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Fall Conference – Elevate & Empower

October 20, 2023

Dive deep into the heartbeat of healthcare transformation at our panel conference! We will gather happily, located at The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge. Discover how to sync change with the pulse of your staff’s interests, turn resistance into a compass for growth, and build a robust foundation that ensures enduring evolution. Join us as we decode the art of catalyzing dynamic shifts by engaging every leadership tier and anchoring change in behavior and infrastructure. A transformative journey awaits!

Bending the Execution Curve: Implementing Successful Organizational Change in Hospitals and Healthcare Organizations

Theron Post, Executive Director of Performance Excellence Northwest (PENW), has had the opportunity to engage with diverse business sectors, assisting them on their performance excellence trajectory. These guiding principles enhance discussions within senior leadership, optimizing systems critical for strategy execution, workforce engagement, and stakeholder satisfaction. Before his tenure at PENW, Theron dedicated his career to both internal coaching and external consulting, aiding organizations in adopting performance excellence standards.

Dr. Juan Aragon is responsible for EvergreenHealth’s strategic growth and partnership development. Dr. Aragon joined EvergreenHealth in 2009 and was involved in the expansion and growth of EvergreenHealth Medical Group. During this time, he also leads the Research and Clinical trials program. In addition to his role at EvergreenHealth, he serves as a member of the Digital Therapeutics Alliance advisory board and chairs Premier Inc. research and innovation collaborative. Before joining EvergreenHealth, Dr. Aragon worked for Joint Commission International, where he surveyed hospitals and advised health systems on their quality journey. Originally from Costa Rica, Dr. Aragon holds a Medical Degree from Universidad Autonoma de Ciencias Medicas and a Master’s in Medical Management from Tulane University.

 Anna Taylor is the AVP, Population Health & Value Based Care (MCC), MultiCare Health System’s population health engine. She leads the portfolio team in executing on value-based products and strategic initiatives and oversees the Digital Health Ecosystem that enables the work of population health and value-based care. Anna has been with MultiCare Health System for 15+ years and has held positions in the Institute for Learning and Development, Information Services & Technology, and Strategy. She holds a B.S. from the UW School of Engineering in Technical Communication (now known as User-Centered Design and Engineering) and a M.S. in Clinical Informatics and Patient-Centered Technology from the UW School of Nursing & Medicine. She received the 2020 FHIR Champion Award from the DaVinci community and is highly engaged in building, implementing, and advocating for FHIR capabilities within Population Health and Value-Based Care.

Jennifer Brackeen is the Director of Innovation at Summit Pacific Medical Center, overseeing population health, value-based contracts, data analytics, grant administration, and advocacy. She leads comprehensive population health strategies, including the groundbreaking Food Rx program offering prescribed healthy foods, cooking classes, dietician visits, and primary care services. Jennifer also manages negotiations for value-based contracts, implementing innovative payment models for high-quality, cost-effective healthcare. As an advocate for healthcare transformation, Jennifer represents the organization externally, driving improved healthcare practices. In her tenure, she has consistently raised over a million dollars annually to enhance patient care and improve health outcomes. In a previous role,  Jennifer was instrumental in establishing Washington State’s inaugural Accountable Communities of Health, igniting a region-wide health improvement plan, development of a wellness fund, and a community engagement strategy. Jennifer’s academic journey includes a Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas A&M University Corpus Christi and a Master’s in Health Administration from the University of Washington. Her exceptional contributions led to her induction as a Fellow of the American Healthcare College in 2022, highlighting her dedication to advancing healthcare practices.

Executive Alignment with Physicians and Organizational Financial Goals

Rosalee Allan served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer for Pathology Associates Medical Laboratories (PAML) from 1999 to May 2017, when PAML was sold to a national laboratory provider. During her time at PAML, the organization grew from a local laboratory provider with 40 employees to a regional reference laboratory with over 1600 employees. Recognizing that 80% of laboratory error occurs in pre and post-analytical processes, she led innovation in these areas with a continuous focus on decreasing healthcare service failures, improving responsiveness to client resolution, and improving patient safety.

She received her BS degree in Healthcare Financial Management from Whitworth University. She is currently a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) and has been a long-standing member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and holds PHR and SHRM-CP certifications.  In addition to being a Board Member at Riverview Retirement Community, Rosalee currently serves on the Board of the EWU College of Health Sciences and Public Health, the Washington Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and the Executive Committee for the Washington State Patient Safety Coalition.

Shannon Fernandez is the Chief Strategy Officer for Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, an FQHC,    providing organizational leadership to drive innovative solutions to improve community health. 

Shannon’s previous roles include  Director of Finance Operations and Billing for Fred Hutch Cancer Center, where she developed strategies that increased cash collections by $40M, and Executive Director of Productivity and Benchmarking for Providence, where she implemented a labor benchmarking strategy producing  $273M in labor cost savings. 

Shannon has a Master’s in Healthcare Administration and over 20 years of healthcare experience as a transformational financial executive. She prides herself on her ability to engage operations in collaborative efforts to improve processes and efficiencies.

Michele A Forgues Lackie is the SVP & Chief Financial Officer at UW Medicine’s Valley Medical Center & Clinics.  In this role, she oversees finance, accounting, contracting, revenue cycle, HIM, Facilities, business development, and Supply Chain.  Michele has over 30 years of experience in healthcare leadership positions in the Puget Sound area for over 35 years in various business development, revenue cycle, operational, and clinical roles.

As a post-pandemic CFO, Michele is working to change the economic trajectory of full-service community health systems, which are vital to the communities they serve.  Her responsibilities encompass finance, revenue cycle, facilities, and supply chain, among other things.

Michele is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE), a Fellow of the American College of Medical Practice Executives (FACMPE) of the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Association, a Certified Specialist in Managed Care (CSMC) and Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHFP) for HFMA, and, until Feb. 2016 was CoC and CPC-h certified by AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders).  Additionally, Michele is a member of the American Medical Group Association (AMGA) and the Washington Mediation Association (WMA).

Michele is native to Seattle.  Michele has lived in the Renton area since 1983.  Michele raised two children in the area and enjoys being involved as a local volunteer in any place where she can give back to the community or help the community continue to thrive.

Creating a Sustainable Clinically Integrated Network

Ramon Guel leads MultiCare Connected Care’s Clinically Integrated Network growth and strategy operations for their portfolio comprising Commercial, Medicare Advantage, and Government programs. Since joining in 2021, Ramon has grown MCC’s network from 3,500 to over 5,500 providers, including ancillary and facility services,  state-wide. During his time at MCC, Ramon has enhanced the Network for several Single-Signatory contracts, which makes MultiCare’s Ecosystem of Health both marketable for Direct-to-Employer accounts and true to its vision: MultiCare Connected Care will be the leading catalyst of patient and population-centered value in the Pacific Northwest. Ramon holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Troy University and a Master’s in English from Heritage University. He also holds a Master’s in Business Administration with an emphasis on Healthcare Administration from Concordia University-Portland, and most recently completed a Post-Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Leadership from Gonzaga University.

Jake Wood oversees the strategic growth and operations for PSW’s participation in innovative federal payment models, including the Direct Contracting and ACO Realizing Equity, Access, and Community Health (REACH) models.  During his time at PSW, Jake has helped to double PSW’s gross savings to Medicare, increased ACO participation by 50%, and expanded ACO membership into new rural markets across Washington State.  Jake leads provider and practice engagement for all PSW ACOs, focusing on education and outcomes to help physicians and organizations provide high-quality care to Medicare beneficiaries.  He has built upon previous years of experience in driving success for non-profit organizations to develop a robust communication strategy, connecting independent providers, medical groups, and hospitals across the Pacific Northwest. Jake holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Washington and a leadership certification from the CHOICE Regional Health Network Leadership Academy.  He is pursuing his Master’s in Healthcare Administration (MHA) from the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Scott Anders is a physician executive with over 20 years of leadership experience in large, complex healthcare organizations with a passion for Value-Based Care, strategy development, operational execution, system excellence, process improvement, patient and employee engagement, technology integration and physician leadership growth.

In his prior role, he served as the national Chief Medical Officer for all employed physician at Tenet Healthcare Corporation based out of Dallas. Dr. Anders maintains board certification in Family Medicine. He has an executive MBA from the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business and received certification as a physician executive from the American College of Physician Executives. He graduated Summa Cum Laude in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics before enrolling in medical school.

David LaMarche joined as a Chief Revenue/Growth Officer at Eastside Research Associates.  David is a healthcare professional with over 25 years of experience in managed care contracting, business development, finance, and clinical operations.  

He has experience with organizational infrastructure, which supports providers in delivering outstanding quality at a lower cost than the region while innovating to create an improved patient experience.  Additionally, he’s supported launches of comprehensive provider support initiatives that seek to deliver wellness and burnout reduction, financial recognition for achieving outstanding clinical results, and collaboration to help reduce administrative burdens.   Throughout the pandemic, his team has demonstrated innovative leadership and support specifically targeted to help the 900 independent network providers with information, resources, and connection to others in the community.  

David spent 20 years at Virginia Mason, where he developed and expanded at-risk and population-based payment models with performance measures linked to the risk-adjusted total cost of care and quality metrics. David oversaw and managed negotiations for direct-to-employer bundles with Walmart, the State of Washington, and other employers.  Other positions held during his time at Virginia Mason include Director of the Heart Institute.

Health Equity Panel

Tina Seery is an accomplished healthcare leader with expertise in hospital operations, clinical quality, and patient safety. She fosters healthcare excellence and reduces disparities through equitable and inclusive initiatives. Tina holds a master’s degree in healthcare administration and has multiple certifications, including Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality. With 28 years of diverse experience, she is set to sit for the FACHE exam in 2023.

Active in state-level healthcare initiatives, Tina focuses on patient safety, opioid stewardship, and emergency department utilization. She is also involved in COVID-19 response teams and is a key liaison for Lean/Six Sigma and healthcare policy efforts.

Tina enjoys tennis, golf, hiking, and spending time with her family and Great Danes outside work. She holds volunteer roles, including serving as a board director for the WA State Chapter of ACHE, and received the ACHE Regent’s Award in 2022. As a first-generation Latina college graduate, she mentors emerging healthcare professionals and has volunteered at COVID-19 mass vaccination clinics.

Dr. Paula L. Houston is the Director of Healthcare Equity for UW Medicine, the healthcare system of the University of Washington. Immediately before this role, she was the CEO of Sound Generations in Seattle, the largest non-profit in the state, providing services and programs to seniors, adults with disabilities, and those who care for them. Previous to that, she spent eight years as the Executive Director for the Meredith Mathews East Madison YMCA, was the Clinic Manager at Carolyn Downs Family Medical Center, part of the community health clinic system in Seattle, and spent seven years with Public Health, Seattle & King County as interim Division Manager for the Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and District Administrator for the Central Region Special Health Services. In her leadership roles, she led the initiation or enhancement of organization-wide equity, diversity, and inclusion work to improve service delivery and outcomes for our most historically oppressed and marginalized populations.

Dr. Houston is an active community leader. She has served on several non-profit boards and two City of Seattle Commissions. Additionally, she is an eleven-time national and six-time world champion powerlifter. In 2012, she was inducted into the USA Powerlifting Hall of Fame. Dr. Houston has a B.S. from Syracuse University, a master’s degree in Health Administration from the University of Washington, and earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Seattle University in 2014.

Dr. Raj Sundar is a family medicine physician at Kaiser Permanente Washington, committed to patient-centered care and passionate about promoting diversity and inclusivity in healthcare. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Sundar serves as the District Medical Director of South King County, overseeing the care of over 60,000 patients and leading the Health Equity Action Team (HEAT), a dedicated group of over 500 members working to advance healthcare equity through community organizing. 

Dr. Sundar has also made significant contributions to the medical field through his articles published in Health AffairsAnnals of Family MedicineFamily Medicine, and the Center for Health Journalism. He has also been featured in news articles, such as “Doctors Making a Difference: Raj Sundar, MD” on wsma.org.

He is widely recognized for his podcast, “Healthcare for Humans,” where he shares his experiences and insights on providing culturally sensitive healthcare. This podcast is a resource for healthcare professionals seeking to enhance their understanding of diverse communities and improve patient care.

Shareka Fortier (she, her, ella), currently serves as MultiCare’s first Chief Belonging Officer (CBO). She is a culture influencer, strategist, and champion of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB). She has served within the DEIB arena for over 12 years across several industries, including healthcare, higher education, public/private schools, and community services. As a change agent, her career has been dedicated to intentionally integrating equity into leadership, systems, and operational standards, advocating for historically marginalized populations, removing barriers to access, implementing strategic interventions, and seeking to ensure a genuine culture of belonging for all people. 

Within her current role as CBO, she is responsible for internal workforce diversity and belonging efforts and incorporating the tenets of DEIB into the healthcare enterprise. 

Fortier is known for her relentless commitment to DEIB within the Puget Sound region. The South Sound Business Examiners recognized her as a trailblazer and a “40 Under 40” awardee in 2019. 

 Fortier is a University of Washington graduate with a master’s in management and leadership. She is a mother to three exceptional children. She enjoys creating art and music, vacationing near the ocean, and enjoying Marvel/DC cinematic universe movies. Along with an impressive community of friends, these are the true gifts of her life that provide encouragement and strength.