Staff

> 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.

> Elizabeth Balskus, MA
Quality Improvement Facilitator

Ms. Balskus is a Quality Improvement Facilitator for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. Ms. Balskus supports the Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative (PA PQC) and various sites as a quality improvement coach. Currently a PhD candidate in Healthcare Ethics at Duquesne University, Ms. Balskus is completing her thesis on the need for and consequences of implementing a multi-dimensional concept of safety, including psychological, emotional, and communal safety in perinatal and psychiatric care. Previously, she has worked as a member of the STAR Clinic at PeaceHealth hospital in Eugene, Oregon, and as a postpartum doula. Balskus received a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Oregon, where she served as a philosophy teaching fellow for four years.

Betty Batie
Receptionist

 

> 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
Senior Event Manager

Ms. Bombassaro is the Senior Event Manager for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) and its supporting organizations. She is the lead on overseeing the planning and execution of events including for the following initiatives: Liftoff PGH 2020, WHAMglobal, Center of Excellence, Pennsylvania Health Funders, and the Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative. During her eleven-year residence in New York City, Ms. Bombassaro has gained an extensive background in hospitality, event management, and the culinary arts. She is a Pittsburgh native and 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, 412 Food Rescue, and Habitat for Humanity.

> Stacie L. Bonenberger, MOT, OTR/L
Senior Quality Improvement Specialist

Ms. Bonenberger is a Senior Quality Improvement Specialist at the Jewish Healthcare Foundation and Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative whose primary focus is working on initiatives related to the aging population. As a certified Positive Approach to CareTM trainer, Ms. Bonenberger provides knowledge and awareness for families and professionals to help them better understand how it feels to be living with dementia and provides strategies to improve their relationships with individuals living with dementia. Ms. Bonenberger is a member of the Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s Task Force. Additionally, she is one of the statewide coordinators for Dementia Friends Pennsylvania and an active member of the Dementia-Friendly Greater Pittsburgh work group. As part of the Aging Team at the foundation, Ms. Bonenberger has developed and implemented customized curriculum aimed at helping long-term care facilities reduce avoidable hospitalizations through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation grant, RAVEN (Reduce AVoidable hospitalizations using Evidence-based interventions for Nursing facilities). Prior to joining JHF, 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 received her bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts and her master’s in Occupational Therapy from Chatham University. She also earned a certification in computer programming from the University of Denver.

> Megan Butler, MS
Program Associate

Ms. Butler is a Program Associate for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF). In this role, she supports the Foundation’s health technology innovation work. Ms. Butler also provides research and analytical insights to the Foundation’s maternal health initiatives, including the Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative (PA PQC) and the Reinvesting in Health Initiative to test perinatal bundled payment models. In addition to this work, Ms. Butler also coordinates the summer internship program at the Foundation. Prior to joining JHF, she was a Project Manager for Treatspace, Inc., a referral management software company, where she managed software implementations in medical practices. Ms. Butler earned her bachelor’s in Policy and Management and Decision Science and her master’s in Healthcare Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

> Nina Butler, EdD 
Project Coordinator, 15217 Neighborhood-based Teen Mental Health Initiative

Dr. Butler is the Project Coordinator for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation’s Teen Mental Health Initiative. She has more than thirty years of formal and informal educational experience with youth, including have served as the principal of Hillel Academy in Pittsburgh. Dr. Butler is also the Pittsburgh coordinator for OnBoard, a Legacy Heritage Fund program providing nonprofit board training and agency support. Previously, she was a consultant to UPMC Children’s Hospital, Heinz History Center, United Way, the AVI CHAI Foundation, SLB Children’s Radio at the Children’s Museum, and Camp HASC among others.  She has served on a variety of nonprofit boards and is the chair-elect of The Arc of Greater Pittsburgh Board. Dr. Butler has presented nationally on topics related to disability awareness and advocacy, educational innovation, and parenting. She is the recipient of many awards including the UJF’s Levenson Community Relations Award, the Shore-Whitehill Special Needs Volunteer of the Year Award, and Yeshiva University’s Belkin Award in Education. Dr. Butler received her master’s degrees in Special Education and in the Art of Teaching from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as her doctorate in Educational Administration & Policy.

> Ashley Chung, MPH
Program Associate

Ms. Chung is a Program Associate for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, working as a member of the HIV fiscal agency and the Minority AIDS Initiative training team. Her work is centered around supporting frontline staff in their work in the community by providing education, training, and evaluating provider services. She also supports the HIV/AIDS grants manager and program director with allocation, procurement, and the RFP process, and assists with quarterly, monthly, and annual reporting. Ms. Chung also works on the AIDS Free Pittsburgh (AFP) initiative, specifically in developing and implementing community assessments to help inform AFP’s outreach and education efforts. She earned her bachelor’s in Physiology and Neurobiology from the University of Maryland. Ms. Chung then spent two years working in Washington, D.C. at the Food and Drug Administration developing more stable Anthrax and Pertussis vaccines. In 2016, she earned her master’s in Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh with a focus on infectious disease management, intervention, community practice, and global health. Her graduate research focused on HIV/AIDS education and prevention and reducing LGBT stigma.

> 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 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 at every level toward achieving their strategic vision and goals. This includes teaching, and coaching 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 diverse healthcare organizations, including primary care practices, Programs of All-Inclusive Care for Elderly (PACE), Jewish Community Center, AIDS service organizations, hospitals, health departments, and Federally Qualified Health Centers to redesign workflow processes in support of improved patient care and staff satisfaction. She also supports the Tomorrow's HealthCareTM team, assisting in the implementation of this online knowledge and collaborative-learning network to engage healthcare staff across an organization in a culture of quality improvement. In her role as an experienced facilitator, Ms. Condel applies various learning collaborative approaches to engage organizations and staff in peer to peer knowledge sharing and improvement experiences to support the Patient Centered Medical Home and Centers of Excellence Learning Collaborative Networks, and the PA PQC Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative. Ms. Condel has 27 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 in Medical Technology from the University of Pittsburgh and holds a Cytology Certification from UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital.

> Kylea Covaleski, MPH, MSW
Program Assistant

Ms. Covaleski is a Program Assistant for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF). Her primary focus is Senior Connections. Prior to JHF, she worked as a program coordinator for the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Project at the University of Pittsburgh, and as a graduate research assistant in adolescent behavioral health. Ms. Covaleski also has experience as a patient care technician at UPMC. While finishing her graduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh, Ms. Covaleski was a Juanita C. Evans Fellow. The Evans Fellowship provides comprehensive training to prepare future leaders in the fields of social work and public health. Additionally, she is a graduate of two of JHF’s Fellowships — Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Technology, and a former JHF summer intern. Ms. Covaleski earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and dual master’s in Public Health and Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh.

> Kate Dickerson, MSc
Women's Health Specialist

Ms. Dickerson is a Women’s Health Specialist for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) and its supporting organization the Women’s Health Activist Movement Global (WHAMglobal). Ms. Dickerson leads the Foundation’s efforts to advance women’s health and health activism by directing the WHAMglobal initiative. She helps to outline the next frontier of women’s health and health services and build regional, national, and international partnerships. She 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 received her master’s 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 led the Health Center Advocacy Program for Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania. Prior to that, 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 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 Global (WHAMglobal). In addition to analyzing policy developments, he currently manages the statewide HealthChoices Patient-Centered Medical Home Learning Network, the Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative, the Reinvesting in Health Initiative which tests perinatal bundled payment models, the statewide Opioid Use Disorders Centers of Excellence Learning Network with Pitt PERU, the Health Activist Network, and the Pennsylvania Health Funders Collaborative. Prior to his current role, Mr. Ferguson directed JHF’s Adolescent Behavioral Health Initiative, Salk Health Activist Fellowship, policy work for Community Health Workers, projects that implemented evidence-based models for depression and substance misuse in primary care settings, including a four-state dissemination consortium funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement’s nine-state implementation consortium funded by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. Mr. Ferguson is a Fellow at CMS’ Center for Clinical Standards & Quality through October 2019 working on the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative focusing on integrating physical and behavioral health care. He was a previous Health and Aging Policy Fellow with a placement at CMS. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences at Northeastern University and a master’s in Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh while completing internships at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, and the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Exercise and Health Fitness Research.

> Carol Frazer, LPC
Practice Transformation Specialist (PRHI)

Ms. Frazer is a Practice Transformation Specialist for the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI). Her responsibilities include training health systems to implement and sustain quality improvement strategies at the physician practice level. She is also a member of the Teen Mental Health Initiative team which is working to improve access to quality behavioral health care. Ms. Frazer previously contributed to the Community Health Workers Champions team, training frontline workers to identify and report possible mental health issues, and to increase their confidence in engaging those with a mental health diagnosis. Prior to PRHI, she 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 met National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) standards. She also has experience as 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 in Counselor Education at the University of Pittsburgh.

> Christopher Garnett, MSS
HIV/AIDS Program Coordinator

Mr. Garnett is a Program Coordinator working with the HIV/AIDS team to optimize the level of HIV care in the southwestern Pennsylvania region through provider monitoring, education, training, and stakeholder collaboration. He has more than a decade of experience working in the HIV field, most recently as a social worker in the pediatric HIV clinic at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Prior to Children’s Hospital, Mr. Garnett also served in a number of positions in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties, including as an adolescent counselor at the Attic Youth Center for LGBTQ youth, and as a youth and adolescent HIV medical case manager with Action Wellness - a Health Services Organization in the Greater Philadelphia area. Mr. Garnett earned his bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Bloomsburg University, and a master’s degree in Social Services from Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research.

> Millie Greene
Executive Assistant

Ms. Greene is the Executive Assistant to the president and CEO of 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 Global (WHAMglobal). Prior to JHF, she worked for 20 years as a bookkeeper/accountant/administrative assistant to the president and owner of a wholesale floor covering company. She also has experience in public accounting, having held positions with several local firms. Ms. Greene earned an associate 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. She provides clinical education as part of CMS’ RAVEN initiative to reduce avoidable hospital readmissions among long-stay nursing home residents, oversees continuing education offered through the Tomorrow’s HealthCareTM online knowledge and learning network, and supports JHF’s multi-faceted Senior Connections program. Ms. Greer received her bachelor’s degree in Nursing and joint master’s degree in Public Health/Public Administration from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a former intern of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation.

> Steven Guo
Program Associate

Mr. Guo is a Program Associate for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF). In this role, he supports the Foundation in the following initiatives: the Feinstein Fellowships, the Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative (PA PQC), and the Reinvesting in Health Initiative. On the Feinstein Fellowships, he assists in the development of the fellowship experience, as well as recruiting strategies for new fellows. With the PA PQC and Reinvesting in Health Initiative, he assists the team with executing team agendas and communicating results to the broader network. Prior to joining the Foundation, he was a strategy consultant at Gateway Health Plan, a Medicaid Managed Care Organization, supporting a multi-sector initiative to address the social determinants of health on the Northside communities of Pittsburgh. Mr. Guo earned his bachelor’s in Decision Science with a minor in Healthcare Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

> Lindsey Kirstatter Hartle, MBA, SHRM-CP
Controller

Ms. Hartle is the Controller 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 Global (WHAMglobal). 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
Business/Office Manager

Ms. Holleran is the Business/Office Manager for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation and its supporting organizations—the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI), Health Careers Futures (HCF), and the Women’s Health Activist Movement Global (WHAMglobal). Previously, she worked at UPMC Mercy as a senior secretary in the department of surgery while also supporting surgical research, infection control, orthopedics, and the chief of pediatric surgery. Ms. Holleran holds an associate 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

Mr. Huber is the Chief Communications Officer for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) and its supporting organizations — the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI), Health Careers Futures (HCF), and Women's Health Activist Movement Global (WHAMglobal). As a member of senior leadership, he oversees communications planning, strategy, and implementation throughout JHF's programs. Mr. Huber also directs the Feinstein Fellowships and assists with the management of the Health Activist Network. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, he served as the Director of Communications for Codman Square Health Center, a nationally recognized and award winning, multi-site FQHC located in Boston. From 2014-2018, he served as a board member of Codman2, a partnership between Codman Square Health Center and Codman Academy Charter Public School (CACPS), the first co-located health and education partnership in the country. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute for Community Health Leadership Program Mr. Huber earned his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Gordon College, which included an academic year studying at Oxford University, and a master’s in Health Communication from Boston University. He is also a professional photographer who founded his own business, Give and Take Pictures, and was featured in a variety of regional publications in New England.

> 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.

> 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), Health Careers Futures (HCF), and the Women's Health Activist Movement Global (WHAMglobal). He has extensive healthcare experience and a strong background in financial management, administration, and risk management. Mr. Morrison brings a law degree and bar membership to his role at the Foundation. Most recently, he 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 bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Grove City College and his juris doctorate degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

> Deborah Murdoch, MPH
Program Manager

Ms. Murdoch is a Program Manager at the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. In this role, she provides leadership for the Adolescent Behavioral Health Initiative (ABHI) and Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI), including grants management, quality improvement coaching, facilitation of collaborative learning and peer-exchange, analysis of program data, and documentation of lessons learned. Together with the ABHI team and partnering youth organizations, she is working on the development of a youth advocacy network focused on improved teen mental health services and supports. Ms. Murdoch has coordinated several other initiatives since joining the Foundation in 2013, including the Patient Safety and Jonas Salk Fellowships and a community-wide initiative to increase HPV vaccination. Prior to joining the Foundation, she spent eight years working in international public health, including two years working on a community-based HIV program in South Africa as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer and three years in Uganda working on a national HIV and AIDS care and treatment program funded by the United States Agency for International Development. Ms. Murdoch earned a BS in Neuroscience from the College of William and Mary and an MPH from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

> Catherine Mutunga
Administrative Assistant

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

Ms. Nakiryowa is a Global Health Associate for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF). Her primary focus is the Women’s Health Activist Movement Global (WHAMglobal) and assisting with maternal and child health advocacy and research. Prior to JHF, she served as a special projects intern for The Pittsburgh Foundation. Ms. Nakiryowa is the founder of 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. She has also contributed to fundraising, advocacy, and awareness-building efforts for the Acid Survivors Foundation in Uganda, and worked to enhance maternal and child health as a program monitoring and evaluation specialist for the UNICEF-FBO partnership program in Uganda. Ms. Nakiryowa was recognized with 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 her bachelor’s degree with education from Makerere University in Uganda, a master’s in Economics from the University of Nairobi in Kenya, and a master’s in International Development/Human Security from the University of Pittsburgh.

> Julia Och
AIDS Free Pittsburgh Project Manager

Ms. Och is the Project Manager for AIDS Free Pittsburgh (AFP), a collaborative public health movement to eliminate new AIDS diagnoses and reduce new HIV infections by 75 percent in Allegheny County by the year 2020. As Project Manager, she coordinates efforts among AIDS Free Pittsburgh 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) services. Prior to joining AFP, 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. Ms. Och earned her bachelor’s in International Development and Social Change and a master’s in Community Development and Planning from Clark University.

> Anneliese Perry, MS
Senior Quality Improvement Specialist

Ms. Perry is a Senior Quality Improvement Specialist for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) and its supporting organization the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI). Her primary focus is the Senior Connections initiatives. She applies her experience in quality improvement and coaching to the CMS RAVEN (Reduce Avoidable hospitalizations using Evidence-based interventions for Nursing facilities) initiative. In this role, she develops and implements customized curriculum aimed at assisting long-term care facilities in reducing avoidable hospitalizations. As a coach, she works with healthcare organizations on quality improvement efforts and trains workers in Perfecting Patient Care℠, PRHI’s flagship Lean process improvement methodology. Ms. Perry is one of the statewide coordinators for Dementia Friends Pennsylvania, a movement to change the way people think, act, and talk about dementia. She is a leadership member of Dementia-Friendly Greater Pittsburgh, an organization whose mission is to create inclusive and respectful communities that support individuals living with dementia and those around them. Prior to JHF, Ms. Perry worked in long-term care and both home- and community- based services. She earned her master’s degree in Professional Leadership from Carlow University and a bachelor’s Psychology from Westminster College. In addition, she is a licensed Nursing Home Administrator and is certified in Ethics and Compliance Management from St. Louis University.

> Rachel Schaffer, MPH, MSW
Program Associate (HIV/AIDS)

Ms. Schaffer is a Program Associate working with the HIV/AIDS team to support sub-recipients of all Commonwealth program grants and Minority AIDS Initiative grants. As such, she assists in research, planning, evaluation, and reporting on the Ryan White Law and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) policies, the Southwest PA Regional HIV Needs Assessment, and agency outcome measures for the Commonwealth program. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a master's degree in Social Work, with a focus on community organizing and social administration, and a master's degree in Public Health, with a focus on behavioral and community health. Schaffer has worked as an HIV tester and counselor at a non-profit agency and was also a suicide prevention counselor for a national, non-profit organization. During her graduate studies, she interned at the Hillel Jewish Community Center and the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. 

> 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 at the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. In this role, he provides program and technical support to grantees, including assistance with grant applications, funds utilization, database management, and capacity building. He has extensive experience in quality management having served as the continuous quality improvement coordinator for Albert Einstein Medical Center’s HIV clinic in Philadelphia, a committee member of the HRSA Collaborative, and a member of the HIV National Quality Program. Mr. Smith has a mental health counseling background and earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Lock Haven University and a master’s in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh.

> Sue Steele
Program Coordinator

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.

> Natalie Stewart
Creative Communications Designer

Ms. Stewart is the Creative Communications Designer supporting the Jewish Healthcare Foundation focusing on the Liftoff PGH initiative. Ms. Stewart specializes in visual design, having worked internationally as a communications director, graphic designer, and digital marketing officer. Prior to joining JHF, Ms. Stewart lead communications at the Pittsburgh-based Green Building Alliance, developing the sustainability nonprofit’s first comprehensive visual identity in addition to managing messaging across media campaigns. She also spent three years in Jordan at a local television production company where she directed cross platform digital marketing and documentary script writing. Ms. Stewart holds a Bachelor's degree in International Studies from Johns Hopkins University.

> 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, he previously created educational outreach programs for young adults as an intern at Allies for Health + Wellbeing (formerly 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’s in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Dickinson College, and a master’s in Public Health with a focus on Infectious Disease Management, Intervention, and Community Practice from the University of Pittsburgh.

> Pauline Taylor, CQIA 
Program Specialist

Ms. Taylor is a Program Specialist for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) and its supporting organization the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI). She supports the Patient Centered Medical Home initiative; Centers of Excellence project, and the Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative.  Ms. Taylor also works on PRHI’s flagship Lean process improvement methodology, Perfecting Patient CareSM.  Previously she held the position of practice director for more than two decades at Genesis Medical Associates, where she supervised a team of providers, implemented new quality improvement and technology initiatives to expand the scope of practice, and helped them achieve Patient Centered Medical Home status. Ms. Taylor is a Certified Quality Improvement Associate.

> 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), a supporting organization of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. 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.

John Tyler
Administrative Assistant

 

> 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), Health Careers Futures (HCF), and the Women's Health Activist Movement Global (WHAMglobal). She oversees 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 ScanModerating 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 in Chemistry and an MBA at Concordia University.

 

Consultants

Judith Black, MD, MHA
Consultant 

 

> Susan Elster, PhD
Consultant

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.

Cindy Johnson, CPA
Consultant 

 

Dodie Roskies
Consultant

 

Jonathan Weinkle, MD
Consultant