On May 1, 2013, Elizabeth Mitchell became the new President and CEO of the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement. Prior to taking her role with NRHI, Mitchell led the Maine Health Management Coalition and Foundation as CEO since 2008. Under Mitchell's leadership, the Coalition became one of the most successful Regional Health Improvement Collaboratives in the country, implementing innovative programs in quality and cost measurement, employer and consumer engagement, and payment and delivery reform that are widely viewed as models for improving both the quality and affordability of healthcare. At the beginning of 2013, the Coalition was designated as one of the initial four Qualified Entities by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, enabling the residents of Maine to use Medicare claims data in their efforts to reduce healthcare costs and improve quality. In February 2013, the State of Maine received a $33 million State Innovation Models grant from the CMS Innovation Center, one of only six states to receive similar funding, based on an application developed jointly by the State and the Coalition.
Mitchell has also played a leadership role in national initiatives on healthcare quality and cost through her roles as Chair of the NRHI Board of Directors, as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Quality Forum, as a member of the Coordinating Committee for the Measure Applications Partnership, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Business Coalition on Health. In February 2013, she gave invited testimony to the Subcommittee on Health of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, describing the work that the Maine Health Management Coalition has done to improve the quality and affordability of healthcare in Maine and the role that Regional Health Improvement Collaboratives could play in transforming healthcare nationally.
Prior to becoming CEO of the Maine Health Management Coalition, Mitchell worked for MaineHealth, Maine's largest integrated health system, where she led several transparency and quality improvement efforts. She served two terms in the Maine State Legislature, where she chaired the Health and Human Services Committee. She has also held posts at the National Academy for State Health Policy and London's Nuffield Trust. She was selected for an Atlantic Fellowship in Public Policy by the Commonwealth Fund and the British Council. She completed the International Health Leadership Program at Cambridge University's Judge School of Management while pursuing graduate studies at the London School of Economics.
Mitchell can be contacted at EMitchell@NRHI.org.
Ellen Gagnon joined the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement as the Senior Project Director effective on November 1, 2013 bringing over twenty years of experience in the healthcare industry. Most recently, Gagnon held the position of Senior Program Manager at Martin’s Point Health Care developing and leading various cross functional teams supporting efforts including Behavioral Health integration, a Medical Expense Management initiative and Clinical Quality Reporting. She served as the Population Health Nurse Advisor and organized multiple efforts toward achievement of NCQA Patient Center Medical Home standards. She was the Senior Project Manager for Martin’s Point Health Plans leading teams to develop and implement an innovative Primary Care Payment Model with a supporting web based provider reporting and medical expense analysis tool. These tools increased access to actionable reporting for primary care providers to enable achievement of improved health outcomes and patient experience while containing costs. Positions previously held at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic as the Director of Service Excellence followed years of extensive provider network contract negotiations, including risk sharing and quality incentive arrangements.
Gagnon has held leadership and board positions including the role of Chairperson of the New Hampshire Hospital Association, Managed Care Contracting Committee. Her education and training ranges from Harvard Law School Negotiation Training to completing the Core Concepts Training program at NUKA Healthcare, Southcentral Foundation in Anchorage, Alaska. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Worcester State College.
Harold D. Miller serves as the Strategic Initiatives Consultant for the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement. Prior to taking on the role of Strategic Initiatives Consultant, Miller served for over four years as the President and CEO of NRHI. He organized NRHI’s national Summits on Healthcare Payment Reform in 2007 and 2008 and its Summit on Regional Healthcare Transformation in 2013.
Miller is the President and CEO of the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform and is a nationally-recognized expert on healthcare payment and delivery reform. He is also adjunct professor of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University. Miller is working in a number of states and regions, including with many NRHI members, to help design and implement payment and delivery system reforms. Miller’s work with the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI) demonstrating the significant financial penalties that hospitals can face if they reduce hospital-acquired infections was featured in Modern Healthcare magazine in December, 2007. He designed and led a multi-year PRHI initiative that significantly reduced preventable hospital admissions and readmissions through improved care for chronic disease patients. In 2007 and early 2008, he served as the facilitator for the Minnesota Health Care Transformation Task Force, which prepared the recommendations that led to passage of Minnesota’s path-breaking healthcare reform legislation in May, 2008.
Miller has given invited testimony to Congress on how to reform healthcare payment. He has authored a number of papers and reports on health care payment and delivery reform, including “From Volume to Value: Better Ways to Pay for Healthcare,” which appeared in the September 2009 issue of Health Affairs, the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform’s reports “How to Create Accountable Care Organizations,” “Transitions to Accountable Care,” and “Ten Barriers to Healthcare Payment Reform and How to Overcome Them,” the Massachusetts Hospital Association’s report “Creating Accountable Care Organizations in Massachusetts,” and the American Medical Association’s report “Pathways for Physician Success Under Healthcare Payment and Delivery Reforms.” Mr. Miller serves on the Board of Directors of the National Quality Forum, and he has represented NRHI on the National Priorities Partnership.
Jay Want is the owner and principal of Want Healthcare LLC, and he serves as a Payment and Delivery Reform Consultant for the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement. He also consults for a wide variety of clients, including the Colorado Foundation for Medical Care, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He served as founding chairman of the board of the nonprofit Center for Improving Value in Health Care (CIVHC), one of NRHI's member Regional Health Improvement Collaboratives, and he currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer for CIVHC.
Want serves on the board of the non-profit Rocky Mountain Health Plan. In January 2012, he was appointed an Innovation Advisor for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation with the initial cohort of the program. For eight years he was president and chief executive officer of Physician Health Partners, LLC, a management services organization that was named as a Pioneer ACO. He has served on task forces for the Colorado Division of Insurance, the Colorado Trust, the Colorado Hospital Association, the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Care Reform, and as a fellow of the Colorado Health Foundation. He also served as chairman of the Northwest Denver Care Transitions Steering Committee, a program that successfully lowered readmissions by 10% while improving care for Medicare beneficiaries over a two year period. In 2009, he assisted Senator Michael Bennet in drafting the Care Transitions Act, ultimately included in the Accountable Care Act under Section 3026.
Dr. Want is board-certified in internal medicine, and was a primary care internist in private practice for ten years. He received his internal medicine training at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his medical degree from Northwestern University. He is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society.
Louise Merriman is the Director of Communications for NRHI. She has over 14 years of marketing and communications experience including managing global press and investor relations, handling the launch of complex websites, and directing internal and external communications for B2B and B2C companies. Prior to joining the organization, Louise served as Director of Communications for Twin Rivers Paper Company; Digital Manager for FairPoint Communications; Senior Manager for Fairchild Semiconductor and Program Manager for the Center of Health Quality, Outcomes and Economic Research.
Louise has an undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College and a graduate degree in public health from Boston University School of Public Health. Louise can be reached at email@example.com.
In August 2013, Louise Marcotte joined the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement as Grants Manager. In this role, Ms. Marcotte ensures that all financial and operational grant requirements are met, working closely with NRHI’s CEO, funding sources, NRHI accountants and consultants to the organization. Ms. Marcotte holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Regis College, Weston, MA and a Master’s Degree in Social Service and Social Research from Bryn Mawr College. Her employment with NRHI caps an impressive career in the public and private sectors, serving as key staff on a wide range of national studies in healthcare delivery and outcomes, with Washington, DC-based firms and with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Most recently, Ms. Marcotte served as Director of Clinical Research at two Maine Hospitals where she was responsible for hiring and training research staff, developing study budgets, coordinating contract development with staff attorneys and staff accountants, and leading broad internal initiatives.
Nancy Jaeckels is a Principal at Health Management Associates, a national health care consulting firm. Ms. Jaeckels currently leads multiple projects and contracts within behavioral health centers, primary care, and regional collaboratives and focuses much of her work in integration between behavioral health and primary care.
Ms. Jaeckels has over 25 years experience in direct patient care, health care administration, and quality and safety improvement in ambulatory, inpatient and long-term care. She spent the last 15 years as the vice president at ICSI – Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement in MN, leading many behavioral health integration projects specific to depression (DIAMOND) and substance misuse/abuse (SBIRT) and medical home implementation with behavioral health and chronic disease management.
Ms. Jaeckels is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ), quality and organizational excellence and change management and has served two terms as the President of the Minnesota HealthCare Quality Professionals.
Barbara (BJ) Dacko serves as Executive Assistant to Elizabeth Mitchell, President & CEO of NRHI, as well as oversees all office management duties for the NRHI organization.
BJ joined NRHI in August of 2013 bringing with her over 20 years of diverse business management experience. Prior to joining NRHI, BJ was employed by Delhaize America in Scarborough, Maine. She served as Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Sustainability, U.S., and the Director of Real Estate U.S.–North, and their respective teams. BJ was responsible for providing all administrative and operational support for both areas. Prior to Delhaize America, BJ was employed at L.L. Bean, Inc. based in Freeport, Maine for over 16 years serving in various management roles managing several diverse business units with annual sales revenues between $7M-$20M. While employed at L.L. Bean BJ was a key player in many successful high profile business process improvement projects and programs. Her background ranges from extensive administrative, operational, and leadership experience to a broad spectrum of event management.