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Our Team

Project Director

Karen W. Linkins, Ph.D. has twenty-five years of strategic planning, technical assistance, and program evaluation experience in the areas of home and community based services, integrated behavioral health, mental health systems and providers, and health interventions for older adults, children, persons with disabilities, and other vulnerable populations.  Dr. Linkins has led more than 50 projects for Federal agencies, states, foundations, and community based organizations and clinics. Prior to her current role as Project Director for the CalMHSA Integrated Behavioral Health Project, she was a Vice President at the Lewin Group, a health and human services policy consulting firm.  Dr. Linkins also served as an expert for the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, and was a research faculty member at the University of California, San Francisco where she conducted studies of home and community based service systems and coordinated training in geriatric education in the schools of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and dentistry.

Examples of Dr. Linkins’ past projects include designing and conducting several large-scale, complex evaluations, including the national evaluation of the Demonstration to Improve the Direct Service Community Workforce funded by CMS and a statewide evaluation of The California Endowment’s Mental Health Initiative, which examined the effectiveness and cultural competence of different mental health treatment approaches integrated into 46 non-traditional mental health settings.  She also co-directed the national technical assistance center for the Aging and Disability Resource Centers that are funded by the Administration on Aging in all 50 states.  She recently completed an evaluation of an NIMH-funded grant designed to increase the spread and uptake of evidence-based practices among direct service workers in assisted-living facilities and mental health agencies.  She also recently completed an evaluation of Minnesota’s CMS funded Demonstration to Maintain Independence and Employment, which offered an expanded Medicaid benefit to prevent individuals with serious mental illness from going onto SSDI. Her recent work also has included evaluations of systems change initiatives concerning frequent users of emergency departments, primary care and behavioral health integration, and person centered health homes. Dr. Linkins earned her PhD in Medical Sociology at the University of California, San Francisco and an undergraduate degree from Smith College.

Consultants

Jennifer J. Brya, MA, MPP, Co-Founder and Principal at Desert Vista Consulting, specializes in program evaluation, organizational assessments, and policy analysis. Ms. Brya is a clinician who has worked in direct service and now focuses on program evaluation, measuring program impact at the individual level, as well as the broader organizational and policy levels to improve the conditions of at-risk populations.  Her areas of expertise include mental health and substance abuse policy and interventions, integrated behavioral health care, disability and employment policy, juvenile justice, and qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis.   She has extensive experience conducting mixed method evaluations in communities and community-based organizations to assess the impact of interventions, data management systems, and policies.  In addition to her research expertise, Ms. Brya has clinical experience in psychological assessment, family systems therapy and home and community-based treatment of mental illness and substance addiction.  Her experience as a therapist provides important context and perspective for current research and evaluation projects.  Ms. Brya earned a MPP at Georgetown University, a MA in Clinical Psychology from the Arizona School of Professional Psychology, and an undergraduate degree from Boston College.

Jennifer Brummet, MC, LPC is a consultant with Integrated Behavioral Health Partners (IBHP) and has been the Principal Consultant for Brummet Consulting and Clinical Support Services since 2015. Jennifer has worked in a variety of behavioral health settings throughout Maricopa County, Arizona for the last 18 years. She has experience working in both public and private sectors, and assisted organizations in acquiring accreditation, credentialing and licensing. Jennifer has conducted data validation, quality assurance and utilization management audits at the both the provider level and for the behavioral health authority. In her consultant role, she has worked with array of behavioral health and mental health organizations, state and regional behavioral health authorities. Her areas of expertise are: clinical practice and quality improvement planning and implementation, organizational assessments, technical assistance around clinical programming and process flows, contract negation, program expansion and geographical needs assessments of public sector health. Jennifer is clinically trained in the treatment of Eating Disorders, Trauma, EMDR, Substance Abuse, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Jennifer is also an adjunct faculty member at Glendale Community College, in the Behavioral Health Sciences program, teaching Introduction to Ethical Counseling Issues. She has presented at various behavioral health conferences on topics including ethics, informed consent and clinical documentation. Jennifer received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Arizona State University in 1999, her Master’s Degree in Counseling from University of Phoenix in 2004, and certificate in Non-profit Leadership in 2013. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Arizona and an approved clinical supervisor under the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners since 2007.

John Freeman, has more than 14 years of experience working with health and human services consultants, non-profits, and professional services firms. John has a diverse background grounded in improving organizational operations and providing research, analysis and management for a range of interdisciplinary projects. Since 2007, John has been working on projects at the intersection of health care reform and behavioral health, with more recent work including other human services and housing. From 2007-2010 John was the administrator of MCPP Healthcare Consulting, a small firm in Seattle, where he worked closely with Dale Jarvis, Barbara Mauer, and Marni Mason (national experts in behavioral health system design and quality improvement). Since 2010, John has operated his own business, Pragmatic Associates, where he supports consultants and their clients. John still works closely with Dale Jarvis and has collaborated with him on several projects including a toolkit for financing integrated care (in California), a stakeholders’ guide to the health benefits exchange, a paper on Meeting the Behavioral Health Needs of Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, and a paper examining how behavioral health fits into The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) quality initiatives. Prior to his healthcare work John was the office manager and paralegal for an employment based immigration law firm in Minneapolis. John holds a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College and lives in Seattle with his wife and daughter.

Karin Kalk, is Associate Director for Health Care Reform with the California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions. Since 2001, Karin has been providing consulting services throughout California in both private and public managed care and service delivery organizations; these services have included project management, quality/process improvement, and service system design. Prior to this work in the mental health field, Karin was Vice President and General Manager for ForHealth, Inc., a venture-capital funded company offering a specialized medical program for long term care residents through full and partial risk arrangements with senior health plans. Before joining ForHealth, she served as Vice President of Operations for AHI Healthcare Systems, a publicly traded managed care company serving over 200,000 members throughout the country. Karin received her Masters degree in Health Administration from Duke University, her Bachelor of Arts degree in Animal Physiology from University of California, San Diego and has additional formal training in project management and IHI’s Breakthrough Series improvement methodology.

Deborah Maddis, MPH is an independent consultant specializing in the integration of healthcare and supportive housing. For the past thirty years Debby has worked in leadership roles in local government and the non-profit sectors developing housing, healthcare and social service programs and advocating on behalf of homeless and underserved populations. As former Associate Director of Ocean Park Community Center (OPCC), Debby developed OPCC’s Supportive Housing Program into a nationally recognized integrated model of care. Previously, she served as Consultant/Senior Analyst with the City of Santa Monica, where she created several program initiatives integrating healthcare, housing and supportive services for low-income and homeless populations. For the past ten years, she served as guest lecturer with the Executive Management Program of UCLA, School of Public Health. Debby received her Master’s Degree in Public Health from University of California, Los Angeles, School of Public Health and her B.A. from University of California, Berkeley.

Barbara Demming Lurie, a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude honors grad of OSU, continued her graduate studies in clinical psychology at University of Wisconsin. She spent the next two decades heading a Bureau for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health on weekdays and weekends penning a restaurant review column for a daily newspaper. After a stint as Director of Programs and Research for the Entertainment Industries Council, Inc., she was asked to head the Mental Health Media Partnership, a nonprofit organization sponsored by USC and the University of Pennsylvania to work with the entertainment industry promoting understanding of mental health issues.  In addition to her position with IBHP, she works with Vanguard Communications and SAMHSA on the annual Voice Awards to recognize the contributions of the entertainment industry to mental health understanding.

Mandy Johnson is a consultant to the IBHP responsible for policy analysis and strategy. Prior to IBHP she was founding CEO for the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County, representing clinics in federal, state and local policy forums and directing projects that assist member clinics improve quality and access. Having managed a clinic in LA for nearly two decades, she brings a wealth of hands-on clinic experience to the team.

Director Emeritus

Mary Rainwater, is the former Project Director of the Integrated Behavioral Health Project and launched the project in 2006 with funding by The California Endowment.  Prior to the launch, she also served as in-house staff consultant to The California Endowment and as a Program Officer in the Los Angeles Regional Office.  Prior to joining The Endowment, Ms. Rainwater served as the executive director of The Los Angeles Free Clinic for 11 years and also as executive director to The Friends of the Los Angeles Free Clinic, a fundraising board comprised of entertainment industry executives. Before joining The Los Angeles Free Clinic, she worked for seven years as a psychiatric social worker and program administrator for the Los Angeles County, Department of Mental Health.

Ms. Rainwater resides in New York City.  In addition to her work with IBHP, she consults with philanthropy, nonprofit and government health and mental health organizations and academic institutions.  Her professional areas of skill and expertise include design and implementation of philanthropic and publicly funded program initiatives; policy analysis; strategic planning; non-profit administration and management; organizational development and capacity building; and, resource development and fundraising.  She has extensive expertise in the areas of mental health, the delivery of integrated health services to underserved communities and designing and developing programs for special populations.  She has worked with family and private foundations and government funders of all sizes and non-profit organizations and boards of directors.   Ms. Rainwater received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Loyola Marymount University and her master’s degree in Social Welfare from UCLA and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

Other Consultants

Alaina Dall, M.A., AGD Consulting, specializes in writing, research and evaluation services for community clinics and other health-related organizations, with a recent emphasis on integrated primary care and behavioral health programs. Her skills encompass needs assessments, survey design, quantitative data collection and analysis, qualitative program studies, literature reviews, feasibility studies, environmental scans, key informant interviews, focus groups, and development of policy papers. Alaina has over 20 years of experience in various health sectors, including community clinics and health centers, integrated health care delivery systems, county health and human services, university settings, and community-based organizations. In her 10 years as a consultant, Alaina worked on projects to enhance behavioral health and primary care integration. Recently, she took the lead role in studies she conducted with Desert Vista Consulting addressing integrated behavioral health services in California community clinics and health centers, integrated services in counties, the issue of stigma and related barriers, and the consumer movement in mental health. She has also worked with DVC to conduct detailed case studies on five community clinics and health centers that offer integrated primary care and substance abuse services programs, producing a series of “Case Study Highlights” on Funding, Integrated Services, Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment, Staffing and Stigma, and Treatment. This series of papers is the most comprehensive to date on substance abuse services offered by community clinics. Alaina attended UCLA where she received her bachelor’s in psychology, and master’s in educational psychology.

Gary Bess holds two masters’ degrees in social work and applied sociology, and a PhD in social work. For several years he directed free medical clinics in southern California. Since 1991 his consulting firm, Gary Bess Associates (www.garybess.com) has provided needs assessment, program evaluation, and planning services for public and private organizations across the Western United States. In addition to his work for the Tides Center, Dr. Bess served as evaluator for a three-year SAMHSA-funded Circles of Care planning grant for a Native American agency in northern California, ending in 2002. He currently consults with a national evaluation effort overseen by the Circles of Care Evaluation Technical Assistance Center at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. From this experience, he has co-authored two articles in American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research: Journal of the National Center on the life cycle of the evaluation process and on process evaluation among Native American communities. Dr. Bess is also the evaluator for two longitudinal studies in rural Butte County. Other past evaluations include a California Department of Mental Health assessment of supportive housing services, a City of Santa Monica assessment of its Homeless Services Network, and a Mentally Ill Offender Crime Retention Project in Butte County.

Advisory Board

  • Catherine Teare
  • Dale Jarvis
  • Karen Larsen