NIC Leadership Team

Stewards of Change Institute and AcademyHealth constitute the National Interoperability Collaborative (NIC) senior leadership team. The team is creating a global community of networks to advance interoperability, information-sharing, and collaborations, especially to benefit vulnerable and underserved populations. The team is also planning and shaping other formative elements of NIC, including infrastructure, governance, and network components. The team works closely with NIC’s partners and members to actively engage in activities to build NIC and carry out its mission. Senior members of the leadership team include:

Meet Our Team

Daniel Stein, MBACo-Principal Investigator - NIC

Daniel Stein is President of the Stewards of Change Institute (SOCI), a unique not-for-profit think tank and advocacy/implementation organization. He is also Co-Principal Investigator for the National Interoperability Collaborative (NIC), a new “Community of Networks” initiative led by SOCI and AcademyHealth. SOCI is built on the foundational belief that responsible, systemic information-sharing is the key to achieving enduring advancements in the health and wellness of children, adults and communities. SOCI’s mission is to improve lives by initiating, inspiring and implementing transformational change in Health and Human Services at all levels of government, industry and the nonprofit sector. For over a decade, Stein has been a thought-leader, educator and advocate in promoting and implementing “interoperability” by working nationally in the private and public sectors – at the local, state and federal levels – to instigate systemic change. Through the Stewards of Change Consultancy, which is the implementation arm of SOCI, Stein also has provided his expertise and experience nationally to create the strategies, operational regimes, tools, trainings and materials needed to achieve tangible results and fulfill the Institute’s mission.

Margo Edmunds, Ph.DCo-Principal Investigator - NIC

As an AcademyHealth Vice President, Dr. Margo Edmunds leads AcademyHealth's portfolios on research translation and dissemination, delivery system reform, health information infrastructure, and population health. She also directs the AcademyHealth Center on Diversity, Inclusion, and Minority Engagement. A health policy expert with a clinical background in care management, she has more than 20 years of experience directing high-visibility health policy evaluation and implementation projects and has worked with federal, state, and local governments and private sector clients, including foundations and industry associations. She has been a member of the teaching faculty at Johns Hopkins University since 1999, as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management and an Instructor in the Advanced Professional Programs in Communications.

In 2013, Dr. Edmunds received a leadership award from the American Medical Informatics Association for her work chairing the organization's Public Policy Committee. Dr. Edmunds received her multidisciplinary doctoral degree in human development from The Pennsylvania State University, completed a three-year research and clinical fellowship at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and was a post-doctoral fellow in health policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance and a Fellow and former member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. Dr. Edmunds is an Associate Editor of Applied Clinical Informatics and a reviewer for JAMIA, the International Journal of Medical Informatics, eGEMs, and Health Affairs.

Adam PertmanDirector of Communications and Coordinator of Strategic Alliances - NIC

Adam Pertman came to Stewards of Change Institute (SOCI) as a Senior Consultant after two successful careers over the last three decades: first as a senior Pulitzer-nominated journalist with the Boston Globe, and then as a highly regarded thought leader in the child welfare world as head of the Donaldson Adoption Institute (a national nonprofit that he built into the pre-eminent research, policy and advocacy think tank in its field).

Pertman’s current work with Stewards includes serving as the Coordination and Communications Director of the National Interoperability Collaborative. His responsibilities with SOCI for the last several years has also included building the organization’s nonprofit Institute; providing strategic planning and direction; furthering project development and execution; writing and editing papers, blogs and other materials; and leading internal and external media, marketing and communications activities.

Pertman is a prize-winning writer, editor and author who has given hundreds of keynotes, trainings and other presentations across the U.S. and internationally. He regularly appears in the media in this country and others, and has received many awards for his work on behalf of children and families. His consulting firm is Myriad Strategic Partners, and he is also President of the nonprofit National Center on Adoption and Permanency. Pertman’sBoston Globe positionsincluded Foreign Editor, Washington News Editor, Diplomatic Correspondent, National Political Correspondent, Family and Children’s Issues Reporter, and restaurant reviewer. His assignments included the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Philippine revolution, the first Gulf War, the Mideast peace process, the O.J. Simpson civil and criminal trials, and several U.S. presidential elections.

Ivy Pool, MPASenior Consultant - NIC

Ivy is a public sector management consultant, currently advising non-profits and government agencies on improving outcomes for underserved populations. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Previously, Ivy served in the administration of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, as the Program Director for the New York State Integrated Eligibility System, a $500M program to modernize and streamline access to health and human service programs. During NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s administration, Ivy served as the Executive Director for HHS-Connect, a nationally-recognized program that established interoperability and shared case management among 12 City agencies to enable more efficient and effective service delivery. Ivy held several other positions in NYC government, including at the Department for Information Technology and Telecommunications and the Department for Citywide Administrative Services. Ivy earned a Master’s in Public Administration from NYU. Her undergraduate degree is from Columbia University. Ivy was recently elected to a four-year term as a Councilwoman in the Town of New Castle, NY, where she lives with her husband and two children

Tim Carney, Ph.DSenior Informatics and Data Science Consultant, NIC

Dr. Timothy Jay Carney currently operates as the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Global Health Equity Intelligence Collaborative (GHEIC), LLC (est 2014). GHEIC seeks to leverage innovative technology and systems evaluation tools as a tool to foster smart health practices for eliminating health disparities and achieving health equity. Tim most served as the Senior Director, Data Analytics and Public Health Informatics (DAPHI) at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). Prior his tenure at ASTHO, Tim worked at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where he taught graduate courses and conducted applied informatics research as an assistant professor at The Gillings School of Global Public Health. Tim currently serves as an adjunct assistant professor at UNC. Tim has practiced in the field of informatics for over 15 years. Tim completed a PhD in Health Informatics from Indiana University, an MPH from Tulane University, and an MBA in Information Science and Project Management from Devry-Keller Graduate School of Management. Tim served both as a fellow and consultant Informatics Specialists at the CDC (1998-2007) and closely examined the objectives and performance of national HIT initiatives that focused on cancer surveillance and national Public Health IT infrastructure improvement efforts. Current informatics research and applied practice areas include: Health Equity/Health Disparities, Chronic Disease Surveillance, Public Health Intelligence, Computational Modeling of Social and Organizational Systems, Network Analysis, Decision Support, CBPR-Community-based Knowledge Exchange Networks, and Public Health Situational Awareness. Tim’s informatics efforts focus on the evaluation of health information technology as an agent of change in a smart, intelligent, and adaptive learning health system. Tim has taught graduate-level courses offered at UNC-SPH-HPM entitled: (1) Diagnosis and Design of Multilevel Intelligence for a Smart Health System, (2) Informatics for Population Health Management, and (3) co-developed an Introduction to Public Health Informatics.

Gillian Tucker, MAProgram Co-Manager - NIC

Gillian Tucker joined Stewards of Change in 2015, and she currently manages projects and activities for SOCI and NIC. She previously spent more than a decade working on communications and change management strategies for business transformation projects in Northern and Southern California. She was also instrumental in the planning efforts for Sun Microsystems semi-annual leadership conferences. She has an MA in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesota and a BA in Human and Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University.

Beth Johnson, M.P.HProgram Co-Manager and Online Tools and Platform Strategist - NIC

Beth develops and leads projects that provide infrastructure for collaborative learning, training, and technical assistance to researchers, communities, and networks aiming to use electronic health data and health IT to improve population health and patient outcomes. Under the auspices of the National Center for Data to Health (CD2H) and in collaboration with Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, she leads community engagement and user needs efforts for CIELO, a web application for sharing health analytic data and code. Beth also leads technical work in partnership with NORC to support the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in maximizing the impact of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund (PCORTF) investments through the creation of the OS POCRTF Resource Center for Data Infrastructure. Beth provides technical expertise for the National Interoperability Collaborative, funded by the Kresge Foundation, and All In: Data for Community Health, directed by the Illinois Public Health Institute. In addition, she advises on strategic planning for activities under the HSRProj program, funded by the National Library of Medicine, and AcademyHealth’s Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Minority Engagement.

Beth served as the project manager for two major national programs: the Electronic Data Methods (EDM) Forum, funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; and the Community Health Peer Learning (CHP) Program, funded by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. For the EDM Forum, Beth built two web platforms to support collaboration and information sharing among AHRQ awardees. She also co-founded and served as the inaugural managing editor for eGEMs, AcademyHealth’s open access, peer-reviewed journal. For the CHP Program, Beth oversaw stakeholder engagement and evaluation efforts, and informed development of an online learning platform built to support grantees across the network.

Prior to joining AcademyHealth, Beth worked as the Health Policy Research Fellow for the National Medical Association's W. Montague Cobb Health Institute. Her main responsibilities included co-planning seminars on health disparities and cultural competency, and supporting the design and dissemination of online surveys exploring prevalence of cultural competency training among health care providers, and assessing the spectrum of provider access to health IT.

Beth holds a master's degree in public health from the University of Virginia and a B.A. in sociology and music from the University of Richmond.

Lauren Adams, M.ADirector of Communications - NIC

Lauren Adams is director of communications and public relations at AcademyHealth, where she oversees public relations and digital strategies. In this role, she works to identify opportunities to translate cutting-edge health services research into relatable stories that highlight this critical research’s value and relevance. A senior member of AcademyHealth’s communications team, she provides expert guidance on efforts to increase awareness of and support for health services research among a variety of audiences. She also serves as editorial director of AcademyHealth's peer-reviewed, open access journal eGEMs.

A former journalist, Ms. Adams has worked for more than 10 years to lead communications efforts in industries including government, science, higher education and health care. Prior to joining AcademyHealth, Ms. Adams worked at a boutique public relations firm in D.C. specializing in health issues where she worked with world-class health care professionals on alliance building, strategic planning and positioning, media relations, and policy maker outreach. Most recently, she served as head of marketing and communications at the University of London’s national center for the humanities.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and a master’s in public communication from American University.

Sondes Ben ChagraOnline Community Manager - NIC

Sondes Ben Chagra joined Stewards of Change in 2018 as the online community manager for Stewards of Change Institute and the National Interoperability Collaborative. She also provides strategic and technical expertise relating to the full range of SOCI online and social media activities. Sondes has developed strong problem-solving and leadership skills during her 22 years as a digital communications professional and project manager, including extensive international experience. Most recently, she served as the Senior Web Manager of the African Development Bank. She also worked with 17 companies and businesses. She earned with honors two master’s degrees from the University of Bridgeport, in Computer Science and Global Media and Communications Studies.

Navah Stein Research Assistant - NIC

Navah Stein works as a Research Assistant at Stewards of Change and NIC. Her research focuses on the social determinants of health, interoperability and the opioid epidemic. Prior to working with Stewards of Change, Navah's work experience has exposed her to a diversity of issues surrounding health, human services, and the opioid epidemic. She has worked directly with resettled refugees through the Association of Africans Living in Vermont and as a residential counselor for pregnant women and mothers healing from substance abuse and trauma through the Lund Family Center. She also works as an assistant to a home-birth midwife in Vermont and is an Ashtanga yoga instructor, metal worker, artist and dancer.

Navah holds a B.A in Environmental Studies and Anthropology from the University in Vermont.