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.

Bren Manaugh

Bren Manaugh headshot

Bren Manaugh is a seasoned healthcare leader and specialist in organizational and systems transformation as well as whole person care. An innovative strategist focused on operations systems design and funding for the safety net and complex care populations, she effectively engages stakeholders across systems to develop and drive person-centered, culturally responsive, and trauma-informed care to optimize outcomes and reduce costs.

Bren provides practice transformation technical assistance and coaching to behavioral health and primary care providers and has served as a clinical subject matter expert and coach in California and Delaware expanding access to substance use disorder (SUD) treatment, including medication assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder. She brings together community providers, hospitals, peer supports, and the criminal justice system to improve service delivery, coordination and quality.

Bren works with hospital/health systems and multidisciplinary county teams to develop strategies for reducing avoidable emergency department and inpatient use by analyzing and responding to root causes such as mental illness, addiction, and/or homelessness.

At the leading edge of community innovations to improve law enforcement and emergency response to people challenged by these issues, she conducted an analysis and created a report and community guide for Arnold Ventures for communities developing behavioral health crisis and law enforcement diversion solutions.

Bren’s experience with, and insights into, the complex care population have also informed her work with the Hospital Association of Southern California in the six-county Los Angeles region and for Sierra Health Foundation in Sacramento. In this capacity, she assessed the service delivery system and developed solutions for hospitals’ discharge of patients experiencing homelessness. Her work with community systems of care includes engaging stakeholders, formulating common aims and implementation plans, and developing data sharing and evaluation structures. She has extensive experience with strategic planning and fostering organizational performance through change management, transformational leadership and staff development, and quality improvement.

Prior to joining HMA, Bren was vice president of adult services at a large behavioral health agency in San Antonio where she developed and administered programs in the nationally recognized Bexar County Restoration Center and Diversion Program partnering with multiple hospitals, city and county leadership, and the criminal justice system. She oversaw operations across a continuum of mental health and SUD services, including integrated primary and behavioral healthcare, outpatient clinic operations, MAT, peer/recovery support services, and residential services. As an executive operations leader, she developed and successfully implemented innovative programs including one focused on super utilizers which resulted in a 60 percent reduction in emergency department utilization. Her successful approach engaged multiple stakeholders and decision makers to generate innovative strategies that produce results.

Bren has more than 25 years’ experience in trauma-informed care and developing resilience for both individuals and organizations. She is a certified clinical trauma specialist who has provided direct clinical services, had executive responsibility for medical and behavioral health services providing trauma-informed care, developed and delivered trauma training curricula, and served as the executive lead to transform an organization to trauma-informed care, incorporating 1,400 employees and 27 facilities.

As a certified professional in healthcare quality, she is adept at applying metrics and data analytics, and Lean and change management methodology to develop, implement, and evaluate clinical systems that drive targeted outcomes and reduce costs.

Bren earned her master’s degree in social work from the University of Kansas, and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota. She is a licensed clinical social worker and certified clinical supervisor.

Gina Lasky

Gina Lasky headshot

Gina Lasky is a licensed psychologist with expertise in public sector behavioral health system design and programming including integration of behavioral health and primary care. She evaluates organizational readiness for integration and guides development and implementation of new models of collaborative care for delivery systems, county health systems, community behavioral health centers, and state corrections agencies.

She has examined state policy and administrative barriers to integrated care and has published work on leadership and team development in integrated care with the Center for Integrated Health Solutions and the American Psychiatric Association. She is co-editor of Integrated Care: A Guide to Effective Implementation for the American Psychiatric Association.

Gina has provided direct clinical care for numerous non-profit organizations, a public hospital, and a state hospital where she specialized in serious mental illness and working with individuals who were aggressive towards themselves and others. Gina has had leadership responsibility for an acute treatment unit, a detox program, crisis services, outpatient mental health clinics, and substance use treatment programs in community behavioral health. She has been responsible for clinical program development, quality improvement, and directly supervised clinical managers and therapists.

Gina is skilled in the culture change required to advance system transformation, such as integration. Her specialties include strategic planning, leadership models, team development and change management. Gina also works in partnership with HMA Community Strategies on building multi-sector and community-based solutions to promote integration at the system level and to engage organizations addressing the social determinants of health. She has experience in community organizing, group facilitation and partnership development.

Gina earned her doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Denver and a master’s degree in public leadership with a specialization in multi-sector management from George Washington University. Gina is the past President of the College of Behavioral Health Leadership.

Gina lives in the mountains in Colorado and is an avid hiker and wildlife photographer.

Art Jones

Art Jones headshot

Art Jones, M.D. has 27 years of experience as a primary care physician and chief executive officer (CEO) at a Chicago area community health center.  The health center has taken a population health approach from its beginning, addressing the social drivers of health as well as the medical needs of the community it serves.  Art lived in this resource-challenged community for 34 years.  The health center was an early adopter of managed care, successfully operating under a partial capitation payment system for all ambulatory and emergency room services and shared savings for inpatient services since the early 1990s.  Starting with the Medicaid population, similar contractual arrangements were later extended to the Medicare and commercial populations.  He was the architect for the first capitated Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) alternative payment methodology in the country in 2001.  The health center earned recognition as a high performer under these advanced alternative payment models (APM), consistently scoring in the 99th percentile nationally when managed care margin with a uniformed data system metric.

Dr. Jones was one of the founders and continues to serve as the chief medical officer for Medical Home Network (MHN) accountable care organization comprised of ten FQHCs and three health systems serving 122,000 Chicago area Medicaid recipients.  MHN is completely delegated for care management, and has successfully operated under a shared savings arrangement on total cost of care and transitioned to shared risk.  His role at MHN includes assisting the CEO in proposing and negotiating advanced APMs with payers.  MHN has generated $37 million in savings over its initial three years of operation and continues to create similar margins under shared risk.

Dr. Jones is a principal at Health Management Associates where he focuses on advancing clinically and financially integrated provider organizations.  He helps them transition to outcomes-based payment and reap some of the downstream financial benefits from operating as well-functioning, patient-centered medical homes and integrated delivery systems.  He currently serves as a subject matter expert for the Health Homes program of three states, helping them to work with high risk, high cost individuals to reduce potentially avoidable emergency department and inpatient services.  He is a sought-after national expert in creating FQHC APMs.  He was part of the HMA team who worked with the State of Idaho Medicaid Agency to develop their shared savings program.  He has consulted with several other primary care associations, other FQHC integrated delivery systems and individual FQHCs nationally to negotiate alternative payment methodologies including shared savings and to improve performance on those value-based payment arrangements.

Dr. Jones is a graduate of the University of Illinois Medical School and completed internal medicine residency, chief residency and a cardiology fellowship at the University of Chicago.

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.

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.