Current Laboratory Manager at Mason Health. Previously Point of Care LEAD and Laboratory Supervisor. Graduated from University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. Enjoy spending time outdoors hiking, fishing and hunting.
Jennifer Barbour is the Director of Relations at Sparta Community Hospital in Sparta, Illinois, where she serves as the Community Champion for the Delta Region Community Health Systems Development Program. Jennifer has over 15 years of experience in healthcare and social services marketing, public relations, and outreach. In addition to working with the community to help identify and address community health needs, Jennifer leads employee engagement and medical student recruitment efforts at SCH.
Jennifer received a Master’s in Public Administration and Bachelor’s in Public Relations from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Jennifer is the Chair of the University of Illinois Extension Unit 26 Advisory Board, the Immediate Past President of the Rotary Club of Steeleville, and is the leader of her nieces’ Brownie Girl Scout Troop.
Kristina is a Public Health Nurse Consultant with the Washington Department of Health. She works in the Office of Immunization, providing COVID-19 vaccinations for homebound individuals and educating the public and health care stakeholders primarily in COVID-19 related material. She has been a nurse for over 25 years, the most recent years as a nurse practitioner in a hospital setting. Her clinical background is in emergency nursing, with additional experience in Labor and Delivery, Interventional Radiology, and Critical Care Transport. She has functioned in multiple roles in nursing, including direct clinical care, leadership, and education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Trenton State College in Trenton, NJ, a Diploma in Nursing from Our Lady of Lourdes School of Nursing in Camden, NJ, a Master of Nursing, Education from University of Washington, and a Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner, from Simmons College in Boston, MA.
Prior to accepting Director of Operations for Deer Park Volunteer Ambulance, I was a medic in the Air Force with a career lasting 24-years. Throughout my career I worked in vastly diverse environments to further and strengthen urgent care, ambulance services, occupational medicine, and patient care. My experience with EMS leadership began as the Emergency Room Manager while stationed in Korea, which continued when I returned to Fairchild Air Force Base. At Fairchild, I oversaw Primary Care, Pediatrics, Women’s Health and Ambulance Services. During my time leading Ambulance Services, I also served on the Spokane County EMS Council and worked with them to continually improve emergency management operations throughout the region. In the Air Force, I also had the opportunity to successfully develop and establish emergency response systems in foreign countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Laos, and Korea. In each of these countries, I worked with high level government officials to create and improve healthcare systems for their citizens. After completing a successful service in the Air Force, I chose to further my education and received a bachelor’s degree in Health Informatics and Technology Management, along with a Minor in Healthcare Administration from Eastern Washington University.
Dr. Naomi M. Bender, Quechua, is the Director of Native American Health Science Programs and the new Center for Native American Health at Washington State University’s Spokane Health Science campus. As the Administrator of these programs, Dr. Bender manages the oversight, strategic development, implementation, and response to Native American pathway programs to help expand the health care workforce in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and allied health sciences. She also develops and implements policy, culturally based curriculum, workshops, community initiatives, research, scholarly projects, and has an expansive track record in building partnerships to meet the systemic need of healthcare workforce expansion and response in Indian Country. Dr. Bender, and WSU NAHS, recently opened the Center for Native American Health (CNAH). The CNAH provides three areas of focus and opportunity, within a student support and success center, a tribal community health initiative and collaborative space, and the nation's first Indigenous developed and instructed clinical simulation education center in any health science higher education setting. The cohort she leads to develop this space, are made up of almost 20 Native American and Indigenous western and traditionally trained healers. Together, they aim to dismantle the historically racist and biased treatment of Native peoples in health care settings by helping educate and inform current and future healthcare workforce how to better provide culturally centered care. In addition, she has led the nation's first interprofessional Indigenous Healing Perspectives Certificate, to launch fall of 2022, and has done so with other tribal leaders and community stakeholders every step of the way. Dr. Bender hopes to help providers and health care workers change the landscape of health outcomes for tribal communities and indigenous patients, while counterbalancing Western medicine and creating and maintaining a climate of cultural humility and safety.
Cheryl Cariño-Burr is a Healthcare Case Manager for the Puget Sound Welcome Back Center at Highline College. Her voice for immigrant issues, equity, and diversity spans over 20 years. Ms. Cariño-Burr participates on various local, state, and national boards, commission, and task forces. She has given presentations statewide and nationally, including “Immigrant Professionals, Barriers and Best Practices” at the 2016 National Credential and Skills Institute in Washington D.C. As the daughter of immigrant parents, Ms. Cariño-Burr is a first-generation graduate of Highline College and University of Washington, Tacoma.
Christina N. Clayton, LICSW, CDP, is one of the Co-Directors of the Northwest Mental Health Technology Transfer Center, which provides free training and technical assistance to HHS Region 10 (AK/ID/OR/WA) and beyond. The Northwest MHTTC is housed in the University of Washington School of Medicine, in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She has been working in the behavioral health field since 1993. She has primarily served adults who live with severe mental health issues, substance use, experience chronic homelessness, suffer from poor physical health, trauma and any number of co-occurring issues. Christina has education and licenses/credentials in clinical social work, mental health and substance use, and highly values her direct service experience. Prior to joining MHTTC, she spent 25 years working in and managing numerous clinical programs including: HIV/AIDS housing and health care, school-based mental health, substance use outreach and treatment, homeless mental health outreach, intensive case management, assertive community treatment, crisis respite, integrated care, housing first and other evidence-based practices. She has provided licensure supervision, training and consultation, and has worked on multi-disciplinary teams in a number of settings. She is also a Clinical Instructor and Field Instructor for the University of Washington School of Social Work (MSW ’97).
Stephanie Cruz is a qualitative researcher, medical anthropologist, and current postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Oral Health Sciences at the University of Washington's School of Dentistry. Her main research interests are: health disparities, Medicaid policy, and community-centered design.
Pat Ellis started his career as a public safety chaplain in 2000 with the Kent Police Department, Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority, Valley 911 Communications Center. He holds multiple certifications in critical incident stress management, traumatic stress, traumatic grief, and line of duty death of an emergency responder. Pat teaches Critical Incident Stress Management, Compassion Fatigue and Emotional Survival in Emergency Services for various public safety agencies and academies throughout Washington. He also trains and coordinates peer support teams for multiple fire and police departments. Pat serves as President of the Board for the Washington State Fallen Firefighters Foundation and is the co-author of the Washington State Fire Service Line of Duty Death Policy and Procedures. He is the Washington State Coordinator for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, Local Assistant State Team. Pat is married and has three children and 4 grandchildren.
Michael Fallahkhair, MPH, is the Principal Advisor for Impact and Planning for the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) in the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In this role, Mr. Fallahkhair helps to lead the work of FORHP, which is charged with advising the Secretary of HHS on rural health issues and improving the delivery of rural health care. Mr. Fallahkhair previously served as the Executive Officer in the HHS Immediate Office of the Secretary and as Deputy Director of the Community-Based Division in FORHP. Mr. Fallahkhair has past work experience in the Office of Budget of the Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources at HHS and the Office of Management and Budget. Mr. Fallahkhair has an undergraduate degree in Neurobiology and Physiology from the University of Maryland at College Park and a Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Health Policy from George Washington University.
Dually trained in both psychiatry and internal medicine, Dr. Felker has focused on improving access and care for populations of patients who lack mental health services. Much of his early career work developing, implementing, and evaluating mental health programs within primary care led him to create the VA’s Primary Care Mental Health Integration (PCMHI). At the VA Puget Sound, he led the implementation of the first PCMHI program, achieving national recognition, rating as one of the top 10 PCMHI programs in the VA, and further development of a national VA curriculum to promote PCMHI. The PCMHI work also led to his focus on leveraging emerging telehealth technologies to improve mental health care, and Dr. Felker developed and led the first Telemental Health Service at VA Puget Sound. Dr. Felker also serves as a Professor, UW Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and is an Operation Iraqi Veteran and a recently retired Captain in the United States Navy Reserve.
Dawn Felt is a subject matter expert for EMS who oversees and provides guidance related to EMS provider certification, education, and training for Washington. She leads the State EMS Education and Certification workgroup and EMS Protocol Workgroup. She engaged nationally though workgroups with the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) and the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). Dawn started her EMS career in the early 90’ with as a volunteer FF/EMT for a rural department in Eastern Washington. She continues to maintain state and national Paramedic certifications for more than 24 years, and volunteers with a local rural fire department. Dawn holds an MPA from the University of Washington and a BS in Paramedicine from Central Washington University.
Dan Ferguson has over thirty years of experience in higher education, non-profit management, health care, and human services. In Dan’s current role as the Director of the Washington State Allied Health Center of Excellence, he is working to assist the community college system in increasing its capacity to be responsive to the health workforce needs of the health care industry and to the communities that they mutually serve. The Allied Health Center of Excellence is dedicated to addressing Washington State’s healthcare workforce needs of today and tomorrow. Through collaboration and cooperation with industry and community partners, the center provides guidance and leadership to support innovation, flexibility, and responsiveness in the state’s community college health workforce programs. On a personal note, Dan has lived in Washington state for over 25 years, loves international travel, particularly to Taiwan (ask him why) and is an avid tennis player.
Shelley has been with the Department of Health as the State Oral Health Program lead for the past nine years, promoting oral health policy with an eye toward health integration, access to care, and health equity. Prior to that she worked an additional seven years at the local level in the field of dental public health specializing in program development, implementation, and management. Statewide, Shelley sits on the Board of Directors for the Washington State Oral Health Coalition. She represents Washington State nationally as a member of the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD) and participates on ASTDD’s Dental Public Health Policy Committee.
Still to Come
With over 17 years of experience working in non-profit healthcare, the majority of Jennifer’s career has been spent working as a Director of Human Resources or Chief Operations Officer in the non-profit healthcare industry, specifically Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC’s). Additonaly, she spent 3 years as the Workforce Development Director at the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers developing relationships and serving on project committees at both local and national levels. Jennifer holds a dual Bachelor of Science in Human Resources Management and Business Administration and obtained a certification in Employee Retention in 2013. As a consultant, Jennifer has worked closely with 3RNet as since 2017 training on workforce development topics focused primarily on Recruitment & Retention. She has collaborated on multiple multi-university projects & grants, provided professionals development trainings both online and in person, and worked independently with organizations on an array of workforce & business development needs. In 2019 Jennifer and her family relocated to sunny Destin Florida where she now works as the Community Operations & Events Director for Shoreline Church.
Tireless dedication and a commitment to serve is what sets Kate Hill apart from the rest. A nurse at heart, Kate has dedicated her career to healthcare (4 years as an Army Nurse) and serving healthcare providers. She joined The Compliance Team in 2012 to direct TCT’s rural health clinic accreditation program and has fallen in love with the mission and purpose of rural. Appointed the VP of the Clinic Division, Kate is responsible for leading the TCT Rural Health Clinic Team and supporting providers across the country with procuring their accreditation. Her clinical expertise, depth of rural health practices and passion for delivery of the best care possible to every patient has led to numerous speaking engagements on the national, regional and state level. She embraces the TCT emphasis on always delivering Safety, Honesty and Caring™ -- which always puts the focus on what matters most, the best care for patients. Kate presently serves on the Boards of the National Association of Rural Health Clinics and National Rural Health Association. Kate lives in suburban Philadelphia with her husband and close by her amazing three granddaughters, who keep her on the move when she is not working
Sarah is the Deputy Director of Government Affairs for the National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC). She works on both regulatory and legislative federal policy and provides direct technical assistance and education to RHCs on COVID-19 allocations and other programs. Sarah also advocates for reimbursement policies that incentivize and support rural primary care and other health services. Prior to joining NARHC, Sarah worked for the Pennsylvania State Office of Rural Health. She earned her BS in Health Policy and Administration from Penn State University and is currently pursuing her Master in Public Health from the Penn State College of Medicine. Sarah resides in Alexandria, Virginia.
Sherronda Jamerson, obtained a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology in 2012 from City University College in Seattle, WA, became certified as a Chemical Dependency Professional in 2007. Her experiences include developing, implementing, and presenting EDI trainings to associations of healthcare professionals, healthcare providers, schools, and community-based organizations. She has also presented at state and national behavioral health conferences on the topics of DEI and Healthcare Equity. She presents with confidence and passion.
Renée Jensen has more than 20 years in healthcare leadership within Washington State and extensive experience in Public Hospital Districts. She is currently the CEO at Snoqualmie Valley Hospital. Previously she served as Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer with EvergreenHealth. Prior to EvergreenHealth, Jensen led Summit Pacific Medical Center for more than ten years as their Chief Executive Officer and Superintendent, where she executed a successful financial turnaround, construction of a brand new hospital, new medical clinic and implementing framework for a community-focused wellness center. Jensen is known as an innovative, transparent leader who engages with the community to bring transformational healthcare to the communities she serves. She is a member of the Washington State Hospital Association public policy committee, hospital governing boards committee, a member of the University of Washington MHA advisory board and actively involved in many community-based service organizations.
Pat Justis, MA is the Executive Director of Rural Health, at WA State Department of Health. She has been with Rural Health since August 2014, leading a team of twelve professionals. Prior to this position, Pat led the DOH Patient-Centered Medical Home Collaboratives for over six years, working to facilitate primary care transformation. She had a 23-year history with Providence Health Services, working first in mental health and then quality services at Providence St. Peter Hospital., where she focused on patient experience and patient safety. She holds a Master of Arts in Counseling and Community Psychology from St. Martin’s University.
Luoana Leyes She is the newest addition to Puget Sound Welcome Back Center. As a Health Care Case Manager, she is excited to help immigrants as she was helped.Born in Mexico City, she graduated from the Universidad de Guadalajara as DDS. Ms. Leyes received a Master's degree in Prosthodontics at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).
Ms. Leyes immigrated to USA in 2015. She has worked as a dental assistant. She very active in supporting immigrants and her community as a member of the pastoral council of her church.
She enjoys sports, especially running with her dog and loves to drink coffee.
Dr. Marchand is a professor in the University of WA Department of Family Medicine, the former Executive Director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle, and the Farber Endowed Professor for Palliative Care Education. She was the director of the University of WA Medical Center Palliative Care Program for 4 years and section chief of palliative care for 7 years. Dr. Marchand, professor (emerita) and faculty at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, for over 22 years, was the clinical director of integrative oncology at the University of WI Paul P Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center for 7 years and at the ProHealth Oncology Clinic in Waukesha, WI for 2 years, a hospice medical director for 6 years, founding director of the St. Mary’s Hospital Palliative Care Program for 4 years, and a physician consultant with the University of Wisconsin Integrative Medicine Program for 10 years. For 14 years, she practiced integrative medicine and palliative care in her rural family medicine practice. She is the 2017 recipient of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Humanities Award, and the 2018 recipient of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Gold Humanism Award. Much of her research has focused on patient experience and her most recent research with Meg Wise, PhD, is on life review/narrative interventions in persons with advanced cancer. She is fellowship trained in qualitative research methods to explore patient health and illness experiences. She is board certified in family medicine, hospice and palliative care, and integrative medicine.
Alyssa Meller, MA, National Rural Health Resource Center, Chief Operating Officer. Alyssa is responsible for overseeing program operations related to the organization’s mission including finance, technology, and human resources. She has over 10 years of Managed Care Medicaid and Medicare experience. This experience includes care coordination, program development, quality improvement and collaboration with local and state partners. In addition, to overseeing operations at The Center, Alyssa works with rural communities to understand the critical components of care coordination and community collaboration, and how they are essential parts of the new value-based payment models. Alyssa received a Master of Administration in Management with a concentration in Organizational Development from the College of St. Scholastica, and a double major in Psychology and Sociology.
Recognized as among the top 100 most influential people in healthcare by Modern Healthcare Magazine, Alan Morgan serves as Chief Executive Officer for the National Rural Health Association. He has more than 31 years experience in health policy at the state and federal level, and is one of the nation’s leading experts on rural health policy. Mr. Morgan served as a contributing author for the publications, “Policy & Politics in Nursing and Health Care,” “The Handbook of Rural Aging” and for the publication, “Rural Populations and Health.” In addition, his health policy articles have been published in: The American Journal of Clinical Medicine, The Journal of Rural Health, The Journal of Cardiovascular Management, The Journal of Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology, Cardiac Electrophysiology Review, and in Laboratory Medicine. Mr. Morgan served as staff for former US Congressman Dick Nichols and former Kansas Governor Mike Hayden. Additionally, his past experience includes tenures as a health care lobbyist for the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, the Heart Rhythm Society, and for VHA Inc. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from University of Kansas, and a master's degree in public administration from George Mason University.
Rosie started with DOH as Supervisor for the logistics crew supporting the Mobile Vaccine Team in October 2021. She currently leads the mobile vaccine team’s field work across the state and is responsible for logistics staff who coordinate trips and provide immunization support to RNs in the field. Her work helps ensure LTC facilities & homebound residents across all counties in the state can gain equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines. She got a degree in international studies from the University of Washington, did a post-baccalaureate at Western Washington University, and completed two years of medical school before switching to public health at the onset of the pandemic. In her free time she can be found in service to her two black cats, Teddy and Charlie.
Shane McGuire is the Chief Executive Officer for Columbia County Health System. Shane is known as an innovative leader recently recognized as a 2017 Community Star by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health. Shane is CompTIA certified in Project Management and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Information Management. Shane has been with the Columbia County Health System since 2010 and became CEO in 2015.
John Nokes is the Rural EMS Project Coordinator at the department. John works with rural EMS agencies to improve sustainability. This work is funded though the FLEX EMS supplemental grant. John has over 20 years of experience working with urban and rural EMS Systems starting in Stevens County in 1997. During his career as a paramedic, John was a Training Captain, in charge of all aspects of training from on-boarding to continuing education. John has spent many years in charge of QA/QI committee within his agency. In addition to working in EMS, John volunteers his time with the Stevens County Sheriff’s Dive Team, both as a member and as an instructor to keep members current on required education.
Bethany has 20 years’ experience working in Social and Health Care Management. She believes in servant leadership and her faith, kindness, and compassion shines through in everything she does. Bethany is a certified National EMT and is the current president of the WRHA. She also serves on several Rural Health and EMS Organizational Boards. She moved to Spokane in 2009, after graduating from the U of O, to explore her passion in business development and healthcare operations. Bethany grew up in rural Washington, and her passion is expanding care and access to services for rural communities, through legislative, policy and innovative program work. Bethany has a blended family with four daughters and a supportive husband. They all love the outdoors, traveling and their fur babies.
JoAnn serves the Office of Immunizations as the Adult Immunization Quality Improvement Coordinator for Data Quality & Monitoring. In 2021, she also worked as a LTC SME for vaccine preventable diseases, ensuring mobile teams vaccine access for LTCF’s and homebound residents across the state in the Covid-19 response. Currently, she works on advancing adult vaccine equity across the state, managing data quality, and leading related QI projects. She has worked at DOH since 2016, served as a LTCF SME for Skagit County Public Health, is a licensed LNHA, and a nationally certified SPHR, with a degree from the University of Washington in Psychology. She’s a SNF Administrator, a trauma informed professional, and a Certified Lean Six Sigma practitioner. She’s led inpatient operations and clinics providing full scope primary and specialty care services with mental health, led a social services agency, and worked in for profit and non-profit settings.
Morgan Rudley has been a dedicated clinician/case manager and navigator in the field of behavioral mental health for over 8 years and continues to with deep interest and passion. With a background in clinical services, individual/group process-oriented psychotherapy, clinical case management and Psycho-education with respects to lifestyle maintenance, substance use and abuse. Morgan takes pride in offering the best care to all individuals she serves by continually acquiring the necessary tools and education to assist in quality living. In university Mrs. Rudley provided educational classes on the mind food and mental health. Mrs. Rudley has her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a Bachelor's degree in Nutritional science from Andrews University and currently pursuing her doctorate in psychology. Morgan’s most recent work has been with the Puget Sound Welcome Back Center at Highline College. This work has proven to be one of the most significant experiences that has contributed to Morgan’s professional development. Morgan has received case management and advising training in meeting the needs of the Pacific North West international community members seeking assistance and guidance with respect to navigating state regulatory agencies. Morgan has engaged stake holders, organization leaders, collaborated with various community originations in program development.
Pam Schlauderaff hails from rural western Washington and is proud to be from a multi-generational farming family. Inspired by her grandmother, she became a registered nurse and has spent a decades long career working in rural healthcare, owning and operating Olympic Physicians. In 2013 she moved into the role of Director of Quality, Safety and Regulatory Compliance at Mason Health – overseeing Employee Health and Infection Control. Pam spent many years serving on the Rural Health Clinic Association of Washington and partners with Department of Health to help rural health clinics learn and grow on their journey towards improvement.
David Sewell is currently working for MultiCare Deaconess Hospital in Spokane Washington as the Hospital’s EMS Liaison. In his role as the EMS Liaison, David collaborates with local and regional EMS agencies on patient care issues, facilitates educational opportunities, and encourages rapid conflict resolution when needed. He incorporates MultiCare’s core values of respect, integrity, stewardship, excellence, collaboration, and kindness in his work. David has a passion for EMS pre-hospital care and how it integrates and transitions into hospital inpatient care. David’s philosophy is that great EMS pre-hospital patient care and interfacility transfer patient care are the starting points of the continuum of positive patient outcomes and experiences. David’s professional background began with EMS as an EMT and progressed into a twenty-eight-year career as a Flight Nurse in Eastern Washington. The last 3 years of his flight career included the role of the Chief Flight Nurse. In 2017 he became the MultiCare Deaconess EMS Liaison. The role has provided David with the opportunity to develop EMS relationships through empowering EMS pre-hospital care. An example of empowering EMS pre-hospital care is the implementation of direct transport to the CT scanner for field activated acute strokes patients. EMS makes the decision in the field through the utilization of specific criteria. A stroke alert activates the hospital team to prepare for direct patient transport to the CT scanner saving valuable time and brain. David serves as a member for the Spokane County EMS Council, East Region EMS Trauma Care Council as well as the Providence/INHS Education Advisory Committee. David has a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Washington State University.
Brock joined NRHA in 2008. He is NRHAs Chief Operating Officer. He was a rural hospital administrator for more than 21 years and has served on the board of the National Rural Health Association and the regional policy board of the American Hospital Association. Brock specializes in rural health system development that encompasses population health and the varied payment programs moving rural providers into value based purchasing models. He’s a member of the National Quality Forum’s Measures Application Partnership (MAP) Hospital and Rural Health Workgroup and serves on the Board of Directors of Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC). Brock is the 2015 recipient of the Calico Quality Leadership Award of the National Rural Health Resource Center and received the American Society of Healthcare Pharmacists (ASHP) Board of Directors’ Award of Honor for 2018. Brock earned a master of public health degree in health administration from the University of Oklahoma and is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Ashlen Strong joined the Washington State Hospital Association in August 2021 as Senior Director, Government Affairs. At WSHA, Ashlen has worked primarily on hospital staffing and budget issues impacting Washington’s hospitals. She previously served as a Senior Consultant with Health Management Associates, a nationwide health care policy and management consulting firm, where she provided expert advice to corporate and association clients on issues surrounding publicly funded health care programs. Prior to that, she developed and managed the government affairs and communications program for a collaborative of health plans, hospitals, and behavioral health organizations serving Medicaid members in Portland, Oregon. Before moving home to the Pacific Northwest, she managed state-level policy programs for several national health care associations in Washington, DC. Ashlen received her law degree and master’s in public health from The George Washington University in Washington, DC and her undergraduate degree from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.
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.
John Supplitt is senior director of Rural Health Services for the American Hospital Association. Since 1993 he has worked with and on behalf of the AHA’s 1860 rural hospital members including 1000 CAH to identify, develop, and advance their unique health care interests, issues, and perspectives. Mr. Supplitt manages the member services, leadership council, and communications including its Web site, newsletters, and technical advisories. He has served on several national panels and advisory groups for development of national rural health policy, program development and demonstrations, and grant review and evaluation. Mr. Supplitt has an MPA from New York University specializing in health planning and policy analysis and an MBA from Loyola University, Chicago. His B.S. is from Georgetown University, Washington, DC.
Hayley Thompson has resided in Skagit County since 2010 and lives in the Mount Vernon area with her 2 kids and husband. She was elected into office as the Skagit County Coroner in November 2016 and was re-elected in 2018 for a 4 year term. She is a board-certified medicolegal death investigator with over 15 years of death investigation experience and a background in Forensic Anthropology. She has worked under medical examiners in Snohomish County and in Arizona’s largest county in Phoenix prior to becoming the Skagit County Coroner. She is currently the president and legislative chair for the Washington Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners as well as an active member of the International Association for Coroners and Medical Examiners. Her responsibility as Coroner encompasses more than just a comprehensive death investigation, and includes community education, outreach, and cooperation with local and state agencies in preventing avoidable deaths.
Ms. Towle has more than 20 years of experience in telehealth. With a master’s degrees in Nursing and in International Educational Administration, she established the UCSF International Medical Services in 1996, building clinical and educational telehealth programs reaching Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. From 2001 until 2015, she served as the founding Director for Telehealth Services at the University of Washington, creating a new rural telehealth network, delivering programs and services across Washington and beyond. Since 2016, she has focused on developing innovative telepsychiatry services and telebehavioral health training at the UW Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and now at Harborview’s Behavioral Health Institute. She is a founding Board member and former Board Chair for the Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center, as well as a board member of the Washington State Telehealth Collaborative.
Gregg VandeKieft is Executive Medical Director, Palliative Practice Group and Tele-PC, for the Providence Institute for Human Caring, supporting palliative care programs across the seven western states Providence serves. He currently provides inpatient palliative care consults at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, WA, and Providence Centralia Hospital. He provides tele-palliative care consults to critical access hospitals in rural Washington, and previously served as a hospice medical director and cared for patients in an outpatient palliative care clinic. Prior to transitioning his clinical practice exclusively to hospice and palliative medicine, he practice full-spectrum family medicine for 20 years. Dr. VandeKieft is a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Washington, where he previously co-directed the Palliative Care Module of the Chronic Care Clerkship. He completed the University of Washington’s Certificate Program in Health Care Ethics, Michigan State University’s master’s program in Health and Humanities, and Harvard Medical School’s Program in Palliative Care Education and Practice. He received the 2018 Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Award in the Senior Physician category and the 2017 Stuart J. Farber Award for Excellence in Hospice and Palliative Care from the Washington State Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
Combining over 25 years of clinical and operational experience, Jennifer Wharton serves as the Chief Ambulatory and Medical Group Officer at Jefferson Healthcare. Her career has focused on combining proven organizational performance improvement techniques with an innovative overlay – optimizing the present state while continuously looking to implement innovative solutions. She leads strategy and business development, operational and financial effectiveness, and care transformation for Jefferson Healthcare’s Medical Group. Jennifer’s academic work includes a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from The Ohio State University and a Master of Healthcare Leadership degree from Brown University.
Dave Windom is the Director of Mason County Community Services. He manages the department’s communications, operations, programs, and supports the new strategic direction across building, planning, permitting and public health. He has an MS in Health Science from Trident University and is a registered on-site septic system inspector. Dave is also a retired Command Sergeant Major and graduate of the US Sergeants Major Academy. Prior to joining Mason County, he was the administrator of the Northeast Tri-county Health District. Dave has served as president of the Washington State Association of Local Public Health Officials, chair of the WSALPHO Executive Leadership Committee, the past chair of WSALPHO, and the FPHS Steering Committee. David is the incoming president of the Washington Rural Health Association. A lifelong Rotarian, Dave lives in Shelton with his wife Brenda who owns Cedars Bodywork and Massage.
Dr. Phillip Hawley is the Primary Care Behavioral Health Director for the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic (YVFWC). Phillip is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and has worked in primary care for the past 6 years. Phillip manages the Primary Care Behavioral Health program, consisting of 17 BHCs across Washington and Oregon who provide behavioral health service within the PCBH model of integration. Phillip’s role as director includes: Site visits and ongoing support of BHC within the organization, reporting for internal and external stakeholders, supervision for the BHC post-doctoral residents, hiring/ onboarding and training of newly hired BHCs, coordination with regional healthcare and behavioral health organizations through sub-committees and workgroups, direct patient care through same day consultation, and providing in-service trainings to assess mental health concerns to staff and the community. Phillip is focused on assisting in complete health care for patients. Phillip and his wife reside in Naches, WA.
Stephanie Hoffman, PhD, CFSP, CPM is the lead trainer and owner of Family Support Partners & Training, LLC in Idaho. Stephanie has over 20 years of experience working in a variety of child-serving systems that include children’s mental health, juvenile corrections and education, as well as substance use disorder prevention/intervention, policy-making in behavioral health and teaching within higher education. She has lived experience raising a child with mental health concerns, as well as inspiring other caregivers to do the same with hope and encouragement. She holds a master’s degree in Special Education: Exceptional Children and Social Restoration, and a PhD in Adult Education and Organizational Development. Stephanie is a Certified Family Support Partner and a Certified Public Manager.
Suzanne Swadener, RN, BSN, MHA, is a nurse and Senior Health Policy Analyst responsible for workforce issues at the Washington State Health Care Authority. She received her BSN (summa cum laude) from Arizona State University and MHA from the University of Washington with a focus in health policy. Suzanne completed pre-doctoral studies at the University of Washington. Suzanne is a proud RN with 15 years of clinical service delivery and management experience in NICU and OB care. Over the 20+ years after completing her MHA, she combined her nursing background and clinical operations and management experience, with health care policy and health plan/purchaser expertise to build and manage innovative clinical programs in public and private health plan purchaser settings. Suzanne appreciates the opportunity to partner with workforce and enhance workforce development innovations with health industry and policy partners to support optimizing nursing leadership and implementation in the evolving health system. Suzanne spent the last 4 years developing the foundation for Health Care Authority’s engagement and leadership in public-private workforce development. The work began with the Medicaid Transformation Project 1115 waiver. She expanded this work to elevate relationships with interagency partners, including the Health Workforce Council, State Board of Community and Technical Colleges and its Allied Health Center for Excellence, and built and engaged new partnerships with the University of Washington (UW) and Washington State University. Suzanne developed an emphasis on workforce strategy and coordination for HCA. This includes implementing nursing education and innovation workforce projects. One key project is participation with the UW- Premera Rural Health Nursing Initiative project to increase rural DNP/ARNP clinical placements and implementing of a ARNP residency program. She is co-leader for a Community Heath Nursing workgroup supporting the WA Nursing Care Quality Improvement Commission’s long-range strategic planning.
Dr. Ellis is an Assistant Medical Director at Bloodworks Northwest. She primarily services the Bloodworks Northwest’s Immunohematology Reference Laboratory, Bloodworks Northwest’s Red Cell Genomics Laboratory and Swedish Hospitals’ Transfusion Services Laboratories. She also provides medical oversight for therapeutic apheresis procedures and is very active in post-graduate medical education.