2019 Speakers

ConnectiCare

Ezio Sabatino

Director of Marketing & Communications - Senior Markets
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

Heather Smith

Director, Medicare Sales
SCAN Health Plan

Archie Dey

Director, Consumer Insights
Bright Health

Kathleen Elli

Vice President, Medicare Marketing
Independent Care Health Plan

Kirk Heminger

Director, Marketing
Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield

Dara Smith

Director, Product Strategy and Analytics
Health Plan of San Mateo

Karen Fitzgerald

Director, Marketing and Communications
Indiana University Health Plans, Inc.

Todd Rau

Director, Medicare Markets
Vantage Health Plan

Billy Justice

Director of Marketing/Sales
BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York

Thomas Sass

Director, Consumer Markets
CarePlus Health Plans

Monica Rodriguez

Manager of Sales Administration/MarketPOINT
Independence Blue Cross

Kenyatta D. Donley

Marketing Manager, Community Development
BlueCross BlueShield of Michigan

Lee Pavach

Medicare Marketing Manager
Medical Mutual

Mark Pencek

Vice President, Customer Experience
Anthem

Windsor Richmond

Medicare Field Sales Manager
Gateway Health

Carissa Stajnrajh, MSW, LCSW

Director of Medicare Clinical Operations
Carrot Health

Kurt Waltenbaugh

CEO
Anderson Direct and Digital

Leah Smith

Vice President, Strategy and Client Relations
Insightin Health

Enam Noor

Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Zelus Consulting Group

Jenny Graham

Partner
Strategic Health Group LLC

Henry W. Osowski

Managing Partner
GS National Insurance

Brian Breisinger

Chief Executive Officer
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

I am responsible for developing strategic and tactical business plans to achieve sustainable and profitable membership objectives. I oversee a direct team consisting of Sales Managers, Broker Executives, and Operations Managers. As well as indirect team of: Support staff, Field Sales Representatives, and Sales Compliance Consultants. I am responsible for all Medicare sales initiatives, all channels, and a $12.5MM sales and operations budget for the Medicare LOB.

I thoroughly enjoy the career that I have chosen and the population that we serve. I surround myself with highly productive and forward-thinking individuals who work together for a common goal of achieving excellence. I believe in continued personal and professional development allowing each contributor to rise to the occasion when called upon.

From my 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.”

I am fortunate to have a wonderfully balanced life that allows me to focus on my career as well as enjoy ample time with my husband of 25 years, my 13-year-old daughter and our zoo of animals.

I hold a BS in Business Management and finished my graduate work, graduating Delta Mu Delta, just 5 short years ago. I am involved in several local organizations where I have sat on the board and held past President and VP positions. I have published several articles for local papers and am a published contributing author to Wisdom in a Traffic Jam 2011.

Archie Dey

Director, Consumer Insights
SCAN Health Plan

Archie Dey is a Director of Consumer Insights at SCAN Health Plan. Archie leads the strategy development and design of initiatives in the areas of Customer Experience and Consumer Analytics. He is passionate about healthcare specially focusing on keeping Seniors Healthy and Independent. Prior to SCAN, Archie has been a management consultant specializing in Strategy and Operations for the Healthcare Industry in the last 15 years. Archie has worked with National Payers and Providers in the areas of consumer digital strategy, target operating model, analytics strategy and large program implementations.

Kathleen Elli

Vice President, Medicare Marketing
Bright Health

Kathleen Elli is Vice President of Medicare Marketing at Bright Health, a health insurance startup which partners with a single leading health system per market to provide quality health insurance for everyday individuals at competitive prices. Originally from the East Coast, Kathleen has over 20 years of experience marketing Medicare Advantage plans in the Twin Cities Area. Her marketing specialties include direct response, direct to consumer and consumer engagement.

She began her Medicare marketing career at UnitedHealthcare, where she spent ten years leading Medicare acquisition marketing teams and initiatives, including the inaugural launch of UHC’s Medicare Part D plan. Most recently, she headed up the STARs Member Engagement team at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, where her team played a pivotal role in upgrading the company's Medicare plans from a 3.5 to a 5 STAR plan.

Kathleen calls St. Paul, MN home, but is a New Yorker at heart. She has a B.S. in Political Science from S.U.N.Y. College @ Brockport and an MBA from Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY.

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.

Dara Smith

Director, Product Strategy and Analytics
Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield

Dara Smith is an accomplished leader in the health insurance industry with a strong financial background and extensive experience in Product Management and Development. Dara started in the industry at Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield in Pittsburgh, PA where she served in various roles in Finance, Marketing, and Product Management for the commercial lines of business. She joined Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield in Portland, OR in 2014 to serve as the Director, Product Strategy and Data Analytics, for Medicare Markets. Her current responsibilities range from Product Strategy, Marketing, Data Analytics, Financial Oversight and Benefit Design.

Dara holds a BSBA degree in Accounting from West Virginia University and an MBA from Duquesne University.

Karen Fitzgerald

Director, Marketing and Communications
Health Plan of San Mateo

Karen Fitzgerald is a results-oriented, customer-focused and highly enthusiastic professional with over 25 years of leadership experience in healthcare, banking and technology. As the Marketing & Communications Director at San Mateo Health Plan (HPSM), she is responsible for maintaining and increasing the organization’s Medicare market share through development and implementation of the annual strategic business plan; positioning its brand and reputation; and driving all marketing, communications and sales initiatives.

Karen joined HPSM in 2016 after spending 13 years as the Director of Marketing & Communications for Sutter Tracy Community Hospital, a Sutter Health affiliate. She has had a successful career in developing and executing strategic marketing, communication and sales plans; directing public relations; and championing leadership development and fundraising efforts.

Todd Rau

Director, Medicare Markets
Indiana University Health Plans, Inc.

Todd Rau is the Director of Medicare for Indiana University Health Plans and leads the Medicare Advantage line of business. IU Health Plans is an extension of Indiana University Health, Indiana’s only hospital system to be nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 20 consecutive years.

Rau has 25+ years of experience in insurance and began his career as a broker, focusing on commercial group, individual and Medicare health sales. In 2007 he became the Regional Sales Manager for Anthem BCBS individual broker sales, and eventually transitioned to the role of Broker Sales Director for Medicare Products.

While at IU Health Plans, Rau introduced the first $0 premium plan, optional supplemental dental benefits, and electronic enrollment capabilities for brokers, the call center and consumers. A Greenwood, Indiana native, he received his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University.

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.

Thomas Sass

Director, Consumer Markets
BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York

Thomas Sass joined BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York in 2012 and is the company’s director, consumer markets.

Possessing nearly 20 years of product management experience, Sass is responsible for overseeing the sales strategy and execution of an insurance portfolio that includes Medicare Advantage and Medigap, Individual (on and off-exchange), Federal Employee Program (FEP), and New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP) products. In his tenure with BlueCross BlueShield, Sass has also overseen small employer group account management and Medicaid Managed Care.

Previously, Sass worked as an engineer, global product manager, and entrepreneur in various industries including, building and construction, printing, and nanotechnology. He received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and master's degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Monica Rodriguez

Manager of Sales Administration/MarketPOINT
CarePlus Health Plans

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

Lee Pavach is a seasoned marketer that brings insights gleaned from healthcare and customer experience enterprises to bear on challenges that many payers face in retaining their customers across the member lifecycle.

Mark Pencek

Vice President, Customer Experience
Medical Mutual

Mark Pencek is Vice President, Customer Experience for Medical Mutual. He is responsible for our customer experience strategy and initiatives to drive exceptional customer experiences across the customer lifecycle for both members and providers. He also sets the strategic direction for member digital experience, learning and development and continuous improvement to Medical Mutual’s Medicare Stars and CAHPS performance.

Prior to joining Medical Mutual in 2011, Mark served as Sr. VP Customer Relations & Retention for FirstGroup America. He also served as VP, Loyalty & Retention for AmTrust Bank and was a customer experience consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM Business Consulting. Mark is a graduate of Kent State University where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in computer science and also earned his Masters of Business Administration from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia.

Windsor Richmond

Medicare Field Sales Manager
Anthem

Carissa Stajnrajh, MSW, LCSW

Director of Medicare Clinical Operations
Gateway Health

Carissa is the Director of Medicare Clinical Operations for Gateway Health and provides clinical and strategic oversight for Utilization Management, Case Management, Behavioral Health Operations, Care Coordination, and the Model of Care. Prior to joining Gateway Health, she served as the Director of Care Delivery for Lumeris, a market leader in value-based care, as well as a 7-year tenure at Highmark Inc. where she served as a Clinical Manager within the Wellness and Health Promotion area. Carissa has her Master of Social Work degree, and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Pennsylvania. Carissa has over 15 years of experience in the Healthcare Industry.

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.

Enam Noor

Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Insightin Health

Enam Noor is the founder and CEO of Insightin Health. Enam has spent the last 20 years in marketing analytics and consumer engagement and the last decade in healthcare member engagement optimization. He was the founder of Desme, a cloud-based strategic marketing consultancy that utilizes big data and machine learning to provide Business Intelligence automation. The company was named Top 10 Search Engine Marketing Firms by INC. Magazine. Enam was the key strategist for a Gartner CRM Excellence Award for healthcare member engagement and was honored by DCA Live as an Entrepreneur to Watch in 2018 for DC’s tech community.

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.

Brian Breisinger

Chief Executive Officer
GS National Insurance

Brian began his career with American Express Financial Advisors in 1998 as a registered representative working with individuals with retirement and estate planning needs. In 2002, he transitioned into management with American International Group developing new representatives until 2006. Over his eight-year stint with those organizations, Brian compiled a list of accomplishments ranging from producer of the year to the elite management award recognizing the nation’s top associate managers. In 2007, Brian launched Gateway Strategies, LLC. as a boutique firm specializing in the mature marketplace. In 2010, he started GS National Insurance as a distributor of senior insurance products to independent agents. Brian is also an owner of MediConnect Insurance and a managing partner with PEAK Reps, LLC.