Gerianne Babbo’s nursing career began in direct patient care in the intensive/coronary care units. Certification as a hemodialysis nurse led to learning multiple roles in hemoperfusion, including apheresis and hemoperfusion. The opportunity to become mobile intensive care unit certified brought additional experiences in patient care. Many years were spent in providing trauma/emergency nursing care where the love of teaching grew. Working as a nurse faculty and nurse administrator of multiple nursing programs allowed a focus on the development of nursing programs to advance the academic progression of nurses along the nursing career ladder. A long career as a nurse educator in the public sector was preparation for the role of Director of Nursing Education for the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission. She received her Diploma of Nursing from Saint Vincent’s College of Nursing, a BSN, an MN in Advanced Community Health with a Specialty in Occupational Health, and a Doctor of Education with an Emphasis in Nursing Education from the University of Washington.
Zach Boser is a former hospital leader passionate about helping small rural hospitals navigate the sea change in today’s healthcare environment. An expert in financial and operational analysis, Zach is drawn to the challenge of improving healthcare delivery for future generations through work with rural providers and their communities. At Stroudwater, Zach supports clients through services such as financial and operational analysis, strategic planning, and cost report review.
Dr. Paul Buckley, vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer, spearheads efforts to make the center’s science and culture more inclusive and diverse. He came to the Hutch in 2020 from Colorado College, where in 2014 he was the inaugural director of the Butler Center, created to lead the college’s efforts in building a just and inclusive community. Prior to that, he served as assistant dean of undergraduate students at Dartmouth College.
He brings a track record of success in building DEI programs, a background in academia and a deep knowledge of DEI topics — he holds a doctorate in cultural foundations of education from Syracuse University, where he engaged DEI work for a decade. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration/African American studies and master of science degree in educational administration and policy studies from the University at Albany, State University of New York.
“Cures start here, and cures start with a culture that fosters innovation, an inclusive culture that responds to diverse experiences and diverse expressions of disease,” he said. “Diversity, equity and inclusion work is critical to the mission of Fred Hutch.”
Biobehavioral scientist Dr. Rachel Ceballos studies ways to reduce health disparities in cancer, primarily focusing on health outcomes in underserved communities. She has interdisciplinary training in laboratory, clinical and community settings, including psychoneuroendocrinology, the study of hormone fluctuations and their relationship to health outcomes. She leads studies of ways to support cancer survivors in the Latino and African-American communities and is a strong proponent of community-based participatory research. Through her research, Dr. Ceballos seeks to understand the psychosocial mechanisms (i.e., the psychological and social environment) that contribute to cancer-related health outcomes. She works with community partners to develop culturally-appropriate interventions that will help reduce unjust social and emotional burdens of the underserved and is also interested in the development and evaluation of culturally appropriate cancer survivorship programs.
Laura Cooley, MA, is a Technology Transfer Specialist for the Northwest Addiction Technology Transfer Center (NWATTC) at ADAI, at the University of Washington. Laura acts as the primary point of contact for health workforce training activities in Alaska and Washington State of the four states served by the Northwest ATTC, coordinating trainings and technical assistance projects in partnership with state and community authorities. Laura has also managed the development of online opioid education programs. From 2010-2016, she was involved in research related to opioid use, and co-led a regional continuing medical education program at the University of Washington focused on educating about managing pain and addressing opioid prescribing. Prior to joining UW, she worked for over 18 years on regional and global health programs at PATH, the World Bank, and consulted for other organizations. She holds degrees from Vassar College, NY, and the University of Essex, U.K
Mark Duncan, MD is an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington. He has pursued a career at the intersection of mental health and primary care, training in both family medicine and addiction psychiatry. He currently practices in various integrated care settings and models as a consulting psychiatrist. He is the co-medical director for the University of Washington Psychiatry and Addiction Case Conference (UW PACC) a telehealth case consultation service for the state of Washington.
Ben Dunlap (he/his) is a Research Scientist at the University of Washington Center for Health Workforce Studies. His work has included research and publications in hospital quality improvement, medical ethics, and the health care workforce. Most recently, Ben has been working with the Washington Workforce Training & Education Coordinating Board and stakeholders to develop policy recommendations for workforce strengthening in behavioral health settings. He also is working with Sue Skillman on a research project investigating criminal background checks in long term care, home health and behavioral health settings. Ben has a Masters in Public Health (MPH) in Health Services Research from the University of Washington’s School of Public Health.
Ray Eickmeyer is the EMS Director at Lake Chelan Health. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Paramedicine from Central Washington University and has 30 years’ of healthcare experience in urban and rural settings throughout Washington state. Ray has been recognized for leadership in both regional and state settings. In 2018 he was named Administrator of the Year for Chelan/Douglas County, and in 2010 he received the Washington State Emergency Cardiac and Stroke TAC-Award. He is a current board member for North Central Accountable Communities of Health. Ray co-authored the Department of Health’s EMS All Hazards Protocol for EMS providers in Washington state in 2003. He also helped plan and develop the nation’s first comprehensive statewide cardiac and stroke system for Washington state, which led to the passage of the state law authorizing the Emergency Cardiac and Stroke System. Combining his experience in public health, hospital care, specialty clinic care, rural health clinic care, and prehospital medicine, Ray has developed one of the most comprehensive Community Paramedicine Programs in the state of Washington. Most recently, Ray has been in charge of the logistics and delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations in Chelan / Douglas County.
Toby Freier is President of New Ulm Medical Center - Allina Health. Toby is a Fellow of the ACHE, and has been a frequent speaker across the nation on rural health transformation for the past 15 years. New Ulm Medical Center has received Top 100 CAH by NRHA nine times, Healthgrades Patient Safety and Patient Experience award several years, AHA Nova award, Minnesota Hospital Association Workplace of Year, Innovation of the Year, and Community Health Improvement awards. New Ulm Medical Center is a fully integrated rural delivery system and national leader in value, innovation and population health.
Mary Sue Gorski’s nursing career began in direct patient care as a nurse manager and supervisor in acute and long-term care then as a nurse practitioner in family practice and geriatrics. While maintaining ARNP practice she moved to education and during her 15 years at Gonzaga University, she led the nursing department through a time of rapid growth and change. Building on her practice and education experiences, she began to focus on her interest in health policy. During her sabbatical at Gonzaga University in Spokane WA in 2011 she was awarded a fellowship at the Center to Champion Nursing in America (CCNA) at the AARP Public Policy Institute in Washington DC to advance the recommendations of the Future of Nursing IOM report released in 2010. She now works full time in policy and continues in her consulting role with CCNA. In addition, she serves as Director of Researcher, Policy, and Advanced Practice for the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission in Washington State. She received a BSN from the University of San Francisco, an MN as Family Nurse Practitioner from the University of Washington, and a PhD in nursing at Loyola University Chicago.
Kate Hampilos, ND, MS is the program coordinator for the Washington State University Center for Rural Opioid Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery (CROP+TR). She earned her doctoral degree in naturopathic medicine from the National University of Natural Medicine in 2016 and complete a three-year residency in primary care in Portland, OR. Kate joined CROP+TR in 2020 and works on opioid prevention, treatment, and recovery initiatives with Dr. McDonell and Dr. Weybright.
Juan is a physician with formal training in Internal Medicine, Palliative Medicine and Bioethics. Juan has been a practicing Palliative Medicine and Ethics consultant in a large community hospital since 2001. Juan and Tammy have worked together since 2007 and helped pioneer a successful, and ongoing generalist Palliative Care Academy. Juan is a certified Vital Talk trainer and has mentored many clinicians in complex care conversations.
Toby Keys, MA, MPH is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the UW Department of Family Medicine and UW School of Medicine’s Office of Rural Programs. Mr. Keys’ background and training is in medical anthropology and public health. He is currently the Director of the Rural/Underserved Opportunities Program, Associate Director of the UW Family Medicine Clerkship and the faculty liaison for the WWAMI AHEC Scholars Program. Mr. Keys’ teaching and research interests include: Rural and urban underserved healthcare workforce issues, social and structural determinants of health, community engagement and public health practice. He currently resides in Seattle with his spouse, Erica and his eight-year-old son, Desmond.
Louise Kaplan, a family nurse practitioner (FNP) and associate professor in the Washington State University College of Nursing, has nearly 25 years of academic experience teaching primarily teaching graduate students. She has extensive clinical experience as a nurse and FNP including more than 15 years in rural communities. Her PhD program focused on health policy. She has conducted research and published on topics including NP rural education and practice; NP education; and advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) workforce issues, prescribing of controlled substances, and prescriptive authority. Active in many professional organizations, she chairs the legislative committee of ARNPs United of Washington State and serves on the organization’s Board of Directors. Dr. Kaplan is the Washington State Representative for the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She is a member of the Washington State Nurses Association Hall of Fame, and a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the American Academy of Nursing.
While attending Whitworth University in the 1990s Corey Laughary took a work-study job answering the phone at the “First Call For Help” hotline at Spokane Mental Health. Since that time he has had a passion for proving help for those dealing with Mental Illness. Since 2004 Corey has served as the Pastor of the Palouse Federated Church in Palouse Washington. Serving people in a small rural community has opened his eyes to the challenges specific to rural areas when it comes to the mental health. Corey volunteers with Palouse EMS, serves as a Chaplain to police, fire and EMS and is a founding member of the Whitman County Suicide Prevention and Resiliency Task Force. He is a certified trainer of Mental Health First Aid as well as QPR. He works to equip first responders and lay people alike with tools to assess and assist anyone suffering a Mental Health Crisis.
Dr. Michael McDonell is a Professor in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine at Washington State University and the Director of Behavioral Health Innovations. He is a clinical psychologist with over 20 years of experience developing, testing, and implementing strength-based interventions for people with addiction and mental illness in community settings. He leads multiple National Institutes of Health funded studies demonstrating that incentives can be used to reduce alcohol and drug use in individuals living with co-occurring serious mental illness. He is also co-directing the WSU Center for Rural Opioid Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery with Dr. Elizabeth Weybright
Paula Meyer began her career in nursing as a nursing assistant at Powell County Memorial Hospital in Deer Lodge, Montana. Ms. Meyer completed her baccalaureate degree in nursing in 1980 from Montana State University. In 1984, Ms. Meyer moved to the Washington DC area. She worked at the Arlington Hospital, one of the original Magnet Hospitals. In 1989, Ms. Meyer received her Masters’ Degree in Nursing from George Mason University in Fairfax Virginia. Ms. Meyer returned to Montana for two years and then moved with her family to Olympia Washington. Ms. Meyer worked in Home Health for five years in Thurston, Mason and Lewis counties. In 1998, Ms. Meyer became the executive director of the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission. Ms. Meyer has worked on Nurse Delegation, School Nursing, and Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner legislation.
Ms. Meyer is married with two adult children. Ms. Meyer is active in her community and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, serving on the board of directors, chaired the Executive Officers Leadership Council and numerous committees.
Stacey Morrison, MLIS is the Associate Director for the program office of the WWAMI Area Health Education Center (AHEC). Ms. Morrison manages the WWAMI AHEC program in the two states of Washington and Idaho with John McCarthy, MD, WWAMI AHEC Director and Assistant Dean of Rural Programs at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Ms. Morrison has worked with Toby Keys, MPH to create, design, and implement the curriculum for the AHEC Scholars. program.
Tammy has a Doctorate in Nursing Practice, has been a nurse practitioner since 2002 and an acute care Palliative Care consultant in a community hospital since 2007. Tammy and Juan have created video training modules on complex care conversations and care transitions for 2000+ hospitalists across 30 states. They have also developed a one day workshop and also facilitator-training program in complex care conversations for practicing clinicians.
Jody O’Brien is the compliance director for Systems Design West, LLC. Born and raised in Whitman County, her first 12 years in healthcare were at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, WA. After moving to Kitsap County, she joined Systems Design as an ambulance biller. Over her 25 years at Systems Design, Jody has worked in all facets of ambulance billing, accounting, and collections, as well as Medicare and Medicaid compliance. She frequently assists with routine Medicare and Medicaid audits and provides documentation training for ambulance staff. Jody is credentialed as a Certified Ambulance Coder and Certified Ambulance Compliance Officer.
Julia O’Connor, MSW (she/her) is the Health & Social Policy Advisor at the Workforce Training & Education Coordinating Board, where she manages the agency’s health and human services policy portfolios. Within this work, she leads the state’s ongoing behavioral health workforce assessment, where she serves as the primary liaison to the behavioral health workforce in Washington. She has expertise in advocacy, public policy, government relations, and clinical social work practice. She previously worked in Washington, DC as an advisor to Rep. Derek Kilmer (WA-06) and Rep. Brian Higgins (NY-26). She received a Master of Social Work from Seattle University and a Bachelor of Arts from Colgate University.
Jonathan Pantenburg joined Stroudwater in 2016, and brings to the firm a strong record of leadership in rural healthcare. A highly accomplished, results-driven senior executive, Jonathan has over 15 years of progressively responsible experience advising profit, non-profit, and governmental entities through complex issues including cost reduction, acquisitions, contracts, financial analysis, and operations. At Stroudwater, he brings his expertise to the Rural team.
Judith Pauwels, MD is a Family Physician and Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle. She currently works in the WWAMI Family Medicine Residency Network as Associate Director for Program Development and Accreditation. Dr. Pauwels has served on the American Academy of Family Physicians Residency Program Solutions Consultant Panel since 2002, and is a Technical Assistance Advisor for the HRSA Rural Residency Program Development grants. Dr. Pauwels has published several articles on the financing of family medicine residency programs. Her presentations have included developing GME programs; financial modeling of those programs; faculty development; organizational interfaces with GME programs, and direct observation techniques for coaching and evaluating residents.
Annie Pillers, D-ABMDI, joined the Whitman County Coroner’s Office in 2008. Previously the Chief Deputy Coroner, she was appointed Coroner in March of 2018 when former Coroner Pete Martin retired, and then was elected to the post in November 2018. She has a diverse background in EMS, search and rescue, hospice, bereavement support, public administration, and non-profit administration. She has been an EMT with Palouse EMS since 1999.
Richard K. Ries, MD, is Professor of Psychiatry, and Director of the Addictions Division in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, Washington, and Director of the Addiction Treatment services at Harborview Medical Center in downtown Seattle. Dr. Ries received his medical degree from Northwestern Medical School and completed his psychiatric residency at the University of Washington, Seattle, where he was Chief Resident. Dr. Ries is board-certified in Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology with Added Qualifications in Addiction Psychiatry, and the American Board of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Ries is active in both studying and treating persons with opioid use disorders, with involvement in SAMHSA grants and the Harborview Addictions program opioid treatment tracks and is a noted expert in the field of Addictions, Suicide and other Co-occurring Disorders.
Ann Marie Roepke, Ph.D. (she/her) is a clinical psychologist, trainer, and consultant, as well as creator of the podcast Resilience in the Time of Coronavirus. Her areas of expertise include resilience, well-being, stress management, workplace communication, motivation, cognitive-behavioral therapies, and the impact of trauma – including both post-traumatic stress and post-traumatic growth. Dr. Roepke is focused on helping people live well and feel well in the face of adversity, to the fullest extent possible. As a psychotherapist, she teaches people skills to recover from trauma and mental health challenges and build their resilience against future threats. As a trainer/consultant, Dr. Roepke works with teams and leaders in the “helping professions” to equip them with tools to do their best work while caring for their own well-being and work satisfaction. Dr. Roepke earned her doctorate in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center under the mentorship of Dr. Martin Seligman; completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Veterans Health Administration; is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT); and owns and operates Evoke Training and Consulting, PLLC.
John Roll is the Vice Dean for Research in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine at Washington State University and the Associate Vice President for Strategic Research Initiatives within WSU Health Sciences. Dr. Roll received his PhD from Washington State University and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Behavioral Pharmacology at the University of Vermont and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Substance Abuse Research at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. Dr. Roll holds faculty appointments in the WSU Departments of Medicine, Psychology, Neuroscience, Nursing, Prevention Science, Nutrition Exercise and Physiology and Health Policy Administration. He is the Founding Director of the WSU Program of Excellence in Addictions Research and is the Director of the WSU Translational Addiction Research Collaborative. Dr. Roll also founded the Rural Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Center.
Susan M. Skillman, MS, is the Senior Deputy Director of the University of Washington Center for Health Workforce Studies and an investigator with the UW’s WWAMI Rural Health Research Center and the Collaborative for Rural Primary Care, Research, Education, and Practice (Rural PREP). Her research covers a wide array of health workforce topics, including studies of the nursing, primary care, behavioral health, and allied health workforce and their education pathways. She advises health workforce planning efforts at the state and national level and is on the advisory board of Washington’s Allied Health Center of Excellence, serves on the planning committees for several national and international conferences, and has had consulting roles with the National Governor’s Association and the Institute of Medicine, among others. Prior positions included 10 years with the University of Washington’s Department of Health Services and 8 years with the Center for Health Studies at Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound. She received her bachelor’s degree from Whitman College and her master’s degree from Washington State University.
Ben Stubbs is a research scientist at the University of Washington Center for Health Workforce Studies. His research focuses on refining analytical techniques using new and existing data sources to support health workforce planning. He is especially interested in developing more effective ways to communicate research findings and bridging the gap between academics and decision makers. Ben has worked extensively with local partners in government, education and healthcare to understand the evolving role of nurses and other healthcare workers in a constantly changing work environment.
Ms. Summerside is the Manager of Program Operations for the Center for Health Sciences Interprofessional Education, Research and Practice (CHSIE) at the University of Washington. Nicole earned her Master of Health Services Administration from the University of Washington and also has a background in business administration. Before joining the CHSIE team, Nicole began her healthcare career developing and expanding primary care programs working to achieve a population health management approach to care. She joined the CHSIE team in 2016 and is passionate about promoting the quadruple aim by helping healthcare teams work better together through respect, communication, and collaboration. Nicole oversees operations for the Center, dedicated to furthering collaboration between health care professionals, and directs two externally funded training grants focused on team science, team-based care initiatives, and enhancing the RN workforce in WA State.
Cara is the Associated Director of Telepsychiatry in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington. Cara has been involved in telehealth for more than 20 years, as UW Telehealth Services founding director 2001-2015, and joining the UW Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in 2016 to help support mental and behavioral health care in all of Washington using telehealth technologies. Cara has co-managed the UW PACC program since its inception in 2016, and co-leads the Harborview Behavioral Health Institute telebehavioral health training programs.
Jim Wallace is a displaced Tar Heel. Voted by his UNC School of Medicine graduating class as "Most Likely to Practice in Rural North Carolina," he completed residency at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a fellowship in Advanced Obstetrics at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, but never made it back across the Columbia River. Dr. Wallace has practiced in Brewster, WA since 2012 at Family Health Centers, a rural and migrant community health center and at each of his county's three Critical Access Hospitals. Having agonized through OB closure at two of these hospitals, he is committed to building a Family Medicine Rural Training Track that develops the skills necessary to thrive and contribute to communities in rural and underserved regions.
Dr. Elizabeth Weybright is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development and an Adolescent Specialist in the Extension Youth and Family unit at Washington State University. She is co-directing the WSU Center for Rural Opioid Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery with Dr. Michael McDonell. Elizabeth received her Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University in the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management.
Dr. Willgerodt is Associate Professor and Vice-Chair for Education in the Department of Child, Family, and Population Health Nursing, and affiliate faculty in the Center for Health Sciences Interprofessional Education Research and Practice (CHSIE) at the University of Washington. Her scholarship focuses on interprofessional education and collaborative practice (IPCP), school health, and the nursing workforce. Dr. Willgerodt has led several interprofessional teams on HRSA-funded grants to increase the nursing workforce with an emphasis on IPCP. In 2018, Dr. Willgerodt and colleagues published the first nationally representative study on the school nursing workforce which illuminated the need for leveraging the professional expertise of school nurses to strengthen interprofessional care coordination and maximize efficiencies across systems of care. Dr. Willgerodt is faculty on the MCH-funded Leadership Education in Adolescent Health Training Grant at Seattle Children’s Hospital and is also a Master TeamSTEPPS trainer. She provides consultation nationally and internationally on IPCP and school nursing. Dr. Willgerodt is a member of the 2013-15 Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation Faculty Scholar cohort and is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and National Academy of School Nurses.