The Society’s Executive Committee sets the overall agenda of the Society and leads the organization in its day-to-day activities. It is made up of Board Members and two members-at-large selected from the general membership of the organization. The current executive committee is:
- Interim Chairperson – Mary N. Hennings
- President – Empty
- Treasurer – Debra Cobb
- Secretary – Eric Bersh
- Member-at-Large – Brian Mack
- Member-at-Large – Empty
- Chief Advocacy Officer – Danny Sands, MD, MPH
- Executive Director – Randy Houk
Additional Board Members
- Timothy Blevins
- Judy Danielson
- John M. Grohol, PsyD
- Matthew Holt
- Sarah Krüg
- Kistein Monkhouse
- Dennis Reilly
- Vera Rulon
- Amber Soucy, MSN, RN
- Jay Spitulnik, PhD
- Joseph Ternullo, JD, MPH
- Astra Titus
Eric Bersh is an Emmy award winning editor, director and producer. He is a founder of Changeful LLC, a healthcare content creation company. The company’s first product, Changeful, is an innovative mobile app and data analytics platform designed to empower family and professional caregivers to take control of their own health and well-being, leading to cost savings for insurers, providers and ACOs.
Prior to Changeful, he was Executive Producer at The Academic Channel, producing several student videos surrounding substance abuse for University of Southern California, and a mental health DVD, A Penn State Suicide Primer: Parents Want to Know.
Bersh was Producer for the MAT@USC: University of Southern California Master of Arts in Teaching degree (online). Later, he was Course Producer for American Honors, producing the first four online honors courses for Spokane Community College.
Working for Newsweek Broadcasting, and as a network TV editor and producer, he won four Emmy awards for documentary specials and a children’s series. He won a fifth Emmy as Supervising Editor for The Barbara Walters Specials.
Eric Bersh earned his BSc in Communications & Theater at Temple University. He studied for a Master’s degree in Cinema at San Francisco State University.
Timothy L. Blevins is a healthcare executive with over 30 years of health plan experience, including clinical, behavioral health and healthcare delivery system innovation on behalf of Fortune 500 multi-national and US national companies globally and domestically. Tim is a national subject matter expert on Behavioral Health Digital/Technology Innovation, Clinical and Commercialization Strategy. He has held executive level positions with Aetna, Cigna, Blue Cross/Blue Shield Rhode Island and most recently Senior Vice President, Employer Channel with Optum Behavioral Health. He currently works with healthcare digital start ups in ad He has an undergraduate degree from Stetson University in Deland, FL, a graduate degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Hartford.
Debra Cobb Dedicated her professional career to treasury activities at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, MA. During a career that spanned nearly four decades, Deb’s activities included preparation of financials for inclusion in MIT’s annual Treasurer’s Report, involvement in the audit process for MIT’s investments, bank reconciliations, cash management, valuation of private investments, etc. Deb retired from MIT in 2014 as MIT’s Investment Management Company’s Investment Administration Manager.
Judy Danielson is a seasoned marketing and strategy executive with more than 18 years experience building innovative marketing and consumer engagement solutions. As a member of leadership teams in health and financial services, Judy’s work has been at the intersection of marketing and consumer engagement, using the principles and practices of marketing to understand the choices people make and what motivates them to make those choices.
Judy has a passion for developing insight driven strategies to help organizations grow in competitive and transformative markets. She does her part trying to understand where this transformation will take the health market and all its stakeholders — consumers, patients, employers, providers, and health organizations — all of which have a huge stake in the future of healthcare.
Judy’s career has been built on interpreting research and analytics to develop market, brand and customer engagement innovations and strategies. Judy built and led the Market Strategy Group at BCBSMA from 2011 to 2016, where she created a foundation for analytically and insight driven market and consumer engagement strategies. Before joining BCBSMA she was VP of Market Strategy at Aetna for 8 years, where she introduced a market planning approach adopted across the organization and was part of both the consumer engagement and innovation strategy teams. Prior to Aetna Judy held leadership positions in marketing and market research for Fleet and BankBoston. She has experience in consulting, including International Data Corporation and Venture Economics. Her love of analytics and market strategy came from working in political polling and consulting while in college.
Judy is a trustee and pro bono advisor to the Marketing Science Institute, a member and pro bono advisor to the Society of Participatory Medicine, a member of the Women’s Business Leaders in Healthcare, the American Marketing Association and the New England Health Care Executive Network.
Judy and her husband, Tom are outdoor enthusiasts and enjoy kayaking the rivers of Massachusetts and the coast of Maine. They can often be found outdoors hiking, but rarely without one of their dogs. They share passions for travel, cooking and music. They live in North Framingham, Massachusetts across the street from an endlessly entertaining field of cows.
Judy holds a Liberal Arts Bachelor’s Degree with a concentration in political science and attended the University of Maine at Portland/Gorham.
John M. Grohol, Psy.D.
John M. Grohol, Psy.D. was the founder of one of the leading psychology and mental health resources, Psych Central. The site he founded in 1995 was sold to Healthline in 2020. He continues to run online mental health support groups at My Support Forums and support groups for neurological conditions at NeuroTalk.
Dr. Grohol is a behavioral psychology expert, technologist, developer, and sits on the editorial board for the journal Computers in Human Behavior and has been a researcher in the area of online behavior and technology’s effects on human behavior. He won the Distinguished Professional Contribution to Media Psychology award from the American Psychological Association’s Division 46 in 2011, and is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists. He is the co-author of Self-Help That Works and author of The Insider’s Guide to Mental Health Resources Online. He also publishes the quarterly trade publication for psychologists, New England Psychologist.
In addition to being a co-founder of the Society for Participatory Medicine and its first treasurer, he also sits on the boards of the International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression (iFred) and the non-profit Help & Heal Mental Health Fund.
Mary N. Hennings
Mary Hennings is a senior healthcare executive with 35+ years of broad health care experience. Her expertise is in formulating and implementing product and organizational innovations that deliver desired business results while supporting better care, coverage, and customer experiences. Her leadership roles in both integrated health care delivery and health insurance settings have included: 1) business and product strategy; 2) product development, launch and management; 3) and operations/performance enhancement. She gravitates to the challenges of creating products and programs that are engaging to customers. Mary is motivated by the opportunities to deliver performance improvement for customers that innovation projects create.
Mary has worked in senior roles in both health insurance and care delivery settings as well as operated her own consulting practice. Her most recent insurance experience includes leading product strategy at DentaQuest, a national dental insurance company; and commercial product strategy, innovation and implementation at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, where she and her team created value-based benefit designs, tiered networks and wellness incentive programs. Prior to that, she was chief operating officer of Harvard University’s Health Service, an integrated, pre-paid delivery system that serves the University’s faculty, staff, retirees and students. Mary and her interdisciplinary project team reformulated the Health Service’s patient flow and processes to measurably improve access, efficiency, and patient satisfaction, as an IHI demonstration site. She has also held senior roles in tertiary and community hospitals, HMOs, a state health regulatory agency and in several health plan start-ups.
Mary has served on and been president of several not-for-profit boards in her community. She is a dedicated gardener and enjoys family time, hiking, travel, and friends.
Matthew Holt is the founder of The Health Care Blog and, with Indu Subaiya, runs Health 2.0, which has the leading conferences showcasing innovative technologies in health care, along with challenges, code-a-thons, innovation programs, and market intelligence. (In April 2017 HIMSS bought the conference side of Health 2.0 but not the rest of it which continues to operate independently).
Matthew has spent over 25 years in health care and health care IT as a generalist forecaster and strategist. After graduate work at Stanford, he spent the 90s at renowned forecasting group Institute for the Future and polling organization The Harris Poll. There he conducted several ground-breaking, in-depth studies about many aspects of health care, and delivered several keynote addresses. After that he spent two years (too long!) at personal health record startup i-Beacon before moving back into consulting, starting the best known (or at least best named) blog in health care, and then starting Health 2.0 in 2007.
He’s also on the Board of YTH, a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives & health of teens and young adults, and on the advisory board of several small tech startups, as well as SPM.
Randy Houk became Executive Director of the Society for Participatory Medicine on August 1, 2021. She brings five decades of leadership experience in nonprofit and corporate management to the organization, alongside a passion for health and open communication between patients, physicians, and caregivers. She began her career as a Senior Editor for Addison Wesley, an educational publisher, and then became Director of Publishing for National Public Radio. She founded and managed Soundworks, an audio publisher for five years, recruiting and publishing original works by best selling authors in the field of holistic health and wellness.
Randy then founded and for 23 years was CEO of The Benefactory, an award-winning publisher of true stories about animals, fostering environmental preservation in young children. In 2012, she joined More Than Wheels as Senior Vice-President, Development and Outreach, working within gateway cities to provide underserved families with financial literacy and access to low-interest car loans. She was Executive Director for Raising a Reader, MA and for The Curious George Collaboration with Reach Out and Read, a national early childhood literacy nonprofit.
Sarah Krug is CEO/Executive Director of CANCER101, a patient advocacy organization she has been on the board of for two years, in a quest to help patients and caregivers navigate their cancer journey. Driven by the passion to make an impact in patient care and engagement, Sarah has held a variety of roles within healthcare.
She previously held the position of Global Education Director in the Medical Education Group at Pfizer, focused on establishing global health care improvement strategies and medical education standards worldwide. She also established the Global Investigator Initiated Research Program at Pfizer. Prior to joining Pfizer in 2001, Sarah spearheaded the development of the Pediatric disease management clinical pathways and conducted clinical research at Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center. She is also on the board of the Cancer Patient Education Network, and serves as Research Chair.
Brian Mack is a healthcare marketing strategist, with over 25 years of experience in various healthcare environments including Health IT, Long Term and Post-Acute Care, Family Medicine, and Managed Care.
Mack joined Great Lakes Health Connect (GLHC), Michigan’s premier provider of health information exchange services and solutions, in 2014. As the Manager of Marketing and Communications, he is tasked with driving the organization’s integrated marketing strategy and implementation, brand management, public & community relations, corporate communications, and social media engagement. He also supports policy and legislative affairs for GLHC at the state and federal levels.
In addition to his role as “the man behind the curtain” of GLHC’s social media efforts, Brian also maintains an engaged personal social media presence in Health IT. He is an active contributor to the #HITMC, #HITSM, #HCLDR, and #PinkSocks communities on Twitter. In addition, he served as a HIMSS Global Conference Social Media Ambassador in 2018 and 2019, and was named to the #HIT100 in 2015 and 2017.
Mack has been an outspoken advocate and fundraiser for the Greater Michigan Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association since 2005. He is the only “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” volunteer in the nation to earn donations from all 50 states, all 7 continents, and multiple foreign countries in a single fundraising year; a feat he has accomplished twice – first in 2014, and again in 2019. He was the top fundraiser for his local walk in Grand Rapids, MI in 2018 and 2019, and has been among the “Top 5” annual fundraisers for this event since 2013.
Vera Rulon MS, RHIT, FAHIMA
Vera Rulon is the founder and president of Tir Health Advisors, LLC. As part of Tir she currently serves as senior strategic advisor to the American Telemedicine Association (ATA).
Previously Vera served several different roles at Pfizer where she led the technology and aging workstream for the Center of Excellence for Active and Healthy Aging. Before Pfizer, Vera managed the clinical informatics team at Oxford Health Plans and was assistant director of medical records at Phelps Memorial Hospital. She has also served as chief content officer for a clinical trials recruitment start up focusing on underserved populations.
Vera is a past president of AHIMA, and is a recipient of AHIMA’s Distinguished Member award, AHIMA Visionary Triumph Award and was designated a PharmaVoice 100 change agent. Additional awards include Oxford Health Plans High Achiever Award and Pfizer Global Research and Development Achievement Award, and co-Winner of two Pfizer Innovation Awards.
She has served on both the AHIMA and AHIMA Foundation Boards, and was a founder and past president of the board of directors of Arts Angels Inc., a not for profit supporting the arts in public schools.
Vera has a passion for consumer engagement and participatory medicine. She serves on the Board of Directors and as policy committee chair for the Society for Participatory Medicine and is an artist and member of the Walking Gallery of Healthcare, spreading the word about the need to engage patients and give them access to personal health information. Vera also serves on the Executive Business Council for the Center for Healthcare Innovation which focuses solely on health equity.
While at Pfizer, Vera was the first to invite patients to participate in an innovation workshop on use of medical records, social media, and mobile health to improve patient experience. She was also a featured blogger for the Pfizer program “Think Science Now” often focusing on the importance of patient engagement and quality data, as well as a blogger and member of the core team of Get Healthy Stay Healthy, a program that reached consumers with quality health information through television integrations on The Doctors and Dr. Phil and its companion web site.
Danny Sands, MD, MPH
Dr. Danny Sands is passionate about healthcare transformation. A practicing physician with training and experience in clinical informatics, Dr. Sands has worked in a variety of capacities in the health care IT industry since 2004. Prior to that he spent almost 14 years at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where he developed and implemented innovative systems to improve clinical care delivery and patient engagement, including clinical decision support systems, an electronic health record, and one of the nation’s first patient portals.
Dr. Sands is the recipient of numerous healthcare honors, including recognition in 2009 by HealthLeaders Magazine as one of “20 People Who Make Healthcare Better.” He is the co-author, with e-Patient Dave deBronkart, of Let Patients Help.
Dr. Sands holds an academic appointment at Harvard Medical School and for twenty years has maintained a primary care practice in which he makes extensive use of health IT—much of which he helped to introduce during his tenure at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. In addition to practicing, Dr. Sands is a speaker and works with a number of innovative companies.
Amber Soucy, MSN, RN
Known as @wheezynurse on Twitter, Amber Soucy has been a member of the Society for Participatory Medicine since 2017 and is currently the society’s Social Media Lead. She is a Registered Nurse working full time on a surgical intermediate care unit at Boston Medical Center, part time as a Clinical Instructor/Adjunct Faculty for Labouré College, and per diem in homecare. Amber graduated summa cum laude with a Master of Science in Nursing degree and concentration in Nursing Leadership in May 2018, and hopes to create and promote positive change within the inpatient hospital setting. She integrates participatory care models within her nursing practice to encourage patient engagement, foster nurse-patient relationships, and improve the overall patient experience. Through academia, she stresses the importance of treating every patient with dignity and respect, and how students can individually tailor care plans by actively listening and collaborating with patients and families.
Within the realm of activism and promotion of participatory medicine and patient empowerment, Amber has published blogs and video content, been a Guest Host for the #PatientsHavePower podcast, and is a Breakthrough Crew Ambassador for Clara Health. Amber was also an Executive Digital Advisory Board member and the first ever Digital Host for Healthsparq’s #WTFix 2018 healthcare conference.
Jay Spitulnik, PhD
Jay Spitulnik, PhD, has been working in areas directly and indirectly related to managing health informatics in the corporate and academic communities for more than 35 years. His work has involved informatics operations as well as large and small system implementations. Currently, he directs the Health Informatics Graduate programs at Northeastern University. His teaching in this program is geared toward full-time project managers, those whose project management assignments will only be part of their work, and anyone who will be managing change initiatives in any type of organization. Jay holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from Boston University and a PhD in Organizational Psychology from Walden University. He is certified as a Green Belt by the American Society for Quality and as a Certified Performance Technologist by the International Society for Performance Improvement. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the New England Association for Healthcare Quality and the Society for Participatory Medicine. Jay is also a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Participatory Medicine.
Joseph Ternullo, JD, MPH
Joseph Ternullo, JD, MPH has focused the past 20 years of his career on healthcare. Joe is well known for his 17 years as the associate director of Partners HealthCare’s Center for Connected Health. He founded and chaired for 10 years the Connected Health Symposium, a two-day international conference with a prominent patient engagement focus. He was a co-founder of the Continua Health Alliance, a standards and interoperability organization. Joe has served on two federal advisory committees, including the US Department of Health & Human Service’s American Health Information Communities Chronic Care Workgroup. Joe has authored several publications focused on healthcare technology and served on several international and domestic boards. Most recently, he led a health technology start-up that established an exploratory US presence. Joe holds degrees from Boston College, Bentley University, Boston University School of Law and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Burt Rosen (2019)
Susan Woods (2018)
Joseph Ternullo, JD, MPH (2017)
Jonathan Wald, MD, MPH (2016)
Nick Dawson (2015)
Josh Seidman (2014)
Sarah Krug (2013)
Danny Sands, MD (2010 partial-2012)
Gilles Frydman (2010 partial)
Alan Greene, MD (2009)