Kenneth Nielsen

Ken Nielsen

President & Chief Executive Officer

The Physician Health Partners (PHP) Board of Managers appointed Mr. Nielsen as President and CEO in 2010. He has been with PHP since 2004 and has previously served as Vice President of Finance and Shared Services. Within this role, and to the credit of those that work with him, PHP has been successful in establishing new business segments and consistent growth while continuing to enhance the company’s financial stability. Mr. Nielsen has more than 18 years of financial experience in a leadership role within the health care industry. He started his career at Colorado Healthcare Purchasing Alliance (The Alliance) as the Controller, working with many of Colorado’s largest self-funded employers who purchased and administered health care benefits for their employees and families. In 1997, Mr. Nielsen joined Colorado Access, which provided health care to 100,000+ Medicaid patients. During his seven years with Colorado Access, Mr. Nielsen served in multiple financial and operational roles, and ultimately as the Director of Financial Planning and Decision Support.

Mr. Nielsen is a native Coloradoan with a BS in Accounting. He currently resides in Littleton, CO with his wife and their two daughters. The Nielsen family actively participates in their local church. In his spare time, he enjoys most any sport, golfing, cooking and spending time with his family.

Deb Munley

Deb Munley

Senior VP, Quality & Clinical Programs

Ms. Munley has more than 20 years of experience in quality improvement, case management and utilization management. Much of that experience was broad operational management, including medical management, pharmacy benefit management, provider relations, customer service, claims and credentialing. Ms. Munley demonstrates a strong record of achieving cost containment and patient satisfaction results through the development of innovative care management programs.

Ms. Munley has been with PHP since its inception. As the Director of Operations, Ms. Munley developed PHP’s Community Case Management and Disease Management programs, the Pharmacy Benefit program, Physician Hospitalist program, and, as Director of Quality, the Planned Care Model. She is driven by the philosophy that patients will benefit by providing a more sensible healthcare delivery system for the providers.

Ms. Munley attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison where she received her BS in Nursing. She is an active registered nurse in Colorado and has instructed cardiac wellness classes. Formerly a nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital, she has seen firsthand the way in which managed care, when driven by quality initiatives, can help improve health care delivery. Ms. Munley received her Lean Healthcare Certification from the University of Michigan College of Engineering, Center for Professional Development in 2005.

Ms. Munley lives in Boulder, CO with her husband, daughter and son. She is a volunteer at the Community Table in Boulder to help feed the homeless. Ms. Munley also volunteers her time helping students develop their writing skills. She is an avid skier and pianist. 


Mary Venturella

Mary Venturella

Senior VP, Client Services

Ms. Venturella has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the health care industry. She started her career at Boulder Medical Center where she developed systems to increase the efficiency and quality in their healthcare delivery system. In 1991, Ms. Venturella joined Medwest as the Director of Operations where she developed a network to consolidate four independent physician associations under the auspices of Exempla Health Care.

Ms. Venturella joined PHP in 1999.  She excels at developing effective business plans for physicians and hospitals to participate in a global capitation environment designed to improve the efficiency and quality of health care. In her role at PHP, she has implemented the sound business structure and cohesive network that allows our primary care physicians to provide top-quality patient care while sustaining market viability. By demonstrating a deep understanding of the intricate networks, she has positioned PHP as a strong leader in the health care industry. Ms. Venturella is well respected by providers, health plan executives and her colleagues.

A native of Pennsylvania, Ms. Venturella came to Colorado to attend the University of Colorado where she received a BA in Business Administration. She and her husband and two children volunteer at area shelters preparing food for the homeless. In her spare time, she enjoys jigsaw puzzles, reading and traveling internationally with her family.

Joelle Kernitzki

Joelle Kernitzki

Senior VP, Finance & Administration

Ms. Kernitzki has been working in health care-related finance for more than 15 years. Her fiscal management experience in health care comes from many years in a hospital setting with Centura Home Care and hospital systems. Ms. Kernitzki has a deep understanding of the data received from a variety of sources.

During her tenure at PHP, in partnership with our physician owners, she has developed systems to deliver detailed, accurate data that is pertinent to our providers at a practice level. As the industry moves towards a system with electronic medical records, Ms. Kernitzki has developed reporting structures to interpret the data provided in those records. The development of those systems is giving providers the information they need to improve the quality and delivery of care.

A native of Kansas City, Ms. Kernitzki completed her BS in Economics and Finance at Baker University and her MS in Accounting at the University of Colorado at Denver. She joined Physician Health Partners in 1998.