Joe Johnson

President and Chief Operating Officer


Mr. Johnson has 38 years of experience primarily in the information technology field with a focus on health care and government programs. Mr. Johnson is a 33-year veteran of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and Palmetto GBA and has worked in support of the company's government contracts throughout this entire period. Mr. Johnson has held a variety of leadership positions in the company in which he successfully managed performance and growth within Palmetto GBA. Mr. Johnson has served as the President of Palmetto GBA for the past nine years. A Columbia, South Carolina native, Mr. Johnson graduated from Midlands Technical College and the University of South Carolina. He is active in the local community, coaching youth sports for a number of years, serving on several school improvement councils and the Richland School District Two Gifted and Talented Foundation board. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands and the Midlands Technical College Foundation board of trustees.

Nella Bishop

Chief Information Officer and Vice President of Systems & Support


Ms. Bishop has close to 30 years of experience in Information Technology and Systems. As the CIO and Vice President of Systems and Support, Ms. Bishop provides strategic guidance in the design and development of new technical initiatives to support Palmetto GBA’s strategic business programs. In this role, Ms. Bishop has oversight responsibility for Palmetto GBA’s Systems and Support Division providing technical services for all Palmetto GBA contracts as well as directly to the Federal Government and other external business entities. In addition, Ms. Bishop has responsibility for several technical contracts and Palmetto GBA’s system security program. The Palmetto GBA Systems Division consists of over 500 technicians, software engineers and architects, analysts and technical support personnel.

Ms. Bishop is a graduate of Columbia College with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and the Georgia Institute of Technology with a Master of Science in Computer Science. Before joining Palmetto GBA, Ms. Bishop held a number of leadership positions in the technology industry, specifically the telecommunications and high-tech sectors.

Neal Burkhead

Vice President of Shared Services


Mr. Burkhead has over 25 years of leadership experience in the health care industry. In his capacity as Vice President of Shared Services, Mr. Burkhead is responsible for the Jurisdiction J and Jurisdiction M A/B MAC appeals, claims and pricing functions. Mr. Burkhead also oversees the Railroad Board (RRB) Specialty Medicare Contractor (SMAC) contract and the Continuing Education/Medicare Learning Network (CE/MLN) contract. He leads operations that include staff in South Carolina, Ohio, and Georgia.

Mr. Burkhead is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Political Science. Before joining Palmetto GBA, Mr. Burkhead worked in health care IT for medical universities and their affiliated physician practices. Mr. Burkhead is active in the local community, currently serving as a Board member for the Youth Corps, a Midland’s based non-profit whose mission is to support the development of leadership skills for Midland’s youth.

Debbie Dickson

Vice President of Jurisdiction J A/B MAC Operations


Ms. Dickson has over 30 years of experience in Medicare contractor operations with progressive leadership responsibilities. Ms. Dickson’s area of expertise is in financial management and internal controls ensuring that an effective internal control structure over Medicare financial management operations is in place and operating effectively. She has a proven track record in successfully managing large workloads and system transitions.  Ms. Dickson is the Program Manager responsible for the oversight and administration of Palmetto GBA's Jurisdiction J A/B Medicare Administrative Contractor (JJ A/B MAC) contract in the states of Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. Ms. Dickson graduated from Francis Marion College earning a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and is a 2010 graduate of the Leadership for the New South Columbia College’s Leadership Institute.

Jennifer Dowell

Assistant Vice President of Prior Authorization Programs


Ms. Dowell is a Registered Nurse with over 20 years of experience in the health care field, 14 of those years in government programs to include Medicare operations and survey and certification work for state agencies.  As the Assistant Vice President of Prior Authorization Programs, Ms. Dowell oversees the Review Choice Demonstrations for Home Health and Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility services as well as the prior authorization of certain outpatient department services and repetitive non-emergent ambulance transport. Ms. Dowell also supports the continued growth of innovative pilot opportunities within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) contracts.

Prior to joining Palmetto GBA in 2016, Ms. Dowell’s clinical experience was focused on trauma/burn intensive care, whole organ transplant intensive care and cardiac catheterization.  Ms. Dowell received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Alabama, received a Certificate of Leadership from Cornell University and will be a graduate of the Leadership Columbia class of 2024. 

Robin Free

Vice President of Support Operations


Ms. Free is a Registered Nurse with over 24 years of experience in the health care field, 20 of those years in Medicare operations. As Palmetto GBA’s Vice President of Support Operations, Ms. Free oversees the Medicare Competitive Bidding Implementation contract, National Provider Enrollment (NPE) West contract, Provider Enrollment and Oversight (PEO) Eastern Region Site Verification Services, Program Improvement, and the Camden, SC Document Control Center.

Prior to joining Palmetto GBA in 2003, Ms. Free's clinical experience was focused on Home Health Case Management and inpatient orthopedic, neurological, and cardiac care. Ms. Free received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, is a 2014 recipient of a Certificate in Leadership from the Institute for Leadership & Professional Excellence at Columbia College and a 2018 graduate of Leadership Columbia.

Nancy Lybrand

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer


Ms. Lybrand has over 36 years of experience in Accounting and Financial Management. As Chief Financial Officer for Palmetto GBA, Ms. Lybrand has overall responsibility for the Finance and Accounting division. This division supports all of the company’s administrative accounting functions, the business proposal functions, as well as the finance operational functions of Palmetto GBA’s large Medicare administrative services contracts. In addition, this division provides financial operations support to the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina’s Medicaid division.

Most recently, Ms. Lybrand served as the Accounting Director for Palmetto GBA for 22 years. In this role, Ms. Lybrand was responsible for all financial functions regarding the budgeting, accounting, time keeping, and pricing new business proposals. Ms. Lybrand is a graduate of Winthrop University earning a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting.  

Tim Masheck

Vice President, Information Technology Services


Mr. Masheck has over 33 years of leadership experience and has led operational as well as Information Technology business segments. For the last 24 years, Mr. Masheck has been focused on Information Technology, Strategy and Financial services specializing in supporting the federal health care market. Prior to joining Palmetto GBA, Mr. Masheck was the Vice President of Health Information Technology and was responsible for federal government programs. As Vice President, Information Technology (IT) Services, Mr. Masheck will lead a business unit pursuing information technology and data analytics business opportunities.

Mr. Masheck is a graduate of Butler University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance. Additionally, he received his Master of Business Administration with concentrations in Management, Human Resources and Entrepreneurship from Indiana Institute of Technology.

Lee McElveen

Vice President of Compliance and Privacy


Ms. McElveen has over 25 of experience with government contracts, 20 of which have been focused on compliance and privacy programs. As Palmetto GBA’s Vice President of Compliance and Privacy, Ms. McElveen oversees and manages the Palmetto GBA Compliance group that actively encourages and enforces adherence to the corporate code of conduct and to all ethical, legal, regulatory, and contractual requirements and obligations. Ms. McElveen provides information and guidance to Palmetto GBA senior management and the Board of Directors Compliance Committee.

Ms. McElveen graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. Prior to joining Palmetto GBA, Ms. McElveen held paralegal and Compliance Officer positions at BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and several of its government programs subsidiaries. Ms. McElveen is a 2005 graduate of Leadership Columbia and a 2016 graduate of The Institute for Leadership & Professional Excellence at Columbia College.

Margaret Price

Vice President, Chief Technology Officer


Ms. Price has over 30 years’ experience providing Information Technology Services for health care, manufacturing, and education industries.  In her role as the Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Palmetto GBA, she leads the technical architecture and solutions development in support of growing and diversifying Information Technology and Data Analytics services.

Prior to joining Palmetto GBA, Ms. Price was the Assistant Vice President of Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina’s Infrastructure area where she lead the strategic planning, acquisition, delivery, and operations of the Network, Telephony, and Database Administration environment. Additionally, she was also responsible for the security and compliance operations teams that support government contracts and maintained the required compliance with many of the security requirements.

Ms. Price has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Central Michigan University and a number of technical certifications resulting from her extensive professional training.

Ed Sanchez

Vice President of Jurisdiction M A/B MAC Operations


Mr. Sanchez serves as Vice President of Operations and is the Program Manager responsible for the oversight and administration of Palmetto GBA’s Jurisdiction M A/B Medicare Administrative Contract (JM A/B MAC) in the states of North and South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia as well as the Regional Home Health and Hospice contracts for a 16-state jurisdiction. These responsibilities encompass a broad range of functions including review choice demonstration initiatives, prior authorization, claims processing, customer service, appeals, medical policy, provider enrollment, provider outreach and education, provider audit and reimbursement and medical review. Additionally, he supports organic growth expansion and innovation pilot opportunities within Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) contracts.

Mr. Sanchez has over 39 years of professional experience and over 23 years leading Medicare Integrity Program functions in Medicare Part A/B, Home Health & Hospice and Durable Medical Equipment environments. A licensed Attorney, Mr. Sanchez holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Haverford College, a Juris Doctor from Temple University, and a Master’s in Business Administration from Drexel University. Mr. Sanchez also earned a master’s certification in Federal Government Contracting from George Washington University.