

Dr Greifer received her B.A. in Chemistry at Temple University, and completed Medical School and Residency at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the proud mother of 2 adult children and a fur baby.

Jon Hamdorf, MBA

Former Kansas Medicaid Director, Market President
UCare

Jon Hamdorf is currently serving as Market President at UCare, a regional non-profit health plan based in Minnesota.

Jon holds bachelor’s degrees in sociology and management information systems from the University of Iowa, has an M.B.A from Baker University, and did his doctoral (PhD) work at the University of Kansas Medical School in the department of Health Policy and Management.

Jon recently served as the Director of the Division of Health Care Finance and State Medicaid Director for the state of Kansas where Jon managed a team administering the state Medicaid program and state employee health plan. In that position, he successfully completed the procurement of managed care contracts for the next 5 years of the KanCare program and successfully negotiated a 5-year extension on Kansas’s 1115 waiver with CMS. KanCare is the Kansas’s Medicaid managed care program which serves roughly 400,000 members with an annual budget more than $4 billion dollars.

Camille Infussi Dobson

Deputy Executive Director
ADvancing States

Camille Infussi Dobson is the Deputy Executive Director at ADvancing States. In that role, she provides executive leadership, policy guidance and intensive technical assistance to state aging & disabilities agencies, focused on managed LTSS and quality measurement. She is the co-author of ten reports from the MLTSS Institute and led a 3-year intensive TA project supporting states implementing their ARPA HCBS spending plans. She previously worked for 10 years at CMS focusing on Medicaid policy, where, before her departure in 2014, she served as Senior Policy Advisor for Medicaid managed care. In that role, she was the primary author of CMS’ 2013 guidance to States laying out key elements for MLTSS programs, which has been memorialized in the 2016 Medicaid managed care rule. Before joining CMS, she spent twelve years working for two Maryland Medicaid MCOs focused on regulatory compliance and quality improvement. She holds a BA and MPA from George Washington University.

Lisa Jobe-Shields, Ph.D.

Behavioral Health Division Director
Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services

Lisa Jobe-Shields is the Division Director for Behavioral Health at Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS). The Division of Behavioral Health oversees the policy and programmatic aspects of behavioral health services in Virginia Medicaid, including substance use and mental health services. Prior to coming to DMAS, she served as Assistant Commissioner for Community Behavioral Health at Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. Lisa adheres to the scientist-practitioner model and is a licensed clinical psychologist in Virginia. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The University of Memphis, followed by a clinical internship and a two year NIH-funded postdoctoral fellowship at Medical University of South Carolina, National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center with a focus on implementation of evidence based practices to treat traumatic stress across the lifespan. Prior to joining state government, she worked as an academic. She is passionate about the coordination of child and adult mental health and social services to help vulnerable families thrive and learning about how complex systems can be designed, managed, and improved collaboratively to achieve the outcomes that matter most to communities, families, and individuals.

Mindi Knebel

Founder & CEO
Kaizen Health

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 part of the founding team of MATTER, a healthcare technology incubator formed through a public- private partnership in the city of Chicago. Prior to that, she lead operations 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 & friends, running, yoga and is a proud Packers shareholder and also an avid fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes, Cubs, Bulls and Blackhawks.

Robert Krebbs

Vice President, Value Based Care & Provider Enablement
Sentara Health Plans

Robert Krebbs is Vice President, Value Based Care & Provider Enablement at Sentara Health Plans, where he has accountability for the design, development and rollout of value-based care initiatives across commercial and government business lines. His responsibilities include the management and oversight of Total Cost of Care (TCOC), Episode Bundled Payment programs and other performance- based reimbursement arrangements with provider organizations across Virginia. Additionally, he leads the development of Sentara Health Plan’s provider enablement strategy aimed at empowering physician and other provider partners to drive quality improvement, cost optimization and a positive member & provider experience underneath valuebased care models. Prior to joining Sentara Health Plans, Robert oversaw value-based care strategy nationally at Anthem, Inc. and has focused his career on the evolution of value-based care and the associated transition away from a purely fee for service reimbursement. His work to transform the fragmented healthcare delivery system into a cohesive, high-functioning medical neighborhood has been recognized nationally on multiple fronts and he has been a featured speaker at numerous forums including the PCMH Congress, the Pay for Performance Summit, the Value Based Payment Summit and the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. He is honored to have co-led the work aligning physician and hospital incentive models in the cardiology field that resulted in a 2008 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award by the Joint Commission and National Quality Forum. Robert resides in Hanover County, Virginia with his wife and two daughters and is a proud graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).

Janet Mann

Deputy Director of Health and State Medicaid Director
Arkansas Department of Human Services

Janet Mann has over twenty years’ experience in healthcare and healthcare finance. She has worked in the public and private sector for multiple states and clients. Janet has served as the Division Director for DHS’s Division of Medical Services overseeing the Medicaid operations before and during the beginning of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency until April 2021. She also served as DHS’s Chief Financial Officer for a year in 2017. In addition, Janet was a Deputy Administrator for Medicaid in Mississippi during Governor Haley Barbour’s administration, 2006-2010. Janet has worked in the private sector focused on healthcare and public sector for several entities throughout her career but most recently at Horne LLP in Ridgeland, Mississippi. While consulting, Janet worked closely with other states implementing public policies and programs in areas of program integrity, managed care, audit and compliance and financial processes. Janet holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Alabama and is a Certified Public Accountant. Janet has been married to Doug for over 29 years and has 2 grown children, Sydney and Will.

Steven Merahn, MD

Medical Director
Partners Health Plan and Care Design NY

Dr. Steven Merahn is the Medical Director at Partners Health Plan a(PHP) nd Care Design NYboth exclusively dedicated to supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their circles of support.  He is an experienced physician-executive focused on care delivery redesign and clinical operations for person-centered care, and systems-based practice with special focus on clinical integration for special needs communities.  

Before joining PHP Dr. Merahn was a consultant to a multi-state Institutional Special Needs Plan focused on implementing a multi-disciplinary model of care. Prior to thatm he was Chief Medical Officer at Centria Autism Services, a national autism services provider, where supported clinical policy and program development and clinical operations management and grew their operations from 500 to 3,000 children and families   Before joining Centria, Dr. Merahn was the Chief Medical Officer at US Medical Management (USMM), a Centene Company, where he led a 14-state 42-office primary care network delivering home-based primary care to complex/fragile and disabled patients based on a intensive continuum of care model to extraordinary Triple Aim results and top tier performance in value-based contracting as a Medicare Shared Savings ACO and with commercial payers.   

Previously, Dr. Merahn was a Senior Vice President and Senior Medical Director at Aetna’s ActiveHealth Management Unit, where he led clinical program teams focused on accountable care, providing clinical analytics, care management and patient engagement initiatives for both provider networks, health systems and employer plan sponsors. 

  Dr. Merahn is an established thought leader and national speaker on the healthcare transformation and a vocal advocate for health equity and the power of human-factors in care delivery and health status improvement for both patients and communities, rooted in collaboration, systems innovation, and healthcare interaction design. He is the author of Care Evolution: Essays on Health Care as a Social Imperative which advocates for health as a social imperative and for healthcare as a fundamentally human endeavor and is the only physician on the national Autism Commissioner on Quality.

Jim Milanowski

CEO
Genesee Health Plan

Jim Milanowski has over 22 years experience in the management of mental health, substance abuse, behavioral health managed care and medical care coverage programs. Mr. Milanowski currently serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Genesee Health Plan (GHP), administering a community based indigent health care plan. The health plan has covered over 70,000 Genesee County residents since 2001. Since the start of enrollment into Affordable Care Act in 2013, GHP has conducted outreach and enrollment sessions with over 15,000 Genesee County residents. The health plan received the 2015 Pinnacle Award from the Michigan Association of Health Plans for this effort. As a strong advocate, his expertise includes working to reduce racial disparities, uncompensated care, and the impact of chronic disease. During his leadership, Genesee Health Plan has received the national quality award from URAC for Best Practices in Patient Empowerment and Protection, the Greater Flint Labor Council's Community Partnership Award and the Robert M. Pestronk Excellence in Public Health Award. He is a founding member of the Health Net Collaborative, and a member of the Greater Flint Health Coalition Access, Dental and Medical Group Visit Committees.

He is the Treasurer of the Michigan Association of County Health Plans and is on the Board of Directors for the Genesee Community Health Center. Mr. Milanowski received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Spring Arbor University and his Master's of Science degree in Clinical Psychology from Eastern Michigan University. He is a limited-licensed psychologist in the state of Michigan, and has extensive counseling experience with adult, child, and adolescent populations.

Jennifer Nuovo, MD

Chief Medical Officer
Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan

Jennifer Nuovo, MD is the Chief Medical Officer for Blue Shield of California’s Promise Health Plan, a managed Medi-Cal health plan doing business in San Diego County and as a subcontractor to LA Care Health Plan in Los Angeles. She has been in this role since October 2023. Responsibilities include quality measures including HEDIS and CAHPS, provider effectiveness, implementation of Medi-Cal transformation including Enhanced Care Management, Population Health Management, Community Supports and expanding access to care through street medicine, telehealth, community, mobile and in-home health care. This position has oversight of healthcare functions at the Promise-owned clinic in Palmdale, Los Angeles County. She also oversees Utilization and Case Management processes and active engagement with the state regulators and County health agencies. Key accomplishments include capacity building, functional alignment and cross-training of Promise medical director staff with Blue Shield clinical teams.

Past experience includes Chief Medical Executive roles at UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of California and Sutter Health Plan, as well as State Health Programs Medical Director Roles at Health Net of California.

Joe Parks, MD

Chief Medical Officer
firsthand
Medical Director
National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Joe Parks, M.D., currently serves as currently serves as Chief Medical Officer at firsthand and as a medical director for the National Council, and is a distinguished research professor of science at Missouri Institute of Mental Health with the University of Missouri, St. Louis. He also practices outpatient psychiatry at Family Health Center, a federally funded community health center established to expand services to uninsured and underinsured patients in Columbia, Mo. Dr. Parks is the national behavioral health representative at large for The Joint Commission. He previously served as the director of Missouri MO HealthNet Division (Missouri Medicaid) in the Missouri Department of Social Services and was medical director for the Missouri Department of Mental Health in Jefferson City and the Division Director for the Division of Comprehensive Psychiatric Services.

Dr. Parks has conducted research and published in the areas of implementation of evidence-based medicine, pharmacy utilization management, integration of behavioral health care with general health care, and health care policy. He has received numerous awards for improving the quality of care and leadership.

Margaret Paroski, MD, MMM

President & CEO and Chief Medical Officer
Catholic Medical Partners

Dr. Paroski is the is the President & CEO and Chief Medical Officer of Catholic Medical Partners, an independent practice association with 900 physician members. A board certified neurologist, Dr. Paroski has held various administrative positions including Medical Director at Erie County Medical Center; Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs & Admissions and Interim Vice President of Health Affairs and Interim Dean at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo; and Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Kaleida Health. She began her medical career at the Buffalo VA Medical Center and held hospital appointments at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Kaleida Health, and Erie County Medical Center. In addition to her clinical and leadership roles, Dr. Paroski has been a faculty member in the Neurology department at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences for the past 38 years.

As President & CEO and Chief Medical Officer of Catholic Medical Partners, Dr. Paroski leads clinical integration and standardization efforts and physician relations among the organization’s medical and specialty practices. She is also responsible for engaging physician members in population health initiatives and value based payment model adaptation.

Mike Rapach

CEO
CareFirst Community Health Plan of Maryland

Mike Rapach is the President and CEO of CareFirst Community Health Plan Maryland, a subsidiary of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. The plan provides Medicaid and Medicare Advantage Dual Special Needs coverage across the entire state of Maryland. In that role, Mike is responsible for the strategic planning and direction of the organization, along with managing the relationships with regulators. He is also directly accountable for the financial, operational, and clinical performance of the company.

Mike has 20 years of experience in Health Care both regionally and nationally, having served in leadership roles with Centene, Highmark, United HealthGroup, and Coventry Healthcare. Prior to joining CareFirst, Mike implemented and led the Medicare Advantage and Marketplace businesses for Centene in Pennsylvania. He was also the lead for the implementation of the new Managed Long- term Services and Support (MLTSS) program for Centene in the same market.

In other prior roles, Mike has led business and technology organizations supporting Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, ACA/Marketplace, and commercial health insurance. Mike has an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Bachelor’s in Finance from Penn State. He enjoys traveling the world with his wife, Jennifer, playing ice hockey, and cooking the new dishes he encounters on his travels.

Matt Salo

Founder/CEO
Salo Health Strategies

Matt Salo is the founding member of Salo Health Strategies, a boutique health care consulting firm in the Washington DC area that specializes in strategic advice, health care policy, Medicaid market development and relationship building across 56 states and US territories. The firm capitalizes on decades of experience working with state and federal government officials as well as the full spectrum of Medicaid and broader health care stakeholders ranging from health plans, providers, pharmaceutical companies, foundations, and consumer groups.

Matt is the founding Executive Director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD), having started the association in February 2011, and worked in that role until he stepped down in August 2022. The organization represents the state government leaders in each of the 56 US states and territories responsible for administering the Medicaid program. His roles included creating a permanent community for state leaders to share best practices, develop technical assistance, invest in leadership development, and formulate a strong unified voice for states in communication with Congress, the Administration, and other key national stakeholders. He built the organization from an initial staff of one to a full-time complement of ten staff and an operating budget of more than $3 million.

Matt formerly spent 12 years at the National Governors Association, where he worked on the Governors’ health care and human services reform agendas. His major accomplishments included getting legislation passed that guaranteed state control the entire $250 Billion tobacco Master Settlement Agreement for the states, which resulted in Forbes Magazine naming NGA one of the nation’s top ten most influential lobbying organizations. He also worked to get legislative approval of more than $100 billion in state fiscal relief during the Great Recession; and in bringing bipartisan groups of Governors together on multiple occasions to reach agreement on Medicaid reform proposals, ultimately serving as the backbone for the Deficit Reduction Act of 2007. Matt was a substitute teacher for two years in the Alexandria City public school system before joining the DC health policy world. He holds a BA in Eastern Religious Studies from the University of Virginia, and is still trying to find ways to explain how that got him to where he is today. Matt is a nationally recognized expert in Medicaid, state government, health care reform, federalism, long term care. He was recently named by Washingtonian Magazine as one of the 500 most influential people in Washington DC. He is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI), and was recently recognized by the National Academy of State Health Policy as its 2022 Academy Award Winner for a lifetime of contributions to health policy.

Matt has extensive experience in public speaking before audiences up to 1500 people, is frequently quoted in major mainstream news media and health care trade press, and has guest lectured at GWU, Duke, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Virginia.

Kalin Scott

Principal
K. Scott Concepts

Kalin Scott is a healthcare writer, consultant and advisor. A former Medicaid policymaker, she has a strong track record of experience and deep knowledge of Medicaid and Medicare policy and operations, delivery system reform, health-related social needs, new care models, and value-based payment. Kalin leverages her expertise to support healthcare organizations focused on tackling healthcare’s biggest challenges, addressing barriers to quality care, and creating healthier communities.

With a background in policy making, consulting, project management, and strategic planning, Kalin plays a pivotal role with clients in bringing their most innovative ideas and messages to life. Kalin served as a principal negotiator on New York's Medicaid Redesign Team 1115 Waiver amendment, which resulted in an $8 billion federal investment, commonly known as New York’s Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program, to transform New York's health care delivery system. She also developed, supported, and managed New York Medicaid’s Value Based Payment (VBP) workgroup, subcommittees, and clinical advisory groups, and was an author of the state’s VBP Roadmap.

Kalin’s experience as both a senior state Medicaid advisor and healthcare consultant benefits clients including provider organizations, health tech companies, payers, consulting firms, and healthcare marketing agencies across the country. She partners with founders, executives, and their teams to craft and implement industry-leading messaging and strategy aligned with the latest developments in healthcare.

Nissa Shaffi

Associate Director, Public Policy
ACHP

Nissa leads ACHP’s policy development for Medicaid, Duals, Commercial Market, maternal health, mental health and health equity. Prior to joining ACHP, Nissa led national consumer health campaigns on medication adherence, vaccine confidence, anti-counterfeit drugs and maternal health as the Associate Director of Health Policy at the National Consumers League. Nissa’s path into health policy was catalyzed by her exposure to health disparities during her tenure at Inova Health System working in emergency services.

Catherine Kelley Silva, MPP

Senior Director, Government Relations, Virginia
Elevance Health

Catherine Silva joined Elevance Health in 2019 and has served as the Senior Director of Government Relations in Virginia since January 2022, representing the enterprise across all lines of business, including Anthem Health Plans of Virginia (commercial, Medicaid, and Medicare), pharmacy, and health services. In this role, Catherine manages advocacy and external relationships with key stakeholders, such as the Governor, state agencies, and the General Assembly, as well as provider associations. In addition, she is a strategic partner to plan leadership on issue management, growth, compliance, and external communications. Prior to her current role, Catherine was the Government Relations Director for Anthem in Arkansas.

Catherine’s public sector experience includes serving as Senior Health Policy Advisor to Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and Deputy Director of the Division of Medical Services at the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS). In these roles, she guided policy-making, acted as a liaison between the Governor’s Office and state agencies, and was responsible for several Medicaid functions and programs.

Prior to her time in Arkansas, Catherine held health policy and government affairs positions in Washington, DC at Dentons, UnitedHealth Group, and Georgetown Health Policy Institute. Catherine is active in the Virginia Association of Health Plans, the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, and the Virginia Business Council. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government and English and a Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University. She resides in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, two sons, and two dogs.

Sarah Spiekermeier

Chief Operating Officer
Banner Health Plans

Sarah Spiekermeier has over fifteen years of experience in healthcare leadership with an emphasis on health plan operations, program implementation, and Medicaid and Medicare regulations. As COO of Banner Health Plans, she provides operational senior leadership and oversight for their Medicaid and Medicare plans with over 340,000 members within Central and Southern Arizona. Before her COO role, Sarah held several positions within Banner such as program implementation manager, Medicaid contract compliance officer, and Sr. Director of Operations. A few examples of Sarah's accomplishments are:

  • Led an 80,000 Medicaid member transition from one plan to another, which was acknowledged as one of the most successful member transitions by the state and deemed a “Best Practice” by state leadership.
  • Led and implemented two State Medicaid Requests for Proposals resulting in the successful Contract award for 10 Arizona Counties.
  • Launched three Medicare Advantage plans during a pandemic while moving the entire
  • health plan workforce from in-office to remote


Sarah graduated with her MBA with a concentration in Health Care Administration from Ashford University-Forbes School of Business and is a Certified Public Manager from Arizona State University- College of Public Programs. She is an Association for Community Plans (ACAP) member and completed the 2020 ACAP Leadership Academy. She also participated in the "Valley Leadership's Ready Together Program" focused on mobilizing Arizonans to make an impact in the face of coronavirus. Sarah is a Board Member of the Sickle Cell Foundation of Arizona.

Barry Stelmach

Chief Financial Officer
Catholic Medical Partners

Barry Stelmach is the Chief Financial Officer for Catholic Medical Partners, the largest network of independent practice physicians in Buffalo, NY, with nearly 900 physician members. He is responsible for the overall financial operations and leads payor negotiations for the organization. Barry also oversees the development and evaluation of risk contracts between payors and providers for all lines of business. He has played a significant role in preparing practices for the shift from fee- for-service to value-based care and risk-based contracts.  

  A native of Buffalo, NY, Barry earned his undergraduate degrees in Accounting and Economics and a Master of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Jonathan Swanson, MD

Chief Quality Officer, Children’s Services, Medical Director, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
UVA Health

Jonathan Swanson, MD, is the chief quality officer for children's services and the medical director for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where he works with the nurse leadership to oversee the day-to-day functions.

As a neonatologist, Dr. Swanson loves the interactions with parents and families, as well as taking care of sick and premature infants. His passion and research focuses on necrotizing enterocolitis, an intestinal infection that afflicts this population. He is also interested in quality improvement methodology and cost-effective care. Dr. Swanson knew he wanted to work with kids after coaching a basketball team of third and fourth grade girls as a senior in high school. In college at Pepperdine University, he found that his love of science pushed him toward a career in medicine.

Dr. Swanson completed medical school at the University of Rochester and subsequently completed both his pediatric residency and neonatal-perinatal medicine fellowship at the University of Virginia. After completing his fellowship, he worked in northern New Jersey until returning to UVA in 2011. He obtained his master’s degree in healthcare quality and safety in 2013 and his MBA in 2023.

Dr. Swanson enjoys living in the Charlottesville area as it allows ample opportunities for outdoor activities with his wife and kids. They especially enjoy hiking in Shenandoah and visiting the local orchards.

Marti Taylor

CEO
OhioRISE
Vice President
Aetna/Medicaid

As of January 1, 2024, Marti Taylor accepted the position of CEO, OhioRISE and VP Aetna / Medicaid, a CVS Company. Marti joins Aetna/OhioRISE from OneFifteen, where she was President and CEO, and Executive Director of Behavioral Health of Verily. There, Marti lead a cross-disciplinary team focused on modernizing addiction care in partnership with Verily, the Life Sciences Division of Google. The Dayton treatment center helped thousands of individuals battling the disease of addiction.

Before founding OneFifteen, Marti’s career centered on leading premier academic medical centers advancing clinical care through research, teaching and quality improvement. Until 2018, Marti served as CEO of University Hospital and the Ross Heart Hospital at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. From 2003-2008, Marti served as president of the Saint Joseph's Cardiovascular Program and Research Institute in Atlanta. Prior to that Marti worked for 25 years at Duke, where she began as a staff nurse in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Duke University Hospital and grew in scope to eventually supervise all aspects of the Health Systems Heart Center at three hospitals and multiple affiliate hospitals.

Marti holds a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, and a Master of Science in nursing from Duke University. She currently serves as the Chair for the Board of Trustees for Capital University, is a founding member of the Ohio Institute for Substance Use Disorder Excellence and also serves on the OneFifteen Recovery Board as well as other volunteer boards. Marti lives in Dublin, Ohio with her husband, Rodney, and their two sons, Zachary and Andrew.

Ryan Thomsen

Senior Director, Government Programs—Medicaid
Banner Health Plans

Ryan Thomsen is the Sr. Director of Government Programs for Banner-University Family Care and Banner Medicare Advantage. In his role, Ryan has oversight responsibility for Medicaid and Medicare contract compliance, health plan marketing, member retention, and grievance and appeals. He is a pragmatic and experienced problem solver and enjoys mediating solutions to complex challenges.

Ryan is a native of Michigan where he obtained a BA from the University of Michigan in 2005 with a focus on Government and Political Science. He is also a 2011 graduate of the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. Following law school, Ryan served as a law clerk at the Arizona Court of Appeals for the Honorable Garye Vasquez. He also took and passed the Arizona bar exam and received his law license. Following his clerkship, Ryan took a nontraditional path and began his career in healthcare when he accepted a job doing mental health hearings and administering the grievance and appeals system for the Community Partnership of Southern Arizona (CPSA). Thereafter, he continued to gain managed care healthcare experience by joining the leadership team at the local affiliate of Centene Corporation, Arizona Complete Health. Ryan joined the Banner Health leadership team in 2019 and has immersed himself in the company’s culture of serving our members and communities. Ryan is on the Medicaid Policy Subcommittee of the Association of Community Affiliated Health Plans and is an advocate and supporter of local nonprofits via his work with Social Venture Partners, Tucson.

Kris Vilamaa

Partner and Chief Growth Officer
Mostly Medicaid

Kris Vilamaa is a Partner and Chief Growth Officer for Mostly Medicaid. Mostly Medicaid is one of the premier Medicaid consulting and marketing entities in the country, using best-in-class HHS expertise to help state and county government agencies, health plans and solution providers to navigate a wide variety of challenges. Kris was recently named one of the Top 50 Healthcare Consultants and Leaders of 2022 by The Consulting Report. Kris has led consulting engagements in twenty-three different states with hundreds of clients in his career. His experience includes improving existing solutions, bringing new solutions to market, driving innovation, growth strategy development, change management, policy assessments and operational assessments.

Kris is a national thought leader on information technology in behavioral health and the use of data in integrated care models to improve care. As a consultant, he has also served as the CEO of HealthCare Perspective and Director of Behavioral Health for Germane Solutions. Prior to entering consulting in 2015, Kris served in state government for fifteen years, the last three as the Chief Information Officer for the Alabama Department of Mental Health.

Lauryn Walker

Chief Strategy Officer
Virginia Center for Health Innovation

) Lauryn is the Chief Strategy Officer for Virginia Center for Health Innovation (VCHI) and co-lead of the Virginia Task Force on Primary Care. Prior to joining VCHI, Lauryn served as the Interim Chief of Population Health and Senior Advisor to the Chief Actuary and Chief Strategy Officer for North Carolina Medicaid, where she focused on reforms to integrate behavioral health and physical health. Lauryn also served as the Senior Advisor for Chief Deputy and Chief Health Economist at Virginia Medicaid, supporting the development of the Office of Value-Based Purchasing (VBP), the Office of Quality and Population Health, and the Office of Data Analytics. Prior to working directly with states, Lauryn conducted Medicaid policy evaluations, and research on Medicaid expansion and financial incentive programs. She also served as a health fellow for the U.S. House of Representatives Minority Leader. Lauryn was a critical care nurse at Johns Jopkins Hospital, and remains a member of the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps. She earned her BSN and MPH from Johns Hopkins University and her PhD from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Alyssa M. Ward, Ph.D., LCP

Behavioral Health Clinical Director, Virginia Medicaid Line of Business
Elevance Health

)Alyssa M. Ward, Ph.D., LCP is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and the Behavioral Health Clinical Director for the Medicaid line of business for Elevance Health in Virginia. Prior to this role, she served as the Behavioral Health Clinical Director for the Virginia State Medicaid Program and was the lead for the Project BRAVO transformation of the Medicaid behavioral health benefit. Dr. Ward also worked as an integrated care attending Psychologist in the neonatal intensive care unit and the pediatric gastroenterology program at Virginia Commonwealth University Children’s Hospital. Dr. Ward’s expertise is in the implementation of evidence-based practices into systems of care, including integration into rate setting, payment models, and healthcare policy to assure sustainment.