Executive Management Team
Alan McKay - Chief Executive Officer
Alan McKay has served as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Alliance since the health plan's inception in Santa Cruz County in April 1995. He previously worked in Bay Area managed care for twelve years, as a Manager in Ernst & Young's San Francisco health care consulting practice from 1984 to 1987, and as Director of Managed Care at El Camino Hospital from 1987 to 1993.
Alan holds a Master of Public Health degree from University of California at Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of California at Santa Cruz. He is a Member of the board of the California Association of Health Insuring Organizations (CAHIO), the professional association of six County Organized Health Systems in California, as well as a Member of the Merced County Health Care Consortium. Alan is also Chairperson of the Monterey Regional Health Development Group, Inc. (MoreHealth), and President of the board of the Health Improvement Partnership of Santa Cruz County.
Dale Bishop, MD - Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Dale Bishop joined the Alliance as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in July 2013, having previously served as CMO at the Health Plan of San Joaquin, and in leadership roles including Director of the San Joaquin Family Medicine Residency Program, Medical Director of San Joaquin General Hospital, San Joaquin Medical Society President, and Assistant Health Officer at San Joaquin County Public Health Services. In addition to his physician leadership experience, Dr. Bishop provided direct patient care to the underserved population in the Central Valley for 25 years.
Dr. Bishop's experience with Medi-Cal provider incentive programs, Utilization Management, Quality Assurance and Care Management reflects his advocacy for the Patient-Centered Medical Home model of primary care. In his role as CMO, Dr. Bishop is responsible for assuring the availability and quality of health care services for the health plan's members through leadership of the Health Services department, medical management policies and data, and communicating key data and findings to the health plan, the governing board, and the Alliance provider network.
Dr. Bishop received his Medical degree from the University of California, Irvine, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychobiology from the University of Southern California.
Brendan Dowling - Chief Information Officer
Brendan Dowling joined the Alliance in September 2013 and currently serves as the Chief Information Officer (CIO). As CIO, Brendan oversees the Analytics & Technology Services (ATS) functions that include Information Technology (IT) development and infrastructure, Business Analytics, and IT Shared Services. Brendan has nearly 20 years of experience in Operations and Information Technology for health plans, delivery systems and internet businesses that include project management, application and system development, analytics and reporting and IT oversight of large physician networks as part of an integrated delivery system.
Brendan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Actuarial Science and Master of Health Administration degree. He is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Information & Management Systems (CPHIMS), and is trained in Six Sigma and Lean for Transactional Business Processes.
Scott Fortner - Chief Administrative Officer
Scott Fortner joined the Alliance in February 2001. In his current role of Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Scott oversees Human Resources, Employee Training & Development, Administrative Services, Facilities and Media Relations.
Prior to joining the Alliance, Scott was a professional Human Resources consultant and advisor for several pre-IPO start-up/dot-com firms in Silicon Valley. His career in HR began in the US Marine Corps, and as a Marine he served in Operations Desert Shield and Storm during the first Gulf War in 1991.
Scott graduated Magna Cum Laude from National University with a major in Business Administration and a minor in Human Resources Development. He is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR), and is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management.
Rachael Nava - Chief Operating Officer
Rachael Nava joined the Alliance in 2004 where she currently serves as Chief Operating Officer (COO). She is responsible for overseeing provider services, member services, claims, analytics and technology services, business development, compliance and regional operations.
Rachael has worked in the public health sector in the Monterey Bay region for several years. Prior to joining the Alliance, she directed Healthy Kids of Santa Cruz County, a program designed to provide health insurance to all of the uninsured children in the county. From 2000 to 2004, Rachael was the Associate Executive Director of Dientes Community Dental Care, a federally qualified health clinic. From 1997 to 2000, she worked in the biotechnology sector in the area of cancer and AIDS research.
Rachael has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from University of California at Santa Cruz.
Kathy Neal, RN, BSN, MEd, CPHM - Chief Health Services Officer
Kathy Neal joined the Alliance in January 2012 as Chief Health Services Officer (CHSO). In this role, she is responsible for overseeing health services, including utilization management, care management and quality improvement.
Kathy has extensive senior hospital and health plan operations experience, including 10 years of providing senior strategic health plan leadership in the Central Valley with Kaiser Permanente, preceded by hospital operations experience in Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Officer roles for both profit and not-for-profit hospital systems.
Kathy received a Bachelor's degree in Bio-Psychology from The State University of New York, a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from University of the State of New York, and a Master of Education degree from United States International University. She is board certified for Nurse Executive, Advanced, and is recognized as a Certified Professional in Healthcare Management (CPHM).
Barry Staton - Chief Financial Officer
Barry Staton joined the Alliance in October 2013 as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). In this role, Barry oversees financial management of the organization including fiscal forecasting, management, growth, and development of Alliance business operations, and works with Alliance accounting and finance units to assure the plan's financial viability.
Barry previously served as Director of Financial Analysis at CalOptima, where he was responsible for health plan analytics, medical cost and utilization trending, actuarial services, State revenue rate analysis, among other duties. Prior to Cal Optima, Barry worked as Director of Financial Planning and Decision Support at Children's Hospital of Orange County, in addition to fiscal planning and technology roles at other hospitals and consulting firms in Southern California.
Barry holds a Master in Business Administration degree from University of Southern California.
Eva Balint, MD, MS - Medical Director
Dr. Eva Balint joined the Alliance in June 2014 as Medical Director. In this role, she provides clinical leadership within the Health Services department for functions related to Quality Improvement and Pharmacy Management, participates in regulatory Health Services compliance, and develops and improves collaborative relationships with related health care agencies and the professional medical community.
Dr. Balint previously worked in concurrent review and utilization management as Medical Director at Brown & Toland Physicians in San Francisco for three years. In this position, she participated in quality initiatives and complex case management, with a focus on care transitions, inpatient care and Skilled Nursing Facility care coordination, in addition to developing a Compassionate Care Program. Dr. Balint also served as a Senior Medical Consultant for the Concept Incubator at Roche Diagnostics, Diabetes Care, and conducted research and clinical work as a University Instructor at several institutions including Stanford University, focusing on endocrinology, oncology and bone health, as well as practicing for 10 years as an Internist, Endocrinologist and Hospitalist.
Dr. Balint received her Medical degree from Semmelweis University in Hungary, and is board certified in Internal Medicine and Clinical Endocrinology. She holds a Masters in Science degree in Epidemiology from Stanford University and a Certificate in Entrepreneurship from the Stanford Business School. She is a graduate of the University of San Francisco Institute for Physician Leadership program.
Mary Brusuelas, RN, BSN - Utilization Management Director
Mary Brusuelas joined the Alliance in October 2009 as the Concurrent Review Supervisor, and now serves as the Utilization Management Director. In this role, Mary oversees all aspects of utilization management, including prior authorization and concurrent review, compliance with MCG (formerly Milliman Care Guidelines) and other approved utilization criteria, and development and maintenance of effective and efficient utilization processes. Under the direction of the Chief Health Services Officer and in collaboration with the Medical Directors, Mary is responsible for the Utilization Management Program and collaboration with the Quality Improvement and Care Management departments.
Prior to the Alliance, Mary held nursing roles in a variety of clinical settings, both inpatient and outpatient, and more recently, various management roles in Home Health, Hospice and inpatient Palliative Care for twelve years at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula (CHOMP) in Monterey.
Mary is a registered nurse and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from California State University at Fresno. She serves as President of the Board of Directors for Compassionate Care Alliance of Monterey County and as a Board Member of Alliance on Aging of Monterey County.
Danita Carlson - Government Relations Director
Danita Carlson joined the Alliance in November 1995 as the Plan's Government Relations Director. In this role, Danita serves as the main liaison with the State of California Department of Health Care Services, Department of Managed Health Care and the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board, and is responsible for state contract compliance and regulatory and legislative affairs for the health plan.
Prior to working for the Alliance, Danita was employed by the County of Santa Cruz.
Danita earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from California State University at Sacramento.
Lilia Chagolla - Monterey County Regional Operations Director
Lilia Chagolla joined the Alliance in April 2004, where she currently serves as Monterey County Regional Operations Director. In this role, Lilia is responsible for overseeing the Alliance's Salinas office, management of Alliance programs and operating procedures in Monterey County, and acts as the plan's regional community liaison.
Previously Lilia served as the Health Programs Manager, where she was responsible for overseeing the health and disease management programs of the Alliance. Prior to joining the Alliance Lilia managed the Health Services Department for The Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco, and worked in the development and implementation of the Prenatal and Pediatric Outpatient Clinics for Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, California.
Lilia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health Education from San Francisco State University, and studied Spanish and medical terminology at Universidad Autonoma de Gudalajara, Mexico.
Anne Chai, PharmD - Pharmacy Director
Anne Chai, PharmD, joined the Alliance in 2009 as a Clinical Pharmacist, subsequently served as the Pharmacy Manager, and in September 2014 transitioned to the role of Pharmacy Director. Under the direction of the Chief Health Services Officer, Anne ensures pharmacy utilization review and maintains cost effective pharmacy measures, is responsible for the oversight and performance of the Alliance Formulary, provides liaison with the pharmaceutical and medical communities, and ensures quality operations through development and oversight of the Pharmacy staff and programs.
Prior to working for the Alliance, Anne completed a managed care pharmacy residency at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield in New Jersey. She began her career in the biotechnology sector.
Anne holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Joy Cubbin - Accounting Director
Joy Cubbin joined the Alliance in May 2014 as the Accounting Director. In this new role, and under the direction of the Chief Financial Officer, Joy assures that proper finance and accounting standards are maintained according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) applicable to public, non-profit organizations, ensures that financial reports reflect the results of operations factually and completely, and administers and supervises selected general accounting and finance functions.
Prior to working for the Alliance, Joy was Assistant Controller at Elements Behavioral Health, and prior to that she held positions in accounting and finance at CalOptima. Joy has also worked at United Healthcare, Gambro Healthcare and the County of Orange.
Joy holds a Bachelor's degree in Accounting from California State University, Fullerton and a California CPA license (inactive).
Ryan Inlow - Facilities & Administrative Services Director
Ryan Inlow joined the Alliance in 2004 and currently serves as the Facilities & Administrative Services Director. In this role, Ryan is responsible for directing all aspects of strategic facilities and administrative services, including construction management, emergency response planning, safety and security, printing and fulfillment, mailroom operations, shipping and receiving, ergonomics, tenant relations, and reception.
Ryan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies from University of California at Santa Cruz and is certified as a Facilities Management Professional (FMP). Ryan is a member of the International Facilities Management Agency (IFMA).
Janet Johnston - Human Resources Director
Janet Johnston joined the Alliance in 1998 and is currently the Human Resources Director, having previously served as the Human Resources Manager for eight years. As Director, Janet provides strategic management of the Alliance's Human Resources functions, including recruitment and selection, employee compensation and benefits, performance management and employee relations.
Prior to joining the Alliance, Janet worked for the United States Embassy in London as the Military Passport Liaison. She attended North Herfordshire College of Further Education in Stevenage, England, where she studied Advanced Level French, English Language, English Literature, and Drama.
Janet earned a diploma in Human Resources Management from University of California at Santa Cruz, certification as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR), and is a Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist (CEAS). She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management.
Damian Maldonado - Training & Development Director
Damian Maldonado joined the Alliance in June 2011 and currently serves as the Training & Development Director. In this role, Damian oversees all functions of the Training & Development Program, including strategic support and training guidance in the areas of staff development, employee onboarding, organizational development, leadership and mentoring programs, and tactical planning projects.
Prior to joining the Alliance, Damian was the CEO/Chief Consultant at his own training and development consulting firm. He gained specific health care experience working as a Health Promotion Coordinator for Blue Cross of California and as an Advisory Board Member for the California-Mexico Health Initiative.
Damian holds a Master in Public Administration degree from California State University at Fresno, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from University of California at Santa Cruz.
Kathleen McCarthy - Provider Services Director
Kathleen McCarthy joined the Alliance in May 2011 and currently serves as the Provider Services Director. In this role, Kathleen is responsible for leadership of the Provider Services Department and oversees provider recruitment, credentialing, training and support. Kathleen previously served as the Alliance Provider Services Operations Manager, where she was responsible for overseeing the internal operations of the Provider Services Department.
Prior to joining the Alliance, Kathleen worked in the non-profit and public health sector for several years, including Program & Grants Manager at the Pajaro Valley Community Health Trust, a local non-profit health care foundation.
Kathleen holds a Master of Public Administration degree, with an emphasis in Non-Profit Administration from San Francisco State University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Community Studies from University of California at Santa Cruz.
Jennifer Mockus, RN, BSN, PHN - Merced County Regional Operations Director
Jennifer Mockus began her career with the Alliance in November 2009. In her role as Regional Operations Director for Merced County, she is responsible for overseeing the Alliance Merced office, management of programs and operating procedures in Merced County, and acts as the plan's regional community liaison.
Prior to joining the Alliance, Jennifer worked for the Merced County Department of Public Health providing supervision and management of maternal child health programs and staff, and as a Public Health Nurse for Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency providing public health case management to Santa Cruz County residents.
Jennifer is a Public Health Nurse who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from California State University at Stanislaus.
Julio Porro, MD - Medical Director
Dr. Julio Porro joined the Alliance in 2002, and currently serves as Medical Director. In this role, he provides clinical leadership in several areas within Health Services, including Utilization Management and Care Management.
Dr. Porro previously co-founded and served as Medical Director of the Southwest Community Health Center (now Santa Rosa Community Health Centers) in Santa Rosa, CA and served as Medical Director of Salud Para La Gente, a federally qualified health center serving the Pajaro Valley community.
Dr. Porro received his Medical degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biomedical Ethics from Brown University as part of a 7-year Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME). He is a recent participant of a prestigious two-year Leadership Fellowship sponsored by the California Healthcare Foundation (CHCF) and UCSF's Center for the Health Professions.
Stephanie Sonnenshine - Compliance Director
Stephanie Sonnenshine joined the Alliance in 1999, and currently serves as the Plan's Compliance Director. In this role, Stephanie is responsible for health plan provider and administrative contracting, the grievance function, and the compliance program.
Stephanie previously held positions as Executive Assistant, Provider Services Representative and Provider Services Contract Specialist. She practiced family law litigation in Santa Clara County from 2005 to 2009, and returned to the Alliance in July 2009, serving as the Provider Services Director through April 2013.
Stephanie holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of San Francisco, School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from University of California at Santa Barbara.
Frank Souza - Claims Director
Frank Souza joined the Alliance in September 2003, and currently serves as Claims Director. In this role, Frank oversees management and strategic planning for the Claims department, including fiscal and operational functions, strategic development and implementation of new programs and services as they relate to Claims and Finance operations, claims operations and provider support.
Prior to joining the Alliance, Frank was the Chief Financial Officer for the largest privately held chain of retail luggage stores on the West Coast.
Frank holds a Master in Business Administration degree from St. Mary's University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from University of California at Santa Cruz.
Michelle N. Stott, RN, MSN - Quality Improvement Director
Michelle N. Stott joined the Alliance in January 2013 and serves as the Quality Improvement Director. In this role, Michelle is responsible for strategic direction and management of the Alliance Quality Improvement Program, including preparation and response to medical audits, implementation of National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) standards, and community outreach on medical management policies and programs.
Previously, Michelle worked in quality improvement, regulatory compliance and improving clinical outcomes as the Quality Outcomes Director at Kaiser San Jose, Clinical Measures Quality Manager at Stanford Hospital & Clinics, and Quality Assurance Nurse and Nurse Manager at On Lok Senior Health Services. Prior to working in quality improvement, Michelle was a critical care staff nurse.
Michelle received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology (Organizational Development) from the University of California at Davis and a Master of Science in Nursing degree, with an emphasis in Entrepreneurial Leadership, from San Francisco State University. She is a member of the National Association for Healthcare Quality and the California Association for Healthcare Quality, and holds certifications in Six Sigma and Lean for Transactional Business Processes.
Liza Warren, RN, BSN - Care Management Director
Liza Warren joined the Alliance in October 2012 as the Care Management Director. In this role, she oversees the Alliance Care Management Program and team working with Alliance members, in collaboration with the member's Primary Care Physician, to provide support and services that members need to improve their health and quality of life through the promotion of self-care and management of chronic disease.
Liza previously worked in the acute care setting for seven years, and eight years in Operations Management at WellPoint, one of the nation's largest health benefits companies. At WellPoint, Liza established multiple teams to support both Medical Management and Case Management operations.
Liza obtained her Registered Nurse credential from Henry J. Kutsch College of Nursing, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Chamberlain University. She is certificated in Six Sigma and Lean for Transactional Business Processes, and received certification from Stanford in Advanced Project Management. Liza is a member of the American Case Management Association and the American Telehealth Association.
Traci Webb - Projects & Operations Director
Traci Webb joined the Alliance in 2006, and currently serves as the Projects & Operations Director. In this role, Traci is responsible for directing Alliance-wide strategic and operational projects, business development, operations, administrative quality improvement, marketing and public relations.
Prior to joining the Alliance, Traci's executive experience included domestic and international responsibilities with large organizations in the information and education sectors. From 2001-2006, Traci worked for Swets Information Services, a global scholarly information services company, at their offices in North America, the Netherlands, and Australia/New Zealand (ANZ), which included positions as Managing Director (ANZ), Electronic Products Manager and Regional Sales Manager. From 1992-2001, she served the University of Wollongong in Australia, which included positions as Resource Services Manager and Acquisitions Coordinator.
Traci holds a Diploma of Arts with Honors, Illawarra Institute of Technology in Australia, and graduated from executive development programs in leadership and business management at both the University of Wollongong and Erasmus University in the Netherlands.
Jan Wolf - Member Services Director
Jan Wolf has been with the Alliance since its inception in June 1995 and currently serves as the Member Services Director. In this role, Jan is responsible for leadership of the Member Services Department which encompasses customer service, development of member literature, member education and outreach, eligibility and enrollment, member complaints and provider disputes.
Jan's prior experience in health care included working at a national Preferred Provider Organization, an acute care hospital, a community-based primary care clinic and a health care advocacy organization. Prior to entering the health care field, Jan worked in housing and senior services.
Jan graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology.