Leaders


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Denny Brennan, Executive Director, Massachusetts Health Data Consortium


Denny Brennan is the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health Data Consortium (MHDC). MHDC is a not-for-profit convener of the state's health providers, health plans, government agencies, industry associations, and health technology and service providers. MHDC's mission is to maximize the value of collaboration in the application of health information and technology to achieve and sustain improvements in health quality, cost, and effectiveness across the Commonwealth.

Mr. Brennan brings over two decades of experience as a consultant and entrepreneur working with the country's leading academic medical centers and medical schools, integrated delivery networks, hospitals, life sciences companies, industry services providers, and industry associations on strategy, organizational effectiveness, and information management and technology challenges. He brings specialized expertise in assisting organizations in aligning healthcare information and business strategies for success under increased market competition and health reform. His areas of emphasis include strategic and financial planning, organization structure and development, formation and management of Accountable Care Organizations, payment and reimbursement reform, and information technology strategy, including health information governance, security, and exchange. Mr. Brennan has a masters in business administration from the Yale School of Management and a masters in human development and Psychology from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Lois Dehls Cornell, Executive Vice President


Lois Dehls Cornell was appointed Executive Vice President of the Massachusetts Medical Society effective June 1, 2016 and is directly responsible for the operation and management of the Society and its operating divisions and provides oversight for its several subsidiaries. In addition to its membership activities, the Society, under the auspices of NEJM Group, publishes the New England Journal of Medicine, a leading global medical journal and web site, and NEJM Journal Watch alerts and publications covering 13 specialties.

Prior to joining the Medical Society, Ms. Cornell spent 24 years at Tufts Health Plan, headquartered in Massachusetts and serving members in the Commonwealth, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Ms. Cornell joined Tufts Health Plan in 1991 as Assistant Vice President and Associate General Counsel after five years as an Associate at the Boston law firm of Goodwin, Procter.

She was appointed Vice President and General Counsel in 2005 and was promoted to Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel in 2013, recognizing her responsibility for the management of a number of departments, including legal, government relations, public policy, governance, human resources, fraud and compliance, corporate citizenship, strategic diversification, and corporate communications. Ms. Cornell received her B.A. cum laude from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota and earned her J.D. from the Northeastern University School of Law. She has also completed the Executive Leadership Program of America's Health Insurance Plans and the Advanced Management Program of Harvard Business School.

Active in professional associations, Ms. Cornell is currently the President of the American Health Lawyers Association, a board member of the Pan Massachusetts Challenge, and a member of the Massachusetts Women's Forum. She has been honored by YWCA Boston with its Academy of Women Achievers Award; by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, with its In-House Leaders-in-the-Law Award; and by Women's Business Boston, as one of the Top 10 Women Corporate Lawyers in Boston.

Deborah Devaux, Chief Operating Officer


Deborah Devaux is currently Blue Cross’ Chief Operating Officer. She is responsible for IT & Operations, Member & Provider Service, Health & Medical Management, Performance Measurement and Improvement, Pharmacy and Consumer Solutions, and Network Management & Contracting.

Deb joined BCBSMA in 2000. She has worked in healthcare management for over 25 years including leadership positions at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and its predecessors; Ernst and Young; and BDC Advisors, a health care strategy consulting firm.

She is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors of Cradles to Crayons in Boston, and has also served as the Chair of their Corporate Advisory Committee. Deb has a master’s degree in health services administration from the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

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Lynn Nicholas, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer, Massachusetts Hospital Association


Lynn Nicholas, FACHE, joined the Massachusetts Hospital Association as President and CEO in August 2007 bringing more than 35 years of hospital and association experience.

Before her appointment to MHA, Ms. Nicholas led the American Diabetes Association. Prior to that, she served as President and CEO of the Louisiana Hospital Association, following her tenure as EVP/COO of the New Jersey Hospital Association. This built on her 20 years working in a New Jersey hospital where she progressed from a Medical Technologist to a Senior Vice President.

Named by Women's Business Boston as one of the "Five Women to Watch" in 2008, Ms. Nicholas is a member of the Massachusetts Women's Forum, a chapter of the International Women's Forum, comprised of women leaders in Massachusetts and throughout the world. Lynn has been appointed to several key statewide healthcare advisory groups including the Special Commissions on the Healthcare Payment System and Provider Price Reform, and currently serves on the Health Policy Commission Advisory Council. She is sought after as a speaker on matters of health policy and leadership in Massachusetts and nationally.

Due to her steadfast commitment to health and wellness as a leadership priority, in 2011 Ms. Nicholas MHA was awarded the Boston Business Journal's inaugural Healthiest Employer Award for the small business category, and the association also received the Massachusetts department of Public Health's Make Smoking History Award for launching a successful, statewide, voluntary public-health initiative to ban all tobacco products from hospital campuses.

Ms. Nicholas earned her bachelor of science in medical technology from Tennessee Wesleyan College and subsequently received their J. Neal Ensminger Distinguished Alumnus Award. She earned an MA in health management from Central Michigan University and is a board-certified Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives; she served on their national Board from 2003 to 2006 and has received both the Early Careerist and the Senior Level Health Care Executive Regents Award. She was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters in Health Services from Salem State University. 

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Lora M. Pellegrini, Esq., President and CEO, Massachusetts Association of Health Plans (MAHP)


Lora Pellegrini became President and CEO of the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans (MAHP) in February 2010. She has served on the staffs of two Governors, most recently as Chief Advisor for Government Affairs for Governor Deval Patrick, and on the legislative staff of former Governor Michael Dukakis. Prior to joining Governor Patrick's staff, Ms. Pellegrini served as Vice President for Government Affairs & Community Relations at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. While at Harvard Pilgrim, she oversaw government relations activities at the federal level and in the three New England states where the health plan operates. She also oversaw the company's corporate charitable giving. Ms. Pellegrini has also worked as an Assistant Attorney General in the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office and on the staff of United States Senator John Kerry. Ms. Pellegrini is a past president of the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus (MWPC), a multi-partisan organization dedicated to promoting women to elected and appointed office. She continues to serve on the MWPC board, and chairs the Caucus' Political Action Committee. In addition, she serves on the board of directors of the Massachusetts Health Council and serves as a member of the Health Policy Commission's advisory committee. Ms. Pellegrini has been active for several years in the Big Sisters Organization and currently serves as a Big Sister in Boston. She is a member of the Massachusetts Women's Forum, a chapter of the International Women's Forum, an organization made up of women leaders in Massachusetts and throughout the world. In 2011, Boston Magazine named her one of the 50 most powerful women in Boston. Lora holds a Bachelor's degree from Wheaton College and a JD from the New England School of Law.

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Rick Wilson, Chief Operating Officer, MassHealth, Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services


Rick Wilson was appointed Chief Operating Officer of MassHealth, the Commonwealth's Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program, in February of 2014. He previously served as Deputy Budget Director for MassHealth, where he helped oversee development and monitoring of the agency's $13 billion budget and was a key contributor to implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Prior to joining MassHealth, Mr. Wilson served as Deputy Director and then Director of the Mayor's Office of Public Policy and Finance for the City and County of San Francisco and as a senior analyst in the San Francisco Controller's Office. His professional life began in the labor movement, where he worked as an Organizer and Representative for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and as a Policy Fellow for the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). He has a bachelor's degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University and a master's degree in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley.