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Strategically Mapping Your Early Career Development

February 22 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

This panel has been approved for 1.5 ACHE Virtual Interactive Education credits.

In today’s changing healthcare environment, early careerists need skills and strategies to position themselves for the future. You have the freedom to create the career paths that link your talents and interests with the right job. No job comes with a lifetime guarantee, and flexibility is important. To achieve upward mobility in your career, you must constantly reinvent your brand. Learn from your peers the necessary steps to take your career path to the next level. This panel will focus on nuts-and-bolts career planning for early careerists in the healthcare sector.


Sunil Sinha, MD, MBA, FACHE, FACP
Vice President of Population Health and Quality
Sentara Health Plans


Melissa Arana
System Director, Clinical Services Department
Baylor Scott and White Quality Alliance

Matthew Lin
Undergraduate Research Fellow
University of Texas at Dallas

Marion Spears Karr, MA, FACHE
Managing Partner and Founder
In-FLOW Executives

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Speakers Bios:

Melissa Arana DNP, MSN, RN, CMSRN, NEA-BC is a System Director of the Clinical Services Department for Baylor Scott and White Quality Alliance. With more than 16 years of experience as a Trauma/ General Surgery/Orthopedic/Quality Improvement/ Nurse at Baylor Scott & White Health, Melissa holds national credentials as a Certified Medical Surgical Nurse (CMSRN) and NEA-BC (Nurse Executive Advanced Board Certification) and in 2021 finished up her Doctorate Nursing Program (DNP) at UTA. Melissa also worked at Dallas Regional Medical Center in the Emergency Room as a staff nurse for 15 years.

Melissa served as a staff nurse, charge nurse, unit-based educator and clinical supervisor on a 82 bed Trauma/general surgery/orthopedic unit at Baylor Medical Center in 2007 until 2014. In 2014 until 2017 Melissa served as the Programs Outcomes Manager for the Orthopedic Population where she managed total joint patients and published an article in the Journal of Orthopedic Nursing titled “Reducing length of stay, direct cost, and readmissions in total joint arthroplasty patients with an Outcomes manager led interdisciplinary team.” Melissa has also presented multiple poster and podium presentations in her career and has been involved in multiple research studies.

From 2017 to present Melissa has spent the last 6 years as the System Director of the Clinical Services Department at BSWQA. Melissa has designed multiple clinical programs with our direct to employer, commercial and Medicare contracts (Sleep Apnea, Low back pain, Sepsis, Cardiovascular Surgery, MA care model, Medicare Care model, ESRD). She also leads the ambulatory pharmacy department and the gaps in care department. Melissa has designed and implemented a complex clinical performance compensation program for providers and hospitals related to provider quality and utilization performance. She has designed and implemented provider success/performance programs related to payer contract performance. She has assisted her organization in obtaining $83.6M in total savings in 2022 for MSSP, which is the highest earned savings nationally for an ACO.


Matthew Lin is an undergraduate sophomore majoring in Public Health at the University of Texas at Dallas. He graduated in the top 5% of his Californian high school class, and received a full-ride scholarship to enroll in the Honors program at UTD. He is currently on a pre-medical track whilst self-studying subjects in Healthcare Management, Economics, and Health Policy. He recently completed an MIT certification in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, and hopes to contribute to the integration of AI in healthcare delivery as a future practicing physician and health policy contributor.

He has varied previous experiences from community-level breast and cervical cancer public health interventions at UTHealth Houston to molecular analysis on the Sars-CoV-2 spike protein under former Bristol Myers Squibb drug researchers.


Dr. Sunil Sinha has served in a variety of clinical and administrative leadership roles and is the Vice President for Quality and Population Health at Sentara Health Plans (SHP) in Virginia. Previously he was the Chief Medical Officer of the BJC medical group in St Louis, Missouri, the Chief Medical Officer of ChenMed and JenCare Neighborhood Medical Centers in Virginia, and the Chief Medical Officer at Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center in Richmond, VA. Prior to joining Bon Secours, Dr. Sinha served as Director for Medical and Public Health Policy for Pfizer Inc. in New York and Washington, D.C., and as a senior medical officer at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). He also worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs, where he served as the Director of the Managed Care Clinical Center of the VA Maryland Health Care System and the Director of Primary Care at the Marion VA Medical Center.

He has served as a senior examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award program and was appointed by the U.S. Commerce Secretary to serve a three-year term as a national judge. He is past chairperson of the Maryland Performance Excellence Award program, board member of the Virginia state Baldrige Award program, and board member and judge of the Illinois ILPeX (Baldrige) award program. He served as a juror for the National Quality Forum’s National Health Care Quality Award and the Joint Commission’s John M. Eisenberg Award. He has been adjunct faculty at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Virginia Commonwealth University and is the Editor in Chief of the Core Body of Knowledge for the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Reviews Healthcare Quality and Physician Advisor certification. He is a certified executive coach from the Center for Executive Coaching.

He has served on the American College of Physicians (ACP) Maryland and Illinois Governor’s Councils and with the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) has served on the national Board of Governors, as the President for the Maryland Association of Healthcare Executives, Regent for Maryland, and on the Board for the Central Virginia Healthcare Executive Group.

Dr. Sinha is a board-certified internist, completing his medical education in India and an internal medicine residency at the Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago, where he served as Associate Chief Resident. He received his MBA from Southern Illinois University, holds a graduate certificate in information systems from The Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School and is currently pursuing an MPH from the George Washington University Milken School of Public Health.


Marion Spears Karr is the Managing Partner and Founder of in-FLOW Executives, a healthcare-centric executive search and leadership solutions company focused on building highly engaged and focused leadership teams, support them with proprietary coaching and learning platforms, and create a “culture of accomplishment”.


With over 33 years of experience in healthcare executive recruiting and talent acquisition, Marion’s spent a great deal of time in the industry focused on understanding it on a macro and micro level and enjoys collaborating with mission-focused leaders from all levels of experience.


He is the developer of the Accomplishment Culture© Coaching Model for team and individual leadership growth which is founded on positive psychology thought such as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi “Flow Theory,” Elias Porter’s “Relationship Awareness Theory,” the work of Michael Maccoby on “Strategic Intelligence” along with other influences and his own work over the last 30 years.


Marion most recent training model development, The Authentic Gratitude Communication Framework, equips leaders to harness the power of gratitude to build engagement, trust, and promote positive behaviors within team members. Multiple hospitals across the U.S. have been the pilot for this training and a future research project is in the works.


Having suffered a traumatic brain injury years ago, Marion volunteers in organizations that support brain injury research and recovery programs.


Marion is a board-certified Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE), holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Campbell University and a Master of Arts in Executive Leadership from Liberty University.


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