Regional Planning Consortiums

RPC Team

Lori Kicinski, MHA

Project Director, Regional Planning Consortiums

Lori comes to the project after working with NYSDOH directing Program and Operations for the NYS Patient Center Medical Home Model Initiative. During her time at DOH, she was responsible for program design, policy, and led transformation operations as part of the state’s 4-year, $67 million primary care transformation initiative under CMS’s State Innovation Model (SIM) grant. In this role, she focused on model design and management oversight of 15 practice transformation organizations contracted to serve nearly 2,000 primary care practices. She utilized strategic planning to assist these practice sites to optimize transformation and revenue under multiple lines of business, including Medicare, Medicaid and various commercial plans. Much of the focus on this transformation also focused on PCP/BH Integration.

Lori has years of experience working with a diverse set of stakeholders, who often have different objectives, to come together to achieve common goals. These stakeholders have included various state agencies, health/hospital system providers and Managed Care Organizations.  In addition, Lori has experience working as a Patient-Centered Medical Home administrator under a local health system, has a vast knowledge of NCQA measures, and has helped agencies prepare for Value Based Payment.

After graduating with a BS in Organizational Psychology and Business Management from St. Bonaventure University, Lori obtained an MHA from the Graduate Healthcare Administration and Systems Management Program (Pentagon) at the University of Maryland. 

Phone:  (518) 462-9422

Position to be filled

RPC Coordinator for Capital Region 


Katie Molanare

RPC Coordinator for Central NY 

Katie attended SUNYIT for undergrad where she received her BA in psychology.  She also double majored in Community Behavioral Health with a minor in Sociology.  She went on to Syracuse University where she obtained her Master’s in Social Work, primarily focused on policy/procedures and administration, as well as a Certificate of Advance Study in Health Service Management and Policy.  Her main focus has been on geriatrics and long term care, and she has worked in numerous facilities, working her way up from CNA to social worker.  

Phone:  (518) 391-8535

Beth White

RPC Coordinator for Finger Lakes

Beth’s career began at the Rochester Psychiatric Center; first as an Aide on the wards, then as a Case Manager, a Primary Therapist, and for the last five years, as an Administrator in the Community Services department. She then ventured into the wider world where she ran a managed care organization, was the Director of a large EAP program, and then was the Director of Mental Health for a community-based agency. She provided management consulting services throughout this time period, as well. Beth has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Master’s in Public Administration, and is certified as a professional in Human Resources.

Phone:  (518) 391-8231

Melissa Wettengel

RPC Coordinator for Long Island

Melissa’s behavioral health experience lies in peer and recovery services, having built and directed two innovative and successful programs on Long Island.  Most recently, Melissa launched SHERPA, a team of peer and family recovery coaches supporting opiate overdose survivors in hospital emergency departments.  Prior to that, Melissa managed a suite of mental health wellness programs including Turquoise House, a peer-run residential psychiatric crisis respite and hospital diversion service. Melissa holds a Master’s in Public Health from Stony Brook University.  She believes that with the right supports - and the power of hope - self-directed recovery is possible for everyone.

Phone:  (518) 396-6804

Marcie Colon

RPC Coordinator for Mid-Hudson

Marcie received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Fordham University in New York City. She is an LCSW with more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare arena, both in direct service and administration, managing a variety of programs and projects in home care, hospitals as well as other health care settings.  Prior to joining the team, Marcie was a Program Manager at the WMCHealth Performing Provider System, a lead agency in the NY State Medicaid reform process.  She was accountable for the administration of two projects:  Extended Care Management and Behavioral Health Integration with Primary Care focusing on integrating health care systems to ensure improved outcomes.

Phone:  (518) 441-2047

Margaret Varga

RPC Coordinator for Western NY

Prior to joining the team, Margaret worked as an addictions counselor - primarily mandated and co-occurring clients in South Buffalo.  She graduated from Binghamton University and began her career as the Mental Disabilities Planner for the Health Systems Agency of Western New York.  She worked in administration for several years, took a break to work for a children's agency, back to administration, and eventually obtained her MS in Mental Health Counseling from Canisius College.

Phone:  (518) 441-8635

Emily Childress

RPC Coordinator for Southern Tier

Emily holds a Master's Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor's Degree in Human Development, both from Binghamton University. She has experienced the mental health care systems from both sides, as a consumer and a provider of services. Emily has devoted her academic and professional career to mental health destigmatization and education. Before joining the RPC team, she was instrumental in implementing the first peer-run crisis respite program in the Southern Tier in her role as Program Director at the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier. Emily believes true integration and collaboration can only occur when all stakeholders have a seat at the table. 

Phone:  (518) 391-9260

Karen Rappleyea

RPC Coordinator for North Country

Karen has more than 20 years of experience as a project manager, most recently employed as Provider Engagement Manager at the Adirondack Health Institute (AHI) where her work focused around the integration of behavioral health and primary care of the NYS Medicaid Reform program. Karen served as a member of the AHI DSRIP project management team where she provided technical assistance to practice sites, using analytics, research, and technology opportunities to better understand, predict, and optimize key business components impacting successful growth and profitability. This position allowed her to build collaborations with many of the mental hygiene leaders and organizations in the North Country.


Beth Solar

RPC Coordinator for Tug Hill Seaway

Beth joins us with experience in the healthcare field, starting her career as a medical assistant and later going on to become an LPN. She currently lives in Jefferson County and has more than 15 years of clinical experience, most recently working as a clinical nurse for an outpatient behavioral health office. Beth participated in initiating and follow-through for new policies and procedures in the office, specifically, DSRIP measures, PSYCKES, and best practices. Beth’s professional interest lie in the integration of physical and behavioral health and access to treatment/services. She also has an extended knowledge in health information technology and electronic medical records. 

Phone:  (518) 801-3229 

Jacqueline Miller

RPC Coordinator for Mohawk Valley 

Jacqueline is a native to the Mohawk Valley and resides in Montgomery County. She has worked in geriatric healthcare for the last ten years as the Quality Director for a skilled nursing facility.  Jacqueline started her education at Hartwick College studying Anthropology, and later changed gears to go into healthcare as a CNA, furthering her career as an LPN.  Jacqueline initiated and ran DSRIP initiatives in the facility, as well as started a successful QAPI program, ensuring the best quality care.  Additionally, she has experience with managed care while performing utilization management. Outside of work Jacqueline volunteers with the Girl Scouts of America and is currently is pursuing a degree in healthcare management, aspiring to help those in rural areas to receive the care they need, specifically mental health services.  

Phone:  (518) 469-2996