Senior Executive Leadership
Stuart Koman, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Stuart Koman, Ph.D. is a founder and the Chief Executive of Walden Behavioral Care and its non-profit sister corporation, the 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 under served 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 multi-level, multi-site system of care. In the nine year period 2003-2012, Walden has become a state of the art system of care providing some 40,000 service units annually at its primary campus in Waltham (MA) and satellite centers in Braintree (MA), Worcester (MA), Northampton (MA) and South Windsor, Connecticut.
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, MA. Over the next 10 years (1985 to 1996), 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, an effort 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, and this led 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 1992-2000.
After leaving Choate in 1995, Dr. Koman started Koman Associates, a firm that 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 once Walden was established in 2003.
Dr. Koman earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Trinity College and his Ph.D. from Duke University.
Margaret Moran, RN, MSHA
Senior Vice President of Marketing, Contracting and Community Relations
Margaret Moran is the Senior Vice President of Marketing, Contracting and Community Relations for Walden Behavioral Care. She has been part of Walden’s senior staff since the company’s founding in 2003. She has been instrumental in the growth of the organization from strategic planning, reimbursement structuring, contracting, marketing and branding. Ms. Moran has held several nurse executive positions in both the clinical and insurance sectors of the health care industry, as well as senior level marketing, contracting and new business development positions in psychiatric hospitals. She was the Vice President of Marketing at Choate Health Systems and Choate Health Management. In addition, she held several positions at Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBSMA) of Mass. including Manager and Director of the Utilization Review Department. Ms. Moran also developed the first mental health program at BCBSMA. She is active in insurance and managed care associations, where she is well-known and widely respected for her industry knowledge and commitment to quality care. She is a member of Beacon Health Strategies Provider Advisory Committee and a member of the Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association Advisory Board. Ms. Moran earned her M.S. in health services administration at Emmanuel College.
Paula Vass, MSW, LICSW
Vice President of Clinical Operations
Paula Vass is the Vice President of Clinical Operations at Walden Behavioral Care. She supervises the Admissions Department, Utilization Review Departments and Inpatient, Residential, Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient Programs at Walden Behavioral Care. 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 worked as 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 and often presents at community organizations on the diagnosis, etiology and treatment of eating disorders. She graduated from Lasell College with a B.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. Ms. Vass has been a member of the National Association of Social Workers since 1997, and received her LICSW license in 1999.
Assistant Vice President of Human Resources
Carol Pender is the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources at Walden Behavioral Care. She oversees the 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 partnered with hiring managers throughout the interview process to ensure top talent was hired into key leadership positions across the business. Prior to her work at Genzyme, 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. Prior to Codman, she worked as Director of Human Resources for Adidas Group/Reebok where she directed strategic business initiatives and ongoing implementation processes for global operations and an employee corporate services group made up of 500 employees. In addition, Ms. Pender managed human resource teams at Covidien, Cabot Corporation and TJX Companies. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts.
Chief Financial Officer
Larry Behan is the Chief Financial Officer at Walden Behavioral Care. He oversees the company’s corporate business operations, including finance, technology and facilities management. Mr. Behan has 20 years of senior level finance, administrative and operational expertise with organizations ranging from international technology ventures to state public service agencies and academic institutions. Formerly, he was the Administrative Director at the UMass Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry and Deputy Commissioner and CFO of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH). At DMH, he directed teams managing the financial, administrative, facilities and information technology infrastructure of a $650M agency with five community mental health centers and three inpatient hospitals generating over $100M in annual revenues. Mr. Behan was a member of the Commissioner’s Executive Team, representing the agency in numerous arenas, including legislative, cross-secretariat, academic and human services provider forums. He was instrumental in developing strategies to maintain high quality operational supports for client programs in an environment of declining state funding resources. Prior to DMH, Mr. Behan was CFO at the Committee for Public Services, the $170M agency of the Commonwealth’s Judicial Branch providing court assigned legal counsel to indigent clients. He holds a B.S. in economics from Northeastern University and a master’s in business administration from Suffolk University. He is a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association and Financial Executives Networking Group.