Staff

> Karen Wolk Feinstein, PhD
President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Karen Wolk 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 to serve as a regional catalyst for healthcare reforms.

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. Dr. Feinstein founded HCF to assist the region’s healthcare industry in attracting, preparing, and retaining employees. WHAMglobal was established to empower women to lead efforts to advance healthcare systems that are transparent, respectful, accountable, and equitable.

Dr. Feinstein is widely regarded as a leader in healthcare quality improvement and patient safety, and she 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. Dr. Feinstein is the host of the podcast series, Up Next for Patient Safety, examining the best solutions to healthcare safety challenges. She has served on the faculties of Boston College and Carnegie Mellon University and taught at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Feinstein is the author of numerous regional and national publications on quality and safety. She is the editor of Moving Beyond Repair, which explores the conditions required to successfully apply Lean as a system-wide quality improvement philosophy. In 1998, 2002, and 2015 she was named Pittsburgher of the Year by Pittsburgh Magazine, from 2020-2023 she was recognized as a member of Pittsburgh Business Times’ Power 100, and from 2021-2023 she was selected by City and State PA as one of Pennsylvania's Health Care Power 100.

Dr. Feinstein is a founder of the Network for Regional Health Improvement (now a part of the Civitas Networks for Health), a past President of Grantmakers In Health and Grantmakers of Western PA, and founder of the Pennsylvania Health Funders Collaborative. She serves on many nonprofit, governmental, and for-profit boards, including the Allegheny Conference on Community Development; the Allegheny Parks Foundation; the Bon Secours Mercy Health Population and Community Health Steering Council; the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University Board of Overseers; and the Highmark Health Quality, Safety & Value Board. She’s appointed to 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, and the UPMC System-wide Patient Care Committee. She is a founding member of the national Women of Impact coalition and a member of the International Women’s Forum (IWF) where she was the first chair of Pittsburgh’s IWF chapter and co-founded their Women in Health Care Special Interest Group.

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.

> Meagan Acrie
Project Accountant

Meagan Acrie is a project accountant for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. Ms. Acrie supports finance needs across the Foundation's various programs. Before joining JHF, she worked for 13 years as a budget analyst in emergency services at Region 13 managing multiple million-dollar federal Homeland Security grants. Ms. Acrie earned her bachelor's degree in forensic accounting, with a minor in business management, from Carlow University.

> Stacie L. Bonenberger, MOT, OTR/L
Program Manager, Aging Initiatives

Stacie Bonenberger is a program manager at the Jewish Healthcare Foundation and Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative, with a primary focus on initiatives related to the aging population, including the design of new models for senior living. Ms. Bonenberger is one of the statewide coordinators for Dementia Friends Pennsylvania, a global initiative that is changing the way people think, act, and talk about dementia. She is an active member of the Dementia-Friendly Greater Pittsburgh leadership work group. Ms. Bonenberger is also a member of the Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s Task Force. As part of the JHF Aging Team, Ms. Bonenberger uses coaching skills to develop and implement customized curricula helping healthcare organizations with quality improvement efforts. Current projects include Revisiting the Teaching Nursing Home Initiative, a pilot project in three regions of Pennsylvania working to demonstrate how enhanced partnerships between academic nursing schools and skilled nursing facilities can improve quality outcomes and address workforce challenges. During 2020 - 2021, she worked closely with the Department of Human Services and the Department of Health to provide Learning Networks for staff in skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes and congregate living through the Educational Support and Clinical Coaching Program and Regional Response Health Collaborative Program. This work continues with the Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Learning Network for nursing facilities. Previously, Bonenberger worked to help 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.

> Lisa Boyd
Administrative Associate

Lisa Boyd is the administrative associate 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). This role provides high-level operations and research support to the executive office. Ms. Boyd has over 20 years of experience providing administrative, program, and research support in the nonprofit sector. Most recently, she was the executive assistant for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, supporting the library’s President and Director and Board of Trustees. Before moving to Pittsburgh in 2016, Ms. Boyd worked as a graduate research assistant in the Department of Sociology and senior administrative assistant in the Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Research at the University of Notre Dame. Ms. Boyd began her career as a program assistant at the Colorado Foundation for Medical Care and has a BA in Sociology from the Metropolitan State University of Denver.

> Kristen Brenneman, MSN
Quality Improvement Facilitator

Kristen Brenneman, MSN is a quality improvement facilitator for the Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative (PA PQC), supporting the Foundation's efforts to advance the goals of the PA PQC healthcare teams. Brenneman coaches multi-disciplinary healthcare teams in the PA PQC and creates data reports for the teams and stakeholders. Brenneman has over 20 years of experience in maternal child health, including leadership roles in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at UPMC Magee Women's Hospital as unit director and Labor and Delivery at AHN West Penn Hospital as nurse manager. During her time as a nurse leader, she led many new initiatives and presented posters at two national nursing conferences. Brenneman received her BSN from West Virginia Wesleyan College and her MSN in Leadership and Administration from Capella University.

> Carolyn Byrnes, MPH, CPH
Policy Director

Carolyn Byrnes is the policy director at the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, responsible for creating and maintaining the organization’s policy agenda and plan, researching policy barriers and solutions, monitoring funding opportunities, and offering guidance on writing grant applications, among other roles. Prior to JHF, she was a senior advisor to the Secretary of Health and Physician General for Pennsylvania. She served as a senior advisor since 2018 and previously as a special assistant. During her time at the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Ms. Byrnes worked on a myriad of public health issues, including improving maternal and child health, addressing health equity issues, and responding to the opioid epidemic and COVID-19 pandemic. She is a former member of several government boards and committees, including the Pennsylvania Board of Medicine, the PA Maternal Mortality Review Committee, and the PA Perinatal Quality Collaborative’s Advisory Group. She currently serves as the public health leader in residence for the Department of Health Policy and Management at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. She received her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh, and her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Loyola University Chicago. She is certified in Public Health by the National Board of Public Health Examiners.

> Hazell Azzer Carpenter-Saunders
AIDS Free Pittsburgh Community Outreach & Engagement Coordinator

Hazell Azzer Carpenter-Saunders is the AIDS Free Pittsburgh community outreach and engagement coordinator for the HIV/AIDS Team. In his role, he develops ongoing community engagement opportunities and coordinates activities designed to increase access to medical and non-medical HIV services in southwestern Pennsylvania. He is an activist for youth who identify as members of the LGBTQIA+ community and youth who have graduated out of the foster care system and has volunteered at various LGBTQIA+ centers, gaining an extensive knowledge of different providers, drop-in spaces, and clinicians in the Pittsburgh area. During his time in foster care, he sat on many panels across the state speaking about the various disconnects between the system providers and clients being affected by those decisions. He recently graduated from Edinboro University with a bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communications and is a member of the Pennsylvania National Guard.

> Ashlee Carter, MS
Program Associate

Ashlee Carter is a program associate focusing on the Feinstein Fellowships, program training, communications, and other initiatives. Ms. Carter joined the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) in 2022 after over ten years working in the corporate, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors. Prior to joining JHF, she served as the development director at North Side Christian Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center focused on serving all, regardless of their ability to pay. During her time at the health center, she was instrumental in securing 100% of funding from private and corporate sources to expand the dental clinic to serve more patients, increase employment opportunities, and increase the footprint of the health center. Ms. Carter’s prior experience includes working with PNC Charitable Trusts and Eden Hall Foundation, assisting donors with identifying grantees that would assist funders with creating a sustainable impact in the community. Ms. Carter earned a bachelor’s in Health Service Administration from Slippery Rock University and a master’s in Professional Leadership with a focus in Nonprofit Management from Carlow University.

> Jennifer Condel, SCT(ASCP)MT
Manager, Lean Healthcare Strategy and Implementation

Jennifer 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), Health Careers Futures (HCF), and Women's Health Activist Movement Global (WHAMglobal). In this role, she works with healthcare organizations to align quality improvement efforts at every level, to achieve their strategic vision and goals. This includes teaching, and coaching healthcare staff (senior leadership, management, and front line), in-person and virtually, PRHI's Perfecting Patient CareSM (PPC) methodology for Lean organizational development. Ms. Condel works with diverse healthcare organizations, including primary care practices, the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, AIDS service organizations, Federally Qualified Health Centers, community based care organizations, Programs of All-Inclusive Care for Elderly (PACE), hospitals, and health departments, to redesign workflow processes in support of improved patient care and staff satisfaction. 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 statewide PA PQC Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative, Patient Centered Medical Home and Centers of Excellence Learning Collaborative Networks, Minority AIDS Initiative, and Pittsburgh: A Safer Childbirth City. Ms. Condel has 30 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 PPC 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.

> Alaina Conner, MPPM
Women’s Health Grants Specialist

Alaina Conner is the women's health grants specialist at the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, assisting the Foundation in administering grants to improve maternal health outcomes through a variety of innovative projects. She is also a member of the WHAMglobal team, providing support to a range of projects and grants. She has over 10 years of project and grants management experience in local public and environmental health. Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as the program manager for special projects at the Allegheny County Health Department, overseeing numerous community-informed health initiatives such as community health improvement planning and grant-funded initiatives around community health workers. Conner earned a bachelor's degree in environmental studies as well as a master’s in public policy and management, both from the University of Pittsburgh.

> Bridget Cox
Administrative Coordinator

Bridget Cox is the administrative coordinator for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. She has over eight years' experience in operations and customer service. Shortly after relocating to Pittsburgh from Columbus, OH, Ms. Cox accepted a position as operations manager at The Candle Lab. Using her abilities in management and organization, she played a pivotal role in growing this unique business concept into a successful and established business.

> Chelsea Dickson, MPH
Program Specialist

Chelsea Dickson is a program specialist on the Jewish Healthcare Foundation’s Aging Initiatives team. In her role, she supports the Teaching Nursing Home initiative, the Dementia Friendly Pennsylvania program, and related aging, communications, and policy efforts. Prior to the Foundation, she completed FleishmanHillard’s graduate development program in corporate communications before joining Bliss Integrated Communication, where she worked on communications for a multinational tax, accounting, and consulting firm. At the social impact organization Understood, Chelsea’s communications work focused on providing expert-vetted information to individuals with learning disabilities as well as their families, teachers, and employers. This work encompassed media relations, developing content and messaging about special education and disability inclusion, and supporting a bilingual, national awareness campaign for early identification of learning disabilities. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English and Professional Writing from Carnegie Mellon University and her MPH in Health Policy and Management from the University of Pittsburgh.

> Robert Ferguson, MPH
Chief Policy Officer

Robert Ferguson is the chief policy 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). In addition to working on JHF’s policy priorities, he manages the Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative (PA PQC), the statewide HealthChoices Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Learning Network, the Reinvesting in Health Initiative that tests perinatal bundled payment models, the statewide Opioid Use Disorders Centers of Excellence (COE) Learning Network with Pitt PERU, the Southwestern PA Contact Tracing Consortium, and the Pennsylvania Health Funders Collaborative (PHFC). He also facilitates the Pennsylvania Community Health Worker Steering Group. Previously, he managed projects funded by AHRQ and CMMI that implemented evidenced-based models for depression and substance misuse in primary care settings locally and nationally. Mr. Ferguson also served as a Health and Aging Policy Fellow at CMS’ Center for Clinical Standards & Quality, where he worked on the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative with a focus on integrating physical and behavioral health care. He earned his bachelor’s degree in health sciences at Northeastern University and a master’s in public health at the University of Pittsburgh.

> Emily Franke, LSW, MSW
Program Associate

Ms. Franke is a program associate on the JHF aging team. She is a licensed social worker with extensive experience in grief recovery, end-of-life choices, caregiving issues, and psychopharmacology. She honed these skills through positions at the Benedum Geriatric Center as a pre-licensed therapist and most recently as a psychiatric social worker on the Integrated Health and Aging Program unit at Western Psychiatric Hospital. She has worked to support individuals who are experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety in the context of medical diagnoses and those experiencing caregiver or career-related burnout. Ms. Franke earned her dual bachelor's degrees in psychology and gender, sexuality & women's studies from the University of Pittsburgh, where she went on to graduate with her master's in social work. As a Hartford Fellow during her master's program, she worked to develop skills specific to serving the diverse older adult population with a specific focus on LGBTQIA older adults.

> Carol Frazer, MEd, LPC
Behavioral Health Specialist

Ms. Frazer is a behavioral health specialist for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. 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 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 for the HIV/AIDS team at the Jewish Healthcare Foundation whose role is to optimize the level of HIV care in the southwestern Pennsylvania region through provider monitoring, education, training, and stakeholder collaboration. He has over 20 years of experience working in the HIV field and much of his previous work was based in Philadelphia. Some of this work included  a position as a social worker in the pediatric HIV clinic at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, an adolescent therapist 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 of Pennsylvania, and a master’s degree in social services from Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research.

> Lisa George, MPH, CHES
Senior Communications and Program Specialist

Ms. George is a senior communications and program specialist, focusing on JHF’s end-of-life initiatives and supporting overall organizational communications efforts, including strategic communications for the National Patient Safety Board initiative. She also serves as the coordinator for PA POLST and the Coalition for Quality at the End of Life. Prior to joining the foundation, Ms. George served as senior editorial manager at the Oncology Nursing Society. During her tenure with the society, she was instrumental in launching and managing the organization's book publishing program, developing award-winning resources for cancer care professionals and patients and families affected by the disease. Ms. George earned a bachelor's in English literature and a master's in public health with a focus on behavioral and community health sciences, both from the University of Pittsburgh. During her master's work, she participated in research examining the acceptability and utility of screening for unmet social needs in the clinical setting. She also is a Certified Health Education Specialist and a graduate of the JHF 2020 Patient Safety Fellowship.

> 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.

> 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 in environmental science from Salem International University and her MBA from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

> Leah Holleran
Accounting Manager

Ms. Holleran is the accounting 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 Patient Safety and Salk Health Activist Fellowships and contributes to 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. He is a past 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 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 has been featured in a variety of regional publications in New England.

> Sarah LaVoie, RD
HIV Program Associate

Ms. LaVoie is the HIV program associate in a support role to the HIV/AIDS team. In this role, Sarah is responsible for assisting with general administrative functions and team logistics, monthly invoicing, and provider outreach. She will support the rest of the team by organizing technical assistance trainings, event planning, and coordinating meetings. She previously served as a registered dietitian in hospital and long-term care facilities and as a wellness coach for clients across the country. In addition, she worked at a start-up company managing finances for local and national restaurants. In her spare time, Ms. LaVoie likes to crochet and is an expert in the craft. She hosts monthly meetups and classes around the city teaching the skill.

> Mary Ann Mantick
Accounts Payable Specialist

Ms. Mantick is a accounts payable specialist for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. Ms. Mantick has 31 years of accounting and bookkeeping experience. She previously worked as a fiscal analyst with the Allegheny County Department of Public Works. Mantick attended the Community College of Allegheny County.

> Bridget McNamee, MID
Behavioral Health Project Manager

Ms. McNamee is the behavioral health project manager, overseeing the implementation of the Behavioral Health Fellows Program. This program enhances the region’s capacity to address behavioral health through workforce development. Prior to joining the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, Ms. McNamee spent more than 10 years at the Allegheny County Department of Human Services where she managed behavioral health special projects, including program design and implementation, quality improvement initiatives, planning and reporting, and management of behavioral health-focused advisory boards. She has also spent time working in higher education and at a local nonprofit that works with young people from Ireland/Northern Ireland. Ms. McNamee earned a bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Neuroscience from Chatham University and a Master of International Development from the University of Pittsburgh.

> Charles Morrison, JD, CPA
Financial Advisor

Mr. Morrison is a financial advisor 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 in accounting from Grove City College and his juris doctorate degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

> Deborah Murdoch, MPH
Senior Program Manager, Community Health

Ms. Murdoch is a senior program manager of community health 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. 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 bachelor's in neuroscience from the College of William and Mary and an MPH from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

> Sara Nelis, RN
Project Manager

Ms. Nelis is the project manager for the Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative (PA PQC) and the Pittsburgh: A Safer Childbirth City initiative. Ms. Nelis is an experienced maternal child healthcare professional, having worked at West Penn Hospital as an assistant nurse manager in their labor and delivery unit. She is a registered nurse and certified childbirth educator. In the past, she was a birth doula and she also previously worked at Magee-Womens Hospital. Ms. Nelis received her BS from the University of Pittsburgh and her nursing diploma from UPMC Mercy School of Nursing.

> Anneliese Perry, MS, NHA 
Program Manager, Aging Initiatives

Ms. Perry is a program manager at the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF). Her primary focus is working on initiatives which support older adults to age well at home and in their communities. Her current work includes the Teaching Nursing Home Collaborative, an initiative focused on demonstrating how enhanced partnerships between academic nursing schools and skilled nursing facilities can improve quality outcomes and address workforce challenges. She is one of the state-wide coordinators for Dementia Friends Pennsylvania and Dementia Friendly Pennsylvania initiatives. She is an active member of the Dementia-Friendly Greater Pittsburgh leadership work group. During 2020 - 2021, she worked closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and the Department of Health to provide COVID-19 Learning Networks for staff in skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes and congregate care living through the Educational Support and Clinical Coaching Program (ESCCP) and the Regional Response Health Collaborative Program (RRHCP). This work continues with the Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Learning Network for nursing facilities. As part of the JHF Aging Team, she uses her coaching skills to develop and implement customized curricula, helping healthcare organizations with quality improvement efforts. Previously, Ms. Perry worked to support long-term care facilities to 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, Ms. Perry worked in both home and community-based services as well as long-term care. She holds a master’s in professional leadership from Carlow University and a bachelor’s in psychology from Westminster College. She is a licensed nursing home administrator and is certified in ethics and compliance management from St. Louis University.

> Sarah Pesi, MSPPM
Policy Associate

Ms. Pesi is a policy associate with a primary focus on initiatives related to behavioral health. Ms. Pesi is a lead coordinator in the work of the PA Youth Advocacy Network, which brings youth and youth-serving organizations together to advocate for mental health system change and centers youth voice. She also supports the Teen Mental Health Collaborative which seeks to extend the continuum of care and support out-of-school time organizations. Ms. Pesi is called to the mission of building up community and activism and enjoys leading the teen advocacy series and staffing other JHF fellowships, including the Salk Activist Fellowship and BH Fellows program. She also works with the JHF policy team to coordinate the the Policy Advocacy Coalition for the National Patient Safety Board and serves on the PA Health Funder Collaborative workgroup on behvaioral health. Prior to JHF, she worked at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh as the director of teen wellness and advocacy at the Second Floor, where she offered wellness programming in the after-school teen drop-in space. She has worked on numerous policy initiatives, including successfully passing PA legislation as a teen. Ms. Pesi has a Master of Science in Public Policy & Management with a concentration in public policy analysis from Carnegie Mellon University, and she earned a BA in public policy studies and a minor in social services administration from Chatham University. 

> Colleen Rua, MBA
Accountant (HIV/AIDS)

Colleen Rua recently is an accountant for the HIV/AIDS Program as part of the team managing the state grant funding for the service providers. Ms. Rua has a combined 20 years of grants administration experience at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. She was also a grant specialist for a consulting firm, providing grant management expertise to various institutions. Ms. Rua’s career took a different turn over the past eight years, as she moved from the academic setting to providing accounting and financial management for a specialty construction firm. Ms. Rua earned her BS and MBA degrees from California University of Pennsylvania. 

> Maureen Saxon-Gioia, MSHSA, BSN, RN
Nurse Project Manager, Aging Initiatives

Ms. Saxon-Gioia is a nurse project manager for aging initiatives for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF). In this role she works on the Revisiting the Teaching Nursing Home Initiative (a pilot project in three regions of Pennsylvania to demonstrate how enhanced partnerships between academic nursing schools and skilled nursing facilities can improve quality outcomes and address workforce challenges) and the new Statewide Long Term Care Learning Network for Nursing Facilities supporting training and education related to improving healthcare quality, patient safety, and workforce development. With a career that spans many years as a point-of-care nurse in both neuro intensive care and high-risk labor and delivery in an academic medical center, she is also a member the JHF WHAMglobal team promoting maternal health equity and outcomes. She worked at JHF from 2007 to 2014, where she completed the Nurse Navigator Champions Program and was a trainer and coach in Perfecting Patient Care and Quality Improvement with JHF. Ms. Saxon-Gioia returned to JHF in 2021 from the post-acute care setting in home health services, bringing with her experience in leading compliance and quality improvement activities to promote value-based care and professional nursing development. She earned her bachelor’s in nursing from Pennsylvania State University and a master’s in health services administration from Robert Morris University.

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

Ms. Schaffer is a program officer 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 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. 

> Jessica Segal, LCSW
Behavioral Health Program Associate

Jessica Segal, LCSW is a Behavioral Health Program Associate at the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. In this role, she supports JHF's multifaceted behavioral health programs, including the BH Fellows program, a statewide Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Quality Collaborative, and the Adolescent Behavioral Health Initiative. Segal is a licensed clinical social worker dedicated to supporting youth and adolescents experiencing mental health challenges and creating systems to best support their overall well-being. Prior to joining JHF, she worked for the Matilda H. Theiss Child Development Center of UPMC in a youth intensive outpatient program and most recently as a school social worker at the Environmental Charter School. Segal earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from Bates College and her master's degree in social work from Columbia University.

> Emma Seagle, MPH
Program Officer (HIV/AIDS)

Emma Seagle is a program officer working with the HIV/AIDS team to support the Jewish Healthcare Foundation’s Ryan White Part B contract, the statewide Minority AIDS Initiative, and AIDS Free Pittsburgh. Through this role, she assists in providing programmatic and technical support to grantees, as well as assists in research, planning, and evaluation for these initiatives. Emma has previously worked in multiple public health capacities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health, focusing her work on vaccines, refugee health, and infectious diseases. Emma also served as an AmeriCorps member in the Pittsburgh community working to combat food insecurity and implement school-based health initiatives. She earned her bachelor's degree in geography and biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her MPH in epidemiology from Emory University.

> Mark Sinicrope, CPA
Chief Financial Officer

Mark Sinicrope 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). Mark is a Certified Public Accountant and the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Independent Controllers, a firm that provides CFO, Controller, and accounting services to both for profit and non-profits in Western Pennsylvania. Mark has devoted a substantial portion of his career to advising clients on structuring internal controls, designing accounting systems and providing enhanced financial reporting to his clients management teams. Mark has worked with the JHF and its supporting organizations periodically over the past 16 years providing CFO services. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and is currently the treasurer of the East End Cooperative Ministries, a non-profit organization. Mr. Sinicrope earned his bachelor’s in accounting from The Pennsylvania State University.

> Richard Smith, MSW
Chief Relationship Officer and Project Director (HIV/AIDS)

Mr. Smith has been with the Foundation for over a decade and serves as Chief Relationship Officer (CRO) and the HIV/AIDS project director. In the CRO role, he focuses on creating equity and reducing conflict. Mr. Smith’s goal is to create a positive, cross-collaborative culture in the workplace and hopes to increase job satisfaction, morale, engagement, and retention among staff. As the HIV/AIDS Program Director, 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, program design, and community development. Mr. Smith has a mental health counseling background and earned his bachelor’s in psychology from Lock Haven University and a master’s in social work from the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to JHF, he was a Quality Manager and Crisis Social Worker for more than four years at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.

> 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 is a quality improvement coach in 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 in management information systems at Pennsylvania State University, and his MBA at the University of Pittsburgh.

> Katie Weidenboerner
Communications Specialist

Katie Weidenboerner is a communications specialist 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). In her role, Ms. Weidenboerner translates project data and real-world outcomes of JHF’s initiatives into stories of impact and calls to action across the organization’s communication platforms. She most recently was the director of communications at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, she spent a decade in the newspaper industry serving in the roles of writer, columnist, photographer, social media manager, and assistant editor at the Courier Express in DuBois, PA. She has also worked as a freelance contributor for the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and the Pennsylvania Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship. Ms. Weidenboerner is a past president of the St. Marys Youth Center and past secretary and board member of the Elk County Council on the Arts. She currently serves as the Majority Inspector of Elections in Ward 19 District 4 in Mount Washington. She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Policy and Management degree at the University of Pittsburgh.

> Kell Wilkinson, MPA, MSW
AFP Program Manager

Kell Wilkinson is the project manager for AIDS Free Pittsburgh (AFP), a county-wide collaborative to end the HIV epidemic in Allegheny County by 2030. As the AFP program manager, Mx. Wilkinson will serve as the primary contact for the AFP project. This role is responsible for lead logistics of the AFP Advisory Group, subcommittees, and high-level stakeholder meetings; establishing a new community advisory committee; collaborating with the Allegheny County Health Department to develop outcome measures and data reporting on results to the community; and developing and maintaining partnerships with health professionals and community-based organizations. Mx. Wilkinson previously served in roles at the Allegheny County Department of Health and Department of Human Services, at the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with the Governor’s Policy Office, and with various nonprofit advocacy organizations. Mx. Wilkinson currently serves on the Board of Directors at Prevention Point Pittsburgh. Mx. Wilkinson is passionate about harm reduction principles, LGBTQ rights, mental health awareness, and health equity. Mx. Wilkinson earned a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh.

> Nancy D. Zionts, MBA
COO and Chief Program Officer

Ms. Zionts, COO/Chief Program Officer for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, is responsible for the grant agenda for the Foundation, and its operating arms, Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative and Health Careers Futures, and WHAMglobal. Her areas of focus include: Aging/Long-Term Care and End of Life, Quality & Safety, Health Careers (including Fellowships and Community Health Workers), and Women’s Health. She currently leads the Foundation’s Phase II Revisiting the Teaching Nursing Home Initiative: Dissemination Across PA (2023-2026), having led the 2021-2023 pilot project in three regions of Pennsylvania that demonstrated how enhanced partnerships between academic nursing schools and skilled nursing facilities improve quality outcomes and address workforce challenges, and the Statewide Long Term Care Learning Network for Nursing Facilities. During 2020 and 2021, she led the Department of Human Services’ COVID-19 Learning Networks for the Educational Support and Clinical Coaching and Regional Response Health Collaborative Programs for Skilled Nursing and Personal Care/Assisted Living Residences throughout PA. She had previously led the planning for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s transition to Managed Long Term Services and Supports/Community HealthChoices, as well as the Foundation’s Senior Connections Initiative. She was the lead principal team member on federally funded projects including the CMS-funded RAVEN (Initiative to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations among Nursing Facility Residents). She has been active in many of the Foundation’s initiatives including its women’s heart health initiative, Working Hearts, Closure and Caregiver Champions Initiatives, the JHF Fellowship On Death and Dying: The Elephant in the Room, Tomorrow’s HealthCare, the Foundation’s Champions Programs, the Pennsylvania Health Funders Collaborative, and in the development of relevant publications including Longer Lives Better Health: Helping Seniors Preserve their Physical, Mental and Social Well-being, Moderating the Effects of Aging: A Caregiver’s Manual, and Closure Community Conversations Implementation Guide. Ms. Zionts has been a member of Grantmakers in Aging for over 25 years and has served on the Board and many of its Committees, including the Finance Committee, and leads the PA LTC Policy Initiative. She was the 2020 Kelly Pruitt Age Friendly Leadership Award winner from the Southwestern PA Partnership for Aging. Ms. Zionts is a native of Montreal, Canada who holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry and an MBA, both from Concordia University. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was employed for 10 years at Forbes Health System in the areas of planning and continuous quality improvement.

Consultants

Judith Black, MD, MHA
Consultant 

 

> Bruce Block, MD
Health Care Quality Consultant

Dr. Block is a health care quality consultant 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).

As PRHI’s Chief Learning and Medical Informatics officer from 2010 to 2020, Dr. Block supported the implementation of evidence-based, person-directed quality improvement methods in health care. He led PRHI's regional 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 in achieving Patient Centered Medical Home recognition and is presently on the faculty of Pennsylvania’s HealthyChoice PCMH Learning Network. Most recently, Dr. Block has participated in PRHI’s Reinvesting in Health initiative that is seeking to explore and implement innovations in perinatal care through process redesign, payment incentives, and community engagement.

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. He also served as co-PI 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 support organizational development using application of Lean methodology. He has been particularly interested in working with Community Mental Health Centers, FQHCs, and Social Service agencies to enhance readiness for value-based payment initiatives.

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 four 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 and managed later transitions to Cerner and EPIC EHRs. As part of that effort, he also 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.

Jackie Dunbar Jacob, PhD, RN, FAAN
Medical Advisor

 

Ariana Longley, MPH
Patient Safety Consultant

 

Jonathan Weinkle, MD
Consultant