2021 Speakers

Seema-Verma

Seema Verma

Former Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

A national health policy expert, Seema Verma was the longest-serving Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator in modern history. Confirmed by the Senate in 2017, she oversaw health insurance programs for over 140 million Americans; oversaw a budget of $1.3 trillion, almost a third of the federal budget; and over 6,000 employees. Verma was the architect of CMS’s strategic vision, implementing over sixteen tactical initiatives aimed at transforming the American healthcare system to lower costs, improve quality, and increase access. Seema Verma attended undergrad at the University of Maryland, graduating with a B.S. in Life Sciences and going on to pursue a master’s degree in Public Health (MPH) with a concentration in health policy and management from Johns Hopkins University. Modern Healthcare ranked her as the “Most Influential Person in Healthcare” in 2019 and one of the nation’s Top 25 Women Leaders.

Mark-Parkinson

Mark Parkinson

President & Chief Executive Officer, American Health Care Association (AHCA)

Mark Parkinson is the President and CEO of the American Health Care Association (AHCA), which represents over 14,000 skilled nursing facilities and assisted living centers. Parkinson served as the 45th Governor of the State of Kansas. Prior to that, he was the owner and operator of long term care facilities in Kansas and Missouri. Under Parkinson’s leadership, AHCA focuses on delivering policy solutions to the Hill and CMS, with a special emphasis on quality care. AHCA is now the largest association in long term care and is at record membership. His vision has brought Parkinson recognition. He has been named a Top Association CEO by CEO Update and a top lobbyist for seven consecutive years (2013-2019) by The Hill, a leading Capitol Hill newspaper. Parkinson also has the distinction of being selected as one of the “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” by Modern Healthcare in 2015. Most recently, Parkinson was named Top CEO in the small-employer category by The Washington Post 2019 Top Workplace survey.

Barry Freedman

Barry Freedman

Former CEO, Einstein Health Network

Barry Freedman has over 40 years of experience as a health systems executive including Chief Executive Officer at Einstein Health Network, an executive with Mount Sinai Medical Center, and now as a Health System Advisor with Real Time Medical Systems (RTMS). He applies a patient-centered approach to healthcare management in advising RTMS on the company’s integrated care advancements with health systems and post-acute networks to improve care coordination, enhance population health, reduce total cost of care, and achieve post-acute interoperability. He was Philadelphia’s longest-serving health system CEO at Einstein Health Network, and is renowned for his track record of proven leadership and innovative strategic approach to healthcare management. Freedman was recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as a “Top CEO to Know” and has served on the board of directors with leading healthcare organizations including the Hospital Association of Pennsylvania, Healthcare Institute, America’s Essential Hospitals, and Premier, Inc., among others.

Brian Fuller

Brian Fuller

CEO, Integrated Care Solutions

Brian Fuller is the CEO of Integrated Care Solutions (ICS) and has held a variety of senior executive positions throughout his 20+ year career in healthcare. His expertise is focused on value-based care, national consulting, and for-provider organizations who own and operate businesses across the post-acute, home, and community-based care continuum. Fuller is a strategist, skilled operator, and nationally-recognized thought leader on post-acute care in new healthcare reform environments. He is a leading expert on care integration and partnership development across the continuum, including evaluating and implementing new payment initiatives such as bundled payments and ACOs. He is one of a select few to have successfully led provider and convener organizations participating with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and served as an expert panel member to CMS. In 2017, he was named one of healthcare’s rising stars by Becker’s Hospital Review.

Christine Lipson

Christine Lipson

Director of Home Services, Castell Health

Christine Lipson is the Director of Home Services at Castell Health, the population health division of Intermountain Healthcare. Lipson is responsible for running the Intermountain Hospital-at-Home program and House Calls, a primary care in-the-home program. She joined Castell Health in September 2020. In 2013, Lipson joined Intermountain Healthcare as a pediatric nurse at Primary Children’s Hospital and has held roles in Clinical Informatics and Internal Management Consulting. Prior to her role as Home Services Director, she was the Executive Project Manager and Senior Advisor to Intermountain Healthcare’s Chief Operating Officer. She has led large scale, systemwide projects working collaboratively with hospital leadership and system teams. She began her career at GE Capital where she was recruited to their Management Development Program and ultimately worked in roles in finance as well as business development and sales. Lipson holds two bachelor’s degrees, BBA from the University of Michigan and BSN from the University of Utah, as well as Master of Healthcare Administration from Weber State University.

Cory Christensen

Cory Christensen

CEO, Plum Healthcare Group

Cory Christensen has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Plum Healthcare Group since September of 2017. Prior to joining Plum, Cory served in operations management at Ensign Group, where he managed several facilities and became licensed as a nursing home administrator. His experience in the industry began in 1994 when he was a member of the founding executive team at Covenant Care. He was responsible initially for launching their German operation, Casa Reha, which has since grown to 70 facilities throughout Germany. He later transitioned to become Covenant Care’s President and Chief Operating Officer as it grew to more than 70 facilities in the U.S. Cory began his business career as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company where he worked out of the Los Angeles and Tokyo offices. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in accounting from Brigham Young University.

Cory Rutledge

Cory Rutledge

Managing Principal of Health Care, CliftonLarson Allen LLP (CLA)

Cory Rutledge is a Principal with the health care group of CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA), specializing in a variety of strategic, financial, and operational services for healthcare clients across the care continuum. In his current position, he is responsible for overseeing and guiding the strategic direction of CLA’s healthcare practice. With eighteen years of experience providing professional services to health care clients, and over the course of his career, Rutledge has developed a passion for helping his clients flourish in a health care climate that requires providers to continuously reinvent themselves. He particularly enjoys serving organizations that deliver solutions to older adults, which provided him the opportunity to serve as CLA’s national senior living leader prior to his current role. He received his B.A. in Accounting and Finance from Bethel University and serves on Lincoln Healthcare Leadership LTC 100 and Home Care 100 Advisory Boards.

Dan Liljenquist

Dan Liljenquist

SVP & Chief Strategy Officer, Intermountain Healthcare

Dan Liljenquist is Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Intermountain Healthcare where he is responsible for helping Intermountain’s executive leadership team in setting and achieving strategic priorities, and overseeing Intermountain’s Enterprise Initiative and Market Intelligence & Planning Offices. He is also the lead architect and Board Chair of Civica Rx, an initiative to create a not-for-profit generic drug company to “ensure that essential generic medications are available and affordable to everyone.” Prior to joining Intermountain in 2012, Liljenquist served in the Utah State Senate and was nationally recognized for his work on Medicaid and public-sector pension reforms. He is a former strategy consultant with Bain & Company, Inc. Liljenquist is also the lead author of “Addressing Generic-Drug Market Failures—The Case for Establishing a Nonprofit Manufacturer,” published in the New England Journal of Medicine in May 2018. He received his J.D. from The University of Chicago Law School and his B.A. in Economics from Brigham Young University.

Eric Tanner

Eric Tanner

CEO, OnPointe

Eric Tanner is the Chief Executive Officer of OnPointe where he has been working to transition the company from a traditional skilled nursing facility operator into a conduit connecting services, providers, and payers for the best patient experience and value. OnPointe develops systems of care that fill the gaps in the traditionally disconnected post-acute process. With a focus on the frail, elderly, and chronically ill, OnPointe delivers member satisfaction, systems management, and risk-based contracts. Tanner takes pride in OnPointe’s leading metrics that demonstrate to payers, providers, physicians, and patients how the company is transforming a broken delivery system. He is passionate about enabling a transformation in healthcare that stems from a desire to dignify humanity. Eric holds a B.A. in history from Stanford University.

Forrest Peterson

Forrest Peterson

President, Bandera Healthcare, an Ensign affiliate

Forrest Peterson is the President of Bandera Healthcare, an Ensign-affiliated company based in Arizona comprising of 35 operations. He has been in SNF operations for 15 years in various executive leadership roles including AIT, administrator, market leader and president, in both urban and rural settings. Forrest carries the designation of facility CEO and was the servant leader of a leadership team who was awarded the Ensign Flag twice for cultural, clinical, and financial excellence. He is passionate about patient care and the importance of healthy culture to drive good outcomes in the nursing home setting.

Ian Juliano

Ian Juliano

CEO, Trella Health

Ian Juliano is the Chief Executive Officer of Trella Health, a company that empowers post-acute care  providers and their referral sources with the data needed to develop healthier, more cost-effective outcomes. Prior to founding Trella Health, he was CEO of HomecareCRM (HCRM), a census growth platform for the PAC industry. During Juliano’s tenure, HCRM doubled its recurring revenue within five quarters. He also served as EVP of Corporate Development for Brightree, the largest software provider to the Durable Medical Equipment market, and CFO of CRE Secure, a VC-backed e-commerce platform. He spent over 15 years in senior corporate development roles, including at Certegy (now Fidelity National Finance) and West Corporation, where he led over $1 billion in M&A bids in the healthcare technology and fintech industries. His early career began at Price Waterhouse. Juliano earned bachelor’s degrees in business and psychology from the Wharton School and the College of Arts and Sciences, respectively. He also holds an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management and earned academic honors at both institutions.

Jason Worthen

Jason Worthen

Regional VP, Steward Health Care

Jason Worthen is the Regional Vice President in Utah at Steward Health Care. He is responsible for risk and managed care contracts and operations of the Steward accountable care organization (ACO)—Steward Health Care Network.  Prior to this role, Worthen was the President and CEO for Steward Health Choice Utah—a Medicaid and Medicare HMO started in 2013 and licensed by the Utah Department of Insurance. Health Choice Utah was acquired in December of 2020.  Worthen oversaw growth, operations, and profitability. Prior to that he served in senior level roles with Xerox Business Solutions in their Government Healthcare group and in executive positions with Molina Healthcare. Worthen started in healthcare as a file clerk working for Deseret Mutual in 1991 and left 15 years later as a Sr. Manager after completing an MBA at the University of Utah.

Jess Dalton

Jess Dalton

VP, Strategic Alignment & Care Transformation, Ensign Services

Jess Dalton is the Vice President of Strategic Alignment & Care Transformation at Ensign Services. He began his career as an EMT and emergency department volunteer, and quickly advanced to executive-level leadership and expertise in cross-continuum operations. His experience spans more than 20 years including service line management, physician relations, business development, and healthcare operations. With knowledge in population and public health spanning acute, post-acute, ambulatory, rural health delivery systems, and health policy, Dalton applies high-energy and enthusiasm toward all he takes on and encounters. His expertise also expands to value- and risk-based contracting, strategic systems development, provider and plan partnerships, longitudinal care delivery synchronization, payment model and revenue pathway design expertise, episode of care efficiencies, and seamless patient transitions.

Kerry Palakanis

Kerry Palakanis, DNP, APRN

Executive Director of Connect Care Operations, Intermountain Healthcare

Dr. Kerry Palakanis is a nurse practitioner who has worked for over 30 years in family practice focusing on rural health and telemedicine. Dr. Palakanis has served as a national featured speaker for programs on issues related to rural health care delivery and telemedicine, provided testimony to state and federal legislature on telemedicine bills, and received state and federal grants for telemedicine programs. She has also developed & conducted remote patient monitoring grant programs, consulted in the development of national chronic disease management platforms, and collaborates with various companies to develop/initiate innovative programs to provide connectivity and telehealth solutions to underserved populations.

Kevin Murphy

Kevin Murphy

Executive Director, Clover Health Partners

Kevin Murphy serves as Executive Director for Clover Health Partners, a healthtech company that drives healthcare improvements with the Medicare Advantage plan. For the past 18 months, Murphy has led Clover’s efforts to build and launch its Direct Contracting Entity (DCE). He has directed Clover’s initiatives to improve the lives and clinical outcomes of their highest risk members through Principium Health, which he co-founded and served as CEO. Murphy also served as COO of the U.S. Medical Management and Visiting Physicians Association from 2011 to 2015 and COO of USMM where he transformed the nation’s largest house call practice into the most successful value-based medical practice to date. Murphy has dedicated the last 10 years of his career to serving vulnerable Medicare patients in the home setting and has become a thought leader in complex care.

Kevin Riddleberger

Kevin Riddleberger

Co-founder & Chief Strategy Officer,  DispatchHealth

As Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder of DispatchHealth, Kevin Riddleberger is responsible for developing, communicating, executing, and sustaining corporate strategic initiatives. With nearly two decades of clinical and management experience, Riddleberger is a visionary leader with a tremendous passion for a more humanized healthcare approach through technology, better process, and quality improvements. He received his MBA with a concentration in healthcare administration from the University of Colorado at Denver, a M.S. degree from the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in Chicago, IL, and his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. Riddleberger has served as the head of clinical solutions and strategy at iTriage, an industry-leading consumer mobile health app company. In addition to his work at DispatchHealth, Kevin is an active advisor in Colorado’s local healthcare start-up community and volunteers on the board of trustees at 9Health Fair and Project Angel Heart.

Mitesh Patel, MD

Mitesh Patel, M.D.

Chief Clinician, Circadia Health

Melissa Powell

Melissa Powell

President & Chief Operating Officer, The Allure Group

Melissa Powell, President and COO of The Allure Group, is a dedicated healthcare professional with 20 years of experience coordinating, assessing, and improving senior care. She represents New York’s largest for-profit nursing home chain in Brooklyn, directly improving the lives of over 1400 patients currently receiving care in Allure’s six Brooklyn- and Manhattan-based facilities. Under her leadership, facility turnaround plans are customized to ensure consistent standards of safety and clinical soundness while reflecting the unique cultural and community needs of respective neighborhoods. Powell has been a key driving force for company growth, having improved overall quality measures to an average of 4.8, and is now spearheading a number of exciting initiatives, including aqua therapy, telemedicine, telemetry and robotics implementations. She has also initiated innovative proprietary programs which address cardiac and neurological rehabilitation through cutting-edge treatment plans. She has succeeded in dramatically reducing readmission rates and improving census, and has a history of turning around surveys in homes for the better.

MJ Tran

MJ Tran

ACO Executive Director, HCA Healthcare

MJ Tran currently serves as the ACO Executive Director of HCA Healthcare. Throughout her experience in care management and clinical operations, she has focused on a robust, community-based Transitional Care Management (TCM) program that has helped to reduce readmission rates and enhance patient outcomes by establishing communication links between various healthcare settings that did not previously exist. She was recognized as the Utah Business Healthcare Hero for Community Outreach and is the recipient of the Noorda Geriatric Scholar and the 2018 Jonas Veteran Healthcare Scholar for Community-Based Care. Tran holds a bachelor’s in biology, a bachelor’s in nursing, an MBA from Westminster College, and is a PhD student at the University of Utah College of Nursing. She is passionate about researching the complexities of the healthcare system, challenging the status quo of standardized care and advocating for innovative care models focused on patient-centered initiatives.

Nihar R. Desai

Nihar R. Desai, MD

Medical Director for Value Innovation, Yale New Haven Health System

Nihar R. Desai, MD, MPH, is an Associate Professor at the Yale School of Medicine, Associate Chief of the Section of Cardiovascular Medicine, an Investigator at the Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, and Medical Director for Value Innovation at the Yale New Haven Health System. His interests focus on health services and comparative effectiveness research, examining patterns of care, identifying opportunities to improve clinical outcomes and value, and evaluating the impact of novel care delivery systems on cost and quality. In addition, he serves as the clinical lead on CMS acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, and coronary artery bypass graft surgery readmission, mortality, and payment measures. Dr. Desai has written extensively about the transition from volume and value and advanced common understanding of variation in health care resource utilization. He has led several developments including a series of analyses looking at patterns of health care spending following hospitalization for acute MI and congestive heart failure and developed an approach for empirically assessing the value of care.

Norman Rokeach

Norman Rokeach

Founder & President, Marquis Limited 

Norman Rokeach, LNHA, is the Founder & President of Marquis Limited LLC and Principal/Partner in the Tryko Healthcare Division. He has been a part of the healthcare world since 1999, when he began as the Facility Administrator of Broadway Health then Leisure Chateau, and later moved on to become Regional Director of Operations at Global Health. In 2011, Rokeach founded Marquis Health where he served as CEO of what would become one of the country’s leading healthcare organizations. In 2021, he became the President of Marquis Limited, which oversees the Continuum of Senior Living portfolio as well as other ancillary services. Rokeach is a leader to over 5,800 dedicated individuals, operating 36 facilities, in 7 states, whose combined daily efforts continuously maintain the legacy of excellence that Marquis is recognized for.

Preethi Pirlamarla

Preethi Pirlamarla, M.D.

Director of Cardiology, Mount Sinai Health System

Preethi Pirlamarla, M.D., is the Director of Cardiology at Mount Sinai Health System and an Assistant Professor at the Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai Queens. Her clinical experiences encompass management of all aspects of heart failure, including acute and chronic heart failure, infiltrative cardiomyopathies, pulmonary hypertension, advanced heart failure, and cardiac transplantation. Research interests include cardiogenic shock, mechanical support, cardiac transplant, and management of acute heart failure. She is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease, Nuclear Cardiology, and Advanced Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplantation. Dr. Pirlamarla received her medical degree from Drexel University College of Medicine. She went on to complete her Internal Medicine residency at the Hahnemann Hospital/Drexel University College of Medicine, a Cardiovascular Disease fellowship at Hofstra-Northwell College of Medicine, and an Advanced Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Tim Fields

Tim Fields

CEO & Co-Founder, Ignite Medical Resorts

Tim Fields is an entrepreneur and health care executive with over 20 years of experience at the forefront of innovative thought, challenging the norm, pioneering new ideas, and being a change agent in multiple sectors of healthcare. For the past decade, he has been a trailblazer in the skilled nursing industry aligning quality measures and outcomes relationships with key hospital and health networks, managed care payers, physician groups, ACOs, and bundled payment conveners. In 2018, Tim co-founded Ignite Medical Resorts which offers luxury rehabilitation services with an employee-centered culture, superior customer service, and high-acuity patient care. Tim is a frequent speaker and thought leader at national conferences and has been featured in McKnight’s Long Term Care News, Skilled Nursing News and Senior Housing News. In 2020, Tim was awarded Changemaker by Skilled Nursing News

Thank you to all who participated in the 2021 Summit for making it another unforgettable event.
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