The Team

Where the Passion Begins

The Spark team brings a fresh perspective to an industry with an antiquated approach. As a team of results-focused Doers, we specialize in taking action through data-driven diagnostics. Our team is eager to collaborate with clients, create new ideas, and leverage new technologies in a fast-changing and increasingly complex business environment.

Spark is led by Sal LoPorto, Dung Tran, Craig Mattson and Michael Montesano. Their background in Healthcare IT helped sculpt the vision for Spark — a vision built on understanding a client’s environment and challenges and crafting bespoke solutions to support them.

 

We have experience with over 300 providers, from small critical access facilities to large Independently Owned Network (IDN) organizations.

 

Sal LoPorto

Co-founder of Spark

Sal started his career implementing laboratory systems across all modules including microbiology, blood bank, and general laboratory, eventually managing all lab operations for Application Management Services (AMS).  As his responsibilities grew, he would go on to lead all Clinical and Revenue Cycle solutions. During his time at AMS, Sal grew a team of 100 people to over 1100, servicing all clients across the globe. His responsibilities included 5 global offices and providing incident, configuration, and monitoring support for all Cerner Solutions across over 400 clients.  Accomplishments included creating the first Revenue Cycle system monitoring for clients, growing the AMS business to over $200m in annual revenue and creating a 97% client satisfaction rating.

Sal’s passion for creating and fixing brought him to the doorstep of Revenue Cycle.  He changed Cerner’s consulting implementation methodology and client experience. His creative and positive disruptive nature led to innovative ways of testing claims at high volume rates, something that has never been done.  In addition, the creation of a post go-live stabilization center for clients, as well as client visible reporting views has led to quick client recovery after implementation. He has taken these recommendations and built a “model experience” geared towards clients utilizing the functionality they have today to be as successful as possible.  In many cases, Sal’s team is the last line of defense in a very complicated Revenue Cycle world. His teams work to identify challenges in DNFB and AR, dislodge the bottleneck and stabilize the client.

 

After years of supporting and designing clients' environments, Sal is taking his entrepreneurial talents and high performing team-building skills to accelerate clients' financial performance across the industry.  His experience with all varieties of clients has led him to one conclusion: Providers need our help to drive out inefficiencies and they lack the know-how, talent and technology to do so. All providers are faced with the same challenge of generating immediately reimbursable transactions.

Sal was born in raised in Blue Springs, a local suburb of Kansas City.  He graduated from Truman State University with a Bachelor of Science, emphasis in Marketing and a minor in Economics.  After college, Sal returned to Kansas City where he met his wife Gina. After almost 9 years of marriage, Sal and Gina’s family has grown to five with three children:  Alena (4), John (1), and Vivienne (1).

Dung Tran

Co-founder of Spark

Dung has spent the entirety of his career with a company that sits at the intersection of healthcare and technology where he has spent the past 9 years in leadership growing associates, developing strategic plans, and delivering unmatched results.

As a calculated and logical risk-taker, Dung used his deep technical, system, and industry knowledge to inspire over 200 associates across 12 Revenue Cycle teams providing over 400 clients with world class support.  Early in Dung’s career he was recognized for the ingenuity and creativity he used to transform low performing teams into the culture-driven beacons the entire organization modeled. Many of the model support behaviors were born from the teams that Dung led and continue to be relevant in the highest performing teams.

Throughout his 13-year career, Dung has built a reputation for running high performing and efficient teams, his out of the box thinking, and his knowledge of the Revenue Cycle industry.  More recently, Dung has transitioned to a new role that utilizes his talents to focus on a section of the healthcare industry that has been neglected and needs transformation; Revenue Cycle Management.  With his experience and thirst for new technology, Dung brings the resourcefulness needed to bring a fresh perspective.

Dung leans on his faith and core values of integrity, honesty, and excellence to guide him in his daily interactions, as well as, his long-term business strategies.  These fundamental beliefs have served him well over the course of his successful career as an executive for the largest healthcare IT company.

Dung was born and raised in Green Bay, WI where he met his high school sweetheart, Jenny.  Together they have two energetic boys, Jaxon (8) and Hendrix (2). Dung earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Wisconsin.

Craig Mattson

Master of Charges

Craig has worked in the IT healthcare industry for 6 years at Cerner. He started his career on the support side doing design and build for Charge Services. As his knowledge grew, he quickly became the lead investigator of the toughest issues for Charge Services, specializing in integrated functionalities with clinical teams. 

Craig’s skills then expanded to the Patient Accounting space where he was able to assist with claims integration to help reduce DNFB through those clinical integration points and Charge Services designs. He served, not only as an engineer from the support side to develop design validation analytics, but also as the expert consultant in the Charge Services space for designing the core pieces of the system to drive successful outcomes in billing.

Throughout his professional career, Craig has been driven to create positive change from the problems that he’s faced with. In recent years, he’s moved to a more client-facing position to provide positive impact directly to the end users and supervisors. He’s now ready to use his consulting, engineering and problem-solving skills to revolutionize the Revenue Cycle Management industry by providing a new outlook and approach to the business.

Craig is from a small town in northwest Missouri, near Maryville. He and his wife, Sierra, have 4 children, Taven (6), Sylviann (3), Irving (1), and Stevie (3 months). Craig graduated from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, with a double major is physics and mathematics while also being a 4-year starter for the basketball team.

Michael "Monty" Montesano

Master of Claims

Monty grew up in a family strongly oriented towards healthcare. With his mother recently retired from a 30-year career as an OB/GYN at Danbury Hospital and a brother now starting a career as a doctor of internal medicine at Grand Strand Medical Center, the provider-side challenges of our healthcare system were always at the forefront. Eager to impact the healthcare world from a different angle, Monty pursued a Master’s in Bioinformatics and brought those talents to Cerner as a software engineer.

After four years of working in the clinical space, earning a Cerner associate of the year award in the process, Monty took his engineering skills to the revenue side of the business, working with Cerner’s claim generation support team. In less than a year Monty quickly mastered the claims space, instilling both that knowledge and his competitive drive within the young team. Under his guidance, the team brought a 1300 ticket backlog to under 300 tickets, resolving numerous 3+ year old issues and earning Monty a Cerner Masters distinction in the process.

Moving to the area of greatest need, Monty helped lead a partnership between support and consulting aimed at ensuring clients prior to and recently passed their go-live are set up for success long term. He helped construct an auditing platform that identified build issues and deviations from model design across the entire Revenue Cycle solution space before they substantially impacted a client’s financials. His team also monitored the early progression of DNFB post go live and quickly engaged on substantial deviations, quickly resolving issues before they ballooned into significant financial hurdles.

Always eager for a challenge, Monty joined the Spark team. With a tireless work ethic, a keen problem solving mind, a hunger to explore new technologies, and several years of solving the most difficult claim related problems Cerner had to offer, Monty looks to tear down the barriers preventing clients from producing clean, automated claims and help reduce their cost to collect.

Monty grew up in New Fairfield, CT. He pursued his undergraduate studies at Haverford College and his graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Kristel Hladky

IT Program Manager

Kristel began her healthcare IT journey 5 years ago in the Patient Access space, supporting the Registration solution. There, she leveraged her background in communications to form strong relationships with other solution teams and her client base. These relationships fostered an interest in the broader Revenue Cycle and clients' unique needs and challenges in this space. It quickly became evident that Kristel had a passion for improving the experience of her teammates and clients alike. Kristel leveraged that interest to create a training curriculum that efficiently onboarded over 70 new associates to Revenue Cycle support teams over the course of several weeks. Her success with this effort created an opportunity for Kristel to enter support leadership where she continued to exercise her relationship-building and process-improvement skills.

For the past 3.5 years, Kristel managed support teams, first in Patient Accounting and later across Clinical Event (Charge Services, HIM, and Case Management). Kristel quickly established herself as a leader capable of tackling challenging circumstances to transform escalated solution spaces into high-performing, efficient teams. The success of her support teams allowed her to tackle additional areas of need, including coordinating a collaboration among several stakeholder groups to stabilize new Patient Accounting clients. This experience solidified the importance of putting the right people together with a vision to challenge the status quo. It also identified how much work needs to be done to ensure the success of our revenue cycle clients. ​Kristel is excited to bring her skill set in communication and planning to Spark's vision and talent to make a meaningful impact for our Revenue Cycle counterparts.

Kristel was born in Cornwall, ON, Canada where she lived until moving to the Midwest as a teen. She is proud wife to JR and busy mother to Isabelle (8), Zoe (6), JP (5), and Kate (2). Kristel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication, a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, and a minor in Spanish from Truman State University. She earned her Master of Arts in Communication from the University of Kansas.

Greg "Stu" Stewart

Master of Access

Stu has worked in several different industries encompassing a varied set of skills and responsibilities. With time spent in healthcare IT, custodial banking, hospital RTLS, and teaching ESL in South America, Stu has acquired a Swiss Army knife's worth of competencies. His willingness to take on tasks outside his initial area of expertise have served him well over his career.

During his 9 years in the healthcare IT industry, he was initially focused on the Access (Registration/Scheduling) portion of Revenue Cycle. Stu became particularly adept at writing and troubleshooting registration rules while mentoring incoming associates to assist with the backlog of rule-related issues. When Cerner's Access solution was beginning to transition to a new Java-based solution, Stu was tasked with supporting incoming client issues as a team of one. By extrapolating issues on a single patient to domain-wide cleanups, Stu was able to prevent thousands of similar issues proactively and resulted in earning a Cerner Masters distinction.

Moving to a new position on Cerner's Model Experience team, Stu was asked to produce recommendations on how to best optimize a client's charge services and transaction services build and workflows. During this time, he was able to supplement his existing knowledge of Revenue Cycle's front-office with a deeper understanding of the back-office financials.

 

Growing up in the hometown of John Deere, Stu is originally from Moline, IL. He attended Truman State University, spending one year on the golf team before devoting the remaining years working in the school's SID office. He and his wife, Alyson, also a Truman State graduate, have two girls: Emily and Claudia. Greg is also very aware that his last name is spelled Stewart but he refers to himself as Stu. He is always available to discuss travel tips within Ecuador.

 

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