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
Kerri (Gallagher) Bass - Chief Operating Officer+ Kerri (Gallagher) Bass - Chief Operating Officer
Mary G. Gregg, MD, FACS, MHA - Physician Executive Advisor+ Mary G. Gregg, MD, FACS, MHA - Physician Executive Advisor
Toby Gouker, PhD - VP and CISO+ Toby Gouker, PhD - VP and CISO
Dan Thelen - Vice President Security Services+ Dan Thelen - Vice President Security Services
Will Long - Chief Security Advisor+ Will Long - Chief Security Advisor
Bernie Tull - Chief Technology Officer+ Bernie Tull - Chief Technology Officer

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 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 security training and how do we measure successful education and awareness?”
  • “Compliance is overwhelming us, how do we get beyond just checking the box with a budget?”

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.