Bea Grause began her tenure as president of the Healthcare Association of New York State in 2016, after serving as president and chief executive officer of the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems for 14 years. In that position, she successfully led Vermont hospitals through a variety of reform initiatives, including the state’s single-payer debate, continuously and intentionally building the hospitals’ brand as trusted, competent leaders.
Before her work in Vermont, Grause spent 10 years in Washington, D.C., in a variety of positions. She began her D.C. tenure as a legislative assistant; first in the office of Rep. Norman Y. Mineta and then for Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II. After she left Capitol Hill, Grause simultaneously held senior governmental affairs positions with the Tennessee Hospital Association and Massachusetts Hospital Association. She spent three years working as counsel with the law firm of Foley, Hoag. In this role, she developed tailored legislative and regulatory strategies for many healthcare clients. Grause previously worked as a registered nurse, primarily in the emergency room and intensive care areas at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center of California.
She completed a three-year term (2012 to 2015) as an at-large member of the American Hospital Association board of trustees, including a 2015 term on the AHA Executive and AHA CEO Search Committees. As part of her AHA board responsibilities, she also served as chairman of the AHA Allied Advisory Committee on Medicaid.
Grause earned her Juris Doctorate in 1991. She earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Boston College in 1979 and is currently a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She is also a 2003 graduate of the Vermont Leadership Institute.
Chief Operating and Innovation Officer
As chief operating and innovation officer, Courtney Burke oversees all of HANYS’ operations and ensures optimal alignment of the Association’s various functions – from healthcare policy and advocacy to quality improvement and data analysis.
Burke comes to HANYS with an extensive background in healthcare operations and policy, with a career that has included executive positions in government and the healthcare provider sector.
Most recently, Burke served as senior vice president and chief strategy officer at Albany Medical Center. Before that, she served as New York state’s deputy secretary for health. In that role, Burke provided oversight for the state’s health and mental hygiene agencies, including the Department of Health, Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, the Office for the Aging, Office of the Medicaid Inspector General, Office of Mental Health, Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, Developmental Disabilities Planning Council and the Justice Center.
Burke previously served as commissioner of the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, an agency of nearly 20,000 employees. Before that, she served as director of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government’s New York State Health Policy Research Center and as the senior research scientist in the Rockefeller Institute’s Health and Medicaid studies program. Before joining the Institute, Burke worked at NYSDOH and as the Senior Policy Analyst at the New York State Office of Advocate for Persons with Disabilities.
She has a master’s degree in health policy and management from the School of Public Health, University at Albany, and a bachelor’s degree in political science and journalism from the University of Connecticut.
Senior Vice President, State Policy
Amy Nickson provides oversight and implements HANYS’ state governmental affairs and advocacy strategies. Through her career in government and advocacy, she has gained extensive experience in New York State health policy. Before joining HANYS in February 2018, she served as Vice President, Policy and External Affairs, at Community Health Care Association of New York State. Before that, Ms. Nickson spent ten years working for the Department of Health (DOH), culminating in serving as Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Governmental and External Affairs. In that role, she was responsible for advising the Commissioner of Health and senior officials in the Governor’s Office and the Division of the Budget on policy matters. She also served as a key representative in Executive Budget development and annual negotiations with the Legislature. Prior to this, she served as Deputy Director of DOH’s Office of Governmental Affairs. Before joining DOH, she spent a decade in the New York State Assembly, where she served as a legislative analyst working on a variety of human services-related issues. Ms. Nickson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Richmond.
Senior Vice President and Special Counsel, Insurance, Managed Care and Behavioral Health
Jeff Gold works with the payer community, state and federal regulators, and New York State government to address provider issues related to managed care. Gold has drafted, negotiated, and helped secure major packages of managed care reform legislation that impact external appeals, administrative denials, claims processing, and payer practices. He designed HANYS’ highly regarded Managed Care SWAT Training program and coaches hospitals on claims denial management and contract negotiation. Before joining HANYS in 2000, Gold was Special Counsel for Health Care to the New York State Attorney General. Gold served four Attorneys General in New York and was the founding Chief of New York’s Health Care Bureau. Previously, he worked at two private law firms in New York City, with a focus on civil litigation. Gold has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Juris Doctor degree from Brooklyn Law School.
Chief Financial Officer
Mary Kay Hayes joined HANYS in 2015 and served as senior director of corporate finance before her promotion to chief financial officer in 2019. With more than 25 years of financial management and accounting expertise, she directs all internal financial matters for the association, its affiliates and for-profit subsidiaries.
Her prior experience includes her time as chief financial officer for Blue Slate Solutions, a business process and information technology consulting firm in Albany, New York, various financial analysis positions at FedEx, Promus Hotel Corporation and GE Plastics, and her time working as an auditor for Coopers and Lybrand.
She received a Master of Business Administration degree in finance and accounting from Union College, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Albany.
She is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the state of New York.
Sandi Toll is responsible for overseeing all of HANYS’ legal, compliance, and contractual matters, including those of HANYS’ affiliated organizations and for-profit subsidiaries. She joined HANYS as General Counsel in February 2018 after serving as First Assistant Counsel to Governor Andrew Cuomo, a position she attained in July 2015, after serving nearly two years as Assistant Counsel to the Governor, where she advised the Governor and policy staff on legal matters related to a variety of health issues.
Before that, she was a partner at the law firm of Jenner & Block LLP. As a member of the firm’s healthcare litigation and complex commercial litigation practices, she represented clients on healthcare fraud and abuse matters, supervised and conducted internal investigations, and maintained an extensive pro bono practice. While at Jenner & Block, she was named an Illinois Super Lawyers “Rising Star” in healthcare.
Ms. Toll began her career as an elementary school teacher (second grade) in Compton, California, from 1997 to 1999 as part of Teach for America.
Ms. Toll has a J.D. magna cum laude from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and Bachelor of Science degree with Distinction from Cornell University.
Vice President of the Healthcare Association of Western and Central New York
Ken Schoetz leads HAWCNY as its vice president following three years as president and CEO of Western New York Healthcare Association.
For more than three decades, he’s pursued an extensive and wide-ranging career in law, government and public policy. He served as Erie County Attorney, director of the Buffalo Office of the New York State Attorney General, chairman of the Peace Bridge Authority, trustee and deputy mayor of the Village of Hamburg and held executive positions under three New York state governors with Empire State Development. His early experience included work on Capitol Hill with Reps. Jack Kemp and Richard Gephardt.
Before leading HAWCNY he served as general counsel and executive vice president of development for Innovative Health Services of America. In that capacity, he advised physician staffing companies, urgent care centers and non-emergency transportation companies. While there, he worked extensively with Western New York hospitals to implement collaborative relationships focused on patient care and streamlining costs.
A native of Western New York, he’s a graduate of Williams College and the University of Buffalo Law School where he was editor-in-chief of the Buffalo Law Review.