Speakers & Faculty


Neil Gomes, MBA, M.Ed., CSM, CSPO

Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer, Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health

Neil Gomes (B.Sc., MBA/MMS, M.Ed, ABD) is the Chief Digital Officer & Executive Vice President for Technology Innovation and Consumer Experience at Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health System. Neil has worked for the $100+ billion, Fortune 500 Tata Group of Companies where he played a leadership role in building the intrapreneurial startup, Tata Interactive Systems, from 60 employees to the world’s largest custom e-learning development firm in less than two years. Neil left the Tata Group to complete his M.Ed. in Instructional Design at the University of South Florida (USF) whilst progressively working toward the position of Director of eTeaching and Technology and then the Director of Instructional Design and Training at USF Health. While at USF, Neil’s leadership and entrepreneurial acumen helped grow a strategic team of application developers, instructional and multimedia designers, and project managers that generated over $1.5 million in annual auxiliary revenue from research and external development projects while growing online student enrollment from 200 enrollments in 2002 to approx. 200,000+ enrollments a year by 2012, generating nearly $30 million in revenue each year. While at USF, Neil also began working toward his Ph.D., is currently a Ph.D. Candidate (ABD), has authored research articles, book chapters, and delivered several formal research presentations. At Jefferson, Neil founded the Digital Innovation and Consumer Experience (DICE) Group and drives consumer-focused digital innovation in healthcare and education via teams of digital consumer experience specialists; application, platform, machine learning, and IoT developers; simulation and UI/UX designers; trainers; documentation and support specialists; instructional/e-learning designers; and process designers. Neil also helps define innovation strategy and programs via Jefferson’s Innovation Team. He helped secure a $15+ million donor grant from the Bernie Marcus Foundation to develop a high-tech, consumer-centric, integrative health center at Jefferson and has also launched several pioneering collaborations with partners such as Google, Apple, Adobe, SAP, and IBM Watson. Neil serves as Associate Editor of the Journal for Healthcare Transformation and is a contributor toward the book: We CAN fix Healthcare, the Future is NOW. Neil is also a speaker, agile aficionado, and digital innovation evangelist. ×

Jim Fiorenzo, MBA

Senior Associate, OPEN MINDS

James Fiorenzo, MBA, brings over 40 years of business management experience in health care to the OPEN MINDS team. For OPEN MINDS customers, he brings a wealth of experience in the mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships, long-term care systems development, hospital administration, and pharmacy management.

Prior to joining OPEN MINDS, Mr. Fiorenzo served as the President of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Hamot Hospitals. Mr. Fiorenzo was responsible for managing the enterprise of over 3,000 employees and $550 million in annual revenue.

Over the course of five years, Mr. Fiorenzo was the lead on three hospital acquisitions and the acquisition of multiple physician practices. He also led the initiative to acquire and integrate the largest provider of behavioral health in northwestern Pennsylvania into the UPMC system.

During his tenure, Mr. Fiorenzo expanded philanthropic giving to the organization through a revamped development department, managing over $25 million in assets. He also developed one of the first school-based primary care programs, as well as creating a psychiatric primary care program.

Prior to UPMC, Mr. Fiorenzo served as the chief operating officer and executive vice president of Hamot Medical Center. Mr. Fiorenzo was responsible for the enterprise, enhancing system revenues by 40% over a five-year period. He was responsible for a major efficiency and operational overhaul of the inpatient services of the hospital, saving $12 million. He also developed programs that resulted in a 15% increase in regional referrals to organization and grew its outpatient service volumes by 30%.

Before his time at Hamot Medical Center and UPMC, Mr. Fiorenzo was the founder and president of Great Lakes Home Healthcare Services and of Bayside Pharmacy & Physician Supply. Mr. Fiorenzo was responsible for organizing and creating the first hospital-based home care company. He grew the organization into a $25 million regional home health care company with five regional branches. The organization exceeded all budgeted goals and grew to provide a comprehensive service array of nursing, medical equipment, infusion therapy and clinical services with over 150 employees.

Mr. Fiorenzo earned his Master of Business Administration from Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania. He earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Pharmacy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. ×

Kathleen McGrow, DNP, MS, RN, PMP

Chief Nursing Information Officer, Microsoft Corporation

Kathleen McGrow, DNP, MS, RN, PMP, serves as Chief Nursing Information Officer for the Microsoft Health & Life Science Industry Team.  In this role, Dr. McGrow advises organizations on how the innovative use of technology can support their digital transformation imperatives of consumer engagement, provider enablement, analytics for population health and cognitive computing to support a learning health system.  Her expertise in data, analytics and artificial intelligence is used to educate organizations on how to enhance clinical, operational and financial performance, maximize capacity and patient experience, and transform to new care models and paradigms.

Dr. McGrow has led, planned and directed programs and strategic data initiatives for provider and payer organizations including implementation of an evidence framework for best practices.  This framework is used to identify customer pain points and targeted outcomes and applied during engagements to assist the customer in developing success plans including quantifiable targeted outcomes such as return on investment and cost aversion.  The framework was leveraged in both population health (care management) and quality improvement (QI) initiatives.

Dr. McGrow’s clinical background spans many years, with most of that time spent in trauma and critical care settings.   She has worked at some of the premier medical centers in the United States, including Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center.  Dr. McGrow is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a Doctorate in Nursing Practice focused on Executive Leadership and Evidence Based Practice. ×

Paul M. Duck

Senior Associate, OPEN MINDS

Paul M. Duck brings over 40 years of experience in leadership and management focusing on managed care, health information technology organizations, strategy, business development, and market expansion, and customer experience optimization to the OPEN MINDS team.

Prior to joining OPEN MINDS, Mr. Duck served as the Vice President, Strategy & Development at Beacon Health Options. In this role, Mr. Duck led the organization’s strategy and business development efforts – responsible for a 30% increase in net revenue and initiated over $1 billion in revenue generation. Mr. Duck was active in national behavioral health initiatives as an executive of Beacon Health Options, including participating as a speaker at national and state association meetings.

Before joining Beacon Health Options, Mr. Duck was the Vice President of Business Development at Netsmart Technologies. During his tenure, Mr. Duck was responsible for business planning, including, the oversight of strategic activities including acquisitions, development, and execution of strategic initiatives, and positioning, and sales of large strategic customers. He also led the rollout of the company’s benchmarking and data analytics product suite.

Prior to Netsmart, Mr. Duck served as the Chief Executive Officer for Coastal Orthopedics and Pain Management, a large group practice with five clinic locations and two ambulatory surgical centers. As the organization’s chief executive officer, Mr. Duck was responsible for significant positive changes in leadership and corporate culture, financial and operational performance, compliance, and governance. Mr. Duck improved net collections by over $1 million per month and grew the practice through negotiating better contract rates with payers. He also implemented an organizational rebranding initiative and launched a new marketing campaign.

Prior to Coastal Orthopedics and Pain Management, Mr. Duck served as the President and Chief Executive Officer for Florida Radiology Imaging, one of the largest outpatient diagnostic imaging service companies serving the greater Orlando market. During his tenure, Mr. Duck led the construction of three new, full modality, diagnostic imaging locations. Mr. Duck revolutionized the company’s culture by creating a highly attractive and functional work environment.

Mr. Duck earned his Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Case Western Reserve University. He earned his Associate of Arts in Electronic Engineering Technology from the Electronic Technology Institute. Mr. Duck received an award by Inc Magazine for leading Florida Radiology Imaging as one of America’s fastest-growing companies. Mr. Duck recently served as a contributing author to the book The New Health Age: The Future of Health Care in America.

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David E. 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.

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David Young, MBA

Senior Associate, OPEN MINDS

David Young, MBA, brings more than 30 years of executive experience in technology, new product development, and strategic planning in the health and human service field to the OPEN MINDS team. In addition to holding executive-level positions at prominent healthcare organizations, Mr. Young has also co-developed several start up organizations. He has extensive experience in the telemedicine field, specifically working with autism, children and adolescents, corrections and long-term care markets.

Prior to joining OPEN MINDS, Mr. Young served as the Chair of the Board and the Chief Marketing Officer of Raiven Healthcare in Tennessee. In this position, he provided leadership and strategic vision for the cutting edge artificial intelligence company. While leading the Board, he also served as the Chief Marketing Officer, providing direction in branding and imaging in the marketplace. Together, Mr. Young and the Chief Executive Officer oversaw the budgeting process and developed the direction of the board policy.

Previously, Mr. Young served as the Co-Founder, President, and Chief Operating Officer of MindCare Solutions Group, Inc., a national telemedicine organization providing tele-psychiatry and tele-primary care to institutional providers. In these roles, Mr. Young designed the corporate structure and directly managed sales, account management, and government relations. Prior to his departure at MindCare Solutions Group, Inc., Mr. Young obtained three of the largest customers in the behavioral health space as clients, when the organization was not yet three years old.

Mr. Young served as the Vice President of Tele-Psychiatry at Optum/UnitedHealth Group from 2011 – 2013, where he served as the national leader of the tele-psychiatry service line. He developed service lines, and created all aspects of the business development process. Working with senior level executives, he co-developed a design for fee-for-service and alternative payment systems. ×

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 three 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. ×

Sharon Hicks

Senior Associate, OPEN MINDS

Sharon Hicks, OPEN MINDS Senior Associate, has more than 20 years of experience in the health and human service field.  She has extensive experience and wide range of expertise in health plan management, in clinical operations management, and technology.

Prior to joining OPEN MINDS, Ms. Hicks spent two decades in a number of executive positions within the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) system and within its health plan division.   Ms. Hicks served as the Chief Operating Officer for Community Care Behavioral Health, a managed behavioral health organization.  She was responsible for all aspects of the organization’s operations including fiscal, information systems, the claims processing department, and the design of clinical systems. In addition Ms. Hicks managed the day-to-day operations of including human resources, facilities, purchasing, and security.

Ms. Hicks also served as the Vice President, Internet Strategy, UPMC Insurance Services Division and, since 2002, as the Chief Executive Officer of Askesis Development Group, Inc. since May of 2002. In this role, Ms. Hicks was responsible for the growth of the company, profitability of the company, and the direction of software development.

Ms. Hick started her impressive health care career as a psychiatric social worker before being promoted to Assistant Director of Social Work.   Prior to her executive promotions, Ms. Hicks served as a Clinical Administrator for both Ambulatory Services and Emergency and Intake Services at the UPMC Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. In this role, Ms. Hicks managed the behavioral health division, the budgets for all departments, and implemented new software replacing paper billing for clinical services.

Ms. Hicks received both her Masters of Business Administration and Masters of Social Work degrees from the University of Pittsburg. Before pursuing her graduate education, Ms. Hicks received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.

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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. ×