Speakers & Faculty

Elizabeth Woike-Ganga, LCSW-R

Chief Operating Officer, BestSelf Behavioral Health, Inc.

Elizabeth Woike-Ganga is a licensed clinical social worker and Chief Operating Officer at BestSelf Behavioral Health, Inc. in Buffalo, New York.  BestSelf is the result of a merger in June 2017 of Lake Shore Behavioral Health and Child and Adolescent Treatment Services.  BestSelf is a nonprofit organization providing comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation services to individuals with mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders. The organization employs more than 800 staff and has an operating budget of approximately $50 million.  The organization served more than 15,000 consumers in 2017.

Liz is from Buffalo, NY.  After graduating with a BA from Yale University, she spent a year in Costa Rica on a Fulbright Scholarship followed by two years as a Peace Corps volunteer and trainer in Gabon, Central Africa.  After returning to Buffalo, Liz worked at Vive, Inc., an Organization for World Refugees, as Assistant Director while pursuing a Master of Social Work at SUNY Buffalo.  Elizabeth started at Lake Shore Behavioral Health as an intern in 2002, was hired as a counselor in 2004 and was offered various promotions until joining the BestSelf Executive Management Team in 2012 as Director of Chemical Dependency. She was promoted in 2014 to Vice President of Clinical Operations and then to Chief Operating Officer in November of 2015.

Liz was instrumental in realizing the merger between Child and Adolescent Treatment Services and Lake Shore Behavioral Health.  The company has grown from about 350 employees in early 2017 to more than 800 employees in 2018. Today, BestSelf Behavioral Health is the largest community behavioral health organization serving children and adults in Western New York.

This tremendous growth is due to a number of new programs spearheaded by Liz. BestSelf is one of 13 behavioral health organizations selected by New York State to participate in the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) pilot program. This federal pilot is revolutionizing the way behavioral health services are delivered and reimbursed.  It allows for comprehensive, integrated behavioral health treatment with additional services such as vocational supports, targeted case management and peer services.  BestSelf has the largest CCBHC in New York, with twelve integrated locations serving children and adults.

Liz has also been instrumental in developing mobile mental health services, allowing BestSelf to provide services outside of a traditional clinic setting and instituting open access at all BestSelf clinics, enabling people to have immediate access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment. In the fall of 2017, Elizabeth worked to implement our Recovery Connections Program. The program is a fully mobile team providing rapid access to medication assisted treatment (often within 24 to 48 hours), counseling and peer supports to people who have had difficulty engaging with treatment or in areas without access to treatment options.  This program was recently recognized on NBC Nightly News as a new, innovative way to address the opioid crisis.

Liz also works to ensure BestSelf remains a leader in serving multi-cultural communities.  Many of our employees are bilingual and bicultural which enables them to provide high quality services to our culturally and linguistically diverse client population. Interpreters have also been employed by BestSelf to make sure we are able to provide everyone in our communities with easy access to services.  Elizabeth has been a driving force to ensure that refugees, immigrants and other cultures find a welcoming environment at BestSelf where they are treated with respect.

Liz is very active in the Western New York health care community and also is a graduate of both Leadership Buffalo (2013) and the Health Foundation of Western and Central New York’s Health Leadership Fellows program (2015).  In 2018 she was awarded a Woman of Influence Award by Business First for Inspirational Leadership. ×

Larry Smith, CPRSS

Chief Operating Officer, Grand Lake Mental Health Center, Inc.

Larry Smith has been with Grand Lake Mental Health Center for 24 years.  During this time, Larry has always pushed the envelope for better quality of care for the people we serve.  Larry is a disciple of the Deming Theory of Management, which has been instrumental in developing management skills within his executive team, and he has consistently used performance measures and continuous quality improvement techniques to provide more efficient, patient-centered, quality care.

Larry has always concentrated on putting together interdisciplinary partnerships with organizations, focusing on leveraging shared information to improve quality of care.  GLMHC partnered with a pharmacy to not only fill medications for his clients but to also create a bi-directional data fed into GLMHC’s electronic health record (EHR), allowing staff to better monitor medication compliance.  He then duplicated this process with a high complexity laboratory, allowing staff to more quickly and efficiently order and track lab results directly from within their EHR.  Larry has also utilized his software knowledge to build an interface with one of Oklahoma’s Health Insurance Exchanges (HIE).  With Larry’s unique talents and connections to behavioral health and technology, he was able to manage all these multifaceted and usually fragmented health care providers (pharmacy, lab, HIE) by software interfaces and orchestrating a data fed to one location within his electronic health record, which he calls the Client Dashboard.

Currently, Larry has closed the health care communication gap between Hospitals, Emergency rooms and police departments by helping to develop a First Responder application that allows immediate access to a LMHP, to again give our clients better care by providing services for them in the least restrictive environment needed for their care.

What’s in Larry’s horizon?  He has taken the backbone/infrastructure of the First Responder application and will be rolling out a client application and clinician application that will fulfill his goal of allowing the client to receive the services they need when and where they are needed.

All this has put the GLMHC model as one of the companies to watch as the Certified Community Behavioral Health Center (CCBHC) gains momentum. ×

Chris Thompson, MHA

Chief Operating Officer, Monarch

In fall 2018, Chris was named Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He oversees Monarch’s behavioral health operations statewide, provides clinical and administrative oversite and helps to direct the company’s service expansion strategies.

Chris joined Monarch more than eight years ago. Prior to his current role, he served as Senior Vice President of Operations, Behavioral Health at Monarch and played an integral role in the extensive growth of critical services including open access, outpatient services, psychiatry services, community support teams, Assertive Community Treatment teams (ACTT), psychosocial rehabilitation, peer support, facility-based crisis, 24/7 behavioral health urgent care center, intensive in-home services and Individual Placement and Support (IPS) employment services. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and finance from Winthrop University and earned his Master’s in Health Administration at Pfeiffer University.

Chris lives in Fort Mill with his wife, Courtney, and their children, Jonathan and Ashton. ×

Amber Rich

Community Partnership Specialist, Intermountain Healthcare

Amber Rich

Community Partnership Specialist, Intermountain Healthcare

Amber Rich is a community partnership specialist with Intermountain Healthcare, which includes local leadership for the Utah Alliance for Determinants of Health. The Alliance is a three-year community collaborative aimed at addressing factors outside of healthcare that impact our well-being like food, housing, violence, transportation, and utilities.  She works closely with fellow not-for-profit organizations and other community partners to address prevention and wellness, as well as coordination of care for medical and behavioral health services for vulnerable populations. She also is part of the Intermountain Speakers Bureau on Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Distribution.

She is a graduate of Southern Utah University, and began her career in public relations with Dixie State University and Dixie Regional Medical Center. She also worked as an adjunct communications instructor, and has extensive experience as a free-lance writer. She sits on several community boards and coalitions, and has been an active volunteer in the community for more than two decades.  She and her husband, Adam, have four children and reside in St. George. ×

Angela Choberka

Community Partnership Specialist, Intermountain Healthcare

Angela Choberka

Community Partnership Specialist, Intermountain Healthcare

Angela Choberka is the Community Partnership Specialist coordinating the Utah Alliance for Determinants of Health, “The Alliance,” project in Weber County. She joined Intermountain Healthcare in 2018 and is excited to take on the challenge of helping to create a more innovative approach to addressing the needs of community members that have not traditionally been a part of the healthcare system. Her experience includes being a project director for a Promise Neighborhood initiative as well as teaching at various levels. Angela is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Utah and is Vice Chair of the Ogden City Council. ×

Christopher Reist, M.D., MBA

Chief Population Health Strategy, Care Management Technologies, Relias

Dr. Christopher Reist is a clinical scientist in the areas of psychopharmacolgy, genetics, and clinical psychiatry. He uses his experience in medical education and changing medical provider behavior to improve quality of care and develop healthcare analytics in support of population health management. Dr. Reist is also a professor at UC-Irvine where he oversees research programs in innovative treatments. His other current research interest is in the area of evidence based practices for enhancing recovery in patients with serious mental illness. ×

Carol Clayton, Ph.D.

Translational Neuroscientist, Relias

Dr. Carol Clayton is a licensed, practicing psychologist with 30 years of healthcare experience in the public and private sector, including non-profit and private practice work. She currently works as the Translational Neuroscientist for Relias, specializing in healthcare solutions targeting workforce development and population health outcome improvement. Before joining Relias, Dr. Clayton was the CEO of Care Management Technologies, a health IT data analytics company. She also served as the Executive Director of the NC Council of Community Programs from 2000- 2006. The NC Council is the predecessor organization to i2i. ×

Rola Aamar, Ph.D., LMFTA

Clinical Effectiveness Consultant, Behavioral Health, Relias

Dr. Rola Aamar has focused her clinical practice and research on the importance of treatment alliance between patients and healthcare providers. She also has years of behavioral health clinical experience working with families in primary and specialty treatment on addressing comorbid medical and behavioral health conditions. Dr. Aamar is currently at Relias as the clinical effectiveness consultant for behavioral health, bringing her clinical and operational knowledge of integrated care, data analytics, and behavioral healthcare to support client use of analytics to improve clinical performance and patient health. ×

Stephanie M. Murtaugh, MA, MBA, LPC, CADC

Director of Clinical Services, Pittsburgh Mercy

Bio Coming soon! ×

Tracy Luoma

Executive Director, Optum Salt Lake County, Optum Consumer Solutions Group

Tracy Luoma

Executive Director, Optum Salt Lake County, Optum Consumer Solutions Group

Tracy Luoma is the Executive Director for Optum Salt Lake County Behavioral Health. Tracy has more than 30 years of experience in strategic health care leadership positions in Utah.  As Executive Director, she has a key role in Optum’s ongoing partnership with the Salt Lake County Division of Behavioral Health Services to deliver high-quality mental health and substance use services and programs that focus on wellness, recovery and resilience. She works closely with County leaders, providers, consumers and other community stakeholders to continue supporting a strong behavioral health system that helps people get the care they need, when and where they need it.

Prior to joining Optum, Tracy served as the Director of Health Plan Operations for Molina Healthcare of Utah with responsibility over multiple lines of business including Medicaid and Medicare. She previously held several leadership positions with the Utah Department of Health and the Utah Department of Human Services.

Tracy is a graduate of the University of Utah and lives in Salt Lake City with her husband and two children. She serves as a volunteer coach and mentor with People Helping People, an organization dedicated to helping low-income women find better employment opportunities as a way to reduce the number of families living in poverty. ×

Mollie Murphy

President, Applied Self-Direction

Mollie Murphy is the President of Applied Self-Direction. Mollie has nationally recognized expertise in Financial Management Services (FMS) in self-direction. With over thirteen years’ experience in FMS, Mollie has assisted state and federal agencies to design and implement self-direction programs with high performing and compliant FMS. Mollie has led FMS Technical Assistance at the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services (NRCPDS) at Boston College since 2008 and has designed and carried out the only national FMS Conference since 2009.  She has worked with states to develop FMS programs from their inception and to improve services and processes in existing FMS programs.  Mollie serves on an interagency workgroup with the Internal Revenue Service to support tax policy development for United States FMS providers.

Mollie is regularly a presenter at national conferences and has authored several issue briefs for the SCAN Foundation and others.  Ms. Murphy started and continues to lead the NRCPDS FMS Membership organization that is now within Applied Self-Direction.  Applied Self-Direction also provides Membership services to state programs offering self-direction.

Ms. Murphy is a Junior Fellow with the Annenburg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania’s National Academy of Political and Social Science and graduated summa cum laude with Highest Honors in Economics from Clark University. ×

Regina Widdows

President & Chief Executive Officer, SERV Behavioral Health Systems, Inc.

Regina Widdows

President & Chief Executive Officer, SERV Behavioral Health Systems, Inc.

Regina Widdows, brings over 25 years of results-driven healthcare management experience to her current position as President & CEO for SERV Behavioral Health System (SBHS) in Ewing, New Jersey.  In her role at SBHS Ms. Widdows retains operational and administrative oversight of the parent organization which operates four not for profit divisions, developmental/intellectual disabilities, behavioral health, properties & management company, and the SERV Foundation.

Ms. Widdows is known as a versatile, resourceful and results-driven healthcare management professional.  She is skilled at leading cross-functional teams and planning and executing strategic business initiatives and strategies that result in successful business and financial outcomes.  She is known for her extensive experience fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation within and between special-needs consumers, behavioral health constituents, the provider communities and their staff teams.

Before joining SERV in 2016, Ms. Widdows was Senior Vice President of Program and Clinical Operations at Bancroft, a behavioral health organization with sites in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. She previously held executive positions in hospital systems in Pennsylvania, including Haven Behavioral Hospital of Eastern Pennsylvania and Brandywine Hospital, and was Associate Executive Director of Lenape Valley Foundation in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

Accompanying her past experience Ms. Widdows remains greatly involved in professional organizations.  She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the New Jersey Association of Community Providers

Ms. Widdows received her master’s degree in clinical psychology from West Chester University, West Chester, Pennsylvania; and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ×

Christopher Williams, MA

Senior Associate, OPEN MINDS

Christopher Williams, M.A., brings over 25 years of strategic marketing and communications experience to the OPEN MINDS team. Mr. Williams currently serves as a Senior Associate, leading projects related to developing strategic partnerships, brand and reputation management, strategic and crisis communications, as well as mixed-method research design and statistical analysis.

Prior to joining OPEN MINDS, Mr. Williams served as the Director of Sales, Northwest and Account Management for The Echo Group, based in Conway, New Hampshire. In this role, Mr. Williams was responsible for generating new client sales, sales territory planning and management, as well as sales prospecting and lead conversions, through product demonstrations, managing strategic accounts, and fostering client relationships.

Prior to serving as the Director of Sales, Northwest and Account Management. Williams served as the Director of Marketing for The Echo Group. In this role, Mr. Williams oversaw lead generation, managed brand developments, executed product launches, conducted market research and competitive analyses, as well as executed strategic marketing plans and initiatives.

Previously, Mr. Williams served as the Vice President of Strategic Communications at Cookson Strategic Communications, in Manchester, New Hampshire. During his tenure, Mr. Williams served as a as lead consultant for on-going client programs and initiatives, managed the planning and execution phases of strategic communication campaigns, oversaw brand development and multiple product launches, as well as provided creative direction.

In addition to his commercial experience, Mr. Williams held adjunct faculty positions at the University of New Hampshire, Manchester, Concordia University, and Michigan State University, where he taught courses pertaining to public relations, communications and journalism. Mr. Williams earned his Master of Arts in Journalism from Michigan State University. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Communications & Journalism from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, as well as his Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts from Mott Community College in Flint, Michigan. ×

Ken Carr

Chief Financial Officer, Elite DNA Therapy & Advisory Board Member, OPEN MINDS

Ken Carr

Chief Financial Officer, Elite DNA Therapy & Advisory Board Member, OPEN MINDS

Ken Carr brings over 20 years of finance, technology, data analysis and reporting experience in the health and human service field to OPEN MINDS. He currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Elite DNA Therapy Services, a mental health provider based in Naples, FL.

Prior to joining Elite DNA Therapy, Mr. Carr served as a Senior Associate with the OPEN MINDS consulting practice. In this role, he served as a subject matter expert in the OPEN MINDS consulting practice where he has led 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.


Tine Hansen-Turton

President & Chief Executive Officer, Woods Services

Tine Hansen-Turton is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Woods Services, a leading advocacy and service organization for people with exceptional challenges, disabilities and complex needs. Ms. Hansen-Turton formerly served as the Chief Operating Officer at Public Health Management Corporation, where she oversaw and led corporate strategy, operations, business development and M&A. Additionally, Ms. Hansen-Turton served as CEO of the National Nurse-led Care Consortium, a non-profit organization supporting the growth and development of over 500 nurse-managed and school health clinics.  Ms. Hansen-Turton still serves as the founding Executive Administrator for the Convenient Care Association (CCA), the national trade association of over 2200 private-sector retail clinic industry, serving 25 million people with basic health care services across the country.  Ms. Hansen-Turton also teaches public and social innovations, leading nonprofits, health policy and the social innovations lab at University of Pennsylvania Fels Institute of Government and School of Nursing. Ms. Hansen-Turton is founder and publisher of a social impact/innovation journal and has co-published eight books. She received her BA from Slippery Rock University, her Master of Government/Public Administration from University of Pennsylvania Fels Institute and her Juris Doctor from Temple University Beasley School of Law. ×

Frank Baumann

Chief Operating Officer, BayMark Health Services, Inc.

Frank Baumann

Chief Operating Officer, BayMark Health Services, Inc.

Frank Baumann was appointed Chief Operating Officer of BayMark Health Services in December of 2015. Frank joined MedMark as Vice President of Development in April of 2009. Frank is a seasoned senior executive with over twenty years of psychiatric and substance abuse experience. His vast array of management expertise includes national multi-site operations, strategic planning, business development and finance.

Frank came to MedMark from Horizon Health Corporation where he spent over a decade in key leadership roles including President of Hospital Services, President of Contract Management Services and Senior Vice President of Operations. Prior to his term with Horizon Health, Frank spent several years with Mountain Crest Behavioral Healthcare System in Fort Collins, Colorado as CEO as well as Controller. Frank earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration – Accounting from Colorado State University and a MBA from the University of Denver. ×

Dan Ohler

Vice President, State Government Programs, Optum Behavioral Health

Dan Ohler

Vice President, State Government Programs, Optum Behavioral Health

Dan Ohler currently serves as Vice President of Business Development at Optum.   Dan’s works focuses specifically on public sector behavioral health, working with state and local government partners.  He has a strong background working with programs for people with intellectual and/or other developmental disabilities and has been an integral part of Optum’s efforts to strengthen their person-centered services model.   Dan has worked extensively with state and local government leaders, national associations, provider agencies and advocacy groups in an effort to ensure that programs and supports are structured in a manner that enhances the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities.  He spearheaded Optum’s ‘Spark! Initiative’ in 2017 that OPEN MINDS CEO Monica Oss participated in and collaborated with the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities to create ‘The Art of Impact’, an eBook for self-advocates, for which he authored a Foreword.

Prior to joining OPTUM, Dan worked for nearly two decades in various leadership positions in Ohio’s Developmental Disabilities service system.  As the Executive Director of the Association of County Boards of Developmental Disabilities, he worked with state officials to ensure the passage of legislation that led to the largest increase in home and community based services in the state’s history.  During that same time period, he served as President of the National Association of County Behavioral Health & Developmental Disability Directors in Washington, DC where he helped to advance policy at the national level.  Dan also worked at the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, where he was responsible for Community Medicaid Services; and, just prior to joining OPTUM he was the CEO of a non-profit agency focused on integrated community employment for people with developmental disabilities.

Mr. Ohler earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from West Liberty State College in West Virginia.  In addition to his duties with OPTUM, Dan serves on the Boards of two non-profit entities in his home state of Ohio. ×

James Craig, LCSW, MBA

Vice President, Corporate Clinical- Autism Solutions, Beacon Health Options

James Craig, LCSW, MBA is the Corporate Vice President for Autism Solutions at Beacon Health Options, the largest autism services managed care provider in the US with 11,000 cases in service covering 13 million lives. In this role, he is responsible for the ongoing development, implementation and continuous improvement of clinical services delivered to children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and their families and supports the Beacon autism clinical teams throughout the United States. James has held numerous positions in managed behavioral health care most recently as the Director of Behavioral Operations at Accolade, a start-up concierge company specializing in integrated approaches to support medical and behavioral health decision making for consumers. Prior to that, he served as General Manager for Behavioral Health at Aetna for the Eastern United States where he was responsible for health plans and self-insured customers. In this capacity, James developed the first Autism Case Management program incorporating a case coordination and utilization management model in fulfilment of the emerging state mandates. James has developed a wide range of behavioral health programs designed to improve quality and effectiveness that have led to behavior change for those with medical and behavioral health issues. These have included telehealth coaching, online social media resources and member and provider engagement strategies. ×

Devin A. Reaves, MSW

Co-Founder & Executive Director, Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalition

Devin is a person living in recovery since 2007. He is a community organizer and grassroots advocacy leader. Devin has worked on the expansion of access to the lifesaving medication Naloxone, implantation of 911 Good Samaritan policies, and the development of youth oriented systems. He wants to build constituencies of consequence that will lead to meaningful public health policy changes around substance use disorders. Devin is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalition (PAHRC). Devin received a Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice with a focus on community and organizational change and has a BA in Human Services from Lynn University. Devin also serves on the Pennsylvania Overdose Task Force and the Board of Directors for the Association of Recovery Schools. ×

Elizabeth Mauro, LCSW-R

Chief Executive Officer, Endeavor Health Services

Ms. Elizabeth L. Mauro, LCSW-R was appointed to her current position as Chief Executive Officer of Endeavor Health in 2007.  In this role she is responsible for managing the full range of behavioral health and support services, which Endeavor provides to the community; and works with Board Officers and Senior Staff to promote a sharing of knowledge and resources in advancing the Mission of Endeavor throughout the organization and the community. Ms. Mauro is also the President of the Endeavor Foundation.

Since her appointment, Ms. Mauro has led the growth and expansion of the organization from Erie County into Niagara, Orleans, Genesee and Monroe Counties.  Most recent accomplishments include the implementation of a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC), becoming a founding partner of the region’s first Behavioral Health Care Collaborative (BHCC) in the form of an IPA, implementing integrated clinics with primary care including specifically tailored Medication Assisted Treatment for adolescents and young adults and changing the name and brand of her agency to better reflect the service expansion and evolving role of behavioral healthcare.  Endeavor currently operates 35 different programs and is licensed in the areas of Adult Mental Health, Child Mental Health, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services and Integrated Services.

Ms. Mauro is from the Buffalo area and a graduate of The State University of New York at Buffalo’s Graduate Program in Social Work.  Ms. Mauro has been with Endeavor for the past 26 years.  She has been in various positions including Corporate Compliance Officer, Supervisor of Child Mental Health Clinics, Site Team Leader and Mental Health Counselor.

Ms. Mauro is the recipient of the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Association of Social Workers, NYS Western Division.  She serves on the Board of Directors of People Inc., a not-for-profit health and human services agency. Ms. Mauro is a founding partner, Treasurer and Advisory Board member of Value Network IPA, LLC. Ms. Mauro is the Advisory Board Chair for the Oishei Healthy Kids Children’s Health Home Care Management Committee along with serving on the Utilization Management and Quality Management Behavioral Health subcommittees for Your Care Health Plan, Beacon Health Options. Ms. Mauro is a recipient of a scholarship to Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government Executive Education program; an Adjunct Professor at Saint Bonaventure University Graduate School of Education; a past teacher/moderator for The Harvard Business School Club of Buffalo; and serves as the Western Region Representative Board Member for the New York Council on Community Behavioral Healthcare. ×

Joe Getch, MBA, MS

Chief Operating Officer, PRS, Inc.

Joe Getch is Chief Operating Officer at PRS, Inc., where he has worked since March 2005.  As COO, Joe provides the leadership, management and vision necessary to ensure that PRS meets its strategic goals.  Joe is also an Administrative Surveyor with CARF International.  He has over 26 years of experience working in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector in the Washington, DC area, and has previous experience holding C level positions with the Benton Foundation, Hitachi Foundation and First Nations Development Institute.  Joe holds a B.S. in Economics from George Mason University, an M.S. in Administration from Central Michigan University, and an MBA from Virginia Tech.  He is on the Board of the Virginia Association of Community-Based Providers, and has also been active in the community, having served on the Boards of Directors of the Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project based at the George Washington University Law School, the Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault and Connect for Kids. ×

Wendy Gradison, LCSW

President & Chief Executive Officer, PRS, Inc.

Wendy Gradison currently serves as President and CEO of PRS, Inc. (Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services) a community-based, non-profit organization dedicated to helping people living with mental illness, substance use disorders, mild intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, and anyone who faces life crises achieve safety, personal wellness, recovery and community integration. A licensed clinical social worker, trained family therapist and facilitator, Wendy received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Williams College and her Masters in Social Work from Catholic University.  Under Wendy’s leadership, PRS was named as a finalist for the Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management, and by the Nonprofit Times as one of the nation’s 50 Best Nonprofits to Work For the last six years. Wendy was awarded the regional Center for Nonprofit Advancement’s  EXCEL Award for outstanding nonprofit leadership and was the recipient of the Fairfax County Mental Health Consumer Award for Service Provider Excellence. ×

Matt Berg, NHA

Chief Executive Officer, LeadingChoice Network

Bio Coming Soon! ×

Lynda Zeller

Senior Behavioral Health Fellow, Michigan Health Endowment Fund

Lynda Zeller

Senior Behavioral Health Fellow, Michigan Health Endowment Fund

Lynda is the Senior Fellow, Behavioral Health for the Michigan Health Endowment Fund.   The mission of the fund is to improve the health of Michigan residents, with special emphasis on health and wellness of children and seniors while reducing the cost of care.  Her work is focused specifically on cross cutting goals of strengthening the workforce in behavioral health systems and seamless integration of services including social determinants of health and wellness.

Previously, she served seven years as the deputy director for the Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. In this position, Lynda functioned as the State Authority for all community based mental health, substance use disorder, intellectual and developmental disabilities policy and services; including all publicly funded treatment, prevention and supports; and was responsible for the five state psychiatric and forensic hospitals   For the three years prior, she served as the Health Services Administrator for the Michigan Department of Corrections, overseeing provision of all health, behavioral heath and dental services for the state’s prison system.   Immediately prior to Michigan Department of Corrections, Lynda was the Chief Executive Officer for the Kent Health Plan, a safety net health coverage plan in Michigan.

In total, Lynda has more than 30 years of service in fields of indigent health care, developmental disabilities support and services, community behavioral health, and managed care.   Her job responsibilities across those years are wide-ranging and include direct care residential, case management, information technology, quality, government relations strategy and more.   Lynda’s most recent national board experience includes: National Association for State Mental Health Program Directors (immediate past president), The Council of State Governments Justice Center, and the National Research Institute (current Vice President).  Lynda is also a sister of persons receiving services in intellectual/developmental disabilities and behavioral health service systems.  She counts her siblings as sources of important strength, encouragement and learning throughout her life’s work. ×

Stacy DiStefano

Chief Operating Officer, OPEN MINDS

Stacy DiStefano brings over 20 years of business development and executive leadership experience in the health and human services industry to OPEN MINDS. She currently serves as OPEN MINDS Chief Operating Officer where she is responsible for operations management, business development, and innovation for OPEN MINDS Strategic Advisory Services.

Before joining OPEN MINDS, Ms. DiStefano served as the Vice President of Innovation for Resources for Human Development (RHD) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In this role, she led the innovation, strategy, and national development efforts to broaden the scope of services, diversify funding sources, engage and maintain political relationships, and design programs based on regional needs to enhance systems of care. In addition, she built and maintained relationships through individual meetings, public speaking, conferences, providing expert testimony and research, making her a trusted leader of remote, mission driven teams with matrix reporting.

Previously, Ms. DiStefano served as the Director of National Business Development and Social Innovation, as well as the New Jersey Supportive Housing Director. Prior to her service at Resources For Human Development, Ms. DiStefano was a lead therapist at the Center For Behavioral Health in New Jersey, practicing individual, child, family, and couples-solution focused counseling in a managed care setting, while also mentoring and clinically training Master’s interns. Starting her career in Arizona, Ms. DiStefano gained valuable experience in community behavioral health at EMPACT-Suicide Prevention Center, now La Frontera, where she managed the Service Utilization Department while regularly filing shifts on the crisis response team.

Throughout her extensive career, Ms. DiStefano has demonstrated success in high level contract negotiations, strategy, government relations and creating collaborative partnerships. While she is skilled at public policy analysis, identifying and managing trends, Mergers and Acquisitions, and all phases of business development, she also brings a thorough understanding of corporate fiscal oversight and the budgeting budget process.

Recognized for her clinical acumen with a deep understanding of SPMI and IDD population, Medicaid waivers, homelessness and systemic effects of SUD and the opioid crisis, Ms. DiStefano has a proven ability to understand conflicting interests and build consensus.

She is considered to be a subject matter expert in Supportive Housing, Housing First, Harm Reduction, Trauma Informed Care, Olmstead, HCBS, Value Based Payment Arrangements, Managed Care Organizations, MLTSS, and population health management. In addition, Ms. DiStefano has been featured at numerous international speaking engagements discussing topics such as strategic planning and housing advocacy, as an engaging public speaker with confidence speaking to settings of all sizes.

Ms. DiStefano earned her Master of Counseling from the University of Phoenix and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Arizona State University.


Ray Wolfe, J.D.

Senior Associate, OPEN MINDS

Raymond “Ray” Wolfe, J.D. brings over 40 years of experience in the health and human services sector to the OPEN MINDS team. Mr. Wolfe currently serves as a Senior Associate, a position in which he utilizes his expertise to successfully lead varying projects for OPEN MINDS. His areas of expertise include financial analysis and management, mergers and acquisitions, performance improvement, and strategic planning.

Before joining OPEN MINDS, Mr. Wolfe served in a 22 year tenure with Pittsburgh Mercy Health System in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Most recently, Mr. Wolfe served as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) where he was responsible for oversight of all system operations, strategic planning, and performance management. Under his direction Pittsburgh Mercy achieved over $850K in value-based reimbursement contract quality bonus awards, integrated three organizations through merger/acquisition, and adopted a new performance management program for managers.

Before acting as Pittsburgh Mercy’s COO, Mr. Wolfe served as the organization’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and was responsible for the development of internal costing methodologies, contract rate negotiations, and financial forecasting activities. In addition, he coordinated an integrated care program with local partner hospitals to develop a series of diversion and respite programs, as well as, specialized primary care, integrated care management and high utilizer teams, while maintaining 15 straight years profitability.

Mr. Wolfe was promoted to CFO after serving as the Director of Fiscal and Information Security/Compliance for the health system. In this role, he was responsible for managing the transition of service contracts from fee-for-service (FFS), leading all compliance activities, and implementing a next generation electronic health record (EHR) system.

Prior to his time at Pittsburgh Mercy Health System, Mr. Wolfe served as Chief Fiscal Officer with the Summit Center for Human Development in Clarksburg, West Virginia, where he was responsible for reporting and budgeting functions and preparing Summit Center’s programs for FFS billing.

Previously, Mr. Wolfe served in billing and collections for two Pennsylvania-based hospitals. First, as an Accounts Receivables Manager for Brownsville General Hospital in Brownsville, PA, where he managed the accounting and billing system transition systems. Later as a Patient Account Manager for St. Francis Medical Center in Pittsburgh, PA, where he improved collections to hit 95% rate through the implementation of new billing software and department reorganization.

Prior to working in the health and human services market, Mr. Wolfe spent five years practicing as a Lawyer with at Law Offices of Arch A. Moore in Moundsville, WV. In this role he provided general legal practice, created and established bylaws for multiple corporation, and handled West Virginia licensing of first vision insurance plan.

Mr. Wolfe earned his Juris Doctor from the West Virginia University School of Law in Morgantown, WV and his Bachelor’s degree with a focus in Political Science and Sociology from West Liberty University, in Wheeling, WV, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.


David Wawrzynek, MBA

Senior Associate, OPEN MINDS

David Wawrzynek, MBA brings more than 40 years of public behavioral health, clinical, financial, and management experience to the OPEN MINDS team. He brings a truly unique combination of experience  with his clinical, business, and financial experience, as well as a demonstrated history of efficient and effective management of behavioral health services.

Mr. Wawrzynek currently serves as a Senior Associate and Subject Matter Expert in the OPEN MINDS Consulting Practice, where he leads projects related to value-based purchasing, financial modeling, and clinical and financial data analysis. In recent years, Mr. Wawrzynek has focused on the development of analytic modeling tools, communication platforms, and knowledge management supports to transform raw data into meaningful information, to enable more effective strategic and operational insights and decision-making.

Before joining OPEN MINDS, Mr. Wawrzynek served 18 years as the Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer at Spectrum Human Services, a private, non-profit community mental health organization in Western New York. In this role, Mr. Wawrzynek designed, implemented and monitored systems to support information technology, human resources, billing, budgeting, financial modeling and reporting, site operations, risk management, security, as well as change management.

Previously, Mr. Wawrzynek served as the Vice President of Finance and Chief Fiscal Officer with Health Management Group in Buffalo, New York. In this role, he managed the corporate financial resources through the supervision and coordination of the functions of reimbursement, budget, banking, and general accounting.

Previously, Mr. Wawrzynek served his first 14 year tenure with Spectrum Human Services as Director of Financial Operations. In this role, he was responsible for the fiscal, facility, personnel, and business functions of the corporation. In addition he was responsible for data analysis and worked closely with the Clinical and Quality Assurance Directors in the development and monitoring of performance and outcome indicators.

Before joining Spectrum, Mr. Wawrzynek served as an Outpatient Psychiatry Supervising Counselor with Buffalo General Hospital Community Mental Health Center. In this role, he held dual clinical and administrative responsibilities and assisted in the daily operation of the department, acted as a liaison to other hospital departments, and supervised staff activities.

Mr. Wawrzynek began his career as a clinical Supervising Counselor for the City of Buffalo’s Division of Drug Abuse Services where he was responsible for supervision of all counseling and clinical activities at a community-based drug treatment center and provided counseling services for clinic patients.

In recognition of his professional successes, Mr. Wawrzynek was named as the 2007 Not-for-profit Chief Financial Officer of the Year by Buffalo Business First.

In addition to his professional experience, Mr. Wawrzynek has served in a number of leadership roles for affiliations including past President for the New York State Cerner Software User Group; past Board President for Child Resource Network; and Treasurer for Spectrum Human Services Foundation.

Mr. Wawrzynek earned his Master of Business Administration and his bachelors in psychology from SUNY at Buffalo and his Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling from Syracuse 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 two 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.


Joseph P. Naughton-Travers, EdM

Senior Associate, OPEN MINDS

Joseph P. Naughton-Travers, EdM, 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, over half 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. ×

John F. Talbot, Ph.D.

Vice President, Corporate Development, Jefferson Center for Mental Health, & Advisory Board Member, OPEN MINDS

John F. Talbot, Ph.D.

Vice President, Corporate Development, Jefferson Center for Mental Health, & Advisory Board Member, OPEN MINDS

John Talbot, Ph.D. has more than 30 years’ experience in all aspects of health care, including upper management, consultation, education, direct clinical work, and serving as the president of a non-profit board.

Dr. Talbot is currently Vice President of Corporate Strategy at Jefferson Center for Mental Health (JCMH) in Denver, Colorado. In this role, he is responsible for the development and implementation of corporate strategy, strategic alliances and new product development. Dr. Talbot also served as the Vice President of Integration Development for JCMH where he led all new business development opportunities in integrated care and participated in region wide and statewide initiatives.

Prior to his current role, Dr. Talbot served as an Executive Vice President for OPEN MINDS for eight years and provided consultation, training and operational assistance to behavioral health providers, nonprofit organizations, and managed care organizations across the country. His areas of focus for consultation and training include strategic planning, the development of successful strategic alliances, board development, organizational reengineering, operations management, management and leadership development, and change management.

Previously, Dr. Talbot served as the President of Colorado Care Management, a network of agencies providing care to children and families. Dr. Talbot led the development of a coalition of Colorado business executives to address the issues of providing care to abused and neglected children, and the establishment of a nationwide purchasing cooperative for non-profits. The innovative work of Colorado Care Management received national recognition, including participation in a Federal IV-E waiver study that demonstrated measurable superior clinical outcomes.

Dr. Talbot’s additional experience includes serving as the Associate Dean of Operations, the Director of the Master of Health Systems Program, and Adjunct Faculty for University College, University of Denver. He also held a senior management position at Mount Airy Psychiatric Center in Denver, Colorado.

Dr. Talbot has been a featured speaker at a number of national and state venues, and is the former publisher and editor of Today’s Healthcare Manager, a newsletter focusing on leadership and management skills for healthcare managers, and has written numerous articles, manuals, and book chapters.

Dr. Talbot received his Ph.D. from the University of Denver, Master of Occupational Therapy from Western Michigan University, and Bachelor of Science from Loyola University.