Keynote Speakers

CareForum 2018 will feature three nationally recognized keynote speakers sharing their expertise and thought leadership to help your organization succeed and thrive. Stay tuned for upcoming keynote announcements!
Ann Oliva

Senior Policy Advisor for Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH)
former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Needs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Data with Purpose: Connecting Health and Social Issues to Help Communities Thrive
Health and social issues are deeply interconnected. Human services professionals know that a person’s presenting condition — whether it’s homelessness, addiction, or a health issue — is rarely a singular need with a singular solution. To find solutions that help individuals thrive, we need system-level thinking and planning, as well as innovation at every level of service. This kind of collaboration at scale requires intelligent, actionable data gathered from multiple sources. In this session, we will explore creative, multidisciplinary approaches to problem solving that can improve care across virtually any service setting.


Jake Poore
President and Chief Experience Officer of Integrated Loyalty Systems

Creating Patient Loyalty by Providing Exceptional Patient Experiences
Patients today say they want to be treated as individuals and not just identified by their acuity or clinical ID number. They tell us that exceptional experiences occur when we consistently meet their expectations on what we provide (the clinical care side) while exceeding their expectations on how we provide it (the service side). In the highly competitive health care marketplace, patient experience is a top driver of patient loyalty and marketshare.


Jonathan Wofford
General Manager - Cell Therapy Technologies
Mediware Information Systems
Bio coming soon!

Joseph Morse
Therigy, LLC
Joseph Morse co-founded Therigy in 2006 and, as Chief Executive Officer, he is responsible for stewarding the company’s overall vision, ensuring the Therigy team delivers exceptional service to its specialty pharmacy clients. Joe is also responsible for Therigy’s Pharmacy Consulting practice.

Joe is a respected thought leader in the specialty pharmacy field. Prior to founding Therigy, he held the position of Vice President of Business and Corporate Development at the Aetna Specialty Pharmacy, which was a joint venture between Priority Healthcare and Aetna. He led that company’s pioneering efforts in the conceptual development, start-up, and initial market success of the Aetna Specialty Pharmacy.

Previously, he served as Vice President of Business and Corporate Development with Priority Healthcare, where he was responsible for health plan business relationships. Joe began his career at Accenture, the world’s largest management and technology consulting firm, where he was a Manager in the Health Services Practice.

Joe is a member of the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy's Board of Directors. He also serves on the Chapter Board of Trustees for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Editorial Advisory Board of the Pharmacy Times Health-System Edition. Joe received a BA in Economics from the University of Florida.

Kathie Belsky, RN, BSN
Clinical Consultant
OASIS Answer, Inc.
Kathleen “Kathie” is a registered nurse with 33 years of experience; the last 23 years in hospice and home health. She has extensive hospice clinical, quality and leadership expertise. Kathie has been instrumental in developing, implementing, and improving clinical and operational processes for multiple community-based hospices. Her expertise includes providing guidance for hospice regulatory requirements, including licensure and accreditation. She is known as a champion for advancing quality of care for hospice patients and families and has been a leader in hospice initiatives within her local community, as well as at the state and national level. Kathie provides clinical and content expertise and management support to lead OAI'S CMS Hospice Quality Reporting Contract and the HIS/HQRP Help Desk. Kathie is Hospice Clinical Project Lead with OASIS Answers, Inc.

Keith Ewell
Medicaid Product Manager
Keith Ewell has more than 22 years of experience bridging the communication gap between human services and information technology professionals, leading the design and development of solutions for human service agencies and managing complex projects. A licensed clinical psychologist and one of the founders of Harmony Information Systems, Dr. Ewell brings an unusual blend of clinical, technical, and management expertise to his role as vice president of product management for Mediware Human and Social Services. He joined the Mediware team in 2014 when the company acquired Harmony.

Kelly S. Grahovac
Senior Consultant
The van Halem Group
Kelly Grahovac serves as a Senior Consultant for The van Halem Group where she focuses on audits, appeals, education and training across multiple lines of business and various specialties. Kelly is a known lecturer in the DME industry, speaking at national conferences, state associations, and for private events. Kelly has nearly 10 years of experience at one of the nation’s leading Medicare contractors where she worked for the DMERC, QIC, and A/B MAC. She has since brought this knowledge and experience over to The van Halem Group, where she has been working since 2013 to assist providers as they navigate the ever changing healthcare payor landscape.

Linda Krulish, PT, MHS, COS-C
OASIS Answer, Inc.
Linda is a physical therapist with a Masters in Health Sciences. She has worked in the home health industry since 1988, is a nationally recognized expert on OASIS, the Hospice Item Set and quality measurement and improvement. She also serves the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and its contractors, assisting in home health and hospice quality measures development, data set refinement, and maintenance and updating of Guidance Manuals and other key provider education resources for the Hospice Item Set and OASIS. She provides oversight and subject matter expertise to manage contracts for CMS’s Home Health Quality Reporting Program, CMS’s Hospice Quality Reporting Program, and the CMS Home Health Value Based Purchasing Technical Assistance Contract. She served as the President and a Founding Member of the OASIS Certificate and Competency Board (OCCB), and continues to oversee the COS-C Exam as Chair of the Exam Review Task Force. Linda is President and Founder of OASIS Answers, Inc.

Marian Essey, RN, BSN, COS-C
Senior Director of Quality & Innovation
OASIS Answer, Inc.
Marian is a registered nurse with over 25 years of experience in home health, hospice, and community-based services. Marian served as the Director for the Home Health Quality Improvement Organization Support Center (QIOSC) for Pennsylvania's Quality Improvement Organization (QIO), and served as Director for the 2007 Home Health Quality Improvement National Campaign to reduce avoidable hospitalizations. As a recognized expert in developing and supporting quality improvement activities at the local, state and national levels, Marian has served on numerous CMS technical expert panels and quality improvement committees. She currently supports OAI’s Post Acute Care initiatives, including providing subject matter expertise to OAI’s CMS contract work and OAI’s provider quality initiatives. Marian holds the Certificate for OASIS Specialist-Clinical (COS-C) designation and serves as Senior Director of Quality and Innovation with OASIS Answers, Inc.

Max Wilcox
Manager, Implementations – Human and Social Services
Max joined the company in 2007 and has held several different positions in our Support and Services organizations. Max currently manages the LTSS Client Services team with responsibility for implementations and professional services for our SAMS, Harmony, and OmbudsManager product lines. Max has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Champlain College in Burlington, VT.

Melinda A. Gaboury, COS-C
Co-Founder and CEO
Healthcare Provider Solutions, Inc.

Melissa Couty, RN, BSN
Home Health Clinical Director
Home Health Strategic Management
Melissa Couty, RN, BSN, an innovative nurse consultant in the Home Health industry, is the Home Health Clinical Director for Home Health Strategic Management. Her decade of Home Health experience, 5 spent as the Director of Professional Services, has provided the expertise, insight and acumen about the rapidly changing home health industry. During her time as the Director of Professional Services, she accomplished a deficiency-free Joint Commission survey and a deficiency-free Department of Health and CMS survey. Melissa presents nationally on homecare industry changes and care models.

Michael Tonarely
Southwest Missouri Project Manager
Institute for Community Alliances
Michael Tonarely is ICA’s Southwest Missouri Project Manager. As such he leads ICA’s HMIS services in Southwest Missouri, providing user training along with technical and analytical support to agencies in the Springfield Continuum of Care, the Joplin Continuum of Care and regions 8 & 9 of the Balance of State Continuum of Care. Prior to joining ICA in 2015, Michael worked for nearly a decade providing direct homeless services. He felt it was time to explore other options and learn more about the “back end” of homeless services. Since joining, he has seen how good data quality is just as important to assisting those in need as quality case management.

Michelle Sherman, RPh, FASCP, FACA, AAHIVP
MichRx Pharmacist Consulting Services, Inc.
Michelle Sherman is the President and founder of MichRx Pharmacist Consulting Services. Michelle is an author, speaker, consultant and advisor and as a pharmacy entrepreneur and innovator, Michelle has developed a leading edge Medication Therapy Management program: Ubuntu Pharmacist Care Program saving lives and managing drug therapies and outcomes for people living with HIV.

Mike Lindsay
Senior Technical Specialist
ICF, International
Mike Lindsay has more than 17 years of experience in HMIS and CoC implementation and is currently leading HMIS and CoC TA engagements in many communities to assist in advancing their CoCs and HMIS implementations. His experience is focused on data quality and monitoring, practical and strategic uses of data warehousing techniques, and supporting and growing regional HMIS collaborations. Prior to joining ICF, Mr. Lindsay worked for the Allegheny County Department of Human Services (ACDHS) in Pittsburgh, PA, for 10 years. While at ACDHS, he was the HMIS and CoC Administrator, leading the agency to develop a comprehensive cross-system HMIS integration. He directed HMIS data analysis to inform system redesign, and guided program development and performance evaluation.

Nikki Rasmussen
Clinical Lead, Provider Relations
FOTO, Inc.
Nikki graduated from the Marquette University Program in Physical Therapy with a Bachelor of Science in 1995 and has practiced full-time in urban, suburban, and rural private practices and hospital settings over the last two-plus decades. Her most recent clinical work, from 2005 until 2016 when she moved to Knoxville to join the FOTO team, was on staff at a critical access hospital in western Wisconsin. There, she was a full-time clinician and the “FOTO Superuser,” involved in all aspects of using FOTO in the daily practice, including implementation, training, improvement, and documentation. She was also a member of the hospital rehab services department’s documentation and regulatory committee. Her interest in outcomes, specifically FOTO, was piqued at a McKenzie conference in 2008 and FOTO was implemented at the facility in 2011. She was directly involved in all steps of the implementation process of FOTO, beta testing upgrades and therapist training in EMR software, voice recognition software testing and training, and FOTO-EMR integration and clinical application. She presented twice as a clinician user of FOTO at two separate annual national FOTO Outcomes Conference events, on the processes and phases of implementation and leveraging of data. She has also spoken at local, regional, and state venues in Wisconsin, Georgia, and Tennessee, presenting on outcomes and pelvic floor. She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, the Tennessee Physical Therapy Association, the APTA Health Policy Section, and the McKenzie Institute USA.

Peggy Nemode
Clinical Consultant
Mediware Information Systems
Bio coming soon!

Peter Thomas, J.D.
Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville, PC
Peter Thomas is a principal at Powers, Pyles, Sutter & Verville, located in Washington, D.C. His firm focuses on health care, education, and the law of tax-exempt organizations. Mr. Thomas has a federal law and legislative practice in the areas of health care and disability policy, Medicare coverage and reimbursement policy, medical rehabilitation services, devices and research, and vocational and community services and supports. He has served on a number of non-profit boards including the Center for International Rehabilitation/ Physicians against Land Mines, the Foundation for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and the American Trauma Society (ATS). We welcome Peter Thomas to the stage.

Rev. Dr. Carla Cheatham
Carla Cheatham Consulting Group, LLC
Rev. Dr. Carla Cheatham began her career in social services, with an M.A. in psychology, certification in crisis counseling, and a Ph.D. in health and kinesiology. After earning her M.Div., she served as a hospice spiritual caregiver and bereavement coordinator for a decade. Carla is a consultant, trainer, speaker, author, and blogger through her own Carla Cheatham Consulting Group, LLC; the section leader for NHPCOs Spiritual Caregiver Section and serves on their Ethics Advisory Committee; an adjunct faculty member at the Seminary of the Southwest, and an affiliate associate professor for the University of Maryland’s new M.S. in palliative care.

Rick Gawenda
Gawenda Seminars & Consulting
RICK GAWENDA, PT, is a licensed physical therapist with 25 years of experience and currently serves as the founder and President of Gawenda Seminars & Consulting, Inc. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, in 1991. Mr. Gawenda is also Director of Finance for Kinetix Advanced Physical Therapy, a private practice with offices located in Southern California. He has provided valuable education and consulting to hospitals, private practices, skilled nursing facilities, and rehabilitation agencies in the areas of CPT coding, ICD-10 coding, billing, documentation compliance, revenue enhancement, practice management, and denial management as they relate to outpatient therapy services. Mr. Gawenda has presented nationally since 2004 and currently presents over 100 dates per year around the United States. Mr. Gawenda is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and Michigan Physical Therapy Association (MPTA). Mr. Gawenda is a Past President of the Section on Health Policy & Administration of the APTA as well as a Past President of the Michigan Association of Medical Rehabilitation Program Administrators. Mr. Gawenda is also the author of “The How-To Manual for Rehab Documentation: A Complete Guide to Increasing Reimbursement and Reducing Denials” and “Coding and Billing For Outpatient Rehab Made Easy: Proper Use of CPT Codes, ICD-9 Codes and Modifiers”.

Robert W. Markette Jr., CHC
Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman, P.C.
Robert W. Markette, Jr., CHC has focused his practice on representing home health, hospice, private duty, and DME providers in all aspects of their operations. With more than a decade of experience in working with the these industries, he has developed a reputation for understanding the operational, compliance and legal/regulatory issues facing homecare providers. Robert is recognized for his expertise in this space and is a frequent speaker on home health, hospice and private duty legal matters across the USA. He has presented to the American Health Lawyers Association, the National Association for Home Health and Hospice Care, DecisionHealth, and many other national speaking events and state trade association conferences. Robert is a member of the American Health Lawyers Association, the Health Care Compliance Association and the Indiana and Oklahoma State Bar Association. He serves on both the Board of Medical Specialty Coding and the Association for Home Care Compliance. 

Ron Lanton III, Esq.
Executive Director and Senior Council
Frier Levitt Government Affairs, LLC 
Ron Lanton has over 20 combined years of government affairs and legal experience. Most recently he worked for a pharmaceutical wholesaler, where he created and oversaw the company’s Government Affairs Department, served as their exclusive lobbyist and also advocated for the company’s various healthcare customers. He has also clerked for a federal magistrate, was appointed as a municipal commissioner and has consulted Wall Street firms on financial issues. He has been a featured industry speaker on issues such as pharmaceutical safety and healthcare cost containment. Mr. Lanton has a Juris Doctor from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Miami University of Ohio and is also a 40 under 40 award recipient.