The 2023 OPEN MINDS I/DD Executive Summit

Sponsored By:

The OPEN MINDS 2023 I/DD Executive Summit is the “must-attend” summit event for executives at organizations serving people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD). It is designed to provide both practical and cutting-edge ideas for executives who are growing their organization despite the turbulent market. This information-packed event will include ways to innovate, integrate, and coordinate services catered to the complexities of this consumer population while laying out a clear picture of the future in I/DD services.

The summit will deliver a day of market intelligence, actionable insights, service trends & innovations, and management tools I/DD support organizations and executives need for success. The only single-day event focused on moving innovation to action, building efficient service models and business processes, and delivering more effective care while laying out a clear picture of the future in I/DD services.

2023 Summit Agenda

9:45 am – 11:15 am PT

Managed Care Models For I/DD Services

The I/DD Executive Summit

Traditional funding of services for people with intellectual development delays, including waivers and special programs, is giving way to managed care initiatives through programs like Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) and Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) federal waivers.  This means that service providers for this population have to familiarize themselves with managed care processes, billing, and performance standards.  During this session hear the steps that organizations should take to learn payer expectations and assure their success under these new models. 

Sharon Hicks

Sharon Hicks has more than 30 years of experience in the health and human service field. She has extensive experience and wide range of expertise in health plan management, in clinical operations management, and technology.

Prior to joining OPEN MINDS, Ms. Hicks spent two decades in a number of executive positions within the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) system and within its health plan division.   Ms. Hicks served as the Chief Operating Officer for Community Care Behavioral Health, a managed behavioral health organization.  She was responsible for all aspects of the organization’s operations including fiscal, information systems, the claims processing department, and the design of clinical systems. In addition Ms. Hicks managed the day-to-day operations of including human resources, facilities, purchasing, and security.

Ms. Hicks also served as the Vice President, Internet Strategy, UPMC Insurance Services Division and, since 2002, as the Chief Executive Officer of Askesis Development Group, Inc. since May of 2002. In this role, Ms. Hicks was responsible for the growth of the company, profitability of the company, and the direction of software development.

Ms. Hick started her impressive health care career as a psychiatric social worker before being promoted to Assistant Director of Social Work. Prior to her executive promotions, Ms. Hicks served as a Clinical Administrator for both Ambulatory Services and Emergency and Intake Services at the UPMC Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. In this role, Ms. Hicks managed the behavioral health division, the budgets for all departments, and implemented new software replacing paper billing for clinical services.

Ms. Hicks received both her Masters of Business Administration and Masters of Social Work degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. Before pursuing her graduate education, Ms. Hicks received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.


11:30 am – 12:45 pm PT

Addressing Workforce Issues In I/DD Service Delivery

The I/DD Executive Summit

The workforce shortage affecting the entire country has had a significant impact on direct care positions. The shortage of direct support positions (DSPs) is particularly detrimental to people with I/DD who need assistance with daily living activities and presents challenges to the growth and stability of providers. Right now, there is no career path for a DSP and many DSPs still earn under $15 an hour. Providers and care management agencies are competing with businesses such as Starbucks and Target who are willing to pay the same or more per hour, offer benefits, and management opportunities. What can we do to restabilize the workforce? In this session, learn approaches that have proven successful for provider organizations dealing with the workforce issue.

Ray Wolfe, J.D.

Raymond “Ray” Wolfe, J.D. brings over 40 years of experience in the health and human services sector to the OPEN MINDS team. Mr. Wolfe currently serves as a Senior Associate, a position in which he utilizes his expertise to successfully lead varying projects for OPEN MINDS. His areas of expertise include managed care and value-based reimbursement models, financial analysis and management, mergers and acquisitions, CCBHC certification, integrated care, performance improvement, and strategic planning.

Before joining OPEN MINDS, Mr. Wolfe served in a 22-year tenure with Pittsburgh Mercy Health System in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Most recently, Mr. Wolfe served as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), where he was responsible for oversight of all system operations, strategic planning, and performance management. Under his direction Pittsburgh Mercy achieved Certified Behavioral Health Center status, earned over $850K in value-based reimbursement contract quality bonus awards, integrated three organizations through merger/acquisition, opened a primary care service that was integrated into programming for the severe and persistent mentally ill and homeless populations, and adopted a new performance management program for managers.

Before acting as Pittsburgh Mercy’s COO, Mr. Wolfe served as the organization’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and was responsible for the development of internal costing methodologies, contract rate negotiations, and financial forecasting activities. In addition, he coordinated an integrated care program with local partner hospitals to develop a series of diversion and respite programs, as well as specialized primary care, integrated care management, and high utilizer teams, while maintaining 15 straight years of profitability.

Mr. Wolfe was promoted to CFO after serving as the Director of Fiscal and Information Security/Compliance for the health system. In this role, he was responsible for managing the transition of service contracts from fee-for-service (FFS), leading all compliance activities, and implementing a next-generation electronic health record (EHR) system.

Prior to his time at Pittsburgh Mercy Health System, Mr. Wolfe served as Chief Fiscal Officer with the Summit Center for Human Development in Clarksburg, West Virginia, where he was responsible for reporting and budgeting functions and preparing Summit Center’s programs for FFS billing.

Previously, Mr. Wolfe served in billing and collections for two Pennsylvania-based hospitals. First, in his role as a manager for Healthcare Corporation of America (HCA) and as an Accounts Receivables Manager for Brownsville General Hospital in Brownsville, PA, where he managed the accounting and billing system transition systems. Later as a Patient Account Manager for St. Francis Medical Center in Pittsburgh, PA, where he improved collections to hit a 95% rate through the implementation of new billing software and department reorganization.

Prior to working in the health and human services market, Mr. Wolfe spent five years practicing as a Lawyer with at Law Offices of Arch A. Moore in Moundsville, WV. In this role, he provided general legal practice, created and established bylaws for multiple corporations, and handled West Virginia licensing of first vision insurance plan.

Mr. Wolfe earned his Juris Doctor from the West Virginia University School of Law in Morgantown, WV and his Bachelor’s degree with a focus in Political Science and Sociology from West Liberty University, Wheeling, West Virginia, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.


2:15 pm – 3:45 pm PT

Leveraging Technology In The Delivery Of I/DD Services

The I/DD Executive Summit

As health care service delivery embraces technology, including wearables and smart monitoring devices, opportunities exist to use these devices to extend staffing capabilities, empower service recipients, extend the opportunities for safety monitoring into the community, and more.  Many see the development of technology as a means to address the growing direct support position (DSP) shortage. In this session we will hear from organizations that have used newer technologies with their service populations and learn about best practices for evaluating and implementing technology in the I/DD space.

Sharon Hicks

Sharon Hicks has more than 30 years of experience in the health and human service field. She has extensive experience and wide range of expertise in health plan management, in clinical operations management, and technology.

Prior to joining OPEN MINDS, Ms. Hicks spent two decades in a number of executive positions within the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) system and within its health plan division.   Ms. Hicks served as the Chief Operating Officer for Community Care Behavioral Health, a managed behavioral health organization.  She was responsible for all aspects of the organization’s operations including fiscal, information systems, the claims processing department, and the design of clinical systems. In addition Ms. Hicks managed the day-to-day operations of including human resources, facilities, purchasing, and security.

Ms. Hicks also served as the Vice President, Internet Strategy, UPMC Insurance Services Division and, since 2002, as the Chief Executive Officer of Askesis Development Group, Inc. since May of 2002. In this role, Ms. Hicks was responsible for the growth of the company, profitability of the company, and the direction of software development.

Ms. Hick started her impressive health care career as a psychiatric social worker before being promoted to Assistant Director of Social Work. Prior to her executive promotions, Ms. Hicks served as a Clinical Administrator for both Ambulatory Services and Emergency and Intake Services at the UPMC Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. In this role, Ms. Hicks managed the behavioral health division, the budgets for all departments, and implemented new software replacing paper billing for clinical services.

Ms. Hicks received both her Masters of Business Administration and Masters of Social Work degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. Before pursuing her graduate education, Ms. Hicks received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.


4:00 pm – 5:30 pm PT

Addressing Reimbursement Models & Rates For I/DD Service Delivery

The I/DD Executive Summit

While managed care and value-based payment arrangements have been growing in the traditional mental health and substance use disorder markets, the I/DD environment is just beginning to see those types of processes become commonplace.  In this session you will hear from finance executives and program leaders to learn about best practices for I/DD providers in adapting to these newer models. 

Ray Wolfe, J.D.

Raymond “Ray” Wolfe, J.D. brings over 40 years of experience in the health and human services sector to the OPEN MINDS team. Mr. Wolfe currently serves as a Senior Associate, a position in which he utilizes his expertise to successfully lead varying projects for OPEN MINDS. His areas of expertise include managed care and value-based reimbursement models, financial analysis and management, mergers and acquisitions, CCBHC certification, integrated care, performance improvement, and strategic planning.

Before joining OPEN MINDS, Mr. Wolfe served in a 22-year tenure with Pittsburgh Mercy Health System in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Most recently, Mr. Wolfe served as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), where he was responsible for oversight of all system operations, strategic planning, and performance management. Under his direction Pittsburgh Mercy achieved Certified Behavioral Health Center status, earned over $850K in value-based reimbursement contract quality bonus awards, integrated three organizations through merger/acquisition, opened a primary care service that was integrated into programming for the severe and persistent mentally ill and homeless populations, and adopted a new performance management program for managers.

Before acting as Pittsburgh Mercy’s COO, Mr. Wolfe served as the organization’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and was responsible for the development of internal costing methodologies, contract rate negotiations, and financial forecasting activities. In addition, he coordinated an integrated care program with local partner hospitals to develop a series of diversion and respite programs, as well as specialized primary care, integrated care management, and high utilizer teams, while maintaining 15 straight years of profitability.

Mr. Wolfe was promoted to CFO after serving as the Director of Fiscal and Information Security/Compliance for the health system. In this role, he was responsible for managing the transition of service contracts from fee-for-service (FFS), leading all compliance activities, and implementing a next-generation electronic health record (EHR) system.

Prior to his time at Pittsburgh Mercy Health System, Mr. Wolfe served as Chief Fiscal Officer with the Summit Center for Human Development in Clarksburg, West Virginia, where he was responsible for reporting and budgeting functions and preparing Summit Center’s programs for FFS billing.

Previously, Mr. Wolfe served in billing and collections for two Pennsylvania-based hospitals. First, in his role as a manager for Healthcare Corporation of America (HCA) and as an Accounts Receivables Manager for Brownsville General Hospital in Brownsville, PA, where he managed the accounting and billing system transition systems. Later as a Patient Account Manager for St. Francis Medical Center in Pittsburgh, PA, where he improved collections to hit a 95% rate through the implementation of new billing software and department reorganization.

Prior to working in the health and human services market, Mr. Wolfe spent five years practicing as a Lawyer with at Law Offices of Arch A. Moore in Moundsville, WV. In this role, he provided general legal practice, created and established bylaws for multiple corporations, and handled West Virginia licensing of first vision insurance plan.

Mr. Wolfe earned his Juris Doctor from the West Virginia University School of Law in Morgantown, WV and his Bachelor’s degree with a focus in Political Science and Sociology from West Liberty University, Wheeling, West Virginia, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.