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Our Executive Team

Leslie Naamon, Chief Operating Officer

Leslie Naamon joined IlliniCare Health in December 2017 as Chief Operating Officer. Leslie has over 30 years of experience in Medicaid/Medicare Managed Care programs. Before joining IlliniCare Health, Leslie was the Chief Operation Officer at our sister plan, Peach State Health Plan. Previously, Leslie was responsible for Medicaid revenue, network, and membership growth as Regional Vice President for WellPoint Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin and its partner organization, CareNex.

Leslie earned her MBA in Finance from Rutgers University and her Bachelor of Science in Administrative Science and Psychology from Yale College at Yale University. She has been recognized with a number of awards including: the Women in Leadership Award from Centene Corporation, DiversityMBA’s “Top 100 MBAs Under 50” while at WellPoint, and the Most Valuable Player Award from CareSource Management Group.

Michael Rashid, Plan President and CEO

Michael Rashid is a pioneer in the Medicaid managed care landscape, helping to ensure there is access to quality and affordable health care to the “people most in need.”  With his vision, passion, and leadership, Michael will work with the leadership team to develop innovative healthcare solutions and advance IlliniCare Health’s mission of transforming the health of the community, one person at a time. Before joining IlliniCare Health, Michael spent nearly 20 years with AmeriHealth Caritas holding multiple leadership positions, including CEO. As CEO of AmeriHealth Caritas, Michael was instrumental in growing the company from a 500,000-member organization serving Medicaid recipients in the Philadelphia region into a 5 million-member organization serving people in 15 states and Washington D.C.  During his four decades in health care, Michael led federally qualified health centers, health plans and other entities dedicated to making quality health care accessible for all.  Michael holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Southern California and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. He serves on numerous boards, including Drexel University and Independence Mission Schools.

Orin McIntosh, Senior Vice President of Finance

Orin McIntosh joined IlliniCare Health in March of 2018 as the Senior Vice President of Finance. He brought his specialized knowledge of finance and operations in managed care, ranging from Fee-For-Service to shared risk/shared savings to partial and global capitation. Prior to joining IlliniCare Health’s senior leadership team, Orin served as Director of Financial Planning & Analysis at Concerto Health from 2012 to 2016. He then continued on to be the Director of Finance and Regional CFO at Humana until early 2018. Orin has overseen multi-billion dollar path-to-value blocks of business for Medicare and Medicaid products. He’s driven value for both Health Plans and Provider Groups by leading teams that oversee medical economics, revenue optimization, financial projections, and market performance. Orin earned his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and his Masters in Finance from University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Mary Cooley, Medical Management

Mary Cooley is an innovative, results-driven health professional with over 30 years of experience. Mary possesses a consistent record of success in organizational change to accomplish turnarounds, growth, clinical and operational excellence, process redesign and innovation to drive performance improvement. She has held various leadership roles in quality assurance, corporate wellness, benefit management, and health plan leadership.  She worked at Priority Health, the health plan arm of Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, MI for 20 years, ending her tenure as Vice President, Care Management and Operations before joining Centene Corporation in October 2017. Mary Cooley transferred to IlliniCare Health earlier this year to take the position of Senior Vice President, Clinical Integration Officer. She has strong hospital and community based clinical experience, in addition to having a large talent for building highly successful strategic programs and partnerships. Mary received her BSN in Nursing from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and obtained her Masters of Science-Management from DePaul University.

Debra M. Brophy, VP of Medical Management

Debra Brophy is an accomplished executive with extensive experience in multiple aspects of clinical operations within the healthcare industry. Since joining IlliniCare Health, Debra has leveraged her consistent leadership and expertise in care management and utilization to elevate the skills and quality of the organization she leads. Over the course of her career, she has managed the operations of several programs, including home health, specialty case management for transplant and renal failure, and claims review with commercial and private entities. In these roles, she partnered with large commercial insurance companies to establish care coordination practices and renal care networks that bring exceptional levels of service and high quality of care to health plan members across Illinois. At IlliniCare Health, Debra has had leadership roles in the Integrated Care Program, Waivers, and Medicare. Debra earned her degree in Nursing from Advocate Medical Center of Oak Lawn, IL. She is certified in case management by both American Nurses Credentialing and the Commission for Case Management.

Mary D. Strasser, VP of Network Development and Contracting

Mary D. Strasser is responsible for all provider relations, contracting, recruitment, reimbursement development, and credentialing initiatives. She will develop and maintain a high-performing provider care network that will deliver high standards for quality, and strategically explore new opportunities to expand the services IlliniCare Health offers to its members. Mary D. has over 20 years of network development experience in commercial and government programs delivering members access to high-quality medical care and high-value insurance solutions. Before joining IlliniCare Health, Mary D. was the Executive Director of Provider Network Management for Health Alliance Medical Plans in Urbana, IL. Over the course of her career, she has been responsible for strategic development and all aspects of network development, provider relations, contracting, credentialing, and network compliance.  As part of her work, she has led successful network expansions to support commercial, Medicare Advantage growth, and managed Medicaid membership growth. She also has extensive experience in creating and managing contracts that balance financials, risks, and member-focused needs. Mary D. holds a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and Management from Upper Iowa University and a Coaching for Leaders Certificate from Cardinal Stritch University.

Sally Szumlas, Vice President, Quality Improvement

Sally Szumlas RN MS, MPH is a board-certified clinical nurse executive with more than 25 years of experience in management and organizational development, with expertise in restructuring and performance improvement. Prior to joining IlliniCare Health, she was Chief Operating Officer at the American Osteopathic Association. She also served as Vice President of Population Health and Quality for Family Health Network, an NCQA accredited, not-for-profit managed care HMO network serving over 240,000 Illinoisans in Medicaid and Medicare programs. There she led health plan initiatives that significantly improved member access for perinatal care, early childhood preventive health, diabetes and asthma care outcomes, with multi-percentile improvement in HEDIS and overall STARS performance. Sally previously held progressive leadership roles in operations and quality at Northwestern Medicine and University of Chicago Medicine. She’s presented widely on quality improvement and population health initiatives, in addition to being published in Nurse Leader and the Joint Commission Journal of Quality and Patient Safety. Sally holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Northwestern University, a Master's Degree in Nursing Administration and a Master’s Degree in Public Health from DePaul University. Sally is currently pursuing her doctorate in Transformational Leadership at Rush University College of Nursing.

Veronika Mix, Vice President, Community Outreach and Marketing

Veronika E. Mix joined IlliniCare Health in August of 2018 as Vice President of Community Relations and Marketing. With over 13 years in the healthcare industry, Veronika has been passionately striving to improve community development initiatives while creating business and membership growth opportunities. Coming from our sister plan, Peach State Health Plan, as Director of Community Relations, Veronika has demonstrated excellent strategy and implementation of programs to promote ongoing marketing efforts benefiting company and community awareness.  

In previous positions, Veronika was responsible for executing solutions-driven marketing and sales outreach programs, identifying strengthsCommunity Relations and Marketing and weaknesses within membership reports, cultivating relationships with community advocacy organizations, and overseeing community outreach events. Veronika received her MBA in Marketing from Strayer University. She continues to be at the forefront of success in Community Relations and Marketing for IlliniCare Health.

Deborah Johnson, Vice President, Compliance

Dr. Deborah Johnson is a seasoned healthcare compliance professional with over thirty years of healthcare experience. She has expertise in facilitating effective healthcare compliance programs for managed care organizations, multi-hospital systems, behavioral health and physician practice management, ensuring compliance is a relevant part of the business process. Dr. Johnson is particularly experienced in facilitating government imposed compliance programs on behalf of healthcare organizations for a variety of federal and state regulatory matters, including Corporate Integrity Agreements. As an executive leader, she works collaboratively with the organizations’ executive management to develop long-term compliance strategies. 

Dr. Johnson earned a Doctor of Health Administration and Management from Century University, a Masters of Health Administration and Health Policy from Mercer University, and completed a certification in International Healthcare in St. Petersburg, Russia. Additionally, she has a certification in Executive Healthcare Leadership from Cornell University and a certification U.S. Healthcare Compliance from Seton Hall Law School.  

She is an active member of the following professional organizations: 

Professional Membership:

  • Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA)
  • American College of Health Care Executives (ACHE) 
  • National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE)
  • National Association of Business and Professional Women (NABPW)

April Bellamy-Peyton, M.D., Interim Chief Medical Director

April Bellamy-Peyton, M.D. was born and raised on the south side of Chicago. A graduate of Chicago Public Schools, Dr. Bellamy-Peyton went on to study Biology at Purdue University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 1983. She then attended Howard University College of Medicine in Washington DC. While at Howard, she realized her true calling was to care for children and completed a residency training program in Pediatrics at Rush University Hospital. Dr. Bellamy-Peyton is a board certified pediatrician and currently a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. For over 28 years, she has practiced general pediatrics, providing care to over 10,000 patients in a variety of settings including federally qualified clinics, hospital inpatient units, emergency departments, labor and delivery rooms, and private medical offices.

In 2015, Dr. Bellamy-Peyton joined IlliniCare Health in the position of Medical Director and is currently the Interim Chief Medical Director. Her training in pediatrics, specifically preventive medicine in maternal child health, continues to guide her decision making process in her current role. Throughout her career, April Bellamy-Peyton, M.D. has been, and will continue to be, committed to delivering quality health care to our patients, one person at a time.