About First

First is the Healthcare Advisory Firm That Never Stops Adding Value


Leadership Team

The Management team at First includes some of the most experienced and talented healthcare business and cybersecurity leaders in the industry, who consistently demonstrate the vision necessary for leading a national healthcare advisory organization. Our team separates itself by by leveraging a wide network of relationships in areas that strengthen our core expertise to the ultimate benefit of our clients. Each First manager is focused on HIT advisory and cybersecurity, providing our clients focused expertise in the field and issues driving healthcare transformation.

Randy Bailey - Chairman+ Randy Bailey - Chairman
Carter Groome - Chief Executive Officer+ Carter Groome - Chief Executive Officer
Jack Wagner - VP - Advisory Services+ Jack Wagner - VP - Advisory Services
Carol Selvey - VP - Advocacy+ Carol Selvey - VP - Advocacy
Bob Hooper - VP of Sales+ Bob Hooper - VP of Sales
Kerri Gallagher - Chief People Officer+ Kerri Gallagher - Chief People Officer
Patti Donoghue - Chief Financial Officer+ Patti Donoghue - Chief Financial Officer
Dr. Eric Cole - Executive VP of Cybersecurity+ Dr. Eric Cole - Executive VP of Cybersecurity
Dr. Toby Gouker - VP of Strategy+ Dr. Toby Gouker - VP of Strategy

Cybersecurity Veteran Joins First

Dr. Eric Cole Joins First as Executive Vice President of Cybersecurity

eric-coleDATELINE: Scottsdale Arizona 2/16 First Healthcare Advisory Solutions, (First) continuing over 11-years of work in healthcare information technology industry, including the federal government and security solutions, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Eric Cole as First’s Executive Vice President of Cybersecurity. Dr. Cole is an industry-recognized security expert with over 20 years of hands-on experience, including in-depth healthcare security knowledge. Dr. Cole brings a highly focused approach to helping customers identify the right areas of security by building out dynamic defense solutions to protect organizations from advanced threats. He is a member of the Commission on Cyber Security for the 44th President and several executive advisory boards. In 2014 he was inducted into the InfoSecurity Hall of Fame. Dr. Cole founded Secure Anchor Consulting which provides state of the art security services and expert witness work. He also served as CTO of McAfee and Chief Scientist for Lockheed Martin.

Dr. Cole is actively involved with the SANS Technology Institute (STI) and SANS. Dr. Cole has a master’s degree in computer science from NYIT and a doctorate from Pace University, with a concentration in information security. Dr. Cole is the author of several books, including Advanced Persistent Threat, Hackers Beware, Hiding in Plain Site, Network Security Bible, and Insider Threat. He is the inventor of over 20 patent applications and is a researcher, writer, and speaker. Dr. Cole is an executive leader in the industry acting as a scholar-practioner to provide cutting-edge cyber security consulting services and leads research and development initiatives to advance the state-of-the-art in information systems security.

Dr. Cole stated, “Cyber security is of critical importance to Healthcare providers, but in many cases they struggle with how to implement cost effective solutions. It is exciting to build on First’s IT offerings and show existing and new customers how to properly secure and protect their critical information. Healthcare providers are going to continue to be a target of attack and based on my extensive experience in this space, we are going to help each customer properly secure their infrastructure.”

Carter Groome, First CEO stated, “First is ecstatic about Dr. Cole joining our firm. The knowledge and experience that he brings to our team puts First in a unique position to leverage our stellar healthcare technology qualifications with agile cybersecurity workforce solutions, specifically tailored to HIT threats and vulnerabilities.”

Company Overview

First healthcare advisors and cybersecurity experts partner with our clients to derive value from investments in technology with the understanding that people will have the most significant impact on cost and quality advances.

First develops and sustains relationships by delivering dependable, budget sensitive Security, Clinical, Revenue Cycle and Advisory solutions for healthcare organizations.  We understand what healthcare entities are facing today as they adapt to value based care delivery. Organizations turn to First for guidance as they navigate security concerns, regulatory mandates and interoperability challenges with constant budget pressure and frustration with EHR user experience.

First works extremely hard to provide our clients with the right advisor for the program, project or role requested. The time we invest in vetting and preparing our personnel save our clients valuable time and dollars while building trust that we have, and will, provide the ideal resource. The manner in which First addresses and supports our clients interests and concerns is a key discriminator of our organization.

The People of First

  • Accomplished healthcare IT and security professionals that have demonstrated their problem solving expertise with healthcare information technology systems.
  • Provide benefit and value throughout the life of the engagement, training or partnership.
  • Solve and support complex clinical and cyber initiatives, allowing our clients to concentrate their resources on core priorities and business objectives.
  • Deliver complete and fully documented solutions.

The Clients of First:

  • Value our ability to deliver highly vetted and specialized advisors and a management team that has served on every side of the healthcare  and cybersecurity delivery spectrum.
  • Value our ability to deliver the “right” solutions regardless of the complexity of the problem.
  • Value our flexibility in addressing the challenges in utilizing and managing consultative personnel, acting as long term partner.

The Management Team at First:

  • Includes some of the most experienced and talented healthcare business and cybersecurity leaders in the industry, who consistently demonstrate the vision necessary for leading a national cyber health advisory organization.
  • Separates itself by leveraging a wide network of Federal and commercial relationships in areas that strengthen our core expertise to the ultimate benefit of our clients.
  • Focuses solely on the healthcare industry and government agencies with healthcare related missions, attracting the top experts in the field.

Working at First:

First knows that prosperous employees create successful client experiences and we believe that technology can only be made meaningful through people. Our people have a superb support structure at First, creating enriched skill sets, engagements and careers. Our company is equally focused on ensuring that our employees maintain a balance with their career and family or personal lives. Our compensation, vacation policy, non-billable and bench time plans, and overall culture encourages pursuits outside of the consulting world. Our compensation package is HIGHLY competitive and there is no relocation necessary. In addition, First has a long history of working with experienced independent consultants and paying above market rates. First is committed to our employees while on billable engagements or not and we are constantly investing in our employees finding new ways to function and collaborate as a one team even though we serve many clients in multiple locations.

Vision & Approach

Today’s health tech and security initiatives go far beyond the CIO’s world. CISO’s, CMIO’s, CFO’s, clinicians and more are invested in and navigating a massive shift in how healthcare must be delivered, in how information is protected and how involved patients are in their well being.

Clients are asking questions like:

  • “How do we realize the value from our technology investments?”
  • “How do we train our non-technical employees on cybersecurity?”
  • “How do we use our technology to compete and win?”
  • “How do we maintain the culture of change once the technology is implemented?”
  • “How do we ensure our security posture strikes the right data accessibility balance for healthcare?”
  • “How do we get our physicians to adopt our new systems?”
  • “How do we avoid lapses in training and how do we measure successful education?”
  • “Compliance is overwhelming us, how do we get beyond just checking the box with a budget?”
  • “Our consulting or education budget has been drastically cut, how can we still get the help we need?”

Our Vision

Consensus practices on how to approach healthcare security and EHR optimization, at best, will have limited impact on bending the cost curve in your organization. Time and time again, we see that more effective strategy involves the alignment of an organization’s clinical, technical and security processes with their unique culture is a major influencer. This alignment must occur in small steps on a customized basis, as no two organizations are the same. Small success will allow for larger initiatives and capability for marked progress. First provides the experts to quickly identify efficiency issues, improve security awareness, and transfer lasting knowledge to your organization.

Our Client Approach “Dynamic Maximization”

First developed and honed and approach and methodology called FirstTRAK that measures and accelerates process efficiency to optimize clinical and cyber health components of your organization. The dynamic part of our approach refers to an understanding that no two health delivery organizations are alike and we must take socio-cultural factors into each engagement. Maximization refers to an improved state of harmony between the value influencers and the personnel side of healthcare. FirstTRAK is built to provide value in diverse implementation, optimization, privacy, security, training or even assessment efforts.

Our Advisor Approach cultivates and supports experts that are dedicated to improving the delivery of healthcare

Voted the best places to work in 2014 by Modern Healthcare magazine, employees and consultants choose to work with First. All of our advisors are experienced professionals in healthcare, security or both, in addition to their deep knowledge of the latest technology and practices. First diligently matches our advisors experience with engagements that are poised to take advantage of their background and personalities. Our people are located throughout the US, often times allowing our clients to take advantage of regional resources for smaller targeted engagements while lowering any expenses related to consultant travel. In addition, First is capable of leveraging the combined experience of our business units (Health Advisory and Cyber Health Solutions) to meet large scale deliverables with deep resource needs.

Case Studies

EHR Value Realization
Client: Community Health Systems Assignment: Cerner Clinical Workflow Optimization Results: Multi-hospital core measure improvements
Client: Veterans Affairs Assignment: VistA Workflow Integration Results: Development and testing efficiency gains
Meaningful Use
Client: Mt. Sinai Health System, NYC Assignment: MU Program Management Results: Attestation strategy, execution and new entity
Revenue Cycle
Client: Renown Health Assignment: Epic Revenue Cycle Implementation and Workflow Design Results: Charge review training and metric improvement
Client: Bon Secours Health System Assignment: Epic Revenue Cycle Optimization Results: Reporting and Integration Streamlining
Client: Mt. Sinai Health System, NYC Assignment: ICD-10 Program Management Results: Testing and training program implementation and readiness
Legacy Support
Client: Swedish Medical Center (Providence Health) Assignment: Support of legacy systems while Epic installed Results: Single sourcing for all support needs over 3 years