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Keith Burke, Automated Service Plan Project Manager
Start a Russian-Alaska Native corporation joint venture to provide oil-industry support services, be the CEO of an oil support services and construction company in Alaska, work as a business process consultant in upstate New York…
A typical social services resume, right?
Maybe not, but Keith Burke’s background made him the ideal candidate to supervise development of SDS’s new online automated service plan and provider portal, said Duane Mayes, SDS division director.
“I’ve been in project management my whole life,” Burke said, so when he was looking to come home to Alaska after the New York consulting gig, the job description on Workplace Alaska caught his eye.
“I’m really excited about this project,” Burke said. “Everyone associated with the Medicaid waiver process – SDS staff, providers, users – everyone’s going to benefit from improved information technology.”
Burke said his favorite part of his new job is how the whole team at SDS is enthusiastic about providing a better service to the end user. “Everyone’s pulling the rope in the same direction.”
The contract award process is underway, and Burke hopes to see the project wrapped up within two years.
Fun fact: Burke first came to Alaska for a job on the trans-Alaska oil pipeline. He rolled into Fairbanks at 60 below in ice fog so thick he could barely see the hood ornament on the front of the car he was in.
Favorite food? Alaska king salmon on the barbecue.
Whether it’s providing technical assistance to a provider, troubleshooting with a recipient about services, or investigating suspected fraud, Lynne Keilman-Cruz’s job is all about making sure “the right person gets the right service at the right time.”
Keilman-Cruz was recently promoted to chief of quality assurance for the division, from manager of SDS’s Quality Assurance unit. She now supervises the quality assurance, research & analysis, operations & integrity, and provider certification & compliance units.
Together, the units track and analyze performance measures, which give SDS managers the data they need to make evidence-based policy decisions, Keilman-Cruz said.
Another important part of her position is to create efficiencies by partnering with other state agencies, such as DHSS’ Health Care Services division and Department of Law’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
“We can serve people better” when agencies work together and pool limited resources, Keilman-Cruz said.
Keilman-Cruz has a bachelor’s in recreational therapy and is nationally certified in health care quality.
Little-known fact: “I started 30 years ago at the Pioneer Home in Sitka,” Keilman-Cruz said. She worked as a recreational therapist there, with community mental health, at the now-defunct Harborview, at Alaska Psychiatric Institute, and for a consulting company.
Fun fact: Keilman-Cruz is an avid soccer player.
Favorite food? Anything Thai.
Jessica Bogard manages the millions of state and federal dollars — $60 million, give or take — in SDS’ operating and capital budget. She also works closely with DHSS Finance and Management Services, which oversees the funds that go to SDS’ partner providers — $300 million last fiscal year.
That means she has to make sure SDS follows the usage rules for each funding source… and she said she’s happy to help her fellow employees get it right.
“I’m the person who requires the form, but I’m also the person who can help with the form,” Bogard said.
Her varied background keeps her looking at requests and rules from multiple perspectives. Bogard has a master’s in communication specializing in Alaska Native/American Indian health campaigns with an emphasis in prevention, and is a Ph.D. candidate. Her work experience ranges from being the treasurer of a nonprofit in California, to being a communications professor in Oklahoma, to being an overpayment tracking specialist for CalPERS, the California Public Employee Retirement System.
Bogard joined SDS as a research analyst in mid-2012 before her promotion this past summer. Bogard, who grew up in Anchorage, said she’s enjoying Juneau and the responsibilities of her new job.
“I truly believe in what we do. Part of that is, it’s not our money, it’s Alaskans’ money, it’s federal money. We’re stewards of the program.”
That philosophy matches the department-wide focus on asking whether its programs are making a significant difference in people’s lives.
“The whole department is moving to research-based performance measures,” Bogard said. She said she keeps the people behind the data in mind as she does her job.
“The numbers on my desk are never just numbers.”
Least favorite part of her job? “Having to tell people no.”
Favorite part of her job? “Helping people.”
Favorite food? Chocolate.