Keynote Speakers:

Michael C. Barnes, Esq

Michael C. Barnes is the managing partner at DCBA Law & Policy in Washington, DC. He has served as a strategic advisor to executives at multinational corporations, primary legal counsel to national health care service providers, and compliance officer for multi-state providers of behavioral health care. Mr. Barnes has authored more than 10 scholarly articles, presents frequently at conferences nationwide, and performs legal analysis for radio and TV networks, including CNN, HLN, and FOX News. Mr. Barnes is also the executive director of the Center for Lawful Access and Abuse Deterrence (CLAAD), a national non-profit working to reduce prescription drug abuse. He previously served as confidential counsel in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Keith Booher, MBA

Keith Booher, MBA Keith Booher, MBA, is a high-energy, results oriented leader with over 20 years of experience partnering with physicians and hospital based facilities in these areas of Revenue Cycle Management, Managed Care contracts, Client Development, CBO operations, Process Improvement/TQM, Technology Development (database/ software), including expertise with SQL, Excel, Access, HL-7, and .Net. Keith is currently the Chief Operations Officer for MedPro Billing. He was previously the Vice President of Innovation at Sheridan Healthcorp where he used his role as Innovator was to leverage technology to increase revenue and growth at Sheridan healthcare and its 3500+ providers. Prior to that Keith held the position of Senior Vice President of Healthcare Financial Systems where he managed and directed all areas of the company.

Jonathan DeCarlo, CAC-III

Jonathan De Carlo, CAC, is the Managing Director for C4 Consulting, a firm focused on the business of mental health and addiction treatment organizations. C4 Consulting helps clients improve financial performance, enhance competitive positions, and achieve the most productive organizational alignment among staff, management, and board members. He also serves as the Director of Operations at Recovery 360°, providing psychosocial rehabilitation, individual, group, marriage, and family therapy the Colorado Front Range area. Jonathan is a board member of the Colorado Association of Addiction Professionals (CAAP), serves on the board of directors for the Stout Street Foundation. He is a Helping Men Recover Certified Trainer with Griffin Recovery Enterprises. Over the past 20 years in behavioral health services, Jonathan has specialized in providing increased efficacy in numerous organizations, driving business growth and service integrity.

Matt Feehery, MBA, LCDC, AADC

Matt Feehery, MBA, LCDC, AADC has worked in the addictions treatment field since 1979, first working as a counselor for adolescents and families. He has since served as Executive Director, CEO and consultant for numerous alcohol and drug treatment organizations and psychiatric hospitals throughout the country, including the nation’s first alcohol and drug treatment center, Beech Hill Hospital in New Hampshire. Matt has been the CEO of Memorial Hermann Prevention & Recovery Center since 2002. A Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC) in Texas, Matt is Immediate Past President of the Texas Association of Addiction Professionals (TAAP) and also serves on the Behavioral Health Services Council for the Texas Hospital Association (THA).

His education includes a MBA in Healthcare Management. In addition to being a LCDC, Matt is an Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (AADC). Matt was inducted into the TAAP Hall of Fame in 2013 for his service and commitment to the addiction counseling profession. He received the prestigious George R. Farris Management Excellence Award from Memorial Hermann Health System in 2012, the Behavioral Healthcare Champion Award in 2011, the NAADAC Organizational Achievement Award in 2010, the TAAP Addiction Professional of the Year Award in 2005, the TAAP Counselor of the Year Award in 1995, and the Fr. Charles Wyatt-Brown Distinguished Service Award in 1981.

Ian Gershman, MBA, CACD

Ian Gershman, MBA, CADC, has over 25 years of experience in the behavioral health treatment field. A C4 consultant, he has worked in every possible milieu from long term residential treatment to hospital based detox to safer dancing for ecstasy users and needle exchange initiatives. With experience, nationally and internationally (9 years working in the United Kingdom and two training stints with substance abuse and mental health professionals in Africa) Ian brings a strong world view in his approach to serving clients. With an MBA, an MA in Education and Counseling, a CADC and a Licentiate Diploma in Acupuncture, as well as being certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC) he seeks always to create dynamic cohesive collaborative organizational systems and mentor and encourage individual capacities in staff to provide an elegant and innovative treatment experience for clients.

Michael Johnson, MA, CAP

Michael Johnson, MA, CAP is currently the Managing Director for Behavioral Health at CARF International. In this role, Michael is responsible for the development of standards in behavioral health to maintain currency with the field, interfacing with regulatory entities and payers, consultation and training, and market development.

Before coming to CARF, he was most recently the Director of Behavioral Health for Fresno County, California which is both a provider organization and the Mental Health Managed Care Plan for Medi-Cal with an annual budget of $142m. Prior to that, he served as the Chief Operating Officer for the DeKalb Community Service Board in Decatur, Georgia.

Michael began working in behavioral health as a tech on a psychiatric inpatient unit in 1981, and since that time has worked in a variety of roles in both mental health and substance abuse agencies. He has been a leader in the industry, providing expertise to national and state initiatives in quality, ethics, training, accreditation, and EMR adoption. Michael is passionate about the use of data and technology in our industry, and is a tireless advocate for increasing performance in behavioral health. He possesses a Master of Arts degree in Communications and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interpersonal Communications from the University of Central Florida, and is a Certified Addictions Professional.

David Mee-Lee, MD

David Mee-Lee, MD is a board-certified psychiatrist, and is certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM). Dr. Mee-Lee is Chief Editor of The ASAM Criteria and is Senior Vice President of The Change Companies. He is also a Senior Fellow, Justice Programs Office (JPO) of the School of Public Affairs (SPA) at American University, Washington, DC. Dr. Mee-Lee has over thirty years experience in person centered treatment and program development for people with co-occurring mental health and substance use conditions.

Harry Nelson, Esq.

Harry Nelson, Esq. is the founder and managing partner of Nelson Hardiman, a healthcare specialty firm which is annually ranked among the best “Health Care Law” firms by U.S. News & World Report. Harry has a solid track record of leadership developing practical solutions to many industry challenges with particular expertise in post-acute and behavioral health. He has written extensively about the national opioid epidemic and addiction treatment, speaks regularly at behavioral health conferences, and launched the American Addiction Treatment Association (AATA), serving on its board. AATA is a national trade association which prides itself on being the first organization to offer national legal, regulatory, and compliance resources in the area of addiction treatment, enabling recovery industry professionals, owners, and operators to navigate the evolving clinical and regulatory landscapes.

Proactively tackling timely healthcare issues, Harry is the co-author of the recently released book, “From Obamacare to Trumpcare: Why You Should Care.” This new book offers a comprehensive survey of healthcare policy leading up to the Affordable Care Act, examines its strengths and weaknesses, and portends the direction the Trump administration and the GOP will take on healthcare policy. It provides an unbiased assessment of the potential impact this historical policy transition will have on patients and practitioners. Harry’s thought leadership around the future of the healthcare and life sciences industry has also driven many next-generation healthcare ideas and initiatives to realization, including in telehealth and other modalities of digital health and behavioral health.

Jack O’Donnell

Jack O’Donnell is a successful entrepreneur and business leader, with over 40 years’ experience leading organizations. While Jack’s background is diverse, including operating large businesses in the hospitality industry, he has dedicated the past 15 years of his career to the addiction and behavioral health field. With experience operating throughout the United States and Europe, Jack is perfectly suited to direct C4’s diverse activities worldwide.

Jack was the CEO of Sierra Tucson, directing both growth and exit strategies for the company during its later years, under its original ownership. He has also; along with his wife Nancy, developed and successfully opened a treatment facility specializing in trauma and addiction issues. Additionally, Jack has consulted with private equity firms and investors, assisting in acquisition, exit, and business development activities.

Outside of work, Jack maintains a balanced life. A long time ultra-endurance athlete and climber, he is also a proud horseman, still competing nationally in reining events. He is a board member of the Lacey Jarrell Foundation, a non-profit, which supports passionate young artists. The organization is named in honor of his wife Nancy’s daughter, Lacey. Jack has also written a book about his professional career, which was published by Simon and Schuster.

Nancy O’Donnell MA, LPC, CSAT, CCTP

Nancy O’Donnell MA, LPC, CSAT, CCTP specializes in addiction and trauma treatment. She has spent most of her 25-year career working in residential behavioral health facilities and in-patient facilities. Her experience ranges from Psychotherapist to Clinical Director to Executive Vice President of Clinical Services and Operations. As a therapist, her diverse skill base includes Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, EMDR, and individual, couples’, and family therapy. She is an international presenter on the topics of traumatic grief, PTSD, and equine therapy. She has developed specialty programs for residential treatment facilities that include family programs, patient programs for trauma and mood disorders, and intensive workshops that include adventure therapy and experiential process work. She developed The Sabino Model: Neuroscience Based Addiction and Trauma Treatment and co-founded a 50-bed residential behavioral health facility in Arizona where she was effectively able to employ her treatment model with success. She currently practices Neuropsychotherapy in Tucson, Arizona and provides clinical supervision for counselors seeking licensure in Arizona. She is also a Clinical Consultant to treatment facilities nationally, assisting with clinical program development, compliance, and staff training in trauma-informed care, the neurobiology of trauma and addiction, and how to work with trauma patients. She enjoys writing articles relevant to the brain and behavior, neuroplasticity in treatment provision, and equine assisted psychotherapy for a variety of professional magazines.

Donna White, RN, PhD, CS, CADAC

Donna White, RN, PhD, CS, CADAC is a consultant Addiction Specialist for the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital, a Public Health Hospital for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Past positions were the former Chief Operating Officer and Nurse Executive at Worcester State Hospital, and the Director of Nurses and the Director of Chemical Dependency Services as well as the Dual Diagnosis Program at Pembroke Psychiatric Hospital. She is now a Master Trainer for the Department of Mental Health.

She is a graduate of Boston City Hospital School of Nursing and earned a BSN from Curry College in 1985. In addition, she completed graduate studies at the University of Massachusetts/Boston, is a licensed drug and alcohol counselor with an additional certification in advanced Drug and Alcohol Counseling, is certified in Chemical Dependency and Addictions Nursing, and is certified by the ANCC as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Public Health Nursing.

Dr. White is the 2006 recipient of the Peer Assistance Award from IntNSA and was recently inducted as a Board-Certified Fellow at the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. In 2007, she was the first recipient of the Fong-Bressler Award for Outstanding Preceptorship in the Graduate Program for the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. MNA awarded her the Addictions Nursing Award in 2009. In October, 2010, she was recognized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with the award of Champion of Public Health. In May, 2011, she was awarded the Nancy Valentine Leadership Award from the New England Chapter of the American Psychiatric Association and in 2013, she was voted Mentor of the Year by the International Nurses Society on Addiction Nurses. Most recently, in 2014, she was given the Heart of Nursing Award from the University of Massachusetts/Boston Sigma Theta Tau Chapter. Donna is the author of an Addictions Competency Based Program in the Dept. of Public Health Hospital where she now consults. She has many publications to her credit and recently co-authored a chapter on Addictions Nursing in a Psychiatric textbook. In addition, she was part of a video production addressing suicide in adolescents in Massachusetts. In 2015, she was inducted as a Fellow in the International Nurses Society on Addictions. She is the recipient of many Community Awards and nominations.

Dr. White is the statewide Chairperson of the Massachusetts Nurses Association Addictions Council, and oversees the Peer Assistant Program for HCPs seeking help in recovery. She is certified by the Green Cross Foundation as an educator and therapist in Compassion Fatigue concerns and is a specialist in Addictive Disorders, Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Traumatization in Healthcare Professionals. In addition, she is a member of the International Trauma Specialists Dr. White is a Clinical Instructor for Boston Area Colleges …graduate NP programs as well as baccalaureate level for Community Health Clinical work and is a Visiting Scholar for local colleges. In addition, she provided oversight for the clinical practicums of counseling students and consults to department chairs for all medical/professional clinical experience rotations at the Shattuck Hospital. She has lectured at many facilities and agencies and is a recognized leader in the field of Addictions, Impaired Practice and Peer Assistance, as well as Healthcare Professional Stress.

Joel C. White

Joel White is Executive Director of Health IT Now, a broad-based coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, employers, and payers that supports incentives to deploy heath information technology to improve quality, outcomes, and patient safety and to lower costs. Mr. White spent twelve years on Capitol Hill as professional staff, during which he helped enact nine laws, including the Medicare Modernization Act, the Deficit Reduction Act, the Tax Reform and Health Care Act, the Trade Act, and the Children’s Health Act. Mr. White was instrumental in developing the Part D e-prescribing law in the Medicare Modernization Act and in developing legislation that passed the House to promote the adoption and use of health information technology. Mr. White was the Staff Director of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee with responsibility for advising Members of Congress and directing staff on all policy issues within the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee. The issues include Medicare, Health Savings Accounts, tax credits for health insurance, HIPAA, mental health parity, and health information technology.

Scott Williams, PsyD

Scott Williams, PsyD is the Director of The Joint Commission’s Department of Health Services Research. In his tenure at the Joint Commission, Dr. Williams has been involved in numerous efforts related to developing, field testing, and implementing nationally standardized performance measures. He has served as a principal investigator or co-investigator on numerous health services research projects funded through both Federal and private foundation sources, and he has provided oversight and support for numerous internally focused research projects designed to continuously evaluate and improve the Joint Commission’s impact and value as a quality improvement and accrediting organization.

He holds a doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Northern Colorado and a Masters in counseling psychology from the University of Denver. In addition to his work at the Joint Commission, Dr. Williams practiced as a Marriage and Family Therapist in Illinois for thirteen years, and served as an Intelligence Specialist with the United States Naval Reserve for eight years.

Ilana Zivkovich, LCSW, LCDC, CDWF

Ilana Zivkovich, LCSW, LCDC, CDWF is an experienced clinician, executive, and clinical development officer. She serves as the Chief Clinical Officer for Northbound Treatment Services, and operates a small private practice as a therapist, facilitator, and trainer. She celebrates and emboldens Northbound's renowned focus on fostering a flourishing and healthy organizational culture, and oversees clinical and programmatic development and service provision for the treatment center. An experienced and passionate presenter, she is known for providing talks that are engaging, memorable, and impactful. Previously in her career she served as the Executive Director for Promises Austin, and the Director of Clinical Development for Austin Recovery. She holds a Masters of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin, and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC), and a Certified Daring Way Facilitator (CDWF). Ilana lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, Zach, and daughter, Aviana.


Table Captains:

Cherlyne Short Majors, Ph.D.

Cherlyne Short Majors, Ph.D., has held senior executive level positions in marketing, business development and administration for numerous internationally recognized, behavioral healthcare treatment providers including Charter Behavioral Health (National Director of Managed Care), Betty Ford Center (Executive Director of Business Development), Cirque Lodge (National Director of Business Development), UCLA-affiliated Summit Centers (Executive Director) and, most recently, Constellation Behavioral Health (Chief Development Officer; Senior Strategic Advisor). Additionally, she introduced an innovative pharmacotherapy for substance use disorders to the European market by embedding the product in leading Swiss clinics (Director of International Business Development). Dr. Majors’ experience in the fields of child/maternal health and behavioral health spans 30 years in a variety of settings, including treatment of alcohol and drug dependent children and adults, as well as the creation and direction of programs designed to provide such treatment. Her consulting practice includes domestic and international strategic business development, and quality improvement for behavioral health treatment providers. Dr. Majors’ education includes a Ph.D. in Addiction Studies (International University of Graduate Studies); Masters of Liberal Arts (Southern Methodist University); Masters of Arts in Medical Anthropology (Southern Methodist University); Master Addiction Counselor (National); Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (Texas); Clinical Member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (Inactive); Certification in Small Business International Management (Small Business International Trade Association of Oregon); and a Lifetime Teacher’s Certificate (Texas). Dr. Majors is a Founder of The Women’s CEO Global Alliance in Behavioral Health and is committed to encouraging and supporting existing and emerging women leaders through coaching and mentoring in a private practice. Most recently, she founded WILLOW Institute which is dedicated to developing leadership training for emerging women leaders in Behavioral Health. Having a global interest in cross-cultural healthcare systems has motivated Dr. Majors to enjoy international travel to and study in approximately 60 countries.

Raymond V. Tamasi

Mr. Tamasi has over 40 years of experience managing treatment, intervention, and prevention services. For 25 of those years he was Gosnold’s President/CEO and during his tenure Gosnold developed an array of clinical services that merited national recognition. These include acute, sub-acute, extended care, and assisted recovery living, outpatient clinics, medication assisted treatment services, primary care integration, hospital consultation, overdose intervention services, school based counseling programs, community based recovery management, prevention and intervention, and technology assisted services. In 2017 Mr. Tamasi transitioned to become the President and Founder of the Gosnold Innovation Center, focusing on the development of innovative approaches for addiction treatment, prevention, and management. Mr. Tamasi has been recognized nationally for the development of innovative approaches and programs. He is a frequent speaker on issues of policy and a redefining of the addiction treatment and prevention system. He is a member of Governor Charlie Baker’s Opioid Working Group, a project that produced sixty-five recommendations to address the opioid crisis. In 2017, the Governor appointed him to the Special Commission on Behavioral Health and Prevention. Mr. Tamasi was the 2015 recipient of the National Council on Behavioral Health’s Visionary Leadership award. In 2016 he was named a Behavioral Health Champion by the National Council on Addictive Disorders and received the Father Martin Award for Professional Excellence. In 2017 he was named a recipient of the Massachusetts Health Council Award for his contribution to “advance the health and wellness of the Commonwealth”. He is a member of the Executive Board of th¬¬¬e National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers and a board member with the Institute for the Advancement of Behavioral Health Healthcare and C4 Recovery Solutions. Mr. Tamasi has a Bachelor's of Arts in Economics and a Masters of Education with a concentration in Counseling and Healthcare Administration.
  • AXIS is a conference signed by and for industry clinicians and executives. The emphasis is on substance, not flash. True collaboration and learning make it a special conference.

  • AXIS is the best conference for the latest trends in behavioral health and learning what industry leaders are doing to position their organizations for the future.

  • Great executive track most worthwhile for CEO's.

  • The AXIS Conference has improved year after year. Content is critical and meaningful to current issues. The time allowed for networking and peer collaboration is most beneficial.

  • This is a unique conference experience. There is something for every level of program leadership. To describe the AXIS experience would be a disservice; you need to attend and participate to truly appreciated the AXIS experience and value.