About Desert Vista Consulting

Founded in 2007, Desert Vista Consulting, LLC (DVC) is a consulting firm that provides evaluation, applied research, strategic planning, and other consulting services. Our mission is to build capacity within safety-net organizations and across community partners to transform the service delivery environment to improve the health and well-being of individuals with health and behavioral health conditions.

We accomplish this by working with clients to strengthen the effectiveness of health and behavioral health providers to improve care delivery, demonstrate the effectiveness of programs and services, and document promising models and practices that lead to sustainable systems change.

Our work is driven by our commitment to help health and behavioral health service systems move toward outcomes-based care and develop capacity to demonstrate the effectiveness of the programs and services they provide to ensure long-term financial sustainability. We are dedicated to providing innovative ideas and solutions to address the challenges faced by public and private sector service organizations, and we share a strong commitment to working toward a more equitable world.

DVC offers evaluation and consulting services that target safety-net system transformation by building the capacity and business case for improved outreach, engagement, assessment, and care coordination for complex, high-need patients. DVC also works to facilitate the cross-provider and system data sharing that integrated care requires.

Our Team

Karen W. Linkins, PhD

Karen W. Linkins, PhD is Co-Founder and Principal of Desert Vista Consulting, where she specializes in systems transformation in the health, behavioral health, and human services fields through strategic planning, organizational development, evaluation and quality improvement, and payment reform. She is currently directing Integrated Behavioral Health Partners (IBH Partners, formerly the Integrated Behavioral Health Project, or IBHP) funded by the State of California, which aims to spread integrated behavioral health care in California and nationally through capacity building, training, and technical assistance. Her approach to advancing integrated care is to convene policy makers, funders and providers across health care, behavioral health, and managed care and facilitate a dialog on delivery system redesign, payment reform and identify the key barriers to care coordination, data sharing and partnership development. Dr. Linkins works to develop strong strategic partnerships across the safety net, which enables community partners to overcome barriers to care coordination and achieve better clinical and cost outcomes.

A recognized leader in integrated behavioral health nationally, Dr. Linkins has led more than 50 research, evaluation, technical assistance, and strategic planning projects for Federal agencies, states, foundations, and community based organizations and clinics. Previously, Dr. Linkins was a Vice President at The Lewin Group, where she provided organizational and project leadership for over a decade, and served as a research faculty member at the University of California, San Francisco where she conducted research on health disparities, integrated care, and home and community based service systems. Dr. Linkins earned her PhD in Medical Sociology at the University of California, San Francisco and an undergraduate degree from Smith College. Dr. Linkins is a graduate of the Cornell Plant Based Nutrition Certificate Program.

Jennifer J. Brya, MA, MPP

Jennifer J. Brya, MA, MPP, is Co-Founder and Principal of Desert Vista Consulting where she applies over a decade of experience evaluating and studying innovative, collaborative treatment models and programs to build capacity within health, mental health and substance use treatment systems to meet the needs of high-cost, complex populations. Jennifer leverages her background as a clinician who has worked in community-based behavioral health settings and her expertise in program evaluation, policy analysis, performance measurement, and delivery system redesign to help safety net systems of care meet the goals of the Triple Aim: improved population health, better experience of care, and lower costs.  Her areas of expertise include integrated behavioral health care, health home model implementation, care coordination strategies for complex patients, cross-sector partnership development, ACA implementation and behavioral health policy, and qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis. 

Over the course of evaluating multiple cross-system service integration initiatives, Jennifer co-developed and published a framework for documenting and measuring systems change. Jennifer is also a certified MBTI practitioner and applies personality type assessment to enhance performance and communication with individuals, teams and organizations. Ms. Brya earned a MPP at Georgetown University, a MA in Clinical Psychology from the Arizona School of Professional Psychology, and an undergraduate degree from Boston College.

John Freeman

John Freeman is an Associate Consultant with Desert Vista Consulting. John has more than 15 years of experience working with health and human services organizations, consultants, and professional services firms. John's diverse background is grounded in improving organizational operations; financing; and providing research, analysis, and management for a range of interdisciplinary projects. Since 2007, he has supported cross-sector projects that develop and implement transformational strategies in support of health systems integration and coordination.

What We are Passionate About:

In addition to an overarching commitment to advocacy around public health and health policy, we work to help organizations, agencies and foundations address a wide variety of specific health and social issues challenging our society, including:

  • Health Care Reform
  • Integrated Behavioral Health
  • Person Centered Medical Home Transformation
  • Cultural Competency
  • Mental Health
  • Substance Abuse and Addiction
  • Juvenile Justice
  • LGBT Health
  • Aging
  • Disability
  • Employment
  • Community-Based Health Care