Melody Foster is the Performance Improvement Coordinator at Transitions LifeCare in Raleigh North Carolina. She leads improvement projects based on analysis of data by assessing, measuring, and designing current processes, to assure compliance with hospice industries standards of care. Along with her nursing career, Melody has 12+ years experience in Quality Improvement, utilizing IHI’s Model of Improvement, as well as Six Sigma LEAN principles. She has an extensive work history with non-profits, including serving as the first Clinic Director for the Raleigh Rescue Mission.
Melody is an animal lover with two rescues and four chickens. She loves to ride her motorcycle and listen to bluegrass.
Performance Improvement Coordinator
Melody Foster, BSN, RN
Susan has over 20 years' experience helping long-term care providers address regulatory, licensure, and legal questions pertinent to providing quality care and ensuring regulatory compliance. Negotiating with State and Federal entities and Attorney General Offices, Susan has helped clients successfully challenge federal penalties related to conditions of participation and compliance issues. Susan has also assisted clients with initial submissions of 855 applications and identifying the need for and assisting with the submissions of 855 change of information and change of ownership applications. Susan also advises on many day-to-day operational issues including preparing appropriate policies and procedures to address new state and federal regulations, valid and effective contractual arrangements, and addressing client and family member questions and concerns.
Partner, Fox Rothschild, LLP
Ellen Fulp earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmaceutical Science and her Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She completed her Master’s Degree in Palliative Care at the University of Colorado, as the only pharmacist member of the inaugural class. Ellen is Board Certified in Geriatric Pharmacy, specializing in safe, appropriate medication use in the elderly. Since 2013, she has been on staff at AvaCare, an independent hospice pharmacy benefits manager, providing clinical services to hospice and palliative care nurses from across the nation. In 2015, Ellen transitioned to the role of Clinical Education Coordinator for AvaCare. She routinely provides consult regarding appropriate symptom management, regulatory issues and medication appropriateness at end-of-life. Her interests include pain management in the geriatric patient population, medication appropriateness, and expanding access to community based palliative care.
Director of Pharmacy Education, AvaCare
Ellen Fulp, PharmD, MSPC, BCGP
Jane H. Garrett has over thirty years of experience in the field of Health Care with the last eighteen years in home health and hospice. Her breadth of experience includes operations, clinical, regulatory compliance and quality improvement. She is a respected leader in our industry and understands the challenges and complexities of home health and hospice. Jane speaks at national and state conferences and teaches on a variety of hospice regulatory and leadership related topics. She also develops educational products and tools. Jane joined AHHC in 2018 and she works closely with agencies to navigate ADRs, probe edits and the Medicare appeals process. Jane is a registered nurse and holds a Master degree from the Medical University of South Carolina with a specialty in healthcare administration. She assists members with questions related to Medicare Certified Home Health and Quality Improvement.
Vice President, Quality Initiatives and State Liaison
AHHC of NC
Jane Garrett, RN, BSN, MHSA
Dr. Elizabeth Golding is the Medical Director of Cone Health Palliative Care Services.
Medical Director, Cone Health Palliative Care Services
Hospice and Palliative Care Intensive
Elizabeth Golding, DO
Bio coming soon.
Hospice & Palliative Care Coordinator
Durham VA Medical Center
Population Health Day, Session 4
Jamie Grant, MSW, LCSW
In her role as documentation improvement director at Corridor, Kimberly is responsible for full life cycle project management within the home healthcare and hospice landscapes. With over 15 years in home care, she passionately coaches and educates clinicians and auditors on current regulations and requirements. One of her main goals is to implement evidence-based practices that will assist agencies in improving productivity, reducing compliance risks, and improving revenue. Kimberly’s success in home care and hospice is in large part due to her ability to interface between clinical and business leaders to develop a plan that improves clinical outcomes, patient, caregiver, and employee satisfaction while meeting the financial goals of the organization. Kimberly received her B.S.N. degree from The University of Southern Mississippi and her M.S.N. in December 2019 from Sacred Heart University and holds certifications in home health and hospice from The Board of Medical Specialty Coding & Compliance and AHIMA.
As a member of the long-term care community for over 20 years, Nicole has witnessed the impact (socially, emotionally, and economically) that caregiving has on families. Nicole is the Co-Founder of Guiding Lights Caregiver Support Center, a charity that focuses in providing information, referral, education and support to family caregivers. Guiding Lights has been proudly serving the community for 10 years. She is also the Director of Caregiver Support for Transitions LifeCare. In addition, Nicole works with various media outlets through broadcast journalism by using her voice and expertise to educate by raising the base knowledge of the community as a whole is a gift that Nicole is so grateful to have been given. The use of media empowers the community to know what options exist to support them in their caregiving roles. Nicole Co-Host’s the Edge of Aging podcast which served to be the impetus for the creation of SPRX Talks.
Nicole’s perspective on what it is like to be both a professional and personal caregiver (having cared for her grandfather and a friend) serves as a constant reminder of why she gets up every day to continue to do the work that she does to serve our community.
Co-Founder, Guiding Lights Caregiver Support Center
Director, Caregiver Support, Transitions LifeCare
Co-Host, Edge of Aging Podcast
Tracy Colvard is the VP of Government Relations and Public Policy with the Association for Home and Hospice Care of NC. Prior to joining the Association back in early November of 2007, Tracy worked for the NC Division of Medical Assistance or better known as the state Medicaid office for almost 10 years serving as a CAP/DA Consultant for the first seven years and more recently working as the state’s PCS, PCS-Plus, CAP/DA, and CAP/Choice Manager. Tracy began his career in home care at Ashe Services for Aging in rural NC while working as a Social Work case manager and Supervisor for CAP/DA and their large in-home aide program. Tracy also does contracting lobbying for various clients before the North Carolina General Assembly and Congress.
Vice President, Government Relations and Public Policy
AHHC of NC
State of the State
Chris Comeaux (KO-mo) is an award-winning expert and lifelong student on leadership and the performance required to truly be a leader. He has spent his life and career researching, learning, coaching, and implementing the pushes and pulls necessary to create high performance leaders and high performance organizations.
Chris is currently the President/CEO of Teleios Collaborative Network which is a collaboration between Four Seasons Compassion for Life, Catawba Regional Hospice, Caldwell Hospice & Palliative Care, and Mountain Valley Hospice & Palliative Care.
President and CEO, Teleois Collaborative Network
Hospice and Palliative Care Intensive
Bio coming soon.
Medical Director, Hospice and Palliative Medicine Service, Durham VA Medical Center
Population Health Day, Session 4
Toni Cutson, MD
A registered nurse since 2005, Sandy received her RN and BSN degrees along with a degree in marketing. Sandy has most recently worked for CGS Administrators, a Medicare Administrative Contractor, as a Senior Provider Education Consultant, where she educated home health and hospice providers on Medicare home health and hospice clinical regulations, Patient Driven Groupings Model (PDGM), and Targeted Probe and Educate (TPE). Sandy performed medical chart review, analyzing information provided by the home health and hospice providers, and their staff and physicians using criteria set by Medicare standards and clinical guidelines.
Sandy also provided educational sessions with PGBA staff in the early days of Pre-Claim Review before it became Review Choice Demonstration (RCD). At CGS, Sandy was a Medical Reviewer with both Medical Review and Appeals before her educator position. She has presented at both national and state conferences for both hospice and home health for many years. Sandy has also been a paralegal and business analyst in both Iowa and North Carolina. Prior to CGS, Sandy was a Clinical Supervisor, an RN case manager, and served in many capacities at hospice & home health agencies in Iowa. She also has experience as an adjunct Professor at the Iowa nursing college where she received her degrees. As part of her role as Vice President of Home Health Clinical & Regulatory Affairs, Sandy serves as: key contact for home health clinical and regulatory questions; a content expert and educator for AHHC/SCHCHA conferences, workshops & webinars; representative of AHHC/SCHCHA at Palmetto GBA 16-State Coalition meetings; and liaison to the home health teams at NAHC and Palmetto GBA on behalf of members.
Vice President, Home Health Clinical & Regulatory Affairs, AHHC of NC
Sandy Decker, RN, BSN
Catherine is a senior leader in our industry having run multi-service line multi-location continuum of home health and hospice agencies including founding, growing, optimizing and ultimately selling a large hospice organization in Louisiana. Fazzi is honored to have Catherine work with us as a Director of Hospice and Palliative Care in serving providers across the country. Her work, specifically, focuses on educational development, optimizing organizational design, operational efficiency, advanced clinical modeling and quality improvement programs, and assisting organizations in achieving best practice clinical and financial performance. As a hospice and palliative care certified nurse and certified hospice case manager, Catherine reaches into the hospice philosophy, integrating a strong set of core values, focused on the people we serve, into smart and sustainable business models.
Director of Hospice Services, Fazzi Associates
Catherine Dehlin, RN, BSN, CHPN, CHCM
With BAYADA since 2009, Lee Dobson works with state and national associations, legislators, state and federal government agencies, state licensure agencies, and Medicare, Medicaid, and private duty offices to help children and adults with disabilities and seniors get the home care services they need. She also works to preserve the jobs of the dedicated nurses and home health aides who care for them. Ms. Dobson is an experienced health care executive with more than 25 years in home care quality improvement, program development, and regulatory and government affairs. Prior to joining BAYADA, she spent five years at Palmetto Government Benefits Administrators, five years as the director of regulatory affairs with the Association for Home & Hospice Care of North Carolina, and five years with the Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence as the program director for home health and long-term care quality initiatives. She was elected to the Association for Home & Hospice Care of North Carolina’s Board of Directors, 2015 and is serving her second term. Ms. Dobson has a master’s degree in public administration with a focus on health administration from Troy State University. She is fluent in Spanish and received an international accreditation as a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ).
Area Director, Government Affairs
Bill Dombi is the President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice. He previously served as the Vice President for Law at NAHC. As a key part of his responsibilities, Bill specializes in legal, legislative, and regulatory advocacy on behalf of patients and providers of home health and hospice care. With nearly 40 years of experience in health care law and policy, Bill Dombi has been involved in virtually all legislative and regulatory efforts affecting home care and hospice since 1975, including the expansion of the Medicare home health benefit in 1980, the formation of the hospice benefit in 1983, the institution on Medicare PPS for home health in 2000, and the national health care reform legislation in 2010. With litigation, Dombi was lead counsel in the landmark lawsuit that reformed the Medicare home health services benefit, challenges to HMO home care cutbacks for high-tech home care patients, lawsuits against Medicaid programs for inadequate payment rates, along with current lawsuits challenging the Medicare home health face-to-face encounter rule and the Department of labor changes to the overtime rules under the Fair labor Standards Act.
In addition to litigation, Bill offers extensive community and professional educational services through lectures, publications, teleconferences, and videos. He is the Editor and lead author of Home Care & Hospice Law: A Handbook for Executives, the only comprehensive legal treatise on the topic. His lectures include market trends in home care, compliance, risk management, patient rights, fraud and abuse, health care reimbursement, legislative and regulatory reforms, and legal issues in telehealth services.
President, National Association for Home Care & Hospice