Who We Are

As health care disruptors, we weren’t satisfied with the status quo. We created solutions that work, and we can do the same for you.

Experienced minds. Innovative mindsets.

Collectively, the NovaWell leadership team has worked in every state in the U.S., managed more than 100 million lives, completed hundreds of implementations, and produced clinical and financial results at scale.

Suzanne Kunis

CEO and Founder

Suzanne is an industry expert and has been a leader in the field for over 25 years. She was recruited in March 2017 to develop and execute the first internal Behavioral Health strategy for New Jersey’s largest health insurer with a focus on integrated physical and behavioral health care, the development of new leading edge BH products, and a commitment to end mental health stigma.

Nickolas Carros, DSW, LCSW

VP Clinical Integration

Dr. Carros believes that driving physical and behavioral health integration reduces costs, improves outcomes and boosts overall satisfaction…while also reducing stigma and fixing a fragmented system. He has extensive leadership experience in the field including successful stints with Beacon Health Options and Magellan Health. Nick has been key in designing, building, implementing and operating the fully integrated behavioral health team at New Jersey’s largest health insurer.

Frederick Villars, MD

VP Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Villars works at NovaWell to improve patients’ experience, simplify access to healthcare, and improve outcomes. Dr. Villars leads a team of psychiatrists who specialize in addictions, child and adolescent care, and geriatrics, fulfilling the mission of integrating physical and behavioral health. Under his leadership, the team promotes provider relationships and ensures that innovative solutions are available to members.

Chris Barton LCSW

VP ISC & Network Innovation

Chris has extensive clinical expertise and nearly twenty years of c-suite experience in non-profit substance use and social service organizations. Chris is responsible for the NovaCare program as well as provider performance monitoring and value based contracting for NovaWell.

Phyllis Crawford

VP Implementation & Program Execution

Phyllis achieved insourcing of behavioral health operations for New Jersey’s largest health insurer by leading a team of 250+ subject matter experts spanning all functional areas. Phyllis’s other roles include oversight of BH Vendor relationships, rollout of new programs to support the Operation/Clinical Teams and program expansion. Phyllis is a seasoned healthcare executive with 30 years of experience in both Commercial/Medicare and Medicaid markets with prior stints at Magellan Health Services and Magellan Complete Care.

Rachel Goldberg

VP Product Innovation & Partnerships

Rachel has designed and driven the creation of NovaConnect – an innovative and strategic approach to ensure members have access to a robust suite of evidence-based services, ranging from brain health/wellness to SMI. In October 2021, Rachel was named one of thirteen Emerging Leaders in the United States by Managed Healthcare Executive Magazine for her innovative work at New Jersey’s largest health insurer.

JoAnn Karcic

VP Client Partnerships

JoAnn works at NovaWell to fulfill the mission of ensuring mental health and substance use disorder treatment are on even footing with physical health care. In her current role as Vice President of Client Partnerships, JoAnn is responsible for leading our client success team. She has over 20 years of experience in health plan operations, compliance and oversight, executive relationship management and strategic innovation.

Denise Mizell

Sr. Director Network Innovation

Denise leads behavioral health network strategy and network management at NovaWell. She brings over two decades of behavioral health experience from her tenure with Magellan Healthcare where she was Regional Network Director, as well as her time building the behavioral health network for New Jersey’s largest health insurer.

Jenny Welling-Palmer

VP Business Development

Jenny leads NovaWell business development. She has over 10 years of business development experience in the behavioral health space. Prior roles include VP of Growth at a behavioral health technology company, and Managing Director, UK, for an MBHO. Jenny is passionate about reducing stigma and increasing health equity.

Behavioral health is deeply personal for all of us. Working to be in the forefront of whole-person care is more than a job: it’s a mission.