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Northwinds Executive Director Settles into Role


While Enrico Cullen may be new to the North Country, he is not new to leading organizations that embody an innovative, person-centered approach to reshaping and redefining healthcare delivery systems.  

Mr. Cullen was hired as Executive Director of Northwinds Integrated Health Network IPA in February 2023 and over the past several months has settled into his new role by familiarizing himself with the current strengths of the IPA, the good work of the partner organizations, and the health needs of the North Country.  

Northwinds is comprised of 11 providers who serve 20,000 people across eight counties in the North Country, with a combined annual revenue of $120 million. As the Executive Director, Mr. Cullen is responsible for day-to-day operations, and advancing Northwinds mission to improve health outcomes in the region through better information sharing between providers, improved technological capacity, coordination of services, and a shared vision on improving quality and reducing costs. 

Enrico Cullen, Executive Director

“There is no shortage of enthusiasm for innovation and collaboration in the North Country,” said Mr. Cullen. “The Northwinds members have set a firm foundation both strategically and financially on which the IPA can and will advance healthcare in the coming months and years. We are stronger together than any one organization could be on its own. I’m honored to help lead this charge.” 

Mr. Cullen’s priority as the new leader of Northwinds is to bolster the integration and insourcing of medical health, behavioral health and social care in the North Country. This means identifying areas of expertise by zeroing in on the patient experience, enhancing quality and demonstrating impact.   

“Once we are doing this in a systematic way, where the provision of high-quality care becomes routine and sustainable, we can bring those data, cost considerations, and success stories to the health plans and hospital systems for improved contracts,” said Mr. Cullen. “Ultimately, this is about improving how people experience the care we provide.”  

“Mr. Cullen is a natural leader who possesses deep experience in designing and implementing evidence-based and patient-centered care supports at the grassroots level,” said James Button, Chair of the Northwinds Board of Directors and CEO of Citizen Advocates. “As a seasoned social care executive, he brings a collaborative approach to working in communities with the goal of establishing services that address multiple chronic conditions, behavioral health and health-related social needs.”  

Previously, Mr. Cullen was the Chief Strategy Officer for AIRnyc, an innovative data-driven Community Health Worker organization based in the Bronx focused on whole-person, whole-family care to address chronic conditions. He has also provided advisory services and patient-experience analysis for hospital systems. Throughout his career, Mr. Cullen has focused on social issues, including as a producer of numerous documentary films for PBS and global distribution.  

Northwinds originally formed in 2017 as part of a Behavioral Health Care Collaborative (BHCC) grant funded through the New York State Office for Mental Health and Office of Addiction Services and Supports to prepare behavioral health providers for Value Based Payment (VBP) reform.   

As a result of that early collaboration, came the formation of an Independent Practice Association (IPA), which is designed to improve health outcomes in the community through better information sharing and coordination of services on a local and regional level. This affiliation through the IPA also facilitates contracting with health insurance companies and other healthcare services entities.   

The goal of value-based payment is to transform the healthcare payment system so it incentivizes quality of care instead of the volume of services provided. Northwinds will achieve this transformation by improving the coordination and delivery of behavioral health services, in addition to the integration of primary care, social services and hospital providers.  

To learn more about Northwinds, visit