Deborah Faulkner has been an active advisor and participant in Rhode Island health policy and program design for over 15 years. She has consulted with a variety of local and regional health insurers and governmental agencies, working on topics such as ACA implementation, Medicaid program design, and health plan/provider regulation. Ms. Faulkner’s ACA expertise stems from her work at Rhode Island’s Health Benefits Exchange, HealthSource RI, where she acted as Project Director during the initial program design period, ultimately building an operational team to staff core functions as the organization has matured. At Medicaid, Ms. Faulkner has supported a variety of key initiatives, including the negotiations with CMS for the Rhode Island Global Medicaid Waiver and more recently the design and implementation of a Medicaid accountable care program. Ms. Faulkner’s regulatory experience includes providing expert assessment of Certificate of Need Applications for a state Department of Health, and the development of health insurance affordability standards for the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner. Earlier in her career, Ms. Faulkner was the Assistant Vice President of Strategy and Business Planning for Tufts Health Plan in Massachusetts. Prior to that, Ms. Faulkner was a consultant with Mercer Management Consulting in Washington, D.C. Ms. Faulkner holds a Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College.
Merel Abruzzese has over 20 years of experience in financial and data analysis in healthcare and other industries. She has been supporting FCG with complex financial, policy and business analysis over the last fifteen years on projects for HealthSource RI, the Division of Medicaid, the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner, and other public and private clients. Merel uses detailed financial models to support and frame complex policy options such as supporting federal negotiations for a global Medicaid waiver, analyzing trends in the individual and small group health insurance markets, and evaluating state budget initiatives. Additionally, Merel serves as the Engagement Manager for FCG’s team at HSRI where she provides critical organizational, analytic and operational support to HSRI leadership, including monthly budgeting and forecasting, deliberative team assignment, and ongoing performance evaluation processes. Prior to FCG, Merel worked for Mercer Management Consulting, where she performed complex data analysis and financial modeling for projects for Fortune 500 companies in the energy, consumer products, and telecommunications industries. She has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and BA in Applied Math from Harvard College.
Robin Alssid has been part of the FCG team since 2013 and is responsible for all finance, accounting, company benefits and IT infrastructure. Previously, Ms. Alssid was Director of Finance and Administration for Workforce Strategy Center, a national consulting think tank that worked to make education and training more responsive to the economy. Ms. Alssid spent several years on Wall Street where she traded precious metals options and bullion. She holds a BA in Economics from Queens College.
Tiffany Alunan brings a myriad of diverse experience from her background in health policy research, hospital payment systems, and state certification programs for accountable care organizations. At FCG, Tiffany currently supports the design and implementation of a Medicaid maternity bundle model. As part of this work, she assists in planning and facilitating stakeholder meetings to inform the payment model design, and she developed a health equity tool, drawing on best practice research, to center equity as a driving force in alternative payment models. Other recent projects include the implementation of a new rating structure for Medicaid Assisted Living providers and the development of recommendations around Functional Assessment Reform for Home- and Community-Based Services. Prior to joining FCG, Tiffany worked as Senior Associate Consultant for Triage Consulting Group, where she was responsible for auditing and analyzing large amounts of hospital claims data to identify billing and coding inefficiencies, recover lost revenue, and recommend process improvements in hospital revenue cycles. She also participated in health policy research projects on a Los Angeles County Medicare-Medicaid dual eligible pilot program as well as primary care reform in Massachusetts. As a graduate student, Tiffany worked as a Summer Fellow for the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission, developing strategies to publicly compare accountable care organization (ACO) performance. She also worked with the Commonwealth Care Alliance, a community-based healthcare organization, designing an evidence-based health intervention focused on disease prevention and health promotion. Tiffany holds an MPH in Health Policy from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a BA in Human Biology and Society with a concentration in Bioethics and Science Public Policy from University of California, Los Angeles.
Olivia Burke brings an analytic perspective to the design, implementation, and assessment of state health policy initiatives. Olivia’s work with FCG has focused primarily on the design and implementation of alternative payment models for state Medicaid programs that advance population health and health equity goals. Olivia has experience designing Medicaid payment models across settings and populations, having worked on models for primary care, behavioral health, and long-term care providers and populations. Olivia brings expertise in data analysis and financial modeling to the design of payment models and programs, and to the implementation of these initiatives through state and federal budget and authority pathways. In addition to her work with state Medicaid programs, Olivia has led Certificate of Need assessments and conducted research and modeling for State-based Exchanges seeking to understand the impact of federal actions and COVID-19 related effects on individual and small group health insurance markets. Olivia previously served as part of HealthSource RI’s implementation team, where she played a key role in the design and development of the analytic tools to support operations and financial controls. Prior to FCG, Olivia worked as a research assistant at Columbia University’s Earth Institute and The Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, providing research and analytic support to various projects at the intersection of public health, environmental sciences and cultural studies. Olivia holds a BA in Sustainable Development and Anthropology from Columbia College.
Carson has worked in the healthcare industry within Rhode Island for nearly a decade with a focus on operations and technology. She is focused on the importance of utilizing data as a tool with her clients to identify where there are current gaps or weaknesses, building solutions and business processes that address those areas, and analyzing the impacts of the updates post implementation. She has extensive experience bringing together interagency teams to collaborate where shared programs intersect, ensuring that all parties have a voice in the conversation, and producing recommendations that can accommodate all policy and operational needs of the group. Some of her recent projects include the analysis of existing Community Partner program implementation of a MassHealth ACO which was used to identify recommendations for strategies that could be implemented to improve the program as it grows. Additionally, Carson has led projects for Long Term Services and Supports which involved business process review and redesign through identification of gaps in current processes, best practices research, and documentation for communicating changes to those impacted by the changes. Her prior experience includes over six years as a consultant with HealthSource RI (HSRI) where she was responsible for the exchange’s functional design, focused on operational preparedness for system changes. In this role, Carson provided subject matter expertise to the HSRI team regarding systems and operations. She was also responsible for oversight of the training curriculum across all channels. Carson holds an MBA in Organizational Leadership from Johnson & Wales University and a BA in English and Education from Drew University.
Lani Cooper has over 25 years of experience in health care operations, including over 8 years at FCG working on both the Operations and Strategy teams. Her expertise includes working at the state and provider levels in the areas of operational program design and implementation, program assessment, process documentation and business process improvement.
Her work at FCG has included working with Rhode Island’s health insurance marketplace where she collaborated across state agencies and partners to ensure the successful design and implementation of customer facing business processes, systems, and workflows. She later spearheaded the design and implementation of the state’s Customer Resolution Team.
Since joining the Strategy team in 2018, Lani has worked with multiple FCG clients to assess current programs, operationalize new policy initiatives, and design business process improvements. Most recently she worked on the implementation of Rhode Island’s new tiered rate structure for Assisted Living Residence Payments and supported the operational planning for RI’s Long-Term Services and Supports rebalancing initiatives.
Prior to joining FCG, Lani was responsible for new program development at the VNA of Care New England and managed the insurance processing operations of Children’s Hospital in Seattle. Lani has held management and operational positions at several other academic medical centers including Georgetown Hospital in Washington, DC, and Children’s Hospital in Boston. She holds an MBA from the University of Washington and a BA from Hamilton College.
Ryan Driscoll has a strong background in health policy research with a focus on access to care and population health, as well as experience working with state health policy and programs. Prior to FCG, Ryan worked as a health policy analyst in Vanderbilt University’s Department of Health Policy. In this role, she supported research on safety-net hospital financing and co-authored multiple publications on the impacts of policy on access to care measures, especially with regard to LGBTQ health disparities. Ryan has also supported several state-level health policy initiatives and programs, including working with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to transition to a state-based marketplace. Ryan also worked with the CDC and the Louisiana Department of Public Health to improve access to expedited partner therapy for LGBTQ populations in the state. Ryan holds an MPH in Health Policy from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a BA in Government and Biology from Claremont McKenna College.
Jessie Hole is a seasoned project leader with over a decades’ worth of experience overseeing the implementation and operations of health and human services projects. Since joining FCG in 2021, Ms. Hole’s work has focused on supporting HealthSource RI in several key initiatives, including oversight of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and Medicaid to QHP auto-enrollment projects. Prior to joining Faulkner Consulting Group, Ms. Hole was a Senior Consultant at Freedman HealthCare where she worked with a wide-range or Rhode Island clients, including Healthsource RI, Department of Labor and Training, and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS), as well as other departments across the secretariat. As part of this work, Jessie was operational lead for the development and implementation of EOHHS’ Data Ecosystem, an integrated administrative and claims data system aimed to improve agency performance and operational analytics, quality improvement, and date-informed decision making for the state. Over the years, Jessie has also led several technical assessments, strategic planning projects, and large-scale qualitative analytic projects for Rhode Island as well as other states and clients.
Prior to her work in Rhode Island, Jessie was an Associate at Sachs Policy Group in New York City where she led financial and technical projects for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and supported client’s strategic planning for health care policy changes. Preceding this, Ms. Hole was a Program Officer for Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a national community development investment fund. Ms. Hole received a bachelor’s degree from Williams College and a master’s degree in Public Policy from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service.
Tricia Leddy has over 35 years of experience in healthcare policy and state government healthcare program development and implementation. Tricia has been with FCG for the last six years, providing assistance to states and health systems in the areas of DSRIP, 1115 and 1332 waivers; health policy options; and cost allocation and financing for Medicaid, state Marketplaces, Medicaid HI TECH projects and state-owned hospitals. Prior to FCG, she did similar work for the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) for 2 years. Before her consulting career, Tricia had an extensive career in state government. She served as Deputy Director of HealthSource RI and held several senior positions in policy and planning for Rhode Island’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS). Projects she led at EOHHS included development of a statewide All Payer Claims Database, development of statewide health system performance measurement, the Medicare All Payer Medical Home Demonstration, and hospital mergers. Tricia served as the Director of RIte Care, RI’s nationally recognized Medicaid managed care program and one of the first 1115 waivers in the country, from its inception in 1994 to 2006. Tricia designed and directed RIteShare, a premium assistance program to help Medicaid eligible families get health insurance through their employers, and RIte Smiles, now a nationally-recognized managed dental care program, for Medicaid/RIte Care-enrolled children. Tricia held a position as a Teaching Associate in the Department of Community Health at the Brown School of Public Health where she helped develop a graduate fellowship partnership between Brown and the RI Medicaid program. Among many awards, Governing Magazine named her Public Official of the Year in 2004.
Ryan Nguyen brings a strong background in policy research including Medicare post-acute care quality measurement and quality improvement to his work at FCG. Prior to FCG, Ryan worked as a Public Health Analyst at RTI International where he supported CMS projects, including the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program as well as an initiative to reduce avoidable hospitalizations among nursing facility residents. While attending graduate school, Ryan worked with Massachusetts Health Quality Partners, a non-profit measurement and reporting organization, where he integrated a health equity lens into the organization’s clinical care guidelines. Ryan holds an MPH in Health Policy from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a BSPH in Health Policy and Management from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health.
Grant Porter’s expertise includes five years of academic work in quantitative analytics and healthcare policy research as well as over ten years of professional healthcare-related experience in policy development, strategic planning, forecasting, analytics and reporting, and budgeting/auditing oversight. For each task Grant provides his clients with a unique complement of technical proficiency with relational databases (including Oracle SQL, Microsoft SQL Server and P/L SQL), a demonstrated facility with applied analytics and financial modeling, and substantive health policy expertise.
Grant has provided direct support to the Rhode Island Office of Health & Human Services and Office of Management and Budget since 2014. In this capacity, Grant has been responsible for a variety of business critical projects, including financial oversight of managed care products, redesigning the state’s Medicaid caseload (utilization and enrollment) forecasting methodology, and developing innovative business models to enable and support state budgetary targets. He is a principal author for a report and model establishing a national standard for the development of the Underwriting Margins for Medicaid Managed Care. This project is sponsored by the Society of Actuaries and is set to be published in Summer 2022.
Grant holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Quantitative Methods from Columbia University and a B.A. in Political Science from Yale College. His research used game theory as a lens for interpreting the political history of Medicaid and how states leveraged federal financial participation to support state policy agendas.
Angela Sherwin joined FCG as a Managing Director bringing her deep experience and expertise in designing, building, implementing, and evaluating health policy and population health programs. Angela previously served as President of Population Health for Steward Health Care Network, where she led the division that delivers population health services to Steward’s accountable care programs and its Medicaid Managed Care plan. She oversaw clinical and performance operations, quality, data/analytics, information technology, and member/provider services. Prior to this role, Angela designed and implemented Steward’s first Medicaid Accountable Care program in Massachusetts which successfully saved nearly 3% in total medical expense in its first year, and she scaled nationwide ACO operations as Steward grew from a Massachusetts health care system to become the largest private, physician-led health care network in the United States.
Prior to her tenure at Steward, Angela was Assistant Director of HealthSource RI, Rhode Island’s health insurance marketplace, where she was responsible for designing and developing operations, fostering relationships with federal and state agencies, and engaging target audiences in public dialogue about health reform. Leading up to HealthSource RI’s establishment, she led Exchange planning and implementation efforts on behalf of the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner, receiving nearly $90 million in federal funds to support HealthSource RI’s start-up. Angela also served as the Program Director for Brown University’s Master of Healthcare Leadership program, a 16-month degree program that prepares executives, clinicians, and senior leaders to transform healthcare.
Angela was named to Providence Business News’ “Forty Under 40” professionals in 2014. Angela holds a Bachelor of Arts in Medical Ethics and Master of Public Health, both from Brown University, and a certificate in Climate Change and Health from Yale School of Public Health.
Min Tunkel brings a well-rounded background in mathematics and analytical work to FCG. Min uses their proficiency in data analysis and research to aid FCG in the business model development, literature review, and quantitative investigation. Their past projects include a data-driven review of the behavioral health system in Rhode Island as well as development of a dashboard to track progress around the Healthy Communities Transformation Initiative (HCTI). Previously, Min focused their work on the physical sciences, including a quantitative research internship at the Mount Washington Observatory in the White Mountains, NH. Min holds a BA in Astronomy from Brown University with a double major in Mathematics and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Science Writing from Johns Hopkins University.
Monette Verrier is a Human Resources professional with over fifteen years of experience in sourcing strategy and human resources management. She is responsible for employee performance and development, recruiting, managing our intern program and guiding leadership in employee policy decisions. Previously Ms. Verrier spent three years as the People and Culture Manager for Forward Financing a Boston based start-up. Prior to that Ms. Verrier worked for Accenture where she was responsible for global staffing, performance management and assisted with talent acquisition and talent sourcing strategy. Ms. Verrier holds a BA from the College of Holy Cross.