Speakers & Faculty


Amy Ayrault

Provider Contracting Director, Cigna

Amy Ayrault is the Director of Contracting and Payment Innovation at Cigna, where she is responsible for the development and oversight of all behavioral provider and facility contracting solutions. Amy is passionate about creating contract reimbursement models that reward providers for delivering high quality, cost effective care. Amy has recently created reimbursement solutions for Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) programs, virtual care solutions, and for behavioral providers delivering care within medical physician practices. Before joining Cigna, Amy worked in community mental health, providing direct care to adults and adolescents in Baltimore MD. ×

Amy Pearlman

Vice President Of Clinical Strategies, Beacon Health Options

Amy Pearlman

Vice President Of Clinical Strategies, Beacon Health Options

Amy Pearlman, Assistant Vice President, Provider Partnerships, works to integrate Beacon Health Options’ clinical vision with network providers. Throughout her career, she has transitioned between provider and payer settings with a goal to improve access and health for individuals and families. She is an independently licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Massachusetts, with a master’s degree in Social Work from Smith College, and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish Language and Literature from Brandeis University.

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Andrea Smyth

Executive Director, NYS Coalition For Children's Behavioral Health

Andrea Smyth

Executive Director, NYS Coalition For Children's Behavioral Health

Bio coming soon

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Ashly Gibson

Director Of Payer Relations, Contracts & Utilization, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Ashly Gibson

Director Of Payer Relations, Contracts & Utilization, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Patient centered care, process improvement and leading are all passions to Ashly. She has a strong desire to deliver superior customer service and looks at processes and procedures that can lead to a smooth transition into and throughout the patient's care. Ms. Gibson has a strong desire to coach and lead others in our organization and work to develop future leaders.

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Derek S. Allen, MA ACTP

Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Starr Commonwealth

Derek Allen, MA ACTP, Starr Commonwealth’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, provides administrative leadership and supervision to all Starr programs and departments as well as leads the organization’s business development efforts. Programs include school- and community-based behavioral health services, trauma screening/assessment and intervention services, resilient school projects, professional training and consulting, and eLearning certification and degreed programs for professionals around the world.

He also serves as a Senior Consultant for Starr’s trauma-informed, resilience-focused approach. In this role, Derek works with schools, organizations, and communities around the country in their implementation of system-wide approaches that best support the needs of students and families who have experienced trauma, adversity, toxic stress, and/or systemic racism and oppression.

He provides “thought-leadership” to the Starr organization in the areas of strength-based approaches in education and treatment and building resilience in children and families. Derek is currently pursuing a doctoral degree from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Though Derek is proud of the work of Starr Commonwealth and honored to serve as a senior leader, he is clear that his role as a father is the “most important hat” he will ever wear. His son, Sam, is his “reason for being”. When he is not working or spending time with Sam, Derek enjoys traveling, binge watching “good shows” on HBO or Netflix, trying new restaurants, and/or “hanging out” with his close knit group of best friends. ×

Eric T. Huss, Psy.D.

Behavioral Health Total Populations Solutions Senior Advisor, Cigna

Experienced Regional Account Director with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & health care industry. Skilled in Behavioral, Employee Assistance Program and Wellness Sales, Team Building, Management, and Account Management. Subject matter expert on behavioral health, substance use disorders and employee assistance programs with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) focused in Clinical Psychology from Argosy University Washington, DC ×

Erin Boyd

Behavioral Network Strategy Director, Cigna

Erin Boyd

Behavioral Network Strategy Director, Cigna

Erin Boyd is the Behavioral Network Strategy, Solutions and Program Director for Cigna Behavioral. Ms. Boyd is responsible for network marketing and communications, developing network strategy and overseeing network programs, and solutions to drive innovation, cost-savings, improved outcomes, and better care for Cigna customers. Ms. Boyd has been with Cigna for three years and provides a unique perspective to this role having most recently served as Senior Director of Business Development and Marketing for a behavioral hospital system. In addition, she has 20 years of experience in medical healthcare communications, marketing, public relations, and strategic planning. ×

Jeremy D. Butler

Director of Community Initiatives, ICAN

Bio coming soon

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Kristen Rasmussen

Chief Operating Officer, ICAN

Kristen Rasmussen has over thirty-three years of experience in the behavioral health field with seven years at ICAN, serving as an executive team member since 2013. ICAN is a nonprofit provider of innovative home and community- based interventions in Upstate New York and provides services to 1,500 individual daily through 20 programs across six counties.

Rasmussen received a Bachelor of Science in Cultural & Women’s Studios from SUNY Empire State College and holds a Master of Social Work degree from Syracuse University.

Rasmussen began working with ICAN (then Kids Oneida) seventeen years ago as an independent contractor. She was hired as an Associate Executive Director five years ago with the responsibility of oversight of programs and services. Having spent her entire career serving children and families in the greater Utica area, she was able to bring her vast experience and skillset to the organization, complementing the existing leadership team. Since joining the ICAN team, the organization has stabilized and improved programming, diversified funding streams, and created new program offerings for families. Under Rasmussen’s leadership, ICAN’s programs and services have experienced significant growth.

For the past twenty-two years, Rasmussen has been asked to present and be a keynote speaker at numerous professional conferences in the Upstate New York region on various topics including; Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, Comprehensive Behavior Management, Positive Parenting, Mindfulness, Alternative Approaches to Wellness and Creating Safe Spaces. Discovering yoga in her late teens, Rasmussen has infused a blend of traditional Western psychology and alternative Eastern spiritual practice in all of her work with individuals. As a strong advocate for wellness in the workspace, she facilitates yoga and mindfulness sessions with staff. Rasmussen has played a significant role in positively impacting the culture of the organization.

Rasmussen has spent the majority of her career as a social justice advocate by promoting positive change within the community. She has a special ability to connect with youth and her career has had an intentional focus on youth with significant mental/behavioral health challenges, the LGBTQ community, the homeless youth population, and teen parents.

Kristen and her partner Kent reside in New Hartford, NY with their son Lukäs and a lovely tribe of animals. The Rasmussen’s also have two grown daughters, Britt and Emma, and a grandson Quinn. Rasmussen’s family has a passion for the outdoors, hockey, music and the arts. Rasmussen enjoys hiking, kayaking and practicing yoga and mindfulness. ×

Megan Lipman

Vice President Of Compliance & Quality Management, Jewish Family & Children’s Services

Megan Lipman

Vice President Of Compliance & Quality Management, Jewish Family & Children’s Services

Megan Lipman serves as the vice president of Quality Management & Compliance at Jewish Family & Children’s Service. Megan has been a valued part of the JFCS team since 2015. Before her new role, Ms. Lipman was director of Quality Management for JFCS, responsible for oversight of quality management, analyzing key performance indicators and implementing initiatives in alignment with Triple Aim, which focuses on improving the patient experience, health populations and cost reduction.

She graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s in science in psychology and is a graduate of the JFCS Leadership Academy. Ms. Lipman has also received the JFCS’ “Exemplary Practice Story” honor in recent years. ×

Olga Price, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Prevention & Community Health at George Washington University & Director of the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools

Olga Price, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Prevention & Community Health at George Washington University & Director of the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools

Olga Acosta Price is an Associate Professor in the Department of Prevention and Community Health. She is also Director of the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools, a national resource and technical assistance center committed to building effective school health programs.

A passionate advocate of school-based mental health services, Olga Acosta Price has dedicated her formal training in clinical psychology to improving the lives of young people. "My experiences working with children, youth and families have driven my desire to understand resilience and to approach our work together from a strength-based perspective," she says. Giving voice to the concerns of young people is an essential priority for her. "I thoroughly enjoy creating opportunities for youth to share their insights. They don't hesitate to tell those of us who develop systems of care that we are clueless about what the world is really like for them."

Prior to joining the faculty in 2006, Professor Price was director of the School Mental Health Program at the Department of Mental Health in Washington, DC, where she earned the Employee of the Year award. She was also an assistant professor at the University of Maryland's School of Medicine and served as associate director of the Center for School Mental Health Assistance, a national technical assistance center. In that latter capacity, she helped to promote the development of school-based mental health services across the country.

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Pia V. Escudero, LCSW

Executive Director, Division of Student Health & Human Services

Mental health leader and social work professional with 20+ years of experience in the development of mental health programs for the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest school district in the United States. Direct the efforts of over 2000 school mental health and health professionals, including social workers, nurses, pediatricians, child psychiatrists, human relations and restorative justice experts, and other administrative functions. ×

Steven Bulger

CEO / Executive Director, ICAN

Steven Bulger has over twenty years’ experience in the behavioral health field with fifteen years at ICAN, serving as CEO/Executive Director since 2014. ICAN is a nonprofit provider of innovative home and community based interventions in Upstate New York.

Bulger received a Bachelors in Psychology and Political Science from Niagara University in 2003 and a MBA in Health Services Management from SUNY Polytechnic Institute in 2013. He is a 2014 graduate of Leadership Mohawk Valley.

Starting at ICAN fifteen years ago, Bulger was hired as an entry-level Service Coordinator. He was promoted to the position of Residential Outreach Manager in 2008, and was instrumental in creating the Return Home Early Project which has received national attention by both the Building Bridges Initiative and the White House Council for Community Solutions. In 2010, he was promoted to the position of Director of Operations and became responsible for the day to day operations of the agency including human resources, marketing, and information technology. ICAN has seen significant growth since Bulger’s appointment as CEO/Executive Director, and now provides services to 1,200 families’ everyday through 16 programs across six Upstate New York counties.

Bulger has presented on the innovative ICAN model across the country with presentations at the Annual Research and Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health in Tampa, FL, the Mental Health Association of San Francisco Annual Conference, in San Francisco, CA, University of Maryland’s Training Institutes National Conference: Leading Change – Integrating Systems and Improving Outcomes in Behavioral Health for Children, Youth,

Young Adults, and Their Families in Washington, DC and the Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health in Las Vegas, NV. He was recognized in 2004 by Baker Victory Services with the Service to Youth Award, and in 2016 with the Follow the Leader Award through Leadership Mohawk Valley. He currently serves as a Board Director for the following entities: New York State Coalition for Children’s Behavioral Health, SUNY POLY College of Business Management Professional Advisory Board, and the Mohawk Valley Regional Planning Consortium where he is the co-chair. He has also been a member of the Westmoreland Central School District Board of Education since December 2019.

Steven and his wife Laura reside in Westmoreland, NY with their two children Breana and Stevie. Bulger is actively involved in coaching Pop Warner Football and Little League Baseball in his home community. ×

Tamra Williams, Ph.D.

Deputy Chief Clinical Officer, Children's Services Community Behavioral Health

Dr. Williams serves as a licensed Clinical Psychologist with 15 years of experience as a Director of Clinical Services and clinical operations manager with a passion for program development and quality improvement. Licensed in PA, MA, and FL. ×

Uday Madasu

Chief Information Officer, The Jewish Board

Uday Madasu

Chief Information Officer, The Jewish Board

Uday Madasu is the Chief Information Officer at The Jewish Board which is the largest Health and Human Services agency in New York City. He has worked in healthcare for the last 18 years and has hands-on experience implementing and managing healthcare information systems and also has extensive knowledge of healthcare financial and operational management. ×

Monica Collins, MA, MBA

Senior Director, System Transformation, Magellan Behavioral Health of Pennsylvania

Monica Collins is the Sr. Director, System Transformation for Magellan Behavioral Health of Pennsylvania where she is responsible for leading the strategy and planning efforts in system transformation.  Her responsibilities include engaging providers, state agencies and stakeholders in a collaborative approach to develop a high value service delivery system.  She brings more than 20 years of behavioral healthcare experience to this role both from a provider and then a payer perspective.  Monica earned her Masters of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her Masters of Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University. Unique qualifications include certification in Primary and Behavioral Healthcare Integration. ×

Karin Jeffers

President & CEO, Clinical & Support Options

Karin Jeffers is President & CEO of Northampton-based nonprofit community behavioral health agency Clinical & Support Options Inc. (CSO). She has served in this role since 2005. During her tenure at the helm, theagency has grown from a $4 Million organization with fewer than 90 employees across just three Greenfield, Mass. locations to what is now a $44 million agency with more than 750 employees at 20 locations across Western Mass.

Jeffers moved to Western Mass. in 1987 when first attending Springfield College as an undergrad. She eventually earned a Master of Science in Counseling and Psychological Services and became a Licensed Mental HealthCounselor (LMHC). Shortly thereafter, she began her career as a clinician, focusing primarily on families and children.

In 1992, Jeffers joined Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC), where she stayed 14 years. At MSPCC, Jeffers was promoted six times, eventually becoming Regional Director.

Jeffers decided early in her career that leadership roles enabled her to effect positive change on both a “micro” and “macro” level. While she has always enjoyed the service-level interaction with behavioral healthclients, she also appreciates the broader ways in which solid nonprofit administration can improve communities.

That is why, in 2005, Jeffers joined Greenfield-based Clinical & Support Options Inc. (CSO) as their President and CEO. During her 15 years as President & CEO, CSO has seen year-over-year growth in both revenueand program expansion. The agency has added more than 650 jobs in the last decade and prides itself on internal promotion. CSO has earned national accreditation and has been awarded several key statewide and Federal grants. Jeffers’ guidance now enables CSOto provide affordable behavioral health services to more than 19,000 families and individuals annually. ×

Amy Kendall

Vice President, Complex Populations, Caresource

Amy Kendall

Vice President, Complex Populations, Caresource

Bio coming soon

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Colleen Marshall, MA, LMFT

Consultant, Coach and Trainer & Current Director Of Behavioral Health, Well

Colleen Marshall, MA, LMFT, has extensive experience in clinical practice, leadership, and management, and has held executive and senior-level positions in large behavioral health organizations. She is currently Director of Behavioral Health Operations for Well, a health technology and services company, and serves as a consultant and trainer for start-up, nonprofit, and health care organizations. Ms. Marshall is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT), for which she has served as Chair, Treasurer, board member, and trainer of new trainers. She has helped to consult and lead large-scale MI implementation and has been invited to speak at regional, national, and international conferences. ×

James Stewart

President & CEO, Grafton Integrated Health Network & Advisory Board Member, OPEN MINDS

James Stewart

President & CEO, Grafton Integrated Health Network & Advisory Board Member, OPEN MINDS

James Stewart brings to OPEN MINDS more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare field. Mr. Stewart has helped develop and modify health care plans and benefits, retirement plans and benefits, and paid time off (PTO) plans for multiple behavioral healthcare providers. He has also had an integral role in program development and business planning for new strategic business lines. Additionally, he has led multiple teams in the selection, implementation, and use of multiple electronic health record (EHR) systems at several behavioral health care entities.

Mr. Stewart currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer at Grafton Integrated Health Network. He previously served as the Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, where he was responsible for the supervision of the Finance Departments, Contracting (both payer and vendor), Information Technology, Human Resources, Risk Management, Facilities Department, The Infant and Toddler Program, and the Education Department. He has participated and enabled the expansion of services through the acquisition of facilities and extension of the organization’s IT/HR network into Florida and West Virginia in the United States and also in Australia. Mr. Steward also spearheaded the process of developing and implementing a new paperless EHR, as well as a new accounting software that integrated with the electronic clinical record and billing system.

Prior to working at Grafton, Mr. Stewart was the Chief Financial Officer for the Center for Behavioral Health at Centerstone. In this position, he managed the coordination of a multi-disciplinary team through development and implementation of a Davies Award Winning Electronic Health Record. He developed new clinical programs to meet identified locality needs and established a merger between Non-Profit CMHC’s, which crossed state boundaries.

Mr. Stewart received his MBA with a Healthcare Administration focus from Indiana Wesleyan University. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Kentucky.

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Tom Base

Senior Associate, OPEN MINDS

Tom Base brings over 20 years of experience in growth strategies, investments and health care market knowledge to OPEN MINDS. Mr. Base has extensive experience in leading new initiatives that drive revenue growth, expand market share, and increase strategic advantage through partnerships, acquisitions, and financing.

Prior to joining OPEN MINDS, Mr. Base served as the Managing Director of Boomtown Healthtech Accelerator. In this position, Mr. Base lead the organization’s investments in and mentorship of 28 health care innovation startups.

Prior to his role at Boomtown Healthtech Accelerator, Mr. Base served as a Chief Business Development Officer of Mental Health Partners, where he led the organization’s first commercial managed care strategy and successfully negotiated contracts with their major insurance carriers. Mr. Base also led the organization’s acquisition of a county addiction recovery center to expand into substance abuse services. In parallel, he led Mental Health Partners successful award of the substance abuse state contract and established the first integrated care partnerships with two major health systems by structuring new business, legal and compliance frameworks. Before that work, Mr. Base served as Business Development Director of Mental Health Center of Denver, where he was responsible for developing and implementing new product and service lines to increase and diversify revenue streams.

Mr. Base has also held the positions in the financial services and pharmaceutical sectors. He served as Executive Director, Business Development of CHDI Foundation, an organization focused on Huntington’s disease research and Business Development Director of Ionis (Isis) Pharmaceuticals. He was also Vice President, Investment Banking for Frost Securities and an Associate at RBC Capital Markets where he focused on the life sciences sector.

Mr. Base earned a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and an MBA/MBI from RSM Erasmus Graduate School of Business, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. ×

Kimberly Bond, MS, LMFT

Executive Vice President, OPEN MINDS

Kimberly Bond, MS, LMFT, brings more than 30 years of experience providing behavioral health treatment in the public and community settings to the OPEN MINDS team. She currently serves as the Executive Vice President of Business Development. In this role, Ms. Bond focuses on growing the OPEN MINDS client portfolio across all nine verticals of OPEN MINDS business. Prior to joining OPEN MINDS, Ms. Bond served concurrently as a Program Coordinator III and Clinical Manager of Adult Services and a Program Coordinator II and Clinical Manager of Recovery Services for the Ozark Guidance Center. In these roles, Ms. Bond was responsible for the administrative and clinical oversight of the adult outpatient and adult intensive mental health services on the Springdale Campus as well as the adult recovery/co-occurring services, including domestic violence and anger management treatment. Prior to joining the Ozark Guidance Center, Ms. Bond served as the Executive Vice President of Center Point, Inc, a large substance abuse provider agency in California. In this role, Ms. Bond was responsible for the clinical and administrative supervision of all community-based programs as well as the women and children residential programs. In addition, Ms. Bond also managed budgets, interacted with funding agencies, and built positive relationships with all stakeholders. Ms. Bond was also in charge of proposal and grant writing, staff management, and training, facilities’ licensing and certifications renewals. Additionally, she prepared and submitted monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual reports to various funders. Previously, Ms. Bond served as the President and CEO of Mental Health Systems, Inc. Ms. Bond was very instrumental in growing the agency from $12 million in annual revenue to more than $100 million and becoming one of the largest providers of behavioral health services in California. In this role, Ms. Bond was responsible for the strategic, clinical, financial, and administrative health of the agency, including direct supervision of Senior Executive Staff. In addition, Bond ensured contract compliance of the agency’s 125 different contracts across federal and state agencies and eight counties. Ms. Bond received her bachelor’s degree in psychology, with honors, and her master’s degree in counseling education from San Diego State University. She is licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist in both California and Arkansas. ×

Ken Carr

Senior Associate, OPEN MINDS

Ken Carr brings more than 20 years of finance, technology, data analysis, and reporting experience in the health and human services field to OPEN MINDS. He currently is a Senior Associate with the OPEN MINDS consulting practice. In this role, he has served as a subject matter expert leading numerous engagements in strategic planning, merger and acquisition prospecting, business process improvement, financial analysis of service lines, and technology selection.

Before joining the OPEN MINDS team, he served as the Chief Financial Officer of The Centers, a community mental health center in Ocala, Florida. In this position, Mr. Carr led a realignment of the organization’s financial management functions. This included revenue cycle management, EHR bill implementation and reporting, cash management enhancement, and strategic financial analysis.

Prior to his role at The Centers, Mr. Carr served as Chief Financial Officer of Guild Incorporated, an organization providing residential and community based mental health services in St. Paul, Minnesota. As CFO, Mr. Carr led the financial, billing, IT, quality, informatics, compliance, and facilities activities. During his tenure at Guild Incorporated, Mr. Carr used his expertise in change management and business process improvement to lead the EHR implementation team, align service data reporting and financial performance, and lead the financial and data capture activities for new service initiatives.

Mr. Carr has also held the positions of Administrative Director and Finance Director at the St. Paul National Testing Laboratory, a biomedical testing facility of the American Red Cross. In those positions he oversaw activities to enhance inventory management, align financial results to industry standards, and improve financial and facilities performance through problem analysis and quality management initiatives. He also was involved in directing human resource functions during laboratory closing near the end of his tenure.

Mr. Carr earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota and a Master of Divinity Degree from Sioux Falls Seminary. He maintains an active CPA license with the State of South Dakota.

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Paul M. Duck

Senior Associate, OPEN MINDS

Paul M. Duck brings more than 40 years of experience in leadership and management focusing on managed care, health information technology organizations, strategy, business development, and market expansion, and customer experience optimization to the OPEN MINDS team.

Prior to joining OPEN MINDS, Mr. Duck served as the Vice President, Strategy & Development at Beacon Health Options. In this role, Mr. Duck led the organization’s strategy and business development efforts, which led to a 30% increase in net revenue and initiated more than $1 billion in revenue generation. Mr. Duck was active in national behavioral health initiatives as an executive of Beacon Health Options, including participating as a speaker at national and state association meetings.

Before joining Beacon Health Options, Mr. Duck was the Vice President of Business Development at Netsmart Technologies. During his tenure, Mr. Duck was responsible for business planning including the oversight of strategic activities including acquisitions, development, and execution of strategic initiatives, and positioning, and sales of large strategic customers. He also led the rollout of the company’s benchmarking and data analytics product suite.

Prior to Netsmart, Mr. Duck served as the Chief Executive Officer for Coastal Orthopedics and Pain Management, a large group practice with five clinic locations and two ambulatory surgical centers. As the organization’s chief executive officer, Mr. Duck was responsible for significant positive changes in leadership and corporate culture, financial and operational performance, compliance, and governance. Mr. Duck improved net collections by over $1 million per month and grew the practice through negotiating better contract rates with payers. He also implemented an organizational rebranding initiative and launched a new marketing campaign.

Prior to Coastal Orthopedics and Pain Management, Mr. Duck served as the President and Chief Executive Officer for Florida Radiology Imaging, one of the largest outpatient diagnostic imaging service companies serving the greater Orlando market. During his tenure, Mr. Duck led the construction of three new, full modality, diagnostic imaging locations. Mr. Duck revolutionized the company’s culture by creating a highly attractive and functional work environment.

Mr. Duck earned his Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Case Western Reserve University. He earned his Associate of Arts in Electronic Engineering Technology from the Electronic Technology Institute. Mr. Duck received an award by Inc magazine for leading Florida Radiology Imaging as one of America’s fastest-growing companies. Mr. Duck recently served as a contributing author to the book The New Health Age: The Future of Health Care in America.

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Cathy Gilbert

Senior Associate, OPEN MINDS

Healthcare executive with over twenty years experience in the health care industry including non-profit, government and private insurance with ten years progressively higher level experience in provider networks in behavioral health arena. ×

Sharon Hicks

Senior Associate, OPEN MINDS

Sharon Hicks, OPEN MINDS Senior Associate, has more than 20 years of experience in the health and human service field.  She has extensive experience and wide range of expertise in health plan management, in clinical operations management, and technology.

Prior to joining OPEN MINDS, Ms. Hicks spent two decades in a number of executive positions within the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) system and within its health plan division. Ms. Hicks served as the Chief Operating Officer for Community Care Behavioral Health, a managed behavioral health organization. There she was responsible for all aspects of the organization’s operations including fiscal, information systems, the claims processing department, and the design of clinical systems. In addition, Ms. Hicks managed the day-to-day operations of including human resources, facilities, purchasing, and security.

Ms. Hicks also served as the Vice President, Internet Strategy, UPMC Insurance Services Division and, since 2002, as the Chief Executive Officer of Askesis Development Group, Inc. In this role, Ms. Hicks was responsible for the growth of the company, profitability of the company, and the direction of software development.

Ms. Hicks started her impressive health care career as a psychiatric social worker before being promoted to Assistant Director of Social Work. Prior to her executive promotions, Ms. Hicks served as a Clinical Administrator for both Ambulatory Services and Emergency and Intake Services at the UPMC Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. In this role, she managed the behavioral health division, the budgets for all departments, and implemented new software replacing paper billing for clinical services.

Ms. Hicks received both her Masters of Business Administration and Masters of Social Work degrees from the University of Pittsburg. Before pursuing her graduate education, Ms. Hicks received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.

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Kelvin McCord

Senior Associate, OPEN MINDS

Bio coming soon

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Joseph P. Naughton-Travers, EdM

Senior Associate, OPEN MINDS

Joseph P. Naughton-Travers, Ed.M., Senior Associate, has more than 30 years of experience in the health and human service field. In this tenure as senior associate with OPEN MINDS since 1998, he has served as lead of dozens of client initiatives, served as editor of OPEN MINDS publications, and is the author of many groundbreaking articles and presentations.

Mr. Naughton-Travers brings to OPEN MINDS a broad range of experiences in private and public sector delivery of behavioral health and social services. He started his career as a behavioral health clinician, working in both child welfare and community mental health clinic settings. Subsequently, Mr. Naughton-Travers held a senior business operations management position for a psychiatric hospital system and its community mental health clinics. Later, he was vice president of a firm specializing in information systems and billing and receivables management for community-based mental health programs.

Since joining OPEN MINDS, Mr. Naughton-Travers has developed business solutions for provider and professional organizations, state and county government, technology companies, and venture capital firms. His primary areas of expertise include strategic planning and metrics-based management, electronic health record (EHR) and technology selection and implementation, operations improvement, and corporate compliance. For the past decade, more than half of his consulting practice has focused on aiding organizations in technology selection and implementation, including all aspects of strategic technology planning, functional specifications development, request for proposal development, vendor selection, and contracting.

He has written numerous articles, including “Winning the Human Resource Wars: Tried, True and New Strategies for Behavioral Health and Social Service Organizations,” “Five Pillars of Management Competency,” “Data Driven Decision Making: Moving to an Organizational Measurement Culture,” “Survival of the Smartest: What is Your Organization’s Information Literacy IQ?,” and “Strategic Human Resource Management: Aligning Compensation with Employee Performance and Organizational Strategy.” Mr. Naughton-Travers is also a nationally recognized speaker, having conducted hundreds of executive and professional executive training events around the nation.

Mr. Naughton-Travers received his Bachelor’s degree from Miami University of Ohio and his Masters’ of Education in Counseling Psychology from Boston University. ×

Monica E. Oss

Chief Executive Officer, OPEN MINDS

Monica E. Oss, M.S., Chief Executive Officer and Senior Associate, is the founder of OPEN MINDS. For the past three decades, Ms. Oss has led the OPEN MINDS team and its research on health and human service market trends and its national consulting practice. Ms. Oss is well known for her numerous books and articles focused on the strategic and marketing implications of the evolving health and human service field. She has unique expertise in payer financing models, provider rate setting, and service pricing. She has led numerous engagements with state Medicaid plans, county governments, private insurers, managed care programs, service provider organizations, technology vendors, neurotechnology, and pharmaceutical organizations, and investment banking firms – with a focus on the implications of financing changes on delivery system design.

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