Leadership

Our Leadership Team works to improve people’s health in Cook County. Each team member has years of health care experience. They understand your needs and care about your community. Use this Contact Form to talk with the team. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Cheryl Whitaker, MD, MPH, FACP, Chief Executive Officer of NextLevel Health

Cheryl Whitaker

MD, FACP

Chief Executive Officer, Chairwoman

Dr. Cheryl Whitaker is a 20-year veteran health care professional who has dedicated her career to finding innovative health care solutions for underserved populations. She...

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Dr. Cheryl Whitaker is a 20-year veteran health care professional who has dedicated her career to finding innovative health care solutions for underserved populations. She has extensive experience in health care information technology, leveraging I.T. solutions toward better quality care for patients.

Most recently, Whitaker served as the chief medical officer of a publicly traded health information technology company where she guided product strategy. In 2011, she was appointed to serve as the inaugural chair of the Illinois Health Information Exchange Authority, where she guided the state’s effort to create secure data exchange for health information.

Prior to that, Whitaker worked as a senior program officer for the Chicago Community Trust, which for the past century has connected donors to organizations working to improve metropolitan Chicago. She oversaw the grant strategy for all health-related grants given by the Trust, including efforts related to healthcare reform and the health information exchange.

Whitaker also served as a faculty member at Rush University Medical Center, where she earned additional certification as a specialist in clinical hypertension and numerous grants to help the medical industry understand the needs of marginal populations living with chronic conditions. The Stanford Patient Education and Research Center certified her as a master trainer in self-management of chronic disease.

In her position as chair and CEO of NextLevel Health, Whitaker provides strategic direction to the executive leadership team, focusing on altering the care delivery system by bringing the “medical home” to the “member’s home.”

Whitaker earned her bachelor of science in biology from Emory University and a medical degree from the Washington University School of Medicine. She has a master of public health from the Harvard School of Public Health with a concentration in health policy and management. Her clinical training in primary care internal medicine was completed at Stanford University and the University of California San Francisco. Whitaker’s medical training focused on the care of diverse populations in the Bay area, which included immigrant populations from across the world, HIV-positive populations, as well as populations struggling with addiction, poverty and mental illness. Whitaker also completed a fellowship in health services research at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Whitaker is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, a former member of the advisory board for Northern Illinois American College of Physicians, and an appointee to the Chicago Institute of Medicine.

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Thomas Fisher

MD

President

Dr. Thomas L. Fisher is a board-certified emergency medicine physician and health policy leader. He brings more than 15 years of health care experience in...

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Dr. Thomas L. Fisher is a board-certified emergency medicine physician and health policy leader. He brings more than 15 years of health care experience in government, insurance and provider perspectives to this important leadership position.

In his most recent position, Fisher served as vice president of health delivery transformation at Health Care Service Corporation, where he developed innovative healthcare solutions for Blue Cross and Blue Shield members in five states. Prior to joining HCSC, Fisher was a White House fellow at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he worked on Affordable Care Act regulations and led the development of the HHS Action Plan for Reducing Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities.

As an assistant professor, Fisher was named a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at The University of Chicago, where he researched race- and class-based health disparities and their impacts on minority and disadvantaged populations.

Now, in his role as NextLevel Health’s president, Fisher is responsible for day-to-day operations, overseeing medical and pharmacy management, business and financial operations, regulatory adherence and community relations.

Fisher holds a bachelor of arts in biology from Dartmouth College, a master of public health from the Harvard School of Public Health, and a medical degree from The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.

Fisher continues to care for the people and community where he was raised on Chicago’s South Side.

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Keith Wolski, MBA, Chief Financial Officer of NextLevel Health

Keith Wolski

Chief Financial Officer

Keith Wolski is an accomplished senior healthcare executive and entrepreneur, with extensive leadership and management experience in healthcare finance and operations. He brings more than...

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Keith Wolski is an accomplished senior healthcare executive and entrepreneur, with extensive leadership and management experience in healthcare finance and operations. He brings more than 20 years of leadership and expertise in driving strategic planning, financial management and operational analytics.
Most recently, Wolski oversaw the start-up of Centene Corporation’s Illinois Medicaid operations. Prior to that, he served as the regional vice president of finance at United Health Group’s Medicaid Division, where he oversaw financial operations for the Midwest Region. As an entrepreneur, Wolski cofounded Care Collaborative Home Health Services, Inc., a licensed Medicare- and Medicaid-certified home health agency serving primarily the needs of Chicago’s underserved, urban-based home health patients.

As chief financial officer at NextLevel Health, Wolski is responsible for meeting growth targets, business expansion, cost containment and profitability.

Wolski earned his bachelor of arts in healthcare administration from Southern Illinois University and a master in business administration in finance and accounting from Roosevelt University in Chicago. He is also an Illinois licensed securities broker.

Wolski is an active member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association.

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Terrell Anderson, MBA, Senior Director of Operations of NextLevel Health

Terrell Anderson

Chief Operating Officer

Terrell Anderson has more than 25 years of experience in operations management, business development, portfolio management, program and project management, merger integrations and sales management....

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Terrell Anderson has more than 25 years of experience in operations management, business development, portfolio management, program and project management, merger integrations and sales management.

In his most recent position, Anderson served as the director of treasury management and specialized markets at Urban Bank, where he established a new business unit, implemented training programs and managed a specialized market portfolio of nonprofit and socially conscious entities.

Anderson now serves as NextLevel Health’s chief operating officer.

Anderson earned a bachelor of science in economics from Central Michigan University and a master of business administration from Northwestern University J.L. Kellogg School of Management.
As a result of Anderson’s active engagement with many nonprofit organizations, he was awarded the 2011 Business Leader of Color Award from Chicago United.

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Alan Gloeckle

Chief Compliance Officer

Alan Gloeckle has more than 20 years’ experience as a compliance officer in the Medicare/Medicaid and insurance industry, interpreting regulations, providing training and product development,...

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Alan Gloeckle has more than 20 years’ experience as a compliance officer in the Medicare/Medicaid and insurance industry, interpreting regulations, providing training and product development, and monitoring and analyzing best practices in the field. He has served as chief counsel for compliance and director of compliance for a variety of companies.

Mr. Gloeckle started his career in immunology and biochemistry, working for ten years testing and researching biomedical products. He then earned his law degree and began practicing law. He leverages his methodological foundation in the medical sciences in his understanding and practice of compliance law.

Mr. Gloeckle joins NextLevel Health as Chief Compliance Officer.

Prior to coming to NextLevel Health, he served as Director of Medicare/Medicaid Compliance for Aetna Medicare-Medicaid Plans. In this capacity, Mr. Gloeckle developed the company’s Medicare-Medicaid Compliance Plan, monitored and analyzed performance standards, and interpreted regulations for both clients and the company.

He earned his bachelor of arts in biology from Carlton College in Northfield, Minn.; a master of science in microbiology and immunology from Northwestern University Medical and Dental Schools; and a juris doctorate in law from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.

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Mark Chudzinski, JD MBA, General Counsel of NextLevel Health

Mark Chudzinski

JD

General Counsel

With more than 20 years’ experience in business law and executive leadership, Mark Chudzinski leverages his significant experience in launching new business initiatives within public,...

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With more than 20 years’ experience in business law and executive leadership, Mark Chudzinski leverages his significant experience in launching new business initiatives within public, private and government entities involving health information technology, health data management, telecommunications and the information technology industry for NextLevel Health.

Most recently, Chudzinski provided legal support for the development and implementation of two groundbreaking healthcare industry initiatives, the Health Insurance Marketplace, facilitating the enrollment of Illinois’ uninsured in health insurance plans, and the Health Information Exchange, for the sharing of patient data among healthcare providers. He served as the acting director, general counsel and chief privacy officer of the Health Insurance Marketplace within the Illinois Department of Insurance, having previously served as the general counsel of the Illinois Office of Health Information Technology and the secretary of the Illinois Health Information Exchange Authority.

Prior to his service with the State of Illinois, Chudzinski served as general counsel for Ameritech International (a division of the former Midwest “Baby Bell”, now AT&T), and partner with the law firm of Winston & Strawn. He is as an adjunct faculty member of Northwestern University School of Professional Studies/Feinberg School of Medicine in the master of health informatics program, and of Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Beazley Institute of Health Law & Policy.

Chudzinski now serves as NextLevel Health’s general counsel.

Chudzinski earned his bachelor’s degree, law degree and master of business administration from Northwestern University, and a postgraduate law degree from the University of Paris.

Chudzinski serves on the board of the Chicago Legal Clinic, a premier provider of community-based quality legal services to the underserved and disadvantaged in the Chicago area.

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Theodore Dixon

Vice President of Provider Services

Theodore Dixon is a health care leader with a record of results in Medicaid, Medicare, physician practice management and government relations for managed care organizations....

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Theodore Dixon is a health care leader with a record of results in Medicaid, Medicare, physician practice management and government relations for managed care organizations.

Before coming to NextLevel Health, Mr. Dixon served as the Illinois Executive Director for Jencare Neighborhood Medical Centers. There he developed alliances and expanded access to primary care physicians, specialists, hospitals and other health care professionals for a senior population of adults.

Serving as Vice President of Provider Services for NextLevel Health, Mr. Dixon will be responsible for directing the strategic development and maintenance of a regional and statewide networks of providers. He will oversee how NextLevel Health interfaces with providers and will identify opportunities to support clinical operations and population health management.

As a health care and management consultant, Dixon has been focused on physician, hospital and vendor relationships through product knowledge, network analysis, network development, strategic integration.

Dixon also brings extensive experience leading the startup phase of managed Medicaid health care plans including CareSource Management Group, Inc., Harmony Health Plan, Inc., Centene Corporation – Managed Health Services and Community Health Choice of Illinois, Inc.

Dixon earned his bachelors of science degree in Political Science from Illinois State University and a master’s in public administration from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

He is affiliated with the Chicago Healthcare Executives Forum and American College of Health Care Executives.

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Renee Mitchell

D.M.

Vice President of Human Resources

Renee Mitchell, a 20-year veteran in human resources, specializes in organizational development, change management and workforce planning. She has held positions in a variety of...

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Renee Mitchell, a 20-year veteran in human resources, specializes in organizational development, change management and workforce planning. She has held positions in a variety of industries including government, insurance, financial and higher education administration.

In her most recent position, Mitchell served as associate vice president of human resources at Chicago State University, supporting more than 1,000 employees. While there, Mitchell provided strategic human resources leadership university-wide. These initiatives included the implementation of a talent management strategy, recruitment plans, management training and compensation structures.

Mitchell joins NextLevel Health as vice president of human resources, and will serve as a strategic leader in all initiatives related to human capital, including talent acquisition, retention, benefits, compensation and performance management.

Mitchell earned a bachelor of arts in industrial organizational psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a master of arts also in industrial organizational psychology from Roosevelt University, and a doctorate of management in organizational leadership from University of Phoenix.

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Paul Bennett

Ph.D

Director for Long-term Services and Supports

Dr. Paul H. Bennett has nearly 35 years’ experience in older adult and long-term care issues from a variety of perspectives: academic and research, hospital,...

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Dr. Paul H. Bennett has nearly 35 years’ experience in older adult and long-term care issues from a variety of perspectives: academic and research, hospital, state government and direct client service. His specific area of expertise is “naturally occurring retirement communities,” and advocates a client-centered approach in helping older adults make the best, most livable decisions, enabling them to stay in their homes and be engaged in their communities for as long as possible.

Prior to coming to NextLevel Health, Bennett served as manager of the home and community-based waivers and project lead for the Colbert Consent Decree for the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, which mandated the State of Illinois provide older adults and the disabled with the support and services necessary to live in the most integrated and independent ways appropriate to their needs. He is the author of several federal system change grant reports for the Illinois Department on Aging, and is former director of the UIC Central West Case Management Unit for the Elderly. Bennett was director of social services and a social worker at two separate Chicagoland hospitals.

Today, Bennett is NextLevel Health’s clinical operations director for long-term services and supports. LTSS covers both in-home Medicaid waiver services and institutional long-term care.

Bennett earned his bachelor of science degree in elementary education from the State University of New York at Buffalo, a master of social work from the University of Maryland and a PhD in social work from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois Chicago.

Bennett has been engaged on the national level through volunteer work with the National Council on Aging and as a long-term care specialist for a large insurance company.

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Ninos David, MS, Senior Director of Quality Management of NextLevel Health

Ninos David

Senior Director of Quality Management

Ninos David holds a distinguished record of success advising executive leaders on quality performance at the individual provider and system levels, providing expertise in population...

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Ninos David holds a distinguished record of success advising executive leaders on quality performance at the individual provider and system levels, providing expertise in population health management and strategies for achieving success under the newly formed value-based care models. With a career in the managed care industry that includes advisory and technology product management, David possesses a history of staff leadership and technical acumen.

Most recently, David served as the director of quality and analytics for Presence Health Medical Group.

David is now NextLevel Health’s senior director of quality management.

David earned a bachelor of science in political science from Loyola University, a master of science in leadership and public policy in healthcare from DePaul University’s School of Public Service, a field-based learning program that focused on ethics, problem-solving, research skills and public policy implementation.

David is an active member of the Chicago Health Executives Forum, an independent chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

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Dianne Glenn

RN

Director of Clinical Operations

Dianne Glenn has more than 40 years’ experience in the behavioral healthcare industry, including community-based organization, hospital, private practice, consulting, managed care and home healthcare....

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Dianne Glenn has more than 40 years’ experience in the behavioral healthcare industry, including community-based organization, hospital, private practice, consulting, managed care and home healthcare. In addition to her clinical and healthcare experience, Ms. Glenn has executive-level leadership and business experience and has served as Executive Director of Behavioral Health, Vice President of Business Development, and Assistant Director of Nursing, Assistant Administrator, and CEO for various organizations. She also has extensive training in identifying and resolving fraud and abuse, sexual harassment, discrimination, and ethics violations.

Ms. Glenn is now NextLevel Health’s Director of Clinical Operations. In this role, her clinical expertise and business knowledge prove valuable in developing innovative and progressive strategies for ensuring members receive the appropriate level of behavioral health services from medical providers, while maximizing the outcomes.

Ms. Glenn has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from the University of Saint Francis and a master’s degree in healthcare administration.

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Adina Iclozan

IT Director

Adina Iclozan is a hands-on, technology-driven leader with 20 years’ experience as a computer engineer. She built her career on her expertise in constructing and...

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Adina Iclozan is a hands-on, technology-driven leader with 20 years’ experience as a computer engineer. She built her career on her expertise in constructing and maintaining a company’s most important technologies – and ensuring those solutions address the needs of employees and customers alike.

As the former IT director at Hassett Express, Iclozan developed operational standards and procedures for the company’s existing and future technology needs, managed the design, development and implementation of new technologies and anticipated transportation industry trends so the solution met the demand of the always-on, 24/7 world of transportation and logistics industry.

Iclozan is NextLevel Health’s IT director in charge of streamlining and expanding the company’s information technology systems and developing and building new solutions.

Iclozan earned her bachelor of science in computer engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where her love of math propelled her into a career of developing workable solutions to complex problems.

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Stacy Lei

Director of Business Development

Stacy Lei has 10 years’ experience in strategic communications, with five years in the managed care industry. She began her career developing advertising and public...

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Stacy Lei has 10 years’ experience in strategic communications, with five years in the managed care industry. She began her career developing advertising and public relations campaigns in Scottsdale, Ariz., and writing bilingual newsletters for Medicaid beneficiaries in Arizona. Mrs. Lei has since developed expertise in implementing managed care programs for underserved populations. She assisted with implementations as part of the Integrated Care Program in Illinois, as well as NextLevel Health’s implementation as a Care Coordination Entity. She also helped begin operations for an Accountable Care Organization in Houston, TX.

Mrs. Lei serves as NextLevel Health’s Director of Business Development and is responsible for strategic initiatives supporting the continual growth of NextLevel Health’s membership and business lines.

In her most recent position, Mrs. Lei was a manager at WKG Advisory, a healthcare consulting firm. While there, she provided advisory services for a variety of health industry clients, including hospitals, managed care organizations and home health companies.
Mrs. Lei earned a bachelor of science in strategic communications from Northern Arizona University.

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Scott Lubbehusen

Director of Finance

Scott Lubbehusen has nearly 15 years’ experience in health and insurance industry accounting and financial management, including financial operations and reporting, facilities and real estate,...

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Scott Lubbehusen has nearly 15 years’ experience in health and insurance industry accounting and financial management, including financial operations and reporting, facilities and real estate, accounts receivable and general and administrative financial oversight.

During his 12-year tenure at Health Care Service Corporation, Lubbehusen gained experience in facilities and real estate, financial reporting, health care management and financial operations. He became senior manager of financial operations with monthly billings exceeding $4 billion per month.

Then, a move to IlliniCare Health cast Lubbehusen as director of finance, where he was responsible for reporting monthly revenues, medical, general and administrative expenses, and assisting in the preparation of quarterly forecasts and annual budgets.

Lubbehusen now serves NextLevel Health as director of finance, where he will be responsible for facilitating and reporting monthly medical expenses, preparing financial and operational summaries, tracking NextLevel’s financial performance, developing budgets and monitoring and tracking regulatory developments coming out of Illinois’ State legislature.

Lubbehusen has a bachelor of arts in international business from Ball State University and a master of science in accountancy from Purdue University Northwest.

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Jim Otto, Controller of NextLevel Health

Jim Otto

Controller

Jim Otto is a veteran finance leader with more than 20 years of progressive finance and accounting experience in a variety of industries. His breadth...

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Jim Otto is a veteran finance leader with more than 20 years of progressive finance and accounting experience in a variety of industries. His breadth of financial experience includes mergers and acquisitions, due diligence, financing, financial modeling, auditing, tax planning, strategic planning and forecasting, systems implementations and financial reporting.

Otto began his career in public accounting before eventually moving on to become the director of accounting and assistant corporate controller for a multibillion-dollar privately owned conglomerate. He has experience in professional service firms, consulting, manufacturing, construction, entertainment and telecommunications.

Today, Otto serves as NextLevel Health’s controller.

Otto earned his bachelor of science degree in accountancy from Northern Illinois University and is an Illinois certified public accountant.

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Jessica A. Pickens, MPA, Director of External Affairs of NextLevel Health

Jessica A. Pickens

Director of External Affairs

Jessica Pickens brings more than 15 years of government relations experience to NextLevel Health. Most recently, Pickens ran her own government relations consulting firm, representing...

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Jessica Pickens brings more than 15 years of government relations experience to NextLevel Health.

Most recently, Pickens ran her own government relations consulting firm, representing clients from health care services, juvenile delinquency prevention, utilities, municipalities and more. Prior to that, she spent 10 years working in various roles in state government, including chief of staff of the Illinois Department of Public Health, House liaison for the Governor’s Office, chief of government relations at the Illinois Department of Corrections, and legislative liaison at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

Pickens began working with NextLevel Health as a government relations consultant. She now serves NextLevel Health full time as the director of external affairs.

Pickens earned a bachelor of arts in biological science from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and a master of arts in public administration from the University of Illinois in Springfield.

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Regina Porter, RN, BSN, MSHSA, Director of Utilization Management of NextLevel Health

Regina Porter

RN

Director of Utilization Management

Regina Porter has more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry focusing on administration, patient care, documentation, clinical oversight, utilization management, quality assurance,...

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Regina Porter has more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry focusing on administration, patient care, documentation, clinical oversight, utilization management, quality assurance, compliance, forensics and disputes.

Through her work with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Porter has become an expert in institutional compliance with regard to federal and state regulations and also those of Medicare and Medicaid. She identifies a facility’s compliance weaknesses and provides staff development, systems improvement, service delivery and clinical care guidance to resolve noncompliance problems. Her most recent professional accomplishments include working with care coordination entities servicing the Illinois Medicaid population, and providing consultation, management and care coordination for seniors, persons with disabilities and newly enrolled individuals in Affordable Care Act insurance.

Today, Porter serves as NextLevel Health’s director of utilization management.

Porter earned a bachelor of science in nursing from DePaul University, and a master of science in health services administration and healthcare administration and management from the University of St. Francis.

Porter maintains membership in various professional organizations and continues to volunteer her time with community and civic initiatives.

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Natasha Pryor

Director of Member Services

Natasha Pryor has nearly 20 years’ leadership experience in organizational communications, facilitation and management. She specializes in cultivating and developing relationships among clients and colleagues...

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Natasha Pryor has nearly 20 years’ leadership experience in organizational communications, facilitation and management. She specializes in cultivating and developing relationships among clients and colleagues alike, enabling her to navigate the complexities of healthcare for the individual consumer as well as the CEO.

Most recently, Pryor was senior operations manager for a managed care company. She also held positions in sales and customer service for telecommunications companies. These perspectives serve her well in her work with NextLevel Health.

Pryor is now NextLevel Health’s director of member services, where she is responsible for ensuring the quality of customer service standards, improving operations, monitoring performance and problem solving.

Pryor earned her bachelor of business administration degree from the University of Wisconsin.

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Lauren Underwood

RN

Senior Director of Strategy and Regulatory Affairs

Lauren Underwood has 10 years’ experience in nursing and public health policy. She began her career as a health and education intern for the U.S....

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Lauren Underwood has 10 years’ experience in nursing and public health policy. She began her career as a health and education intern for the U.S. Senate. Ms. Underwood has since held positions implementing health reform with the federal government, conducting clinical nursing research with large academic and governmental institutions, and serving as adjunct faculty at Georgetown University.

In her most recent position, Underwood served as senior advisor at the U.S. Dehttps://nextlevelhealthil.com/wp-admin/edit.php?post_type=teampartment of Health and Human Services in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. In that capacity, she advised and supported the assistant secretary during domestic and international public health crises. She also served on the White House Council on Women and Girls Interagency Working Group to Advance Equity and Empowerment.

Underwood joins NextLevel Health as senior director of strategy and regulatory affairs, where she is responsible for identifying business implications associated with the regulatory environment.

Underwood earned her bachelor of science in nursing from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and dual master of science in nursing and master of public health degrees from Johns Hopkins University.

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Helaina Vandyke, Director of Health Informatics of NextLevel Health

Helaina Vandyke

Director of Health Informatics

Helaina (Laina) Vandyke has 15 years of data analysis and reporting experience and ten years of healthcare technology experience. She has extensive experience providing advanced...

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Helaina (Laina) Vandyke has 15 years of data analysis and reporting experience and ten years of healthcare technology experience. She has extensive experience providing advanced analytical support for business operations for claims, provider data, member data, clinical data, HEDIS, pharmacy and standard external reporting.

Vandyke has worked for large and start-up companies, including managed care organizations, disease management and data consulting firms. She is also the co-founder and contributor of a successful online dating site.

Vandyke earned a bachelor of arts from DePaul University’s Human Computer Interaction Program and is a lifelong resident of the Chicago area.

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Bruce Wegner, Director of Claims of NextLevel Health

Bruce Wegner

Director of Claims

Bruce Wegner has more than 26 years of experience in Medicaid and dual Medicare/Medicaid managed care. He began his career in healthcare claims in 1989...

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Bruce Wegner has more than 26 years of experience in Medicaid and dual Medicare/Medicaid managed care. He began his career in healthcare claims in 1989 with Metropolitan Health Plan, a small Medicaid and dual Medicare/Medicaid managed care organization in Minneapolis, where he was responsible for all claims processing functions, as well as internal and external budgeting and financial reporting.

Most recently, Wegner served as claims director at Meridian Health Plan in Detroit.

Today, Wegner serves as claims director for NextLevel Health.

Wegner earned his bachelor of science in accounting from Minnesota State University.

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Sebastion Williams, MSED, LCPC, Director of Care Management of NextLevel Health

Sebastion Williams

LCPC

Director of Clinical Operations

Sebastion Williams has 30 years of health care management experience. As a licensed clinical professional counselor and certified case manager, he possesses expertise in Medicaid...

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Sebastion Williams has 30 years of health care management experience. As a licensed clinical professional counselor and certified case manager, he possesses expertise in Medicaid managed care, behavioral health, crisis management, community health and frontline clinical processes.

As a founding clinical manager with Centene – IlliniCare Health, Williams was instrumental in growing the medical management care coordination department from 12 to more than 120 associates and the development of several care coordination staff to management positions.

Today, Williams serves as NextLevel Health’s director of clinical operations.

Williams earned an associate arts degree in general studies from the City Colleges of Chicago-Olive Harvey City College, and a master of science in education with a concentration in guidance and counseling.

Williams is a member of the Illinois Mental Health Counseling Association and the American Association of Managed Care Nurses.

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Board Members

Rodney Armstead, MD, FACP, Board Member of NextLevel Health

Rodney C. Armstead

MD, FACP

Board Member

Dr. Rodney C. Armstead is a dedicated health care professional committed to driving highest quality and cost effective health care to all Americans. He is...

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Dr. Rodney C. Armstead is a dedicated health care professional committed to driving highest quality and cost effective health care to all Americans. He is currently a Principal at Armstead & Esslinger Health Consultants, LLC, focusing on strategy, operations & automation, integration of clinical & care solutions for physical, behavioral, pharmacy & social needs for Medicaid; Aged, Blind & Disabled (ABD), Fully Integrated Dual-Eligibles—FIDE (Medicare & Medicaid); subsidized expansion; Long Term Services & Support (LTSS); and institutional populations.

He was most recently the Executive Vice President for Complex Population Management at Optum, a UnitedHealth Group company. Dr. Armstead worked to deliver integrated, intelligent solutions that work to modernize the health care system and improve overall individual and population health. He led Optum’s business unit responsible for transforming health care for the most medically complex patients by providing provider-led, patient-centric care and care management in the most clinically appropriate setting to the most vulnerable populations, including those with multiple chronic conditions and those facing serious illness.

Prior to that, Dr. Armstead led Optum’s Relationship Office supporting UnitedHealthcare’s initiatives to ensure operational excellence for closer collaboration and strategic alignment to enable mutual growth within UnitedHealth Group. Prior to joining Optum, Dr. Armstead was President of Northeast Region Plan Operations for UnitedHealthcare, Community & State, a business unit of UnitedHealth Group. Dr. Armstead, a board certified general internist, was appointed the first Director, Office of Managed Care, HCFA, Department of Health & Human Services in the Clinton Administration. He was Executive Vice President & Chief Health Officer for the Watts Health Foundation in Los Angeles prior to joining UnitedHealthcare. He also served as the Senior Vice President of the Western Region Plan Operations prior to his current executive role.

Dr. Armstead is very active in the community and volunteers his time promoting education. He is a trustee for the Stanford Center on Longevity in Palo Alto, California, as well as the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey, and a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona, College of Medicine, Phoenix campus.

Dr. Armstead received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Irvine, and his medical degree from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. He is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and a fellow of the American College of Physicians

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Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA, Board Member of NextLevel Health

Regina Benjamin

MD

Board Member

Dr. Regina Benjamin has more than 25 years of health care experience dedicated to providing care to underserved individuals. President Barack Obama appointed her as...

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Dr. Regina Benjamin has more than 25 years of health care experience dedicated to providing care to underserved individuals. President Barack Obama appointed her as the 18th United States Surgeon General and served a four-year term. Benjamin currently holds the NOLA.com/Times-Picayune Endowed Chair in Public Health Sciences at Xavier University of New Orleans.

As surgeon general, Benjamin implemented the National Prevention Strategy, shifting the nation from a focus on sickness and disease to one based on wellness and prevention. She advocated for eating nutritiously and breastfeeding, and addressed the dangers of tobacco use. In conjunction with the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, she released the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention to reduce the number of suicides, a public health issue that results in the deaths of 100 Americans each day. Benjamin joined leaders of five U.S. federal agencies to announce Advancing Healthy Housing: A Strategy for Action, which unifies federal efforts to expand healthy housing, demonstrating the connection between housing conditions and residents’ health. She also strongly promoted the value of health IT systems and electronic health records.

Benjamin served simultaneously as surgeon general and as the first chair of the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council, a consortium of 17 cabinet-level Federal agencies that developed the National Prevention Strategy. During her tenure as surgeon general, Reader’s Digest ranked Benjamin as one of the “100 Most Trusted People in America”.

Prior to her position as surgeon general, Benjamin worked at the rural health clinic she founded in Bayou La Batre, Ala. She kept the clinic in operation during multiple natural disasters including Hurricanes George and Katrina, as well as a devastating fire.

Benjamin is former associate dean for Rural Health at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in Mobile, Ala., and past chair of the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States. She was the first physician under age 40, and the first African-American woman, to be elected to the American Medical Association Board of Trustees. She served as president of the American Medical Association Education and Research Foundation and chair of the AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs. Benjamin was the first African-American female president of a state medical society in the United States when she assumed leadership of the Medical Association State of Alabama.

Benjamin has a bachelor of science in chemistry from Xavier University of Louisiana, a medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and a master of business administration degree from Tulane University. She attended Morehouse School of Medicine and completed her family medicine residency in Macon, Georgia. Benjamin is also the recipient of 22 honorary degrees.

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Justin Dearborn, JD, Board Member of NextLevel Health

Justin Dearborn

JD

Board Member

Justin Dearborn is the chief executive officer of Tribune Publishing. Prior to Tribune Publishing, he served as chief executive officer and director of Merge Healthcare....

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Justin Dearborn is the chief executive officer of Tribune Publishing.

Prior to Tribune Publishing, he served as chief executive officer and director of Merge Healthcare. During his tenure, he led the company through a period of transformation and sustainable growth. Merge was acquired by IBM and was integrated into IBM’s Watson Health division to deliver intuitive, cognitive computing solutions to healthcare providers. Before joining Merge Healthcare, Dearborn served as managing director and general counsel at Merrick Ventures, LLC., and in various executive senior management positions for Click Commerce, Inc., a publicly traded software company.

Dearborn earned a bachelor of science in accounting from Illinois State University and a law degree from DePaul University College of Law.

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Robert Jordan, Board Member of NextLevel Health

Robert Jordan

Board Member

Robert Jordan has been launching and growing companies and helping other entrepreneurs for 20 years. His first company, Online Access, the first Internet-coverage magazine in...

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Robert Jordan has been launching and growing companies and helping other entrepreneurs for 20 years.

His first company, Online Access, the first Internet-coverage magazine in the world, put him on Inc. magazine’s “Inc. 500” list of fastest growing companies.

After the sale of Online Access, Jordan launched two companies: RedFlash and the Association of Interim Executives. RedFlash champions entrepreneurs by establishing teams of trusted business builders who take on tough tasks like product launch, money raising and company sale that company founders or management may be facing on their own for the first time. As well, the Association of Interim Executives serves to educate the business world about this new and growing specialty, while connecting the best interim execs in the world with corporations and owners seeking fast, strategic talent on demand.

Jordan is author of How They Did It: Billion Dollar Insights from the Heart of America and author of the Nightingale Conant audio production, How They Did It: Real World Advice from Today’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs.

His areas of specialty include startup ventures, new product rollouts, strategic marketing, negotiations, raising venture capital, angel funding and private equity, multiple project management, rapid-fire brainstorming and creation of SPEED Days for company owners needing immediate improvement.

Jordan earned a bachelor of arts in economics and political science from the University of Michigan and a master of business administration in management, marketing and finance from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.

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Cheryl Whitaker, MD, MPH, FACP, Chief Executive Officer of NextLevel Health

Cheryl Whitaker

MD, FACP

Chief Executive Officer, Chairwoman

Dr. Cheryl Whitaker is a 20-year veteran health care professional who has dedicated her career to finding innovative health care solutions for underserved populations. She...

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Dr. Cheryl Whitaker is a 20-year veteran health care professional who has dedicated her career to finding innovative health care solutions for underserved populations. She has extensive experience in health care information technology, leveraging I.T. solutions toward better quality care for patients.

Most recently, Whitaker served as the chief medical officer of a publicly traded health information technology company where she guided product strategy. In 2011, she was appointed to serve as the inaugural chair of the Illinois Health Information Exchange Authority, where she guided the state’s effort to create secure data exchange for health information.

Prior to that, Whitaker worked as a senior program officer for the Chicago Community Trust, which for the past century has connected donors to organizations working to improve metropolitan Chicago. She oversaw the grant strategy for all health-related grants given by the Trust, including efforts related to healthcare reform and the health information exchange.

Whitaker also served as a faculty member at Rush University Medical Center, where she earned additional certification as a specialist in clinical hypertension and numerous grants to help the medical industry understand the needs of marginal populations living with chronic conditions. The Stanford Patient Education and Research Center certified her as a master trainer in self-management of chronic disease.

In her position as chair and CEO of NextLevel Health, Whitaker provides strategic direction to the executive leadership team, focusing on altering the care delivery system by bringing the “medical home” to the “member’s home.”

Whitaker earned her bachelor of science in biology from Emory University and a medical degree from the Washington University School of Medicine. She has a master of public health from the Harvard School of Public Health with a concentration in health policy and management. Her clinical training in primary care internal medicine was completed at Stanford University and the University of California San Francisco. Whitaker’s medical training focused on the care of diverse populations in the Bay area, which included immigrant populations from across the world, HIV-positive populations, as well as populations struggling with addiction, poverty and mental illness. Whitaker also completed a fellowship in health services research at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Whitaker is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, a former member of the advisory board for Northern Illinois American College of Physicians, and an appointee to the Chicago Institute of Medicine.

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