As a recent graduate from the University of Redlands, Sarah Taquet has earned a B.S. in Global Business and a B.A. in Asian Studies. During her time at the U of R, Sarah served as Chancellor of the Delta Sigma Pi Professional Business Fraternity, educated peers as a teaching assistant for the Global Business department, and received special recognition as an Outstanding Global Business Scholar. Sarah was also a Redlands Peer Advisor, helping 25 first year students navigate their first semester in college while serving as a mentor in their Business in China seminar.
In conjunction with the extracurriculars and awards she earned, she also studied abroad in London, Beijing, and Shanghai. In China Sarah gained high language proficiency in Mandarin, growing her linguistic knowledge base already comprised of fluency in English, fluency in French as a natural-born Parisian, and the ability to read and write in Spanish.
A globe-trotter with a cross-cultural background, Sarah possesses both passion and expertise in international strategy. Having developed and customized a marketing strategy for Eye Care Professionals at Essilor International, she is also well-versed in marketing and sales.
As the oldest of four, Sarah has always valued kindness, leadership, and helping others. She strives to embody these qualities in her professional career and is driven to make a positive impact on the world around her.
In her free time, Sarah enjoys going on hikes and reading science fiction/ fantasy books. Her favorite authors are Sarah J Maas and Pierce Brown, and she is a huge fan of Game of Thrones.
Carlos Delgadillo brings a strong background in technology and engineering to WISE Healthcare. He received his B.S. in Computer Engineering from California State University of San Bernardino. In addition to his coursework, Carlos was involved in multiple projects including a Raspberry Pi powered smart water dispenser, an Arduino powered robot sweeper, a facial recognition program using a trained dataset, and designing a database system based on a fictitious telescopic equipment company.
Prior to joining WISE, Carlos worked for Enterprise Rent-a-car, where he spent 7 years learning new business models and gaining experience working with and leading teams. With this expertise, he helped open and expand multiple Enterprise branches.
In his spare time, Carlos enjoys riding his bike, spending time with his beagle, and playing board games with friends. He is also learning the Swift programming language and planning to develop his own app in the future. Carlos hopes his time at WISE will provide him the proper insight and experience to make his future project come to fruition.
As an experienced customer service provider, Rebecca specializes in technical support via inbound and outbound client phone calls. With over three years of experience working as a homebased agent and four years working in a well known BPO company in the Philippines, Rebecca possesses a wide array of skills in customer care coordination.
In addition to sales, telemarketing and freelancing, Rebecca is also a registered nurse. She earned her B.S. degree in Nursing at Manila Doctors College in the Philippines and utilizes her healthcare background to give the best customer service possible at WISE.
When Rebecca is not working, she enjoys watching movies of all genres as well as reading medical mystery books by Robin Cook, Michael Crichton, and Patricia Cornwell. In addition to these past-times, Rebecca has studied and learned how to speak Norsk, the Norwegian language.
Board certified as a family practitioner and Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Steven (Steve) E. Davis has been practicing private family medicine for over 32 years. His academic and career background bears testimony to a rich combination of professional core values. Among them, providing educational and clinical services and supporting innovative health-technologies have proven integral to Steve’s contributions in healthcare. After earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Baylor University, Steve pursued his DO and his Master’s in Health Profession Education from Western University of Health Science.
Since then he has accumulated a diverse repertoire of business development and clinical service through numerous leadership roles. While occupying different positions at Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital (MLKCH), Steve honed his specialization in improving physician-patient interactions, the patient experience, and physician interaction while using electronic medical records. In recent years, he served as interim Chief Medical Officer and Chief Medical Informatics Officer at MLKCH, where he coordinated with the University of California Los Angeles, the county of Los Angeles, and a non-private organization to rebuild and open a private non-profit hospital in Los Angeles—the MLKCH. Working with a projected $30 million build budget, he significantly reduced costs through design and simplification.
Delving into his knowledge experience from offering 25 years of medical staff leadership, Steve led the recruitment and mentoring of staff, as well as developed key policies and procedures. It was during his guidance that MLKCH became the only hospital to reach HIMSS Analytics Stage 6 in its first year of operation in 2016, and the highest HIMSS stage 7 in 2018. Beyond his mentorship at the MLKCH, Steve also prioritized education by lecturing at medical schools and universities on ethics and the business of medicine, additionally helping develop curriculums.
Alongside his clinical work currently based in San Dimas, Steve serves as Medical Director for both PACIS HealthCare Partners and the MLK Community Medical Group. As Medical Director for the group, Steve develops primary care and multi-specialty clinics in the inner city of Los Angeles. Steve joined the WISE team in 2018 to advise on strategy and recruiting, also acting as our family practice liaison.
William Jih is a family medicine physician who has been practicing in the Inland Empire area since early 2002. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his medical degree from Albany Medical College of Union University. His residency in family medicine was completed at Loma Linda Medical Center where he also served as chief resident. Throughout his career, he has served as a medical informatics liaison officer, the vice chair to the department of family medicine, medical director, and more, all at Loma Linda University Medical Center. Additionally, he served as chief medical officer of a large private multi-specialty medical group in the Inland Empire. A lifelong learner, Dr. Jih achieved his MBA from Louisiana State University in 2019.
His experience is vast, with numerous awards to validate his medical excellence, starting with the resident teaching award and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Best Practice Recognition award for diabetes as well as the NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition award. He was awarded the Loma Linda Medical Center Physician Leader in Quality Prize in 2009. As a scholar he has presented on numerous topics including sexual violence, preventive care quality improvement, and systematic approach to medication reconciliation, all of which will help in his work with WISE Healthcare.
Board certified in Family Medicine and Clinical Informatics, Dr. Jih is also a member of the Medical Group Management Association, American Medical Group Association, the American Academy of Family Practice, American Medical Association, and more. He is a California native and enjoys sports and photography.
Lisa Altman, MD, is the director of innovation in healthcare at WISE Healthcare. She is a leader in clinical primary care with over 30 years of experience serving the public. She earned her medical degree from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, where she completed her residency in internal medicine, her fellowship in hematology and oncology, and served as chief resident of the UCLA San Fernando Valley Program. Her clinical specialties include primary care, women’s health, and virtual care.
Dr. Altman is passionate about innovative whole person healthcare and worked to evaluate and implement changes in healthcare delivery that streamline and improve the patient experience. She has worked to expand the adoption of patient-centered practices in a variety of clinical leadership roles for the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System including associate program director of the Internal Medicine Training Program, director of administrative medicine and employee health, as well as associate chief of staff, overseeing ambulatory and primary care provision across 13 clinics serving 90,000 patients. She is also deeply committed to training and mentoring health care professionals as the director of a women’s health fellowship and a clinical professor of medicine at the UCLA School of Medicine.
Dr. Altman brings her vast medical knowledge, and invaluable years of experience developing and implementing integrated, innovative clinical programs that incorporate virtual care to WISE Healthcare. Dr. Altman is based in Los Angeles where she enjoys spending time with her husband, two dogs, and three daughters.
Sarah O’Connor is passionate about improving the quality of care for patients and health care professionals. In her life experience, she has seen first-hand the challenges that health care organizations face implementing systems designed to streamline timely and effective communication. Sarah grew up in in the San Francisco Peninsula near Stanford University, a community that prizes innovation. Her early education included a charter school, which has developed game changing models for project-based learning. She continued her education at University of Redlands, where she studied environmental science.
As an intern at Mamoní Valley Preserve, Panama, Sarah participated in research to assess the viability of monetizing forest ecosystems. She was co-leader with a team that mapped data for water shed change analysis. The team produced 3-D maps of the data for conservation activities and presented findings to key stakeholders in Panama. She subsequently presented this research at the ESRI user conference in San Diego, California. Key in these discussions was implementation of ESRI’s applications.
Sarah highly values community service and it is fundamental to her desire to make the world we share healthier. Through hands on work with Adaptive Physical Education in the Redlands Unified School District, she developed an appreciation for the importance of public policy in scaling systems for our special needs populations. Through her facilitating role, Sarah helped professional educators in their work with clients who are “at risk” in the general education environment. She also volunteers with the Redlands Family YMCA.
While at University of Redlands, Sarah worked for the Office of Alumni and Community Relations. As she advanced in her role there, she was given increasing responsibility for community engagement, event management, marketing communications and web site development. She helped develop and implement programs that improve the visibility and effectiveness of customer facing programs. Sarah lives in Redlands, California.
Ibrahim Kamel comes from a family of physicians. Watching his parents engaged in medicine and hospital administration simultaneously while growing up and seeing how dedicated they were to their patients and career, he was inspired and moved to help others in much the same way.
He has earned his medical degree from October 6th University, Egypt, where he was awarded the Clinical Knowledge Award in recognition of his dedication to his patients and the advancement of medicine.
Never satisfied with the status quo, he is always determined to discover innovative and more effective methods and techniques that would allow him and his colleagues to better diagnose and treat patients.
His passion took him from Egypt to France and then to the United States, where he furthered his knowledge and experience. Dr. Kamel realized he could also have a significant impact on healthcare at the policy level. Thus, he went on to earn a Master’s in Healthcare Administration at the University of La Verne, California. After graduation, he became a Randall Lewis Health and Policy Fellow at San Antonio Regional Hospital in Upland, where he led the community COVID-19 vaccination awareness campaign.
He has contributed to the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) on the Global Burden of Disease studies in some research projects. Moreover, he is an Instructor for the Stop the Bleed Campaign to educate the public on how to stop bleeding in a severely injured person.
Dr. Kamel brings a global clinical and administrative experience to WISE Healthcare with the ambition to eliminate health inequalities and improve access to specialty care.
Dr. Kamel enjoys playing squash in his free time and traveling to new places.
Specialized in finance and data analysis, Ken Okura is experienced in working in finance and administration at nonprofit organizations, including hospitals and charities. Ken is currently engaged in the finance department for Greg Facktor & Associates, a professional consulting firm with a focus on healthcare. He is charged with collecting financial data, performing financial analysis, and developing Medicare cost reports.
While at Sharp Memorial Hospital, one of San Diego’s largest healthcare systems, Ken was responsible for managing the finances of the Patient Grievance Subcommittee department, creating historical data trends and financial projections of the department, identifying the issues, and finding cost-savings opportunities.
Ken served as a finance intern at Plant With Purpose, an international development organization dedicated to improving the lives of people living in extreme poverty in developing countries. He created geographical mapping reports of incoming donations to the organization to identify the largest donating regions within the United States. He also forecast the financial projection of Plant With Purpose and identified an unforeseen financial threat to the organization. His discovery enabled the agency to implement new practices in finance and operations to ensure long-term solvency.
Ken has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in finance from the University of San Diego (USD). While pursuing his education at USD, he served as the leader of the finance club. He recruited guest speakers, including CEOs, CFOs, and other top executives in the finance industry to share their knowledge with club members. He led his club’s team to prepare for weekly meetings, promoted the club to increase membership, and ensured that all members were gaining valuable academic and professional insight to prepare them for their professional careers in finance. Outside of work, Ken enjoys hiking and camping, and is an accomplished outdoor photographer.
With nearly twenty years of experience as an executive assistant, Jess Ayala has developed the organizational skills and forward thinking needed to keep the WISE Healthcare team on track and moving forward. She assumes numerous roles at WISE, including special projects manager, senior workflow engineer, lead physician liaison, and office manager. Jess adeptly manages the schedules for WISE Healthcare executives, coordinates educational events, assists with onboarding new clinics to the Multi-County eConsult Initiative, and conducts field visits to resolve any issues. Her commitment to excellence motivates the team and inspires confidence in all with whom she interfaces.
Prior to joining WISE Healthcare, Jess worked for WISE Healthcare Chief Executive Officer Sajid Ahmed at two other organizations – Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital where Sajid was the chief information and innovation officer and prior to that, at LA Care Health Plan where Sajid was the director of health IT. At the hospital she assisted with coordinating the meetings and communications for the Health IT team, one of the hospital’s largest departments with more than 40 staff members. She also managed contracts with numerous vendors and organizations, implementing systems and software to ensure the fulfillment of all contractual obligations. Jess kept the department morale strong and employee retention high with her knack for having fun. She coordinated monthly potlucks, departmental celebrations, and lent her creativity to planning hospital wide events as well.
Jess is a mother of three daughters, and a grandmother of one granddaughter. Jess enjoys her free time out on the open road, tuned in to her favorite music. One of her favorite destinations is San Francisco, where she finds hidden gems each time she visits. She also enjoys baking, reading and writing poetry. Jess is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration with a minor in project management from Ashford University.
Dr. Shelton is board certified in urology and clinical informatics. He grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in history and psychology from the University of Colorado. His medical education includes his Medical Doctorate from Weill Cornell Medical College at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He subsequently obtained a Master of Science in health services degree from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). He completed his urology residency training at UCLA along with a fellowship in health services research at UCLA. During his fellowship he began to pursue his interest in informatics, working to create an informatics platform and population health management program for patients with bladder cancer at the Veterans Administration (VA) Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. He currently spends half of his time in the Department of Informatics at the VA Greater Los Angeles. He is also affiliated with other Southern California hospitals, including Torrance Memorial Medical Center.
Dr. Shelton continues his work at the intersection of informatics, quality improvement and implementation science. He has published work on electronic clinical quality metrics, as well as the use of a computerized clinical decision support tool to improve appropriate use of PSA screening. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Urology at the David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, and serves on various professional society committees at the American Urological Association, the Large Urology Group Practice Association and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Dr. Shelton’s interest in patient centered care inspired him to lead the implementation of the first general urology telehealth clinic in the VA, which has now served over 1,700 Veterans. He has also worked on quality improvement projects in community urology practices in Los Angeles and across the country and has presented this work at the American Urological Association (AUA).
Gerald (Gerry) Gagner joined WISE Healthcare in 2018 after more than eight years of successful management experience in the hospitality sector, where he worked as a general manager for Panera Bread. One of his key accomplishments in that role was overseeing the opening of a new Panera Bread drive-thru café. His strategic planning, project management and recruiting skills resulted in record breaking sales in the café’s first week of business. Gerry’s focus on quality led to his store earning a score of 100% on an external food safety audit for the first time in that market’s history.
As Gerry’s accomplishments grew, he was consistently given new responsibilities, including serving as the data analyst for his store’s market area. He presented market trends and analytics to Panera Bread regional stakeholders. He was asked to assist in a store that was struggling. Putting to work the same workflow engineering skills that he will call on in his new role at WISE Healthcare, Gerry implemented new processes, hired a new management team and the store responded with improved profits and productivity. A respected leader, Gerry hired more than 100 employees during a time of upward growth. His training and development skills along with his motivational management style resulted in consistently low employee turnover and positive morale. An accomplished communicator, Gerry shared secrets to success and motivational messages to his colleagues in other cafés through a regular series of “Shout-Outs” in which he reported performance metrics and best practices.
Gerry was born and raised in Corona, California and has lived in the Inland Empire all his life. He graduated from the University of Redlands with a Bachelor of Science in business. He lives in Lake Elsinore with his fiancée and two dogs. In his free time, he enjoys fishing, hunting and motorcycle riding.
Alvin Kwong brings to WISE Healthcare experience that spans the healthcare industry – academia, hospitals, medical groups, insurance companies, consulting companies, and Federally Qualified Health Centers. Alvin has 10 years of dynamic healthcare management, consulting, and entrepreneurial experience driving innovative solutions. His project management experience began with managing and coordinating multimillion-dollar grants at the University of California, Los Angeles. He led a team of workflow engineers to conduct assessments of Santa Clara County community health centers’ workflow, data quality, practice management, and registry systems, and implemented team-based strategies for care coordination. Additionally, he authored a systematic literature review of various team-based strategies for coordinating care.
His next ventures included leadership positions at several consulting companies. At Kaiser Permanente Consulting, he conducted training programs for concurrent review teams in the behavioral health department. Next, Alvin delved into strategic planning and financial modeling for health centers throughout the United States. More recently, Alvin honed his business intelligence and data analytics skills with a physician management company, implementing pay-for-performance programs and revamping the business intelligence department by compiling a data warehouse and creating dashboards and reports for over 30 contracted ER and hospitalist programs.
Most recently, Alvin spearheaded the development of a business intelligence division at Greg Facktor and Associates (GFA), a leading professional consulting firm in California with a focus on the healthcare industry. He also served as project manager for large grants for the Health Infrastructure Investment Program (HIIP) and Service Expansion Programs at Federally Qualified Health Centers. His breadth, depth, and understanding of the industry is valued by his clients, who trust him to make sustainable and strategic decisions and navigate them within the changing healthcare landscape.
Alvin received a Master of Public Health in healthcare management and health policy from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and cell biology from the University of California, San Diego. When not at work, Alvin spends his time outdoors cycling and golfing.
With his expertise in relationship building, team management, and sales training, Matthew (Matt) Widney brings a rich skillset to the WISE team. Matt possesses over a decade’s worth of experience in management at large scale grocery markets including Stater Brothers, and most recently Clark’s Nutrition. Occupying such positions, Matt developed a strong set of effective communication skills while working with team members and customers alike to reach optimal outcomes for clients.
His detail-oriented approach benefited the maintenance of complex inventories and smooth oversight of day to day operations of a 40,000 square foot store generating more than $12M in annual revenue. Meanwhile, he also engaged in leadership and problem-solving to direct sales floor activities ensuring excellence in customer service. As Assistant Manager at Clark’s Nutrition Matt developed and implemented performance development and training initiatives which optimized staff performance and resulted in continuous surpassing of sales quotas. Having experienced difficulties with obtaining timely treatment for a sports injury, Matt personally relates to and recognizes the significance of crafting efficiencies in access to specialty care and improving the healthcare system. This interest drew Matt to WISE Healthcare as a workflow engineer, where he is able to apply the same skills—providing helpful service, eliciting effective communication and presentation, and deploying organization strategies—to a cause in healthcare. He now seeks to supplement his working background with the academic pursuit of a Business Administration degree from the University of Redlands.
When Matt isn’t working, you can find him playing basketball, snowboarding, or hiking.
Katherine Steinberg, MPP, MBA brings to WISE nearly 20 years of experience in healthcare market evaluation, health system project management, process improvement and strategic planning. She is an expert in transforming strategic initiatives into actionable operational workplans, analyzing available technologies to solve business issues, and utilizing human centered design to identify patient, provider and consumer needs.
She has exercised her skills in engaging with technology to design and implement new models of care in a diverse range of healthcare settings and roles. After her time as a strategic planner for the Veterans Health Administration Greater Los Angeles System, Katherine served as the Director of UCLA Health’s Institute for Innovation where she led the Institute in identifying, piloting and deploying new technologies, products and services to support transformation across the health system. Through partnership with health system leadership Katherine identified innovations to accelerate strategic goals in the areas of access and population health and worked closely with operational partners to launch and evaluate these new models. A key component of this work included developing a novel approach to using human-centered design for value-based care clinical pathways. Some of the successful redesigns included surgical home, brain tumor IPU, and benign prostatic hyperplasia. Katherine also managed and advised on a portfolio-critical issues pertaining to a remote patient monitoring strategy, virtual access approach, and the Value-Based Care Summit.
As the former Vice President of Avalere’s Center for Payment and Delivery Innovation, she partnered with a diverse range of clients including provider organizations, health plans and life science companies, to help them understand how new policies and initiatives related to payment and delivery reform will impact their business, and supported the development of strategies and operational plans for using digital health to achieve organizational goals. While at Avalere, using a human centered design approach, led the development of a preparation for shared decision making tool for women with advanced breast cancer and led work on behalf of several foundations coordinating multiple healthcare environments across the country in the development of actionable approaches for improving cost of care conversations between providers and patients.
Katherine holds a BA magna cum laude from The University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Public Policy from UCLA, and a Master of Business Administration from NYU.
When not focused on healthcare transformation, Katherine enjoys biking with her family, hiking with friends, and reading.
With a background in Neuroscience, Information Technology, and Sociology as well as a status as an undergraduate university student, Matt Allen brings a diverse, youthful perspective to the WISE team.
Matt brings troubleshooting expertise having managed software and hardware as well as digital rights and access for 500+ BYU employees as a computer specialist. Matt forms part of a neuroscience research lab at Brigham Young University looking at the neural mechanisms behind PTSD and memory. As part of this lab, he has been involved in technical writing, scientific presentations, and several publications. Matt also spent 2 years living in Ecuador as a religious voluntary representative engaging in service such as self-reliance training and teaching English as a second language.
When Matt isn’t working, you can find him climbing, riding his bike, or studying for the MCAT.
Specialized in Psychology and Management, Joe DeMassimo has dedicated the past decade of his life to non-profit work and fulfilling a longtime goal of helping people. His anchoring principle has manifested in a myriad of professional ventures for Joe, from providing home support for at risk children, to running employment and training programs aimed at empowering socio-economically disadvantaged children, individuals with intellectual & developmental disabilities, and their families to live productive, self-reliant lives. Joe has joined WISE Healthcare as a Workflow Engineer and is responsible for leading the company’s work with the Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) to spread eConsult throughout the Inland Empire.
As a case manager and behavior specialist at a Family Services organization for 6 years, Joe managed direct supervision of youth while maintaining a positive relationship with family members and implemented treatment plans to provide individualized intervention. Channeling such strong communication skills towards a new setting, he became a consumer services coordinator at a non-profit dedicated to providing services and programs to thousands of Inland Empire residents with developmental disabilities.
Joe earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a Minor in Communicative Disorders from the University of Redlands, during which he also provided after school enrichment programming for youth in grades K-12. Between his B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Management from the U of R, he served as a Child Care Worker. Outside of work, Joe enjoys paddle boarding and hiking with his wife, as well as taking his twin girls for outings to the beach or The Wild Animal Park.
Ghenet brings a diverse range of experience in arts and sciences to her role as a Workflow Engineer at WISE. She graduated from the University of Redlands, earning her master’s degree in Informational Technology, bachelor’s degree in English Literature, and minor in Philosophy. She also received two Associates degrees from Crafton Hills College, one in Humanities and the other in Social Sciences. Ghenet was able to graduate with five college degrees in five years!
During her time at the University of Redlands, Ghenet served as a Senator for the Off-Campus student body. Through this position, Ghenet spearheaded the Commuter Lounge project. Due to her leadership, grit, and initiative, commuter students now have a designated place to rest, cook, and study on campus. She also volunteered at Jasper’s Corner, tutoring and helping children grades K-12 with their academic development for two years.
Ghenet has spent the past five years volunteering at local non-profit organizations throughout her community in Redlands. She was able to fundraise over one hundred and fifty pounds of non-perishable items for the Community Action Partnership which serves the homeless population of the Inland Empire. Ghenet volunteered over fifteen hundred hours for this project.
Ghenet is particularly interested in Artificial Intelligence and application development. She spends her free time either outdoors with her son or reading a good book. She also enjoys needlepoint, painting and loves to travel.