As a Senior Consultant with Sellers Dorsey, Ashley Kirk leads client engagements and operational delivery for the California-based team, including initiatives in Medicaid financing, Medicaid managed care, and client/business relationship development. As an experienced healthcare professional, she provides the team with a unique perspective having worked for various healthcare associations, most notably, the California Association of Public Hospitals (CAPH) and an association in Commercial lines of care exploring Value-Based Purchasing. Ashley brings a wealth of knowledge from a legislative perspective from her former work analyzing CA State and Federal policies and their impact on California’s public hospital systems for a few years. Additionally, Ashley finished serving as the first Co-Director for the firm’s Next Generation group in 2019. Next Gen is a committee of emerging leaders/staff from across the organization who are committed to maintaining and enhancing our firm’s culture and furthering the firm’s core values.

Ashley, what brought you to Sellers Dorsey?
Back in 2016, after finishing my full-time Master’s program, while also working full-time at the Integrated Healthcare Association (IHA), I knew I wanted to work for an organization that provided me an opportunity to be an advocate in healthcare for communities of color. Having worked with and interfaced with several public hospital executive-level leaders in my previous role at CAPH, and through my graduate studies in healthcare administration, I realized my passion was to help people that look like me be afforded their basic human right – health care. I remember when I had happened upon Sellers Dorsey’s description, their work and mission embodied everything that I stand for.

What’s your main area of expertise?
Over the last 3 ½  years I have developed as expertise in behavioral health through my project with a county behavioral health department. Through this work, I have gained a wealth of exposure and knowledge in cost data analysis and rate-setting as well as state and federal pay-for-performance (P4P) program measures.

Additionally, I have skills in project management that has allowed me to successfully lead/co-lead several Medicaid financing initiatives for hospitals, State health departments and county healthcare agencies from the development to the implementation phases of the work.

Who are your typical clients?
My clients include: State Government, County healthcare service agencies, Children’s Hospitals, Academic Medical Centers.

What have you worked on recently?
I have worked on a variety of projects over the last few years at the firm. One project I have particularly enjoyed is an initiative that has been quite complicated but extremely rewarding.  We are helping this client improve quality care and beneficiary access in behavioral health services. We were recently informed of a successful state engagement that allowed our client to present the innovative practices and lessons learned through their behavioral health payment reform work to stakeholders across the state.

What do you like about working at Sellers Dorsey?
I enjoy the challenge of the projects and opportunity to indirectly ensure Medicaid beneficiaries and the uninsured are supported the way they should be through the access to all healthcare services. I also very much enjoy the wonderful people I work with; they’ve truly become my second family and are invested in my growth as a future leader at the firm.

How has your work changed over time?
As I’ve developed at the firm, I’ve taken on greater responsibilities in leading client initiatives as well as client engagements and am now spearheading the strategic planning and client work. I have also taken on a larger role in supporting the firm with client engagements (prospective and current).

What do you believe lies ahead in the next couple of years for your clients?
Behavioral health is finally being given the attention it deserves by systems of care and healthcare leaders who are now acknowledge how critical it is to integrate mental health services, especially for Medicaid recipients. I believe in the next few years there will be a great need for our firm to develop a team of experts in this area to support our clients who will need our help in navigating how to effectively provide these services.

What is one important thing you have learned during your time at Sellers Dorsey?
The beauty of our work is that no project is linear – there are bound to be challenges along the way that divert our projects a bit, but they don’t divert our end goal of helping our clients because there is always a way.

Our work is extremely challenging in how we think about our clients, our work, how we work together within our teams and more importantly how we deliver. In our world of Medicaid financing, you will run into unexpected challenges. It takes patience, perseverance, and your team to successfully deliver for your clients.

I love the endless opportunities Sellers Dorsey has provided me in growing into the leader I know I am and I am grateful to work with such a dynamic group of passionate people that have become mentors, dear friends and my second family.

View Ashley’s bio and contact Ashley here.