Speakers & Faculty


Darryl Donlin, LCSW, MBA

Senior Associate, OPEN MINDS

Darryl Donlin, LCSW, MBA, brings over three decades of health system innovation to the OPEN MINDS team. Before joining OPEN MINDS, Mr. Donlin served as the Vice President of Network Operations with New Directions Behavioral Health in Kansas City.  In this role, he was responsible for overseeing a 30+-member department responsible for contract management, network development, provider relations, and provider credentialing. In this role, he instituted a range of alternate payment arrangements.

In his work with optimizing provider network performance, Mr. Donlin collaborated on an initiative to leverage claims-based analytics to develop provider profiling tools to comparatively evaluate network performance in achieving quality and cost outcomes to create high performing narrow networks.   He also launched a clinical/network collaboration project to improve patient medication adherence for SMI members with high readmission rates through a partnership with a national behavioral health pharmacy.

Previously, Mr. Donlin served as the Director of Community Recourses at Bergen’s Promise, Bergen County’s care management organization.  In that role, he was responsible for network management, contracting, marketing, event planning, and fundraising.  He developed behavioral health contracts for community-based providers specializing in autism spectrum disorder, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and behavioral health services for youth. He also launched the organization’s new website.

Before joining Bergen’s Promise, Mr. Donlin was the Senior Manager for Solution & Segment Marketing with The Trizetto Group.   He was responsible for the creation and execution of marketing plans to launch various innovative technology solutions for the health plan market. During his tenure with the organization, he assisted in growing the top line revenue by $4.5 million through new sales campaigns and reorganizing the organization’s marketing strategies.

Mr. Donlin also served as the Director of Marketing of Catalyst Health Solutions in Rockville, Maryland and the director of Consumer Solutions at Medco Health Solutions.   At Catalyst, he directed all facets of the marketing department including strategy, communications, website content, public relations, advertising, and graphics.   In that role, he was awarded “Outstanding Achievement” for Catalyst Rx’s drug pricing tool that promoted lowest-cost drugs while reinforcing the company’s reputation as a trustworthy pharmacy benefit manager.  At Medco, he served in a dual role as product and marketing director for a consumer-directed health product.

In addition, Mr. Donlin served as Senior Project Manager, Clinical Innovations for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, where he identified new business development opportunities via clinical pilot programs and led project teams to take initiatives from contract phase to market launch for a 3.4 million member health plan.

Mr. Donlin earned a Masters of Business Administration, with a concentration in Health Systems Management, from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey. During this time, he also attended Wroxton University in Oxfordshire, England for a course focused on the British National Health System. Additionally, obtained a Masters of Social Work from Marywood College, in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology/Mass Communications from Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. ×

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 two 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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Ken Carr

Senior Associate, OPEN MINDS

Ken Carr brings over 20 years of finance, technology, data analysis and reporting experience in the health and human service field to OPEN MINDS. Before joining the OPEN MINDS team, he served as the Chief Financial Officer of The Centers, a community mental health center providing mental health and substance use inpatient, outpatient, community and support services in Ocala, Florida. In this position, Mr. Carr provided extensive financial management and revenue cycle realignment, including departmental reorganization, EHR billing implementation, cash management enhancement, and strategic financial analysis.

Prior to his role at The Centers, Mr. Carr served as Chief Financial Officer of Guild Incorporated, an organization providing residential and community based mental health services in St. Paul, Minnesota. As CFO, Mr. Carr led the financial, billing, IT, quality, informatics, compliance, and facilities activities. During his tenure at Guild Incorporated, Mr. Carr used his expertise in change management and business process improvement to lead the EHR implementation team, align service data reporting and financial performance, and lead the financial and data capture activities for new service initiatives.

Mr. Carr has also held the positions of Administrative Director and Finance Director at the St. Paul National Testing Laboratory, a biomedical testing facility of the American Red Cross. In those positions he oversaw activities to enhance inventory management, align financial results to industry standards, and improve financial and facilities performance through problem analysis and quality management initiatives. He also was involved in directing human resource functions during laboratory closing near the end of his tenure.

Mr. Carr earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota, and a Master of Divinity Degree from Sioux Falls Seminary. He maintains an active CPA license with the State of South Dakota.

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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. ×