About Us

What We Do

Biel Consulting, Inc. supplies a variety of business development, analysis and evaluation services to nonprofit health and social service organizations. We consult with hospitals, hospital foundations, community clinics, community-based service agencies, and nursing certification organizations.

Our Specialties

Biel Consulting, Inc. specializes in: Community benefit assessment and planning for nonprofit hospitals, program evaluation/outcomes measurement, grant writing, community needs assessment, data collection and analyses, professional and academic writing, and project management.

Our Team

Melissa Biel, DPA, RN

Dr. Melissa Biel has over 25 years of experience in the nonprofit and health care fields. She works with a variety of nonprofit health care clients locally in Southern California, regionally and nationally. Melissa has extensive experience supporting organizations' community-based planning efforts, and facilitating collaborative action at a local level. Her areas of expertise include: community benefit planning for nonprofit hospitals, nursing certification, strategic planning, program evaluation, community needs assessments, data collection and analysis, and grant writing.

In conjunction with the Institute for Healthcare Advancement, Melissa is a co-founder with Maya Dunne, of Community Benefit Connect. Community Benefit Connect is a national website with curated information on community benefit and focused on increasing networking among community benefit professionals.

Melissa received a BS degree in Nursing from California State University, Long Beach and an MS degree in Nursing Administration from California State University, Los Angeles. Her doctorate is in Public Administration from the University of La Verne. She is the recipient of the 2008 Outstanding Senior Lecturer award from Chapman University College. Her scholarly activities include professional service, publications and speaking that address nursing certification, community benefit, credentialing research and a variety of clinically-focused topics.

Professional Affiliations: American Evaluation Association, Women in Healthcare Administration, Association for Community Health Improvement, Institute for Credentialing Excellence.

Recent Presentations and Publications:

Case Di Leonardi, B., & Biel, M. 2012. Moving forward with a clear definition of continuing competence. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 43(8), 346-351.

National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses. Measuring the Impact of Certification. San Diego, CA March 13, 2014.

San Diego Housing Federation, Affordable Housing & Community Development Conference. Panel Presentation: Housing and Health: Innovations in Building Healthy Communities. San Diego, CA October 16, 2014.


Denise Flanagan

Denise Flanagan received her B.A. in Communications from Temple University in Philadelphia. She has extensive additional coursework in the sciences, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Denise has nine years of experience in nonprofit administration with expertise in the fields of health care and international poverty reduction. She is fluent in both written and spoken Spanish.


Sevanne Sarkis, JD, MHA, MEd

Sevanne Sarkis has over 12 years’ experience developing large-scale, multi-faceted programs and public-private partnerships that achieve business goals. She has a unique background in health care external relations, legal advocacy and teaching. Most recently Sevanne was the Administrative Director, Community Benefit and Outreach for Keck Medicine of USC in Los Angeles, California. Ms. Sarkis has a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, a Juris Doctorate (JD) from, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Chicago, Illinois; and a Master’s of Education from Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.


Deborah L. Silver, MS

Deborah Silver has an extensive background in community-based strategic planning, facilitation, coalition building, organizational development, and resource development. As a Community Health Planning consultant, Deborah provides facilitation, project management and community assessment services, including collection of both primary and secondary data. She has worked with a number of partnerships, community-based organizations, foundations, and institutions. Deborah’s primary areas of expertise are with collaborative partnerships and nonprofit health organizations, including community clinics, hospitals, health plans, and public health departments. She has worked extensively with these organizations to assess the needs of the underserved, plan to increase access to care, and improve population health status.

Prior to becoming a Community Health Planning consultant in 2000, Deborah served on the Senior Management Team at the City of Pasadena Public Health Department as Division Manager for Health Promotion and Policy Development for five years, and was with the Department for a total of ten years. As division manager, she was responsible for budget, program and personnel matters for five different health promotion program areas, including tobacco control, alcohol and drug prevention/recovery, violence prevention, chronic disease prevention, and health improvement programs and projects, including Healthy Cities. As Project Director for Pasadena’s Healthy Cities Project, she was responsible for development of Pasadena’s 1992 and 1998 Quality of Life Index reports.

Deborah Silver obtained her Master’s Degree in Applied Social Psychology from Claremont Graduate University in 1988, where her research and studies focused primarily on organizational behavior and health psychology. Deborah received additional professional training from the Institute for Cultural Affairs (Group Facilitation Methods, 2006; Participatory Strategic Planning, 2006); National Conference for Community and Justice (Skills Training for Facilitators, 2000; Human Relations Train-the-Trainer Series, 2003) and from Community At Work (Participatory Decision-Making Workshop, 1998). Deborah has also served on a number of nonprofit organization boards of directors, including Day One, Planned Parenthood Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley, and the Pasadena Child Health Foundation.


Linda Watts

Linda Watts has over 10 years of experience as a grant, marketing and business writer, and project manager. She has helped raise over $7 million in grant funding for community clinics, hospitals and other health care organizations. Subject matter experience includes access to health care, health information technology, chronic disease management, MD Residency training, behavioral health, quality improvement, medical home model, dental services, health education and outreach, homeless and social services.

Prior to her work as a consultant, she was the Foundation Relations Manager for The Saban Free Clinic (TSFC). Formerly known as The Los Angeles Free Clinic, TSFC is one of the largest clinic organizations in Los Angeles and is the oldest continuously operating free clinic in the United States. She also has held marketing and development positions at the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County and Northwest Regional Primary Care Association, which is the regional primary care association for community health centers in Washington, Alaska, Idaho and Oregon.

Funder program officers as well as agency staff have noted the high quality and clarity of Linda’s proposals. She has a strong sense of business and enjoys developing proposals that help provide more effective and efficient operations. Linda has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Alabama, and has completed many workshops and courses in grant, marketing and copy writing. Linda is a member of the Grant Professionals Association and the Project Management Institute.