PDI Creative Consulting

We are an association of talented professionals and subcontracted companies prepared to address the policy and communications issues of healthcare reform. From conceiving a health care organization’s vision for the future, to promoting legislation necessary for achieving that vision, to educating diverse audiences who need to use the new systems, we offer comprehensive consulting to help organizations move forward and meet the challenges of 21st-century health care.

As a business, PDI Creative Consulting is built differently from most other agencies. We have no excess employees and consequently no superfluous charges to pass on to clients. The agency consists of principal-level thinkers and managers capable of solving clients’ problems efficiently and effectively. When we need to bring in subcontractors, we hire only the best, but most of our problem-solving results from group discussions among the key consultants. We are highly creative, responsive, and reasonably priced. We stand ready to assist clients charged with the complex task of overhauling the health care system.

 

Our History

PDI Creative Communications and PK Design—owned by Peter Kriff over the past twenty years—have a long history of successful public and private health communications. Starting in 1994 with the corporate branding of Fletcher Allen Health Care, Vermont’s level-1 Trauma Center; continuing in 1996 with the Vermont Department of Health’s Ladies First breast-cancer awareness campaign; and including the present communications for the Statewide Independent Living Council, PDI has worked closely with corporate and state entities to produce effective marketing, branding, signage, and advertising through the best use of available resources. Budgets for communications have waxed and waned, but Peter’s collaborations with clients’ staff have yielded extraordinary results regardless of fiscal constraints. Having worked with governmental and medical institutions grants PDI an awareness of multi-level approval processes and decisions made by committee, yielding the patience and resolve to partner with health care organizations that do not operate under the corporate management models.

PDI Creative Consulting brings the marketing and communications expertise of Peter Kriff together with the public policy experience of Theo Kennedy, whose Montpelier, Vermont law practice focuses on governmental and legislative affairs. Theo’s past roles as Director of Planning, Policy, and Regulation for the Vermont Department of Children and Families (2003-2010); Director of Health Rates and Forms for the Vermont Health Care Administration (2001-2003), overseeing the private health insurance industry; and Consumer Affairs and Information Specialist for the Vermont Department of Public Service have equipped him to guide health and human service efforts to comply with state and federal regulations and achieve cost-effective, efficient processes while meeting the needs of vulnerable populations. His pertinent skill sets include lobbying, drafting legislation, and translating statutory and regulatory requirements into manageable policies and procedures.

The PDI Creative Consulting Team

Peter Kriff

Peter, a graduate of Brown University, has over 25 years’ experience in concept development, marketing, and planning to help clients reach and exceed their communications goals. He specializes in managing integrated marketing campaigns, strategic planning, image and brand development, and public outreach.

As a creative director, designer, and media producer, Peter has won numerous national and regional awards. His client experience ranges from public health issues to corporate communications. His broad experience across these sectors includes travel and tourism, captive insurance, banking, and festival marketing, in addition to his specialty in health organizations.

In a mid-life career refinement Peter has become an advocate for disability rights. As Executive Director of Vermont’s Statewide Independent Living Council, he coordinates the efforts of the citizens’ council to disburse federal funds towards improving the quality of life for Vermonters with disabilities. Under his guidance, the council in 2013 launched Accessible Adventures, an original on-line peer-to-peer review system for accessible places to go in Vermont.

Peter is also a lifelong musician who has been performing professionally on jazz drums since the age of 14. Comfortable on both sides of the glass, he is at home as a recording musician and also as a producer of music, radio, and television. The Vermont Jazz Ensemble has featured him as the principal drummer since 1983; with the VJE and in smaller groups, he has performed on stages and bandstands in every corner of Vermont.

Peter Kriff

Gene Lindsey, M.D.

Gene Lindsey, M.D. served as President and CEO of Atrius Health and Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates between 2008 and 2013. Dr. Lindsey has been an internist and cardiologist since 1975, practicing at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates and its predecessors until his recent retirement. During his tenure as CEO, he continued a limited practice by exploring the concept of shared medical appointments. Meeting with groups of patients who had complex chronic cardiovascular disease in common, Dr. Lindsey found their self-reported experience was often beneficial to others in the group.

Dr. Lindsey has a long history of physician-group leadership. He is interested in how physicians and other healthcare professionals can partner to meet the challenges of providing sustainable healthcare as an entitlement for every member of the community. From the mid-1980s on, he was involved in the governance of Harvard Community Health Plan (HCHP). He became the Chairman of the Physicians’ Council in 1990 and served on the HCHP board. As part of the HCHP management team, he represented the voice of the practice from the early days of quality improvement through a series of acquisitions that eventually created Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in 1995.

In 1997, when Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates–a non-profit, 500-physician multi-specialty medical group–was created from the staff-model practice of the old Harvard Community Health Plan, Dr. Lindsey became their first Chairman of the Board. In 2004-2005, when five groups affiliated to form Atrius Health (formerly HealthOne Care System), Dr. Lindsey joined the Atrius Health Board, and in January 2007 he became its Chairman, a position which he held until he was appointed CEO the next year.

As CEO of Atrius Health, Dr. Lindsey championed the importance of healthcare reform, not just for all citizens but also for the total economy of the community. Seeking to make Atrius Health an organization that was exemplary in pursuing the Triple Aim, he advocated for balancing the renewed focus on quality, safety, and cost reduction with the established focus on service to patients and families.

During Dr. Lindsey’s time at Atrius, the organization instituted several new initiatives that included an extensive leadership academy as well as Lean-based transformation and continuous improvement. Atrius Health developed under his leadership into an organization with every practice as a level III NCQA Medical Home, augmented by an integrated medical record system and a patient portal available to a million patients. Atrius Health also expanded its data-warehousing skills to support innovation in population health with large-scale use of “big data.” The new competencies were key to Atrius Health’s success in the Alternative Quality Contract of Blue Cross of Massachusetts, and they enabled Atrius Health to succeed as one of the CMMI Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations.

Dr. Lindsey advises organizations that are working to support a spectrum of healthcare institutions and delivery systems. He has served on the Advisory Committee to the Massachusetts Health Care Quality and Cost Council, as well as the Special Commission on Price Variation. He now serves on the Advisory Committee to the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission and the boards of Guthrie Health (in New York and Pennsylvania) and VNA Care and Hospice (in Massachusetts). Since 2008 Dr. Lindsey has published a weekly letter where he explores topics pertinent to the evolution of better care for everyone at a sustainable cost. Dr. Lindsey continues to be a sought-after speaker on the healthcare topics of payment reform, accountable care organizations, practice innovation, physician engagement, patient service and engagement, and quality and efficiency. In all his capacities he continually advocates for the principles of the Triple Aim.

Dr. Lindsey received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and holds a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of South Carolina, where he was an intercollegiate athlete. He was an intern, resident in medicine, and clinical fellow in cardiology at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (now Brigham and Women’s Hospital), where he practiced from 1975 to 2008.

Dr. Gene Lindsey, M.D.

Theo Kennedy

An attorney with graduate degrees from Boston University in law (1991) and Public/Environmental Health (1994), Theo is a 1983 graduate of Middlebury College who returned to Vermont in 1999 after practicing law in Massachusetts. He is now a partner at Otis and Kennedy in Montpelier, Vermont, working as a public policy attorney and a general legal practitioner. Present clients include the Vermont Pharmacists’ Association, Northeast Delta Dental Insurance, and the Vermont Retired State Employees Association.

Before joining Otis and Brooks (the previous iteration of his present firm) in 2010, Theo had developed expertise in the health insurance industry and its related legislative and regulatory issues as Director of Health Rates and Forms and Staff Attorney at the Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities, and Health Care Administration, where he worked from 2001-2003. As Staff Attorney and Director of Planning, Policy and Regulation, a position he held from 2003-2010, Theo also has helped oversee legislative, regulatory, data analysis, and policy matters for Vermont’s Department for Children and Families in the Agency of Human Services.

In Massachusetts Theo worked in real property, banking, and debtor-creditor law as a title examiner and lender counsel performing closings, as well as handling a motion practice and banking litigation support for a private law firm in Boston. With a sole practitioner he also spent a year doing plaintiff-side personal injury law before returning to banking and real property to work for a statewide non-profit that assisted elders in financial distress and foreclosure.

 

Theo Kennedy

Russ Morgan

Owner and operator of Inet Ops Online, a New Hampshire-based company, Russ brings expertise in website development, website hosting, and internet technology coaching to the PDI Creative Consulting team. Russ joins technical knowledge of the web with a special interest in health and human services and the insurance industry.

Russ worked with health insurance companies as President and Director of Nashua Industrial Machine Corporation from 1984 through 1998 to purchase and provide the most affordable health insurance choices for hundreds of employees. His company’s participation in the startup of Healthsource as a pilot corporate customer resulted in another health insurance alternative in New Hampshire to compete with Blue Cross/Blue Shield traditional insurance and H.M.O. and the Matthew Thornton H.M.O.

Since 1998 Russ has turned his energies to information technology and management information systems. He has spent the past 16 years in corporate IT management and consulting on networks, server rooms, security, and internet technology. Recognizing a need for web hosting to catch up with current changes on the internet, Russ started inetopsonline.com, a full-service hosting company providing solutions to all types of business. With one quarter of the internet already converted to WordPress and the numbers increasing daily, Russ’s services include WordPress security, maintenance, webmaster, and search-engine optimization. He holds degrees in computer science from Daniel Webster College and Management Information Systems from New Hampshire College.

 

Robyn Warhol

Robyn brings 32 years of professional experience in writing and editing to PDI Creative Consulting, having taught writing and literature at Stanford, the University of Vermont, Harvard, Brandeis, Rice, and the Ohio State University. Since completing her Ph.D. at Stanford University in 1982, she has written and published numerous articles and university press books, and she is co-editor of several significant textbooks. Her areas of research expertise include narrative, serialized television, Victorian literature, lifewriting, and representations of addiction and recovery in contemporary popular culture.

As a published author and instructor of college writing, Robyn specializes in the conversation that a piece of writing creates between the “I” who writes and the “you” who reads. Committed to brevity and clarity, her editorial approach cuts out wordiness, jargon, and clichés wherever possible. In Robyn’s view, the fewer syllables, the better: if “use” means the same thing as “utilize,” it’s better style to use the shorter word.

After 26 years as a professor at the University of Vermont, Robyn joined the faculty at the Ohio State University, where she is currently Arts and Humanities Distinguished Professor of English and a core faculty member of Project Narrative.

 

Ralph Montefusco

Ralph is PDI Creative Consulting’s community organizer and outreach specialist. He has been involved in government relations, visibility, advocacy, outreach, and mobilizing for public projects in the State of Vermont for over 25 years. His customer relations experience in the early part of his career evolved into a passion for assisting public interest projects, and his experience has ranged from political consulting to union organizing.

From 1989 to 2003 Ralph was a customer relations specialist at IBM in Essex Junction, Vermont, where he gained experience in process development and troubleshooting. He is a disability rights activist and currently serves as Chair of the Vermont Government Relations Committee of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of New England.

 

Ralph Montefusco

Ken Gordon

Ken offers more than twenty years of experience advocating for and managing health, social service and long term care programs in Northern New England. He is a graduate of the University of Vermont, School of Social Work (1996) and has served as an adjunct faculty member at Lyndon State College where he taught courses in Social Welfare Policy.

In 2011, he testified on the topic of Senior Nutrition before the US Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging chaired by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and has served as a lobbyist before the Vermont State Legislature on issues affecting older adults, people with disabilities and family caregivers.

Previously, for more than a decade, Ken served as the Executive Director of the Area Agency on Aging for Northeastern Vermont. Under Ken’s leadership, the organization worked closely with the State of Vermont to develop a program to better serve individuals eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid (MyCareVT), a precursor to the State’s current ACO initiative.

Ken currently serves as the Administrator of an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program. In this role he works closely with Critical Access Hospitals, Federally Qualified Health Centers, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), commercial insurers and community-based health and social service providers to improve care delivery, enhance population health and reduce health care spending.

He is passionate about the need to reform the health and long term care systems in this country, and believes strongly in the need to partner closely with consumers and their families in this effort.

Ken Gordon

Cecily Hill

As an assistant Project Manager, Junior Copywriter, Event Planner, and Social Media Developer, Cecily wears many hats for PDI Creative Consulting that reflect her own varied expertise. At the beginning of her career, she has already won grants for her research, published work in national journals, managed improvements in website content and social media presence, and spearheaded a successful student wellness program at the Ohio State University.

As the chair of an Ohio State University committee for graduate and professional student programming, Cecily has developed and launched an aggressive, university-wide wellness series that is currently in its third year. The series, which has attracted more than 2,000 students to its events, has become a model for interdepartmental collaboration and wellness innovation. Her recent overhaul of the committee’s social media presence resulted in a 40% increase in Facebook followers and a drastic rise in community engagement both on and off the Internet. At the same time, she has worked as a content developer and editor of OSU’s Graduate Studies in English website, transforming it into one of the most effective and informative such websites among peer institutions.

Currently pursuing her PhD and teaching writing, literature, and popular culture at the Ohio State University, Cecily has had her own articles and reviews accepted for publication at leading academic journals such as Studies in English Literature and presented her original work at top national and international conferences. As a successful grant writer, she has won funding for her doctoral research from the Coca-Cola Foundation, the Lilly Foundation, and the Children’s Literature Association of North America, as well as the Ohio State University. While earning a fully funded master’s degree at the University of Southern Mississippi, Cecily managed national job searches for the Department of English, successfully balancing departmental demands against federal and state requirements.

Cecily is a volunteer member of the Board of Trustees for Glass Axis, a non-profit dedicated to expanding arts education and access in its Columbus, Ohio community. There, she contributes her grant writing and editing expertise, assists with major event planning, and consults on Glass Axis’s developing social media program.

Cecily Hill