Debra L. Lowry, M.S., Managing Partner

Deb is an experienced consultant, healthcare manager and health plan administrator with a background in preventive medicine and medical economics and more than 25 years in integrated care organizations. She has extensive experience analyzing customer needs and implementing strategic solutions to address her customer’s business priorities, including leading large health plan administrative systems projects, performance measurement and reporting initiatives, business process redesign and strategic contract negotiations. Deb builds and leads cross-functional teams to effectively address healthcare business challenges. She moves easily from assisting her clients with high level strategy development and problem-solving to creating and implementing processes that enable healthcare teams to deliver an improved patient experience with reduced costs.

John N. Bakke, M.D., M.B.A., Senior Consultant

John has thirty plus years of medical practice experience (primary care and infectious disease) coupled with numerous medical leadership positions and organizational consulting projects. He has also recently been involved in teaching healthcare policy to postgraduate students in business administration. He has worked in both fee-for-service and capitation environments, small rural networks and highly integrated urban organizations, large and small hospitals and outpatient facilities. He is particularly interested in tailoring the organizational change process to local cultural factors, mentoring physician leadership as they work to restructure delivery systems, and facilitating the process of physicians and administrators working together to achieve common goals.

Allen Bradford, Esq., Senior Consultant

Allen Bradford is an experienced and effective legal executive, having counseled managed care, health professional and other business clients for more than 20 years, including as Health Care Chief Counsel to a Fortune 200 corporation and now as General Counsel to emerging businesses. He has helped create integrated delivery systems, participated in strategic business planning, resolved multi-million dollar litigation, and negotiated complex procurement and health system agreements for a variety of health service businesses. As a result, he well understands the web of relationships between health professionals, insurers, employer groups, regulators, consumers and related contractors. Allen works with colleague, John Perlstein to arrange compliance services for growing health care and health services companies, including integrated delivery systems.

Ken Buchanan, Senior Consultant

Ken Buchanan distinctly transforms clinical information and technology to drive business efficiency and patient well-being. For over 30 years, Ken has provided IS leadership and business improvement through product architecture, business analytics, software development and training. Ken has focused on improving healthcare cost and quality by fostering efficiency and effectiveness through information management, better care management of chronic conditions, and operational time and cost savings. Ken specializes in implementing episode-based measurement strategies.

Maree Church, Senior Consultant

Maree is an accomplished healthcare professional with over 25 years of experience in strategic and business planning, marketing, performance management, government relations, and policy analysis. She has held management positions in both national integrated care organizations and hospital organizations and was instrumental in the creation of the California Association of Health Plans where she served as the first President. Her areas of expertise include: facilities and service delivery planning, long range strategy development, competitive analysis and environmental assessments, performance turnaround processes, performance metric and dashboards development, and assesing the impact of public policy on healthcare organizations. Maree works collaboratively with clients to assess needs and develop customized strategies and management processes to achieve sustainability and value for customers.

Donna Deckard, R.N., M.P.A., Senior Consultant

Donna is a results oriented executive with a diverse background in healthcare operations and effective project management. She was a key leader on the team responsible for installing the largest and most complex technical health information systems in the industry and coauthored the implementation chapter in the book “Connected for Health.” She has managed ambulatory care services which included call centers, ancillary services and direct patient care. As a member of a turnaround team she partnered with physician leadership in a comprehensive redesign of primary care services resulting in improved quality, access, service and overall cost of care. She currently works with colleagues in health care design and construction providing education about evidence-based design which facilitates the linkage between facility design and improved patient, worker and environmental safety. Her success comes from her ability to establish collaborative relationships and engaging multi-disciplinary teams to adopt change to achieve operational improvement and successful project delivery.

Rushika Fernandopulle, M.D. M.P.P, Senior Consultant

Rushika is a practicing internist with over 15 years of experience working with a number of the most progressive health systems, payers, and purchasers to boldly redesign all facets of care delivery including payment models, staffing, IT, processes, and culture. While many people talk theoretically about new models such as the Patient Centered Medical Home or Accountable Care Organizations, Rushika has been building and running such models for over 6 years, and has demonstrated reduced health care costs in the first year by 10-20% relative to matched controls, while improving patient, physician and staff satisfaction and dramatically improving clinical outcomes. For clients who are ready to move beyond marginal improvement and want to truly innovate how care is being delivered, Rushika brings a rare combination of skills, personality and experience.

Earl “Skip” McGinty, Senior Consultant

Skip works primarily in the areas of healthcare strategy, alliances, HMO network development, negotiations, litigation support, and physician group evaluation and selection. In addition to 10 years of consulting experience, he spent 20 years with a large national integrated delivery system in a variety of health plan, medical group and hospital management roles. He was an executive with the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, and he was a Peace Corps Volunteer and administrator in Sierra Leone and Oman. He is an adjunct professor in MBA health care management and policy courses. Skip has significant experience in advising on and developing integrated delivery systems.

Don Nielsen, MD, Senior Consultant

Don is a nationally recognized senior physician executive (recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives – 2005, 2006) with 25 years of experience in leading organizational change efforts focusing on re-designing care processes with resultant improvements in health care quality and patient safety. Through use of his expertise in quality management, performance measurement, patient-centered care, patient safety, hospital-physician issues, strategic planning and organizational culture change, he has provided effective leadership across multiple healthcare settings and has worked in a positive collaborative manner with multiple health care stakeholders at the national, state and local levels. His experience in national health policy matters combined with his practical experience in implementing change has resulted in significant benefits and improvements in patient care and health care delivery.

John Perlstein, Esq., Senior Consultant

John has been an attorney for more than 30 years, including 27 years at CIGNA Corporation, primarily providing legal and compliance counsel to senior management. John served in increasingly senior legal positions, culminating with his appointment as Chief Counsel for CIGNA HealthCare. John also spent three years in healthcare business operations, developing and implementing national relationships with providers of laboratory and home health care services, coordinating multi-site relationships with major hospital organizations, and establishing a national organ transplant network. For nearly nine years, John’s responsibilities also included the design, development, implementation and operation of complex and extensive compliance programs. Since his retirement from CIGNA, John has continued to be active in the provision of compliance services to growing health care companies.

Terrie Pryce, Senior Consultant

Terrie is a collaborative leader with an accomplished record of executing on complex and multi-stakeholder strategic initiatives involving providers and health plans. She has been an independent consultant for the past six years working primarily with Medicare Advantage programs to open new markets, build provider networks and implement quality-based shared savings programs in the Midwest and southern states. Prior to consulting, Terrie spent 20 years in management positions, based in California, at a major national integrated delivery system, large statewide health plan, and national healthcare technology company. Her areas of expertise include provider network development & management, negotiating multi-structured strategic alliances, operational design work including specialized care management programs, business development, and e-business strategy and deployment. In the 1990s, Terrie served on the Review Board of the Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP) based in New York, and served in various advisory roles in California professional organizations. She spent her early career as a hospital nurse and utilization review nurse manager at a large teaching facility in southern California. With her diverse background, Terrie has helped organizations create partnering capabilities and ventures, generate operational efficiencies and savings, and improve the coordination & integration of care.

Cindie Sagner, Senior Consultant

Cindie has over 16 years as a health care professional specializing in compliance and operations management for a major integrated health care system. Her work has related to health plan functions, clinical business systems, and regulatory (and accreditation) requirements for all lines of business. Cindie has also achieved her certification in healthcare compliance by the Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA). Cindie’s skills include gathering, analyzing, and defining business and functional requirements in a strategic manner to improve the patients’ experience and to assist in reducing cost to the company, policy and procedure analysis and development, development of communication plans for new regulations, and change management. Cindie specializes in working collaboratively with clients to assess needs and develop strategies that improve the healthcare experience, manage cross-functional multifaceted team projects and is motivated by challenges and rewarded through successful compliant outcomes.

Jill Steinbruegge, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Consultant

Jill is a board certified psychiatrist with a passion for developing people and teams to solve complex problems in health care. Jill has over 25 years experience bringing physicians and executives together, motivating individuals to resolve differences and contribute their distinct talents to achieve results that benefit patients, physicians, and the organization. She is intrigued by the unique qualities of individuals and finds it deeply rewarding to help people and teams – from front-line managers to CEOs – succeed and create exceptional results.

Florence vanGeem, MS, PMP, Senior Consultant

Florence is an independent healthcare consultant providing clients with project management support for system conversions and compliance, working collaboratively with client teams to develop ROI models for product/price positioning and developing integrated business processes with decision support systems that provide key information and reports to decision makers. With a focus on data systems/technology, business processes and analytics, her passion is to improve organizational performance and efficiencies by providing the ‘right’ data at the ‘right’ time to the ‘right’ people. Her experience spans a broad range of management functions with payer healthcare organizations. These include statistical analysis and reporting, performance/quality improvement, health plan operations, product/pricing, strategic planning and solutions development, system assessment and design, and vendor/account contracting, negotiations and management. Florence has led business teams involved in IT system implementation/conversion projects to ensure delivery of requirements and successful business adoption; led projects involving client assessments, requirement definition and solution implementation to achieve growth, income and compliance targets; and managed vendor contracts to ensure improved service performance for patients while managing costs. She worked 20+ years at the corporate offices of a national health maintenance organization in Medical Economics and National Marketing Services and was the Operations Manager for a California health plan.

Helene Weinraub, Senior Consultant

Helene has extensive experience in executive and operational roles in the health care and government markets. She was senior executive and a founder of one of the country’s largest Medicare Advantage products and has worked for over 25 years with organizations that contract with the government to provide quality health care. Helene helps healthcare companies find opportunities in government business, working with companies who are already in the Medicare and Medicaid markets as well as new entrants to government business. In this changing health care environment, Helene works with clients in the development and implementation of new health care products and in the reevaluation and repositioning of existing government contracted health products. Helene specializes in strategic planning, business development, start up ventures, product marketing and positioning, and development of operational excellence. Her focus has always been on building a quality, consumer centered, financially sound, and operationally strong organization. She understands how organizations can best work with governments to provide a financially strong quality organization.