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About HANYS:

Executive Staff

Bea Grause, RN, JD


As president of the Healthcare Association of New York State, Bea Grause is a passionate advocate for New York nonprofit and public hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies and other healthcare organizations. She also oversees HANYS’ nationally-engaged for-profit business services. Since her tenure began in 2016, she has contributed her extensive clinical, political and legal know-how to the organization’s agenda, most recently helping guide the response to the COVID-19 pandemic by healthcare providers and state and federal policymakers.

Prior to HANYS, Grause served as president and CEO of the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems for 14 years, successfully leading Vermont hospitals through a variety of reform initiatives, including the state’s single-payer debate, and building the hospitals’ brand as trusted, competent leaders.

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 a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She is also a 2003 graduate of the Vermont Leadership Institute.

Cristina Freyre Batt

Cristina Freyre Batt

Senior Vice President, Federal Policy

Cristina Batt serves as senior vice president, federal relations in the Healthcare Association of New York State’s office in Washington, D.C. Batt oversees all of HANYS’ federal government relations and advocacy activity, working with lawmakers and HANYS’ members to advance the association’s legislative and regulatory agenda.

Before joining HANYS, Batt served as vice president, federal relations, for the Illinois Health and Hospital Association. In that role, she expanded the profile of IHA’s Washington office and advanced IHA’s advocacy agenda, including successfully securing federal approval of a comprehensive redesign of the state’s provider assessment program.

Batt served nearly eight years in the office of U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and as senior policy advisor she managed his health portfolio on the Energy and Commerce Committee. After leaving Capitol Hill, Batt spent three years managing the federal relations portfolio for the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, and four years as a program analyst at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention focusing on HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis prevention and workplace safety.

Batt graduated from Hamilton College in Clinton, NY and currently resides in Alexandria, VA with her husband and two children.

Mary Kay Hayes, CPA

Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating 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. She became chief operating officer in 2023. 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.

Amy Nickson

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 2018, she served as vice president, policy and external affairs at Community Health Care Association of New York State. For ten years prior to that Nickson worked for DOH, culminating the role of assistant commissioner of the Office of Governmental and External Affairs. 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. Nickson holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Richmond.

Sandi Toll, Esq.

General Counsel

Sandi Toll is HANYS’ General Counsel and 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 after serving as first assistant counsel to the New York state governor, a position she attained after serving as an assistant counsel to the governor for health-related matters.

Prior to joining the governor’s office, Toll 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.

Toll has a J.D. magna cum laude from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and a Bachelor of Science with Distinction from Cornell University.

Kenneth A. Schoetz, JD

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.