Lisa Whittemore

Lisa Whittemore

Lisa Whittemore headshot

An accomplished executive, Lisa Whittemore has extensive experience leading innovative initiatives in hospitals and the insurance industry.

Prior to joining HMA, Lisa was vice president of Network Performance Improvement at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA). She was responsible for the development and strategic use of performance-based incentives, reporting, and consultative support with the BCBSMA provider network. She also oversaw the quality incentive component of the BCBSMA Alternative Quality Contract (AQC), a provider contract model launched in 2009 with the twin goals of improving quality and outcomes while significantly slowing spending growth.

Previously, Lisa served as the senior administrator for primary care at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. In that role, she led 15 practice locations, including two licensed health centers. As the executive director for Licensed and Affiliated Health Centers, she worked with senior leadership to develop strategy and maximize affiliations among affiliated health centers. Serving as director of Partners Primary Care for the Partners Healthcare System (PHS), she was responsible for transforming PHS affiliated Primary Care Practices to Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMH). The work began as a means to address issues related to primary care provider recruitment and retention. With the adoption of health reform, PHS launched a strategic planning initiative to address the new care delivery system.

During her tenure as chief operating/chief financial officer of Fenway Community Health, Lisa led the organization in its first JCAHO accreditation and guided it to an improved financial performance. Prior to that, she served as the first executive director of the Emerson Hospital Physician-Hospital Organization, a 250-plus member physician/hospital group affiliated with a large integrated delivery service network in the Boston area.

Lisa spent 15 years working as a clinical social worker in a variety of settings. While at Emerson Hospital, she developed a program within the emergency department to ensure that patients who presented with psychiatric and addiction issues received timely and appropriate care. This program utilized a multi-disciplinary team, improved the patient experience with psychiatric service within the emergency department, and decreased hospital utilization.

She earned her Master of Public Health from Harvard School of Public Health, a Master of Social Work from Smith College School for Social Work and her bachelor’s degree from Smith College.

In her spare time, Lisa is outdoors as much as she can be – hiking, swimming, or relaxing in her boat.

Myra Sessions

Myra Sessions headshot

Myra Sessions has extensive healthcare delivery reform experience with a focus on system transformation, the patient-centered medical home (PCMH), and behavioral health integration. An established collaborator and facilitator, Myra aligns aims and expectations to generate organizational change for her clients.

Working on both the health plan side and practice side, Myra defines and develops strategic priorities and patient-centered solutions to organizational and operational challenges. As program manager of business development at Commonwealth Care Alliance, Myra implemented collaborative clinical programs for the One Care and Senior Care Options dual eligible programs. Myra built partnerships between primary care practices and health plan care managers to define shared expectations, communication processes, and growth strategies reflective of the cultures and processes of the diverse organizations. She contributed to contract negotiations by promoting partnerships, defining return on investment, and aligning care delivery priorities.

As a practice transformation coach at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Myra collaborated with medical and administrative leadership teams of community health centers and primary care practices to support transformation toward team-based care. This included defining roles and responsibilities for expanded team members, re-engineering pre-visit and rooming processes, and designing robust compensation systems to align incentives and promote access.

Experienced in technical and adaptive change management approaches and organizational tools that measure progress, Myra was responsible for spearheading a series of process improvement projects to increase efficiency and improve patient flow, team-building and patient-centeredness. With her support, practice leaders secured provider buy-in and redesigned diabetes care processes to dramatically improve performance on quality metrics. Myra also assisted in engaging a wide range of front-line practice staff to use LEAN methods to achieve efficiencies and cultural transformation.

Since joining HMA, Myra has worked with healthcare delivery organizations in Massachusetts to design and implement primary care and behavioral health integration efforts. She has prepared clients for payment reform including the transition to value-based payment and accountable care.

Myra earned her master’s degree in health policy and management from the Harvard School of Public Health. She received her bachelor’s degree in American studies from Wesleyan University.

A native of Vermont, Myra likes her maple syrup dark and her winters nice and snowy.

Liddy Garcia-Bunuel

Liddy Garcia-Bunuel headshot

Liddy Garcia-Buñuel has the vision, passion and expertise to effect organizational and systematic change. She takes a collaborative approach. She unites health systems, hospitals, providers, government and social service agencies around common goals and innovative programs to elevate whole community health and quality of life. She delivers evidence-based solutions that breakdown barriers, mitigate disparities and address upstream social determinants of health, including access to healthy food, safe walkable communities, transportation, housing and workplace wellness.

As executive director for a nonprofit community health advocacy organization in Maryland, Liddy introduced the first health plan in the nation to couple access to primary and specialty care with mandatory coaching. The HHS innovation award-winning model measures members’ health upon plan enrollment and provides care coordination after each primary care appointment and face-to-face health coaching.

Liddy oversaw a local health improvement coalition, bringing together 40 local organizations to collectively impact positive change in behavioral health, access to care, healthy weight and healthy aging. She directed a transitional care coordination initiative which hired community health workers and nurses to reduce hospital admissions and readmissions among high-risk high-utilizers, and through her leadership, introduced an advanced primary care collaborative to provide coaching around practice transformation. She engaged faith-based organizations in empowering congregants to live healthier lives.

On her path to HMA, Liddy helped launch the first insurance cooperative in Maryland, including both individual and small group products. As COO, she oversaw IT, vendor management, communications and marketing, operations and member services. She supervised universal HIV education and testing at 66 hospitals in the Chicago area. She employed culturally competent community advocates in 12 ethnic neighborhoods across Seattle to enroll children in Medicaid. She was the executive director of a main street revitalization program in Maryland, and she recruited and trained community health workers in rural El Salvador.

Liddy is seen by her peers as the chief implementer. Problem solving is her expertise, and her solutions are data driven. To optimize resources and results, Liddy employs the technique of “hot spotting” to identify communities and populations of greatest need. She is skilled in data collection and program evaluation.

A lifelong learner, Liddy is certified emergency medical technician, has studied maternal and child health at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from The College of Wooster in Ohio.

Once a triathlete, now a chilled out yogi, Liddy enjoys her life in Baltimore with her husband and two boys, surrounded by restored sailcloth mills and micro-breweries.

Tom Dehner

Tom Dehner works with states, health plans, providers and foundations, focusing on health reform implementation, Medicaid policy and operations, and strategic planning.

Before joining HMA, Tom was director of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Medicaid program, known as MassHealth, overseeing a health insurance program covering 1.1 million members, a $9 billion budget and a workforce of more than 800 people. He led federal approval and implementation of the Medicaid-related components of the Massachusetts health care reform law. He implemented the Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative, incorporating a wrap-around process model to restructure services and care coordination supports for children with serious emotional disturbances. He managed the development of a new enterprise-wide, state-of-the-art claims payment system. He was also a member of the Council of the Massachusetts e-Health Institute, a public corporation created to advance the dissemination of health information technology across the Commonwealth.

In addition to his duties as Medicaid director, Tom sat on the board for the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector, the public entity charged with facilitating health care reform and making affordable health insurance available to all Massachusetts residents.

Tom has served on the executive committee of the National Association of State Medicaid Directors, the board of directors of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program and on the advisory committee of the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute.

He earned his law degree from Northeastern University School of Law and his bachelor’s degree from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.

Tom was raised in Indiana. For this reason, he has a sweet jump shot.

Rob Buchanan

Rob Buchanan’s passion for health policy and command of healthcare payment and delivery system reform is a powerful combination for clients working to transforms today’s challenges into tomorrow’s successes.

With 20 years of experience in both public and private sectors, Rob takes a pragmatic approach to problem solving. An analytic thinker, he leverages his strengths in stakeholder engagement, strategic decision-making, and communications to support client needs.

Rob works with states, health plans, Accountable Care Organizations, safety net hospitals, and community-based providers on a variety of projects spanning health policy and program analysis, financial and healthcare cost modeling, and quality measurement. He has helped clients design provider incentives to support payment and delivery system reform and guided organizations as they develop integrated and accountable care models encompassing primary care, behavioral health, and long-term services and supports.

Before joining HMA, Rob was program director for performance incentives at Mass General Brigham, Massachusetts’ largest integrated healthcare delivery system. In that role, he administered a portfolio of quality financial incentives across commercial and public payers. He also provided expert analyses and facilitation to clinical and contracting groups on performance measurement, quality benchmarking, and value-based payment models.

During Rob’s tenure with the Massachusetts Medicaid program, he managed key financial components of the Commonwealth’s health reform effort. As budget director for acute, ambulatory care and behavioral health, he played a critical role in developing federal reimbursement strategies and hospital payment methodologies.

Rob also served on the board of trustees for Cambridge Health Alliance, a safety net hospital system that serves multiple Boston-area communities. In that role, he served as chairperson of several board committees spanning strategic planning, finance, and audit. He provided board-level leadership and guidance on development of the organization’s five-year strategic plan and participated in executive-level recruitment efforts.

Rob earned his master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Ellen Breslin

Ellen Breslin headshot

A seasoned consultant, Ellen Breslin draws upon her nearly 30 years of experience and expertise in health policy, with a commitment to payment and delivery reform and to improving outcomes for persons with disabilities.

As an independent consultant for nearly 10 years, Ellen provided extensive financing and policy expertise to an array of clients including states, health plans, and providers on major state and federal payment and delivery reforms including the Medicare-Medicaid Capitated Financial Alignment Initiative. Her portfolio of work also includes development of the financing model for a State Innovation Models (SIM) Initiative grant applicant, and creation of the state-required funds flow model for a New York organization as part of the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Program.

Previously, she spent nearly two decades of her career in health policy positions for state and federal government with a focus on helping to improve access and care for persons with disabilities. At the state level, Ellen was the first director of managed care reimbursement and analysis for MassHealth, the Massachusetts Medicaid program. At the federal level, Ellen was a principal analyst for the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, where she worked on national health care reform and wrote analytic reports and testimony for Congress.

She is the co-author of several publicly-available reports for the Massachusetts Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA), the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute (MMPI), the Massachusetts Disability Policy Consortium and the Mongan Institute for Health Policy, the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP), and Community Catalyst.

Ellen received her master’s degree in public policy from Duke University.

Ellen is a true Bostonian, with a deep love for her children, her mother, and her many siblings.

Jaimie Bern

Jaimie Bern headshot

Jaimie Hammerling Bern has more than 18 years of health policy and management experience, specializing in health reform implementation, Medicaid managed care and patient-centered medical homes. Jaimie works with states, health plans and foundations to analyze and plan for health care reform. She also supports local and national health plans with preparation for state Medicaid managed care procurements including those for dual eligibles.

Jaimie came to HMA from the Massachusetts Office of Medicaid, where she served as the project manager of the Patient-Centered Medical Home Initiative (PCMHI). She was responsible for the development and statewide implementation of PCMHI, including procurement of primary care practices, engaging public and private payers in program design and payment reform, overseeing a statewide advisory council, and working with providers to transform their practices.

Jaimie was the assistant director of Commonwealth Care at the Massachusetts Health Connector. She led the design and implementation of eligibility, enrollment and appeals policies for the new insurance program and collaborated with health plans to support their implementation Jaimie also served in leadership positions for the Massachusetts Office of Medicaid, providing operational guidance, strategic planning and quality improvement oversight for the Medicaid managed care program.

Jaimie earned her master’s degree in public health from Columbia University, master’s degree in nursing from Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.

Heidi Arthur

Heidi Arthur has over 20 years of experience in delivery system redesign to promote community-based access to health and human services for those receiving publicly financed care. Her projects have focused on expanding access to integrated care, enhancing clinical models that maximize new financing options, and supporting community-based organizations to facilitate meaningful engagement in delivery reform. She has supported behavioral health providers in preparing for managed care, value-based payment, health homes, and new Medicaid funded services. Her successful government grant proposals have expanded and enhanced supporting housing, re-entry services, care access for those in the criminal justice system, child welfare and foster care programming, trauma treatment, services for veterans, health homes for those with serious mental illness, and more.

Prior to joining HMA, Heidi was the vice president of a behavioral health consulting firm for 10 years. She has held multiple grants management positions for the New York City Department of Health, the New York State Office of Mental Health, and various community-based human service providers in New York City and Virginia.

She is co-editor and author of the book, “Service Delivery for Vulnerable Populations: New Directions in Behavioral Health.” She is a frequent conference presenter and an adjunct lecturer and field instructor for the Columbia University School of Social Work.

Heidi earned her master’s degree in social work from the Columbia University School of Social Work. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, musician Ben Arthur, and their two daughters, ages 10 and 12.

Marcey Alter

Marcey Alter headshot

Marcey Alter is a healthcare and human services professional with extensive experience spanning the public healthcare arena throughout the United States. She has provided guidance and led projects related to disability, aging, and behavioral health in multiple states. Her service in the State of Georgia included leadership roles in Medicaid operations and policy governance, long-term services and supports and infrastructure development, and disabilities advocacy and promotion.

At HMA, Marcey taps her subject matter expertise in home and community-based services (HCBS), long-term services and supports (LTSS), and behavioral health to assist clients with proposal writing and preparation, strategic program and benefit coverage design, and policy development. She has conducted primary and secondary research and designed program evaluation approaches. Marcey is interested in helping states/providers ready themselves for electronic visit verification, in implementing other quality control and cost saving mechanisms, and in providing consultation and technical assistance to clients to address strategic, operations, and overall business performance needs.

The foundation for Marcey’s commitment to human services began with the Georgia Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. As program director, she played a key role in promoting best practices for community integration and self-determination. As contracts manager with the Georgia Office of Developmental Disabilities, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Addictive Diseases, Marcey was helped lead Georgia’s systems change initiative to engage third-party intake and assessment evaluators and support coordinators for all community-based services. She provided oversight regarding level of care determination, diagnostic evaluative documentation, service plan development, and support coordination (case management) while participating in quality assurance and improvement processes.

Marcey has worked as an independent consultant and was also affiliated with the Consortium on Innovative Practices, an organization that supports innovative approaches and practices in the field of human services through research, policy analysis, training, education and advocacy that brings together appropriate resources and stakeholders to address each unique human service issue. She has conducted a statewide mental health gap analysis for Georgia, supported policy development and implementation of Alabama’s Cash and Counseling program, helped launch an agency-with-choice consumer-directed program in Texas, led strategic planning for a New York effort on spiritual inclusion for individuals with developmental disabilities, and spearheaded the research and planning for a Medicaid buy-in program in Alabama.

Most recently, Marcey oversaw fee-for-service and managed care Medicaid operations for the Georgia Department of Community Health. She led a team of more than 50 to administer multiple programs, implementing federal regulations and rules. During her tenure as assistant chief of Medicaid for policy and provider services, Marcey led multi-agency planning for implementation of a new set of benefits for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Marcey also co-led the development and launch of a new managed care plan for children in foster care, receiving adoption assistance, and involved in the juvenile justice system. She was also responsible for developing the state’s response to the Home and Community-Based Services Settings Rule and implementation of the resulting Statewide Transition Plan.

Marcey obtained her undergraduate degree in business management with a concentration in marketing at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. She completed both her Master in Business Administration and Master in Health Administration in 2003 at Georgia State University.