Keynote Speakers

CareForum 2018 featured four nationally recognized keynote speakers sharing their expertise and thought leadership to help your organization succeed and thrive.

Marilyn Tavenner
Former President and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)
and Former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

Looking Forward to Future Changes in Health and Human Services and Anticipating What’s Next for the Industry
A discussion with Marilyn Tavenner, hosted by Mediware CEO Bill Miller, featuring audience Q&A.

Agencies throughout the U.S. Department Health & Human Services continue to signal their increasing emphasis on delivering quality care. Most notably, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are focusing on new value-based payment models. The trajectory of the health and human services industry affects the vital care you provide, and you need perspective to ensure your agency’s success for years to come. Marilyn Tavenner — former President and CEO of AHIP and Administrator of CMS — will give you that perspective at CareForum 2018. Join Marilyn for a forward-looking armchair discussion with audience Q&A, hosted by Mediware CEO Bill Miller. Marilyn will share her thoughts on what’s next for Medicare and Medicaid; how the 2018 political landscape in Washington will shape the industry; and how we can better connect community services and health care to help more people in need.

David Rendall
Keynote Speaker & Executive Coach

Oppositioning: One Surprising Strategy for Innovation and Differentiation
What can tiny houses, Spartan races, knuckleball pitchers, armless archers, Snapchat, unibrows, and Minecraft teach us about innovation and differentiation? We all know that innovation and differentiation are essential, but developing and implementing truly unique ideas seems very difficult, and most fail to become more creative and distinctive. The solution is surprisingly simple. A singular method for finding unconventional ideas that will dramatically improve your ability to stand out and produce an endless supply of original breakthroughs. You’ll go from unconventional to unforgettable to unstoppable. 

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.


Kathie Belsky
Hospice Clinical Project Lead
OASIS Answers, 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 Murphy
Director Coding Operations
Fazzi Associates
Kelly Murphy-Miller is the Director of Coding Operations at Fazzi Associates and is the Operational leader for their coding department. Kelly is the programming creator of the Coding Dashboard, a QuickBase application that controls the workflow for all coding Clients. Kelly serves on several company committees to drive growth and change at Fazzi, with a focus on security, innovation and operational efficiency.

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.

Kendel Joyce
Training Specialist
Kinnser Software

Kerry Staggs
Training Specialist
Kinnser Software
Kerry is a licensed RN with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He has been involved in Home Health since 1996, starting out as a field nurse and Team Leader for an agency managing patients in rural South Texas. His daily route often took him up to 300 miles to complete from start to finish and possessing a good working knowledge of Spanish in South Texas proved to be very helpful. He served in numerous positions in Home Health since then including DON and QA/Compliance consultant.
Kerry was introduced to Kinnser in 2007 after responding to a call one day from a Kinnser agency in dire need of help after a tough survey. It was then that he learned firsthand the ease at which the Kinnser software system could be learned and implemented and gave great credit to Kinnser in helping to bring this agency back into compliance. He has since led one agency through a complete transition from paper to Kinnser as a DON and consulted with several others in the transition process and implementing the Kinnser program.
Kerry started doing occasional Kinnser trainings in Feb 2009 and as Kinnser continued to grow, he found himself working for Kinnser fulltime training new agencies to this day………a period of 9+ years.
Kerry is a proud father to four children and 6 grandchildren. Two of his children, a son and a daughter, grew up to be MDs specializing in Physical Medicine and Rehab and are very knowledgeable in the benefits of Home Health. Another son works at Kinnser on the Account Executive side while the oldest son works in logistics for one of the largest grocery chains in the nation.
When Kerry is not on the road doing trainings or conducting online webinars, you’ll likely find him in, or near his horse barn where he shares a passion for performance Quarter Horses with his oldest son. They both compete in nationally sanctioned Ranch Sorting events when time and schedules permit

Kimberly Commito
Vice President Product Management
Kimberly Commito is the Vice President of Product Management for the Homecare Solutions Group of Mediware Information Systems. She is responsible for researching industry regulations and trends, monitoring customer requirements, driving the continued development of the various solution offerings of the Homecare Solutions Group and ensuring that the Mediware HME, Home Infusion, Specialty Pharmacy and Home Health software products are enhanced to support customers in a way that meets or exceeds their needs.
Her collective homecare experience over the last 25 years, has provided Kimberly opportunities to present at Medtrade, NHIA and various Customer Conferences, as well as be published in Infusion Magazine, HME Business News, Homecare Magazine and other industry related publications, regarding business operations and process related topics.
Kimberly graduated from Loyola University, Chicago, with a B.S. in Psychology and has a total of over 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry.

Kyle Cates
Tech Support
Kyle started at Kinnser Software as a Technical Support rep in 2015. During his time in the department he became heavily involved with new hire training, including internal training curriculum development, building knowledge around all processes and functionality of software offerings. He also accepted a Tech Support Lead position and worked to coach and guide the team during customer interactions, with a focus on assisting with billing and financial questions. Kyle recently accepted a position on the Curriculum Development team, bringing his extensive product knowledge to the department to create and further develop customer facing training materials.

Lauren Reichert
UX Designer
Lauren is a user experience designer for Mediware specializing in visual design and design systems. Her past work has included B2B Saas Enterprise solutions for both Desktop and Mobile applications.

Layne Redman
SPRx Implementation Specialist- Home Care Solutions division
In her role, Layne oversees new customer software conversions and implementations, on-going customer training, and customer process improvement in the use of CPR+ and CareTend. Prior to joining Mediware, Layne held positions with a large specialty pharmacy, including the position of Reimbursement Supervisor. With over 18 years of experience in specialty pharmacy reimbursement, operations, and technology, Layne has extensive knowledge of the range of clinical management and business needs of specialty pharmacies and best practices in specialty pharmacies’ use of technology.

Linda Krulish
OASIS Answers, 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.

Linda Dillard
Training Specialist
Kinnser Software
Linda comes to Kinnser Software by way of recruitment from hospice 5 years ago and healthcare industry experience of over 14 years. As a trainer for several products within the Kinnser portfolio, Linda travels extensively helping customers to navigate the challenges of transitioning from their current EMR system to Kinnser. Linda holds a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Regent University, two bachelor’s degrees, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Psychology with a concentration in Abnormal Human Behavior.

Linda Toon
Implementation Specialist
Linda Toon is an Implementation Specialist at Mediware. Prior to working at Mediware, she owned a medical billing company for services to the private practice community. She is formerly certified with multiple software vendors, having specialized in Pulmonology, Podiatry, Rehabilitation and Chiropractic Care. Linda received her medical billing and coding certification from American Academy of Professional Coders and attended Arizona State University.

Linda Murphy
Concierge Home Care

Lynne Briggs
Vice President and CIO
Lynne Briggs is the Vice President and CIO for Versiti – a unique integration of BloodCenter of Wisconsin, Heartland Blood Center in Illinois, Michigan Blood, and Indiana Blood. Besides being a large provider of blood products to its hospitals and health systems, Versiti runs one of the foremost blood research institutes in the world, a world recognized esoteric patient diagnostic reference laboratory, and provides extensive clinical services and translational research in transfusion medicine.
Lynne holds an undergraduate degree in Information Systems and Economics from the University of Minnesota, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin. She has also completed graduate coursework in labor and industrial relations from the University of Illinois.
Prior to joining the blood industry, Lynne has held director and executive level IT positions in supply chain software, behavior health, retail and defense systems. While at Versiti, Lynne has led large and innovative systems, including an industry definition and pilot of the U.S. blood industry’s first FDA-approved RFID solution.
Lynne is the prior chair of the AABB IS Committee, and the ISBT RFID Task Force, and is a current member of the AABB IS and ISBT IT Executive committees. Lynne also serves as a board member for Ascension Health-Wisconsin, and is active with the American Heart Association, and the United Way’s IT/CIO Forum.

Marcia Levetown
HealthCare Communication Associates
Dr. Marcia Levetown has been a palliative care innovator and ardent advocate for 25 years. Originally a pediatric palliative care physician, she has worked with patients of all ages since 1996 in inpatient palliative care and home hospice settings. She has edited 2 books, contributed chapters to nursing, ethics and medicine textbooks, and received her Masters in Medical Management in 2017. Dr. Levetown is board certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Pediatrics and is a Certified Hospice Medical Director. Her passion is empathic and honest communication and medical ethics. She loves to collaborate with interested and challenging learners and looks forward to CareForum2018!

Marian Essey
Senior Director of Quality and Innovation
OASIS Answers, 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.

Mark Nowlen
Solutions Engineer
Kinnser Software
Prior to his tenure in healthcare, he was the Vice President and General Manager for a multi-store retail company.
Mark has more than 18 years of experience in medical billing and management pertaining to Home Health Services, Durable Medical Equipment, and Physician Practice Management. From 2005 to 2008, as a Billing Manager for a Home Health Agency, he utilized his skills on Kinnser Software for 3 years as a Kinnser Agency Manager User.
Mark Nowlen has been with Kinnser Software since 2008. He has been a leader in Customer Service; has been involved in thousands of Agency trainings as a Training Specialist; has been invaluable to the innovative evolution of Kinnser Software as a Sr. Product Specialist; and currently advocates for potential and current clients as a Sr. Solution Engineer.

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.

Melanie Duerr
Chief Clinical Officer Outsourced Services
Fazzi Associates
Melanie is Chief Clinical Executive for Outsourced Services for Fazzi Associates. A long-time leader in the industry, Melanie is one of the nation’s foremost clinical experts in home health and hospice. Prior to joining Fazzi and building their Coding Operations, she previously served as a Clinician, Clinical Director, Administrator, Vice President of Operations, and Director of Financial and Clinical Operations. She has been a speaker in over 30 states on strategies for OASIS accuracy and success at the clinician practice level. As Chief Clinical Executive, “Mel” works closely with our outsourced services customers to improve outcomes, reimbursement, productivity and maximize the return on investment from our partnership.