Team

Joan Dentler headshot

Joan Dentler MBA

President & Chief Executive Officer LinkedIn-16px_0

Joan Dentler is president and chief executive officer of Avanza Healthcare Strategies. For more than 25 years Joan has been consulting on, developing or operating ambulatory surgery centers, hospital outpatient services and community health initiatives. She founded ASC Strategies in 2007 and Outpatient Strategies in 2011, unifying the two companies under a single brand, Avanza Healthcare Strategies, in 2013.

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Joan's breadth of experience and disarming nature help her quickly build trust and establish credibility with clients and other stakeholders. She is known for her incisive business acumen and elegant solutions to complex problems.

Joan has held numerous industry leadership positions. She is a member of Gerson Lehrman Group's healthcare council and is a past advisory board member for Community Hospital 100. She has also served on the editorial advisory boards for SurgiStrategies and Outpatient Surgery magazines. Joan is a frequent contributor to healthcare publications and an engaging presenter at conferences and symposiums. She repeatedly appears on Becker's list of top women leaders in the healthcare industry.

Before founding Avanza, Joan worked in health care administration, serving as a hospital liaison for hospital-physician joint ventures and as an administrator of community-based women's health and pediatric primary care facilities.

Joan holds a master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas.

Contact Joan at [email protected].

Andy Lasser headshot

Andrew A. Lasser DrPH, FACHE

Executive Vice PresidentLinkedIn-16px_0

Andrew Lasser is executive vice president of Avanza Healthcare Strategies. Dr. Lasser's rich healthcare experience includes various leadership posts, notably executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief executive officer of academic medical center hospitals, community hospitals, rural hospitals and a religiously affiliated hospital.

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Since 1998, Dr. Lasser has been consulting in the areas of strategic thinking in healthcare operations, project feasibility, organizational structure and hospital-physician collaborations. He is also a skilled group-process facilitator.

Dr. Lasser is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He is frequent speaker at healthcare meetings and is the author of several articles and publications. He has served on the editorial boards of the American College of Healthcare Executives' Journal of Healthcare Management and the Journal of Rural Health. Dr. Lasser is also a Review Editor for Frontiers, a community-rooted, open-access academic publisher.

In addition to his professional work, Dr. Lasser has served on the board of directors of many community-health-related organizations, such as Variety Care, a federally qualified health care center; American Red Cross; American Heart Association and Christian Children's Fund.

Dr. Lasser holds a doctorate in Public Health and a master's degree in Healthcare Management from the University of Pittsburgh.

Erin P. Carr MBA

Vice PresidentLinkedIn-16px_0

Erin Carr brings nearly 20 years of healthcare consulting experience to Avanza Healthcare Strategies. She has served nearly 100 hospitals, physician practices, hospice organizations, rehabilitation centers, skilled-nursing facilities and other healthcare organizations across the country. Among other things, Avanza's clients rely on Erin's financial modeling for new programs, due diligence for acquisitions, and impact analysis for program migrations.

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She is an active member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Healthcare Financial Management Association, Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development of the American Hospital Association and the Florida Hospital Association. She is also a past board member of Suncoast Healthcare Executives.

Away from the office, Erin volunteers with St. Joseph's Children's Hospital and Project PUP: Pets Uplifting People.

Erin holds a master's degree in Business Administration, with a focus in healthcare administration, from Georgia State University.

Janis Powers

Janis Powers MBA, MArch

Vice President, Strategic OperationsLinkedIn-16px_0

Janis Powers is the vice president of strategic operations for Avanza Healthcare Strategies. Janis has nearly 20 years of experience developing and implementing strategic plans, departmental initiatives and enterprise-wide technology projects for public- and private-sector clients.

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Throughout her career, Janis has partnered with client constituents at all organizational levels, from board leadership to hospital staff to community stakeholders. This collective experience has fueled Janis' ability to partner with clients in the design and implementation of a wide array of highly customized initiatives. She recently completed a data-security analysis of vital records for the state of Texas and the development of an operational plan for a 600-physician health information exchange system.

Janis completed her undergraduate studies at Yale University. She holds dual masters degrees in business administration and architecture from the University of Michigan.

Jacqueline Kim

Jacqueline (Shen) Kim MBA

Director of Client ServicesLinkedIn-16px_0

Jacqueline Kim brings 15 years of healthcare and corporate consulting experience to the Avanza team. In her position as Director of Client Services, she will focus on areas that include internal and external communications, client relations and project coordination.

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Her professional experience includes strategic planning, data analysis, project development and management, due diligence, marketing, relationship building and serving as a liaison to community and government leaders.

During her career, Jackie has worked with a wide variety of organizations, including community-based health organizations, public teaching hospitals, national health insurers and leading pharmaceutical companies.

She earned a bachelor of arts in human biology focused on health care policy from Stanford University and a master of business administration in healthcare management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Vicki Dekker

Senior Consultant, Business Office Specialist LinkedIn-16px_0

Vicki Dekker brings more than 25 years of healthcare management experience to assisting Avanza’s clients with business office operations process. Her background includes extensive work with ambulatory surgery centers, outpatient academic facilities, private practices and other facility types.

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Vicki has worked as a director of business office operations for an ASC management company; billing manager for neurosurgery, neurology, and ENT departments at an outpatient academic facility; and as a business office manager in a large neurology private practice.

She has demonstrated success in building and retaining high performance teams by hiring, developing and motivating skilled professionals. Vicki’s focus is on business office process improvements, with an emphasis on maximizing revenue cycle reimbursement with efficient processes.

Vicki has been named a great woman leader in the ASC industry by Becker's ASC Review multiple times. She is an avid volunteer, donating her time to help a local soup kitchen and baking skills to help her church.

Sarah Gamerman headshot

Sarah Gamerman RN, BS

Senior Consultant, Surgical ServicesLinkedIn-16px_0

Sarah Gamerman has worked closely with hospitals and free-standing, outpatient facilities, taking them from ground breaking through licensing, Medicare certification and accreditation. She helps clients develop policies and procedures to meet state and federal regulations. All of Sarah's clients have passed initial surveys without issue.

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Sarah is expert in hiring and mentoring administrators and center staff through the development and certification processes. Sarah also conducts operational audits and feasibility studies for hospitals and surgery centers.

Sarah regularly works alongside project architects and designers to ensure facility designs are compliant, cost effective, efficient and maximize patient care opportunities.

In addition to her work with clients, as a registered nurse, Sarah continues to provide clinical care to patients in both hospital and freestanding settings. Doing so continually reinforces her understanding of the challenges providers face today.

Sarah is a member of the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses.

Julie Jung RN, MSN

Senior Consultant, Compliance and AccreditationLinkedIn-16px_0

Julie Jung brings more than 30 years of nursing experience to Avanza. She has worked in ambulatory surgery centers, hospitals and other settings, and uses her extensive accreditation and regulatory knowledge to assist Avanza clients in areas including efficiency practices, quality improvement, benchmarking, licensure, accreditation and compliance.

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Julie, who is LEAN certified, is a strategic leader who is relatable and very comfortable with the tactical element of her role. She leads by example, and is respected for her relentless work ethic and commitment level. Julie's personal passion for patient communication and care touch every aspect of her work.

As national director of clinical operations improvement for a large operator and manager of hospitals and surgery centers, she collaborated with senior directors of operations, administrators and staff at more than 40 ASCs to assist with issues related to efficiency, quality, safety and regulatory compliance.

As director of the quality standards department for another large facility operator and manager, Julie worked as member of a survey team to evaluate and assess standards compliance, and provided guidance related to CMS, The Joint Commission and AAAHC accreditation standards compliance. She also coordinated and taught in-services for staff with regard to quality, risk management and infection control in the perioperative environment.

As a surveyor for AAAHC for more than seven years, Julie advises organizations on quality standards and assess for compliance with accreditation and CMS requirements. She is also an academic coach on the clinical faculty of the University of Texas Arlington where she is responsible for educating and mentoring Masters degree nursing students.

Julie earned her nursing degree from Mennonite Hospital School of Nursing in Bloomington, Ill., and bachelors of science in nursing and master of science in nursing degrees from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is PALS and ACLS certified.

Julie is passionate in her advocacy for continuous improvement in clinical settings as she pushes herself and those around her to be continuous learners.

Tyla Blom RN, MBA, CASC

Senior Consultant, OperationsLinkedIn-16px_0

Tyla ("Teela") Blom brings more than 25 years of clinical and operational experience to the Avanza team. Over the course of her career, Tyla has been recognized for her operational acumen, collaboration skills, and strategic thinking. In an environment of declining reimbursement and increasing costs, Tyla works with each individual client to craft a plan that allows for the provision of excellent care while improving the bottom line.

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Prior to joining Avanza, Tyla served as a regional ASC operations director for a large hospital corporation and has held several management and executive level positions for both physician owned and corporately managed ambulatory surgery facilities.

Tyla enjoys working with physician partners and staff members to identify areas for operational improvement and has been successful in reducing operational expenses through education, scheduling efficiencies, streamlining processes, and contract negotiations at all of her facilities.

Tyla earned her nursing degree from Clayton State College in Morrow, Georgia and her Masters in Business Administration from Western Governors University Texas. Tyla is also a Certified Administrator Surgery Center (CASC).

Janet Snyder-Beck Janet Snyder-Beck

Senior ConsultantLinkedIn-16px_0

Janet brings more than 20 years of senior executive management and consulting experience to Avanza. As a Senior Consultant, she will focus on assisting clients with strategic planning, joint venture development, and outpatient service line assessments and redesign.

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Janet's professional experience includes significant experience managing top-tier healthcare organizations. She has effectively overseen strategic planning, ambulatory care environment operations, hospice and home health initiatives, and facility planning. She approaches project management with a mindset toward innovation, delivering quality care for patients, and maintaining positive operating margins.

During her career, Janet has held leadership positions with a variety of organizations, including serving as Executive Director of Ambulatory Ventures for a large health system. In this position, she oversaw 16 ambulatory entities, including developing and operating joint-ventured ASCs. She was also a leader in clinical strategy and design with national architecture and consulting firms.

She earned a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Capital University and a master of business administration degree from Franklin University. Janet has been awarded multiple Modern Healthcare national design awards. She is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives and a board member for Lower Lights Christian Health Center.

Susan Neorr MBA

Senior Consultant, Payer RelationsLinkedIn-16px_0

Susan Neorr brings more than 20 years of healthcare management experience to helping Avanza’s clients with payer relations and contract negotiations. She is focused on securing competitive reimbursement rates and optimal terms while managing clients’ transitions to value-based contracting.

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As a consultant, Susan has worked with community hospitals, private specialty groups, independent pediatric groups, long-term acute care hospital networks, county hospital systems, national HMOs/PPOs, and local CHIP and Medicare Advantage plans. She also has extensive experience maximizing contract value for ambulatory surgery centers, imaging centers and other physician-owned entities.

Susan previously directed the network contracting effort for a regional health plan that, at the time, was the fastest growing HMO in the country. The Harris Methodist Health Plan, a 350,000 member HMO located in Dallas-Fort Worth, whose network at its height included over 8,000 physicians, 75 hospitals and 190 ancillaries, was bought by PacifiCare, which was later acquired by United Healthcare. Ms. Neorr advised both acquiring entities on contracting and network development. In addition, she worked at Kaiser Permanente in its Texas headquarters and at several community hospitals.

Susan holds a Master of Business Administration from Texas Christian University and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Economics from the University of North Texas.

maria

Maria Serafine MHA

Senior Consultant, Community Health Centers LinkedIn-16px_0

With a background that includes 12 years of hospital administration and senior-level leadership in community health center operations, Maria Serafine brings significant first-hand knowledge of FQHC operations to her role as a consultant for Avanza. She also brings a practiced understanding of revenue cycle management, the Affordable Care Act and Managed Medicaid products to each client engagement.

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Maria's consulting practice focuses on revenue cycle management, program development and implementation, business process improvement, cost-reduction strategies and technology rollouts. Putting these skills to work, she has developed and coordinated community collaborations to improve healthcare access for underserved populations.

Maria is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She holds a master's degree in Health Care Administration from Texas Woman's University and a bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin. Maria is fluent in Spanish.

Ellen Sanchez

Ellen Sanchez MEd

Senior Consultant, Community CollaborationsLinkedIn-16px_0

Ellen Sanchez is director of community collaborations for Avanza. With 25 years experience in community outreach, education and health promotion, Ellen has designed and implemented many successful programs from the ground up and turned existing programs into models of innovation.

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Ellen is past chair of the Greater Los Angeles Violence Prevention Coalition, a broad based network of member organizations committed to improving quality of life in Los Angeles utilizing a public health approach. As director of community outreach for the Violence Intervention Program at LAC-USC Medical Center, she established a strong community presence for the organization and designed and supervised a community health education and promotion program for the Los Angeles mayor's office. Ellen also served on the steering committees of the Boyle Heights and South Los Angeles Building Healthy Communities Initiatives, two of The California Endowment's place-based sites for innovation in public health systems. Other roles include grant reviewer for U.S. Health and Human Services, adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work and director of education and training for Planned Parenthood of Austin, where she built a health education center recognized as a national model by the U.S. Surgeon General.

Much of Ellen's success is rooted in her ability to create and manage effective collaborations to address health disparities in underserved communities. Ellen is expert in training health, education and social service providers how to develop policies and implement programs that are responsive to emerging individual and community needs. As an educator, she has developed health and wellness curricula for children, youth, university students and adults.

Ellen holds a master's degree in Education from Lesley University.