Cheryl Larson is the President and CEO of the Midwest Business Group on Health, a non-profit organization of over 130 mid to jumbo, self-funded, regional and multi-state, public and private employers. Coalition activities include educational programs, health benefits research, benchmarking and community-based initiatives focused on increasing the value of health benefits and health care services to MBGH Members – represented by human resources, health benefits and health care professionals.

She oversees all coalition activities including advocacy, membership, administration, research projects and educational activities, working closely with MBGH’s employer-led Board of Directors to establish the strategic direction of the coalition. Larson joined MBGH in 1983 as the Director of Membership Development, returning in 2006 as Vice President, after spending 10 years with a population health management company.

Larson leads MBGH’s National Employer Initiative on Specialty Drugs, the first major purchaser-driven research project that supports employers in managing the higher costs of biologic and specialty drugs by helping them make critical and informed decisions. She is a nationally-recognized speaker on employer best practices in managing specialty drugs, value-based benefit design, wellness, well-being, consumerism, engagement and benefit communications. She currently serves on multiple boards and committees representing the purchaser perspective, including the Task Force on Low-Value Care for VBID (Value-Based Insurance Design) Health and the Oncology Medical Home Steering Committee for the Community Oncology Alliance.


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Gary Mendell is the founder, Chairman and CEO of Shatterproof. After losing his son Brian to addiction in 2011, Gary founded Shatterproof to spare other families the tragedy his had suffered.

Mr. Mendell spent decades as an entrepreneur. He founded HEI Hotels & Resorts, a multi-billion-dollar company that oversees a portfolio of approximately 70 first class hotels. He raised and managed $1.2 billion in discretionary capital from some of the most prestigious universities in the United States and managed more than $2 billion in assets. He is also a former trustee and president of Starwood Lodging Trust. That business-world experience gives him a unique perspective in running a non-profit organization like Shatterproof.

He is a frequent speaker on how our society can end the stigma unjustly associated with addiction, has been honored numerous times for his leadership related to reversing the course of the opioid epidemic, testified in front of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, has been a guest several times on CNBC and MSNBC to provide his perspective on commonsense solutions to the opioid epidemic, and his opinions are frequently reflected in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and the Washington Post. Mr. Mendell also serves on the Executive Advisory Board of the University of Pennsylvania’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI).

Mr. Mendell received his B.S. from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and his MBA with distinction from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.


scott mScott Monteith, MD, DFAPA, practices general adult psychiatry in the Community Mental Health setting where he has worked for over 25 years in Traverse City, Michigan.  He is Immediate Past President of the Michigan Psychiatric Society; Together Health Network’s Associate Medical Director for Behavioral Health; Clinical Assistant Professor in the departments of Psychiatry and Family Medicine as well as the Psychiatry co-Clerkship Director for the Traverse City campus of Michigan State University; Board member at the Michigan Health Information Network (MIHIN); and Advisory Board member of Patient Privacy Rights, the nation’s leading health data privacy non-governmental organization (NGO).  He has published over 20 peer-reviewed articles in the areas of health information technology and bipolar disorder.

Previously, he worked with the Trinity Health system as a Population Behavioral Health co-lead.  His interests include health policy, integrated care, and health information technology.


Dr. Heather Sell, PharmD, BCPS, is a Medical Outcomes Specialist for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.  She works with employers to identify conditions and behaviors affecting the health of their population and measure the impact of interventions. She also provides clinical education and conducts real world clinical research and pharmaco-economic analyses.  Dr. Sell served as the pharmacy director for the Midwest Health Strategy Project in Chicago in collaboration with the Midwest Business Group on Health.

Dr. Sell is a certified instructor for basic tobacco intervention skills for medical and allied health professionals by the University of Arizona and a certified tobacco cessation group leader by the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago.  She is a co-author on an article published in Health Education Journal:  Essential components for success:  a smoking cessation program in a group setting.

Dr. Sell completed her Bachelor of Science and Doctorate of Pharmacy at Purdue University.  Following graduation she completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at Rush Medical Center in Chicago, IL followed by a Specialized Residency in Drug Policy and Medication Use Systems Management at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics in Madison WI.  After her residency training she became the Clinical Coordinator at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago, managed by McKesson, where she also served as the Pharmacy Practice Residency Director.  She previously held positions as an Assistant Professor at the University of Florida as a facilitator for the Chicago Region Working Professionals Program and an Associate Professor and Regional Faculty Coordinator for Purdue University in Chicago.  She spent three years as Director, Clinical Consulting with Broadlane/MedAssets a cost-management firm and group purchasing organization for integrated delivery networks before joining Pfizer.


Michael Thompson is the President and CEO of the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions (National Alliance), an association of approximately 50 regional coalitions collectively supporting over 12,000 healthcare purchasers providing health coverage to more than 45 million Americans. The National Alliance helps to lead improvements in health, well-being and value for our companies and communities across the country.

Prior to joining the National Alliance, Mike was a Principal at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for 20 years. Thompson is a nationally recognized thought leader for business health strategies and health system reform. He has worked with major employers and other stakeholders on sustainable cost reduction, integrated health, wellness and consumerism, retiree health, private health exchanges and health reform. Known for developing and promoting collaborative cross-sector health industry initiatives, Mike participated on the steering board of the World Economic Forum’s “Working towards Wellness” initiative and co-founded the Private Exchange Evaluation Collaborative (PEEC). Prior to PwC, Mike served as an executive with diverse roles with Prudential Healthcare for over 17 years.

Mike is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, serving on the Health Practice Council, and chairs the Medicare Sub-Committee of the American Academy of Actuaries (AAA). He is also widely recognized as a leading national advocate for mental health and well-being and was Past President of the New York City chapter of the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI). Mike previously was an active member of the board of the Northeast Business Group on Health for 11 years.


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Dr. Howard Willson is Castlight’s Head of Clinical Strategy. He has led the clinical development of many of the company’s health benefits products including Elevate, it’s behavioral health offering. His work is focused on helping employees navigate the health system, manage conditions, and stay healthy.

Prior to joining Castlight, Dr. Willson was the Department Chief of Emergency Medicine at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, part of the Providence St. Joseph Health System. He received a BA from Dartmouth, an MD from the University of Illinois College of Medicine, and an MBA from Wharton.



Dr ZelnikDr. Thomas Zelnik is a board certified psychiatrist with St. Joseph Mercy Health System. He received his medical degree from University of Michigan Medical School and has over 35+ years of experience.

Dr. Zelnik has been quoted in numerous articles for various behavioral health issues and is well-known for his public outreach and participation in conference discussions regarding substance abuse disorders, depression and anxiety.