Array Behavioral Care Undergoes Tech Overhaul, Hires New CIO and COO

Virtual care provider Array Behavioral Care is overhauling its technology infrastructure to prepare for future innovation.

Two newly-appointed executives–Christy Kisner, chief operating officer, and Patrick Williamson, chief information officer–are spearheading the initiative.

The role of chief information officer is a new one for Array. Williamson’s onboarding represents a strategic shift to modernize the company’s technology platforms and support the company’s telepsychiatry services.


“It puts technology at a different seat at the table,” Williamson told Behavioral Health Business. “Before this role existed, the technology team was full of great people and did a lot of great things. But the positioning was more like, ‘What do you need us to do? Let us know and we’ll get that done.”’

Now, the technology team participates in executive meetings, can brainstorm and actively work to optimize and create solutions.

The shift in Array’s approach to technology comes after major shake-ups in the company’s executive suite, including hiring Shannon Werb as CEO, and broad restructuring.


Array laid off at least 10% of its workforce at the beginning of 2024, including positions related to payer relations, client relations and sales.

Organizations are always seeking to align resources appropriately, Werb said, not ruling out future layoffs.

“I wouldn’t say that we have any specific plans to reorganize the team in the future,” Werb told BHB. “I would say that we’re going to make responsible decisions about how our team is organized to make sure we can execute against our strategy.”

The layoffs came around three months after the company announced that three new executives had been added to the C-suite: Dr. Sara Gotheridge, chief medical officer; and Ben Schlang, chief financial officer; and Werb.

Array “took [its] foot off the gas” at the tail end of 2023 and into the first half of 2024 to focus on delivering excellence and aligning its operations and clinical teams around its services, Werb said. During that time, the company restructured and built out its leadership team, including the recruitment of Williamson and Kisner.

The new executive hires were part of a change in philosophy focusing on technology, Werb said.

“The most significant part of that change is recognizing [that] we’re a telehealth organization,” Werb said. “We are technology-enabled; we really need to make sure that we have that leadership represented at the executive level.”

The addition of the CIO has made a “significant impact on aligning Array’s technology teams” resources and plans with the company’s overall goals, which involves laying a foundation that will allow the company to bring new products and capabilities to market in 2025.

In the second half of 2024, Array plans to put its “foot on the gas more.”

One of Array’s top priorities for 2024 is aligning its multiple clinical service lines, including telepsychiatry services in hospitals, communities and homes as well as outpatient services.

“Our 2024 strategy has to do with making sure that we have aligned our resources appropriately to expand upon our ability to deliver services at a national scale,” Werb said. “We’re doing that with an eye towards an integration of these services, which allows us to deliver new products and new capabilities moving forward. … It starts with people, it includes technology, and then there’s product strategy that will be part of it as we move into the future.”

The shift to a more streamlined approach all starts with having the right technology platform, Werb said. The company currently operates with three technology platforms, but its goal is to standardize these systems within a single platform, possibly with some service-line-specific components.

“Each service line was built differently and uses different tech,” Williamson said. “Those tools work well for those service lines, but the integration component becomes tricky. If you want to do holistic reporting or holistic quality measurements, and anything on the clinical quality or training and development side, you’re developing … three programs because you have three different systems that you’re measuring from.”

Williamson also hopes to reduce technological friction within business operations, clinical care and patient experience. He is interested in introducing AI into the company’s workflows, which may allow Array to collect more on reimbursements.

“We’ve got a number of things we’re working on, ” Williamson said. “System enhancement, system changes, working with clinical leadership and our product development team to understand how we can change internal business processes, change the tech, in order to meet those needs.”

Werb hopes to have a common electronic health record (EHR) up and running in at least one of its service delivery models this year, but said the execution may spill into 2025.

As part of its technological focus, the company has invested in information security, gone through joint commission accreditation and is in the process of obtaining a HITRUST accreditation. 

The technology-forward initiative Array is cultivating has historically not been the organization’s mindset, Werb said.

“We’re changing that,” he said.

Kisner, Array’s new COO, will be working in a dyad role with the company’s chief medical officer and is dedicated to improving patient engagement with an eye for alignment and efficiency.

“If the providers are more engaged then they can be more impactful to their patients,” Kisner said. “If patients can be more engaged, obviously that tangentially connects to the customer base as well where we partner with our hospital and clinic partners to deliver our services.”

CVS Health Ventures, the investment arm of CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS), invested $25 million in Array in 2023. CVS and Aetna, part of CVS, are helping the company plot its future direction.

“At the executive level and the strategic level, we spent a lot of time with Aetna and CVS,” Werb said. “They’re very engaged in enabling access for the members within the Aetna population. We think there’s opportunities for us to continue to get engaged even beyond that, not just inside of some of the CVS [initiatives].” 

Once Array has built its foundation of sales, operations and clinical services, the company will begin to grow and innovate, offering its current services across its multiple customer bases Werb said.

“Take our at-home service. Why is that not available to our hospital partners?” Werb said. “Take our hospital business, that should be available in more of an outpatient setting. How do we do that?”

While working on shoring up its foundation, Array is continuing to battle staff recruitment and retention challenges. While staffing difficulties have eased in the years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, they remain a headwind for Array.

“From a business perspective on the staffing front it’s all about figuring out the equation of what’s coming in versus what needs to go out, on both the patient volume side as well as the provider side,” Kisner said. “So making sure that we can be predictive about what we’re doing from a staffing and a growth perspective and aligning those two sides of the model equation so that everything’s running like a well-oiled machine.”

An additional challenge for Array is the fluctuating patient volumes handled by its partner organizations. These fluctuations in demand experienced by Array’s business partners can be unpredictable and require foresight and planning, Werb said.

“If our hospital partners’ volumes shift and change and they don’t anticipate it, that impacts us,” Werb said. “If our payer partners’ members, or access to services, or demand for service shifts or change that’s going to impact us as well. So we’re working really hard to make sure we can appropriately plan for demand and then connect supply to it.”

Continued demand for mental health services remains a tailwind for Array, Werb said, although the company is still learning the patterns of that demand in a post-pandemic world.

“I do think that there’s lumpiness, there’s seasonality in mental health services and I think we as an organization are continuing to learn,” Werb said.

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