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Newsroom > Speakers Bureau > Navigating Health Care


Navigating Health Care

Whether you're interested in understanding the basics of health insurance or a more in-depth look at health care costs, trends, operations or policy, HAP's experts can help. Building on decades of industry experience serving local communities, our experts can bring a sense of peace and comfort to making health insurance decisions and navigating the health care system.

  • Understanding health insurance benefits
  • Health care quality
  • Health literacy and plain language
  • Health insurance literacy
  • Shopping for health insurance
  • Maximizing the value of health insurance
  • Benefit trends
  • Product trends
  • Small business trends
  • Health care costs
  • Health policy and legislative affairs
  • Health care reform
  • Care coordination and case management
  • Health plan operations
  • Health care IT trends
  • Pharmacy trends
  • Managed care contracting
  • Utilization management
  • Risk and rating
  • Provider contracting and payment models
  • Paying for quality and value

Speakers:

Vernal Brand, PhD, MSA, BSN, RN, CHCQM - Associate Vice President, Quality and Disease Management

Areas of Expertise:

  • Health care quality
  • Weight management
  • Living with chronic disease
  • Taking charge of your health
  • Achieving your health goals
  • Leadership development


Bio:
Dr. Vernal Brand leads HAP's quality and disease management programs. She previously held leadership positions in utilization and medical management, quality and case management at Molina Healthcare Plan of Michigan, OmniCare Health Plan and Detroit Medical Center. She received her Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from Walden University, a master's in Health Service Administration from Central Michigan University and a bachelor's in nursing from Oakland University. She is certified in managed care, quality, utilization and case management by the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians. The Michigan Chronicle honored Dr. Brand as a 2013 "Woman of Excellence."

Fun Facts:
Vernal is active in her church and enjoys reading James Patterson novels, exercising and journaling. She is proud to be named after her grandmother.


Mark Hall - Vice President, Business Development and Consumer Solutions

Areas of Expertise:

  • Health care costs
  • Benefit trends
  • Product trends
  • Health insurance literacy
  • Small business trends
  • Sales and marketing

Bio:
Mark Hall, vice president, Business Development and Consumer Solutions, joined HAP in 2005. His nearly 30 years of experience in marketing and sales of health care programs includes serving as divisional vice president at HealthNow based in Western New York. Mark is a Trustee on the board of directors of the Oakland County Education Foundation. He received a bachelor's in Business from Wayne State University and holds a Michigan Producer's (Agent) Insurance license.


Donald Kiefiuk - Vice President, Enrollment & Claims

Areas of Expertise:

  • Health plan operations
  • Health insurance claims, billing and enrollment
  • Health insurance literacy
  • Leadership development

Bio:
Donald Kiefiuk, vice president, Claims has been with HAP for 23 years, where he has served as director, Provider Finance and manager, Disbursements. Prior to joining HAP, Don served as controller for Pro Therapy of America and Glasrock Home Health Care, and senior financial analyst at Mercy Hospital. He received a bachelor's degree from Western Michigan University. His board service and leadership includes the Macomb County Chamber of Commerce, Fraser Lions Club and East Lake Association boards of directors.

Fun Facts:
Don enjoys golfing, fishing, traveling and playing darts. He wears out a new pair of shoes every three months from walking four to six miles a day. He is also a food and wine enthusiast.


Rory Lafferty - Director, Government Affairs

Areas of Expertise:

  • Health care reform
  • Health policy and legislative affairs


Bio:
Rory Lafferty is director of Government Affairs at HAP. Active in health policy at the state and national level, Rory is a member of the Michigan Association of Health Plan's Legislative Committee and participates in several policy workgroups within America's Health Insurance Plans. Prior to joining HAP, Rory worked for the Michigan Legislature as a legislative aide and legislative policy analyst. He received a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Central Michigan University. He serves as Board Secretary on the Plymouth Scholars Charter Academy.

In the News:
MiVote Mackinac: Rory Lafferty Director of Government Affairs HAP (video) – Detroit Public Television (June 4, 2012)


DeAndre Lipscomb, MSA - Vice President, Community Outreach

Areas of Expertise:

  • Community stewardship
  • Employee volunteerism
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Building healthy habits as a family
  • Fostering a culture of wellness in the workplace
  • Brand
  • Health insurance literacy
  • Leadership development

Bio:
As vice president, Community Outreach, DeAndre Lipscomb leads HAP's business development, community relations, member engagement and public relations strategies and programs. He previously served as director, Market Communications, at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. DeAndre earned a bachelor's degree from Wayne State University and a master's of administration in leadership from Central Michigan University. He is vice president of the board of directors for Spaulding for Children and a board member for Winning Futures and the Michigan Wellness Council. In this brief video, DeAndre describes HAP's community outreach efforts.

Fun Facts:
DeAndre enjoys mentoring young adults. He also writes plays, short stories and poetry. In high school, one of his plays was performed on Broadway - 1515 Broadway in Detroit! At age 11, he got his first job as a Detroit News carrier, and after high school, he was hired as a Detroit News editorial assistant.


Alice MacDermott, JD, MPA - Vice President, Associate General Counsel

Areas of Expertise:

  • Eldercare law (end of life care, advance directives, guardianship)
  • Health and hospital law
  • Health care reform
  • Health insurance literacy
  • Medicare


Bio:
Alice MacDermott is Vice President, Associate General Counsel at HAP. Prior to joining HAP in 2011, she served as Associate General Counsel for the University of Michigan, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and SelectCare, Inc. She received her law degree from Boston College Law School, a master's in Public Administration from University of Michigan-Dearborn and a bachelor's degree from University of Detroit Mercy. Alice also earned a University of Michigan Lean Healthcare Certificate. She serves on the board of directors for Adult Well-Being Services.

Fun Facts:
Alice once worked for her brother's roofing company and has installed residential and commercial roofs. She is a Detroit Tigers fan and also enjoys fishing.


Annette Marcath - Associate Vice President, Business Integration

Areas of Expertise:

  • Project Management
  • Leadership Development
  • Healthcare IT trends


Bio:
Annette Marcath, associate vice president, Business Integration, has been with HAP for 10 years. She previously served as senior project manager. Prior to joining HAP, she was manager, Business Applications at SelectCare. She received a bachelor's degree in Finance from Walsh College, and she is a certified Project Management Professional.

Fun Facts:
Annette enjoys assisting with Macomb Charitable Foundation fundraisers, gardening and biking.


Vanita Pindolia, Pharm.D. - Vice President, Ambulatory Clinical Pharmacy Programs-Pharmacy Care Management

Areas of Expertise:

  • Medication safety and adherence
  • Medication therapy management
  • Polypharmacy
  • Pharmacy trends
  • Hospital readmission - medications
  • Specialty pharmacy/Oncology

Bio:
Vinita Pindolia, Pharm.D., vice president, Ambulatory Clinical Pharmacy Programs-Pharmacy Care Management, is a nationally recognized expert in medication therapy management. She has worked for Henry Ford Health System for more than 20 years. Vanita serves on the National Quality Forum's Behavioral Health Steering Committee. She is also an adjunct associate professor at Wayne State University and University of Michigan. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Michigan. Vanita is fluent in Gujarati.

Fun Facts:
English was a second language for Vanita while she was growing up. In fact, to make sure she and her brother didn't forget their native language, they we were not allowed to speak English in the home through elementary school. Vanita coached one of her son's soccer teams at one of the largest Midwestern soccer tournaments and they won their division!


Stewart Smith - Manager of Operational Solutions and Training Team

Areas of Expertise:

  • The customer experience
  • Health care reform
  • Benefit trends
  • Product trends
  • Health insurance literacy
  • Leadership development

Bio:
Stewart Smith is the Manager of Operational Solutions and Training Team. During his 18-year career at HAP, he has served in a variety of roles in sales and sales operations. Stewart joined HAP from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, where he served as account manager. He received a bachelor's degree in Administration from Central Michigan University and completed Dale Carnegie Sales Advantage Training.

Fun Facts:
Stewart enjoys jogging, weight lifting, and reading. He "absolutely loves people and fashion!"


Judith Sullivan, Director, Auto Accounts Unit

Areas of Expertise:

  • The customer experience
  • Service excellence
  • Health care costs
  • Utilization management
  • Fostering a culture of wellness in the workplace
  • Weight management

Bio:
Judith Sullivan is director of HAP's Auto Accounts Unit. She joined HAP from Ford Motor Company, where she held roles as manager, Employee Benefits Purchasing; purchasing manager and engineer. Judy also served as a project engineer for the United States Air Force. She received a bachelor's degree from St. Olaf College and a master's degree in Engineering Science from the University of Florida.

Fun Facts:
Judy conducted some of the original engineering development on the Space Shuttle Program and managed the supply side of the Ford Motor Company Firestone recall in 2000-2001. Her hobbies include fitness, gardening, reading, and cooking.


Timothy Sullivan - Vice President, Healthcare Affordability and Clinical Performance Improvement

Areas of Expertise:

  • Health care costs
  • Utilization management
  • Leadership development
  • Analytics
  • Statistics
  • Predictive modeling

Bio:
Tim Sullivan provides executive oversight of HAP's medical cost trend and clinical performance improvement initiatives. He previously served as associate vice president, Health and Network Management, Data Analytics. Prior to joining HAP, he served as director, Fraud and Abuse and director, Medical Informatics at Priority Health and as consulting manager, Health Plans at Thomson-Reuters (Medstat). He received bachelor's and master's degrees in statistics from Cleveland State University.

Fun Facts:
Timothy is a former United States Marine. He enjoys photography and is a college football fan.


Marc Vanderburg - Associate Vice President, Account Solutions

Areas of Expertise:

  • The customer experience
  • Health care costs
  • Benefit trends
  • Product trends
  • Sales and marketing

Bio:
Marc Vanderburg is associate vice president, Account Solutions at HAP. During his 19-year career in sales, marketing, business development and operations, he has worked with school districts and administrators on benefit negotiation and bargaining, played an instrumental role in driving sales and customer service excellence and developed award-winning marketing campaigns. Marc is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. Marc serves as corporate sponsorship chair of AIDS Walk Detroit.


Dr. Fawda Gillanders, Pharm D. - Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Areas of Expertise:

  • Chronic Disease/ Risk Factors (asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, cancer)
  • Health Care Costs
  • Utilization Management


Bio:
Dr. Fawda Gillanders is a clinical pharmacy specialist for HAP and has been with the company for 12 years. She has also served as an ambulatory clinical pharmacist. Prior to joining HAP, Dr. Gillanders was a licensed pharmacist at Harper Hospital. She earned her B.S. and Pharm.D degree from Wayne State University. She is also certified in Functional Medicine.

Fun Facts:
Dr. Gillanders is learning how to Homestead, and is starting a blog on God and Civil Government.


Melissa Lehner - Strategic Program Manager of Health Care Reform

Areas of Expertise:

  • Health Care Reform


Bio:
Melissa Lehner is the Strategic Program Manager responsible for HAP's Health Care Reform program. In this role, Melissa leads HAP's senior executives as they prioritize and group organizational capabilities considered imperative for success in the changing health insurance industry. She educates HAP leadership on prioritized capabilities, and challenges leaders to incorporate these capabilities into their departmental and strategic initiatives. Melissa was responsible for shaping the scope and approach for HAP's Health Care Reform program to ensure compliance with all provisions in health care reform and HAP's readiness to participate in the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Additionally, Melissa provided subject matter expertise and guidance in the development of HAP's ChooseHAP.org website which was designed to help families, employers, insurance agents and health care professionals cut through the clutter of health care reform and assess which changes apply to them. In addition, she is responsible for monitoring federal and state regulations and educating all departments on the requirements and the expected impact to HAP's existing business processes, technologies and stakeholders to ensure compliance as health care reform continues to move forward. Melissa received a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan and recently her MBA from Wayne State University.

Fun Facts:
Melissa climbed the side of a very high waterfall in a remote village in Guinea (West Africa)


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