Portfolio Design for Healthier Regions
Meet Our Project Team
Ella D. Auchincloss
“My experience working in a part of Brooklyn where the life expectancy is 11 years shorter than in the neighboring Financial District—and infant mortality rates almost double NYC’s rate as a whole—made me want to change the system at the regional level to help improve these disparities.”—Anna Marie Creegan, Project Director
Joined Rippel: 2014
Current Roles: Anna is project director of the ReThink Health initiative’s Portfolio Design for Healthier Regions project.
Career: Anna led design and implementation for Rippel’s enterprise-wide evaluation framework, and has contributed to many R&D and place-based projects for the ReThink Health initiative. She also led the development of an assessment tool to measure regional progress along ReThink Health’s Pathway for Transforming Regional Health. Anna has over ten years of experience working with local and international health efforts across the US and Latin America, including as program manager for Community Planning and Health at nonprofit Community Solutions, where she led a health impact assessment and developed plans for revitalization, sustainability, and care coordination.
More about Anna: Anna loves traveling and the outdoors—especially hiking and skiing in her native Colorado Rocky Mountains—and seeing her young children growing to love it as well.
Education: University of Denver (MA), Fordham University (BA)
Ella D. Auchincloss
“At Rippel, we pursue an inspiring, yet daunting transformative agenda for equitable health and well-being; it’s about a lot more than health care. We’re willing to strategically tackle the big issues, but with a sober sense of what is doable”—Ella D. Auchincloss, Project Director
Joined Rippel: 2011
Current Roles: Ella is key contributor to the ReThink Health initiative’s Hospital Systems in Transition project.
Career: Ella has spearheaded many resident engagement efforts for Rippel’s ReThink Health initiative, coaching a wide variety of partner organizations and teams in change leadership, and developing Community Activation for System Stewardship. She was project director of the team that advised the Center for Medicare and Medicaid’s Quality Improvement Organization Leadership, Organizing in Action program. She also directed a research project exploring tax credits’ potential as a source of sustainable financing for population health. Before joining Rippel, she founded The Leadership Development Initiative, a faith-based teaching and coaching program for resident outreach. She is also a fellow of the Leading Change Network at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Prior to her work in resident engagement, Ella worked in the financial services sector.
More about Ella: In 2015, Ella was awarded the Barbara C. Harris Award for Social Justice by the Episcopal City Mission in Boston, Massachusetts for her founding of The Leadership Development Initiative. Ella is a recovering Wall Street professional, and is most at home in drafty church basements and other community settings, leading story slams and singing freedom songs. She is at her best when she is near the ocean in the company of her beloved dog.
Education: Harvard Divinity School (MTS), Babson College (BS)
“ReThinking is the most practical thing any of us can do to change the future. It helps us see where we fit in a common system and shifts our own roles as change agents within a dynamic and democratic world.”—Bobby Milstein, Director of System Strategy
Joined Rippel: 2011
Current Roles: Bobby directs Rippel’s work on System Strategy, is a member of Rippel’s Strategy and Management Team, and is a Visiting Scientist at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Bobby is a principal contributor to the ReThink Health initiative’s projects Portfolio Design for Healthier Regions and Amplifying Stewardship Together. He also leads a suite of nationwide influence activities and coordinates ongoing development of the ReThink Health Dynamics Model, the Well-Being Portfolio Design Calculator , and other simulation tools that let leaders play out the consequences of their scenarios for change. In 2018, Bobby and four co-authors wrote the official brief that defines “health and well-being” as the central focus for the Healthy People 2030 Framework for the United States.
Career: Before joining Rippel, Bobby spent 20 years planning and evaluating system-oriented initiatives at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where he was the principal architect of CDC’s framework for program evaluation. He received CDC’s Honor Award for Excellence in Innovation, the Applications Award from the System Dynamics Society, and Article of the Year awards for papers published in Health Affairs and Health Promotion Practice.
More about Bobby: Bobby once was a documentary filmmaker whose work was used by PBS to spotlight challenges of racism on college campuses. He also contributed storylines for The West Wing on how to get beyond zero-sum thinking when setting health priorities.
Education: Union Institute and University (PhD), Emory University (MPH), University of Michigan (BA)
“I love that Rippel is a place where challenging the status quo is the status quo.”—Nina Burke, Senior Program Associate
Joined Rippel: 2016
Current Roles: Nina contributes design, content, project management, evaluation, and more to the ReThink Health initiative’s Portfolio Design for Healthier Regions and Amplifying Stewardship Together projects. She also plays a key role in developing and implementing Rippel’s internal organizational learning and evaluation function.
Career: Nina has coordinated, developed content for, and evaluated multiple projects for Rippel’s ReThink Health initiative, including advising the California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative (CACHI) on distributed leadership and leadership transitions, Rippel’s ReThink Health Ventures project, and R&D. She contributed to the team that advised the Center for Medicare and Medicaid’s Quality Improvement Organization Leadership, Organizing in Action Program and developed Community Activation for System Stewardship. As part of a research project exploring tax credits’ potential as a source of sustainable financing for population health, she co-authored a paper for the National Academy of Medicine (2018). She previously was project manager of a homeless prevention and re-housing project for a Boston-area nonprofit.
More about Nina: Outside of her formal roles, Nina tries to keep up with the literature on alternative, just, and inclusive economies. In 2018, Nina volunteered on two successful cause campaigns to help lift Massachusetts individuals and families out of poverty. A proud generalist, Nina’s interests include yoga, rock climbing, traveling, and political organizing. Talk to her about anything from her love of public libraries and public transportation to why it’s taking her so long to learn French.
Education: Boston University (BS, MPH)
“The Rippel Foundation’s commitment to health equity and health innovation is amazing to be a part of—it influences the work I do in both my personal and professional life.”—Bethlihem Gebremedhin, Administrative Associate
Joined Rippel: 2019
Current Roles: Bethlihem provides high level support to two Rippel directors as well as managing the Cambridge office. She also helps to support the Portfolio Design for Healthier Regions team and the Communications team.
Career: Bethlihem previously worked as an administrative/project specialist for the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She supported over five faculty members within the Therapeutics Research and Infectious Disease Epidemiology (TIDE) group, and provided administrative support for multiple project submissions. As an undergraduate, she majored in public health with a minor in afro-american studies. She is currently pursuing her masters in public health with a concentration in health services management and policy.
More about Bethlihem: Bethlihem loves to read, and a few of her favorite authors include Toni Morrison, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Bell Hooks. She is extremely passionate about holistic health, traveling, and learning about different cultures. Her dream vacation destination is Bali, Indonesia.
Education: University of Massachusetts Amherst (BS), Tufts University (MPH candidate)
“Before joining Rippel, my work was confined to individual nutrition and health interventions with specific populations, funded solely by grants. At Rippel, I get to be part of work that breaks through the silos to help stewards move down the path towards sustainability—both of their finances and their mission.”—Katherine Wright, Senior Program Associate
Joined Rippel: 2016
Current Roles: Katherine leads the cross-coordination of Rippel’s three ReThink Health initiative project teams focused on jumpstarting transformative change, and provides high-level research and content support to ReThink Health’s Portfolio Design for Healthier Regions and Hospital Systems in Transition teams. She also continues to promote and present on Beyond the Grant: A Sustainable Financing Workbook (published in 2018).
Career: Katherine previously worked on multiple sustainable financing and R&D projects for Rippel’s ReThink Health initiative, where she explored topics like social impact investing, resident engagement, and the potential of tax credits as a source of sustainable financing for population health. Notably, she co-authored Beyond the Grant: A Sustainable Financing Workbook. Katherine led the design of the workbook’s Financing Wizard that lets users create and practice the art of financial planning for their collaborative population health work. Before joining Rippel, Katherine coordinated and provided research and evaluation support for interventions focused on healthy eating, SNAP-ED, and women’s heart health with Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, and Michigan State University Extension.
More about Katherine: Katherine was ranked second in the Indiana SkillsUSA Commercial Baking competition, which helped inspire her career path to health and nutrition work.
Education: Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University (MS), Michigan State University (BS)
“The dream of people and communities who are healthy and well is universal. Rippel is dedicated to helping leaders discover how that dream can move from imagination to reality.”—Stacy Becker, Vice President of Programs
Joined Rippel: 2015
Current Roles: Stacy oversees Rippel’s initiatives and projects, including ReThink Health and FORESIGHT.
Career: In her current role and previously as Rippel’s director of sustainable financing, Stacy has been a guiding force as Rippel has risen to meet the challenges at the frontiers of stewardship and health system change. She previously served as budget director for the City and County of San Francisco and the City of Saint Paul, as well as the public works director for Saint Paul. For 18 years she ran a policy consulting business, providing expertise in a variety of areas important to communities, including housing, education, community development, nonprofit management, citizen engagement, and financing.
More about Stacy: Stacy has earned a black belt in tae kwon do and taught children the practice for several years. She also plays the harp (she has three of them of various sizes).
Education: Harvard University (MPP), London School of Economics (MS)
“Communications makes a movement loud, by putting everyone who is a part of it in the position to confidently use their voice to spread change. At Rippel, we are increasing our capacity to make bold, new, and often very complex thinking and action accessible for pioneering stewards working to transform health and well-being”—Kim Farris-Berg, Director of Communications
Joined Rippel: 2015
Current Roles: Kim directs Rippel’s Communications Team, leading the design and execution of strategic communications for Rippel and its initiatives. She and her team are advancing Rippel’s capacities in storytelling, visual design for understanding, traditional and new media, and the principles of movement-building and strategic leadership.
Career: Kim was a senior project director of Rippel’s sustainable financing team and was a contributing author and creative developer of Beyond the Grant: A Sustainable Financing Workbook. Before joining Rippel she spent 18 years as a strategy consultant with an array of clients, including the Center for Policy Studies and The McKnight Foundation.
Kim is lead author of Trusting Teachers with School Success and co-creator of the Teacher-Powered School Initiative, which formed the foundation for a growing movement of teachers who design and run their public schools. A frequent keynote speaker and writer, Kim’s work has been published and acknowledged in many outlets including PBS NewsHour, US News, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Stanford Social Innovation Review, American Educator, Kappan Magazine, Huffington Post, and more.
More about Kim: A firm believer that not all wanderers are lost, Kim’s greatest love is camping with her family—and enjoying the quite solitude of the sunrise while they sleep in. She is game for anything involving creative design, from furniture to costumes!
Education: University of Minnesota (MPP), University of San Diego (BA)
Human Systems Dynamics Institute
Human systems dynamics offers powerful theory and practice to transform intractable problems into patterns of possibility.
Well Being Legacy: The Vital Conditions
How is our well-being affected by the legacies of policy and investment choices made by prior leaders? What are we doing now to shape the vital conditions that we all depend on to reach our full potential? What legacies will our choices leave to the next generation?
Health Affairs Commentary: A Balanced Investment Portfolio for Health is Within Reach
In this commentary, David Kindig and our own Bobby Milstein summarize the evidence that a major reason US health investment performs poorly is that it’s out of balance, with too much spent on certain aspects of health care and not enough spent to ensure social, economic, and environmental conditions that are vital to maintaining health and well-being.
Cultivating Health and the Economy, Side by Side (Case Study 1 of 3)
This origin story of THRIVE (an initiative for transforming both the health and economy of Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay region) details how we helped them map their health ecosystem and plan their “Whole System Approach to Change”—which emphasizes learning and planning before acting, to avoid hasty “fixes that fail.”
No More Fragmentation: Crafting a Comprehensive Strategy for Regional Health and Well-Being
America’s health systems are hyper-fragmented—and here, we explore how a comprehensive regional strategy can be useful to counteract that fragmentation, as illustrated by the success of the Marshall Plan in revitalizing Europe post-World War 2.
Negotiating a Well-being Portfolio: A Toolkit
ReThink Health created these detailed instructions for a visually rich group exercise to help stewards create a balanced and impactful set of policies, programs, and practices that will transform the system that produces health and well-being in their region.
How System Stewards in Washington’s King County are Turning the Tide Toward Equitable Health and Well-Being
When stewards in Washington’s King County gathered, they recognized how their many strong, pre-existing initiatives could combine efforts across silos to find single solutions to multiple problems. One example is You Belong Here, a novel venture meant to increase belonging and social responsibility by building alignment and shared ownership of a common set of priorities and solutions to build a more equitable and thriving region.
The Essential Components of a Comprehensive Transformation Strategy for Regional Health and Well-Being
A comprehensive regional strategy requires a credible, shared theory of system change and a plan to put that theory into action (a portfolio of interventions). Here are some key lessons about those essential components we learned through our work, including an example from our partnership with New Jersey’s Trenton Health Team.
Prototyping to Solve Complex System Challenges in Health and Health Care
Prototyping (purposefully testing out options with a learning mindset) is a great way for stewards to get a sense of how effective their portfolio of interventions might be. In this guest blog, Stacey Chang and Beto Lopez of the Design Institute for Health expand on the idea of prototyping and present a real-world example of its success.
Integrative Activity Assessment Tool
Stewards can use this ReThink Health tool to more effectively coordinate integrative activities, whether as broadly as across all sectors and organizations in their entire region, or simply for those involved with a down to the level of a specific regional project. The tool can help stewards identify which activities are already being handled well, and which ones have room to improve.
Beyond the Grant: A Sustainable Financing Workbook
Long-term, sustainable financing is a challenge for stewards (and their multisector partnerships and organizations) in regions across the country. So ReThink Health wrote this workbook, which offers modules with practical, user-friendly tools to answer common financing questions and develop action plans for moving beyond the grant.
Going Big: Addressing Big Challenges in Health and the Economy (Case Study 2 of 3)
This case study shares lessons learned and helpful strategies from THRIVE (an initiative for transforming both the health and economy of Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay region) based on their work to design big, bold plans to transform their health ecosystem using the ReThink Health Dynamics Model.
Regional Stewards: Nudging Systems Toward Health and Well-Being
Stewards can’t control outcomes in a complex adaptive system, but they can nudge them in the right direction. Using the ReThink Health Pathway, stewards can contribute to shifting mental models away from health care alone and toward the full range of factors that produce health and well-being.
Stepping Out: Launching the First Stage of Interventions to Transform a Regional System for Health and Well-being (Case Study 3 of 3)
This case study shares lessons learned from the story of how THRIVE (an initiative for transforming both the health and economy of Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay region) developed, fine-tuned, and began to launch an interdependent portfolio of interventions based on a strategy we helped them develop and test using our Dynamics Model.