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Wendy Spillane, Deputy Director of Communications, Outreach, and Healthcare Payment Integrity of Ripple Effect Communications, brings 20 years professional experience focusing on health care programs and environmental protection, providing strategic solutions, project management, data analysis, and communications support to the federal government.
Ms. Spillane received an M.S. in Environmental Science from Indiana University, School of Public and Environmental Affairs in May 1996. Ms. Spillane earned her Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification in April 2019.
From 1996 to 2014, Ms. Spillane worked in a variety of positions with increasing levels of responsibility at federal consulting firms including task lead and project manager. As a project manager in support of EPA, she successfully managed budgets up to $1M annually, coordinated a nationwide technical assistance team responsible for state and local community engagement, and oversaw communications and meeting support to 10 EPA regional offices. Ms. Spillane demonstrated her adaptability, reach, and excellence in collaboration with a diverse client profile including EPA’s Community Engagement Initiative, CNCS’ AmeriCorps, DOD’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, and CMS’ Premium Stabilization Programs.
In 2015, Ms. Spillane began supporting the Enrollment Assistance Program (EAP), a $50M CMS Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) contract as a senior manager and outreach lead. She helped develop the community outreach strategy and helped lead daily operations of its effective dissemination and implementation in nine state EAP markets, resulting in nearly 50,000 consumers enrolling in the private health insurance Marketplace.
Since 2017, Ms. Spillane has been a senior manager and technical lead for the Marketplace Program Integrity Contract (MPIC), a CMS Center for Program Integrity (CPI) contract supporting the ACA and the implementation of private health insurance initiatives. She served a primary point of contact for CPI and managed a diverse team of researchers, data analysts, and developers to process fraud information in a database for which she developed the requirements. This database tool is instrumental in identifying data trends in agent/broker noncompliance to conduct education and investigation in support of CPI program goals. Ms. Spillane used this tool to develop additional process improvements resulting in project-wide efficiencies.
Fun facts: Ms. Spillane has one son (a teenager!), one dog (a counter-surfer!), and one husband (who is thankfully neither a teenager nor a counter-surfer 😉). She loves meeting up with friends wherever they are, HomeGoods is her happy place, she will NEVER turn down a cup of coffee, and she is incredibly happy Stranger Things is coming out soon with its next installment!
Martha Ngoh, Deputy Director of Program Management and Policy at Ripple Effect, brings over 7 years of experience supporting and managing federal-funded public health and healthcare projects involving policy development and implementation, communications, and partnerships. Ms. Ngoh has worked on projects and programs aimed at improving patient safety and the quality of healthcare delivery related to healthcare infection prevention and control, healthcare-associated infections (HAI) and antimicrobial-resistance (AR), and maternal safety. Ms. Ngoh served as a Senior Analyst at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and was later promoted to Director of Healthcare Connections within the Infectious Disease Infrastructure and Policy team, where she provided leadership on a portfolio to foster collaboration between public health and healthcare through key activities. In this role, Ms. Ngoh managed the Council for Outbreak Response: HAI/AR where she developed processes for efficient Council operations and member engagement and contributed to the development of the Council’s Framework on HAI Outbreak Notification which aims to guide notification and communication in the context of a possible HAI outbreak. Ms. Ngoh received her MPH from the George Washington University in 2016. Ms. Ngoh was also selected as a fellow into the 2020-2021 cohort of the Johns Hopkins University Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative. Ms. Ngoh currently serves as the Deputy Director of Program Management and Policy, where she provides leadership on the Program Management and Policy team.
Dr. Scott Catey, Deputy Director, Digital Transformation for Ripple Effect Communications, brings 15 Years professional experience managing complex federal, state, and international projects involving IT, health equity, and evidence-based policy. Dr. Catey has co-managed projects in excess of $5 Million per year and over 35 people with diverse policy and programmatic responsibilities.
Dr. Catey earned his Ph.D. and J.D. (with honors) concurrently from the University of Florida in 2011.
From 1996 to 2001, Mr. Catey was Associate Program Director and then Program Director for a highly successful communications cluster in Missoula, Montana. Following this experience, he returned to graduate school to complete a second master’s Degree, and then his doctorate and law degrees, which he completed with honors. Following graduation, Dr. Catey had faculty appointments at Georgia State University and Agnes Scott College. Looking for a greater challenge, in 2012 he took a position with the Montana Department of Corrections to direct the agency’s implementation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act.
Following his brief but successful tenure at the Montana Department of Corrections, Dr. Catey transitioned to national-level PREA implementation work at the National PREA Resource Center, where he led the project’s digital growth and expansion, managed the development of the PREA Online Audit System, and managed complex data sets and analytics for Federal partners at the USDOJ. Most recently, Dr. Catey held the role of Associate Director at the PRC and managed a complex portfolio with four division heads and teams of eleven downstream reports.
Dr. Catey joined Ripple Effect Communications in June 2022, as the Deputy Director, Digital Transformation. He looks forward to providing excellent support to the organization and its clients.
Deborah Sartin, Director of the Project Management Office, for Ripple Effect Communications, Inc. brings 15+ Years’ professional experience developing PMOs from inception to service delivery. She is an accomplished leader managing enterprise technical and business projects for federal, corporate, education and non-profit organizations.
Created and managed an Office of Business Excellence and several PMO Centers of Excellence to drive organizational maturity in strategic planning, process improvement, quality management, contract management, and project portfolio management
Ms. Sartin received her M.S. in Management Information Systems from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
Ms. Sartin holds CMMI Associate, ISO Certified Auditor, PMP, CSM, SAFe SM, Prosci, ITIL, CIPM, and Balance Scorecard certifications.
Early Work History
Ms. Sartin worked as a federal contractor to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) managing technical support and training. She also managed technical support and training for Mead Packaging, a global manufacturing company. In addition, she worked as a Project Manager for an international telecommunication firm, Global One where she launched call centers in the Americas. She has a breadth of experience in all aspects of technology services, shifting organizations from traditional service models to innovative transformational models.
Recent Work History
Ms. Sartin managed projects in the banking industry and worked as a business process improvement analyst for a telecommunications firm. In these roles she developed metrics to improve IT staff performance as well as processes and procedures for organizational efficiencies. She served as a Technology Support Manager for T-Mobile’s global call center. She delivered the best customer experience via outstanding customer relationship management. She also worked as an account executive and technical recruiter for Robert Half Technology. Ms. Sartin is frequently requested as a guest speaker and trainer on project management and organizational change management topics.
Current Work History
In 2012, Ms. Sartin joined the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) as their inaugural Project Management Office (PMO) Director. From the success of this role, she was promoted to the role of Director, Office of Business Excellence to lead strategic planning, process improvement and project portfolio management. After her tenure at ASHA, Ms. Sartin developed and expanded PMOs at educational institutions including West Virginia University, the University of Pennsylvania, Success Academy Charter Schools in NYC, and the Univ. of TN Health Science Center. She also provided Project Management consultation services with a global consulting firm where she helped clients establish Agile project management best practices.
Heather D. Huntsman is a solutions-focused and resourceful professional equipped with more than 15 years of training and experience in basic, applied, and translational science environments. Throughout her career she has been driven by asking the right questions which has led her to gain extensive experience in reviewing, evaluating, and interpreting findings in a broad range of biomedical disciplines, including stem cell biology, physiology, aging, and women’s health issues across all domains of medicine, and the influences of sex/gender and race/ethnicity on public health trends. She has used her expertise to support biomedical research at the NIH and DoD in various capacities including scientist, communications specialist, and grants manager. She also has a unique background as an athlete and coach which is a mentality that she brings to the workplace every day allowing her to excel in fast-paced team settings, lead through her work ethic and determination, and inspire others to do the same. Heather earned a Masters’ degree in exercise science from George Washington University, and a PhD in muscle physiology from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and prides herself in being a leader that listens and never stops learning.
Julie Lucas has over 20 years of experience in human resources. In the beginning of Julie’s career, she worked for a private company overseeing the human resources department for a healthcare company for 17 years. She then moved into the government contracting space. During her career, she has partnered with senior leaders to drive business results. Julie is responsible for all aspects of human resources including strategy and operations, talent acquisition, performance & development, employee engagement, DE&I, benefits administration, workforce technology, and the overall employee experience.
Julie has a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from University of Phoenix with a concentration on Human Resources Management.
Dr. Alexis Helsel has professional experience conducting applied health research and program evaluations for several federal agencies, including NIH and DOD. She has contributed and managed mixed-method scale evaluation projects that include bibliometric analyses of program outcomes and impacts and network analyses. Dr. Helsel has extensive experience abstracting administrative from NIH databases, including QVR, IMPACII, RePORT, iCite, as well as PubMed, Web of Science, USPTO, and Federal RePORTER. She also has experience using publication and grant data to construct research networks using VosViewer and CitNetExplorer. Dr. Helsel also has a strong record of effective communication and developing evidence-based recommendations. She has co-authored 20 briefings of research and evaluation findings for senior government and military stakeholders, eight technical reports, one peer-reviewed publication, and 12 professional conference presentations. She has trained and provided technical guidance on epidemiologic and evaluation methods to multi-disciplinary teams of Masters- and PhD-level scientists. She is proficient with STATA, SAS, and Microsoft Access, Excel, and DeDoose. Dr. Helsel earned a PhD in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh.
Debra McCarron has professional experience in strategic communications, project management, outreach and event planning, as well distance learning. She is the project manager for the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network which involves the creation of materials such as fact sheets, infographics, white papers, Power Point reports, videos and learning modules and she has managed graphics teams in all aspects of the design process from conception to development to final production. Previously, she co-owned Quality Design Solutions, a full-service company specializing in web design and marketing as well as database development for non-profit and small business. She also has experience in community marketing and facilities management. Ms. McCarron helped brand and grow a small business to over $1.5 million per year where she assisted in the day to day operations of three facility sites including budget, human resources, facilities management, and internal and external communication. She has experience in WordPress, the Adobe Creative suite and has become versed in 508 compliance. Ms. McCarron received her Bachelors of Science in Biology from Virginia Tech. Her early experience in basic research at both Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Cambridge Biotech was to support grants from the NIH. She also has over 4 years of experience in clinical research performed at the University of Maryland, Department of Cardiology, where she worked with Interventionist developing IIb/IIIa inhibitors.
Paul brings 25 years of government contracting knowledge and over 10 years of senior management team experience to Ripple Effect. He has worked in a variety of industries including IT services, secure networks, engineering, and shipbuilding. Businesses he has worked with have ranged in size from $20M to $1B in annual revenue.
Most recently, Paul was CFO of Converged Security Services, a private equity backed business that was built through the acquisition of two government contractors specializing in IT services and security & access control. As the CFO, Paul was part of the team that grew the business by 40% over a two-year period. He led the business in all aspects of finance, accounting, treasury, reporting and audit, as well as several company initiatives post-acquisition to streamline and improve business processes and compliance.
Prior to that, Paul worked as CFO for a small Rockville-based defense contractor called Ultra Electronics 3eTI, a subsidiary of a UK-based publicly traded company. During his tenure there, Paul was responsible for all finance, HR, and IT functions.
Paul spent 19 years with General Dynamics in a variety of positions including CFO of their UK subsidiary, as well as Director of FP&A at GD’s Corporate Headquarters. He started his finance career with 14 years at GD’s shipyard in Bath, Maine.
Paul graduated from Clarkson University with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering & Management. He also has an MBA with honors from Clarkson University. He lives in Broadlands, VA with his wife, Kim. He has three daughters in college at VCU, JMU and South Carolina.
Dr. Karen “Asher” Beckwitt received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from American University, with a specialization in qualitative methods. Dr. Beckwitt has consulted on over 5,000 qualitative and mixed-methods projects in health, medicine, education, and related areas. She has experience leading large and small multi-method research and evaluation projects and manages all aspects of these projects including research design, instrument design, sampling and recruitment, quantitative and qualitative data collection, data analysis, dissemination (peer-review publications, technical reports, and presentations), project timelines, and budgets. During her time with Ripple Effect, Dr. Beckwitt has led components of several multi-method evaluations of NIH biomedical research programs for NIAID. She also managed four public comment analysis projects for CMS, supervising teams of up to 40 policy analysts and overseeing training, task coordination, quality assurance, and client communication. Prior to joining Ripple Effect, Dr. Beckwitt worked as the Lead Qualitative Research Consultant for her own research company and as the Qualitative Analysis Research Consultant for George Mason University, where she created a qualitative service for the entire university community. Dr. Beckwitt has authored or co-authored 37 technical reports, 6 peer-reviewed articles, and a book chapter. She has delivered over 40 presentations at professional conferences to present research findings and to train researchers in qualitative methods and software. She is proficient in Dedoose and an expert trainer in NVivo software systems used to organize qualitative data.
What does it mean to be the Director of Scientific Workforce?
What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?
What are some of your hobbies?
Fun fact about you?
Advice to young professionals?
What does your day-to-day job involve?
Why is science policy so important to Ripple’s business?
What is a fun fact about you?
What advice do you have for those following in your footsteps?
A career is a personal, yet shared journey that lasts over the course of a lifetime. We know that people move on to pursue their next career challenges, and that’s why we’re open and supportive when it happens. While it’s sad to lose great people, we consider it an opportunity to stay connected and grow our network of alumni and friends. If you’re interested in returning, or want to refer a stellar candidate, please reach out and contact our HR department.
Knowing if that move is right for you and gaining the experience necessary to get a job in an “alternative” science career can be difficult. We understand this struggle and may have an opportunity for you!
We offer a volunteer fellowship program for science professionals who are interested in transitioning away from the bench. Each fellowship is tailored to the interest, background, and available time of the fellow. Fellowship opportunities may include work in public policy, program management, research and evaluation, or communications. If you’re interested in applying, please send us a resume and your best cover letter explaining your availability and why you’re interested in the fellowship.
Use the LinkedIn plugin below to search your network, reach out, and connect! Our people play vital roles in helping identify and refer candidates who may be great Ripplers in the future. Search our current openings, and feel free to contact our Human Resources department for more information.
Because we deal with constantly-evolving challenges, we value people who are constantly training, re-training, adapting to workforce trends, and learning from successes—as well as mistakes. If you’re an experienced professional with excellent judgment and a proven ability to get things done, you could be a great fit. Search our current openings and read up on our total rewards benefits package.
We offer a variety of scientific opportunities to work in public policy, program management, research and evaluation, communications, or graphic design. We also offer internships for students interested in office and workforce management, including opportunities in logistics, recruiting, and retention. If you’re interested in applying, please send us a resume and your best cover letter explaining why you’re interested in the internship.
“Public comment” refers to the process of soliciting feedback from the public or membership on official reports, regulations, guidelines or programs. Public comments generally take one of two forms: Rulemaking — formal public consultation; Request for Information — informal public consultation. Comments are analyzed, synthesized, and disseminated to assist with decision-making.
Public consultations give voice to stakeholders and provide organizations with more detailed scientific, economic or industry expertise needed to develop the most effective processes, policies and guidelines.
Our five step process to facilitate the solicitation, receipt and analysis of public comments includes:
Why did you start Ripple Effect?
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Advice to someone wanting to start their own business?
How did you join Ripple Effect?
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Why is communications so important for a business’s success?
What are you proudest of?
Tell us about your career path. What were you doing before Ripple Effect?
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Why is Research and Evaluation so important to what Ripple Effect does?
Advice you would give a young professional?
Tell us about your career path. How did you get here?
What motivates you?
What are some of your hobbies?
Advice for future professionals entering your field?