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Advisory Board Roster

CSULB HCA Advisory Board 

Advisory Board Officers

Biography

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Tom Knego
Associate General Counsel for Anthem, Inc. & President of HCA Advisory Board

Mr. Knego is an Associate General Counsel for Anthem, Inc. supporting healthcare and clinical operations.  Previously, Mr. Knego spent 12 years at United Healthcare where he was primarily responsible for management of litigation and related activities.  Prior to joining United, Mr. Knego was a partner at K&R Law Group in the firm's litigation practice group where he represented health plans and health care providers in a variety of litigation matters including managed care liability, commercial litigation, employment litigation and medical malpractice.

He was awarded the Richard O. Westbrooke award for "Excellence in Trial Advocacy" from the San Diego County Bar Association. Mr. Knego is a member of the American Health Lawyers Association and Orange County Bar Association. He is a frequent speaker on legal issues affecting managed care organizations and health care providers. He is a part-time faculty member at CSULB and teaches Legal Aspects of HealthCare Administration.  

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Alfonso Vega
Vice President, Health Services Administration for AltaMed & Vice President of HCA Advisory Board

Mr. Vega is responsible for AltaMed’s dental and behavioral health operations in Los Angeles & Orange Counties.  These programs currently have an operating budget of approximately $28 million.

He joined AltaMed in 2010.  Mr. Vega played an instrumental role in the development and successful deployment of an organizational customer service program, a medically integrated behavioral health program and eight urgent care clinics.  He has overseen organizational growth acquiring new locations in West Covina and Westlake, and three start-ups in Pico Rivera, Westlake and Huntington Park. Mr. Vega has developed a dynamic team consisting of a Dental Director and a Behavioral Health Manager.  In strong collaboration with Clinical Dental, Behavioral Health, Medical and Nursing leadership, we have improved customer service ratings, patient access and clinical quality metrics. 

He proudly served in the United States Army as a Combat Medic and currently sits on CSULB’s Health Care Administration Advisory Board. Mr. Vega has been managing outpatient medical clinics for the past 33 years.

Advisory Board Members

Biography 

Ardel Guillamas Avelino

Ardel Guillamas Avelino
Senior Director of Operations for Dignity Health

Ardel Guillamas Avelino is a member of the executive team at St. Mary Medical Center serving as Senior Director. A critical care registered nurse by background, he has extensive leadership experience in clinical, quality, safety, compliance/regulatory, and operations. Ardel is a staunch and passionate mentor who has occupied the role of primary preceptor for healthcare administration and nursing students. He is a proud alumnus of the MSHCA-AP program at CSULB and formerly served as President of the HCA Alumni Association. In addition, he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Holy Names University and an Associates of Science degree from Long Beach City College. Currently, he is pursuing a doctorate in nursing; executive leadership, at Baylor University.

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Robert A. Beltran, M.D., MBA, FACMQ, CHCQM
Senior Executive Medical Director, Brand New Day Health Plan

Dr. Beltran is the President of Quality Health Care Management, Inc. a health care management company focusing on care management and health services for diverse ethnic communities, specifically the Latino Population in California and the United States. He has over 20 years experience in senior clinic roles for healthcare companies.  His career focus for the past 8 years has been directing utilization managements, credentialing and quality improvement programs for health plans and IPAs in California. They include Care1st, L.A.Care, Universal Care and Monarch Healthcare.
 
Dr. Beltran has experience in leading, training and mentoring a team-centric clinical staff in medical cost and quality management. He also serves as Chairman and President of LatinoMed Policy Institute- a health policy consortium focusing on parity, equity and equality in health and health care for the Latino Population    
Prior to launching his health care management career, Dr. Beltran practiced clinical surgery for 22 years.

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Regina Berman, RN, MA.
Principal for Strategic Advantage for Health

Regina  Berman,  RN, MA,  Principal,  Strategic  Advantage  for  Health,  provides  guidance  to  organizations on  effective  design  and  execution  for emerging  value-based  payment  models  and  performance excellence.  Skilled  in  designing  whole  system  change,  program  integration  and  analytic  platforms  for clinical and  claims  based  data integration.  Previously  served  as  the  VP  Population  Health  and Accountable  Care,  COO  MemorialCare  Regional  ACO,  LLC  for MemorialCare  Health  System.  She  oversaw all aspects  of  MemorialCare's  population  health  management,  bringing  more  than  20  years  of leadership experience  in  health  care  performance  improvement,  quality,  safety  and  knowledge  management  and  in clinical,  operational and  service  excellence.  She  has  served  as  Chair  of New  Jersey's  State  Quality Program,  on  the  Malcolm  Baldridge  National  Performance  Excellence  Program  Board  of Examiners,  a Diplomat  of  the  American  Board  of Quality  Assurance  and  Utilization  Review  Physicians  and  a Certified Professional in  Healthcare  Quality  of the  National Association  for  Healthcare  Quality.  Berman  served  on the National  Quality  Forum  Executive Institute Advisory  Board  and  Performance  Measurement Task Force.  She  speaks  nationally  on  population  health  and  performance  measurement  improvement strategies,  information  management  and  other  topics.  A  registered  nurse,  she holds  an  MA  degree from New York  University  with  a  concentration  in  Quality  and  Delivery  of  Patient  Care  Services.  Previous positions  include;  Vice  President  of  Quality  and  Resource  Stewardship  at  Kaiser  Permanente,  Colorado Region,  Senior  Vice  President at JPS  Health  Network  in  Texas,  Executive  Director,  Performance Improvement  Services  at Hackensack  University  Medical  Center,  in  New Jersey,  and  Executive  Director of Corporate  Quality  &  Medical Management  at  Mt.  Sinai Health  System  in  New  York. 

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Kelly Bruno
President & CEO for National Health Foundation

Ms. Bruno is president and chief executive officer of National Health Foundation, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization that works within under-resourced Southern California communities to identify and advance solutions that remove barriers and promote health for all. She joined NHF in 2007, bringing over a decade of executive healthcare leadership and social service administration experience to the organization. Bruno leads a team dedicated to working with local communities to tackle the social determinants of health and right the wrongs of health disparities. One of her most significant contributions was to spearhead a recuperative care program in response to hospitals’ illegal practice of patient dumping.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in social work from Azusa Pacific University and a master’s in social work from California State University, Long Beach. She has also completed Stanford University’s Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders.

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John A. Calderone, PhD
CEO of Olympia Medical Center (retired)

Dr. Calderone was the CEO of Olympia Medical Center from 2006 until his retirement at the end of 2015. He has over 40 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Before assuming his last position, he was the CEO of Corona Regional Medical Center in Corona, California, CEO of College Hospital and Coastal Communities Hospital in Orange County, CA and CO O of Doctors Hospital in Santa Ana and Santa Ana Medical Center in Santa Ana, CA.

Previously, Dr. Calderone held positions at a corporate level for over ten years with three different healthcare systems, where he directed the marketing, planning, and business development functions. His last corporate role was with Summit Health, Ltd. Prior to entering the healthcare field, Dr. Calderone was employed at the General Electric Company for over four years in the Transportation Systems Business Operations Division as manager of employee programs. He also was the CEO of Serenity Hall Inc at a not for profit chemical dependency psychiatric network of inpatient and outpatient facilities in Pennsylvania. Throughout his career, he has been an adjunct professor teaching at several different universities. He served on the Board of Directors of several community organizations such as the YMCA, American Cancer Society and Inland Empire Health Plan.

Dr. Calderone was named the 2013 recipient of the 4th Annual Healthcare Administrator Award, presented by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). He served on the Board of Directors for the Hospital Association of Southern California (HASC) for over fifteen years, its Executive Committee for seven years. He was the 2014 Chairman of the Hospital Association of Southern California. Additionally, he served on the Board of Trustees and its Executive Committee for the California Hospital Association (CHA). He also was appointed and served on the Board of Directors for the California Hospital Quality Institute. Dr. Calderone holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, and a postdoctoral degree in Psychology from Edinboro University.

Currently, he is serving on the Board of Directors of the National Health Foundation, Los Angeles, the Convalescent Aid Society, Pasadena, and Gateways Hospital and Mental Health Centers, Los Angeles. He is also Chair of Communities Lifting Communities, LLC, Los Angeles.

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Amy Canter
Health System Specialist, Department of Veterans Affairs in Long Beach, CA. 

Ms. Canter has over 25 years of experience in Healthcare Operations. Highlights of her diverse career includes administrative process development in numerous hospital departments, overseeing multi-million-dollar construction projects, expansion of healthcare systems for HIV/AIDS programs, and experience with quality improvement preparations for hospital accreditation. 

Ms. Canter is proud to be affiliated with CSULB where she received her Masters Degree in Health Care Administration.

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Terence T. Cunningham, MHA, FACHE
Former CSULB Executive Faculty

Mr. Cunningham had a faculty appointment as a Full Time Lecturer in the CSULB, Department of HCA, and taught graduate and undergraduate classes from 2011 to 2019. These classes included Organizational Theory and Behavior, Health Care Finance, Strategic Planning and Marketing, and HCA Internship classes. He was the Coordinator of the graduate and undergraduate HCA Internship programs. His previous experience included working for over 44 years in short term, acute care hospitals (11) and multi-specialty ambulatory care centers (2).  He served in senior executive positions (CEO, COO, CFO and VP). For the 2014 to 2015 Academic Year, he was selected by the CHHS as the Most Valuable Professor. He has served on the CSULB HCA Advisory Board since 2010.

Mr. Cunningham received a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology, with minors in Economics and Business Administration from CSULB. He received a Master’s in Healthcare Administration from The George Washington University. He is a Fellow in the American College of Health Care Administration and is a Board Certified Specialist in Health Care Administration. He served for over 20 years as a Hospital Preceptor for students performing internships, residencies or fellowships in HCA. He is presently on the Advisory Board of Los Alamitos Medical Center and remains current with HCA Academic publications. 

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Rick Desai
President of Artifex Strategies

Mr. Desai is the President\COO of Artifex Strategies, a nationally known healthcare operations and strategy consultant organization.  He has over 20 years experience on both the payer and provider side of the healthcare delivery model including executive management positions at Promises Behavioral Health, Magellan Health, MedXM, Wellcare Health Plans, Kindred Healthcare and USC Health System.   

He has extensive knowledge across the continuum of care in the healthcare industry including development and implementation of network management strategies, operations, population health management, analytics, finance, product development and strategies as well as other areas focused around organizational growth and performance.  

Mr. Desai is a part-time faculty member at CSULB and teaches managed care in the accelerated program graduate program.

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Matthew Faulkner
Executive Director Community Hospital Long Beach Foundation

Mr. Faulkner has served in his current role since 2014.  He led the effort to SAVE THE ER and identify a new operator for CHLB.  In 1998 he and his wife, formed the MAJEC Company, a management consulting firm specializing in nonprofit sector strategic and financial planning, program and donor development, including major gift, capital and endowment campaigns and worked extensively with national nonprofits in child advocacy, economic development, education, entertainment and government affairs. Clients included the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Being Alive Long Beach, The Getty House Foundation, Los Angeles Educational Partnership and the Rowell Foster Children’s Positive Plan.

From 2004 – 2012 Mr. Faulkner served as the Director of External Relations for the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, a nationally recognized research center for the real estate industry at USC.

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Mark Gamble
Chief of Advocacy and Operations with the Hospital Association of Southern California

Mr. Gamble is the Chief of Advocacy and Operations with the Hospital Association of Southern California. HASC is a reginal advocacy organization that represents 182 member hospitals in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties. HASC works closely with the California Hospital Association to improve the quality and accessibility of health care services in Southern California.

Mr. Gamble has been with HASC for more than 26 years, has a background in public policy and advocacy, and is responsible for the division that provides hospitals with programs and services in the areas of community health improvement, human resource management, and patient access services.

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Carrisa Green
National Accounts Principal at Blue Shield of California

Carissa Green is a Principal with the National Accounts division at Blue Shield of California, holding primary responsibilities for strategy, enterprise level support, and overall client relationship for customers with 3,000 employees and above.

Ms. Green brings a rich and diverse background in healthcare, with experience working with insurance carriers and benefits consulting.  Prior to joining Blue Shield, she was an Area Vice President at Gallagher focusing her efforts on driving growth for Gallagher’s public sector business in Southern California.

Prior to Gallagher, Ms. Green spent 16 years with UnitedHealthcare, progressing rapidly through the organization.  Her experience at UnitedHealthcare included sales, operations, marketing, product development, and health services.  She spent most of her time in client management and sales, working with large, complex, multi-site clients.  During her tenure, Ms. Green was responsible for considerable growth in the education sector of the business and built solid relationships with her clients.

Ms. Green holds a BS in Health Care Administration with a minor in Human Resource Management from CSULB. She holds life and health agent licenses in California and has a background in Six Sigma project management.

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Josh Goode
Chief Information Officer at SCAN 

Mr. Goode provides leadership, direction and support to the company’s information technology (IT) areas including Digital Strategy, Business Intelligence, Consumer Experience, IT Infrastructure, Project Management, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and Application Development. Under his guidance, SCAN is leveraging its technology investments to meet the individual needs of seniors now and in the future.  Prior to joining SCAN in 2013, Mr. Goode worked for Accenture, a multinational technology and management consulting firm. During his 15 years at Accenture, he worked with several health plans throughout the United States, including PacifiCare, CIGNA, Express Scripts and UnitedHealth Group.

Mr. Goode’s experience includes analyzing, planning and implementing a variety of technological improvements and leading large technology programs, such as systems implementations and IT transformations.

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Stephanie Guastella, FACHE
Director of Strategic Growth for PIH Health

Ms. Guastella is responsible for increasing volume and revenue of assigned service lines across the PIH Health Integrated Delivery System.  Previously, she was the Executive Director of Program Development for children’s and women’s services at Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital.  Her responsibilities included the development, management, measurement and implementation of new program initiatives for the pediatric and women’s service lines. 

She also held the role of Executive Director for Business Development and Physician Relations with Long Beach Memorial, Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital and Community Hospital of Long Beach.  She was responsible for developing and managing the implementation of growth strategies to support key service lines.   

Past experience includes leading the program development initiatives for Center of Excellence service lines for a regional healthcare system and managing the development and implementation of Institute service lines for CHOC Children’s.  She led the business development functions for USC University Hospital and USC Norris Cancer Hospital. 

Kathy Hegstorm

Kathy Hegstorm
President of Advanced Medical Management

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Denise Likar
Vice President for Independence at Home (IAH)

Denise Likar is the Vice President for Independence at Home (IAH), a SCAN community service, where she has responsibility for all non-health plan home and community-based programs. Ms. Likar joined IAH in 2002 as an MSSP Care Planner. She has also held the positions of MSSP Supervisor and MSSP Site Director/Director of Programs. Over her 19-year tenure with SCAN, Ms. Likar has led her management team and staff in providing quality care management and supportive services, including the largest Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP) in California, as well as other county contract programs.

In her time at IAH, Ms. Likar has overseen the growth of the organization’s resource and referral line, providing support for seniors and their caregivers. In addition, she oversees the organization’s health and wellness education efforts, Volunteer Action for Aging and Community Giving. In 2019, Ms. Likar led the establishment of the first SCAN Health Plan Scholarships for Senior Health and Independence in conjunction with CSULB. Denise continues to work with LBSU’s Center for Successful Aging within the College of Health and Human Services on the selection of students to receive the scholarships. Prior to SCAN, Ms. Likar worked in substance abuse treatment as Deputy Director of Outpatient Services and Supervisor of Case Management for Prototypes Women’s Center, Staff Development Specialist for McKesson Water Products and Director of Social Services for Driftwood Health Care Center.

Ms. Likar spent four years as the President of the MSSP Site Association, where she provided leadership and coordination of legislative and policy efforts. Ms. Likar is Legislative Chair of the MSSP Site Association, where she manages education and advocacy around policies that impact the clients served by MSSP and all seniors.  Ms. Likar received her MS in Social Work from the USC and her BA in Psychology from Loyola Marymount University. 

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Josh Luke
Founder & CEO

Dr. Luke is an award winning speaker, philanthropist, author, educator, and consultant on a variety of healthcare issues. As a former Hospital CEO he provides executive coaching, strategy and mentoring to hospital CEOs and healthcare executives nationwide. He is a full time professor and Chair of the Graduate School of Business and Management at Hope International Christian University.

Among other things, Dr. Luke founded the not for profit National Readmission Prevention Collaborative, has taught at USC, CSULB and CSUF.  His non-profit foundation teaches healthcare providers how to transform to value based care and Americans how to engage in the healthcare process to eliminate wasteful healthcare spending. His expertise includes sharing simple tactics on how to make health care more affordable for families, employees and business, as well as how to get access to the best doctors and hospitals. 

Dr. Luke is an Amazon Best Selling author of the following titles: Health-Wealth for You (2019), Health-Wealth: Is healthcare bankrupting your business? (2018) and Ex-Acute: A former hospital CEO tells all on what’s wrong with American healthcare (2017). He hosts the award winning YouTube Show & podcast Spend Less, Live Well with Dr. Josh Luke.

 

Carrie McLain
CEO for Helton Law Group

Suzie Mix

Susie Mix
Owner & CEO of Mix Solutions Inc.

Ms. Mix brings over 20 years of versatile experience in Contract Management, Business Consulting and Healthcare Administration. Susie brings a unique and extensive knowledge to the Skilled Nursing and Managed Care industry. Susie’s company, Mix Solutions Inc., specializes in Managed Care Contracting, Consulting, Case Management system development, best practices and Managed Care Billing/Collections currently servicing over 600 health care providers in 45 states. Susie speaks at state and national conferences and conducts regular webinars for the skilled nursing facilities and ancillary providers educating them on our transforming healthcare world. She began her career in healthcare in 1998 and has worked in various areas within the industry, long term care administrator, case manager, marketing director, contract negotiator, consultant and professor.

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Theresa Murphy
Chief Nursing Officer, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital

With over 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry, Ms. Murphy has led complex operational processes, facilitated change initiatives and developed functional teams.  Her areas of interest include advancing professional nursing practice through the understanding of the California Nurse Practice Act, the development and coaching of emerging leaders and the development of organizational structures that support the unique acute hospital environment.  

She has served on several hospital organizations in managerial and executive level; the Board of Directors of the Chin Family Institute for Nursing at CSULA; the Hospital Association of Southern California Nurse Advisory Council including serving as Chair; HASC Board of Directors; the California Hospital Association (CHA) CNO Advisory Committee; the Advisory Board of the O’Rourke Institute for Advancement of Professional Practice and the advisory board of Healthcare Administration at CSULB.

Ms. Murphy served as an evaluator for the BETA HEART Event Review Panel.  She occasionally lectures at Mount St. Mary’s University and volunteers with the Executive Service Corps providing executive coaching to leaders serving community non-profit organizations.

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Adela Redzic
Director of Dental Administration at AltaMed Health Services

Adela Redzic began her career in the dental industry over 12 years ago.  Currently she serves as the Director of Dental Administration at AltaMed Health Services.  In her role, Ms. Redzic collaborates with the Director of Dental Services to support 10 dental locations and 6 outreach teams.  She is passionate about engaging her team, and focuses on implementing effective strategies to drive outcomes for patients in quality, service, access, as well as overall operations.  Ms. Redzic holds a MBA from CSULB and is certified as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.

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Mark Rivera
Founder and President

Mr. Rivera is President of Managed Care Consulting, Inc., a specialty managed care consulting firm serving governmental, nonprofit and for profit healthcare entities nationally. He has been employed with a variety of local and national companies including executive positions with such organizations as CalOPTIMA, Adventist Health/Pacific Integrated Health, Hoag Hospital, and Capp Care. 

He is a proven healthcare leader with a track record for achievement in developing and executing financial strategies that positively impact organizations and drive operational excellence in areas such as contracting, auditing and regulatory compliance.  Mr. Rivera specializes in maximizing reimbursement and cost containment while ensuring excellence in patient outcomes.

In addition, Mr. Rivera brings technical competencies and security clearances to engage in the areas of FQHC compliance, Federal Tort Claims Act, Uniform Data Systems, advanced analytics, and managed care.

  Karen Sielbeck
Chief Nurse Executive
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Dirk Thornley, MS, CHFP
Sr. Manager, Global Health Economics & Reimbursement at Edwards Lifesciences

Mr. Thornley is a market leader developing innovative technologies in the areas of structural heart disease and critical care monitoring.  He is a field-based manager, consulting with hospitals in California and Nevada.  He was formerly Associate Director of U.S. Field Services at Zimmer Biomet, working on the Market Access team and consulting with hospitals, orthopedic surgeons, and neurosurgeons to assist in making technology available to patients.

Mr. Thornely has more than 25 years of experience in health care administration, positions ranging from Vice President of the California Association of Physician Groups (CAPG), Sr. Corporate Accounts Manager at Medtronic Diabetes, and was also the Director of Business Development at PIH Health in Whittier, California, where he led a team that managed physician relationships and drove growth in the system.

Jose ZValenzuela

Jose Valenzuela
Compliance Practice Specialist for Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center 

Mr. Valenzuela has held various positions in healthcare since 1993.  Prior to his current position, he is successful in implementing and maintaining a compliance program within a complex and diverse businesses model within OptumCare, a UnitedHealth Group entity. Prior experiences include working at the following entities: Monarch HealthCare, Medical Group/IPA; North American Medical Management (NAMM); AppleCare Medical Group; OptumCare Medical Group, fka. Centers for Family Medicine.

Each of these multi-payer businesses leveraged the same compliance program as a foundation, but each had differing risks and regulatory pressures that they were subject to based on their business model. Monarch and PrimeCare both hold Restricted Knox Keene licenses, AppleCare holds a contract with LA Care Health Plan for their Medi-Cal business, and OptumCare consists of 21 primary care clinics across Southern California. Each of these business face different and unique risks that were addressed individually through a risk mitigation plan that included risk surveys, risk prioritization scorecards, and mitigation plans for each business. 

Mr. Valenzuela has extensive knowledge of business governance, compliance, and regulatory affairs:

  • Effective support of all aspects of the seven elements of an effective compliance program with focus on business operational compliance in provider and clinical businesses models.
  • Compliance lead accountable for driving the overall ethics and compliance plan, overseeing accreditation activities, monitoring fraud, waste, and abuse (FWA) activities and ensuring the company responds effectively to unacceptable risks within Optum entities, including AppleCare Medical Group, Monarch, OptumCare Medical Clinics, and PrimeCare IPAs.
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Gordana Vukotich
Owner and Consultant

Ms. Vukotich has over 20 years experience in health care delivery, working for both payers and providers. Including comprehensive managed care, Medicare and Medicaid experience, with a focus on membership growth, network development and IPA operations. Ms. Vukotich began her career in health plan sales and has a strong operations background as well.  She provides consulting services for payers and providers: health plans, provider groups, management services organizations (MSO’s) and health systems. Her passion is developing strategy, leading execution and driving corporate vision to improve the overall improvement of healthcare delivery.

Ms. Vukotich is focused on identifying a long-term leadership role with a health plan and provider where she will add value to a team as they collectively make a dent in the industry.  Her affiliations include, vice president and member at large - CSULB Health Care Admin Alum Association, CSULB department of Health Care Administration advisory board, board member of the Manhattan Beach Emergency Response Team, Women in Health Administration, the SoCal Chapter of the American College of HealthCare Executives (ACHE).