A little bit about us

Our Approach

Improving health through change: that is our company mission and what each of our employees live by every day. For nearly 25 years, we’ve been helping people live healthier lives by focusing on the behavioral health of those we serve. Members receive care that is coordinated, focused on whole-person health and customized to fit the unique needs of the individual. We are committed to serving members, customers and providers with 24/7 support, reducing cost through active preventative solutions and delivering innovation through our unique clinical service infrastructure and technology-enabled solutions. New Directions delivers best-in-class services to over 16 million people nationwide. New Directions’ tremendous growth has been realized by creating a strategy and corporate culture focused on high-quality service, which has resulted in one of the fastest growing companies in the managed behavioral health industry.

Behavioral Health Services

Customized offerings meet members where they are and match the level of intervention to the members’ needs. Our clinical and network services are designed to get members the right care at the right time with the right providers. Our focus extends to social determinants of health, connecting members with community services and supports.

Integrated Care Services

Our focus on whole-person health is achieved using our unique integrated care approach. We integrate our behavioral health services with medical care managers and with our own EAP services to holistically address members’ needs.

Employee Assistance Program

New Directions provides individuals and families with services that empower them to live their best lives. Employees have access to counseling (many modalities are available), online resources, work-life solutions and more.

Student Well-Being Program

Our WellConnect student well-being program provides around-the-clock access to confidential counseling (many modalities are available) and support to address any academic or life issue for students.

We believe that together is the way forward. Through the power of partnerships, we can make a meaningful, lasting difference. Learn more about the history, programs and services available to help members improve health through positive change by checking out the NDBH Welcome video..

Welcome to New Directions

The history, programs and services available to help members improve health through positive change.




Our Leadership Team

Ann O'Grady, LCSW, Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer
Ann O'Grady, LCSW
Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer

Ann O'Grady is the chief clinical officer for New Directions Behavioral Health. In this role, Ann is responsible for the clinical, customer service and network operations departments. more >

Ann has two decades of experience managing risk business for large national customers. She has an organized, disciplined and data-driven approach with a focus on measurable outcomes. Ann sees working with providers to address member population health needs as one of her most rewarding roles.

Prior to joining New Directions in 2017, Ann worked for Beacon Health Options as the clinical director responsible for leading the clinical team where she developed and implemented strategic pilot programs and customer experience improvement initiatives.

Ann holds a master's degree in social work with a clinical concentration from the University of Maryland and a bachelor's degree from Loyola College. She is a licensed clinical social worker and has Six Sigma Green Belt and Lean certifications.

Aron Halfin, M.D.
Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer

As chief medical officer, Dr. Halfin drives New Directions’ member-centric mission, working to ensure that all clinical program development and services improve the delivery of member care. more >

In his role, Dr. Halfin leads the clinical teams and provides oversight of the company’s medical and psychiatric services, as well as quality management.

Prior to joining New Directions in 2016, Dr. Halfin served as vice president and national medical, clinical and operations director of Behavioral Health Services for Anthem Wellpoint. His 30 years of experience in health care also includes leadership positions at Centene Corporation and Magellan Health Services, as well as 11 years in private practice. After earning his medical degree from the University of Costa Rica, School of Medicine, he completed his residency in psychiatry from Columbia University College of Physician and Surgeons in New York, and his research fellowship in psychopharmacology from New York University.

Aron Halfin, M.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer
Robin Jackson, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial and Administrative Officer
Robin Jackson
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial and Administrative Officer

As chief financial and administrative officer, Robin has executive responsibility for all financial and business operations. She oversees and sets strategy for the company’s finance, project management, facilities, health care data analysis, and underwriting business units. more >

Since joining New Directions in 2009 as a finance manager, Robin has held various leadership roles and achieved several promotions within the financial business unit. She led the implementation of two payroll systems, created a standardized budgeting process across the company, and reorganized the compensation and bonus structure to better align with the market.

Prior to New Directions, Robin had extensive experience in the financial industry, including a variety of roles in finance and accounting at CBIZ, a national financial services and business consulting company, and at other private accounting firms.

Robin’s leadership and strategic thinking skills coupled with her deep knowledge of finance, auditing, accounting and tax preparation have been instrumental to New Directions’ rapid growth.

A certified public accountant, Robin has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration from Pittsburg State University.

Noreen Vergara
Senior Vice President, General Counsel
and Chief Human Resources Executive

As general counsel and chief human resources executive, Noreen is responsible for setting strategy and providing comprehensive legal advice to senior executives as well as the company's board of managers. Additionally, she provides oversight for the recruitment, retention, benefits and services of more than 700 employees. more >

Since joining New Directions in 2012 as General Counsel, New Directions workforce has grown over 300 percent, and revenue has more than tripled as well. With a strong pulse on health care law, Noreen is a board member for the Association of Behavioral Health and Wellness which develops policy proposals and advocates for improvements to mental health and substance use disorder access and treatment. She also is a member of the American Health Lawyers Association and serves on its behavioral health task force.

Prior to joining New Directions, Noreen was Legal Counsel and Model Laws Coordinator for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. She previously worked for Health Capital Consultants, Magellan Health and Research Psychiatric Center.

Noreen graduated from Rockhurst University with a bachelor's degree in psychology. She received her Juris Doctor and Certificate of Health Law from St. Louis University School of Law.

Noreen Vergara, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Human Resources Executive
Dr. Andrea Auxier, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer
Dr. Andrea Auxier, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer

Dr. Andrea Auxier is a licensed clinical psychologist and chief commercial officer for New Directions. She is responsible for developing growth strategies that align with the company’s mission to improve health through change. Her areas of oversight are product development, sales, and marketing and communications. more >

Dr. Auxier was formerly the national director of integration at Beacon Health Options. As a longtime advocate of the Community Health Center program, she has worked with Federally Qualified Health Centers in several capacities, including as the director of research at Colorado’s Health Center Controlled Network. As a clinical consultant for the Bureau of Primary Health Care, she conducted operational site visits for more than 30 FQHCs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Dr. Auxier holds a B.A. from Cornell University, an M.A. from New York University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Boston. She completed her postgraduate work at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

As a native Spanish speaker, she has worked primarily with underserved, multicultural populations, with an emphasis on those affected by posttraumatic stress. She has several publications in peer-reviewed journals and books and has lectured on integrated care in various forums throughout the country.

Erin Scraper, PMP
Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer

As the Chief Strategy Officer, Erin collaborates with senior leadership to develop, communicate, execute, sustain and achieve desired strategies. In her role, Erin focuses on accelerating organizational performance through cohesive strategic planning and execution, knowledge management and implementation of key performance indicators. This includes assessing strategic opportunities, forging new relationships and synergies across the organization and throughout the healthcare industry. more >

Erin has been with New Directions since 2015, previously as Vice President of Strategic Implementations. Erin has been instrumental in driving organization-wide initiatives such as the implementation of New Directions’ risk arrangement with Florida Blue and the integration of E4 Health, which New Directions acquired in 2018. She has proven herself as a key advisor to the senior leadership team in efforts involving growth planning, feasibility assessments and the development, maintenance and monitoring of strategic initiatives.

Prior to joining New Directions, Erin worked for 10 years with Federally Qualified Community Health Centers, where she served as the Quality and Compliance Officer, among other roles. She also previously led the NCQA Patient Centered Medical Home transformation project with a multi-site family practice clinic.

Erin earned her bachelor’s degree from Emporia State University and is certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP). She was also a Fellow of the Community Health Center Executive Fellowship Program from the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Erin Scraper, PMP, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer