Blog Archives


Vice Admiral David Brewer (Ret.)

Admiral David Brewer oversaw the training of more than 300,000 sailors during his service as Vice Chief for U.S. Naval Education before going on to become Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Raised in a family of educators from Virginia and Florida, he graduated from Jones High School in Orlando where he currently chairs the Jones High School Foundation to support local community empowerment.

Admiral Brewer attended Howard University before graduating with a BS in Biology from Prairie View A&M University where he was commissioned in the first class of Naval ROTC established at a Historically Black College or University. As the leader of the Military Sealift Command (MSC), he managed the private sector relationships for the sea transportation needs of all military branches. His MSC role also included command of the Navy’s relief and hospital ships during Hurricane Katrina. His energy behind Venly’s mission and training was sparked by his observation of the inverse learning relationship around social media in which first year college students often arrive knowing more than college seniors.

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Jeannie Hebert

Jeannie Hebert has been President and CEO of the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce since April of 2008. Under her leadership the BVCC has grown and developed into a Chamber that works
hard for business and the economic vitality of the eleven town region of the Blackstone Valley Massachusetts. Prior to her current position, Jeannie was Tourism Director for Central Massachusetts. In that position she had an opportunity to work side by side in partnership with tourism properties and programs throughout the 60 cities and towns of Central Massachusetts. Before that she was an owner of Hebert Candies, a family owned chocolate company started by her grandfather in 1917. Through this tenure she became well versed in the trials and tribulations of being an entrepreneur, running a small business and of course the fine art of making chocolate. Through her guidance, the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce created the BV Enterprise Academy to assist those in business or considering a start up business, with the foundation they need for success.

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Steven Atlas, M.D.

Dr. Steven J. Atlas is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Director of the Practice-Based Research and Quality Improvement Network in the Division of General Internal Medicine Division at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), where he is also a practicing primary care physician. He received his M.D. degree from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, and an M.P.H. at Harvard School of Public Health. He trained in internal medicine at MGH, and completed a fellowship in general medicine at HMS. Dr. Atlas is a health services researcher with content expertise in spine disorders, cancer prevention, and population health management.

Dr. Atlas is nationally recognized expert in the management of low back pain. He directed the analysis of the Maine Lumbar Spine Study, a large prospective study evaluating outcomes of patients with lumbar disc herniations and spinal stenosis, and was an investigator analyzing work-related disability outcomes as part of the Spine Patient Outcome Research Trials (SPORT). Dr. Atlas has served on many national guideline panels related to the care of patients with spine problems. He is the medical editor for low back pain for the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, an organization that seeks to better inform patients about health care decisions. Dr. Atlas is also the content editor for low back and neck pain for UpToDate, a comprehensive evidence-based electronic clinical information resource for clinicians

At MGH, he is actively involved in translating findings from clinical studies to improve the quality and efficiency of care. In back pain, his has focused on patient-centered outcomes of spine surgery and the role of shared decision making. In primary care, his work addresses how health information technology can foster population-based, patient-centered care that improves outcomes as well as decreases disparities. He has developed novel patient attribution methodologies to connect patients to physicians and practices within primary care networks. Most recently, Dr. Atlas has focused on developing and implementing a novel information technology system to provide population health management to transform the delivery of cancer prevention and chronic disease services.

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Lynn Nicholas, FACHE

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 and 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.

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Kevin Cranston

Kevin Cranston is the Director of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) Bureau of Infectious Disease and was the former Director of the MDPH HIV/AIDS Bureau. Kevin previously served as the AIDS/HIV Program Director at the Massachusetts Department of Education. Prior to government work, Kevin was an adolescent HIV prevention specialist at The Children’s Hospital, Boston. He is past Chair of the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) and served as a technical assistant through NASTAD’s Global Program to the national, state, and provincial AIDS control programs of Nigeria, Brazil, and South Africa. Kevin earned his Master of Divinity degree at Harvard University. Until recently he served as Co-Chair of the Board of the National Coalition for LGBT Health.

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Dean John H. McArthur

Helped launch Venly in 2007. In addition to his decades of service to the Harvard Business School, Dean McArthur also served as Senior Adviser to the President of The World Bank and Chair of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. Known for his quiet but effective leadership style, Dean McArthur served as founding Co-Chair of Partners HealthCare System which brought together two leading Harvard Medical School teaching hospitals, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. His other director and senior advisory roles include Benchmarking Partners, Chase Manhattan Corporation, Duke University Health System, e-Rewards, GlaxoSmithKline, Junior Achievement, Partners In Health, the Social Enterprise Initiative Advisory Board at Harvard University, and Thomson Reuters Founders Share. In his recognition of his service, Brigham and Women’s Hospital announced the John H. McArthur Fellowships in Medicine and Management while Harvard University established the John and Natty McArthur University Professorship and dedicated McArthur Hall at the Harvard Business School. For all his global experience, Dean McArthur often cites a job in his hometown paper mill as the pivotal opportunity in his career. A native of Western Canada, Dean McArthur earned a Bachelor of Commerce in Forestry from the University of British Columbia, his Doctorate from the Harvard Business School, as well as a number of honorary doctorates.

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Mark Coblitz

Joined Venly after nearly 25 years as Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning for Comcast Corporation. Mark founded Comcast’s New Media Development Group and co-founded Comcast Interactive Capital. His passion for Venly’s mission goes back to his early leadership experiences growing up in an Ashtabula, Ohio family business where he and his family were active in the local Chamber of Commerce and other community associations. He went on to receive a number of the highest awards for technology and innovation in the Cable and Broadband industries, as well as an Emmy. Mark was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force serving at the Pentagon. He holds a BS in Management Science from Case Institute of Technology and a MS in Industrial Administration from Carnegie Mellon.

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Brad Perkins, M.D.

Throughout Dr. Perkins’ 25 year career he has been a visionary reformer bringing about positive change through his creative, strategic and bold leadership. As Chief Medical Officer at Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI), Dr. Perkins is responsible for leading all clinical and therapeutic operations at the company, which includes collecting and utilizing phenotypic data, development of the consumer clinics business, and stem cell therapeutics.

Prior to joining HLI, Dr. Perkins was Executive Vice President for Strategy and Innovation, and Chief Transformation Officer at Vanguard Health Systems, a large multi-state, for-profit, integrated health services provider with nearly 46,000 employees. He helped transform Vanguard from a traditional fee for service healthcare model, to a fee for value, “population health” model. Some of his innovative solutions there included: establishing Accountable Care Organizations to improve primary care, implementing an award winning tele-radiology program, and starting a $167 million venture capital fund to support Vanguard’s transformation programs. During his tenure, Vanguard’s revenues grew from approximately $2.6 billion to nearly $6.5 billion and the company had an initial public offering. Vanguard was sold to another publicly traded health care company in 2013.

Dr. Perkins began his career at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1989 after completing his residency training and chief residency in internal medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. At the CDC he led some of the most important and high profile programs and published more than 120 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters.

He first joined and then led the Meningitis and Special Pathogens Branch where he investigated global bacterial disease epidemics. He co-discovered the bacteria which causes Cat Scratch Diseases and conducted translational research leading to development of several new bacterial meningitis and pneumonia vaccines, now the standard of vaccine therapy globally. In 2001 Dr. Perkins led the field and laboratory investigations into the anthrax attacks in the United States. This was the largest and highest profile investigation ever conducted by CDC. In 2005 he was appointed CDC’s Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, a position in which he managed a $11.2 billion budget, and 15,000 employees with offices in more than 50 countries. Working closely with the CDC Director, he built a $2 billion state-of-the-art emergency response capability and positioned the improvement of population health as a focus of the healthcare reform movement within the White House administration at that time.

Dr. Perkins received his BA in Microbiology and his MD from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and an MBA from Emory University. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine.

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Chiderah Okoye

Joined Venly in 2013 after serving in sales and account management roles for Rockwell Automation, the world’s largest industrial automation company. Chiderah has a passion for local business rooted in her own family’s local carpet business. She joined Venly to follow her interests for social media and grassroots social change by offering local businesses systems and support that until now were only available to multinationals. Chiderah holds a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University.

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