Our Executive Team

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Tomas Gregorio

 Senior Executive Director

Tomas Gregorio is the Senior Executive Director of the Healthcare Division at the New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII) in Newark NJ. He has overall responsibility for the success and operation of several innovation programs helping the government and healthcare industry tackle the day to day problems faced Physicians, Health Systems and Payers. NJII Healthcare collaborates with external organizations to disrupt the industry with innovation taking place at NJII and around the country. Tom’s healthcare division has developed the expertise in creating commercialized healthcare products and services after execution of federal and state funded experiments and CMMI models. Tom brings a rich and diverse background to the job having served in various roles as senior hospital executive and CEO, consultant with a big 4 firm and population health software executive for over 25 years. 

NJII is currently contracted with the state of New Jersey Department of Health to manage the state wide health Information Network (NJHIN) responsible for creating 9.5 million unique person identifiers and connecting the various trusted data sharing organizations (hospitals, health systems, physician groups and 5 health information exchanges) across the state.  In addition, Tom is Primary Investigator of a 50 million dollar grant from CMMI to transform 10,000 physicians from fee for service to fee for value.  The 4 year practice transformation grant is in its 3rd year and has already reported 141 million dollars in savings of the 155 million dollars in total cost of care savings required by CMMI.

Prior to joining NJII, Tom was Sr. Vice President & COO for a leading provider of best-in-class data connectivity and software solutions focused on the population management segment of the healthcare industry. Prior to that he served as President and CEO of a medium sized community hospital and before that, was the Vice President Administration and Vice President & CIO of a large quaternary care facility in an underserved community in Newark, NJ.

Tom Bartiromo

Chief Information Officer

Tom Bartiromo is the CIO for NJII and innovation lead for the Healthcare Delivery System iLab. Tom led the creation of NJII’s Innovation as a Service Program for Healthcare, an innovation and incubation initiative designed to create and launch the next wave of innovative problem-solving in healthcare technology, products and services. Tom has 25 years of experience as a strategic and tactical leader, team builder, and trusted colleague to senior leadership with results driven ability; effective at managing people, processes and technology in support of business goals.

Prior to joining NJII, he provided onsite consulting services to Hartford HealthCare as interim CTO, and prior served as senior vice president, CTO and CIO at Barnabas Health Care System for 15 years providing IT leadership and direction for 52 affiliates, 18,200 employees and 4,750 physicians. He was directly accountable for the Information Technology and Services Division that had consolidated operating expenses of $64.2 million, capital expenses of $26.6 million, and 248 staff members.. Tom was named 2017 Healthcare Innovation Hero of the Year by NJBIZ, and in 2010 was presented CIO Magazine’s Ones to Watch Award.

Shelby Klein

Senior Director, Program Development

Shelby’s role in the Healthcare Delivery Systems iLab includes leading the process of identifying and responding to funding opportunities. Shelby also conducts background research and organizes strategy sessions to explore opportunities for program development. She works closely with all the departments within the Healthcare iLab to guide strategy as well.

Shelby has over 20 years of experience working in non-profit corporations, with nearly all being healthcare related. Prior to joining the NJII team, she served as the CEO of a small non-profit, and prior to that, spent over 15 years in leadership positions of a community behavioral health center. In addition, she actively serves on the Board of Directors for three health related non-profits, including a medical center and accountable care organization.

Jerry Vilbrun

Technology Services Director

Jerry is the Director of Technology Operations for NJII. In this role, he oversees the organization’s Product and Application development, IT Service Desk, IT Security, IT Infrastructure, and CRM service lines. Jerry partners with the Chief Information Officer and Senior Director of Architecture, to implement solutions that improve the organization’s security posture by preventing cyber-security threats from impacting business operations. He also oversees the product development team that builds healthcare software solutions in support of NJII grant programs.

Prior to joining NJII, Jerry was the IT Site Director for RWJ Barnabas Health, operating out of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, where he worked with the CEO to align IT initiatives to the organization’s strategic and operational objectives. His responsibilities included, participating in vendor contract negotiations for all technology solutions, establishing and directing strategic and tactical goals for the Information Technology Department, and developing business case justifications and cost/benefit analysis for IT spending initiatives.

Denise Spell

Director, Product Development

Denise Spell is the Director of Product Development for the New Jersey Innovation Institute. In her role, she has lead to the successful creation of the organizations flagship product, Measures Manager, a cloud-based platform solution that helps doctors manage their value-based care programs.

Previously, Denise was CEO and Chief Innovator of Currant, Inc. which developed cutting-edge technologies to change the way communities respond to natural disasters, emergencies and security threats. She is also the Co-Founder of Luftronix, the first generation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle flight guidance software and solutions, to enable precision navigation flights without the use of GPS signal.

A self-proclaimed technology and innovation guru, she has provided her two decades worth of experience to some of the most successful technology startups in New York City and Silicon Valley. She graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Physics.

Brendan McAuley

Business Development Executive, PTN/TCM

Brendan has 18 years of experience in delivering solutions to the healthcare industry in both the acute and professional setting. His career began at the height of the dot com era in the late 1990’s in San Francisco shortly after his graduation from the University of California at Santa Cruz. In 2001 he moved back to his native New York and spent nearly a decade at SRSsoft, an EMR company focused on specialty and large physician practices.

Brendan has been a sales person for his entire professional career and has sold into hospitals, FQHC’s, surgery centers, labs, radiology and physician practices. He brings a well-rounded knowledge of healthcare IS/ IT, operations, finance and drivers for reimbursement on quality. His most recent successes have been in the performance improvement and quality management arena which he is excited to build on at NJII.

Van Zimmerman

Executive Director

Van has nearly two decades of experience in healthcare information technology and compliance. Since Spetember 2018, Van has been responsible for the oversight of NJHIN operations. This role includes interfacing with healthcare stakeholders throughout New Jersey.

Most recenlty, Van was the executive director of Jersey Health Connect, following his role as the Privacy & Security Officer. Jersey Health Connect is one of the largest private Health Information Exchanges in the United States. Van began his career with Atlantic Health System in New Jersey in 1997, ultimately becoming Chief Privacy Officer, Director, Internal Audit, Compliance Counsel, and Research Integrity Officer. At Atlantic, he helped found Jersey Health Connect.

John Novak

Senior Director, Architecture & Government Technologies

John has over 20 years in Health IT across various care settings. In his current role he is leading the Healthcare Delivery Systems iLab core architecture and interoperability team focused on advancing interoperability across the continuum of care. He has performed numerous IT infrastructure assessments and spearheads multiple projects related to Health IT transformation and innovation including Health Information Exchange, Master Person Index and other value-based initiatives. John has spoken nationally on the values of Interoperability and patient matching.

Prior to joining NJII, John was the Director of Information Technology and Reporting for Beacon Health Options where he led the establishment, operations of the regional engagement center to support the outsourcing of the behavioral health and substance abuse business for a major health insurer in New Jersey. John also worked for Barnabas Health as a Director of Technology Resources and System Director of Project Management.

Bala Thiru

Director, Government Affairs, Finance, and Meaningful Use

Bala oversees Government Affairs and Finance for NJII. Bala is certified both as a Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems and as a Healthcare Technology Specialist, and has assisted more than 7,000 primary care providers and several hospitals and physician groups in N.J. to achieve Meaningful Use (MU) in accordance with federal requirements.

Currently overseeing government affairs and financial operations within NJII’s Healthcare Delivery Systems, he previously served as MU Director for the NJ Health Information Technology Extension Center. He is currently leading the NJ Medicaid Provider Program and assists in writing various proposals to the state and the federal government for NJII.

Van Ly

Senior Director, Business Development & PTN Program

Van comes to NJII from NJ-HITEC, a health IT Regional Extension Center, where he served as workflow manager and headed the Members Portal Division and Health Information Exchange (HIE). His skills and years of project-management experience proved integral to the creation and implementation of health IT connectivity for the thousands of NJ-HITEC provider members. He also was involved in the development and subsequent management of numerous physician-practice projects, including marketing and outreach campaigns, Clinical Quality Measures Reporting, Meaningful Use implementation, and Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment and Accountable Care Organizations programs.

Lynn (McVey) Wilson

Executive Head of Operations

Skilled connector, communicator and diplomat noted for building relationships with stakeholders, other leaders as well as team members in establishing environments of accountability and ownership. Lynn is a self-proclaimed data-diva who “measures rather than manages”. She authored the book “Evidence Based Management in Healthcare” to standardize the management of all hospital departments by identifying and then eliminating expensive variations. The Irish Echo named Lynn the Most Influential Irish-American Woman in Healthcare in 2010. Before joining NJII, Lynn spent 3 decades as a Radiology clinician, and ultimately CEO in the hospital space. Besides data, Lynn’s other passion is to bring awareness to the sometimes-invisible gender-bias in the workplace and educate female millennials how to recognize and step around it.

Sarah Balzano

Program Director, PTN

Sarah is the Program Director of the Garden Practice Transformation Network (GPTN) that includes more than 9,500 physicians from New Jersey, Maryland, and Puerto Rico, who are improving the health of more than 500,000 patients. This effort is the largest attempt by the Federal government to improve health and increase accessibility to care for citizens across the nation.

She’s responsible for the management of a team of 40 coaches, analysts and IT professionals who work with network providers to develop opportunities for practices to operate more efficiently and incorporate evidence-based best practices to forward advancements in population health.

Through these efforts, the GPTN has now achieved more than $135 million in healthcare savings. The results put the network more than 12 months ahead of schedule and on pace to far exceed the $155 million in cost savings that Garden PTN had promised CMS when the program started in early 2016.