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Improving Quality And Strengthening The Bottom Line — The Advocates Case Study

August 11, 2022

The pandemic has led to an industry-wide lean period as funding begins to end and consumer usage remains down. Now more than ever it is vital for clinics to eliminate wastage, focus on efficiency and long-term planning, and align their operational plans to effect positive change. Advocates’ Diane Gould President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Danielle Dunn, LMHC, Vice President of Integrated Clinical Services and Brenda Miele Soares, MSW, LICSW, Senior Vice President, Behavioral Health Services, will present strategies and best practices Advocates applied to increase revenue, quality of care, and return on investment at their mental health and substance use clinics.

Advocates is a non-profit human services agency with a broad range of services throughout Central and Eastern Massachusetts, including four outpatient mental health and substance use clinics serving 8000 children, adults and families each year. Up until 2015 the clinics saw significant losses and the agency was evaluating the feasibility of maintaining all four clinics. The clinic leadership undertook a “turnaround project” with strategies involving clinical operations, infrastructure, and revenue management. The team will share the strategies and results.

Executive attendees of this session will learn about:

  • Aligning operations and finance to effect positive change
  • Planning for long term growth to ensure program fidelity
  • Monitoring and evaluating data to refine service offerings


August 11
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Categories:

Featured Speakers

Diane Gould President and CEO, Advocates

Diane Gould is President and CEO of Advocates, a nonprofit human services agency that provides community-based services throughout Massachusetts. For more than thirty-five years, Diane has held clinical and leadership roles at Advocates and directed a broad range of clinical, residential, and support services that promote empowerment, inclusion, and health equity. Throughout her career, Diane has worked to build diverse, inclusive community coalitions that address mental health and social service needs. Diane holds a Master of Social Work degree from Simmons College, and she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts with a concentration in English and women’s studies.

Danielle Dunn, LMHC, VP of Integrated Clinical Services, Advocates

Danielle Dunn has a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Framingham State University.  She is a licensed mental health counselor in the state of Massachusetts.  Danielle has more than 15 years’ experience as a psychotherapist.  Danielle has spent much of her career specializing in trauma services.  Her experience includes community counseling, residential programs, and program leadership. She is currently the VP of Integrated Clinical Services at Advocates. Advocates provides a continuum of behavioral health services across the life span.

Brenda Miele Soares, MSW, LICSW, Senior Vice President, Behavioral Health Services, Advocates

Brenda Miele Soares MSW, LICSW, is the Senior Vice President of Behavioral Health Services at Advocates.  Brenda has worked in community mental health and substance use recovery agencies since 1985.  She has been employed with Advocates since 1990 and she is currently overseeing the clinical and administrative operation of the Behavioral Health Services.  She oversees residential and outreach services for men and women funded by the Department of Mental Health as well as services for Deaf or Hard of Hearing individuals. She opened the first in Massachusetts’ Deaf Respite program.  In addition, she also oversees federal housing programs, crisis stabilization program, two social model substance use recovery programs, four outpatient clinics, a forensic mental health team that provides behavioral health services for inmates at the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction, Emergency Services Program for 31 cities and towns, Integrated Care Management Teams, Co-Response Jail Diversion Programs and jail and prison re-entry services.

Diana St. Cyr, CMC, Senior Director of Revenue Cycle Management, Advocates

Diana St. Cyr, CMC, is the Senior Director of Revenue Cycle Management at Advocates. She has 32 years of experience within the revenue cycle and practice management industry,including experience in the fields of behavioral health, pediatric specialties, and primary care. Ms. St. Cyr is a certified medical coder since 2001 and skilled in effectively mitigating issues to drive practice efficiency. She empowers teamwork to produce effective solutions-based results attributable to extensive medical leadership background and analytical skills. Prior to joining Advocates, Ms. St. Cyr worked at Massachusetts General Physician Organization, overseeing billing operations for 26 practices. Most recently, she was the Coding Operations Manager for Primary Care and Behavioral Health and was the Project Lead on a Professional Billings. HCC (risk adjusted coding) project.

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