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Professor, University of California Irvine

Sam is a seasoned healthcare executive, faculty and consultant with 30 years of experience in health IT, healthcare finance, big data analytics, artificial intelligence and continuous quality improvement, serving as COO, CIO, VP of Analytics, Senior Director, Director of Medical/Healthcare Informatics, etc. for payers, hospitals, medical groups, and startups. He is a faculty at UC Irvine Merage School of Business and USC Price School of Public Policy.

Sam currently is the Chief Information and Innovation Officer for a healthcare startup, serves as Chief AI Evangelist and Strategic Adviser for AI Med. He has served in many HFMA national, regional and chapter leadership roles (including HFMA National Advisory Council, Southern California Chapter President, National Board of Examiners, Western Region Symposium Co‐ Chair, National CHFP Exam Standard Setting Committee, and Yerger judge, Region 11 Education Committee Co‐Chair and Chair). Additionally, He served as President of HIMSS Southern California Chapter with over 3,000 members, Chair of the HIMSS National Chapters Task Force, and on HIMSS National Davies Committee on the use of HIT and EHRs. He received HFMA Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Medal of Honor, and several Yerger Special Recognition awards. He received the 2012 HIMSS National Chapter Leader of the Year Award. Under his presidency HIMSS SoCal chapter received HIMSS National Chapter of the Year award in 2011. He is a frequent speaker/moderator at international, national and professional conferences addressing health IT and healthcare finance challenges facing our society. He provides training and consulting for healthcare leaders in the U.S. and around the world. 

Sam has active memberships in American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), and Healthcare Data and Analytics Association (HDAA). He is a New Venture Competition judge at UC Irvine and serves as an executive mentor for MBA students. He chairs annual CIO Forum and several national and international conferences. 

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AJ Harper
President & CEO, Healthcare Council of Western Pennsylvania

A. J. Harper President Healthcare Council of Western Pennsylvania

A. J. Harper assumed the position of President of the Healthcare Council of Western Pennsylvania in July 2005. Healthcare Council represents the interests of over 60 hospitals, long-term acute care, and long-term care facilities in the 32 counties that comprise Western Pennsylvania. 

Mr. Harper earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Information Management, School of Allied Health, College of Medicine at The Ohio State University, and an MBA from Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio. 

During his 25-year career in Cleveland, Ohio, Mr. Harper worked in the community and tertiary setting. His operations experience includes serving as Administrative Director of Medical Operations at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation; Vice President, Care Management at Marymount Hospital; a member of the Cleveland Clinic Health System; and, Administrator for the Lake/University Ireland Cancer Center, a freestanding comprehensive cancer center. 

Mr. Harper gained association experience while serving as Vice President, Professional Services at the Greater Cleveland Hospital Association. In addition he has performed consulting for long term care and freestanding imaging centers throughout Ohio. 

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Dr. Connie Mariano
Center for Executive Medicine
Dr. Connie Mariano is used to breaking barriers, used to shattering the
glass ceiling. Born to a Navy steward and his wife in the Philippines,
Dr. Mariano lived the life of a family in the American armed forces.

Her life has been filled with many achievements: high school
valedictorian, graduate with honors at the University of California at
San Diego, medical degree from the Uniformed Services University School of Medicine, and a distinguished 24-year career in the U. S. Navy.

Dr. Mariano has also been the first in the following achievements:
- The first military woman to become the White House Physician to
the President
- The first woman Director of the White House Medical Unit
- The first Filipino American in US history to become a Navy Rear

After leaving the White House in 2001 following nine years and service
to three sitting American presidents, Dr. Mariano became a consultant
in the Executive Health Program at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale from
July 2001 to October 2005.

In November 2005, Dr. Mariano founded the Center for Executive
Medicine, a medical concierge practice which provides presidential-
quality medical care to CEOs and their families.

An expert in presidential health care including the 25 th Amendment to
the Constitution, Dr. Mariano is a frequent guest speaker on television
and print media on the topics of care to VIPs, presidential disability,
travel medicine, and optimizing quality of care.
She is the author of the book, The White House Doctor: My Patients were

Presidents, A Memoir, published in 2010 by St. Martin’s Press. Dr.
Mariano also hosts her own talk show on the VoiceAmerica network,
“House Calls with Dr Connie.”
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Larry Milner, PhD
Revint Solutions
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Frank Ferramosca, CPA
Associate, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Mr. Ferramosca joined Bank of America Merrill Lynch in 2015 within the not-for-profit healthcare strategic advisory group. Possessing extensive modeling expertise and capabilities, Mr. Ferramosca is responsible for all quantitative and qualitative analysis in connection with M&A and strategy related discussions. The group has national reach, covering the entire continuum of care, with an added focus on providers, ranging from stand-alone community hospitals to academic medical centers. Mr. Ferramosca and the group not only advise not-for-profit provider executives and Boards in connection with buy- and sell-side transactions, but also routinely facilitate strategic alternatives discussions. Mr. Ferramosca and the group have also led multiple successful initial public debt offerings for growing health systems across the country, allowing for the consummation of strategic growth.

Mr. Ferramosca holds FINRA Series Licenses 7, 52, 63 and 79. Prior to joining BofAML, Mr. Ferramosca was the lead senior audit associate for KPMG financial services, assisting publicly traded corporations through Chapter 11 restructuring. Mr. Ferramosca received his BS in Finance and Accounting in 2012 from The University of Maryland, College Park, and serves as the Alumni Association President today.
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Greg Ritch
Vice President, AP Solutions Consulant, Commerce Bank

Greg has more than 15  years of experience designing and implementing “paperless” solutions for hundreds of organizations in a variety of industries including transportation, healthcare, manufacturing, distribution, retail, oil and gas, education and state and local government. After starting @ IBM, Greg has established himself as an industry expert in Document Management and Process Improvement solutions within organizations of all shapes, sizes, and industries.  

 Now with Commerce, Greg works with clients to evaluate their current P2P processes and create a solution design “blueprint” after analyzing current AP processes, setting strategic goals, and outlining the steps needed to achieve automation while providing a detailed ROI justification.  

Greg holds degrees in Computer Information Sciences from the State University of New York (SUNY) along with many professional certifications including APSC, or Accredited Payables Solution Consultant.

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Ryan Lindsay, CPA, CHFP, CGMA
Director, Gray, Griffith & Mays, A.C.
Ryan Lindsay, CPA is a Director of a public accounting firm of Gray Griffith & Mays located in Charleston, WV and also Director of a Healthcare Consulting Firm, The Health Group, located in Morgantown, WV.  Ryan has over eighteen years of accounting and auditing experience for a significant number of healthcare entities and nonprofit organizations. In addition to audit services, he has assisted clients with other aspects of financial consulting and organizational development, such as financial feasibility studies, financial analysis, corporate compliance development and revisions, bond issuance, executive compensation, physician compensation, and organizational strategic planning.  Ryan graduated from West Virginia University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting. Ryan is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in West Virginia and Virginia and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the West Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants, and Healthcare Financial Management Association.  On an annual basis, Ryan attends many state and national conferences sponsored by the AICPA, HFMA and a variety of state Hospital Associations. Ryan currently serves as the Program Committee Chair and Past-President of the WV HFMA Chapter, the Regionial Elect3 for Region IV of HFMA,  the Finance Committee Chair of HospiceCare, Treasurer of WV HealthRight, and President of Edgewood Country Club. Ryan has four children and coaches’ baseball and basketball teams in Charleston. 
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Samantha Wyld
Partner, Revenue Cycle Consulting, OptumInsight
Samantha Wyld is a Partner in the Revenue Cycle Consulting division of Optum Advisory Services. As a Partner, Ms. Wyld oversees revenue cycle consulting engagements with hospitals, clinics, and health systems to improve their overall revenue cycle performance. Ms. Wyld also helps healthcare leaders strategically plan and prioritize their revenue cycle priorities to identify areas for ongoing improvement and optimization. Ms. Wyld comes to Optum through the Advisory Board Company—there, she joined the revenue cycle team in 2008 via what was then known as H*Works Consulting and today serves as one of the team’s foremost experts within the revenue cycle. 
Ms. Wyld has worked with past partners in the following engagement terrains: implementing/improving point of service collections, optimizing patient access performance through accurate data capture and hardwired feedback loops, launching financial counseling services, implementing and optimizing inpatient clinical documentation improvement programs, and maximizing patient financial services performance to accelerate revenue capture. Since becoming a hot button issue for health care organizations in 2011, Ms. Wyld also led and oversaw ICD-10 readiness engagements with hospitals and health systems large and small, working to ensure organizations were successfully prepared to transition to the new coding system. Following that time, Ms. Wyld oversaw 50+ engagements dedicated to improving clinical documentation integrity, impacting metrics spanning from CMI to O:E ratios and ensuring organizations and physicians were getting credit for the quality of care provided to their patients. 
Most recently, Ms. Wyld has focused her efforts on enhancing patient financial experience, serving as Optum Advisory Services’ leading thought partner in this space. Since 2016, Ms. Wyld has lead executive retreats and served as a guest speaker for organizations across the country on the topic. Ms. Wyld also has expertise in labor and productivity management. 
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Denis Lukes
CFO, Healthcare Council of Western Pennsylvania

Denis J. Lukes, CPA, serves as Chief Financial Officer for the Healthcare Council of Western Pennsylvania where he works with the region’s 62 Hospitals and a number of Long Term Care and other providers and coordinates various initiatives designed to enhance the Operating Income of members in the region. He has developed strategies to improve the region’s Medicare Wage Index, Medicare and Medical Assistance reimbursement, and Revenue Cycle operations. He works closely with the CFOs to help them prepare for impending Medicare and other regulatory and reimbursement changes. In addition, he works closely with the Revenue Cycle, Health Information Management, Managed Care Contracting, Case Management and Physician Practice leadership of members. He also coordinates activities with a number of external firms that assist hospitals with improvements.

Previously, Mr. Lukes served as Vice President, Finance for the West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS), now Allegheny Health Network, with responsibilities for hospital billing, physician billing, third party reimbursement, decision support, and budgeting. During this time he implemented a number of initiatives to improve revenue cycle operations, cash flow, third party reimbursement and initiated the implementation of 340B, a program which substantially reduced drug costs for the organization. He was with WPAHS from 2004 to 2012. 

Mr. Lukes served as the sole financial member of a hospital turnaround team for Pitts Management Associates (PMA) from 2001 to 2004 with engagements in several states. Focus was on improving Operating Income and development of Strategic and Financial Turnaround Plans. These included focus on third party reimbursement, revenue cycle improvements, 340B implementation, FTE Productivity, and expense management. 

Mr. Lukes served in a variety of roles over his tenure with St. Francis Health System in Pittsburgh from 1981-2001, including Accounting Manager, Director of Finance, Hospital CFO, and spent 1997-2001 as the Vice President of Finance for the Health System. Over this tenure he participated and led a number of Tax Exempt Bond Financings, initiated a number or reimbursement and revenue cycle initiatives, and filed successful reimbursement appeals with the Medicare Provider Reimbursement Review Board and the Pennsylvania Medical Assistance Program. In addition, he was responsible for all accounting, third 

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Allison Bretz
Associate Director, S&P Global Ratings

Allison Bretz is an Associate Director at S&P Global Ratings in the not-for-profit healthcare group. She follows a portfolio of health systems academic medical centers, and stand-alone hospitals, primarily in the midwest and western United States.

Allison Bretz joined S&P Global Ratings in 2015. Before joining S&P Global, she worked in international relations at the City of Chicago and managed budgets for the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Columbia College Chicago. 

Allison holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago. 

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Jamie Seman
Associate Director, S&P Global Ratings

Jamie is an Associate Director on the US Public Finance (USPF), Healthcare Ratings team at S&P Global, a group responsible for the ratings on more than 500 hospitals and health systems across the United States.
Jamie began her career with S&P Global in 2016 as an associate in the USPF Higher Education and Not-for-Profit team, where she worked on rating charter schools, independent schools, private and public universities, and not-for-profit corporations throughout the United States. 

Prior to joining S&P, Jamie worked as a Senior Financial Analyst at the United States Department of Treasury where she directly supported Treasury’s Bond Guarantee Program. As part of the program, Jamie evaluated and analyzed Community Development Financial Institutions’ financial and management capacity to issue bonds of at least $100 million for community and economic development projects. Jamie also worked as a management consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton, providing business process improvement and federal grants management expertise to various federal government agencies, including the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health. 

Jamie holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s of business administration from the University of Maryland. 

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Michael Allen, MHA, CPA, FHFMA
Chief Financial Officer, OSF Healthcare
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Thomas Albanesi
Chief Financial Officer, Excela Health System
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Mark Wright
Chief Financial Officer, Aultman Hospital
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Dave Werkin
Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Trinity Health System
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Patrick McKenna
Regional Director of Business Development, KeyBridge Medical Revenue Care
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Scott Bezjak, CPA, CGMA
Partner, BKD
Scott provides audit, accounting and consulting services to clients in the health care industry, primarily hospitals, long-term care facilities and physician practices. In addition to managing audits and preparing prospective financial statements and feasibility studies, he supervises the preparation of Medicare and Medicaid cost reports, reviews interim Medicare payment rates and assists with client accounting and reporting problems.

He has more than 22 years of public accounting experience. His hospital consulting experience includes hospital rate methodologies and strategies, productivity studies, community health needs assessments and assisting hospitals and clinics with their revenue cycle. His Medicare and Medicaid consulting experience includes analyzing reimbursement implications of various programs and developing reimbursement strategies.

Scott is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, The Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants and West Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants. He is an advanced member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association and is a Chartered Global Management Accountant® (CGMA®).

He serves as chairperson of the board of trustees for Hospice of Cincinnati.

Scott is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, with a B.S. degree in accounting and of Auburn University, Alabama, with an M.B.A. degree.
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Randolph Biernat, CPA, ABV
Director, BKD
Randy is a member of BKD National Health Care Group and has a leadership role in the firm’s Physician Services Center of Excellence. He is responsible for leading a variety of health care projects, including transactional and compliance consulting, the development of hospital/physician alignment strategies and assisting health care entities with reform issues related to physician relationships.

His background technical expertise relates to analyzing the fair market value of compensation for goods and services in the health care regulatory environment. He also has experience in analyzing and opining on executive compensation for a variety of industries.

Randy routinely performs technical research and writing with respect to emerging issues related to health care transactions, including regulatory issues. He is a frequent speaker and writer on physician-related health care transactional and strategic topics.

Prior to joining BKD, Randy gained an extensive background that included providing hundreds of fair market value analyses and business valuations. In addition, he led numerous hospital/physician alignment consulting engagements related to compensation plan design, physician integration processes and strategy, on-call programs, physician-led management arrangements and others.

His professional credentials include the Accredited in Business Valuation designation through the American Institute of CPAs.

Randy is a graduate with distinction of Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, Indianapolis, with a B. S. degree in finance and an M.Acc. degree.
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Rene Suntay
CFO, Meadville Hospital