About BHC : CalEQRO

Administration

Team Member

William Holcomb, PhD, MBA

President & CEO

Dr. Holcomb is the CEO of BHC (Behavioral Health Concepts, Inc.) and founded the company in 1994. He is a licensed psychologist in California, Colorado and Missouri and a Diplomate of Forensic Psychology by the American Psychological Association. In addition to his doctorate in psychology, he also has a master's degree in Public Administration and an Executive MBA from the University of Chicago. For over 25 years he maintained an active clinical practice and was a national consultant on mental health service systems. Administrative positions include being the CEO of a private psychiatric hospital, Superintendent of a large State Hospital and treatment director of a large community mental health center. His current research focuses on community collaboration to enhance mental health services and prevention services for child abuse and neglect.

Team Member

Karen Baylor, PhD, LMFT

Chief Operating Officer

Karen Baylor, Ph.D, LMFT has over thirty years of administration and clinical experience in mental health and substance use disorders. From 2013 to 2018, Karen was the Deputy Director for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders for the Department of Health Care Services. She co-wrote the 1115 Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System waiver. She spent eight years as the Behavioral Health Administrator for a medium sized coastal county in California. During this time, she became actively involved in the County Behavioral Health Director’s association and was its president from 2011-2012. She was also one of the founders of CalMHSA and a board officer from 2003-2013. Karen was peer reviewer for the Council on Accreditation for Children and Families from 2003- 2013.

Team Member

Kristina Eriksen, MBA

Chief Financial Officer

Kristina Eriksen has over 30 years’ experience as a corporate financial and organizational management professional in technology and consumer packaged goods brands, building organizations with a product/service focus in wellness and healthy lifestyles. During her career she has taken on across all corporate life stages from entrepreneurial launch, corporate renewal, to aggressive corporate growth endeavors, with notable success in guiding high potential organizations through their organizational development, rapid growth, debt and equity financings, private equity, IPO, and M&A transactions. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics/Statistics from the University of California Irvine and an M.B.A. from the Paul Merage School of Business, University of California, Irvine. Kristina has been a featured speaker at industry conferences, a university adjunct faculty, and business finance training course instructor. She actively serves on multiple social service non-profit boards including Domestic Violence Solutions of Santa Barbara County, Women’s Economic Ventures providing microenterprise development services to women along California’s Centra Coast, and the American Red Cross – Central California

Team Member

Samantha Fusselman, LCSW, CPHQ

Executive Director

Samantha Fusselman brings over 25-years of experience in public behavioral health, with a focus on strategic planning, organizational leadership, clinical quality, and equitable access to healthcare across populations. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 1998 and a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality since 2011, Samantha has spent her career working in County Behavioral Health and External Quality Review. Collaborative and authentic, Samantha leads with transparency, responsive communication, and collective problem-solving in the pursuit of continuous quality improvement.

Team Member

Rama Khalsa, PhD

Assistant Executive Director

Rama Khalsa has achieved a distinguished career in health policy, overseeing clinical services and developing innovative programs in behavioral health. Her background leadership positions include Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Director, Health Agency Director, and Health Plan Board Member for the Central California Alliance for Health. She has coordinated with State Legislators on the expansion of Medicaid for mental healthcare, and has also collaborated with the California HealthCare Foundation and Blue Shield of California Foundation on the integration of behavioral health into healthcare systems.

Team Member

Amy McCurry Schwartz, Esq, MHSA.

Consultant to MH/DMC EQRO

Amy Schwartz is a healthcare outcomes and evaluation consultant and a performance improvement project expert. She implemented performance-based contracting and outcomes evaluation in her work of 6 years in the public sector. She then started her own consulting firm, McCurry Schwartz Consulting, and now consults on External Quality Reviews for physical and behavioral healthcare in three states. Amy has a Juris Doctor from Washburn University School of Law and a Masters of Health Services Administration from the University of Kansas.

Team Member

Saumitra SenGupta, PhD

Senior Consultant

Saumitra SenGupta has worked in mental health services research for over 20 years. Dr. SenGupta is an expert in quantitative and qualitative research methods and utilizing information systems data for mental health services research. He has served on several federally funded mental health initiatives, the American Evaluation Association, and the San Francisco Bay Area Evaluators. He continues to serve on various statewide mental health evaluation committees, as well as on the editorial board of the American Journal of Evaluation.

Team Member

Corey Davin

Director, Information Systems and Technology

Corey Davin leads BHC’s technology department by architecting, implementing and overseeing the technology systems and strategic planning; and supporting daily operations. He has extensive IT experience and has held leadership roles at various companies in industries such as healthcare, insurance, technology startups, and non-profits.

Team Member

Kimberlee Cathey

DMC Operations Manager

Kimberlee Cathey has an extensive background of administrative, executive, and operational responsibilities in a variety of settings. She specializes in efficiency and effective management to facilitate successful day to day office operations and productivity for all staff. She is resourceful, tech savvy, and enjoys granting all staff with the tools and resources they need to be successful and dynamic at their job.

Team Member

Sonya Rodrigues-Romero, MBA

MH EQRO Operations Manager

Sonya has an extensive background as an Executive Assistant for C Level Executives and goes above and beyond the typical scope of her position. Always being the leader’s right-hand woman in every aspect. Ensuring that business operations are efficient in terms of using as few resources as needed and effective in terms of meeting organizational requirements while always maintaining utmost confidentiality, integrity and professionalism; she enjoys creating events from the brainstorming process to the final product as well as working with computer graphics. She also earned a master’s degree from Holy Names University, where she specialized in Marketing and Consumer Behavior. Problem solving with a smile and makes the impossible, possible.

Team Member

Rachel Phillips

Reporting Manager

Rachel Phillips currently works as the Reporting Manager for BHC-EQRO. She is a content expert in the following areas: programming, analysis, statistics, reporting, and problem solving. She has a background in technical research projects and applying various algorithms and techniques. She has also presented at several mathematics and science conferences. Rachel received her B.S. in Mathematics from Saint Mary’s College of California, and her M.S. in Analytics from the University of San Francisco.

Team Member

Vandana Joshi, PhD

Statistical Consultant

Vandana Joshi has over 18 years of experience conducting program evaluation of national studies and statistical analysis of statewide and local county data systems. She has evaluated nationwide studies on Drug Treatment Outcomes Systems and developed performance indicators for mental health, health and social services. She has managed complex data systems needed to accurately develop clinical and administrative performance indicators related to quality of care, care coordination, care integration, timeliness of services, access to care and consumer satisfaction. She received her doctorate in Sociology from University of California - Los Angeles.

Team Member

David Mee-Lee, MD

DMC-ODS Consultant

David Mee-Lee, M.D. is a board-certified psychiatrist, and is certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM). Based in Davis, CA, he trains and consults both nationally and internationally. Dr. Mee-Lee is Chief Editor of The ASAM Criteria and is President of DML Training and Consulting. Dr. Mee-Lee has over forty years experience in person centered treatment and program development for people with co-occurring mental health and substance use conditions.

Quality Review

Team Member

Maureen Bauman, LCSW, MPA

Quality Reviewer

Maureen F. Bauman, LCSW, MPA directed social service and behavioral health programs in Placer County for 26 years and prior to that was CEO of a local non-profit agency. Her work included redesigning mental health with evidenced based peer-run services. As president of the Mental Health Services Authority she led the efforts for continued statewide programs to reduce stigma, eliminate suicides and improve student mental health. Her special skills and interest are in quality improvement, collaboration, team building, and evaluation.

Team Member

Cyndi Lancaster, MS, LMFT, LPCC

Quality Reviewer

Cyndi has actively worked in community mental health and advocacy since 2004. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) and a licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC) who previously specialized in adolescent school-based counseling, quality assurance, Medi-Cal compliance, and state-wide consumer advocacy. Cyndi Eppler collaborates with County Mental Health Plans in order to improve timeliness, access, quality, stakeholder involvement in mental health services planning.

Team Member

Lynda Hutchens, NCC, LMFT

Quality Reviewer

Lynda Hutchens is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Her vibrant work history includes: the Protocol Secretary for the Ambassador of USA in Indonesia; the Director of a large Employee Assistance Program in Hawaii; a Consultant for the Dept. of Defense (DoD), where she worked with soldiers and families world-wide, as well as military units affected by the most recent wars. Before joining BHC, her most recent role was an oversight Case Manager for a CMS Special Needs Program of Medi-Medi clients who were designated SMI.

Team Member

Harriet Markell, MA

Quality Reviewer

Harriet Markell, M.A., has extensive clinical and management experience in both public and private direct service organizations and in commercial and public sector managed care. She was most recently VP of Business Development at EMQ FamiliesFirst (now Uplift Family Services), guiding the agency strategically through a transition into the new healthcare environment and the creation of a new strategic plan. She was the Executive Director of the WA State EQRO for APS Healthcare, Director of the United Behavioral Health contract to manage the King County, WA mental health system, and Association Director of the California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies, advocating on behalf of the public mental health providers throughout the state. Harriet holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology and was trained as a family therapist, providing direct service and managing inpatient and community-based programs in California and Oregon.

Team Member

Tom Trabin, PhD

Quality Reviewer

Tom Trabin is the Deputy Director of California Drug Medi-Cal EQRO, and was previously the County Alcohol and Drug Program Administrator for Alameda County. He is a licensed psychologist in California with a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, and provided clinical services in a variety of settings for over 25 years. He also earned a master’s degree from Stanford Graduate School of Business, served in several executive positions, and consulted to over 100 organizations. Dr. Trabin was instrumental in national initiatives that established standards for electronic health record systems, and others that set performance and outcome measures for behavioral health systems of care.

Team Member

Melissa Martin, MSW, MPH, PhD

Quality Reviewer

Melissa Martin has 18 years of experience working in behavioral health and human services organizations, focusing on evaluation, program management, and performance improvement. She previously served as director of research and strategic initiatives for a large nonprofit agency providing children’s mental health services throughout California. She received her MSW, MPH in Epidemiology, and PhD in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley.

Team Member

Ewurama Shaw-Taylor, PhD

Quality Reviewer

Ewurama Shaw-Taylor is a research psychologist with 15 years of experience in bio-behavioral health. She has worked in mental health and human services—including two state correctional mental health systems and a child resettlement program—to improve service delivery, client outcomes, and quality. Ewurama has expertise in continuous quality improvement, policy development, compliance monitoring, evaluation, and proposal development.Ewurama holds a Doctorate in Psychology from the University of Chicago.Ewurama Shaw-Taylor

Team Member

Robert Walton, RN, MPA

Quality Reviewer

Robert Walton has worked as an EQR lead quality reviewer for nine years. His mental health experience began with the state hospital system, which included work with the developmentally disabled as well as the mentally ill. He worked at both California Neuro-psychiatric Institutes, located in San Francisco and Los Angeles, in acute settings that involved both adult and youth populations. He also worked within a county mental health system for 34 years, initially in mobile crisis, and later as division chief for crisis and acute services. He facilitated implementation plans for major transitions in mental health service delivery, with responsibilities that included compliance, quality improvement and assurance and utilization management. Over the course of his career, he acquired a bachelor of science in nursing and a masters degree in public administration.

Team Member

Patrick Zarate

Quality Reviewer

Patrick Zarate was previously the Alcohol and Drug Administrator of Ventura County Behavioral Health. Most recently he held the position of Behavioral Health Chief Operations Officer and Acting Director for Ventura County. A graduate of University of California at Santa Barbara, he has worked in the behavioral health field for more than 38 years including 12 years in Mental Health. Mr. Zarate has been a senior manager since 2001 and has received state and national recognition as a leading proponent of community-based alcohol and drug treatment and prevention initiatives specifically involving impaired driving, the opioid crisis and the impact of marijuana on the developing adolescent brain.

Team Member

Angela Kozak-Embrey, BASLP, MSW, LCSW

Quality Reviewer

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology from San Diego State University, Angela furthered her education to receive her Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California. She has direct clinical service experience on an Assertive Community Treatment Team, and has also provided integrated, coordinated community based biopsychosocial rehabilitation services in a Wellness Recovery Center in San Diego. She moved to Sacramento and provided therapeutic behavioral services to youth in Placer County for a community-based agency. She is a licensed clinical social worker with a private psychotherapy practice serving adults. Angela is also a combat Army Veteran, serving as an engineer during Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom in Baghdad, Iraq 2003-2004.

Team Member

Olivia Kozarev, LCSW

Quality Reviewer

Olivia Kozarev is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with professional experience in county contracted programs and the acute care hospital setting. At her prior position she was responsible for the implementation and leadership of a new Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team in San Diego County providing intensive case management services to beneficiaries. She currently provides psychotherapy services at her private practice and continues to work in ACT as a clinical supervisor. She received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Southern California with a specialization in Community Organization, Planning and Administration.

Team Member

Jan Tice, PhD

Quality Reviewer

Jan Tice has over 30 years of experience in the mental health/substance use treatment field which includes work as a service provider and clinical director; clinic administrator; health and wellness researcher; and, senior analyst for the County of Santa Cruz. Jan has also been an adjunct professor of Psychology and Human Services at Cabrillo College and California State University East Bay and continues to provide Drug Medi-Cal and best practices related training throughout the state.

Team Member

Rod Libbey, MS

Quality Reviewer

Rod Libbey has over 40 years of experience in the substance use disorder treatment field, primarily in the role of CEO of non-profit providers in central California. Rod also served as the Contra Costa County Drug Program Administrator, and in an interim CEO role at the Mental Health Association of San Francisco. Recently, Rod has trained county and program personnel on various DMC-ODS areas for CIBHS.

Team Member

Sharon Loveseth, LAADC, HSE

Quality Reviewer

Ms Sharon Loveseth became professionally active in the field of addiction treatment in 1987 and is a Licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LAADC). Sharon has an extensive background in treatment program design and management. From 1998 to 2018 she was co-owner and administrator for Healthy Partnerships, Inc., a Commission on Accreditation for Rehabilitative Facilitates (CARF) accredited organization, which provided outpatient behavioral health (MH & SUD) treatment and DUI Program services. From 2014-2020 she assisted with development of the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System (DMC ODS) services for Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services. She continues in her role, since 2014, as a CARF Surveyor.

Team Member

Sue Nelson, EdD

Quality Reviewer

Dr. Sue Nelson, a graduate of University of San Francisco, is a licensed psychologist with over 30 years of experience in prevention, substance use and mental health treatment, management and education and has overseen services for community-based organizations and county services. For over ten years Sue was an Adjunct Professor in the graduate school of the University of San Francisco, teaching family systems therapy, parent child therapy, research and statistics, and psychological assessment. Sue has served on several committees at the state level and currently owns Behavioral Health and Psychology Consulting Services, Inc., which provides consultation on mental health and substance use services and she serves as a consultant for the Center for Applied Research Solutions.

Team Member

Kiran Sahota, MA

Quality Reviewer

Kiran Sahota has over 25 years of experience within children services as well as the mental health treatment field. She has a master's degree in Clinical and Community Psychology and has worked as a service provider within Child Welfare, Community Based Organizations, and trained law enforcement in crisis intervention techniques. Most recently, Kiran was a Senior Behavioral Health Manager with the County of Ventura. Her implementation and leadership within Mental Health Services Act (MHSA)/MediCal funded programs are showcased with skills in project design and implementation. Based on her achievements, her areas of expertise extend into community engagement, budget development and outcome measures. As co-chair of the County Behavioral Health Directors Association, MHSA statewide committee, she has advocated and influenced counties to "tell their story," with measurable outcomes.

Team Member

Bill Walker, LMFT

Quality Reviewer

Bill Walker began his behavioral health career in 1977 as a suicide prevention hotline volunteer. He has over 20 years' experience in the private sector managing inpatient, outpatient and residential programs for minors and adults in mental health and substance use systems of care. In 1998 he began his career with Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (KernBHRS), the Kern County Mental Health and Substance Use MediCal plans, as the Crisis Services Administrator. From 2013 to 2020 Bill Served as the KernBHRS Director. As a County Behavioral Health Director, he was integrally involved with the California Behavioral Health Directors Association (CBHDA) and CALMHSA JPA. Bill has served as co-chair of the CBHDA Information Technologies, Legislation and Crisis Services committees. In addition, Bill taught in the CADAC program, at CSUB Bakersfield, for 25 years.

Information Systems

Team Member

Bill Ullom

Chief Information System Reviewer

William Ullom began work at External Quality Review Organization as Senior Data Analyst in 2004. Prior, he gained 14 years of experience in a variety of roles related to support of management information systems and Short-Doyle Medi-Cal program and claims processing. He has also contributed to statewide forums between county Mental Health Plans and Department of Health Care Services and has provided technical assistance to DHCS in review of complex and technical issues related to claims data.

Team Member

Lisa Farrell, BS

Information Systems Reviewer

Lisa Farrell has served as an External Quality Information Systems Reviewer since 2004 and also worked as a Data Analyst. She spent several years performing IT programming and Quality Assurance in the banking industry, plus six years as a Systems Engineer performing mainframe program development and maintenance and data quality assurance at EDS on the California Medicaid Management Information System (Medi-Cal).

Team Member

Judith Toomasson

Information Systems Reviewer

Judith Toomasson has more than 25 years of hands-on and leadership experience in multi-specialty clinics, hospitals, and multi-site physician practices. Her extensive track record includes Financial Management, Revenue Cycle, Billing Services, Practice Management, Client Services, and Business Management. Judith has been successful in ensuring process and documentation improvement, identifying staff roles and reinforcing infrastructure, and implementing and supporting system conversions.

Team Member

Bob Greenless, PhD

Information Systems Reviewer

After an undergraduate degree in chemistry, Robert Greenless arrived in California in 1971 planning to stay about a year. A wife, a son, and about 12 houses later, he’s still here and doesn’t recall why he planned to leave. Robert went to work for Los Angeles County in 1986 after a stint as a Psychometrist for USC while in graduate school and fours years at Caltech as the Assistant Manager of the Safety Office. He spent 14 years with the Department of Health Services, most of it in progressively responsible information systems related positions. After overseeing a major hospital information system implementation and a Y2K transition, Robert joined the County Chief Information Office as an Associate CIO. While at the Chief Information Office, he initiated and served as the Project Manager for the County’s HIPAA implementation project. In April 2004 Robert went to the Department of Mental Health while still with the County CIO’s Office to help with a system implementation. In August of 2004 Robert became the CIO for the Department of Mental Health. He retired from that position in August of 2016.

Team Member

Caroline Yip, MS

Information Systems Reviewer

Caroline started her career in Canada with the Ontario Ministry of Health and had worked as a program evaluation consultant and MIS coordinator of provincial psychiatric facilities. Most recently, she was the Behavioral Health Services information system manager of a large Bay Area county. She held that position for eight years and retired in early 2018. Caroline has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Master’s degree in hospital administration from the University of Houston.

Team Member

Lamar Brandysky, MS, LMFT

Information Systems Reviewer

Lamar has a long history of work in human services. His initial work was with brain-damaged adults, then as a social worker with Court dependents at Human Services, and then as a case manager with developmentally delayed children. During his 30 year career at Kern Mental Health, he worked as a therapist (Day Treatment; Court Ordered Offenders), a supervisor (Children’s Outpatient; Dual Diagnosis; EHR Support team), a manager (Finance), and retired as a Deputy Director. He was an instrumental part of the development and implementation team to bring Anasazi’s first EHR to California in 2006. Lamar also worked in Kern County’s Psychiatric Evaluation Center/Crisis Stabilization Unit for 6 years, supervising it on the weekends for 3 years.

Team Member

Joel Chain

Information Systems Reviewer

Joel Chain has served over seven years in the public behavioral health sector, most recently as the Assistant Director of Behavioral Health, Administration. He brings experience in oversight of the fiscal, contracts, IT, billing, research/evaluations, and HR support services in public behavioral health. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, and is passionate about system improvement, synergy between clinical and administrative teams, and creating a solution-focused culture.

Team Member

Zena Jacobi

Information Systems Reviewer

Zena Jacobi has been working in healthcare IT since 1986. She started in the private sector working for a hospital system and a large home medical equipment company on integration and HIPAA projects. She then worked at Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health for 10 years implementing the revenue components of an electronic health record and managing Billing and the Revenue Cycle in their Central Business Office.