The Power of Rural – Speaker Bios

Brian Lee, CSP

Brian is the founder and CEO of Custom Learning Systems Group and Healthcare Service Excellence Conference.  He has been awarded the designation of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) by the National Speakers Association (of the tens of thousands of speakers in North America, only 761 have been recognized as a CSP), and for two consecutive years, the International Customer Service Association evaluated Brian to be the number-one-rated Customer Service Speaker in the world.  Although Brian’s headquarters are located in Calgary, Canada, he has travelled 5,000,000 miles in 32 years to speak more than 3,840 times in every state and province in North America, and in 16 countries worldwide.  Brian fully grasps the unique needs of rural healthcare and has personally trained and consulted at over 270 Critical Access Hospital throughout the nation.  Thirty-four of Custom Learning Systems Group have earned regional and national awards for world-class patient experience and employee engagement.  Over the years Brian has authored 8 books and is the author of the US Hospital “HCAHPS Breakthrough Leadership Webinar Series”.

Don’t miss Brian’s Keynote on Leadership Development on May 16 from 9 to 11 am.

Andrew C. Phillip, Ph. D

Dr. Philip is a Clinical Health Psychologist and the Deputy Director for the SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions at the National Council for Behavioral Health.  Dr. Philip has a clinical background as a Psychologist in primary care, and has assisted with large-scale training and integration efforts in federal healthcare.  Dr. Philip has experience integrating behavioral health within numerous medical settings including acute trauma and intensive care, burn, neurology, palliative care, psychiatry, infectious disease, and primary care.  He emphasized improving care for diverse groups such as LGBTQ and veteran populations.  In his work at the National Council, Dr. Philip Assists in driving local and national initiatives aimed at improving patient care and promoting innovation in the field of integrated health.

Dr. Philip earned his Bachelor of Arts in psychology and criminal justice at the State University of New York at Albany and a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in clinical psychology at Auburn University.  He completed his clinical training at the Tampa VA hospital and clinics and is a Senior Fellow at the Partnership for Public Service in Washington, D.C.

Don’t miss Dr. Phillip’s Conference Session on Behavioral Health Integration into Primary Care on May 16 from 1:30 to 2:30 pm.

Alicia Gonzales, MSSW

Alicia holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin.  Alecia’s extensive work with the Social Determinants of Health and knowledge of the CLAS standards supports the vision of the National Center for Farmworker Health to eliminate the barriers to health care and increase access for farmworker families to culturally-appropriate, quality health care.  Past professional experience includes program planning, Community Health Worker/Lay Health Worker program development, development of educational materials & training curricula, and hands-on training.

Don’t miss Alicia’s Conference Sessions on the Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards on May 17 from 8 to 9 am and 9:30 to 11 am.

Matt Jones

Matt went from being a three-time cancer conqueror to relearning how to walk, to surviving a bone marrow transplant, to completing seven marathons on seven continents, and yes that includes Antarctica!

Matt was diagnosed with cancer on September 11, 2002, and after spreading to the fluid in his brain and slipping into an unconscious state, doctors did not think he would live.  Against all he recovered, but due to complication in his brain, he had to relearn how to walk.

From the first step he took after learning how to walk, Matt visualized completing a marathon.  His first marathon was the San Diego Rock N’ Roll, followed by finishing marathons in Rome, Tokyo, Perth, Cape Town, Antarctica, and Chile.

Hall of Fame baseball player and World Series Champion, George Brett Said, “Matt is a true champion, and his story inspires others to be a true champion.”  Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton said, “Matt Jones has done what anyone would consider impossible.  Conqueror.  Overcomer.  Champion.  Superhuman.”

Matt is also the founder of the R.E.A.L. Leadership Academy and was a Ph.D. candidate in Organizational Leadership.  He is also the author of over ten books, including his newest one, “happiness is a Marathon: 26.2 Ways to Stay Happy at Work and in Life”.

Matt uses his story of overcoming insurmountable odds to motivate audiences to achieve greater victory during these times of change and uncertainty.

Don’t miss Matt’s Closing Presentation on Organizational Leadership on May 17 from 11 am to 12:30 pm.

Colleen Meiman, MPPA

Colleen joined the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) as the Director of Regulatory Affairs in January 2015.  She is currently NACHC’s Senior Policy Advisor, and is responsible for working with HRSA and other Federal agencies on policy issues that affect Health Centers and their patients.  Previously, Colleen spent over two decades in the Federal government, including in the Office of the HHS Secretary, in the US Senate, and in numerous positions within HRSA, including in the Bureau of Primary Health Care, which oversees the Community Health Center program.  Colleen’s expertise is in the regulatory, administrative, and financing aspects of Section 330, Medicaid, Medicare, 340B, and the Affordable Care Act, and how they relate to health centers.

Don’t miss Colleen’s Conference Sessions on 340B Regulations on May 16 from 2:30 to 3:30 pm and 4 to 5:30 pm.

Chesie Lee, JD

Chesie, an attorney, is Executive Director of the Wyoming Association of Churches.  Her lifelong vocation is advocacy for justice with nonprofit groups.  She moved to Riverton in 2013 to work with Native Americans living on the Wind River Reservation where her organizing efforts led to the formation of the Wind River Native Advocacy Center.  Following the 2015 shootings in Riverton of two Northern Arapaho by a white city employee, she became focused on ending racism in Wyoming.   She has lived in Wyoming since 1987.  She was at the March on Washington in 1963 and was inspired by Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Don’t miss Chesie’s Conference Session on Implicit Bias on May 16 from 4 to 5:30 pm.

Eric S. Turer, MBA

Mr. Turer is a Senior Health Services Consultant at JSI, with nearly 25 years of policy and program-level experience dedicated to improving primary care access for rural and underserved populations.   He has directed JSI’s most prominent projects related to provider workforce adequacy and the shortage designation process, as well as the related safety net programs that rely on them.   He and his team currently manage the shortage designation (HPSA) process for several states across the country, including WY, and he has consulted with many others on this topic.  He recently conducted a training and workshop on provider data management for Region IX and X state Primary Care Offices, and was subsequently contracted by the Center for Health Workforce Studies to deliver a series of recorded webinars on provider data management and analysis.

At the federal level, Mr. Turer led the team supporting HRSA’s federal rulemaking effort to revise the regulations that govern the overall HPSA and MUA/P designation process, including modeling the impact of various proposed approaches across the nation.  He also led the HRSA project to model and assesses the impact of the Affordable Care Act on primary care supply and demand at a detailed level nationally, with a focus on communities of need.  Mr. Turer also leads the data analyses for the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU) HRSA program focused on recruitment and retention of primary care providers within the safety net clinics.  He has primary responsibility for developing the health center / community workforce profiles  for each of over 1,400 health centers nationally, as well as  state-level recruitment and retention profiles, and a national analysis of the issues identified. He has long led the national collection and analysis of the BPHC’s Uniform Data System (UDS) from all Community Health Centers, and currently leads analytic efforts for two national Cooperative Agreements related to provider recruitment and retention, as well as leveraging EHR data for clinical quality improvement.

Mr. Turer is currently President of the New England Rural Health Roundtable – the rural health association covering the 6 states of the northeastern US.

Don’t miss Eric’s Conference Session on Health Professionals Shortage Areas (HPSA) Scores on May 16 from 4 to 5:30 pm.

Susie Markus, BSW, MS, LPC, Ph. D

Susie is the Executive Director of the Wyoming Health Council, the Executive Director of Wyoming Interfaith Network, an Adjunct Professor in the University Of Wyoming Division Of Social Work, and is a privately practicing therapist. Susie has worked with and on behalf of people across Wyoming since 1986 to identify and address social determinants of health and equity in a rural state. No matter the place of employment, Susie’s work has always been about social and economic justice for vulnerable populations living with low incomes and teaching about historical antecedents such as genocide, as well as current issues of oppression and racism, that result in generational trauma and related cycles of poverty and health, economic, and social disparities. Susie specializes in grassroots storytelling for social justice and empowering voices of marginalized people, as well as working at the legislative and policy levels, to improve the rural environments where people grow, live, learn, work and play in Wyoming.

Don’t miss Susie’s Conference Sessions on Storytelling in Prevention on May 16 from 1:30 to 2:30 pm and Social Determinants of Health 2:30 to 3:30 pm.

Stephanie Sy, Pharm. D.

Stephanie ‘Stevi’ Sy is a Registered Pharmacist from Wyoming with a Doctorate in Pharmacy. She is a former president of the Wyoming Pharmacy Association and recipient of the 2014 McKesson Leadership Award. She has work experience in quality and process improvement, typically in organization leadership role, and has developed and implemented medication safety programs and processes.

Don’t miss Stephanie’s Conference Session on Adverse Drug Effects on May 16 from 1:30 to 2:30 pm.

Kevin R. Smith, BS Psych

Kevin has acted as a Telehealth Coordinator at CRMC for nearly 6 years, and is responsible for all telehealth program initiatives – he is one of two in the department managing telehealth operations.  In addition, he has held the position of Telehealth Program Manager at the Wyoming Department of Health and Deputy Director for the Division of Criminal Investigation at Wyoming Attorney General’s Office where he was responsible for IT Department, Data Center & Repository.  Notable projects that Kevin has undertaken includes the implementation of a CMS Health Care Innovation Award to introduce telehelath with the goal of increasing access to care. His work resulted in traveling throughout the state and establish 300 plus endpoints in Critical Access Hospitals, healthcare clinics and offices; driving innovation to build the highway for subsequent telehealth adoption.

Don’t miss Kevin’s Conference Session on Telehealth on May 16 from 2:30 to 3:30 pm.

Dianna Frick, MPH

Dianna has a Master of Public Health degree in maternal and child health and epidemiology. Her prior work experience includes being an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control in STD prevention and maternal and child health, the maternal and child health epidemiologist with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, and program manager of Healthy Montana Families, a home visiting program for pregnant women and families with young children. She currently works for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration in the Denver Office of Regional Operations (Region 8), which provides technical support and consultation to states in Region 8 (Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana).

Don’t miss Dianna’s Conference Session on Preventative Health on May 17 from 8 to 9 am.

Dian True, RN, MA, CDE, FAADE

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Hannah Herold, MPH, MA, CHES

Hannah Herold has a diverse background of education and experience in public health with a focus on health promotion and behavioral science. She obtained her Masters of Public Health and Masters of Arts degrees from San Diego State University, where she taught Public Health Research Methods and assisted with obesity-prevention, sexual health, and chronic disease research studies through various research centers. She currently works as the Chronic Disease Prevention Program Manager for the Wyoming Department of Health, where she directs statewide efforts around chronic disease prevention and management. In her free time Hannah enjoys flying small aircraft, shooting as a professional archer for Bowtech Archery, and spending as much time as possible hunting and camping with her family.

Don’t miss Hannah’s Conference Session on Prevention on May 17 from 8 to 9 am.

Rochelle Spinarski, MPA, BA,

Rochelle is a 21-year veteran of the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program, the program that created and supports Critical Access Hospitals. She has a BA from St. Catherine University and a Master of Public Administration from Rutgers University. Rochelle is the founder and principal consultant of Rural Health Solutions which supports healthcare directed organizations throughout the U.S., including the Wyoming State Office of Rural Health, Wyoming Hospital Association, and all Critical Access Hospitals in the state. Ms. Spinarski has been consulting for 15 years and has an office near St. Paul, Minnesota. Prior to consulting she was the Program Planning and Research Manager at the Minnesota Department of Health, State Office of Rural Health and Primary Care where she was responsible for the team that managed the Flex Program, healthcare workforce data collection and reporting, the state’s Rural Health Advisory Committee, and state rural health research and policy. Rochelle has three children ages 11 and 15 and is an avid domestic and international traveler.

Christine Taylor

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