An independent Board of Directors oversees the HealthWell Foundation. The Board is comprised of individuals in leadership positions within their respective areas of expertise and are considered national experts in their fields. Their thoughtful contributions guide the HealthWell Foundation to success and provide strong directives for continued growth and sustainability.
Board of Directors
- Stephen M. Weiner, Chair
- Jerri Scarzella, BSN, Vice Chair & Treasurer
- David L. Knowlton, Vice Chair & Secretary
- Nancy Carteron, MD, FACR, Board Member
- Don Liss, MD, Board Member
- Suzanne M. Miller, PhD, Board Member
- Krista Zodet, President – Krista.Zodet@HealthWellFoundation.org – (240) 632-5305
- Alan Klein, Chief Development Officer – Alan.Klein@HealthWellFoundation.org – (240) 632-5312
- Shela Halper, Senior Director, External Relations – Shela.Halper@HealthWellFoundation.org – (240) 632-5307
- Baskaran Vellandurai, Director of Finance and Information Technology Services
- Fred Larbi, Senior Associate Director of Operations
- Rita Coleman, Associate Director of Operations
- Susan Golden, Senior Operations and Business Process Specialist
- Ginny Dunn, Associate Director of Communications & Marketing – Ginny.Dunn@HealthWellFoundation.org – (240) 632-5309
- Anaam Plunkett, Operations Manager
- Judy Murphy, Senior Accountant
- Collin Alexander, Senior Accountant
- Tim Vawter, Foundation Coordinator
Stephen M. Weiner, Board Chair
Mr. Stephen Weiner is the Chair of Mintz Levin’s Health Law practice. He has had over thirty years of experience in the health care field as a policy maker, educator and attorney. He represents health care services providers in a broad array of legal matters. He works and has worked with providers in undertaking strategic positioning; structuring payor strategies and clinical integration initiatives; mergers, acquisitions, strategic affiliations, “demergers,” and joint venture arrangements, including between tax-exempt and for-profit organizations. He has also been involved in a number of international health care activities, including participating in the structuring of the health care regulatory system for the Dubai Health Care City (DHCC), where he now serves as one of the five members of the DHCC licensing board. Domestically, Mr. Weiner has been very active with regard to the development and implementation of Massachusetts’ signature health care reform program and its State-initiated efforts to promote interoperable electronic health records, as well as with legislative efforts to restructure the health care payment and delivery system in Massachusetts.
In addition, Mr. Weiner represents health care providers in developing, monitoring and restructuring relationships between hospitals and physicians; regulatory and reimbursement matters, including licensure, certification and determination (certificate) of need proceedings, managed care contracting, Medicare reimbursement and appeals, and Medicaid and uncompensated care pool reimbursement; general contracting; and, for academic medical centers specifically, clinical research, conflict of interest, relationships with affiliated medical schools and relationships with federally qualified community health centers.
Mr. Weiner also works extensively with the U.S. Department of Defense on matters relating to the TRICARE Prime benefit and the operations of the U.S. Family Health Plan program.
Mr. Weiner currently serves on the Advisory Committee to the Center for Medical Travel Research, San Antonio, TX, and serves as pro bono legal counsel to the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Care, an international foundation promoting compassionate care and more effective patient/caregiver communications (www.theschwartzcenter.org).
Mr. Weiner is currently an Adjunct Professor of Law at Suffolk University School of Law, where he teaches a course on corporate relationships in the health care field that focuses on the constraints on business decisions created by application of antitrust law, fraud and abuse/Stark rules, and the implications of being tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Mr. Weiner was named “Lawyer of the Year” for 2011 for Health Care Law in Boston by Best Lawyers. He is also a 2011 recipient of the Good Guy award from the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus for his promotion of equality for women in the workplace. In 2009, he was named one of ten Outstanding Hospital Lawyers nationally by Nightingale’s Healthcare News. In 2008, he was selected by Massachusetts Medical Law Report as a winner of its Rx for Excellence Leaders in Quality award. Mr. Weiner has been listed in the health law section of The Best Lawyers in America since the section originated in 1991. He is listed in Who’s Who in America, as well as in Massachusetts Super Lawyers, published by Boston Magazine. He is also nationally ranked by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for his strategic and policy work and has been recognized as a leading health lawyer in Massachusetts by Chambers since 2005.
Jerri Scarzella, BSN, Vice Chair and Treasurer
Ms. Jerri Scarzella is a graduate of the American University School of Nursing in Washington, D.C. Ms. Scarzella has celebrated her 38th year at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, where she has served as a leader in a number of capacities (Head Nurse in the Emergency Department, Interventional Radiology Nurse, Risk Management Coordinator, and Director of Customer Relations.) Currently, she is the Policies and Procedures Coordinator for Holy Cross, working with every department to ensure that policies meet regulatory and other requirements. Ms. Scarzella has also held the role of Customer Service Educator for the Hospital and was recently inducted into the Hospital’s Legacy Society. She has served as the President of both the Potomac Chapter and the National Society for Healthcare Consumer Advocacy and speaks on a variety of topics both nationally and internationally. Ms. Scarzella has worked locally in a consultative capacity with the Washington D.C. Public School System as an educator for principals and teachers, and with the Department of Homeland Security. She has been asked to be a reviewer of books and television programs from a customer service perspective, and has been the keynote speaker for various nursing and other professional graduating classes.
Ms. Scarzella has received numerous awards and recognitions for her work in Patient Advocacy, including, but not limited to, Healthcare Council of the National Capital Area Award for Leadership in Patient Representation, American Hospital Association Certificate of Recognition Award for Volunteerism and Leadership, Columbia Union College Department of Nursing Service Award (5 consecutive years), numerous awards for volunteer participation on various workgroups of the Society for Healthcare Consumer Advocacy of the AHA, and the coveted Ruth Ravich Award which is presented to advocates who have a public identity that raises awareness about the rights of people seeking healthcare, and who have provided outstanding service to a community of people seeking healthcare, furthering the public image of the healthcare consumer advocacy role.
Ms. Scarzella was a contributor and team member of the AHA Task Force on the Patient’s Bill of Rights revision (Revised title: “The Patient Care Partnership”), and a participant on the AHA’s Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development “Foundation for Trust: Truth in Advertising for Hospitals” Task Force. She was also a reviewer and contributor to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Evidence Report/Technology Assessment, “Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Section.”
Ms. Scarzella was asked to provide pre-telecast feedback (from a patient/patient advocate perspective) to the three hour television broadcast, “Critical Condition” with Hedrick Smith – a program exploring America’s healthcare system.
In her capacity as HealthWell Foundation’s Vice Chair and Treasurer of the Board, Ms. Scarzella has provided the community at large with information about the Foundation by her participation in conferences and interviews for print and other media.
Nancy Carteron, MD, FACR, Board Member
Dr. Nancy Carteron is a Fellow of the American College of Rheumatology and board certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology. She provides consultative services to patients, biopharmaceutical, foundations, and other stake holders regarding autoimmune, inflammatory and other immune-mediated diseases. She is an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco, mentoring medical students and rheumatology fellows. Her research in Immunology, Molecular Virology, and Cellular Immunology at the Johns Hopkins and University of California San Francisco Medical Centers has appeared in numerous medical journals. Her interest in one under-recognized but common autoimmune disease, Sjogren’s, has led to authoring a book, A Body Out of Balance, a Sjogren’s Forum blog, several publications, and tweeting to increase awareness and improve care. Dr. Carteron also serves as a Medical Advisor for Rheumatoid Arthritis content for Healthline.com. Her Health Care Policy and Advocacy work has focused on chronic illnesses with a high cost burden, and her current focus is fostering transparency in health care delivery systems. She also is a certified Catechist (www.cgsusa.org) mentoring children age 3 through 12.
David L. Knowlton, MA, Vice Chair and Secretary
David Knowlton is retired president and CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, an independent, non-partisan organization promoting health care quality, safety, accountability and cost-containment. As a founding member of the Quality Institute, Mr. Knowlton has advocated for eliminating medical errors and improving health care quality throughout his career. Under his leadership, the Quality Institute has promoted projects and initiatives that have advanced health quality, education and consumer protections.
Prior to his tenure at the Quality Institute, he served as chairman of the Leapfrog Group, a national organization promoting health care safety and quality. Mr. Knowlton also served as a Leapfrog Group board member for 10 years and currently chairs the Leapfrog hospital safety score committee. He has served, and continues to serve, on numerous National Quality Forum Steering Committees as well. From 1987 until 1990, Mr. Knowlton served as Deputy Commissioner of Health for the State of New Jersey under the administration of Governor Tom Kean. During Governor Chris Christie’s transition following his 2009 election as governor, Mr. Knowlton was asked to lead the governor’s transition team on health care. Mr. Knowlton was instrumental in the founding of, and currently chairs, Health Care Policy 360, a joint venture of Rutgers University and the Quality Institute. This four-day immersion course explains the real-world impact of emerging health trends to senior level executives in health care industries.
Mr. Knowlton completed his undergraduate education in psychology at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and was granted a Master’s degree from Trinity College in Hartford.
Don Liss, MD, Board Member
Dr. Don Liss serves as Vice President, Clinical Programs and Policy for Independence Blue Cross (IBC), the largest health insurer and managed care organization in the Philadelphia region. He is responsible for establishing and operating the programs which drive improvements in care for individuals with chronic conditions, enhancing health promoting activities and aligning coverage and payment policies to improve the delivery of health care for more than 3 million people enrolled in IBC plans.
Prior to joining IBC, Dr. Liss served as Regional Medical Director for the Northeast Region at Aetna where he was responsible for plan activities related to the delivery of clinical care for Aetna’s plans in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, New York and New England.
Dr. Liss is a native of Philadelphia and a 1987 graduate of the Medical College of Pennsylvania (now Drexel University College of Medicine). He completed residency training in Internal Medicine and served as Chief Medical Resident at Temple University Hospital prior to a Clinician-Educator Fellowship in General Internal Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Liss was an associate in the Department of Medicine at The Graduate Hospital, practicing primary care and consultative general internal medicine.
Dr. Liss is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and is elected to fellowship in the American College of Physicians. He served as a member of the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council from 2008 – 2014 and currently serves on the Review Oversight Committee of the National Committee for Quality Assurance Provider Recognition Programs.
Suzanne M. Miller, PhD, Board Member
Dr. Suzanne Miller is Professor and Director of the Psychosocial and BioBehavioral Medicine Department, as well as a member of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center/Temple University Health System in Philadelphia. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania (Department of Psychiatry), Temple University (Departments of Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Public Health), and Rutgers University. Her funded research and clinical services are focused at the interface of psychology and oncology, particularly with a view to applying personalized biobehavioral and health communication principles to bridge the gap between the availability of groundbreaking cancer prevention and control technologies and the populations they are meant to serve. Her most recent books are Individuals, Families, and the New Era of Genomics: Biopsychosocial Perspectives (Norton Publications, 2006), and The Handbook of Cancer Control and Behavioral Science: A Resource for Researchers, Practitioners, and Policy Makers (APA Publications, 2008) and she has served as guest editor to several special journal issues, including for the Journal “Cancer.” She is currently in the process of co-editing the Handbook of Health Decision Science, to be published by Springer Verlag in 2014.
Dr. Miller is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Society of Behavioral Medicine. She was awarded the Partners in Research Award from the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service, the Cancer Control Award from the American Cancer Society, the Outstanding Senior Scientist Oncology Award from the Society of Behavioral Medicine, The C Tracey Orleans Award for Outstanding Service to the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and most recently, NCI’s featured grantee. She speaks and writes about the effects of cancer on the American population, and how to live an informed and healthy life, from a multi-cultural perspective. With respect to her international acclaim, her concepts and measures have been translated into numerous cultures and languages with health disparities and health literacy as a prime focus. She has served as an invited distinguished visiting Professor in Japan, Italy, Switzerland, China, the Netherlands, France, Israel, Australia, and Poland, among others and maintains collaborative cross-cultural linkages.
Krista Zodet, President
Ms. Krista Zodet serves as President of the HealthWell Foundation. Ms. Zodet is responsible for developing the long-term direction of the organization in collaboration with the Board and providing strategic leadership and oversight of the organization’s operations, programs, and staff.
Ms. Zodet has been a valuable member of the Foundation’s management team since 2005. As Vice President of the Foundation, Ms. Zodet provided oversight of HealthWell operations, including office and staff management, and engaged with strategic partners to further the mission, goals, and strategic priorities of the Foundation. As the Director of Operations and Donor Relations, her responsibilities included overseeing all aspects of the Foundation’s day-to-day program operations and new business development.
With a 20 year background in the life sciences, Ms. Zodet has experience teaching others how to navigate complicated healthcare systems, including Medicare Beneficiary programs; working with a team of healthcare professionals to design, implement, and report on quality improvement projects with hospitals; helping people navigate the healthcare system and access their medicines through patient assistance programs; and providing strategic guidance regarding program design, emerging industry or product trends, opportunities for service enhancements, and new services for pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients.
A native of Northville, Michigan, Ms. Zodet received a Master’s in Social Work and a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Alan Klein, Chief Development Officer
Mr. Alan Klein serves as Chief Development Officer for the HealthWell Foundation. Mr. Klein is responsible for identifying, developing and managing strategic partnerships relating to the Foundation’s corporate operations.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Mr. Klein spent more than 24 years in progressively responsible senior and officer-level business development and business management positions within the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Primary achievements and responsibilities include the finalization of transactions (in- and out-licensing, M&A, co-development, fee-for-service) exceeding $1 billion in combined valuation within many therapeutic areas, management of revenue growth and portfolio investments, and supervision of strategic product development programs and corresponding profit generation.
Mr. Klein was previously employed in senior management positions at several Maryland-based biotechnology companies as well as Quintiles Transnational, while also serving on Boards of Directors for two non-profit organizations.
Mr. Klein received his Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. from the University of Maryland.
Shela Halper, Senior Director, External Relations
Ms. Shela Halper is responsible for overseeing HealthWell’s strategic communications, marketing and alliance development activities. In addition, Ms. Halper oversees special programs and fundraising initiatives, including strengthening support for HealthWell’s Pediatric Assistance Fund and individual giving program.
Ms. Halper has more than 20 years’ experience working in the non-profit health care arena. Prior to joining the HealthWell Foundation, she oversaw the public education, marketing and fundraising activities at the National Mental Health Association (now Mental Health America) where she developed and launched nationally-recognized social marketing campaigns to raise awareness about a range of mental health issues. In addition, she built strategic partnerships with leading corporations in and outside of the health care industry to increase public awareness and improve access to care.
Ms. Halper received a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in Behavioral Science and Law from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.