Gettysburg, Pa. (July 18, 2021) — OPEN MINDS announced the final faculty for The 2021 OPEN MINDS Management Best Practices Institute, taking place live and in-person, in Newport Beach, California from August 23-26, 2021. The focus of this four-day executive experience is on the must-have competencies executives need to improve the service system for consumers with complex conditions in the “next normal.”

In addition to the advanced executive level sessions, this year’s institute will feature two executive summits: The OPEN MINDS I/DD Executive Summit: Strategies For The ‘Next Normal’: Responding To I/DD At The Crossroads  on Monday, August 23; and The OPEN MINDS Health Plan Partnership Summit: An Assessment Of Payer Partnership Priorities In The ‘Next Normal’ on Thursday, August 26. The institute will also host two management seminars on Monday, August 23 and Thursday, August 26: How To Optimize Technology: An OPEN MINDS Seminar On Getting The Most Value From Your Technology Investments and How To Develop A Successful Marketing Plan: The OPEN MINDS Seminar On Marketing Strategy.

The faculty includes notable thought leaders from Aetna Better Health of California, CareOregon, Orange County Health Care Agency, L.A. Care Health Plan, Magellan Health, and North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS).

Victor Armstrong, director at North Carolina Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, & Substance Abuse Services, North Carolina, Department Of Health & Human Services will kick off the I/DD Executive Summit on Monday, August 23 with his keynote presentation “The I/DD Landscape:  Looking Ahead To The “Next Normal.’” Mr. Armstrong joined North Carolina DHHS as ‪Director of the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, Substance Abuse Services in March of 2020, with responsibility and oversight of the public community-based mental health, intellectual and other developmental disabilities, substance use, and traumatic brain injury system in North Carolina. Victor has over 30 years of experience in human services, primarily dedicated to building and strengthening community resources to serve individuals living with mental illness.

Rafael Gonzalez-Amezcua M.D., chief medical officer at Aetna Better Health of California will begin the institute on August 24 with his keynote, “A Payer’s Perspective On Crucial Integrated Health Components In The ‘Next Normal.'” During his keynote session, Dr. Gonzalez-Amezcua will provide attendees with an overview of key components of integrated health for effective health care delivery to obtain desired patient and system outcomes. The session will highlight integrated health care systems delivering care to complex populations and touch on health equity themes and social determinants of care concepts as important inclusions for valued based care in the “next normal.” Dr. Rafael is a Board-Certified Internist who has a passion for bringing team based innovative solutions to complex health care challenges. Dr. Amezcua has served in various leadership and management capacities from northern to southern California.

On August 25, the institute will begin with a panel of experts who will discuss some of the funding challenges state Medicaid systems will face as we continue in the post-pandemic “new normal,” well into 2022. These county and state Medicaid executives will share their insights about the growing emphasis on integrated and whole person care approaches in the delivery of coordinated care for complex populations as a strategy to reduce payer cost and improve outcomes, as well as thoughts on payer-provider partnerships to execute these strategies. Panelists include: Eric C. Hunter, president and chief executive officer at CareOregon; Jeffrey A. Nagel, Ph.D., behavioral health director at Orange County Health Care Agency; Michael Brodsky, M.D., director for behavioral health and social services at L.A. Care Health Plan; Cathy Gilbert, senior associate at OPEN MINDS; and Richard Louis, III, vice president of the west region at OPEN MINDS.

Monica E. Oss, chief executive officer at OPEN MINDS, will wrap up the institute with her closing plenary address “Best Practices For Success In The “Next Normal.”

On August 26, the management week continues with The OPEN MINDS Health Plan Partnership Summit. This summit’s agenda will include a market briefing on the state of payer system realignment, informative case studies with key opinion leader executives, thought leader discussions, and interactive dialogue with attendees. Caroline Carney, M.D., chief medical officer at Magellan Health will kick off the day with her keynote session “Transformation To A Collaborative Care Model – A Reimagined Partnership Approach.” Dr. Caroline Carney is a board-certified internist and a board-certified psychiatrist. She joined Magellan Health in 2016 and serves as Magellan Health’s Chief Medical Officer, overseeing Magellan Healthcare and Magellan RX Management.

Other featured faculty (see complete list), from leading health care organizations across the country, include:

  • Barbara Merrill, Chief Executive Officer, ANCOR
  • Brian Hart, Chief Strategy Office, Living Arrangements For The Developmentally Disabled
  • Chris Esguerra, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, DME Consulting Group
  • Eleanor Castillo Sumi, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Vice President of Research and Program Development, Uplift Family Services
  • Garret Zabel, Director of Strategy & Innovation, Hillsides
  • Karin Annerhed-Harris, Vice President, Business Development, Resources for Human Development
  • Kelly Friedlander, Principal Consultant, Community Bridges Consulting Group
  • Krystal Melgoza, Provider Relations Manager, Windstone Health Services
  • Lesley Nolen, Director of Business Development, Windstone Health Services
  • Nanette L. Perrin, Senior Director Of Pathways, RCRS & Senior Director Of Pathways, RCRS & Social Determinants Of Health, Sunflower Health Plan
  • Peter J. Davidson, Chief Executive Officer, Windstone Health Services
  • Shawna Morris, MPA, Chief Executive Officer, Casa Pacifica Centers For Children & Families
  • Stephanie Perry, Director of Long-Term Care & Support Services, Iowa Total Care
  • Stephanie Rasmussen, Vice President Of Long Term Supports & Services, Sunflower Health Plan
  • Tracy Sanders, M.Ed., Senior Director, Medicaid Complex Population Development, Optum Behavioral Health
  • Yagnesh Vadgama BCBA, Vice President Clinical Care Services Autism, Magellan Health

Additional sessions throughout the institute include (see full agenda):

  • Optimizing Your Bottom Line – Tracking Revenue, Payments & Managing Denials
  • Staff Burnout & Disengagement: Disruptive Forces Facing Employee Well-being
  • Best-in-Class Tools For Managing & Tracking Contracts
  • Strategic Planning For Recovery & Sustainability In The ‘Next Normal’
  • Organizational Change Agents: How To Be A Flexible & Nimble Organization
  • Aligning Your Clinical Practice To Meet HEDIS & Plan Requirements: HEDIS Measures Beyond Access To Care
  • How to Engage Payers & Keep Them Engaged
  • Addressing The Talent Pipeline Shortage: Who Owns It & How To Reverse It
  • The Evidence Based Practices Health Plans Need & How They Are Used
  • Using Mobile Technology To Simplify Documentation In Residential & Community Settings – Sponsored by Welligent
  • Keys To Calculating Unit Costs & Case Rates
  • Strategic Alliances With Key Stakeholders: Providers, Payers & Patients
  • Surviving An Audit: What Triggers One & How To Ensure Integrity In Your Clinical Billing
  • Managing A Non-Profit Board: Striving For Board Diversity While Leveraging Experience & Expertise
  • Recruiting, Hiring & Onboarding: The Competencies Needed To Build A High-Quality Provider Network Of Care
  • Incorporating Social Determinants Of Health Into Your Practice To Improve Patient Outcomes & Increase Reimbursement
  • Keeping Consumers In The Equation: Best Practices In Consumer Experience & Engagement
  • Preparing For CalAIM: A Behavioral Health Provider Strategy Summit – By Invitation-Only

On-site exhibiting partners include: Qualifacts + Credible; Otsuka Market Access; Netsmart; Genoa Healthcare; Streamline Healthcare Solutions; Welligent; DATIS HR Cloud; Iris Telehealth; CapGrow Partners; Exym LLC; and Secure Telehealth.

Other event partners include: PsychU; NephU; NextGen Healthcare; Remarkable Health; Relias; Sigmund Software; TenEleven Group; Dr. First; Eccovia; Genomind; Harris Coordinated Care Solutions; i2i Population Health; Millin Associates; Owl Health; The Echo Group; Tridiuum; and WEX Health.

See our full list of partners here:

To view the full agenda, all faculty, and for more information about the institute, visit:

Registration for this exclusive Institute is $700 and is now available at Registration is included in Elite-level subscriptions to the OPEN MINDS Circle market intelligence service. For more information on the program, sponsorship opportunities, or media inquiries, contact the Executive Education & Events team, at 717-334-1329 or

OPEN MINDS is a national market intelligence, management consulting, and marketing services firm specializing exclusively in the markets of the health and human service field that serve consumers with chronic conditions and complex support needs. OPEN MINDS’ mission is to provide payers, service provider organizations, and technology and scientific firms that serve these consumers with the market and management knowledge needed to improve their organizational efficiency and effectiveness.


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