Care Delivery of the Future: The Role of the Health Care Workforce

Opening Keynote

PATRICIA (POLLY) PITTMAN is Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University. She is Co-Director of the GW Health Workforce Institute and Director of the HRSA supported GW Health Workforce Research Center. A medical anthropologist by training, her current research focuses on the health workforce in the context of delivery system changes. Professor Pittman’s work has been supported by HRSA, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), AHRQ, the McArthur Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the California Healthcare Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund. She teaches Advanced Health Policy Analysis and Health Workforce Policy.

Panel #1: Delivery System Reform and Its Effect on the Health Care Workforce

ANN GREINER serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC). In this role, she is responsible for leading the overall organizational strategy, managing a high-functioning internal team, and fostering multi-stakeholder strategic partnerships. At a critical time in U.S. health policy, Ann directs PCPCC’s policy agenda, working across a diverse stakeholder group of more than 70 executive member organizations to advance an effective and efficient health care system built on the strong foundation of primary care and the patient-centered medical home (PCMH). Prior to leading PCPCC, she served as Vice President of Public Affairs for the National Quality Forum where she increased the visibility and influence of NQF on Capitol Hill, served as Deputy Director at the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academies of Medicine, and held leadership positions at NCQA and the American Board of Internal Medicine. Ann has a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

TOM JENIKE is a family physician and serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Human Experience Officer for Novant Health. Additionally he is a member of the NHmg Executive Team. Dr. Jenike received his BA from the University of Colorado, Boulder and his medical degree from The Ohio State University. He is a Diplomat of the American Academy of Family Physicians and an associate professor at The University of North Carolina College of Medicine. Tom is married with two teenage children. He enjoys reading, exercising and traveling. When possible you will find him cheering on the kids’ sports teams, but his favorite place to be is on the golf course with his son Jake and daughter Sophie.

ROBERT MCNELLIS joined Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in 2012 as the Senior Advisor for Primary Care in the Center for Evidence and Practice Improvement. His focus is on the dissemination and implementation of interventions to improve the delivery of primary care. He is the lead program official for implementation of AHRQ’s EvidenceNOW initiative. From 2011 to 2012 he was a Visiting Senior Scholar at AHRQ serving as a medical officer supporting the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Previously, McNellis spent 12 years at the American Academy of Physician Assistants as Vice President for Science and Public Health. He completed a fellowship in primary health care policy in 2003. From 1992-2000 McNellis was on faculty at the George Washington University (GW) Physician Assistant Program. While at GW he served as director of research, academic coordinator and acting director. McNellis graduated from GW’s PA program and worked as a PA in a variety of clinical and research settings.


JULIE ROVNER is the Robin Toner Distinguished Fellow, is Chief Washington Correspondent. She joined KHN after 16 years as health policy correspondent for NPR, where she helped lead the network’s coverage of the passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. A noted expert on health policy issues, Julie is the author of the critically praised reference book Health Care Politics and Policy A-Z, now in its third edition. In 2005, she was awarded the National Press Foundation’s Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting of Congress. Prior to NPR, Julie covered health policy for National Journal’s Congress Daily and for Congressional Quarterly, among other organizations.

Panel #2: The Behavioral Health Workforce

PETER MARAMALDI is Professor and Director of the Ph.D. Program at the Simmons College School of Social Work; Adjunct Professor at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Social and Behavioral Sciences; Instructor at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine in Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology. His work on national research teams, as a social and behavioral scientist, has had consistent NIH and foundation funding for research in evidenced-based health promotion, geriatrics, behavioral health, and interprofessional collaboration. Dr. Maramaldi is a leader in the social work profession, serving on national boards, committees and special work groups. He has received awards for mentoring and promoting the careers of women and new faculty. Prior to his academic career he worked in community-based public health social work, and non-profit management in New York City providing services to culturally and economically diverse populations. He received MSSW, MPH, MPhil, and PhD degrees from Columbia University.

ANDREW SPERLING is the Director of Federal Legislative Advocacy for NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness.  In this position, he leads NAMI’s legislative advocacy initiatives in Congress and before federal agencies. Mr. Sperling works on issues affecting the mental health community with a focus on improving the lives of people with severe mental illnesses. Since 1994, Mr. Sperling has also served as Co-Chair of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) Housing Task Force. Prior to joining NAMI, Mr. Sperling held the position of deputy director of government relations for the National Community Mental Healthcare Council and was a legislative assistant for U.S. Representative Dick Swett (D-NH). Mr. Sperling earned his BA from Tulane University.  After graduating from Tulane, Sperling attended George Washington University where he received a Masters of Arts, and in 1992, he earned a law degree from the Franklin Pierce Law Center.

MOHINI VENKATESH leads the National Council’s efforts to actualize new partnerships that support community behavioral health. During her tenure at the National Council, Ms. Venkatesh has led some of the industry’s strongest practice improvement and leadership programs designed to transform clinical and business strategies to meet ever-changing needs, including the Executive Leadership Program, Advancing Standards of Care for People with Bipolar Disorder, and the National Behavioral Health Network for Tobacco & Cancer Control. Ms. Venkatesh conducts analysis on the most pressing healthcare issues, and provides technical assistance to National Council members and state and regional associations across the country around a range of issues, including financing and sustainability, quantitative and qualitative collection and analysis of data, quality improvement, and strategic business planning. Ms. Venkatesh particularly champions mid-level and rising-star leaders as the future of behavioral health, and is the catalyst behind national programs such as the Middle Management Academy, Young Leaders Program, and Addressing Health Disparities Leadership Program. Prior to joining the Council, Ms. Venkatesh worked in the field in a hospital-based psychiatric unit, several social service non-profit organizations, and a state association advocating for community behavioral services. Ms. Venkatesh serves on the board for a community behavioral health organization in Washington, D.C. and received a Master’s in Public Health from Yale University and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.


SARAH DASH is president and CEO of the Alliance for Health Policy. Previously, Ms. Dash was a member of the research faculty at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute in the Center on Health Insurance Reforms and served as a senior health policy aide on Capitol Hill. She received her master’s degree in public health from Yale University and a bachelor of science from MIT.

Using ECHO for Workforce Expansion: Scaling Up to Address the Opioid Epidemic

MIRIAM KOMAROMY is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Associate Director of the ECHO Institute (, which is a program based at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center that is aimed at expanding access to treatment for traditionally underserved populations. She is Director for ECHO’s behavioral health initiatives, which engage and support primary care teams in treating addiction and mental health disorders. Through this program she has trained more than 500 physicians to provide buprenorphine treatment for opioid use disorder, and directs a program that offers Opioid ECHO programs from 5 different hubs across the US. She is board certified in Addiction Medicine and serves on the national Board of Directors of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. She practices addiction medicine in a primary care outpatient setting and has served as medical director for the NM State Addiction Treatment Hospital. She lectures nationally on clinical and health policy issues related to integration of addiction treatment into the primary care setting, and on the use of the ECHO model to train primary care providers to treat common, complex diseases such as mental health and substance use disorders.

Panel #3: Caring for an Aging Population

THOMAS EDES is director of Geriatrics and Extended Care for Clinical Operations for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He has national responsibility for operations and management of VA’s spectrum of services, providing care to our nation’s veterans with complex, chronic disabling diseases in all settings, including geriatric clinics, adult day health care, home-based primary care, purchased skilled home care, veteran-directed home care, homemaker/home health aide, respite care, dementia care, and various residential care settings, among others. Under his leadership since 2000, the number of veterans receiving home-based primary care has tripled, palliative care has become an established program in every VA medical center, and medical foster home care has grown from a pilot to a national program in 33 states. Prior to taking this position at VA Headquarters, he was chief of geriatrics and extended care at the Harry S. Truman Memorial VA Medical Center and associate professor of medicine at the University of Missouri in Columbia. There he was instrumental in developing geriatric evaluation and management inpatient and outpatient programs, subacute care and hospice units, a geriatric fellowship program, and the advanced disease planning initiative. He was medical director of the VA Nursing Home Care Unit and the Home-Based Primary Care program. Dr. Edes served as associate director of the 1995 White House Conference on Aging Office, and served for the secretary on the Policy Committee for the 2005 White House Conference on Aging. He was instrumental in the VA End of Life Care initiative, and was a project manager for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement MediCaring collaborative on improving care for persons with advanced chronic disease. Dr. Edes received his MD degree and MS degree in nutrition from the University of Illinois in 1981. He holds board certification in internal medicine and in geriatric medicine, and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Nutrition. In 2010, Dr. Edes was elected as president of the American Academy of Home Care Physicians.

CLARE LUZ, Ph.D., Family Medicine, Michigan State University is a gerontologist with 40 years of experience in the field of aging; first as a social worker and consultant in long-term care settings then as a health services researcher. The majority of her research has been related to workforce development, particularly labor conditions and training of direct care workers. Other federally and state funded projects have focused on falls, delirium at end-of-life, and the intersection of health, creativity and the arts. She is most interested in community-based, policy and practice-relevant research that leads to system changes that can feasibly be applied in real-life settings. Her current project, funded by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, aims to build a sustainable infrastructure in MI for developing and supporting the personal care workforce. Clare served on the MI Governor’s Long Term Supports and Services Commission until it ended in 2015 and the National Quality Forum’s Home and Community Based Care Committee. She serves on the Michigan Society of Gerontology board, as past president and current treasurer.

JOANNE LYNN, MD, MA, MS is the director of the Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness at the Altarum Institute. One of the first hospice physicians in the U.S., Dr. Lynn is author of more than 250 articles and a dozen books on palliative and end-of-life care. She is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine, master in the American College of Physicians, fellow of both the America Geriatrics Society and Hastings Center, where she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in Ethics and Life Sciences, and faculty member of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Previously a medical officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, she helped craft 2010-2011 CMS reforms relating to care transitions, post-hospital, long-term care, home hospice and community settings. Dr. Lynn received an M.S. in evaluative clinical sciences from Dartmouth College, M.A. in philosophy and social policy from George Washington University and M.D. at Boston University.


MARCUS ESCOBEDO is a Senior Program Officer and Communications Director at The John A. Hartford Foundation.  His grants portfolio includes projects focused on improving care of older adults in the acute care setting and through policy change and communications activities. Additionally, he oversees grants in the Foundation’s legacy medical education portfolio. Mr. Escobedo currently serves as a board member of Hispanics in Philanthropy, a national non-profit organization dedicated to increasing philanthropic resources to Latino communities.  He served as a member of the Community Advisory Board of the Geriatric Emergency Department Innovations through Workforce, Informatics and Structural Enhancements (GEDI-WISE) project at Mount Sinai Medical Center.  He has previously served on the board of One Stop Senior Services in the upper west side of Manhattan and on the Regional Health Equity Council as part of the Office of Minority Health’s National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (Region II). Mr. Escobedo formerly worked at the Women’s Foundation of California, a statewide community-based foundation that invests in women’s and girls’ organizations focused on health, economic development, safety, and leadership. He was also the Resource Development and Communications Coordinator for Communities in Schools of Georgia, part of a nationwide network of nonprofits connecting community resources to local k-12 schools. Mr. Escobedo taught elementary school in Oakland, California through the Teach for America program.  He received bachelor’s degrees in sociology and communications from the University of Texas at Austin and he earned his master’s of public administration in public and nonprofit management and policy at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service.