OUR FIRM

Strategic Partners

Harbage Consulting works with a number of strategic partners that bring a range of policy, financing and operational expertise to enhance our work.

Kirsten Barlow

Kirsten Barlow

Strategic Partner

Kirsten Barlow brings nearly 20 years of reputable experience and leadership in the behavioral health policy arena to her work as a Strategic Partner with the Behavioral Health Policy Team at Harbage Consulting. Since July 2018, Kirsten has been working as an independent consultant providing policy analysis and strategic guidance to a variety of county health and behavioral health leaders, as well as trade associations.

 

Kirsten served for three years as the executive director of the County Behavioral Health Directors Association (CBHDA) of California, as executive officer of the Council on Mentally Ill Offenders, and was associate director at CBHDA where she managed their legislative and budget advocacy for five years. Kirsten has also worked as a public policy and external affairs professional at the California Department of Mental Health, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, and for the California Legislature’s Assembly Human Services Committee.

 

Kirsten has a Master of Social Welfare Degree from the University of California – Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor.

Charity Bracy

Charity Bracy

Strategic Partner

Charity Bracy has more than 18 years of experience in the non-profit and government sector serving as a political and policy adviser to a U.S. senator on health care issues, as a federal hospital lobbyist, and a consultant providing strategic advice on federal health care programs. She has experience in developing and implementing health care policy in the areas of Medicaid, Medicare, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

 

Charity has extensive experience working directly with the California health care system, including 10 years with the California Children’s Hospital Association working on initiatives to influence opinion leaders and key stakeholders with the goal of increasing public understanding of issues impacting hospitals and the delivery of care while increasing federal and state funding available to the children’s hospitals. She also has more than three years working as an independent consultant with a variety of hospital clients including large systems and small, independent hospitals in California, as well as work with a statewide trade association representing district and municipal public hospitals.

 

Charity has worked with Harbage Consulting as a Strategic Partner since October 2014, when she joined the firm’s New York’s Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program team. In that role, she has supported two New York hospital systems in leading the Performing Provider Systems that make up the structure of New York’s DSRIP program. She continues as a Strategic Partner with the firm providing strategic advice to several California hospitals as they work to implement their Medicaid transformation projects called PRIME.

 

Charity holds a Master of Business degree and a Master of Social Work Degree, both from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California-Santa Barbara.

Jane Ogle

Jane Ogle

Strategic Partner

Jane Ogle is the former Deputy Director for Healthcare Delivery Systems at the California Department of Health Care Services. She is currently an independent consultant working on several assignments including the DHCS Academy, an educational program for mid-level managers; the implementation of Health Homes programs in California; and the implementation of DSRIP programs in New York City.

 

At the DHCS she was responsible for the Low Income Health Program that ultimately transitioned 640,000 childless adults into Medi-Cal in 2014; the Long-Term Care Division that oversees programs for the most at-risk older adults in the state; California Children’s Services; and the Managed Care Division that expanded Medi-Cal managed care to all 58 counties and transitioned 900,000 children from Healthy Families into Medi-Cal.

 

Jane was also responsible for the Coordinated Care Initiative in seven counties that integrates Medicare and Medi-Cal services with long-term services and supports through managed Medi-Cal health plans. Prior to her work at the state, Jane was the first COO at Santa Clara Family Health Plan. She spent more than 20 years in hospital administration at hospitals in Trenton and Princeton, New Jersey. Jane is a graduate of Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service.

Gina Stassi-Vanacore

Gina Stassi-Vanacore

Senior Consultant

Gina Stassi-Vanacore is as an outside consultant for Harbage Consulting’s growing Strategic Communications and Public Affairs practice with more than 30 years’ experience working in private firms and public agencies. Gina brings a strong track record of success in all aspects of media relations, strategic communications, coalition development and crisis response.

 

During her career, Gina has served as the day-to-day media manager and spokesperson for several high-profile initiatives and legislative campaigns. Prior to affiliating with Harbage Consulting, Gina served as the communications and marketing director at Sacramento Covered, media relations manager at the California Lottery, vice president at a statewide public affairs firm, and time spent in print and broadcast media.

 

Gina earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communications from California State University, Sacramento. She and her husband, Jeff, reside in Sacramento with their children.

Stacie Weeks

Stacie Weeks, JD, MPH

Strategic Partner, Medicaid Policy

Stacie Weeks joined Harbage Consulting as a Strategic Partner in September 2019.  Stacie brings a wealth of health care policy, legal, and administrative experience. Throughout her career, she has been committed to improving the health, safety and welfare of communities through the development of sound public policies. Stacie is passionate about safeguarding vulnerable individuals and is skilled in developing the partnerships and coalitions necessary to create change.

 

Previously, Stacie served in several roles at the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). Most recently, she served as Chief of Staff to Commissioner Tony Lourey, where she oversaw the legal, compliance, legislative, and communications teams. Prior to that, Stacie served as Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at Hennepin Healthcare and was the Director of Health Care Policy and Federal Waivers at DHS from 2015 to 2017. In that role, she was lead agency staff for the Governor Dayton’s Health Care Financing Task Force and played a key role the agency’s efforts to protect the gains made under the Affordable Care Act.

 

Stacie also served in the Minnesota State Senate as committee administrator for the state’s health and human services budget.  Finally, Stacie has a deep appreciation for and understanding of the health care community that started back in 2011 when she was as a health care advocate and attorney for legal aid and helped lead the effort to protect MinnesotaCare.  She received her Juris Doctor from the William H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock; a Master’s in Public Health from the College of Public Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; and a Bachelor of Science with an emphasis in Occupational Therapy from the University of Central Arkansas.

Marie Zimmerman

Marie Zimmerman, MPP

Strategic Partner, Medicaid Policy

Marie Zimmerman has devoted over a decade to public-sector health care leadership in Minnesota, spearheading critical reforms and innovations that have been emulated nationally.  She joined Harbage Consulting as a Strategic Partner in October 2019.  Marie most recently served her second tour as Assistant Commissioner of Health Care and State Medicaid Director, after serving in the role from 2014-2018. Marie led the strategic vision, as well as the core business functions, of Minnesota’s Medicaid program and the Basic Health Program (BHP), MinnesotaCare, which totals over $12 billion annually and provides health coverage to 1.2 million Minnesotans.

 

During Marie’s tenure, the state saved over $1.5 billion in managed care reform and purchasing, including more than $270 million related to improved health outcomes for Medicaid enrollees through an accountable care model called Integrated Health Partnerships; a collaborative, patient-focused approach to delivering care while lowering costs. In addition, Marie managed the successful implementation of the Basic Health Program that provides affordable and comprehensive coverage for lower-income Minnesotans that do not qualify for Medicaid.  She also developed the first comprehensive, data-driven report and dashboard, Medicaid Matters. Marie developed and implemented a uniform preferred drug list, saving over $30 million per year in improved prescription drug pricing and rebates.  Finally, she played a key leadership role in the extension of Minnesota’s provider tax that brings in $700 million per year in revenue; and secured CMS approval for the extension of Minnesota’s Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) demonstration and substance use disorder waiver, as well as a new housing stabilization service.

 

Marie also served as a Vice President at Hennepin Healthcare providing strategic leadership across the county and health system on government programs. Prior to her service as Medicaid director, Marie acted as the Minnesota Department of Human Services health care policy director, where she led Medicaid’s initial efforts to reform health care purchasing, moving the state toward a pay-for-value model, as well as other leadership roles in managed care, legislative and budget. Marie received the Women in Health Care Leadership Award from the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST and was a Medicaid Leadership Institute Fellow with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She has also served on several boards and executive committees, including for the National Academy for State Health Policy, National Association of Medicaid Directors, Second Harvest Heartland, and Minnesota Community Measurement. Marie holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.

At the intersection of health care policy, politics and communications.