Eve Gelb – Senior Vice President of Healthcare Services, Chair
SCAN Health Plan (California)
For over two decades, Eve Gelb has championed to improve health outcomes and advance health equity for seniors and high-needs individuals.
As Senior Vice President of Healthcare Services, Eve is responsible for the healthcare services functions at SCAN, including care management, care coordination, quality management, and utilization management. These are the areas that deliver the SCAN Model of Care, a person-centered approach that focuses on the unique needs of each member. Eve and her team strive to ensure that SCAN members receive the right care in the right setting at every stage of their healthcare journey.
Eve continues her work beyond SCAN in personal philanthropic endeavors. She serves as a mentor with SHE-CAN, an organization dedicated to equipping and empowering young women from post-conflict countries to become leaders who advocate for change in their nation, and as a volunteer for People Assisting the Homeless (PATH). Before joining SCAN in 1997, Eve worked at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.
She holds a Master of Public Health at Tulane University and her Bachelor of Arts at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Thomas von Sternberg, M.D., Treasurer
Senior Medical Director of Community Senior Care, Home Care, Hospice Services, Government Programs, and Care Management at HealthPartners (Minnesota)
HealthPartners serves 1,000,000 members including 60,000 Medicare participants. He received his medical degree from Ohio State University in 1980, did his residency at the University of Minnesota, and had additional geriatrics education at the Westminster Medical School in London, United Kingdom. He completed his residency in 1983. He is board-certified in Geriatrics and Family Medicine.
In his role as Senior Medical Director for Case Management, Disease Management, and MSHO, he supervises and supports the Case Management program. In this role, he participates on the Leadership Team, is the clinical expert for staff education and training, and is the interdisciplinary team leader. Also, he is the liaison to primary and specialty care physicians for clinical and care plan issues and the content expert for program development for case management/disease management physicians. He advises and supports the clinical/medical needs of wellness activities. He participates in committees and Medical Policy Quality Utilization Improvement teams.
Dr. von Sternberg develops and coordinates programs for the geriatric population at HealthPartners Medical Group, Park Nicollet, and the Health Plan with emphasis on frail complex elders and Medicare Advantage and Dual Eligible population. He has developed and helps manage the post-hospital subacute care network for the care system.
He is a member of the faculty of geriatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He is the medical director for a long term care facility, Ebenezer Hall, and is a member of the Minnesota Nursing Home Medical Directors. He is also a member of the American Geriatrics Society. He is involved in coordinating programs for the Medicaid population in the medical group and has served on the Health Services Advisory Council for the State of Minnesota. Dr. von Sternberg was the past medical director of Seniors Plus, a social HMO.
Maria Lackner – Area Vice President, Cal MediConnect and Dual Eligibles, Secretary
Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan (California)
As Area Vice President for Duals Programs, Maria Lackner oversees the design, implementation, and general operations for Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan’s dual-eligible Medicare products. Through their Medicare-Medicaid and Duals Special Needs Plans, Blue Shield of California offers Medicare products for dual eligible members in seven counties in California.
In this role, Ms. Lackner is responsible for developing strategies to improve care and increase care coordination of dual-eligible members. Maria has developed innovative approaches to expand current programs and develop new initiatives to complement them. She works closely with elected officials, regulatory agencies, and multiple community-based agencies to evaluate program and policy initiatives designed to integrate services for this population.
Ms. Lackner earned a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has over 10 years of experience working within the public and private sector. Her passion for promoting health care access has led her work and collaboration with non-profit, advocacy agencies and the State of California.
Donna Stidham, RN – Chief of Managed Care
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (California)
Donna Stidham, RN has been involved in the care of people with HIV disease since the beginning of the epidemic. She began working with what is now known as HIV/AIDS as a nurse epidemiologist when the first cases of immune deficiency were reported to the Centers for Disease Control.
In 1984, Stidham was instrumental in the opening of the first AIDS inpatient unit in a for-profit community hospital in the U.S. She has continually focused her efforts on developing systems of care that support the expertise necessary to treat people with HIV. Stidham joined AHF in 1994 to lend her expertise in health systems and managed care to the development and implementation of Positive Healthcare, the first capitated managed care program for people with HIV.
Stidham consults with multiple state Medicaid programs to promote the concept of specialty design for chronic conditions such as HIV/AIDS. She is working with AHF’s global leadership to bring managed care health system concepts to resource-poor countries.
Stephanie Schwartz, JD – Vice President, Government Relations
Ms. Schwartz has extensive legislative, regulatory and health plan experience. After working for several years for a Minnesota state senator learning how laws are really made, she wrote rules for Minnesota’s Medicaid agency before becoming administrator of the state’s Medicaid State plan and serving as the primary contact with the CMS Regional Office. A graduate of William Mitchell College of Law (now Mitchell Hamline School of Law), Ms. Schwartz is the Vice President of Government Relations at UCare, ensuring positive relationships with counties, state and federal regulators; overseeing the production and regulatory review of many of UCare’s materials; and helping staff understand, and comply with, myriad government programs and commercial regulatory requirements.
She is on the board of Protect Minnesota, Minnesota’s non-profit devoted to preventing gun violence; a member of the Minnesota Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Toastmasters club; and a happy volunteer at Feline Rescue in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Michelle Herman Soper, MHS – Vice President of Policy Development
Commonwealth Care Alliance (Massachusetts)
Michelle Herman Soper is the Vice President of Policy Development at the Commonwealth Care Alliance (CCA). She leads the design and implementation of CCA’s public policy agenda, focusing on federal and state health policy strategies to support individuals with significant needs.
Most recently, Ms. Soper served as Vice President of Integrated Care at the Center for Health Care Strategies, where she worked with states, philanthropic organizations, federal agencies and health plans to improve care delivery and financing for individuals who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, and implement long-term services and supports and behavioral health reforms. She has served as a Special Assistant to the Executive Director and Acting Director of Communications for the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), and as Special Projects Coordinator for the Office of Chronic and Long-Term Care within the District of Columbia’s Department of Health Care Finance.
She also held posts at Avalere Health and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Ms. Soper has a master’s degree in health science (MHS) from The Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Tufts University.
Kate Paris – VP Policy & Influence
UnitedHealthcare Community & State (Minnesota)
Kate Paris serves as the Vice President Policy & Influence at UnitedHealthcare Community & State. She brings both a deep understanding of the complex populations that SNP Alliance serves and the technical knowledge of specialized managed care.
During her time with UnitedHealthcare, Ms. Paris has held roles focused on policy, clinical and operational aspects of managed care. She is well-versed in policy areas of Medicaid, long term care and programs serving individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. Ms. Paris brings a passion to improving access and quality of care for vulnerable populations such as those who are dual eligible.
Ms. Paris earned her Masters in Public Administration from the University of North Dakota. She has over 10 years of experience working in the public and non-profit sector before joining UnitedHealthcare in 2012.
Victor Hurtado – Executive Director for Medicare Products
LA Care (California)
Victor Hurtado is the Executive Director for Medicare Products at L.A. Care Health Plan. In this role, he is responsible for product management, operating performance, compliance and quality for members enrolled in the Medicare and CCI lines of business. Mr. Hurtado is also responsible for new product development and implementations for these membership segments. Mr. Hurtado brings to L.A. Care Health Plan over 15 years of product management, healthcare operations, and Medicare managed care experience, with a strong focus in serving the dually eligible population.
Prior to re-joining the organization Mr. Hurtado most recently served as the Associate Vice President of Medicare Administration at Molina Healthcare where he had oversight of the Medicare product portfolio, that included D-SNP, MMP, and MAPD products, across 12 states with an approximate $2B in annual revenue. Mr. Hurtado earned his Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration from California State University of Long Beach.
Sharon Alexander – President, LTSS Solutions
Amerihealth Caritas (Pennsylvania)
Sharon Alexander is currently President of Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) Solutions for AmeriHealth Caritas where she spearheads innovative solutions, advances best practices, leads LTSS market expansion efforts, optimizes complex care delivery, establishes integrated eLTSS clinical systems, and furthers quality standards for a multi-state LTSS business portfolio.
She previously managed AmeriHealth Caritas’ Medicare dual eligible special needs plans (D-SNP) and Medicare/Medicaid integration products (MMP), as part of the CMS Financial Alignment Demonstration initiative; and she launched a full array of Medicare Advantage products for Universal American Corporation (acquired by WellCare in 2019).
Sharon came to AmeriHealth Caritas after serving as Secretary of Aging for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the State’s chief advocate for the health, economic and social needs of 2.5 million older people and their caregivers. She also worked in a variety of management roles for an integrated health care system in Pittsburgh, PA and a multi-state long term care provider organization based in Kennett Square, PA.
Sharon is currently the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for the National MLTSS Health Plan Association; member of Long Term Quality Alliance (LTQA) Board of Directors; member of the SNP Alliance Board of Directors; and an Advisory Board Member, MLTSS Institute, ADvancing States.
She holds a Masters of Public Management from The H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University, and a Bachelor of Science, Health Planning and Administration, from The Pennsylvania State University.