Senior Staff

Valery Bailey

Valery Bailey, MPA, CPM

Executive Director

Valery Bailey is the Executive Director of PerformCare. Part of AmeriHealth Caritas, this national, full-service behavioral health managed care company is ensuring access to treatment and achieving clinical outcomes through service excellence for youth and families in Medicaid, Medicare, and commercial plans.

Her primary role as Contracted System Administrator for the New Jersey Children’s System of Care is to manage access to treatment for youth up to the age of 21, and oversee clinical services, member engagement, information technology, operations, and quality improvement.

Ms. Bailey's 35-year career in human services began on the front lines of care as a direct support professional, behavior specialist, and regional trainer. She served the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) for 20 years, honing her knowledge of state and federal regulations. Her DHS accomplishments led to an appointment by the Commissioner to the Office of the Chief of Staff, where she served as a Special Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff and then to the Chief of Staff.

In 2006, when Governor John Corzine signed legislation creating the Department of Children and Families, Ms. Bailey joined its inaugural leadership. Her extensive work in establishing and reengineering business practices led to her appointment to the Director of Contract Administration, Accounting and Procurement, where she served until she left state services for the private sector.

After her lengthy career in the public sector, Ms. Bailey assumed the role of Executive Director for The Mentor Network, overseeing two state operations. She managed a leadership team of eight and a general workforce of 1,000 employees and more than $50 million in revenue.

Ms. Bailey also served as the Director of Administration for Covenant House Pennsylvania (CHPA), which supports homeless, runaway, and trafficked youth. Before joining PerformCare, she was the Vice President of Operations for a behavioral health organization. Her responsibilities included business development, contract management, staff development, state and federal compliance, and payer and community relations.

Ms. Bailey earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Rowan University and a Master of Science in public administration from Rutgers University. She is a certified public manager and certified mediator, and trained through the National Association of Regulatory Administrators. She is a member of the American Society of Public Administrators and the National Association for People with Developmental Disabilities. She has garnered awards that include Top Performing Executive, Top Quality Performer, Stars Award for Excellence, and recognition from the National Association of Black Business Women.

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Alfonsina Comune

Alfonsina Comune, MPA

Director of Information Technology

Alfonsina Comune is Director of Information Technology. Her primary role is to manage the overall management information system (MIS) functionality and oversee the strategy for implementation and use of technology for PerformCare. She is responsible for ensuring compliance, data integrity, adherence to best practices, and a commitment to continuous improvement.

With more than 30 years of public sector experience, Comune has a strong foundation in implementing large-scale technology projects. She is an experienced public sector manager with extensive experience in operations management, large-scale program design, project management, strategic planning, research, policy development, and analysis. Her lifetime professional achievements include improved consumer outcomes through policy making, information technology (IT) program design, IT project management, and contracting initiatives. Expertise in both the private and nonprofit arenas has paved the way for an understanding of social service systems and state IT solutions and requirements.

Comune directly oversees the PerformCare IT subcontractor, IT help desk, IT business analysis, and IT application support functions. Her department leads the business requirements-gathering and quality assurance technical processes. In addition, she collaborates with the MIS subcontractor and AmeriHealth Caritas IT resources to identify functional, flexible, and scalable IT solutions that meet the needs of customers and the state.

Comune has been an associate with PerformCare since 2011. 

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Ankur Desai, MD, Medical Director

Ankur Desai, MD

Medical Director

Dr. Ankur Desai is a medical director for PerformCare's operations in New Jersey, which serves as the contracted systems administrator for the New Jersey Children's System of Care.

He is primarily responsible for the clinical oversight, training and guidance of staff involved with completing phone triage assessments and utilization management reviews for behavioral health services provided through the New Jersey Children's System of Care.

Dr. Desai is an integral member of the PerformCare Quality Improvement Committee, responsible for the Outlier Management Program and the enhanced care coordination initiatives. He is also involved in the ongoing maintenance and optimization of the inter-rater reliability assessment process for clinical decision making pertaining to behavioral health services provided through the New Jersey Children's System of Care.

Dr. Desai, who earned his Doctor of Medicine from Tufts University School of Medicine, joined PerformCare in 2009. Through strategic planning and collaboration, he developed a system-wide disease management model for children and adolescents with bipolar disorder. Dr. Desai is also actively involved in the development and maintenance of the Utilization Management program for behavioral health services provided through the New Jersey Children's System of Care.

Dr. Desai's behavioral health career began in 2001 at the University of Maryland/Sheppard Pratt Health Systems, where he served his residency in general adult psychiatry. He then entered a two-year fellowship program in child and adolescent psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Next, Dr. Desai became a staff psychiatrist at CPC Behavioral Healthcare, providing outpatient psychiatric services to children and adults. In 2008, he started work as a psychiatrist for Community Treatment Solutions, an agency that specializes in providing therapeutic residential services to adolescents with a history of trauma.

Dr. Desai continues to maintain a private practice — Premium Psychiatry Services of Central New Jersey LLC — where he provides outpatient medication management and psychotherapy services for children and adults, and performs school-based consultations and child study team evaluations for several local school districts. He also works as a direct provider of psychiatric services for a local therapeutic school.

Board certified in adult, child and adolescent psychiatry, Dr. Desai's expertise includes attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and childhood anxiety and mood disorders. He has written and co-authored several articles on child and adolescent behavioral health issues, including psychotropic medications, medical marijuana and the effects of computer screen time on youth and families. Dr. Desai was ranked among New Jersey's "Favorite Kids' Docs" in NJ Family Magazine in 2012.

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Alexandra M. Morales, MS, LPC, ACS, Director of Clinical Services

Alexandra M. Morales, MS, LPC, ACS

Director of Clinical Services

As Director of Clinical Services, Alexandra Morales is responsible for the effective implementation of all care coordination and Utilization Management programs, with oversight of all nonmedical clinical staff. Ms. Morales develops and implements clinical policies and procedures; leads operational and functional support for Utilization Management activities, including enhanced care coordination; and identifies and implements best-practice protocols.

Ms. Morales ensures compliance with regulatory guidelines; helps foster strong collaborative relationships with other agencies, providers, and policymakers; identifies and monitors operational and service outcomes; and assists with new program development. Additionally, in collaboration with the Medical Director and Director of Quality Management, Ms. Morales tracks and trends utilization of behavioral health, developmental disability, and substance use services to identify service gaps and opportunities to improve efficiency.

Before joining PerformCare, Ms. Morales served as Director of Community Programs for Community Treatment Solutions. Her other roles for Community Treatment Solutions included Program Director: Intensive Clinical Services and TRAIL, Lead Clinician, and Staff Clinician. Ms. Morales has also served as a Children's Intervention Specialist for Steininger Behavioral Care Services and as Supervisor of Children's Services and Counselor for the Cumberland County Guidance Center.

Ms. Morales earned a Master of Science in human services — mental health counseling from Capella University in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Richard Stockton College in Pomona, New Jersey.

Ms. Morales is an approved clinical supervisor who has been certified in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy. She has been a member of the Southern Region Children's Council Committee and the Cumberland County Children's Interagency Coordinating Councils. Ms. Morales has also consulted for the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency's Focus on Supervision and Permanency Roundtable events.

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Venita Rawal, PhD, LPC Director, Quality Improvement

Venita Rawal, PhD, LPC

Director, Quality Improvement

Venita Rawal is the Quality Director for PerformCare in New Jersey.

She is responsible for monitoring the quality of clinical services, including utilization management activities and triages. Ms. Rawal analyzes existing data and shares reports on trends in service utilization and gaps in services, as well as service utilization by special populations. She works in collaboration with colleagues and system partners in the development and implementation of services for youth.

Before being promoted to Quality Improvement Director, Ms. Rawal served as a care coordinator in the clinical department of PerformCare in New Jersey. As a care coordinator, she collaborated with families, state officials, and system partners to ensure children had access to appropriate behavioral health, substance use, and developmental disability services.

Before joining PerformCare, she served as a doctoral teaching assistant at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey. She created and implemented course curriculums on a variety of topics for students in the Masters of Counseling program, including Consultation, Theories in Counseling, Introduction to Counseling, and Ethics.

She also served as a program coordinator for a youth case management program. In this role, she managed a large team of case managers and clinical supervisors and provided continual review of case notes and treatment plans to ensure the program was in compliance with state policies and that services provided were of the highest quality.

Rawal earned a Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology from Texas Tech University. She also attended Texas Woman's University in Denton, where she majored in special education. Her educational achievements include an Education Specialist degree from Rider University and a Ph.D. in Counselor Education from Montclair State University.

She has presented to professional audiences on a number of topics. At the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision Conference in Denver, Colorado, she gave a presentation titled "The Impact of Trauma on Family Systems: Helping Counselors Working With Adolescents and Young Adults." In Providence, Rhode Island, at the North Atlantic Region Association for Counselor Education and Supervision Conference, she gave a speech on preparing counselors in working with young victims of human trafficking. Locally in Philadelphia, at the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision Conference, she presented "Evaluating Counseling Services: The Increasing Demand to Demonstrate Outcomes of Counseling Services."

Ms. Rawal has participated in leadership training through the Urban League of Philadelphia's Urban Leadership Forum and is a licensed professional counselor in the state of New Jersey.

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