BSCC First Annual Conference – Creating Care Connections


Big Sky Care Connect Annual Conference Playlist


(click above or below to download the program)

Leading Care Connections

BSCC invites thought leaders in the healthcare industry take deep dive into the need for health information exchange (HIE), especially, as it relates to Montana. Executives and thought leaders are encouraged to join this session to learn more about the value that BSCC represents, reasons for supporting HIE, the risks of not joining, and what is in it for your organization. Lead the charge as Montana builds their premier, statewide HIE!

Innovation in Clinical Care

Care coordination is enhanced through the utilization of an health information exchange. With the innovation of HIE, your organization will experience efficiencies and effectiveness in the way you deliver care. Clinicians – join session speakers to find out how utilizing the HIE will positively impact your patient care.

Let’s Talk Onboarding!

There is no doubt that HIE technology can empower those who use it, but how do facilities onboard and implement to get the most out of the solution and services? In this session you will hear from BSCC Technical Lead, InterSystems, and BSCC participants on what to expect. From the first discovery call to the connectivity load and timeline of events – let’s talk onboarding!

BSCC Demonstrations

Attend this session to get an update on the HIE status and view live demonstrations! You will be able to interact and ask questions with the speakers that will be demonstrating the BSCC HIE platform (InterSystems), ED Alerts (Collective Medical), and Medication History (DrFirst). Don’t miss your chance to view live demos!

Investing In Community Health

Are you interested in treating your entire patient? Want to connect to your patient’s entire care team? Hear how Montana organizations will use HIE to manage behavioral health patients across multidisciplinary teams.

Keep it Secret, Keep it Safe

The BSCC HIE network allows authorized healthcare providers involved in a patient’s care to appropriately access and securely share a patient’s vital medical information electronically. This session will cover patient privacy and security, BSCC legal documents, liability, and data quality. Join to hear how BSCC will keep data secret and safe!

HIE During Disasters and Pandemics

HIEs have been valuable during emergencies, disasters, and even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn how BSCC can support Montana through emergencies in this panel session with healthcare leaders from around the US.

BSCC ED Alerts Program: Connecting MT Hospitals NOW!

All Montana hospitals with an emergency department (ED) should attend to learn more about the funding available to implement ED Alerts. ED Alerts will be funded for two years to help with the COVID-19 pandemic. Attendees will get an update from the Montana Hospital Association, see a live ED Alerts demo, have live Q&A, and sign up for this service through BSCC.


Keynote Speaker

Tom Novak – Medicaid Interoperability Lead, Office of the National Coord. for Health IT

Thomas is the Medicaid Interoperability lead in the Office of Policy at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT where he supports the advancement of Medicaid interoperability in the drafting and review of Federal regulations. He is detailed part time to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services – Medicaid Data and Systems Group – where he provides direct support to state Medicaid agencies and state governments on Health Information Exchange funding and strategy. Most recently Thomas wrote several portions of the, “CMS Interoperability and Patient Access Proposed Rule,” published March 4, 2019 which focuses on improving patient’s right of access to their data. He is also leading implementation of Section 5042 of the SUPPORT Act providing enhanced funding to state Medicaid agencies for Qualified Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs.

Lenette Kosovich CEO, Rimrock Foundation

As CEO of Rimrock, the largest Behavior Health organization providing Substance Use Treatment and Mental Health Services for fifty years, Lenette Kosovich brings over twenty-five years of senior management experience in healthcare administration. She is a Registered Nurse and has a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration. Her previous work experience includes serving as the Regional Director of Employer-Based Primary Care Clinics for a Third Party Administer and as Director of Human Resources with a major Montana healthcare system. She was an adjunct professor at Montana State University – Billings in the Healthcare Administration program for eleven years. Lenette was a founding member and currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of the Behavioral Health Alliance of Montana.

Currently, she co-chairs the Treatment Task Force of the Substance Abuse Connect of Yellowstone County and is a representative on the Executive Team. She is a Board Member of Billings Industrial Revitalization District; a Board Member of Billings Chamber of Commerce; and a Trustee on the Board of Directors of MSUB Foundation. Lenette is also a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers.

Dr. Russel LeftwichSenior Clinical Advisor, Intersystems

Russell Leftwich, MD is Senior Clinical Advisor for Interoperability, InterSystems Corporation and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Vanderbilt University. His responsibility at InterSystems is supporting healthcare data standards compliance in the US and Internationally. He is founder and Co-chair of the HL7 Learning Health Systems Workgroup and a Co-chair of the HL7 Clinical Interoperability Council WG. He serves on the Advisory Council of the Vulcan FHIR Accelerator Project for Clinical Research. He was one of the leads in the ONC Standards and Interoperability framework Transitions of Care initiative and the Longitudinal Coordination of Care Initiative. He led the HL7 Care Coordination Services functional model development which has been implemented as the IHE Dynamic Care Plan profile.

He served as a director and treasurer of the HL7 board of directors from 2016-2019 and is currently a director of the HL7 FHIR Foundation. Prior to his current position he served as CMIO for the state of Tennessee Office of eHealth. His background also includes two decades in internal medicine practice as Clinical Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Allergy/Immunology, and Clinical Informatics. He is a fellow of AMIA, American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, and the American College of Chest Physicians.

Martin CiccocioppoDirector, Pennsylvania eHealth Partnership Director

Martin Ciccocioppo (pronounced Chick-E-chop), Director, Pennsylvania eHealth Partnership Program (eHealth), in the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, is passionate about improving health care. Prior to joining PA eHealth, Mr. Ciccocioppo was the vice president of research for The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania’s (HAP) where he worked for more than thirty years helping hospitals and health systems improve the lives of nearly 13 million Pennsylvanians.

Mr. Ciccocioppo holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree (with dual majors in health care management and computer applications), a Master of Business Administration degree, and a Master of Health Administration degree, all from The Pennsylvania State University. Mr. Ciccocioppo is an adjunct professor of health information technology at The Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. David Mark – CEO, Bighorn Valley Health Center

David Mark is a primary care physician and the founder and CEO of the Bighorn Valley Health Center, a federally qualified health center serving rural communities in central and eastern Montana. He serves on the Montana Primary Care Association board of directors and on the board of trustees of the Big Horn Hospital Association, a critical access hospital in Hardin. He has been a board member of Big Sky Care Connect since 2019.

Dr. Randy Thompson – CMO, Billings Clinic

Dr. Thompson is the Chief Health Analytics Officer (CHAO) for Billings Clinic in Billings Montana. An Emergency Physician by training, he became the Specialty Care Chief Medical Information Officer CMIO) in 2014. In January of 2019, he became Billings Clinic’s first CHAO – which is a position that integrates the CMIO role and the Chief Data Officer (CDO) role. He is very interested in how advanced and analytics and artificial intelligence can improve the health of patients and the health care delivered to them.

He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bradley University in Peoria Illinois in 1990. He attended medical school at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria, graduating with honors in 1994. He completed his residency in Emergency Medicine as Chief Resident in 1997. Since then he has worked in a variety of hospitals in Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana before arriving in Billings Montana in 2008. He enjoys living in rural Montana with his family, three horses, three dogs and a cat. He also enjoys hiking in the mountains and fly fishing.

Jason Spring – Chief Strategy Officer, Kalispell Regional Healthcare

Jason Spring is the chief strategy officer for Kalispell Regional Healthcare. Prior to joining KRH, he was the CEO at North Valley Hospital in Whitefish. Jason serves on the board of the Montana Hospital Association and chairs the MHA Healthcare Transformation Council. He recently served a three year term on the Board of Trustees for the American Hospital Association and currently serves on several other local and regional boards.

Jason is active in health care policy discussions and advocacy through KRH and his state and national board positions. He has been engaged in the HIE discussion in Montana for several years.

Faron Thompson – COO, Innovation Care Partners

Faron Thompson is the Chief Operating Officer for Innovation Care Partners. As COO, he is responsible for Information Technology, Finance, and Operations for ICP. He joined ICP as Chief Information Officer in September, 2012. Over the course of Faron’s career, he has spent most of his time in Healthcare leading information technology, process improvement, reengineering, cost improvement, strategy, and merger & acquisition projects. Additionally, he has over eight years of experience in Financial Services, Consumer Products, Manufacturing, and Education. Faron started his career in Healthcare consulting with Ernst & Young in St. Louis, MO after he earned his MBA from Washington University in St. Louis.

Swetha Nalakonda – Technical Consultant, HealthTech Solutions

Swetha has 14+ years of diverse experience in Information Technology (IT) in Health and Human Services systems including working with multiple Health Information Exchange (HIE) vendors and on various HIE implementations. She is a disciplined problem solver with analytical skills and innovative expertise collaborating with teams with a commitment to continuous improvement. She has detailed knowledge of Health IT interoperability including HL7, IHE Profiles, FHIR, CDA architecture, XDR/XDM, and XML and has integrated various Electronic Medical Record (EMR) vendors using Epic, Cerner, Meditech, and Allscripts in resolving issues and connecting them to the HIEs. Swetha is currently serving as the Technical Lead for the Big Sky Care Connect project.

Jason Webster – Technical Consultant, HealthTech Solutions

Jason has nearly 30 years of experience implementing IT projects, including more than 15 years working in state government for Central IT in support of various agencies. Agency support included Health and Human Services, Public Health, Revenue, Personnel and others. Jason served as the Deputy CTO and Chief Enterprise Architect for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services overseeing many system implementations including very large efforts such as Medicaid, Eligibility, Health Information Exchange, and Child Welfare.

More recently Jason has provided consulting services for the procurement, design, development, and deployment of solutions to state government agencies and vendors. In this capacity, he served as the solution architect for the Kentucky One Stop Shop for Business which provided a simplified web application for business registration and tax registration. This required extensive coordination between the Department of Revenue, the Secretary of State, on behalf of the Central IT agency. Other work includes RFP development in Missouri, HIE consulting in Georgia, Kentucky and Wyoming, and systems assessments in Alaska, Kentucky, Alabama, and Connecticut. Jason is also a PMI certified project management professional (PMP).

Jim Mullowney – Technical Consultant, Billings Clinic

Jim Mullowney has 28 years of experience in Health Care IT and currently serves as an IT Application Manager for Billings Clinic, responsible for 3rd party applications and interfaces.
Jim is a fourth generation Montanan and a native of Billings with experience in government, not-for-profit projects, and for-profit projects in healthcare. He has been with Billings Clinic for 20 years and spent 13 of those years working in interface development and support. His team supports over 200 interfaces for Billings Clinic and 14 other healthcare organizations affiliated with Billings Clinic in Montana, all of which are invited to participate in Big Sky Care Connect project.

Mary Windecker – Executive Director, Behavioral Health Alliance of Montana

Mary is the executive director of Behavioral Health Alliance of Montana, an advocacy group representing children, adult, substance use and tribal behavioral health provider organizations. She has 30 years of experience in nonprofit health care including strategic planning, business development, advocacy, patient satisfaction, and marketing and outreach. Mary has developed multi-million-dollar healthcare programs including in oncology, gynecological oncology, breast health, wound care, pain management, and others. She moved an organization to the 78th percentile nationally in patient satisfaction and has worked in patient advocacy, patient satisfaction, and quality outcomes throughout her career.

She has volunteered in leadership positions with the Make-A-Wish Montana, Missoula YMCA, Rotary, Big Brothers Big Sisters, United Way, Missoula Writing Collaborative and served as the board chair for the Missoula Chamber of Commerce in the 2015-16 fiscal year.

Toni Wood – Clinical Informatics Manager, Montana Primary Care Association

Toni Wood is the Clinical Informatics Manager at the Montana Primary Care Association. She has over 17 years of experience with Health Information Technology and 10 years of experience with Epic implementation and support. Toni has an Interdisciplinary MS, a Master Certificate in Health Care Informatics, and a BS Health Care Informatics with a minor in Computer Science. Toni currently provides support for telehealth, health information technology, UDS, patient-centered medical home (PCMH), privacy and security, and quality improvement initiatives to MPCA members across the state of Montana. Prior to joining the MPCA, Toni was the Regional HIM Ambulatory Manager for Montana for SCL Health providing implementation, training and support of OnBase and Epic HIM functions throughout the system. Before joining SCL Health, Toni was the IT Director of Southwest Montana Community Health Center overseeing all IT functions as well as implementation and support of their Electronic Health Record, and other key information systems used within the organization. 

Dennis Sulser – CEO, Youth Dynamics

Dennis Sulser, Ed.D., comes to Youth Dynamics with an extensive background in education, business and healthcare. Prior to Youth Dynamics, Dennis served as CEO and President at St. Vincent’s Healthcare Foundation, Administrator at The Children’s Clinic, and in the Billings School District as a high school principal. He has a passion for teaching, learning and leading children, as well as, people. He believes education is the key to a successful and healthy life.  As CEO, Dennis leads our organization and is passionate about helping families find the care they need to succeed. “The people of Youth Dynamics are driven by supporting the children and their mental health needs.” Dennis is a native Montanan. He grew up with parents who were both educators and always valued learning and growing which naturally rubbed off on him. Dennis says growing up he wanted to be a teacher his entire life and he continues to teach as CEO of Youth Dynamics. “Leadership is about teaching and influencing others. Just like my mother and father, I want to impact people.” 

Shaun Alfreds – Executive Director and CEO, HealthInfoNet

Shaun Alfreds is the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of HealthInfoNet, the operator of Maine’s health information exchange. He is also President and CEO of HealthInfoNet’s subsidiary Cureous Innovations (CI). There, Shaun works with the HealthInfoNet community-based Board of Directors and a seasoned team of technical, clinical and programmatic experts to assure that interoperability services continually meet the needs of the health care community across Maine. HealthInfoNet serves as a resource for healthcare organizations, assisting them in coordinating care, reducing errors, assessing patient risk and promoting the highest quality care by making real-time patient information available where and when it is needed in the State. Leveraging the innovative work incubated within HealthInfoNet, Cureous Innovations develops and deploys software, provides interoperability consulting services, and partners with other software vendors to bring full-stack interoperability solutions to HIEs, state governments, and other organizations nationally.

Previous to taking on this role, Shaun served as HealthInfoNet’s Chief Operating Officer for eight years. Prior to joining HealthInfoNet, Shaun directed operations, consulted, and developed policy for health care interoperability at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the National Academy for State Health Policy. There, Shaun worked with multiple HIEs nationally, the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT, the National Governor’s Association, AHRQ and others.  Shaun holds a faculty appointment in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He received an MBA from the University of Maine and is a Certified Professional in Health Information Technology and Electronic Health Records & Health Information Technology.

Chip Gore – Senior Sales Engineer, InterSystems

Mr. Gore is a 20+ year veteran of Sr. Sales Engineering with InterSystems, spending the last 10 years focusing on healthcare informatics solutions and Health Information Exchange technology. As a certified HealthShare expert, Mr. Gore brings a working knowledge of both the technical and business drivers behind Health Information Exchange operations from coast to coast

Jean Branscum – Acting CAO, BSCC | CEO, Montana Medical Association

Jean has been heavily involved with Montana Government since 2000 and has a passion for working for the betterment of Montana and its citizens. Jean’s professional career has spanned positions with the MT Governor’s office (Policy Advisor and Assistant Chief of Staff), MT Secretary of State’s office (Deputy Secretary of State), Montana’s Board of Medical Examiners (Executive Director) Montana Medical Legal Panel (Director), Montana Medical Association Chief Executive Officer), and the Montana Medical Association Foundation (Chief Administrative Officer). In her efforts to work toward the betterment of Montana and its citizens, jean has served on the Integrated Behavioral Health Advisory Council, Big Sky Care Connect Board, Montana Area Health Education Center Advisory Board, Montana WWAMI Advisory Committee, Mountain-Pacific Quality Health Foundation Advisory Board, Montana Health Care Plan & Trust Sponsor Board, Graduate Medical Education Council, AMA Scope of Practice Committee, Alliance for a Healthy Montana and the Leadership Montana Board.

Kevin Ferriter – Program Manager, Professional Services, Intersystems

Kevin is a Program Manager with InterSystems and is responsible for delivery of HealthShare implementations. He has spent the past 20 years focused on implementing healthcare solutions. Since joining InterSystems, he has managed many of the Health Information Exchange implementations of the InterSystems HealthShare solution including exchanges in New York, Rhode Island, Illinois, and issouri. Prior to joining InterSystems, he worked with McKesson Health Solutions for 10+ years leading multiple teams responsible for implementing Payer Analytic, Utilization Management, Care Management, and Disease Management solutions.

Rachel Leiber – Customer Success Executive, Collective Medical

Rachel is a leader in the Customer Success division at Collective Medical, where she supports a wide variety of healthcare customers around the western United States. She provides market insights and customer opportunities to the Product & Delivery teams, to help ensure the Collective Platform is the market-leading solution for care coordination. She engages with a diverse stakeholder group who are collaborating, to address care coordination challenges, through innovative healthcare technology. She has spent years within the rapidly transforming healthcare, population health and health information technology industries. Before joining Collective, she has previously worked at Providence St. Joseph Health, Xealth and Essia Health. In her free time, she is a member of Mt. Hood Ski Patrol, providing first responder care to guests on Mt. Hood in Oregon.

Bailee Johnson – Senior Applications Specialist, Collective Medical

Bailee is part of Collective’s Delivery team where she supports Hospitals, Clinics and Post-Acute entities through the onboarding process. While partnering and leading both internal and customer teams overseeing the implementation, she ensures a seamless transition and the highest value is received. Prior to joining Collective Medical, her background includes RCM Account Management and additional Project Management with various EMR’s. Her hobbies include fly fishing, snowshoeing and traveling.

Scott Fowler – Director, HIE & Strategy Solution, DrFirst

Mr Fowler has been a part of the DrFirst team for the past year and a half. He is a Health Information Exchange (HIE) Industry Veteran, having assisted in or directly managed over 30 regional and state HIE implementations, including hundreds of HIE and health system integrations, during his time with Mirth. Additionally, Mr Fowler has significant experience the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC) and their Patient Centered Data Home (PCDH) project, having participated and consulted on the original PCDH pilot effort.

Curt Hess – SVP, Strategic Sales, DrFirst

Mr. Hess has served DrFirst over twelve years in multiple capacities. He is a healthcare sales leader and visionary helping to take to market multiple product offerings in the Healthcare space such as HIE’s, acute care , post-acute care settings. Mr. Hess developed the successful implementation strategy for NEHII and most recently has led the DrFirst team on HIE Medication History, PDMP integration and ancillary sales services. He routinely works with HIEs, Health Systems, and healthcare software companies throughout the country. Mr. Hess is closely affiliated with the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC) & the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives organization (CHIME).

James Omphroy – Enterprise Sales, DrFirst

Mr. Omphroy has been with DrFirst for six years, working with various practitioners and health care organizations across the care continuum. In his current role, the primary focus is on optimizing workflows and empowering enterprise healthcare organizations with the most accurate patient data while bridging the communication gaps that exist across the landscape as silos today.

Merry Hutton – Regional Director Community Health Investment, Providence Health

Merry Hutton has served the western Montana region at Providence St. Patrick Hospital for 23 years. In her current role as the Regional Director for Community Health Investment for Washington and Montana, she works to align Providence’s strategic investment with the needs of each community served in the region, with a focus on social determinants of health, including housing and homelessness and mental health/substance abuse.

In the course of her career, Merry served in the Peace Corps, is a graduate of the American Hospital’s Creating Healthier Communities Fellowship program, directed inpatient medical social work, a Children’s Advocacy Center, mental health services, as well as many other community benefit programs. Merry has served on several boards for community organizations, including a federally-qualified health center, the Missoula Food Bank, and currently, the Missoula Interfaith Collaborative.

Earl Sutherland – Montana Primary Care Association

Dr. Sutherland is the Director of the Integrated Academy for the Montana Primary Care Association. He completed his Ph.D. in School/Clinical Child Psychology from the University of Virginia. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in Psychology and an M.S. in Clinical Psychopharmacology. He is Licensed as a Psychologist in Montana and New Mexico. He is Board Certified in Medical Psychology. His career has encompassed clinical and administrative work in public schools, child advocacy centers, community health centers, private practice, general and psychiatric hospitals, as well as the Indian Health Service. His current interests include the development of integrated care programs and the training of integrated care team members. Professional recognitions include the Indian Health Service Director’s Award, FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award, Montana Psychological Association Charles E. Kelly Award, the American Society for The Advancement of Pharmacotherapy National Service Award and the Montana Healthcare Foundation Mignon Waterman Award.

Justin Cole – Associate, Garlington | Lohn | Robinson

Justin concentrates his practice in health law, advising hospitals, independent practice groups, and individual practitioners on a number of health law compliance issues, including HIPAA compliance, HIPAA breach analysis and reporting, EMTALA, Medicare and private insurance reimbursement, Stark and Anti-Kickback contracting matters, among other issues. Justin also works with hospitals and medical staffs regarding Medical Staff Bylaws issues, peer review, credentialing, and other issues affecting the medical staff.

Deb Anderson – HIT/QI Consultant, Mountain-Pacific Health

With 19 years health information technology (HIT) and over 30 years of general IT experience, Deb Is passionate about the use of technology to help transform heath. She currently consults on the CMS Quality Payment Programs, leveraging technology and data to improve efficiency and health outcomes. Her current areas of expertise include health equity, person and family engagement, chronic disease prevention and management. Deb serves on committees for health information exchange (HIE) efforts in both Wyoming and Montana as well as working to promote and expand telehealth adoption with the Wyoming Telehealth Consortium. She serves on the board of MT HIMSS as the chapter president, the Wyoming Frontier Information (WYFI) Executive Board, the Big Sky Care Connect (BSCC of MT) Executive Board and serves on the MT Tech Industry Advisory Board for the HIT Option in the Business program.

Jim Hoag – COO, HASA HIO

Jim has over 15 years in healthcare administration around physician practice operations, medical education, outpatient departments, and behavioral health. He started on the behavioral health side with a Master’s in Counseling from Denver Seminary, and has a clinician’s perspective at heart. Jim is excited that HASA’s passion is to create a connected community of providers for patients because, as he says, “the right care at the right time requires the best information possible.”

Kim Chaundy – Senior Director, Geisinger Health System

Kim has been a part of Geisinger since 2010, after a long tenure at Shamokin Area Community Hospital in Shamokin, PA. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Education and a Networking Administration degree, Kim began her healthcare career in patient billing, moving to a management role, and continued as the Information Technology Director and the Information Technology Performance Improvement manager for 18 years. During this time, Kim was involved in the transition from handwritten medical records to a complete electronic health record system.
Kim has been involved with the Geisinger-led Keystone Health Information Exchange (KeyHIE) since its inception in 2005. She spearheaded the Shamokin Hospital connection, which was the first hospital to connect to KeyHIE, and has overseen more than 243% Participant growth under her leadership.

Today, Kim is the Senior Director KeyHIE, which is one of the oldest and largest operating health information exchanges in Pennsylvania, connecting over 194 healthcare organizations. Kim oversees all aspects of KeyHIE operations including, but not limited to: vendor management, daily functions and implementation projects. Kim also serves as the Director of Geisinger’s IT Integration Systems Support team. Kim recently received her Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management degree from the University of Scranton. She continues to lead KeyHIE’s regional expansion, and is honored to represent KeyHIE as a market leader in Health Information Exchange.