Our Speakers
NMHA 74th Annual Meeting
September 25-26, 2019

Embassy Suites Albuquerque
1000 Woodward Place NE, Albuquerque, NM 87102
505.245.7100


Alan Morgan, President, National Rural Health Association

New Models of Care for Rural Health
Alan Morgan, MPA, CEO, National Rural Health Association (NRHA), has more than 22 years’ experience in health policy development at the state and federal levels, having served as staff to former US Congressman Dick Nichols and former Kansas Governor Mike Hayden. His experience also includes government affairs work with the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and the Heart Rhythm Society in DC. Morgan has published in The Journal of Rural Health, The Journal of Cardiovascular Management, The Journal of Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology, Cardiac Electrophysiology Review, and Laboratory Medicine. He also served as a co-author for the 6th edition of “Policy & Politics in Nursing and Health Care.” He earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from University of Kansas and a master's degree in public administration from George Mason University. In 2011, he was selected by readers of Modern Healthcare Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in healthcare.

Rick Pollack, President, AHA

All Attendee Luncheon and Speaker
Rick Pollack, MPA, President & CEO, American Hospital Association (AHA)
, leads the nation’s largest hospital and health system membership organization with nearly 5,000 member hospitals, healthcare systems, networks, and other providers. The association helps members shape the healthcare landscape, representing the nation’s hospitals on advocacy issues and developing strategies and tools to help members provide better care to the patients and communities they serve. As CEO, Pollack serves on the AHA Board of Trustees; the Board of Trustees of the Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET); and the Board of Directors of the Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care. He is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100, and the Special Medical Advisory Group to the Secretary of the U. S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs. He began his career in Washington as a legislative assistant to Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin and is a onetime legislative specialist for the American Nurses Association. Pollack holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and communications from the State University of New York College at Cortland and a master’s in public administration from American University in Washington, DC.

Marie Cleary-Fishman, AHA Center for Innovation

NMHA Quality Award Presentation
Marie Cleary-Fishman, BSN, MS, MBA, CPHQ, CPPS, CHCQM, is Vice President, Clinical Quality, Center for Health Innovation, American Hospital Association. With AHA since March of 2014, she currently manages a diverse portfolio of federally and privately funded projects, providing leadership on Patient Engagement in the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA - PCORI), HUDDLE for Care (The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation), the Strategic Innovation Engine (IMPAQ), Project ACHIEVE (University of Kentucky) and Patient Safety in Ambulatory Settings (AHRQ). As a team member, she helped to shape initiatives including Conflict and Optimal Resolution (CANDOR - AHRQ), HEN 2.0 (CMS) and several data projects.

Martha Hayward

Patient Family Advisory Committee (PFAC) Workshop
Martha Donovan Hayward, Patient Family Engagement Expert, HRET, HIIN, brings breadth and depth of experience to work focused on bringing patients and families into the design of healthcare work to accelerate the improvement of healthcare delivery. Hayward joined the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in 2011 as the Lead for Public and Patient Engagement. A cancer survivor herself, she is a founding board member of the nonprofit Women’s Health Exchange and served on the Patient and Family Advisory Council of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Prior to joining the healthcare world, Hayward enjoyed a 20-year career in communications, marketing and fundraising in the areas of health, politics, and education. An accomplished teacher and speaker, she leads programs including Patient Safety Officer Training, Executive Development, Patient and Family Centered Care, Patient Engagement, and End of Life Care. Hayward earner her bachelor’s in philosophy from The George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Matt Probst, PA-C

General Session: New Mexicans Confronting Our Healthcare Crises
Matthew Probst, PA-C, Chief Quality Officer and Medical Director, El Centro Family Health
, “lives to serve,” rural New Mexico. He was recently a subject of the documentary The Providers, which focuses on the physician shortage and opioid epidemic in rural America. For much of his career, Probst has worked at El Centro – first from 2004 to 2006, and then from 2008 to the present. Probst is the first PA medical director in New Mexico and leads a team of 43 providers in 27 clinics. He still sees patients three days each week. He attended the PA program at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and, after shadowing his mentor at the Indian Hospital in Santa Fe, was inspired to volunteer with youth. He was awarded the national 2019 PA of the Year Award and said, “My hope is that [this award] shines attention on and brings resources to our rural and underserved healthcare fight for addressing all healthcare disparities. We all must advocate for individual patients, one human at a time, but also push together for policy change. Our society is judged by how we treat our most marginalized people.”

Dr. David Scrace

David R. Scrase, MD, Secretary, Human Services Department (HSD), State of New Mexico, is a board certified Internist and Geriatrician, and past Interim Division Chief for General Internal Medicine and Chief of Geriatrics at UNM. He has cared for patients for over 30 years, continuing to see patients while serving as Secretary of HSD. Dr. Scrase has held administrative positions including nine years in medical education and healthcare executive positions in Michigan. He has been active in many New Mexico public policy committees and community organizations, including as Director and Treasurer of Equality New Mexico, a member of Governor Richardson’s Insure New Mexico! Committee and Health Care for New Mexicans Committee, on the national Ambulatory Quality Association setting quality metrics for professional practice and on the Executive Committee of the New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry. A speaker and author, Dr. Scrase addresses aging, health policy, mindfulness, and happiness. Under the pen name of David Roberts, he published the book Practice Makes Perfect: How One Doctor Found the Meaning of Lives (2013), which chronicles some of the lessons he has learned from his most interesting patients.   

Kathy Kunkel, NMDOH

Coordination of Services between HSD / DOH
Kathyleen “Kathy” Kunkel, JD, MSW, Secretary, New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH), has worked across  NMDOH as deputy director, overseeing the bureau of behavioral supports, regional offices, litigation management and supported employment at the Developmental Disabilities division. She has served as both assistant general counsel and general counsel and as an assistant attorney general for the State of New Mexico. In healthcare practice, Kunkel worked eight years at the UNM Health Science Center, beginning as a pediatric social worker and ultimately becoming assistant director of care management services. There she learned firsthand about the health care needs of New Mexicans and the dedicated health care professionals who serve them. Kunkel’s law degree is from UNM. She also holds a bachelor’s degree from the College of Mt. St. Joseph, as it was formerly called, and a master’s in social work from Michigan State University.

Russell Toal, MPH, Deputy Secretary, Human Services Department (HSD), State of New Mexico, has more than 40 years’ experience in public health leadership, rural health and Medicaid. As past Deputy Director for Systems and Operations and Medicaid Enterprise Business Manager, he was instrumental in design and implementation of state coverage for 40% of New Mexicans and in development of plans for the MMIS modular system that will serve multiple state agencies. As head of RToal Consulting, he served a wide variety of clients in improving health services and systems. Toal began his career with the US Public Health Service working in Georgia and the Carolinas, later serving the State of Georgia for a tenure that included terms as Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Health and Commissioner of the Georgia Medicaid Program. Among his academic posts are Clinical Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management and Director of the Center for Rural Health and Research, Georgia Southern University, and Distinguished Fellow in Health Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies and Clinical Associate Professor of Public Health, Institute of Public Health, Georgia State University.  Toal earned his undergraduate degree in political science and government at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and his MPH in health policy and administration at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 

Kara Ellis, DAISY Foundation

DAISY Awards for Nurse Recognition
Kara Ellis, Regional Program Director, DAISY Foundation
, serves the South Central Region including hospitals and schools of nursing in Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona by providing information, resources, and support to those that are interested in learning more about DAISY or to those that are already DAISY partner organizations. Kara has a wealth of customer service experience and a passion for helping people, making her an excellent ambassador and collaborator in making sure that programs meet the standards and mission of the Foundation and the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. The DAISY Award recognizes nurses for the totality of the expertise, skill and caring they bring to patients, families and society. Kara is a graduate of Oklahoma State University. 

Miriam Ortiz Y Pino, Professional Organizer

5 Ways to Declutter Fast
Miriam Ortiz y Pino, Certified Professional Organizer and Simplicity Coach, More than Organized, has been helping people take control of their time, stuff and space for nearly 20 years. “Getting organized,” she says, “ensures that what needs doing gets done.” Creating an attractive and highly functional environment and creating systems that help entrepreneurs scale up to make more money while helping more people are among her specialties. Ortiz y Pino has always been organized, and her prior roles include a 10-year run in inventory control with Crate & Barrel Stores. She earned her bachelor’s degree in American Studies at the University of New Mexico. 

Reed Anderson

Meditation Tai Chi for Fall Prevention 
Reed Anderson, PhD, has been practicing and studying Tai Chi and Chi Gong for over twenty-five years. After retiring from university teaching in 2004 he has been teaching these arts in the Ramah-El Morro area of New Mexico. In Albuquerque, he has taught several classes at UNM Medical School’s Center for Life and has been especially delighted to share his wellness form of Tai Chi / Chi Gong with health professionals.

Barbara Balik, Innovative Healthcare Leadership

All Attendee Luncheon and Speaker
Joy in Work:  A Path Forward
Barbara Balik, RN, EdD, heads Common Fire.  She is the former Executive Vice President for Safety and Quality Systems, Safety and Chief Quality Officer for Allina Hospitals and Clinics, a large Minnesota healthcare system and past CEO of United Hospital in St. Paul, MN. She is a patient- and family-centered care and patient experience expert and has practiced as a labor and delivery nurse and pediatric nurse practitioner in settings ranging from academic medical center to rural outreach program. Barbara is a Senior Faculty member with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a Board of Governors member of the National Patient Safety Foundation and on the Board of the Presbyterian Healthcare Services System Quality Committee. From 1986 to 1993, Barbara worked at Minneapolis Children’s Medical Center as Vice President of Patient Care. Her undergraduate degree is from Marycrest College, master’s degree in nursing from the University of Minnesota and doctorate in organizational leadership from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN.

Kate Dowd-Esser

Emergency Department Information Exchange
Kate Dowd-Esser, MA, Senior Clinical Success Manager, Collective Medical, holds a BSW from Northern Arizona University with an emphasis on indigenous cultures of the Southwest and a Master's from Naropa University in Gerontology & Long Term Care Administration. Kate served as Director of Social Services in Skilled Nursing Facilities in the Portland Metro area until she became the Care Coordination Team Lead at Northwest Primary Care. Through the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative (CMS Innovation grant) Kate helped to build a social services based team to support whole person care, enhance the medical/ health home model and facilitate behavior health integration into the Primary Care setting. In 2014, Kate became the second Collective Ambulatory user in Oregon and developed the work flows around cohort development, utilization reduction plans and care recommendation implementation.  Kate joined Collective Medical in 2017 to support new customers as they join the Platform.

Kary Nulisch, Collective Medical

Kary Nulisch, General Manager, Collective Medical, serves New Mexico, Texas and West Virginia to facilitate collaborative care networks linking hospitals, health plans and a wide range of outpatient providers to identify and better support high-need individuals. Nulisch leads efforts to grow and sustain the network as healthcare entities come together to meet the challenges of individuals who require integrated approaches to their clinical and non-medical needs, ultimately helping care teams achieve better patient and financial outcomes. Prior to his role with Collective, Nulisch was Vice President of Professional Services with Orion Health, a provider of healthcare information technology solutions advancing population health. Nulisch has more than 30 years of experience in technology deployment and implementation, much of it in the healthcare field. He earned a bachelor’s in business administration, business analysis and management information systems from Texas A&M University. 

Tim Washburn

Timothy Washburn RN, BSN, MBAHCM, Chief Clinical Officer for Electronic Caregiver, is a nurse and nurse leader with more than 25 years’ experience. His role and mission are to deliver sustainable, proven, customer driven solutions that can support improved patient outcomes, improved communication between care team members,  and improve provider satisfaction and delivery of high value care at an affordable cost. He made the move to Electronic Caregiver from the clinical leadership environment to advance the use of AI and health technology to effectively support aging in place as well assisting providers at both the point of care and the community health level. This, he believes, is critical to effectively managing ever-growing healthcare needs faced in the United States and throughout the world. It cannot be achieved through the application of AI or technology alone, he says, but instead requires a targeted and intelligently designed system that leverages people, process and technology to support the provision of the right care at the right time and in the right place.  Washburn earned his BSN at SUNY, Utica Rome Institute of Technology and his MBAHCM at Western Governors University. 

Strefany Goradia, VersatileMed Analytics

Statewide Data Trends and How You Can Strategically Use Data
Stefany Goradia, MS, is Data & Informatics Officer and Co-founder of Versatile MED Analytics
, a rapidly growing healthcare informatics and business intelligence startup headquartered in Albuquerque, NM. She is a strong advocate for open-source-“like” analytic tools and collaboration, data transparency, and women and minorities in STEM. Formerly, she held various analytics consulting and technical roles at healthcare organizations such as Molina Healthcare, Health Care Services Corporation, Presbyterian Healthcare Services, and the State of New Mexico, where she heavily supported business intelligence and data-driven improvement initiatives across clinical, operational, and financial domains. She has expertise in blending payer and provider data for population health initiatives and to achieve cost reductions, drive quality improvements, and meet complex regulatory requirements. She has a formal background in Statistics, Economics, and Industrial Engineering, and is an active Board member of NM HIMSS.

Patty Kehoe

Patty Kehoe, RN, CEO, President, Wisdom Gate Consultant Services, LLC, consults with health care organizations, facilities and providers to improve quality of care, implement payment reform and assist with innovative health care program development. She has participated in clinical studies, workshop creation/speaking, responding to proposals and quality measurement activities. A particular focus is Value Based Payment.  Kehoe has more than 35 years’ experience in the health care industry. She was the immediate past president of Molina Healthcare of New Mexico, where she led the health plan for 5 years; achieving a four-star Medicare rating and highest ranked Medicaid quality health plan in NM for over 5 years. She served as the Vice President of Healthcare Services for 3 years leading the fee-for-service review department, care coordination, quality, and utilization review. Prior to joining Molina, she served as director for the state quality improvement organization external audit and review departments. She holds a master’s degree in public health from Independence University and is certified as a case manager.