2019 Speakers

ConnectiCare

Ezio Sabatino

Director of Marketing & Communications - Senior Markets
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

Heather Smith

Director, Medicare Sales
Independent Care Health Plan

Kirk Heminger

Director, Marketing
Vantage Health Plan

Billy Justice

Director of Marketing/Sales
Independence Blue Cross

Kenyatta D. Donley

Marketing Manager, Community Development
BlueCross BlueShield of Michigan

Lee Pavach

Medicare Marketing Manager
Carrot Health

Kurt Waltenbaugh

CEO
Anderson Direct and Digital

Leah Smith

Vice President, Strategy and Client Relations
Apixio

Darren Schulte, M.D.

Chief Executive Officer
Insightin Health

Jereme Ayers

Vice President, Health Plan Solutions
Zelus Consulting Group

Jenny Graham

Partner
Strategic Health Group LLC

Henry W. Osowski

Managing Partner
Speakers Biographies


Ezio Sabatino

Director of Marketing & Communications - Senior Markets
ConnectiCare

A 30+ year marketing veteran, Ezio has been Director of Marketing & Communications of ConnectiCare since 2002. He currently focuses on senior markets, spearheading the company’s acquisition and retention efforts through strategic planning and implementation of marketing and lead generation programs.

ConnectiCare has been dedicated to making Connecticut a healthier place to live and work since it was founded in 1981 by a group of doctors. A local company for more than 35 years, they have a full range of products and services for businesses, municipalities, individuals and those who are Medicare-eligible.

Ezio’s passion for health care aligns with ConnectiCare’s mission to provide new and easier ways for its members to get the care they need. He is dedicated to continual improvement of the member experience, from acquisition and onboarding to renewal and helping members getting the most out of their plan.

Before joining ConnectiCare, Ezio helped elevate commercial health products to market prominence through various marketing positions at PHS Health Plans, a Health Net Company from 1991-2001.

Ezio obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing with a minor in psychology from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT. A lifelong resident of Stratford, CT, he and his wife Lysa have 3 children and 1 grandchild. Ezio is also a dog lover and die-hard Green Bay Packers fan, and loves a good Springsteen show.

Heather Smith

Director, Medicare Sales
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

Heather is responsible for developing strategic and tactical business plans to achieve sustainable and profitable membership objectives. She oversees a direct team consisting of 2 Sales Managers, 2 Broker Executives, an Operations/Administration Manager and 2 Administrative Support staff. Her extended team includes: 10 Field Sales Representatives, 2 Sales Compliance Consultants, and 35 Telesales agents. She is responsible for all Medicare sales initiatives, all Medicare sales channels, and a $12.5MM sales and operations budget for the Medicare line of business.

Heather thoroughly enjoys the career that she has chosen and the population that Excellus serves. She surrounds herself with highly productive and forward-thinking individuals who work together for a common goal of achieving excellence. She believes in continued personal and professional development allowing each contributor to rise to the occasion when called upon.

From her perspective, success is about making sure that employees and brokers do the right things, not just do things right. “I look at every opportunity in terms of the whole picture and ultimate outcome. I am always eager to get to know people well and listen to their story. I want to know what their hopes and dreams are and I want to help make them happen.”

She is fortunate to have a wonderfully balanced life that allows her to focus on her career as well as enjoy ample time with her husband of 24 years, her 12-year-old daughter and their zoo of animals.

Heather holds a BS in Business Management and finished her graduate work, graduating Delta Mu Delta, just 3 short years ago. She is involved in several local organizations where she has sat on the board and held past President and VP positions. She has published several articles for local papers and is a published contributing author to Wisdom in a Traffic Jam 2011.

Kirk Heminger

Director, Marketing
Independent Care Health Plan

Kirk Heminger directs marketing for iCare, who provides managed care coverage for over 30,000 people in the Midwest. iCare has been securing the wellness of people with complex conditions for over two decades.

In addition to over 10 years of insurance experience, Kirk also has experience leading marketing and lead generation in the technology industry and began his career as a copywriter for an advertising and graphic design agency. His current responsibilities include branding, advertising, lead generation, communications, public relations, and digital strategy. Kirk lives in Franklin, Wisconsin with his wife and two children, and enjoys sports, movies, social media, and inflicting damage to local golf courses.

Billy Justice

Director of Marketing/Sales
Vantage Health Plan

Billy Justice has over 20 years of experience as the Director of Marketing and Member Services for Vantage Health Plan, a Louisiana Health Maintenance Organization (HMO).

Vantage was created by physicians who wanted to help their patients and Louisiana employers manage the ever-increasing healthcare costs. This philosophy has set it apart from other insurance companies and that is a primary reason why it has been so successful.

In June of 1996, Billy wrote the very first fully-insured Vantage policy which is now marketed throughout Louisiana. Billy was also instrumental in the development of the key products and outstanding customer service that have set Vantage apart from the industry standard. Vantage is helping lead the reform of healthcare in Louisiana by proving that coordinated care works through its Medical Home Model.

Billy is actively involved with the Louisiana Associations of Health Plans, Louisiana Health Underwriters, and has served on the board level of numerous civic and charitable organizations.

Kenyatta D. Donley

Marketing Manager, Community Development
Independence Blue Cross

A native of West Philadelphia, Kenyatta is passionate about ensuring that people in underserved communities are not ignored when it comes to health care and other social services. In his current role as a customer and community engagement professional at Independence Blue Cross, he works to build substantive relationships that will help grow the company’s mission within the City of Philadelphia.

Lee Pavach

Medicare Marketing Manager
BlueCross BlueShield of Michigan

Kurt Waltenbaugh

CEO
Carrot Health

Kurt Waltenbaugh is a serial entrepreneur with a career focused on the consumer: using data to predict and influence behavior. Understanding consumer behavior, Kurt has built successful analytic solutions, products and companies in the health care, retail, education, and credentialing industries. His previous companies were sold to Oracle and Pearson Education. Most recently, Kurt was responsible for product strategy at Optum, Inc. (UnitedHealth Group), building data analytic businesses for the provider, payer and employer markets.

Leah Smith

Vice President, Strategy and Client Relations
Anderson Direct and Digital

Leah insists a great digital program is akin to great theater. You need a good script, excellent talent, a sound platform, and a compelling story. She should know. Before becoming an expert in the fine alchemy of the Web—and other electronic wizardry, she was an actress.

Armed with a theatre degree from USC, she moved to New York to join her fellow performers behind the footlights, and continued studying acting as she climbed the corporate ladder in healthcare communications. Then, the promise of even more creativity drew her into amassing an impressive fifteen-year track record in digital marketing, helping clients build their brand and business with a strong Web presence.

Rest assured, if it’s online performance you’re after, Leah is always in character.

Darren Schulte, M.D.

Chief Executive Officer
Apixio

Darren Schulte, M.D., has over a decade of industry experience in healthcare analytics and technology. Darren served as the Chief Medical Officer and President of Apixio prior to being appointed CEO in 2014. Before joining Apixio, Darren served in executive leadership roles at Alere Health, Anvita Health, and Resolution Health. Darren co-developed twenty-five clinical measures endorsed by National Quality Forum to measure ambulatory care quality using electronic data. He is a nationally recognized speaker on the topics of healthcare analytics and quality improvement. Darren received his B.S. degree from U.C. Berkeley, his M.P.P degree from Harvard, his M.D. from Stanford, and trained in Internal Medicine at University of California, San Francisco. Darren serves as a Board of Trustee at the Chinese American International School in San Francisco. He is the co-author of two US patents.

Jereme Ayers

Vice President, Health Plan Solutions
Insightin Health

A strategic marketing & consumer engagement professional with achievements in healthcare and direct-to-consumer retail, Jereme brings an innovative and contemporary approach to member engagement and workflow optimization. His knowledge of consumer behavior, analytics, data attribution, and operational delivery aligned with a deep understanding of the Medicare Advantage market place, allows Jereme to understand the challenges that Payers encounter and partner to implement technology & technology driven solutions resulting in increased acquisition, retention, and member engagement.

Jenny Graham

Partner
Zelus Consulting Group

An expert in operational performance and excellence, Jenny has over 15 years of experience developing and implementing innovative organizational strategies to improve overall business performance and utilization. As a founding partner, Jenny has led engagements for clients in the Health Insurance and Insurance brokerage industries. Her functional expertise includes customer service, correspondence, claims, medical management, enrollment, brokerage servicing, policy management, underwriting operations, requirements development, and information technology.

Working in collaboration with executives and their teams, Jenny focuses on developing strategic recommendations that make a positive impact on the customer experience by vastly improving internal processes and management. Jenny has led instructional design teams, developed member-centric operating models and best in industry training and skills development programs. Effective in both off- and on-shore projects, Jenny has experience handling aggressive ramp up timelines including 30-day implementations.

A recognized Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) and a Lectora Certified Advanced Author, an eLearning development tool. Jenny was a member of the Honor’s Program at Babson College and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

Saeed Aminzadeh

CEO
Decision Point Healthcare Solutions

Saeed founded Decision Point with the mission of improving health plan clinical, financial and operational performance through informed, data-driven predictions on strategic decisions. He has more than 25 years of health information technology experience, with a track record of developing innovative approaches to solve complex business problems. He has held key senior management positions at Eliza Corporation, Ingenix (currently Optum), IHCIS and ProVentive, where led high-performing teams focused creative uses of technology for practical problem-solving. Saeed is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University with a BA in Economics.

Henry W. Osowski

Managing Partner
Strategic Health Group LLC

Hank Osowski, a Founding Member of Strategic Health Group, is an experienced health care executive and strategist who has provided leadership to commercial, Medicare and Medicaid health plans for more than 30 years. He currently is the Managing Director of Strategic Health Group, a new boutique strategic and financial advisory firm dedicated to bringing seasoned leadership to enable health care organizations to succeed in a challenging and changing environment. He is an expert in Medicare Advantage and Medicaid long-term care strategies.

Formerly, as Senior Vice President Corporate Development, he was a key member of the senior leadership team that the company from a near death experience to an exceptionally strong financial position. He led SCAN Group's efforts to expand into seven additional California counties. Hank also led SCAN's entry into Arizona and served as the initial President of SCAN Health Plan Arizona and SCAN Long Term Care. The service area expansions represent approximately a quarter of SCAN's membership and added nearly $450 million to SCAN's revenue. He also led the organization's strategic planning efforts and initiated an innovation development regimen to seek improvements in care coordination practices and future care outcome protocols.

Prior to SCAN, Hank served as a Principal in a national health care consulting organization providing a range of strategic, financial and development services for health plans, physician groups and hospitals. He began his California career as a member of the senior management team responsible for the turnaround and financial survival of Blue Cross of California. In this capacity, Hank led the financial turnaround of the Individual and Small Group Division and provided leadership to the organization's strategic planning efforts.

Earlier he served as Vice President International Operations for American Family Life Assurance Corporation where he directed the activities of the company's Canadian and European operations. In this role he directed the development of start-up operations in the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy, as well as the financial turnaround of the company's Canadian operations. Earlier, Hank also served as Director of Insurance Consulting Services for Coopers and Lybrand, a predecessor to PriceWaterhouse Coopers.

Throughout his career, he has been a frequent speaker on critical issues and challenges facing the Medicare and Medicaid programs. In 2011, Hank spoke to the Managed Medicaid Congress about principles for structuring effective long term care programs, to the Medicare Market Innovations conference about opportunities for strengthening a plan's five star quality rating and offered his strategic projections for the future of Medicare. He also spoke to a diverse health care and technology audience at the Healthcare Unbound conference about leveraging the power of technology to improve the quality of health outcomes and care interventions.