Anita Cook is the former Executive Director of the West Side Catholic Center, a nonprofit organization founded over 40 years ago on Cleveland’s near west side. The Center provides hot meals at no charge, hospitality, clothing and household goods, emergency services, advocacy, a family shelter, employment programs and programs to transition families to stable housing. Ms. Cook, a retired Certified Public Accountant also worked many years in the financial services industry. A resident of Cleveland, she also serves on the boards of Neighborhood Family Practice, Community of Hope, and the finance committee of the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless. She received a B.S. in Accounting from Miami University and a Master’s in Accounting from Cleveland State University.
Jim is CEO of Ingine, an early-stage healthcare analytics company bringing novel artificial intelligence-based clinical decision support tools supporting personalized medicine to providers and payers. He brings over 30 years of experience in healthcare and general management. He was the VP and CEO-in-Residence for BioEnterprise for the group's healthcare IT sector. He also was on the management team of HealthSync, a start-up company developing corporate sponsored health insurance marketplaces, Glengary Ventures, as well as consulting to major financial institutions while with the First Manhattan Consulting Group. He received his B.S. in Economics from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and his Executive MBA from Case Weatherhead School of Management.
Carol Kaschube, retired from her role as Member Relations and Business Manager in August 2022 and remains a consultant with BHP. She played an integral role in member relations, community outreach and planning, business operations, and execution of Better Health initiatives. She managed both large and small events including Learning Collaboratives, webinars and other community-wide events and meetings. She has been a member of the executive team since the organizations launch in 2007. Carol serves in the elected position of Board Secretary for Better Health Partnership's Board of Directors. Her vast experience in office management and finance ensures excellence in all facets of day-to-day operations.
Rita Horwitz is the President and CEO of Better Health Partnership (BHP), a multi-stakeholder, regional health improvement collaborative located in Northeast Ohio that accelerates data-informed improvements in equitable population and community health. Ms. Horwitz, together with the Board of Directors and the Better Health Team, leads the strategic direction, programmatic activities, and financial sustainability strategies of the organization. She joined BHP in 2011 as its Director of Business Development and later became the Chief Operating Officer – expanding the collaborative's community partners to include health care, social services, public health, business, payers, education, and other sectors across multiple counties. A graduate of The Ohio State University's School of Nursing, and Case Western Reserve University's Health Care Executive Management program, Ms. Horwitz has held leadership positions in ambulatory healthcare, corporate-based health and wellness, business development, quality improvement, non-profit, and entrepreneurial start-up ventures. She serves as executive representation for the national network of regional health improvement collaboratives, Ohio Pathways HUB network, Carmella Rose Health Foundation Board of Directors, United Way’s Community Advisory Board, Cuyahoga County’s Health Improvement Partnership(hip-Cuyahoga), First Year Cleveland, Say Yes to Education Integrated Health and Policy Task Forces, and the City of Cleveland's Lead Screening and Testing Committee. In 2018, she received recognition in Crain’s Cleveland Business, as one of Northeast Ohio’s most note-able women in health care and is a graduate of Leadership Cleveland’s class of 2019.
Loren serves as the William C. and Elizabeth M. Treuhaft Chair in Health Planning and leads Community Solutions' Center for Medicaid Policy. He has significant public and private sector experience and has worked extensively with both legislative and executive branches of local, state and federal governments. He also holds board and committee positions with the May Dugan Center, Magnolia Clubhouse and Brite Winter and is a lecturer at Ohio University's Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine specializing in quality improvement and health systems science. Loren holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Ohio University and a Health Care Master of Business Administration from Baldwin Wallace University.
Nick Bernard is the Associate Treasurer for The MetroHealth System and has been with the organization since 2014. Among other treasury duties his responsibilities include monitoring and managing liquidity through the System’s bank and investment accounts, contributing to and executing the long-term capital market strategy and acting as chair of the internal capital preparedness committee. He received his Master’s in Business Administration from Cleveland State University and his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Majoring in Finance, from the University of Dayton.
Vivek Bhalla, M.D. is a strong physician champion previously serving as the Summa Health Medical Group Chief Medical Officer. He is now the President of Summa Health Medical Group where he is leading in care transformation and proactively getting full involvement of other team members to derive the best results possible for the system. Dr. Bhalla is a member of Better Health Partnership’s Adult Health Leadership Team. He received a Bachelor of Science Integrated Life Science degree from Kent State University in their combined Bs/MD program where he graduated Magna-Cum Laude. He received his Doctor of Medicine from Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown, OH.
David Bronson is Emeritus Staff at the Cleveland Clinic and Professor Emeritus of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He is past Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of The Joint Commission and President Emeritus of the American College of Physicians. He has served as Better Health Partnership's Vice Chair of Board of Directors and Leadership Team. At Cleveland Clinic, he served as Chairman of the Medicine Institute, President of Cleveland Clinic Regional Hospitals and Family Health Centers and was a member of the Board of Governors and Board of Directors.
Karen is the Chief Operating Officer of Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services, Inc (NEON), a nonprofit community health center network. Established in 1967, NEON is one of the oldest Federally Qualified Health Center systems in the country. Under Karen’s leadership, NEON developed and implemented its organizational Strategic Plan and Operations Plan; completed a $1 million renovation project at the Hough Health Center; increased revenues by more than 35%; expanded NEON’s Food Pantry Program to over six locations, established new community partnerships resulting in increased patient services; and initiated numerous charitable events to serve the community.
Kelly works for Health Action Council in charge of business development and community partnerships. Kelly spent 15 years as a secondary social studies teacher and almost a decade in nonprofit leadership including American Association of Birth Centers, Aseracare Hospice and Northern Lancaster Hub. She graduated from Bowling Green State University with a BA in political science and an MEd from Notre Dame College. Kelly is a Cleveland native, currently residing outside of Philadelphia with her husband where they enjoy traveling and their two dogs.
Vanessa is a former executive for Johnson & Johnson, where she assumed successively greater responsibility over more than 30 years, most recently as Vice President of Global Customer Development. She recently returned from New Jersey to her roots in northeast Ohio, where she operates a consulting firm, Shaker Sales & Process Group, LLC, whose clients include Fortune 100 global companies, universities and nonprofits.
Donald Ford is a family physician and the Chair of Family Medicine for the Cleveland Clinic Health System. He serves on the Cleveland Clinic Board of Governors and provides leadership in Community Health and Physician Wellness. Dr. Ford served as Better Health Partnership's Chief Medical Officer from 2018-2021 and in executive roles, including Interim President of Hillcrest Hospital and Acting Chief Executive Officer at Sheikh Khalifa Medical Center in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., which Cleveland Clinic manages. He is a former professional actor who worked in New York City for 14 years before attending medical school. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from State University of New York, his M.D. at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and a Baldwin Wallace University Health Care MBA.
Lisa is Supervisory Attorney Advisor for the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals. She provides Administrative Law Judges with authoritative advice and substantive assistance in highly complex Medicare appeals cases. Prior to moving to Ohio, Lisa was Acting Director of the Judicial Institute of Maryland. Lisa has been involved in the National Courts and Science Institute, which provides scientific training to judges nationwide. She is a patent attorney, specializing in intellectual property law for the life sciences. Prior to becoming an attorney, Lisa was a cancer researcher for the National Cancer Institute. She has published more than 25 peer-reviewed articles in national journals and was invited to lecture across the United States, Europe and South America. As an attorney and research scientist, she incorporates her knowledge of the law, teaching background and scientific expertise into her role on the Better Health Partnership board.
Yvonka M. Hall, MPA is the Executive Director of the nationally recognized Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition. She received a Master of Public Administration from Texas Southern University and a Bachelor of Arts from Notre Dame College. She is a proud graduate of John Marshall High School in Cleveland, Ohio and a 2019 inductee into the Alumni Hall of Fame. The Cleveland Plain Dealer recently named her the Home Grown Hero for her work addressing food insecurity. She is a member of numerous local and national organizations. She is a nationally recognized Congressional award winning health disparities expert. She speaks all over the country about effectively engaging the African American Community the Art of Community Engagement. She is an activist, leader, influencer, humanitarian, speaker, researcher and philanthropist.
Kevin Lauterjung is co-founder and President of Viridi, LLC, a sustainability and energy management firm, and has served as a member of Better Health Partnership's Leadership Team since 2008. He was Chair of Better Health Partnership's Board of Directors from 2016-2020. Mr. Lauterjung worked at Medical Mutual of Ohio from 1998 to 2013 serving in various executive capacities including Executive Vice President, Managed Care. Mr. Lauterjung is a former officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In addition to volunteer activities with Better Health, Mr. Lauterjung has served on the boards of Business Volunteers Unlimited, the USO of Northern Ohio and the local chapter of the March of Dimes. He currently is a board member of Medina County Economic Development Corporation. He received his bachelor's degree in Economics from the United States Military Academy at West Point, earned an MBA with concentrations in Finance and Health Services Management from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, and has attained multiple professional certifications within the Association of Energy Engineers.
Shawn Lyden is Chief Strategy Officer of Akron Children’s Hospital, where he has served in executive leadership roles for over 10 years. Shawn is active in the growth and development of the hospital’s expansive regional network, including its health system/hospital partnerships and primary care network, and other strategic initiatives. He previously was a partner at the law firm of Brouse McDowell, where he chaired the health care practice group and served on the firm’s executive committee, after practicing health care law for 10 years at a national law firm based in Chicago. Shawn serves on the boards of directors of the Hudson Community Foundation, the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Peninsula, and the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association. He also is a member of Team NEO Business Development Council. He earned his B.A. in economics from Denison University and law degree from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.
Dr. Wymyslo is the past Senior Medical Advisor of the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers (OACHC) and past Director of the Ohio Department of Health. Dr. Wymyslo has worked over 35 years as a practicing family physician, educator, practice organizer and healthcare leader and is active statewide and nationally in efforts to integrate public health and primary care to improve population health. In his role at OACHC, Dr. Wymyslo works with leadership and member practice sites across Ohio to improve quality of care, control costs, enhance health centers’ workforce, and expand the Patient-Centered Medical Home care model. He has been recognized for his contributions to healthcare and the community by the American Medical Association, Ohio State Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians and Ohio Academy of Family Physicians.
J.B. Silvers, Ph.D., is the John R. Mannix Medical Mutual of Ohio Professor of Health Care Finance and Professor of Banking and Finance at the Weatherhead School of Management of Case Western Reserve University. He has served on the Better Health Board from 2012-2019. He also served on the Better Health Leadership Team from 2007. Professor Silvers is faculty Director of the Health Systems Management Center at Weatherhead and for several years served as Senior Associate Dean of Weatherhead. His research in the areas of financial management and health services has been widely published. From 1997 to 2000, while on leave from Weatherhead, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of QualChoice – a health plan and insurance company in Cleveland, Ohio. Professor Silvers currently serves on the board of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and for seven years was a Commissioner on the Prospective Payment Assessment Commission, which advises Congress on Medicare payment.