> Karen Wolk Feinstein, PhD
President and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Feinstein is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) and its three operating arms, the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI), Health Careers Futures (HCF), and the Women’s Health Activist Movement Global (WHAMglobal). Combined, they perform a unique mix of grantmaking, research, teaching, coaching, and project management.
Under her leadership, JHF and PRHI have become a leading voice in patient safety, healthcare quality, and related workforce issues. When Dr. Feinstein founded PRHI, it was among the nation’s first regional multi-stakeholder quality coalitions devoted simultaneously to advancing efficiency, best practices, and safety by applying industrial engineering principles. Dr. Feinstein also founded HCF to assist the region’s healthcare industry in attracting, preparing, and retaining employees, and was a leader in the formation of the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI), a national coalition of Regional Health Improvement Collaboratives.
Dr. Feinstein is widely regarded as a leader in healthcare quality improvement and frequently presents at national and international conferences. She was a presenter at the 2016 TEDxBeaconStreet event, an independently organized Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) event with a global audience. She has served on the faculties of Boston College, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author of numerous regional and national publications on quality and safety. While at Boston College, she was the editor of the Urban & Social Change Review; she is the editor of the book Moving Beyond Repair: Perfecting Health Care. In 2015 she was named Pittsburgher of the Year by Pittsburgh Magazine.
Dr. Feinstein is a past President of Grantmakers In Health and Grantmakers of Western PA, and co-chair of the Pennsylvania Health Funders Collaborative. She serves on many nonprofit, governmental, and for-profit boards, including NRHI, the United Way, the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, and the Allegheny Parks Foundation.
She is on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Health Research Advisory Committee, Board of Visitors of the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health, UPMC Presbyterian/Shadyside Board of Directors, the UPMC System-wide Patient Care Committee and IT Advisory. She is a founding member of the national Women of Impact coalition and founder of the Women’s Health Activist Movement Global (WHAMglobal), which empowers women to lead efforts to advance healthcare systems that are transparent, respectful, accountable, and equitable.
Dr. Feinstein earned her bachelor’s degree in American History at Brown University, her Master of Social Work at Boston College, and her doctorate at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Dr. Feinstein has Honorary Doctorates from Chatham and Carlow Universities.
> John Allison
Special Projects Director
Mr. Allison is a Special Projects Director for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation and its supporting organizations. His responsibilities include helping to advance important policy reforms related to strengthening the teen mental health safety net, reducing maternal mortality and promoting healthy pregnancies, and investing in value through new payment and demonstration models which reduce wasteful spending in the Commonwealth. An experienced journalist with his finger on the pulse of current events and politics, Mr. Allison held a variety of leadership positions at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for well over two decades, most recently serving as editorial page editor. He previously held positions as op-ed editor, book review editor and Sunday editor. Outside of journalism, he worked in Czechoslovakia in the early 1990s after the collapse of communism, serving as an aide to the Prague mayor and in the presidential office. He later became editor of Prognosis, the first English-language newspaper in Prague. He earned his bachelor's in English and Journalism from Penn State University.
> Carla Barricella
Ms. Barricella is the communications director for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) and its supporting organizations, the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI) and Health Careers Futures (HCF). She contributes to video production, website development, and copy editing, and advises staff on external communications. Ms. Barricella also produces the annual Fine Awards for Teamwork Excellence in Health Care, a multi-county recognition program for frontline healthcare workers who utilize Lean methodology and QI tools to improve patient outcomes. As the Fine Awards producer, she is responsible for the RFP process, selection committee recruitment, video production, and event management and execution. She also coordinated the layout and publishing of the 2012 book Moving Beyond Repair: Perfecting Health Care. Previously, Ms. Barricella served as the corporate relations manager and special events director at United Way. Prior to United Way, she worked as staff assistant to Elsie H. Hillman, Republican National Committeewoman. Ms. Barricella was involved with the planning and execution of political visits by the president, vice president, and Cabinet members; and served as a liaison to the White House Office of Political Affairs. She also worked for the local CBS affiliate — KDKA-TV, in public affairs, studio, and remote production. Ms. Barricella earned her bachelor's degree in journalism and communications at Point Park University.
> Bruce Block, MD
Chief Learning and Medical Informatics Officer (PRHI)
Dr. Block is Chief Learning and Medical Informatics Officer for the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI), a supporting arm of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, which also includes Health Career Futures and the Women’s Health Activist Movement Global (WHAMglobal).
Dr. Block supports the implementation of evidence-based, person-directed quality improvement methods in health care. He led PRHI's EHR implementation initiative, which served more than 850 medical providers at more than 350 practice sites. He then led a team to assist many of these practices to achieve Patient Centered Medical Home recognition and is presently on the faculty of Pennsylvania’s HealthyChoice PCMH Learning Network.
Seeing the need for expanded team care Dr. Block developed a Champions program for medical office MAs and LPNs which provided training and coaching to elevate practice skills to care for patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, depression, and asthma. Dr. Block was the regional physician lead for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid-funded COMPASS Behavioral Health Integration project. PRHI is currently partnering with PA SPREAD on a four-year Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality network quality improvement grant to enhance QI capabilities in practice groups in the region.
Dr. Block works with teams of trainers and coaches at PRHI to assure content reliability and teaching efficacy throughout the range of educational offerings. He serves as faculty with PRHI’s Perfecting Patient and Community Care training programs which supports organizational development using application of Lean methodology. He has been particularly interested in working with Community Mental Health Centers, hospital-based Behavioral Health systems, and Social Service agencies to enhance readiness for value-based payment initiatives.
Most recently Dr. Block has participated in the Reinvesting in Health initiative that is seeking to explore and implement innovations in Perinatal Care through process redesign, payment incentives, and community engagement.
Dr. Block received his medical degree from Yale and practiced as a family doctor in rural western Pennsylvania from 1972 to 1981 with the National Health Service Corps. During that time he developed a rural health system involving 4 other underserved sites. From 1981-2010, he served on the faculty of the Shadyside Hospital Family Medicine residency program, as Medical Director of the 40 physician Family Health Center, and as Director of the Primary Institute. In 1985 he developed an electronic health record for the Family Health Center. Following that, he created and implemented evidence-based care protocols for office and community-based maternity and pediatric care.
In 1998, he co-founded and served as medical director for the Centers for Healthy Hearts and Souls, a non-profit coalition of over 40 African-American churches. This community-based health promotion organization provided county-wide smoking cessation, nutrition education, and exercise programs; depression and cancer screening; and diabetes self-care support for nearly 20 years.
In 2011, Dr. Block received the John Heinz Award for Volunteerism from United Way. In 2016, Dr. Block received the Family Medicine Educational Consortium's "Power to Change Our World" award. Dr. Block is a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and adjunct Professor of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
> Jessica Bombassaro
Ms. Bombassaro is an Administrative Assistant for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) and its supporting organizations. She assists in coordinating and organizing projects including the Center of Excellence Learning Network, PCMH Learning Network, WHAMglobal, the Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative, and Reinvesting in Health. Ms. Bombassaro has an extensive background in hospitality, event management, and the culinary arts. She earned a double BA from Thiel College in 2008 in Juvenile/ Family Justice and Sociology. She lends her support to community organizations that include Make-A-Wish, Give Kids the World, and Habitat for Humanity.
> Stacie L. Bonenberger, MOT, OTR/L
Senior Quality Improvement Specialist
Ms. Bonenberger is a Senior Quality Improvement Specialist for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) and Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI). Her primary focus is on the growing senior population. As part of the Long-Term Care Champions program and the RAVEN (Reduce Avoidable hospitalizations using Evidence-based interventions for Nursing facilities in western PA) project, Ms. Bonenberger has developed and implemented customized curriculum to help long-term care facilities reduce avoidable hospitalizations. As a certified Positive Approach to CareTM trainer, she provides knowledge and awareness to families and professionals to help them better understand how it feels to live with dementia and its related challenges. Ms. Bonenberger provides interactive quality improvement education and coaching for the Community Health Workers Champions program team, the Perfecting Patient CareSM education team, and PRHI's and JHF's Fellowships and Internships. Previously, she was the assistant facility director of Occupational Therapy at UPMC Passavant, and has 17 years of clinical experience as an occupational therapist in Pennsylvania and Colorado. Ms. Bonenberger earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), her master’s degree in occupational therapy at Chatham University, and a graduate certificate in computer programming from the University of Denver.
> Megan Butler, MS
Ms. Butler supports the Foundation’s health technology innovation work, while also providing research and analytical insights to maternal health, adolescent behavioral health, and senior-focused initiatives. Previously, she was a project manager for Treatspace, Inc., a referral management software company, where she created project plans and managed software implementations in medical practices. Ms. Butler earned a BS in Policy and Management and Decision Science and an MS in Healthcare Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.
> Ashley Chung, MPH
Ms. Chung is a Program Associate for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) and the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI). In this role, she supports the development and growth of PRHI’s Health Activist Network for reform-minded healthcare professionals. She also provides research and communications support to the AIDS Free Pittsburgh initiative. She earned a bachelor of science in physiology and neurobiology from the University of Maryland. Upon graduating from the University of Maryland, Ms. Chung spent two years working at the Food and Drug Administration developing more stable Anthrax and Pertussis vaccines. In 2016, Ms. Chung participated in JHF’s summer internship program and Jonas Salk Fellowship. She also earned a Master of Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health (Pitt Public Health) with a focus on infectious disease management, intervention, and community practice. Ms. Chung presented her research on translating clinical findings related to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) into community uptake at the American Public Health Association’s 2016 Annual Meeting.
> Jennifer Condel, SCT(ASCP)MT
Manager, Lean Healthcare Strategy and Implementation
Ms. Condel is the Manager of Lean Healthcare Strategy and Implementation for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) and its supporting organizations, the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI) and Health Careers Futures (HCF). In this role, she works with healthcare organizations to align quality improvement efforts across all levels toward its strategic vision and goals. This includes teaching, coaching, and training healthcare staff (leadership, management, and front line), in-person and virtually, in PRHI's Perfecting Patient CareSM methodology for Lean organizational development. Ms. Condel works with primary care practices, hospitals, AIDS service organizations, health departments, and Federally Qualified Health Centers to redesign workflow processes in support of improved patient care and staff satisfaction. She is also a member of the Tomorrow's HealthCareTM team, assisting in the implementation of this online knowledge and collaborative-learning network. Ms. Condel has 25 years of experience in health care, including positions as a system-wide improvement specialist for the UPMC Health System, anatomic pathology laboratory manager and specialist in Cytotechnology, as well as team leader for the UPMC Anatomic Pathology Learning Line where she taught and coached a Histology Department Learning Line model for pathology using the Perfecting Patient CareSM methodology. She has published and presented in the areas of Lean philosophy and concepts, problem solving, and quality assurance. Ms. Condel earned her bachelor's degree in medical technology at the University of Pittsburgh, and holds a Cytology Certification from Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC.
> Kate Dickerson, MSc
Women's Health Specialist
Ms. Dickerson is a Women’s Health Specialist for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) and its supporting organizations, the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI) and Health Careers Futures (HCF). A 2016 JHF summer intern, Ms. Dickerson leads the Foundation’s efforts to advance women’s health and health activism. She directs the Women’s Health Activist Movement Global (WHAMGlobal) initiative, and helps to outline the next frontier of women’s health and health services through the Museum to the Future (a virtual, evolving space to conceive, showcase, and implement disruptive healthcare innovations and fresh ideas). She also supports JHF’s Health Activist Network and Feinstein Fellowships for multidisciplinary students and early-career professionals. Ms. Dickerson earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Rhetoric from the University of Pittsburgh, and recently received her M.Sc. in Healthcare Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University’s H. John Heinz III College. Before enrolling at CMU, she served for two years as a federally-certified health insurance navigator and health center advocacy organizer for Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania. From 2010 to 2013, she was an outreach associate for health and reproductive rights at the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, D.C.
> Elena Facchini, MPH
Partnerships and Resource Development Specialist
Ms. Facchini is the Partnerships and Resource Development Specialist for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. She will be working on the WHAMglobal team, the Healthcare Innovation team, and the Reinvesting in Health team. A Pittsburgh native, Ms. Facchini has returned home with extensive international experience in public health, and an impressive range of work in private- and public-sector partnership development and resource development. As a health officer for the U.S. Agency for International Development from 2011 to 2015, she served in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya. Following that, she was based in London, working for consultancies in international development and corporate social responsibility. While in the U.K., Ms. Facchini earned a postgraduate diploma in Global Business from the Saïd Business School at Oxford. She received her Master’s in Public Health from George Washington University and a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Georgia. Ms. Facchini has also worked in Italy and Spain. She is fluent in French, German, and Italian, but claims to have just “basic” Spanish and Swahili.
> Robert Ferguson, MPH
Director of Government Grants and Policy
Mr. Ferguson is the Director of Government Grants and Policy for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) and its supporting organizations—the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI), Health Careers Futures (HCF), and the Women’s Health Activist Movement (WHAMglobal). He currently manages the statewide HealthChoices PCMH Learning Network, the Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative (PA PQC), the Reinvesting in Health Initiative to test perinatal bundled payment models, the statewide Opioid Use Disorders Centers of Excellence (COE) Learning Network with Pitt PERU, the Health Activist Network, and the Pennsylvania Health Funders Collaborative (PHFC). He also analyzes policy developments. Previously, he managed the Foundation’s Adolescent Behavioral Health Initiative, Salk Health Activist Fellowship, and policy work for Community Health Workers. Between 2009-2015, he managed PRHI’s projects that implemented evidence-based models for depression and substance misuse in primary care settings. These efforts included the Integrating Treatment in Primary Care pilot, the four-state dissemination consortium called Partners in Integrated Care (funded by the AHRQ), and the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement’s nine-state implementation consortium called COMPASS (funded by CMMI). Mr. Ferguson completed a 2015-2016 Health and Aging Policy Fellowship with a placement at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Center for Clinical Standards & Quality (CCSQ). As a Fellow at CCSQ through October 2019, he is working on the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI), with a focus on the integration of physical and behavioral health care. He earned an MPH from Pitt Public Health in 2017 and bachelor’s in health sciences at Northeastern University in 2009. While a student at Northeastern, he interned at the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Exercise and Health Fitness Research, JHF, and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services.
> Carol Frazer, LPC
Practice Transformation Specialist (PRHI)
Ms. Frazer is a Practice Transformation Specialist for the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI). Her responsibilities include helping health systems implement and sustain quality improvement strategies at the practice level. She is a member of the Adolescent Behavioral Health Initiative team which is working to improve access to quality behavioral health care. As a member of the Community Health Workers Champions team, she is training these frontline workers to identify and report possible mental health issues, and increase their confidence in engaging those with a mental health diagnosis. Previously, Ms. Frazer served as director of care management at Pittsburgh Mercy Health System, where she developed a comprehensive integrated care management program, and assisted in developing quality measures that meet National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) standards. Prior to that, she was an outpatient therapist, clinical supervisor, and unit director at Mercy Behavioral Health, leading efforts to co-locate behavioral health in primary care settings. Ms. Frazer also maintained a private practice in the Pittsburgh area for 16 years, providing therapy to patients with comorbid health conditions, and training local nonprofits to help children cope with issues of sexual assault and alcohol dependency in their families. She earned her bachelor's degree in vocational rehabilitation at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and her master's degree in counselor education at the University of Pittsburgh.
> Christopher Garnett, MSS
HIV/AIDS Program Coordinator
As the HIV/AIDS Program Coordinator, Mr. Garnett works to optimize the level of care that HIV/AIDS consumers receive and to enhance stakeholder participation in the community. His work focuses on evaluating provider services and strengthening the HIV/AIDS continuum of care in our region through education and training; developing community awareness, buy-in and support (including coordinating a regional Consumer Advisory Board); supporting the HIV/AIDS project director with allocation, procurement, and the RFA process; and assisting with monthly, quarterly, and annual reporting. Mr. Garnett has more than a decade of experience working to improve the lives of vulnerable populations, having most recently served as a social worker in the Special Immunology Family Care Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where he provided family-centered case management to HIV infected and affected children, adolescents, and their families. Prior to that, he served in a number of positions in the Philadelphia area, including as an adolescent counselor at The Attic Youth Center, where he provided mental health counseling to LGBTQ identified youth; as a behavioral assistant at Maxim Healthcare Services; and as a youth and adolescent case manager for ActionAIDS, Inc. Mr. Garnett serves as vice chair for the board of directors of GALAEI, an AIDS service organization serving the Latino community. Chris has a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Bloomberg University and a master’s degree in Social Work from Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research.
> Rachel Goldberger, MPH, MSW
Senior Connections Program Associate
Rachel Goldberger is a Program Associate for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation’s Senior Connections Initiatives. She specifically collaborates on the Virtual Senior Academy project and the Senior Connections Exercise initiative. She earned her BA in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh in May of 2016 and completed a joint Master’s degree in Social Work and Public Health in August of 2018. During her graduate studies, Ms. Goldberger worked at a geriatric care unit where she conducted cognitive assessments of older adults. She also worked for a summer health equity program and supervised other master’s degree students during their field placements within the program.
> Millie Greene
Ms. Greene is the Executive Assistant to the president and CEO of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) and its supporting organizations. Prior to joining JHF, Ms. Greene worked for 20 years as a bookkeeper/accountant/administrative assistant to the president and owner of a wholesale flooring company. She also has experience in public accounting, having held positions with several local firms. Ms. Greene holds an associate's degree in specialized business systems from Computer Systems Institute of Pittsburgh.
> Nicole Greer, RN, MPH/MPA
Quality Improvement Specialist
Ms. Greer is a Quality Improvement Specialist for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF), working on several initiatives to improve the quality of care provided to older adults and strengthen community supports and services for seniors. Her responsibilities at JHF include providing clinical education as part of the RAVEN initiative to reduce avoidable hospital readmissions among long-stay nursing home residents, overseeing continuing education offered through the Tomorrow’s HealthCareTM online knowledge network, and supporting JHF’s multi-faceted Senior Connections program. Ms. Greer was a summer intern for JHF in 2016 while pursuing her MPH/MPA degrees at the University of Pittsburgh. She also received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Pittsburgh.
> Lindsey Kirstatter Hartle, MBA, SHRM-CP
Ms. Hartle is the Controller for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) and its supporting organizations. She joined JHF in 2002 and is responsible for the organizations' financial functions and human resources. Ms. Hartle earned her bachelor's degree in environmental science from Salem International University and her MBA from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
> Leah Holleran
Ms. Holleran is the business/office manager for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation and its supporting organizations. Previously, she worked at UPMC Mercy as a senior secretary in the Department of Surgery while also supporting Surgical Research, Infection Control, Orthopedics, as well as for the chief of Pediatric Surgery. Ms. Holleran holds an associate of science degree in business administration from Duff's Business Institute and completed the first year of RN coursework at Mercy School of Nursing.
> Scotland Huber, MS
Chief Communications Officer
> Mara Leff, MPH
Director of Innovation
Ms. Leff is the Director of Innovation for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF). She collaborates with fellow members of the long-term care and aging team to develop strategies to advance JHF’s Senior Connections initiative, which includes launching the Virtual Senior AcademyTM project, rolling out Community HealthChoices in western Pennsylvania, and holding a series of community conversations in support of a master plan for senior services in the region. Ms. Leff is also part of the RAVEN (Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations using Evidence-based interventions for Nursing Facility Residents) Initiative, which was approved for an additional four years (through 2020) by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and participates in JHF’s efforts to improve behavioral health prevention and treatment services for adolescents. Prior to joining JHF, she served as an independent marketing and communications consultant and worked at Ogilvy Public Relations as an assistant account executive. While at Ogilvy, she participated in campaigns for the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, among other organizations. Ms. Leff earned her Masters of Public Health, Behavioral Health and Communications from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health, and her BA in Global Public Health from George Washington University.
> Eric Lilja
Mr. Lilja is a Website Developer for the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI), creating custom modules and components for PRHI’s online knowledge and collaborative-learning network, Tomorrow’s HealthCareTM (THC). He builds secure, client-specific versions of THC and analyzes metrics on website performance. Mr. Lilja is also involved in developing a version of THC that is being used to drive quality improvement for healthcare professionals participating in a five-state Quality Innovation Network (QIN) program, for which PRHI is a contractor to Quality Insights. Previously, he worked for 15 years as an editorial/advertising graphic artist for Trib Total Media, and also served as a consultant for various businesses on website development, graphic design, and illustration. He earned an associate’s degree in specialized communications at the Oakbridge Academy of Arts.
> Charles Morrison, JD, CPA
Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Morrison is the Chief Financial Officer for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) and its supporting organizations the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI) and Health Careers Futures (HCF). He possesses extensive healthcare experience and a strong background in financial management and organization, administration, and risk management. Mr. Morrison brings a law degree and bar membership to his CFO role at the Foundation and most recently served as corporate director of finance and operations for The Axios Foundation, Inc., where he managed health programs that focused on increasing care access in developing countries through government and private support. He excels in new program planning and development; strategic and financial assessment of existing programs; and developing and implementing sound internal control policies for non-profits. Mr. Morrison earned his JD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and a BA in accounting from Grove City College.
> Deborah Murdoch, MPH
Quality Improvement Specialist
Ms. Murdoch is a quality improvement specialist for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF), working as a member of the HIV fiscal agency and Minority AIDS Initiative training team, and supporting our graduate student fellowship and internship programs. Ms. Murdoch also provides training in motivational interviewing and our Perfecting Patient Care℠ quality improvement methodology. Ms. Murdoch earned a bachelor of science in Neuroscience from the College of William and Mary before pursuing a Master of Public Health degree at Tulane University, which she combined with United States Peace Corps Service in South Africa, working on a community-based HIV program. Upon earning her MPH, Ms. Murdoch continued her focus on international health, working for five years for a company that strengthens health and social systems across the globe at their headquarters in Bethesda, MD and in Uganda for three years. In Uganda, she worked on a national program focused on sustainable system development for the provision of HIV and AIDS care and treatment in 18 public hospitals.
> Catherine Mutunga
Ms. Mutunga is the Administrative Assistant to the chief operating officer and chief program officer of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) and its supporting organizations. She also provides administrative support to the Foundations Boards and Committees as well as the fellowship and internship programs. Prior to joining JHF, Ms. Mutunga worked as a secretary in the cardiology department at St. Francis Hospital in Pittsburgh. She has over 20 years of administrative experience, having worked for a leading insurance company in Kenya and the Embassy of the Republic of Kenya based in South Africa. She earned her secretarial diploma from Kianda College (Nairobi, Kenya) and a diploma in human resources from the University of South Africa.
> Hanifa Nakiryowa, MID
Global Health Associate
As a Global Health Associate for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF), Ms. Nakiryowa advances the goals of JHF’s Women’s Health Activist Movement Global (WHAMglobal) network by applying her internationally-recognized leadership and advocacy skills. Prior to joining JHF, Ms. Nakiryowa served as a special projects intern for the Pittsburgh Foundation. She founded the Center for Rehabilitation Survivors of Acid Violence (CERESAV), which promotes human services for acid attack survivors in Uganda and advocates to prevent future attacks in the country. Ms. Nakiryowa has also contributed to fundraising, advocacy, and awareness-building efforts for the Acid Survivors Foundation Uganda, and worked to enhance maternal and child health as a program monitoring and evaluation specialist for the UNICEF-FBO partnership program in Uganda. She earned the 2013 Rotary International Vocational Service Award, the Iris Marion Young Award for political engagement and social justice advocacy, the Sergeant James “Rip” Taylor Award for public service, and an H.J. Heinz Fellowship for leadership potential. Ms. Nakiryowa earned a bachelor of science with education from Makerere University-Uganda, a master of arts in Economics from the University of Nairobi-Kenya, and a master of international development-human security studies from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.
> Julia Och
AIDS Free Pittsburgh Project Manager
Ms. Och is the project manager for AIDS Free Pittsburgh (AFP), a collaborative initiative to eliminate new AIDS diagnoses in Allegheny County and reduce new HIV infections by 75 percent by the year 2020. As project manager, she coordinates efforts among AFP partners – including local service agencies, health systems, academic institutions, and the Allegheny County Health Department – to identify HIV-positive individuals who are currently undiagnosed and link them to medical care, and engage those at risk of developing HIV through education, routine screening, and access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) treatment. Prior to joining the Foundation, Ms. Och served as a policy specialist with Allegheny HealthChoices, Inc. (a non-profit behavioral health organization) and as an assistant planner at Gateway Rehab, where she provided project management support and analyzed program data. She also has experience in community health outreach on issues including substance abuse and sexual health. At Clark University, she earned a bachelor’s in international development and social change, as well as a master’s in community development and planning.
> Anneliese Perry, MS
Senior Quality Improvement Specialist
Ms. Perry is a Senior Quality Improvement Specialist for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) and Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI). She previously served as a Nursing Home Administrator, collaborating with many of the PRHI and JHF staff through involvement in Perfecting Patient CareSM training, the Long-Term Care Champions program, Closure, and REACH. Ms. Perry applies her experience in quality improvement training and coaching to the RAVEN (Reduce Avoidable hospitalizations using Evidence-based interventions for Nursing facilities in western PA) team. She develops and implements customized curriculum aimed at helping long-term care facilities reduce avoidable hospitalizations, coaches healthcare organizations on quality improvement efforts, and trains workers in Perfecting Patient CareSM, PRHI's flagship improvement methodology. Ms. Perry is also a member of the Community Health Workers Champions team. She earned her bachelor's degree in psychology at Westminster College, and her master's degree in professional leadership at Carlow University. She is a licensed Nursing Home Administrator and certified in ethics and compliance management from St. Louis University.
> Roger Rollin, MBA
Chief of Operations and Director for Tomorrow's HealthCare™
Mr. Rollin is the Director and Chief of Operations for Tomorrow's HealthCareTM (THC) — the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative's (PRHI) online knowledge and collaborative-learning network. He ensures that THC meets the needs of current customers, as well as prospective customers. He is an information technology leader with a longstanding commitment to the clinical and administrative needs of healthcare providers. He has expertise in enterprise-level information system strategy. Previously, he served as the senior director/director of the information services division of UPMC, as well as positions at specific hospitals within UPMC. Mr. Rollin earned his bachelor's degree at Point Park University, and his MBA at Duquesne University. He is certified as a medical technologist by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists.
> Danielle Scott, MS
Instructional Designer (PRHI)
Ms. Scott is the Instructional Designer for the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI), developing and implementing educational courses and content for Tomorrow's HealthCareTM, PRHI's online knowledge and collaborative-learning network. Her responsibilities include creating curriculum and resources for the five-state Quality Innovation Network (QIN) program. Prior to joining PRHI, Ms. Scott served as a training and education associate and an educational technology consultant for the Institute for Research, Education, and Training in Addictions. In this role, she designed and implemented online learning modules, managed curriculum to meet learning goals and grant requirements, and coordinated web-based and in-person educational events. Ms. Scott earned her bachelor's degree in liberal studies at Clarion University, and a master's degree in curriculum and instruction (with a focus on adult education) at Point Park University.
> Marsha Shisman
Grants Manager (HIV/AIDS)
Ms. Shisman is the Grants Manager for the HIV/AIDS program funding that the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) distributes under contract with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. She is responsible for the administration of funding and providing technical assistance to AIDS service organizations. Prior to JHF, Ms. Shisman served as a program coordinator in the Office of Executive Education at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, where she had earlier served as assistant to the Dean. A native of Ukraine, Ms. Shisman earned a bachelor's degree in engineering from the Institute of Municipal Engineering in Kharkov and a bachelor's degree in public relations from the College of Public Service, also in Kharkov.
> Joyce Smith, RPh
Senior Applications Specialist (PRHI)
Ms. Smith is a Senior Applications Specialist for the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI) focusing on the online knowledge and collaborative-learning network, Tomorrow's HealthCareTM (THC). In this role, she collaborates with Quality Insights management to create, support, and maintain "MY QI" on the THC platform for users in a five-state Quality Innovation Network (QIN) program. She also works with prospective user groups to customize THC. Previously, she was employed by the West Penn Allegheny Health System and managed teams, projects, and served as a liaison between various departments seeking IT solutions to clinical and operational problems. Ms. Smith also has experience with Meaningful Use, portal development, HIPAA compliance, and policies and procedures development and review. Ms. Smith earned her bachelor's degree in pharmacy at the University of Pittsburgh, and is a registered pharmacist in Pennsylvania.
> Richard Smith, MSW
Project Director (HIV/AIDS)
Mr. Smith serves as the HIV/AIDS project director. In this role, he provides program and technical support to grantees, including assistance with grant applications, funds utilization, database management, and capacity building. Mr. Smith sits on the PA HIV Planning Group, which represents many AIDS service organizations in Pennsylvania. He has extensive experience in quality management as he was the continuous quality improvement coordinator for Albert Einstein Medical Center’s HIV clinic in Philadelphia, a committee member of the HRSA Collaborative, as well as a member of the HIV National Quality Program. Mr. Smith holds a mental health counseling background as a therapist and social worker. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Lock Haven University and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh.
> Sue Steele
Ms. Steele is a program coordinator for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) focusing on HIV/AIDS, the HPV Vaccination Initiative, and general communications. As part of the HIV/AIDS team, she assists in planning and evaluation, reporting, and education and training. Ms. Steele served as primary coordinator for the HPV Vaccination Initiative, working in conjunction with staff, the HPV Vaccination Initiative Advisory, and community organizations to develop and implement programs that increase the uptake of the HPV vaccine in the region. Priot to JHF, she served as vice president for education for the last seven of her 14 years at Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania. Ms. Steele has a bachelor’s in art from the Pennsylvania State University, and has completed ETR’s Training Institute’s Making Evidence-Based Programs Work.
> JT Stoner, MPH
AIDS Free Pittsburgh Health Services Coordinator
Mr. Stoner is a Health Services Coordinator for AIDS Free Pittsburgh (AFP), partnering with members of the AFP coalition to plan and implement programs that enhance biomedical HIV prevention and treatment services, adherence, and access to care. A certified HIV prevention counselor, Mr. Stoner created educational outreach programs for young adults as an intern at Allies for Health + Wellbeing (formerly the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force). He also served as a Health Advocate for consumers, providing testing services, counseling, and education on the HIV prevention medication PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis). Mr. Stoner earned a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Dickinson College, and a Master of Public Health with a focus on Infectious Disease Management, Intervention, and Community Practice from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health (Pitt Public Health).
> Pauline Taylor
As a Program Specialist for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) and the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI), Ms. Taylor supports the Senior Connections initiative, including planning charrettes on senior exercise, housing, and geriatric friendly primary care; and planning for the Virtual Senior Academy, which provides engagement opportunities for community-dwelling seniors. Prior to joining PRHI, Ms. Taylor served for more than two decades as a practice director for Genesis Medical Associates, where she supervised a team of providers, implemented new quality improvement and technology initiatives to expand the scope of practice, and achieved Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) status. She is a member of the Allegheny County Medical Society and the Medical Group Management Association. Ms. Taylor earned a bachelor’s in english and history from Runshaw College, and a certification in practice management from Robert Morris University.
> Brian Turcsanyi, MBA
Director of Technology and Analytics (PRHI)
Mr. Turcsanyi is the Director of Technology and Analytics for the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI). His primary focus is Tomorrow's HealthCareTM — an online knowledge and collaborative-learning network. He also assists the communications department with web-based content distribution, and manages research databases. Previously, Mr. Turcsanyi managed the informatics needs of the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Pathology Quality and Healthcare Research group, which included an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality-funded "Improving Patient Safety by Examining Pathology Errors" database, and the CDC-funded "Best Practices for Pathology" database. He developed a data mart involving the laboratory information system, and others, to track the progress of the Toyota Production System interventions in the Histology lab. Mr. Turcsanyi earned his bachelor's degree in management information systems at Pennsylvania State University, and his MBA at the University of Pittsburgh.
> Nancy D. Zionts, MBA
COO and Chief Program Officer
Ms. Zionts is the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Program Officer for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) and its supporting organizations, the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI) and Health Careers Futures (HCF), overseeing a grant agenda that includes aging, end-of-life care, health workforce development, quality and safety, The Feinstein Fellowships, and public health. She is engaged in the development of the Foundation’s Senior Connections Initiative, and Tomorrow's HealthCareTM (THC) — an online knowledge and collaborative-learning network. Ms. Zionts is the primary contact for the five-state Quality Innovation Network (QIN) program, for which PRHI is a contractor to Quality Insights. In this role, she leads efforts to bring PRHI's Lean-based Perfecting Patient CareSM curriculum and THC to providers in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, and Louisiana who are working to reduce health disparities, promote chronic disease management, and lower costs. She has been a principal staff person for the state roll out of Community Health Choices in southwestern Pennsylvania, and on federally-funded grant projects including the eight-year, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid- funded RAVEN initiative to reduce hospitalizations from skilled nursing facilities, CER for Behavioral Health Integration (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality), and Quality Improvement for Polypharmacy in the Elderly, and Pathology (both through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). Ms. Zionts chairs the Coalition for Quality at the End of Life (CQEL), which aligns healthcare systems, providers, payers, community groups, government, philanthropic, and faith-based organizations to ensure that patients and families have the end-of-life experience they desire. She has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including Grantmakers In Aging and Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania, is a member of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services Block Grant Advisory Board, and is a member of the Advisory for the Johnson Institute. Ms. Zionts has been active in the development and implementation of many JHF initiatives including the Pennsylvania Health Funders Collaborative, the Squirrel Hill Health Center, the QI2T Center, Coordinated Care Network, the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry, and Elderhostel Pittsburgh. She has been involved in the development of special publications, including the Aging Environmental Scan, Moderating the Effects of Aging: A Caregiver's Manual, the Health Information Technology Scan, and Twelve Breaths a Minute. Prior to joining JHF, she was employed for ten years at Forbes Health System in the areas of administration, planning, and continuous quality improvement. Ms. Zionts is a native of Montreal, Canada and earned both her bachelor's degree in chemistry and MBA at Concordia University.
Judith Black, MD, MHA
> Susan Elster, PhD
Dr. Elster is a Consultant for the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI) and Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF), and leads their research efforts. She has a wealth of experience in strategic planning, project development, implementation and management; and in research design, with an emphasis on qualitative methods including survey and focus group research. Dr. Elster and the research team engage in in-depth analyses of health data in order to identify opportunities to improve care. The team also supports the collection and analysis of data critical to PRHI's demonstration projects and contributes to publications describing PRHI's and JHF's work. Dr. Elster rejoined the Foundation after working a number of years in Jerusalem as a research consultant for the Jewish Agency for Israel, and for the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute. Her publications focus on a broad range of topics, including readmission reduction, using outcome measurement in nonprofit program evaluation, consumers' use of health information technologies, trends in health workforce employment, and cross-national policies for at-risk children. She earned her doctorate in public policy analysis at Carnegie Mellon University.