Who We Are

Mary Nell Zellner, LNHA, LSW

President

mnzellner@zellnerconsult.com

Mary Mellenbruch, RN

Consultant

mmellenbruch@zellnerconsult.com

Mary Nell Zellner has been extremely involved and successful in the leadership and direction setting for Zellner Senior Health Consulting and its ever-expanding consulting service lines; client relationships; and functional expertise. She has more than 25 years of experience serving as a trusted strategic business advisor to health care industry chief executive officers, executive management, and boards of directors to aggressively develop vision, mission, strategy, and profitability. As both a consultant and management executive, Ms. Zellner offers a unique blending of business, financial, operational, and marketing strategies to facilitate transformational change management, competitive positioning, and P&L performance. 


Ms. Zellner’s areas of expertise include the following:

Strategic planning/facilitation

Health care continuum alignments including affiliations, partnerships, joint ventures, and mergers

Market growth strategies

Clinical service line innovation, development, and diversification

Operational and margin improvement and turnaround

Payor-provider model innovation including shared savings/risk such as ACOs

Interim leadership


Prior to re-starting her practice, she worked with Health Dimensions Group as a Vice President and Senior Vice President of Consulting Services. Ms. Zellner also managed the consulting practice of a Midwest long-term care consulting firm. 


Ms. Zellner was the James B. Swanson Facility of Excellence winner in 1996 and was awarded the Phyllis King Leadership Award in 2002 from Pathway Health Services Corporation.

 

EDUCATION
University of Wisconsin – Madison

University of Minnesota, Long Term Care Administration

University of St. Thomas, mMBA Health Care Professionals

 

LICENSURE
Licensed Nursing Home Administrator

Licensed Social Worker Minnesota

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

Care Providers of Minnesota (prior member of Board of Directors)

Leading Age

Aging Services of Minnesota

 

Mary Mellenbruch is a diverse and highly experienced clinical professional in the post- acute services industry.  She has lead clinical teams in systems development to meet regulatory requirements, quality and health care reform initiatives.  Mary has implemented new clinical software for organizations and served as the project manager for large post-acute software conversions. She has assisted with training and has strong clinical reimbursement expertise related to MDS 3.0 assessments and RUGs analysis.

Ms. Mellenbruch’s areas of expertise include the following:

Care transitions and clinical pathway development
• Clinical reimbursement

• Operational program development

• Transitional care unit enhancements

• Clinical fiscal and regulatory turnaround

Mary previously served as a Senior Consultant for Health Dimensions Group and has vast experience with larger post acute providers.  She has assisted operations in senior care facilities in survey compliance, clinical pathway and systems development, auditing, and preferred provider positioning.

Previously, Ms. Mellenbruch provided corporate clinical support at Presbyterian Homes and Services, where among other tasks she served as a corporate resource to clinical site directors and key staff; a Director of Consulting Services for Pathway Health Services where among other key roles provided annual continuing education in supervision and management, best practices with clinical and care integration, systems management, MDS and the RAI process; and served as the Director of Nursing at two long term care operations.

 

EDUCATION
St. Mary’s Junior College, Associate Science in Nursing

LICENSURE

Registered Nurse Minnesota

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

Care Providers of Minnesota
Leading Age
Aging Services of Minnesota

Teri Violett, RN

Consultant

tviolett@zellnerconsult.com

Ann Thole, LNHA, Social Worker

Consultant

athole@zellnerconsult.com

Teri Violett brings a strong experience in a variety of roles in senior care systems, including senior nurse consultant, to her role as senior nurse consultant for Zellner Senior Health Consulting. She has many years of experience as Director of Nursing services with multiple senior care systems in the Minneapolis/St. Paul marketplace and nationally.   


Ms. Violett has expertise in conducting mock surveys to prepare skilled nursing facilities for regulatory surveys; and provides staff training and oversight of correction plans to ensure facilities achieve and maintain compliance. For example, she provided daily on-site consultation to a state veterans' home to assist them with correcting multiple survey and clinical issues.

Ms. Violett's areas of expertise include:


• Multi-facility clinical leadership background
• Clinical program development skills
• Best practice clinical development
• Care pathways and transitional clinical improvement
• Interim leadership
• Turnaround management experience


Ms. Violett is experienced in training and mentoring directors of nursing for skilled nursing facilities. Additionally, she has served in nurse educator positions in college settings, providing classroom and clinical instruction.

EDUCATION

Inver Hills Community College, Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota
Gerontological Nursing Certificate

LICENSURE
Registered Nurse Minnesota


 

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS
Memberships Minnesota Directors of Nursing Administration
National Directors of Nursing Administration
Care Providers of Minnesota

Leading Age

Aging Services of Minnesota

Anne Thole has more than 20 years of experience working in the field of senior services with an emphasis on resident driven care and fiscal management.  As a Social Worker, Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, and a housing leader in both the for-profit and not-for-profit settings. Ms Thole has successfully achieved outcomes to meet financial and operational performance needs. 

Ms. Thole’s areas of expertise include the following:


• Facility operations and compliance in both housing and skilled nursing facilities
• Strategic planning and census development
• Senior care turnaround projects- financial and regulatory
• Start-up and strategic planning projects
• Labor relations management within both a union and non-union environments
• Financial planning and oversight
• Transitions Management

 

Ms. Thole has directed and supported long-term care facilities and assisted living facilities, meeting corporate objectives for compliance, EBITDA, employee relations, utilization, accounts receivable, expenses, quality improvement, and census. Ms. Thole is experienced with nursing home closures and program development for both senior housing and skilled nursing operations.  Her focus has been researched, planned, and developed Medicare-certified units in collaboration with numerous community partnerships.
 

Prior to her work with Zellner Senior Health Consulting, Ms. Thole worked locally with Presbyterian Homes and Services as well as Health Dimensions Group where she was responsible for the operational success of skilled nursing and housing both independent settings and housing with services. Her range of experience includes marketing and census development.

Ms. Thole has completed focus groups and developed marketing and sales plans for nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and independent living apartments this includes existing and newly developed facilities.

 


EDUCATION
University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire

University of Minnesota, Long Term Care Administration

LICENSURE
Nursing Home Administrator

Social Worker Minnesota

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS
Care Providers of Minnesota
Leading Age
Aging Services of Minnesota

Karen Lilyquist, RN, CNP, RD

Consultant

mnzellner@zellnerconsult.com

E. Marie (Eme) Lennick

Consultant

mnzellner@zellnerconsult.com

Karen Lilyquist has more than 20 years of experience working in multiple health care settings in Minnesota and surrounding states.  As registered nurse, registered dietitian, business owner, and educator, Ms. Lilyquist brings a unique professional perspective to her work.  She has directed and supported housing with services, home care, and skilled nursing facility staff, meeting business objectives for growth and regulatory compliance.  Her knowledge and leadership skills are evident in her work.  She has been instrumental in developing programs and systems to address circumstances, analyze opportunities, determine resolution, and implement monitoring approaches to evaluate ongoing achievement of the system.

Ms. Lilyquist’s areas of expertise include:


• Operational turn-around projects - regulatory
• Regulatory compliance and readiness
• Policy development.
• Staff training
• Start up projects for assisted living
• Home care assessment and quality improvement
• Project management
• Organizational management skills

 

Before working with Zellner Senior Health Consulting, Ms. Lilyquist served as the clinical specialist in a clinical/billing software development project.  She worked at another consulting firm where among other key roles provided training for staff on the MDS and RAI process and clinical reimbursement, worked as part of teams conducting mock surveys, and served as interim Director of Nursing, Clinical Reimbursement Specialist, and Registered Dietitian for multiple facilities.  She has written multiple articles for Today’s Dietitian and several continuing educational modules for Gannet Publishing.

EDUCATION

College of Scholastica
St. Mary’s University

St. Joseph's College
Capella University
St. John’s College of Maine (currently enrolled)

LICENSURE
Registered Nurse Minnesota
Registered Dietician

 

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS
Care Providers of Minnesota
Leading Age
Aging Service Minnesota

E. Marie Lennick has more than 25 years of solid business experience including more than ten years of notable success in the Healthcare Services industry. Ms. Lennick has developed systems, policies and programs resulting in improved performance and increased revenues.  She has led teams achieving sales and operational improvements with focus on Mission Driven objectives and attention to details.                   

 

Ms. Lennick’s  areas of expertise include the following:

 

 

Ms. Lennick is experienced in providing creative solutions and program development in a variety of business environments specializing in operational effectiveness and efficiency, strategic planning, and marketing systems.  She has directed and supported assisted living facilities, meeting objectives for compliance, employee relations, expenses, quality improvement, and census. As a Customer Service Evangelist, Ms. Lennick fosters system integrity addressing internal and external customers of the operation while optimizing business processes to accelerate performance and sustain strategic flexibility.

 

Prior to her work with Zellner Senior Health Consulting, Ms. Lennick worked locally with Lang Nelson Properties where she was responsible for the operational success of a Senior Services facility providing independent living apartments, housing with services, and memory care environments. Prior to her achievements in Senior Services, Ms. Lennick enjoyed success in the financial services industry and entrepreneurial adventures.

EDUCATION

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

 

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

Care Providers of Minnesota

Aging Services of Minnesota

Kris Odagwe, RN

Consultant

mnzellner@zellnerconsult.com

Hanna Nickerson Barker, PT  MA

Consultant

mnzellner@zellnerconsult.com

Ms. Odagwe’s is a multi-talented, highly experienced clinical professional with an extensive background focused on acute-care, post-acute and senior care services.   Kris is skilled in ensuring the coordination of personnel, care delivery integration, and the utilization of resources to efficiently and effectively serve the needs of the elderly.

 

Ms. Odagwe’s areas of expertise include the following:

 

 

 

Previously, Ms. Odagwe provided clinical leadership services at Presbyterian Homes and Services, where among other tasks she served as a clinical director and manager of clinical quality outcomes with an emphasis on systems management, clinical and care integration, MDS/RAI oversight and overall implementation of service delivery requirements for the site. She has experience with Univita managing a caseload of 385 clients and the management of insurance claims.

 

Kris has served in multiple leadership positions throughout her career. Her vast experience includes positions as Director of Nursing, Claims Manager, and Clinical Manager.  Ms. Odagwe has lead organizations in driving clinical operational success, survey compliance, clinical and leadership pathway development, and auditing.

EDUCATION

Excelsior College, Associate Degree Science Nursing

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS
Aging Services of Minnesota

Care Providers of Minnesota

Hanna Nickerson Barker has more than 25 years of experience working in multiple healthcare settings. Her experience as a provider brings a unique background to her primary area of expertise areas within healthcare technology. She has been a key resource in acute and post-acute care including home care, outpatient, assisted living care, and skilled nursing settings. Her experience in business analysis has promoted efficient, cost effective, successful software implementations in those settings.

 

Ms. Barker’s areas of expertise include the following:

 

 

Prior to joining Zellner Senior Health Consulting, Ms. Nickerson Barker served as a Compliance Consultant for HealthEast and Cerenity Senior Care, Allina Health Therapist, and a Home Care and Business Analyst for Presbyterian Homes and Services.

EDUCATION

Boston University, BS in Physical Therapy

 

St. Catherine University, MA in Organizational Leadership

LICENSURE
Licensed Physical Therapist Minnesota

 

Norma Brendle, LNHA, RN

Consultant

mnzellner@zellnerconsult.com

Wanda King, RN, BSN

Consultant

mnzellner@zellnerconsult.com

Ms. Brendle has more than 25 years of experience working in the field of senior services with an emphasis on resident driven care and fiscal management.  As a Registered Nurse and Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, she has served as a housing leader and administrator in both the for-profit and not-for-profit settings. Ms. Brendle has successfully achieved outcomes to meet quality, financial, and operational performance needs of numerous organizations. 

 

Ms. Brendle’s areas of expertise include the following:

 

 

Ms.  Brendle has directed and supported long-term care facilities and assisted living facilities, meeting corporate objectives for compliance, employee relations, utilization, accounts receivable, expense management, quality improvement, and census development. Ms. Brendle is experienced with program development for both senior housing and skilled nursing operations.  Her focus has been researched, planned, and developed care units in collaboration with numerous community partnerships.

 

Prior to working with Zellner Senior Health Consulting, she was the site leaders for Camilla Rose in Coon Rapids, Minnesota providing high quality care, achieved excellence awards and provided stellar management during her long tenure.

 

Ms. Brendle has partnered with Ms. Zellner in numerous interim projects throughout the United States in the past 10+ years.

EDUCATION

University of Minnesota, Long Term Care Administration

LICENSURE
Licensed Nursing Home Administrator

Licensed Registered Nurse, Minnesota

 

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS
Care Providers of Minnesota

Wanda King has more than 25 years of experience working in an array of acute and post-acute healthcare settings and services. Her experience ranges from a clinical leadership as a provider, educator, and State of Minnesota surveyor. Ms. King possesses a unique background to her primary expertise areas maintaining a strong clinical regulatory skills set established as a past state and federal survey inspector. She has been a key educational resource in the post-acute care services primarily including assisted living care and skilled nursing arenas. Her experience in education has promoted efficient, cost effective, successful clinical outcomes in those settings.

 

Ms. King’s areas of expertise include the following:

 

 

Prior to joining Zellner Senior Health Consulting, Ms. King served as a RN instructor and surveyor for the State of Minnesota.In addition, she has served organizations as a Director of Nursing Services. 

 

Lynn Starkovich, JD

Consultant

mnzellner@zellnerconsult.com

Partners

 

Ms. Starkovich has significant experience and training in facility and professional management. She has worked with numerous hospitals, post acute providers, clinics and other health care groups in the Midwest helping them improve financial and operations systems and processes.  Lynn has represented health care companies and professionals in administrative, regulatory, or licensure disputes. Lynn is also skilled in labor management and employment matters.

 

Ms. Starkovich’s areas of expertise:

 

 

Lynn previously served as a Shareholder of Larkin Hoffman Law Firm and the CEO of Walker Methodist, one of Zeigler’s Top 100 Senior Care Corporation in the country. Lynn has recently starting advising start up health care technology companies in Minnesota and Arizona. Prior to working with Zellner Senior Health Consulting, Ms. Starkovich has coordinated building and licensing of state of the art facilities, participated in numerous purchases, mergers, sales, and closures of facilities and established and trained compliance units for health care businesses.

EDUCATION

University of Minnesota-Duluth

BA Biology & Psychology, BS Special Education

 

University of St Thomas

MA Psychology & Special Education

 

William Mitchell College of Law

Juris Doctor

 

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

Aging Services of Minnesota

LeadingAge

Women’s Health Care Trust

Women in the Boardroom

Minnesota and Hennepin County Bar Associations

American Bar Association

Mark Anderson

Senior housing marketing industry expert.  Mark partners with Zellner Senior Health Consulting on projects such as census development and software implementation.