The Medicaid Pathways Program aims to strengthen participants’ knowledge and skills to effectively serve in complex leadership roles and facilitate the development of senior Medicaid leaders, with a focus on supporting more diversity in leadership positions to reflect the communities served by Medicaid.

View participants by state using the following map. For bios, select a class year from below the map.

Class of 2023 Participants

Matthew Ahern, Nebraska

Matthew Ahern, MBA, MHA, is the deputy director for Nebraska’s Division of Medicaid and Long-Term Care. He oversees the day-to-day operations of eligibility policy, health policy, legislative activities, and management of the state’s managed care organization contracts. Prior to coming to Nebraska, Matthew worked with Utah Medicaid and in facility and medical group operations. 

“One thing I am most proud of is that I have strived to make the programs and systems we work in more efficient and effective to better help vulnerable people in need.”

Amela Alibasic, Iowa

Amela Alibasic is the bureau chief for the Medicaid Eligibility Policy Bureau at the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services. She leads the Eligibility Policy team and the Health Insurance Premium Payment Program. Amela has served Iowa Medicaid for 18 years in various capacities, including as a local field office supervisor and eligibility worker for Medicaid, SNAP, and TANF.

“I’m proud of the successful implementation of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Medicaid Flexibilities and successful planning of the Medicaid PHE Unwind that my team has led.”

Karly Campbell, Tennessee

Karly Campbell, MPP, is the chief quality officer at TennCare, Tennessee’s Medicaid Agency, where she manages implementation of the TennCare Quality Strategy to ensure delivery of high-quality, cost-effective care for all members. Karly manages the ongoing operations of TennCare’s value-based payment programs, including Patient Centered Medical Homes and Tennessee Health Link. She is the executive sponsor for the Health Starts Initiative, which is responsible for the development and implementation of a comprehensive social determinants of health strategy, improving health equity, and strengthening the nontraditional health care workforce.

“I’m proud of the Patient Centered Medical Home and the Tennessee Health Link programs aimed at improving quality and efficiency in the primary care and behavioral health care settings.”

Kelly Crosbie, North Carolina

Kelly Crosbie, MSW, is the chief quality officer at North Carolina Medicaid. She oversees all Quality Improvement and Population Health Programs aimed at improving health outcomes, promoting health equity, paying for value, and addressing medical and non-medical drivers of care. Kelly has over 20 years of experience in government, including Medicaid and human services programs. 

“I am proud that I share data about people’s experience with and access to health care to develop better programs and policies that support more equitable health outcomes.”

Alex Demyan, Arizona

Alex Demyan, MSW, is the deputy assistant director of the Division of Community Advocacy and Intergovernmental Relations at the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, where he oversees the agency’s two advocacy departments, the Office of Individual and Family Affairs and the Office of Human Rights. He also oversees the federal relations unit. Prior to this role, Alex worked in non-profit management, federal block grant procurement, behavioral health operations, and public policy development.

“I’m most proud of leading a team that’s built robust internal and external relationships that have helped advance the Medicaid program in Arizona.”

Jessica Diaz, Washington State

Jessica Diaz is the section manager of the Strategic Design and Program Oversight, Medicaid Programs Division within Washington State’s Health Care Authority. In this role, she leads system design efforts for the Medicaid population, particularly in areas related to implementation of system design changes, obtaining appropriate federal authority, and providing oversight of network adequacy and the crisis delivery system. Jessica has spent nearly 20 years in state service, working in special education, behavioral health, and health care policy.

“I’m proud of the implementation of behavioral health services into Washington’s Medicaid managed care through its Integrated Managed Care Program.”

Sonali Duggal, Massachusetts 

Sonali Duggal, MBA, is the director of Integrated Fiscal Strategy at MassHealth, and leads the team responsible for rate setting and risk adjustment for MassHealth managed care plans. Previously, Sonali was chief commercial officer at Par8o, a Boston-based health care technology company that supports provider (including several Massachusetts safety net organizations) patient referral and 340B management. Sonali also held senior roles at Medtronic, the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative, and Bain & Company, including a number of international postings.

“I am proud of our team for leading a rate-setting initiative around a new primary care sub-capitation for MassHealth to fundamentally transform how primary care is paid for and ultimately delivered to members.”

Adrienne T. Fegans, Virginia

Adrienne T. Fegans is the acting deputy director of Programs and Operations at the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services, where she provides strategic planning and development of agency initiatives and manages multiple complex projects and professional teams to meet the agency’s strategic goals. Adrienne oversees the divisions that handle health care services (managed care, dental, maternal and child health), program operations (provider enrollment, claims processing, transportation), and program integrity (provider and recipient audit).

“I’m proud of my ability to lead and empower professional staff to learn and grow in their roles, thereby creating a ripple effect to pass this knowledge on to their associated staff.”

Clara Filice, Massachusetts 

Clara Filice, MD, MPH, MHS, is the deputy chief medical officer for MassHealth, where she provides clinical and strategic leadership to support delivery of high quality, high value care. In this role, she leads the MassHealth Quality Office, overseeing quality and health equity incentive programs for MassHealth providers. Clara also oversees key strategic population health initiatives related to children and adolescents, telehealth, and oral health. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School in the Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences and is board certified in Pediatrics.

“I am proud of my work at MassHealth to shift the delivery system to value-based care – initially defined by quality and cost, and now incorporating equity as a third essential pillar.”

Jon Fujii, Hawaii

Jon Fujii, MBA, is the health care services branch administrator for Med-QUEST Division, Hawaii’s Department of Human Services, overseeing the Health Care Services Branch. He manages a range of programs, including the five QUEST Integration health plans that deliver physical health, behavioral health, and long-term services and supports benefits for more than 99 percent of Hawaii’s Medicaid members. He also oversees the Community Care Services health plan that delivers targeted services for members with severe mental illness and the 1915(c) waiver for the intellectually and developmentally disabled population. Jon began his career at the largest provider-based health system in Hawaii, working on long-term financial planning, health plan rate setting, and managing a provider reimbursement modeling team.

“I am most proud of how I am able to collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to formulate solutions and create policy that promotes agency mission and vision.”

Laura Goodman, Maryland

Laura Goodman, MPH, is the deputy director of the Medicaid Office of Innovation, Research and Development in the Maryland Department of Health. Over her nine-year tenure with the Maryland Medicaid program, she has led and contributed to projects related to health system transformation, population health, reporting and evaluation, among others. Prior to joining the Maryland Department of Health, Laura worked in the field of international health and development.

“I’m proud of leading a group that represents various Medicaid teams and a data and policy contractor to expand PACE in Maryland from one site/200 participants to five sites/900 participants.”

Nicole Harris, Pennsylvania 

Nicole Harris is the executive director of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) within the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, where she supports providing quality and affordable health care coverage to thousands of children across the state. Prior to this role, she served as a human services program specialist at Pennsylvania CHIP, and before that as an income maintenance caseworker in Philadelphia.

“I am proud to be the director of Pennsylvania’s Children’s Health Insurance Program. I have the pleasure of helping families secure quality health care coverage for their children.”

Dezeree Hodish, Rhode Island

Dezeree Hodish, MA, is the assistant director of Medicaid finance at Rhode Island’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services. In this role, she oversees fee-for-service rate-setting activities and supports development and implementation of Medicaid finance and policy initiatives. Prior to this role, Dezeree worked in finance, policy, and project management positions at Rhode Island’s Office of Management and Budget, Department of Corrections, and the Kansas Legislative Research Department.

“I work with highly motivated and dedicated individuals who each day strive to make a difference in the lives of others. I am proud that we have expanded Medicaid coverage and services.”

DoQuyen Huynh, Washington State

DoQuyen Huynh, DNP, FNP, ARNP, FAAN, serves as the inaugural manager of Health Equity, Social Justice, and Strategy at Washington State’s Health Care Authority. Prior to this role, DoQuyen was a family nurse practitioner serving under-resourced, underserved, and immigrant communities in the greater Seattle area for nearly 15 years. DoQuyen also has 10 years of experience in health care workforce development and academia.

“I am most proud of being a family nurse practitioner, where I had the honor of caring for patients from under-resourced, diverse, and resilient communities.”

Shanique McGowan, New Jersey

Shanique McGowan, MSW, is a behavioral health policy specialist in the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services at the New Jersey Department of Human Services. In this role, she leads various interagency collaborations to address behavioral health needs within the NJ Medicaid population. She also plays a key role in the design, operation, and development of the comprehensive autism benefit program and coordinates the work of multiple departments to implement, monitor, and report on various components of the NJ FamilyCare 1115 Demonstration. Shanique is also a licensed clinical social worker.

“I am proud to work for an organization that provides health care coverage for almost two million people in the state of New Jersey and prioritizes stakeholder engagement, health equity, and quality care.”

Kera Oestreich, Iowa

Kera Oestreich, MS, is the bureau chief of Medicaid Contracting and Procurement at Iowa Medicaid within Iowa Heath and Human Services. She leads a team of contract and procurement managers with the overall responsibility of Medicaid managed care, professional service and system procurements, contract development and oversight, vendor management, and coordination of communication. Prior to this role, Kera served as a contract manager for multiple Iowa Medicaid professional service contracts and before that worked directly with Iowans accessing home- and community-based services and supports.

“I’m proud to be the first bureau chief for the Iowa Medicaid Contracting Bureau, where I have the privilege of building a passionate team that shares a vision of improving the lives of Iowans.”

Ryan Van Ramshorst, Texas

Ryan Van Ramshorst, MD, MPH, is the chief medical director for the Medicaid and CHIP Services Division at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. A general pediatrician by training, he serves as the lead physician for the Texas Medicaid program, which provides health care services to over five million Texans. He supervises the Office of the Medical Director, which is responsible for providing clinical direction and oversight of managed care and fee-for-service programs.

“I am most proud of applying my clinical experience as a pediatrician to policymaking in order to improve our Medicaid program for the Texans we serve.”

Molly Slotznick, Maine

Molly Slotznick, MPA, is the chief operating officer for the Office of MaineCare Services, Maine’s Medicaid agency. Her responsibilities include defining and executing Maine’s long-term strategy for its Medicaid Enterprise System while also leading large-scale implementations that expand services for Mainers and promote compliance with federal regulations. Prior to this role, Molly worked in strategy and operations consulting for state health and human services agencies and public sector work related to food and nutrition insecurity and climate change resilience, including experience living and working abroad.

“I am proud of leading the expansion of abortion coverage for Medicaid members and the implementation of COVID-19-related coverage for uninsured people.”

Kendra Lee Snuffer, Pennsylvania 

Kendra Lee Snuffer, MPA, is the chief of staff for the Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. In this role, she directs and coordinates behavioral health efforts among Pennsylvania’s various health-related agencies. Kendra Lee is currently leading efforts to enhance and unify crisis services across Pennsylvania’s county-run behavioral health system.

“I am proud of launching Pennsylvania’s first statewide Suicide Prevention Task Force.”

Nonis Spinner, Indiana

Nonis Spinner is the director of eligibility and member services at the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration within the Indiana Medicaid agency. She oversees a team of policy analysts who interpret federal regulations and statutes for workers and members across the state and manages a team of member services analysts who troubleshoot Medicaid eligibility issues. Nonis also advises the technical teams that support eligibility determination and benefit management for over two million Hoosiers who rely on Indiana’s Medicaid programs for their health care coverage.

“I am proud to have helped implement programs to support pregnant/postpartum women and have been a leader in our Covid-19 PHE work, managing an increase from 1.4 million to 2.1 million on our Medicaid rolls.”


Class of 2022 Participants

Olivia Alford , Maine

Olivia Alford, MPH, is the director of delivery system reform for the Office of MaineCare Services, Maine’s Medicaid agency. She oversees three Health Home programs, the Accountable Communities program, and the primary care case management program. Previously, Olivia was state plan manager in the Office of MaineCare Services, serving as the main point of contact with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ regional office.

Katie Alijewicz, Rhode Island

Katie Alijewicz, MPP, is the deputy director of finance for the Rhode Island Medicaid Program. She manages a team in producing the state’s biannual Caseload Estimating Conference Testimony, a document on the Medicaid budget. In addition, she oversees the state’s budget development process for Medicaid and the annual MCO rate setting process. Prior to this role, Katie was appointed Medicaid chief financial officer, a newly created position, by the Medicaid director at that time.

Cristen Bates, Colorado

Cristen Bates, MPH, is the Population Health Division director at the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. She is responsible for the development, implementation, and administration of new behavioral health and maternal and child health programs and related coverage or benefits expansions. This includes acting as the Department lead on behavioral health reform and oversight of the American Rescue Plan recovery funds for behavioral health programs. Prior to this position, Cristen served as the director of strategy, communications, and policy for the Office of Behavioral Health.

John Boney, Massachusetts 

John Boney, MS, is the director of the Analytics Unit for MassHealth, the Massachusetts Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program. He leads a team that includes analysts, managers, and a project manager in delivering valuable reporting, analysis, and insight into MassHealth programs. Previously, John served as a founding member of the analytics team in 2013.


Libby Bünzli, Rhode Island

Libby Bünzli, MPH, is the director of health system transformation in the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services. She leads the state Medicaid program’s value-based payment initiative. Previously, Libby gained experience providing direct case management services to individuals experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles.

Phillip Burrell, Nevada

Phillip Burrell, MHA, M.Eng, serves as the fiscal deputy administrator for the state of Nevada. He focuses on fiscal oversight and management of the Medicaid budget and program innovations to improve the health care system of the state. Previously, Phillip served as director for the Pennsylvania Hospital Association, leading efforts in health policy and advocacy for more than 250 hospitals and health systems.

Jamye Chapman, Wisconsin

Jamye Chapman is the senior executive equity advisor at the Department of Health Services (DHS) within the Wisconsin Division of Medicaid Services. He is responsible for formulating, determining, and implementing innovative policy initiatives with a focus on health equity for the Wisconsin Medicaid program. Mr. Chapman is also responsible for developing and implementing policies to address identified health disparities in the program. Previously, Jamye served as the equity and inclusion plan lead at the Wisconsin DHS, where he coordinated and implemented equity and inclusion initiatives that support the agency’s equity goals.

Mohammad Dar, Massachusetts 

Mohammad Dar, MD, serves as the senior medical director for Payment Care Delivery Innovation at MassHealth, the Massachusetts Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program. He leads the clinical team focused on delivery system reforms to further the 1M+ MassHealth program’s focus on population health and accountable care. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mohammad served as Acting Senior Medical Director for Special COVID-19 projects, where he set up systems to improve infection control protocols at nursing homes across Massachusetts and was the clinical lead for the statewide vaccination program for those homebound.

Jennifer Dudinskie, Kentucky

Jennifer Dudinskie is the director of the Division of Program Integrity at the Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services. She provides direct supervision for two assistant directors, Medicaid services specialists, and administrative assistants. Jennifer began her career in the Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services as a Medicaid Services Specialist I in the Division of Program Integrity, where she assisted in Surveillance and Utilization Review, specific to member fraud, waste, and abuse.

Dana Flannery, Arizona

Dana Flannery serves as the senior policy advisor to the director and assistant director of the Division of Community Advocacy and Intergovernmental Relations at the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS). She serves as a conduit between the agency’s divisions and the executive team and oversees the AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs, the Office of Human Rights, the agency’s intergovernmental/tribal relations and communications team, and several other committees and councils. Previously, Dana was bureau chief of AHCCCS, where she developed individual and systemic advocacy approaches for persons living with serious mental illness, evolved the peer and family career academy to allow for advancement in peer support careers, and developed curriculum for advocacy trainings.

Krista Fremming, North Dakota

Krista Fremming, MPA, is the assistant director of the Medical Services Division at the North Dakota Department of Human Services. She oversees Medicaid expansion, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Primary Care Case Management Program, the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, and 1915(i) state plan amendment for community-based behavioral health services. Previously, Krista held positions in various areas of public health, including comprehensive cancer control, tobacco prevention and control, and coordinated chronic disease prevention.

Lee Grossman, Wyoming

Lee Grossman, MPA, is the administrator of Medicaid home- and community-based services (HCBS) for the Wyoming Department of Health. He directs Wyoming’s Medicaid waiver programs serving individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Prior to this position, Lee was the developmental disabilities section administrator for the Wyoming Department of Health, where he managed the Medicaid HCBS delivery system for individuals with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and traumatic brain injuries.

Anthony Newman, Alaska

Anthony Newman, MPA, serves as the deputy director for the division of senior and disabilities services at the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. He oversees the range of programs and staff serving individuals with disabilities from infancy through adulthood, including the state’s Medicaid home- and community-based waiver programs. Prior to his current position, Anothony served for 18 years in various capacities within the department, where he was integral in facilitating initiatives such as the passage of comprehensive Medicaid reform legislation.

Lisa Pera, Colorado

Lisa Pera is the deputy eligibility division director for the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. She is involved in all aspects of Medicaid eligibility, and works closely with multiple internal and external teams to ensure accuracy in eligibility determinations. Prior to her current position, Lisa was the director of health center operations/senior director of patient services of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains where she led the Operations team in its growth and development, including hiring, onboarding, and coaching of regional and health center managers, and oversaw continuous health center improvements.

Laura Phelan, Illinois

Laura Phelan, MPA, serves as the policy director for the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), the state’s Medicaid agency. Prior to her current role, She served in the HFS Bureau of Managed Care as a Medicaid managed care organization account manager and as the program manager for the state’s Medicare-Medicaid Financial Alignment Initiative demonstration. Laura previously served as the policy director for Get Covered Illinois, a senior health policy advisor for the Illinois Department of Insurance, and a presidential management fellow and budget analyst within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources.

Katherine Rogers, District of Columbia 

Katherine Rogers, PhD, MPH, is the program manager, long-term care operations and special projects officer at the Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF), Government of the District of Columbia. She currently oversees day-to-day operations of the Medicaid long-term services and supports system for both Medicaid home- and community-based waiver services and state plan long-term services and supports. Previously, Katherine managed the in-house analytics and research team at DHCF and has overseen grant-funded programs and federal contracts supporting programs serving an array of populations.

Emma Sandoe, North Carolina

Emma Sandoe, PhD, MPH, is the associate director of strategy and planning at the Medicaid Department within the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. She focuses on Medicaid eligibility and enrollment, long-term services and supports, health equity, and issues for people dual-eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. Previously, Emma spent six years in Washington, D.C. working on the passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). She served as the spokesperson for Medicaid and at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and worked on ACA coordination at the Department of Health and Human Services Budget Office.

Eugene Simms, District of Columbia 

Eugene Simms, JD, is the special assistant to the director of the Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF) in Washington, D.C. He advises the director on major policy and budget issues related to DHCF’s health care programs. Previously, Eugene was the associate director for the DHCF’s Health Care Policy and Research Administration, Division of Regulations and Policy Management, where he served as a supervisory analyst responsible for management of the Division of Regulation and Policy Management.

Ranjani Starr, Hawaii

Ranjani Starr, PhD, MPH, serves as the Hawaii Medicaid Agency’s health analytics and informatics administrator, overseeing the agency’s Health Analytics Office. She centralizes and consolidates key analytic functions of the Medicaid program, serves as the steward of the statewide All Payer Claims Data warehouse, and oversees all research, evaluation, and data dissemination. Previously, Ranjani managed an office that was responsible for all chronic disease surveillance, epidemiology, and evaluation for the state of Hawaii, including all public health surveys administered by the Department of Health.

Lauryn Walker, North Carolina 

Lauryn Walker, PhD, MPH, is a senior consultant in the Office of the Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Actuary at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services where she provides strategic guidance and operational support to the agency in their transition into managed care as well as initiatives for special populations, such as those with behavioral health needs or involved in the child welfare system. Prior to her current role, Lauryn served as the senior advisor to the chief deputy and chief health economist for the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services where she worked on numerous agency priorities, including payment policies to support providers during the pandemic, vaccination efforts, and the merging of two population-based Medicaid programs into a single program.