Executive Leadership

Stuart Koman, Ph.D.

President and CEO
Stuart Koman is the founder, president and chief executive officer of Walden Behavioral Care and its nonprofit Walden Center for Education and Research. Dr. Koman is a veteran health care manager with more than 30 years of experience leading and developing several behavioral health care companies. While all of these companies have become successful businesses under his leadership, Dr. Koman attributes much of this success to another common theme: They have all taken seriously their mission of providing innovative, compassionate and coordinated services to previously underserved populations and families. Walden Behavioral Care is the most recent example as it has quickly become the leading provider of services for individuals with eating disorders in New England through its multilevel, multisite system of care. In the 12 years since its founding, Walden has become a state-of-the-art system of care that has provided treatment services to more than 15,000 patients.

Dr. Koman began his professional career in 1985 when he was appointed senior clinician and then director of adolescent programs at Charles River Hospital (CRH) in Wellesley, Mass. Over the next 10 years , he led two companies in achieving significant clinical and business outcomes. The first company, Charles River Management (CRHM), a subsidiary of CRH, grew out of the work of Dr. Koman and others in developing innovative treatment models for adolescents in hospital settings. Dr. Koman and his colleagues were among the first to recognize the central importance of the family in treatment-program design. Many of these and related ideas were published in the “Handbook of Adolescents and Family Therapy,” in which Dr. Koman wrote several chapters and served as co-editor.

In 1990, Dr. Koman co-founded the managed health care company, Choate Health Systems, Inc. (CHSI). Similar to the approach at Charles River, Choate provided integrated delivery of behavioral health care through a full continuum of treatment services operating under one administration. As this model proved highly adaptive in the emerging world of managed care, Choate expanded rapidly leading to the formation of Choate Health Management, Inc. (CHMI) and Choate Psychiatric Associates, P.C. (CPA). Having successfully managed the transition in health care reimbursement approaches, Dr. Koman was asked to assist the profession of psychology to do the same and subsequently served on the governing board of the American Psychological Association’s practice division from 1992 to 2000.

After leaving Choate in 1995, Dr. Koman started Koman Associates, which focuses on leaders and leadership issues in government, health care and business. At the same time, Dr. Koman served as senior clinical adviser for Public Consulting Group, providing strategic planning and systems re-engineering to state agencies throughout the United States. Dr. Koman continues his involvement with both of these organizations albeit on a much-reduced basis since Walden was established in 2003. Dr. Koman earned his bachelor’s degree from Trinity College and his doctorate from Duke University.

James M. Greenblatt, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer & Vice President, Medical Services
Dr. James M. Greenblatt is chief medical officer and vice president of medical services at Walden. He provides medical management, leadership and oversight of Walden’s eating disorder programs. Working with thousands of children, adolescents and adults, Dr. Greenblatt found that each individual has a unique biochemical profile, range of behaviors and treatment needs. Dr. Greenblatt is board-certified in child and adult psychiatry. He received his medical degree and completed his adult psychiatry residency at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He completed a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School. In addition, Dr. Greenblatt is a clinical faculty member in the psychiatry department at Tufts Medical School. He lectures extensively throughout the United States and Canada on integrative therapies for mental health. He is the author of “Answers to Anorexia,” which draws on his many years of experience and expertise in integrative medicine and treating eating disorders. He also wrote “The Breakthrough Depression Solution,” which outlines a personalized nine-step method for beating the physical causes of depression, and “Answers to Appetite Control,” which confronts a mistaken understanding of why people struggle with weight management and introduces biological solutions for rebalancing appetite and eating patterns.

Paula Vass, MSW, LICSW, MBA

Vice President, Clinical Operations
Paula Vass is vice president of clinical operations. She supervises the admissions and utilization review departments along with inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient and outpatient programs. Ms. Vass began her career at Walden in 2005 as the director of social work for the inpatient psychiatric unit and eating disorder unit. Formerly, she was a psychiatric triage clinician at Deaconess Waltham Hospital and a supervisor for the Department of Children and Family Services. In addition, she has managed a private practice in the Waltham area, treating young adults with eating disorders. Ms. Vass specializes in the treatment of eating disorders, utilization management and crisis evaluation. She often presents at community organizations on the diagnosis, etiology and treatment of eating disorders. She graduated from Lasell College with a bachelor’s in human services. She earned her master’s in social work from Salem State University and completed her graduate training at Children’s Hospital Boston. Most recently, Ms. Vass earned her MBA from Bentley College. She has been a member of the National Association of Social Workers since 1997 and received her LICSW designation in 1999.

Charles R. Rossignol, MBA

Vice President, Business Development
Charles Rossignol is vice president of business development at Walden and is responsible for identifying, developing and managing all business expansion projects for the organization. During his tenure, Mr. Rossignol has opened and expanded several licensed outpatient clinic sites, with additional sites under development in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Before coming to Walden, Mr. Rossignol served in a number of executive and administrative roles with other Massachusetts-based behavioral health care providers. Most recently, he was chief executive officer at Arbour-HRI Hospital, a private psychiatric hospital in Brookline, part of the Arbour Health System of psychiatric hospitals in Massachusetts. Key accomplishments included reversing prior annual operating losses and generating continually improving financial performance and profitability through increases in admissions, improvements in payer mix and reductions in bad debt. Formerly, Mr. Rossignol was the group vice president at Pioneer Behavioral Health, overseeing behavioral health services in Connecticut and New York. Key accomplishments included improved financial performance through increases in service contracts and agreements and cash collections, reductions in bad debt and better staff productivity. Prior to this role, he was the executive director \ director of operations at Choate Health Systems and Choate Health Management. Key accomplishments there included the planning and opening of BayRidge Hospital in Lynn, Mass. He also oversaw the development and management of Choate’s statewide service agreements for precertification and evaluation services for the state’s two largest insurance payers as well as the launching of Choate’s first outpatient provider network. Throughout his career, Mr. Rossignol has also served as a consultant on a number of projects for several local and regional private psychiatric hospitals and human service organizations, in areas of Joint Commission accreditation, quality assurance and improvement, operations / financial performance and improvement. Mr. Rossignol earned his master’s in business administration from Northeastern University and his bachelor’s in psychology from Framingham State University. He is affiliated with the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Sean Byrne, C.P.A.

Vice President of Administration and Finance / Chief Financial Officer
Sean Byrne is Walden’s Vice President of Administration and Finance / Chief Financial Officer, overseeing the company’s fiscal operations and growth strategy. Prior to joining Walden in 2016, Sean spent 19 years at the Mentor Network, a publicly traded human services/healthcare company, where his financial leadership helped grow revenue to more than $1.1 billion. Most recently, he was Divisional Chief Financial Officer of the organization’s NeuroRestorative Division and previously held roles as Vice President of Financial Planning & Analysis; Corporate Controller, Assistant Controller and Project Analyst for an Oracle Implementation Team. Mr. Byrne received his master’s in business administration from Babson College and bachelor’s in business administration from Western New England College.

Senior Leadership

Kristin Brawn, MPH

Assistant Vice President, Marketing and Community Relations
Kristin Brawn is the assistant vice president of marketing and community relations at Walden Behavioral Care. She is responsible for developing and executing proactive community relations strategies that raise awareness of the programs and services that Walden offers. To achieve this, Ms. Brawn works closely with Walden staff including executives, program directors and marketing and community relations associates to promote programs, events and new initiatives. She also maintains close relationships with crisis centers, mental health providers, dietitians and doctors in New England and leverages regional and national partnerships with key eating disorder organizations. Prior to joining Walden, Ms. Brawn spent a decade working for the nonprofit Multi-service Eating Disorders Association (MEDA) in Newton, Mass. She began her career at MEDA as an office coordinator, but was quickly promoted to roles of increasing responsibility including director of project management, chief operating officer and executive director. As executive director, she worked closely with the board of directors to manage finances and raise funds to help elevate the organization. She was also responsible for coordinating MEDA’s national conference which included selecting speakers, overseeing conference advertising and marketing and coordinating volunteers. Ms. Brawn earned her bachelor’s from the College of the Holy Cross and her master’s from Boston University School of Public Health.

Rebekah Bardwell Doweyko, LPC

Assistant Vice President, Clinical Operations, Connecticut Region
Rebekah Bardwell Doweyko is director of Walden’s South Windsor, Conn., clinic with responsibility for providing clinical, administrative and fiscal oversight as well as development for the clinic. Formerly, she was an intensive care manager at the Connecticut Behavioral Health Partnership (Value Options Inc.) in Rocky Hill, Conn., where she assisted providers in the treatment and discharge planning for patients identified as high users of inpatient hospitalization and detox services, conducted clinical training on eating disorders for staff and managed Connecticut Medicaid cases with complex eating disorder issues. Ms. Doweyko has held clinical positions at various other facilities including founding and directing the Intuitive Eating Program (IOP) at Hollywood Pavilion Hospital in Hollywood, Fla. She also worked at The Renfrew Center in Coconut Creek, Fla., serving as a primary and IOP therapist. There she developed the Real-Life Excursion program which allows patients to begin their transition from residential treatment. Rebekah also specializes in substance abuse and has worked as a primary therapist at The Caron Renaissance Institute and Alternatives In Treatment Inc. of Boca Raton, Fla. She was featured in the Emmy-nominated HBO documentary “THIN” and composed the foreword to the highly acclaimed “Maintaining Recovery from Eating Disorders” self-help book by Naomi Feigenbaum. She earned her master’s degree in mental health counseling from Florida Atlantic University and is a licensed professional counselor in Connecticut.

Lucille Force, MSN, MHA

Assistant Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer
Lucille Force is responsible for providing 24-hour accountability for the professional practice, administrative and clinical operations of Walden’s psychiatric and eating disorder units and its residential program. Ms. Force has more than 20 years of nursing leadership experience, most recently as chief nurse executive at Universal Health Services – Arbour Health Systems in Boston. Before that, she was an associate chief nursing officer with Health Alliance Hospital in Leominster. Ms. Force also served as director of Women & Children’s Health at St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford, and as nurse manager at Women and Infants Hospital in Providence, R.I. She is currently an adjunct nursing professor at Bristol Community College, where she provides clinical instruction for nursing students in psychiatric nursing.

Virginia Hardy, MBA, CPC

Assistant Vice President, Financial Services
Virginia Hardy is assistant vice president of financial services at Walden. In this role, she is responsible for managing the billing, revenue cycle, electronic medical record and accounting functions while providing management, oversight and leadership of these functional areas. Prior to this, Ms. Hardy was Walden’s senior finance director, managing its billing and accounting functions. She has more than 25 years of financial and managerial experience including 24 years as general manager for MZI Medical Billing and Consulting. At MZI, she managed all operations of the company with a focus on the accounts receivable for more than 50 individual practitioners and physician groups with varied specialties. Ms. Hardy received a master’s in business administration from Northeastern University and her professional coding certification from American Academy of Professional Coders.

Shivkumar Jha, MD

Medical Director / Assistant Vice President, Medical Services
Dr. Shivkumar Jha is Walden’s medical director/assistant vice president, medical services. In his role, he provides direct patient care and medical supervision to patients across Walden’s eating disorder, psychiatric, residential and partial hospitalization programs. He is also responsible for providing leadership and mentoring to clinical staff across the entire organization. Prior to joining Walden, Dr. Jha was the associate medical director of United Healthcare and medical director at Behavioral Health, BlueCross BlueShield and psychiatrist-in-charge at Mclean Hospital. Dr. Jha completed his Residency at Tufts University Department of Psychiatry and M.D. and Bachelor’s from Boston University School of Medicine. He is a board certified adult psychiatrist with fellowship training in geriatrics.

Robert J. Keane, Ph.D., LICSW

Assistant Vice President, Clinical Services & Training
Robert J. Keane is assistant vice president of clinical services and training at Walden Behavioral Care. He is responsible for the daily operations of clinical inpatient services, program coordination, utilization review and clinical training. Dr. Keane is a senior behavioral health administrator with more than 30 years of experience treating diverse patient populations within the mental health field. He is a former deputy commissioner at the state Department of Mental Health and was co-principal investigator of a four- year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which significantly reduced the use of seclusion and restraint in Massachusetts. He also collaborated with a team to design the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services strategic plan for the Department of Public Health. Before his work with DMH, Dr. Keane was regional director for Boston at the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership, the managed-care carve-out company responsible for managing mental health and substance abuse benefits for Medicaid. While there, he was involved in the design and procurement of a service system that was responsive to the needs of consumers and their families. Dr. Keane earned his master’s degree and doctorate from Boston College Graduate School of Social Work, where he is currently a faculty member.

Carol Pender

Assistant Vice President, Human Resources
Carol Pender is the assistant vice president of human resources. She oversees development and implementation of Walden’s human resource policies, programs and services, including employee relations, compensation, benefits, recruitment, orientation, training, development and retention. Ms. Pender has nearly 20 years of experience developing strong business relationships with employees and management at various levels and in various functions within global organizations. Formerly, she was a human resources business partner-consultant at Genzyme Corporation. In this role, she worked with hiring managers throughout the interview process to ensure top talent was hired into key leadership positions across the business. Ms. Pender was a human resources business partner-consultant at Codman, a Johnson & Johnson company. In this role, she partnered with senior leadership to effectively manage change across the organization including restructuring functional groups, assimilating new leaders and moving talent as necessary. Before Codman, she was director of human resources for Adidas Group/Reebok where she supervised strategic business initiatives and ongoing implementation processes for global operations and an employee corporate-services group of 500 employees. Additionally, Ms. Pender managed human resource teams at Covidien, Cabot Corporation and TJX Companies. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts.