President, Katana Safety
Paul Ambrose is the President of KATANA Safety and has been married to his wife Leigh for 30 years/ They are the proud parents of four children, including 3 daughters a nurse, a social worker and a teacher so needless to say he is passionate about lone worker and home care safety.
KATANA Safety patented technology attaches to a smartphone providing users help anywhere anytime. With a simple touch of a button the KATANA Safety Wallet will instantly override the lock screen on your smartphone and connect you with people who will provide calculated, immediate help for the situation at hand. KATANA Safety empowers individuals to manage any situation with cease and confidence.
He most recently served as the President and the Chief Executive of J&P Park Acquisitions Inc. Mr. Ambrose has been an innovator and leader in the e-commerce industry for over 20 years. He was named a national finalist in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year program and was the founder and CEO of the largest Multi-Channel/E-Commerce retailer in the gardening space.
Director of Professional Services, Axxess
Christina is a seasoned strategic leader in home-based care with nearly 20 years of experience in marketing and sales, business development, operations and team management. She focuses on supporting clients in home health, hospice and private duty with consulting and training in the areas of sales and marketing, operations and market analytics.
After beginning her career in 2001 with HCR ManorCare, Christina held diverse corporate, field and management positions, developing a strong background in strategic planning, project management, quality, compliance, reimbursement and market analysis. Her progressive responsibilities included service as a business development manager, hospice administrator, and regional leader to support growth for multi-state operations.
Christina’s accomplishments include the development of a marketing analytics platform, management of multi-state CON processes, and implementation and training for numerous growth initiatives for home health and hospice in the areas of sales, operations, and clinical and leadership development.
Christina earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing from the University of Toledo in Ohio. She also completed a certificate program at Villanova University, earning designation as a Six Sigma Green Belt.
Director of Business Development, SembraCare, Inc.
Brooke Baragona works as a Director, Business Development at SembraCare, which is a Hospitals & Physicians Clinics company with an estimated 27 employees; and founded in 2006. They are part of the Business Development team within the Sales Department and their management level is Director. Brooke graduated from North Carolina State University and is currently based in Raleigh, United States.
Vice President of Interoperability Sales, Axxess
Laura Barnett serves as a Vice President of Interoperability Sales at Axxess. In this role, she drives the growth of Axxess’ partnerships and integrations to cultivate our partners and clients’ success. She has extensive experience in communications for political campaigns, media and presentation skills training for C-level executives, and she spent eight years as a news anchor and managing editor for a local television news station.
Helen Bauer, RN BSN CHPN
Co-owner, The Heart of Hospice
Helen Bauer, RN BSN CHPN has worked in nursing for over 30 years, specializing in hospice and end-of-life care for over 10 years. She is a Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Registered Nurse with a background in compliance and consulting. As co-owner of The Heart of Hospice, she provides end-of-life education and consulting services for both hospice providers and consumers. Helen’s passion for quality end-of-life care can be heard on The Heart of Hospice podcast as she leads discussions on hospice philosophy, how to get the most from a hospice experience and advance care planning.
Mysty Blagg, Esq.
Associate, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC
Mysty Blagg, an associate in the Health Law Group, represents health care providers in matters involving regulatory compliance, litigation, and operations issues.
She brings a unique and valued perspective to her legal work from her previous career as a health care compliance investigator, during which she gained invaluable experience with reviewing medical charts, complex problem solving, North Carolina Medicaid Policy, False Claims Act, and occupational licensing.
Mysty has assisted clients with the regulatory aspect of health care business formation and occupational licensing matters. In addition, her work has included advising long term care providers through the post-survey informal dispute resolution process. Mysty has participated in the litigation of multi-million-dollar Certificate of Need appeals for academic medical centers. She has also counseled clients on Medicaid and Medicare fraud and abuse issues such as Anti-Kickback Statute, False Claims Act, and Stark law.
Results-driven, innovative and passionate clinician and executive; directing national management consulting team serving the continuum of healthcare at home (Home Health, Advanced Illness Management, Hospice, Private Duty). Strong advocate for innovative, technology-leveraged, patient-centered healthcare at home. Advises and directs collaborative efforts with providers and health systems, advancing the pre and post-acute care delivery while improving financial and clinical performance/outcomes.
Industry advocate, served multiple Boards of Directors at Local, State and National level; including the National Association for Homecare and Hospice and American Telemedicine Association (Executive Committee Home Health and Remote Monitoring SIG).
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC
Ms. Chestler serves as the chair of the Data Protection, Privacy and Cybersecurity Team at Baker Donelson. She concentrates her practice in privacy, security and information management issues including compliance, contract negotiation and corporate transactions matters. She joined Baker Donelson after a distinguished career as in-house counsel and privacy officer to several large public and private companies.
Ms. Chestler counsels clients on data privacy and security matters that arise from federal and state laws, including HIPAA, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), GLB, FCRA/FACTA, state data breach laws and the Payment Card Industry (PCI-DSS) requirements. Ms. Chestler also counsels clients on global data protection laws, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). She has significant experience assisting companies in developing comprehensive privacy and security programs and working with management to identify risk management issues, many times in anticipation of corporate transactions. She assists clients in identifying, evaluating and managing risks associated with privacy and information security practices of companies and third party service providers. Ms. Chestler also counsels clients regarding incident response programs including the development of the incident response plan, investigation and response.
Kevin Childs is an author and worldwide keynote presenter. Most recently, his team at CareXM has analyzed over 2.5m patient/nurse interactions, leveraging the remote technologies to improve patient and nurse experiences. His work has helped companies like Kaiser Permanente, Providence Health and Services, Apple, General Motors, and Samsung.
President, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC)
Bill Dombi is the President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC). He also serves as the Executive Director for the Home Care & Hospice Financial Managers Association. 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.
Debra C. Farrington, MSW, LCSW
Deputy Secretary, Chief Health Equity Officer, NC Department of Health and Human Services
Debra C. Farrington, NC DHHS Deputy Secretary / Chief Health Equity Officer is a native North Carolinian reared and educated in rural Columbus County. Through her humble beginnings in Chadbourn, Debra learned the value of family, hard work and perseverance. From her mother, who raised five children after being widowed at the age 28, Debra learned to work diligently, never give up on your dreams and always strive for better. Debra’s values of fairness, equity and concern for others along with her deep faith were shaped by her grandparents and mother, a factory worker who didn’t finish high school but earned her GED at the age of 45. With their love, support and guidance, Debra received a BA in Psychology and Master of Social Work degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a licensed clinical social worker with over 30 years of experience in community based services for children and adults with behavioral health needs.
As the newly appointed Deputy Secretary/Chief Health Equity Officer, Debra will focus on addressing health disparities and the health needs of North Carolina’s most vulnerable citizens.
System Director of Spiritual Counselors, Harbor Healthcare System, Co-host of The Heart of Hospice Podcast
Jerry Fenter has over 10 years of experience in hospice spiritual counseling. He currently works as System Director of Spiritual Counselors for Harbor Healthcare System. In addition to a BS in Healthcare Management, Jerry holds certificates for both Basic and Advanced Hospice & Palliative Care Chaplaincy from the Institute for Palliative Care at California State University in San Marcos. Jerry specializes in training hospice professionals in professional boundaries, self-care, personal grief as a hospice professional, and the art of listening. He’s been the co-host of The Heart of Hospice podcast since 2016.
Chief Executive Officer, Healthcare Provider Solutions, Inc.
Melinda A. Gaboury is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Healthcare Provider Solutions, Inc. (HPS). Melinda Gaboury and Mark Cannon founded the company in April 2001 to provide financial, reimbursement, billing, operational and clinical consulting to the home care and hospice industries.
Melinda A. Gaboury, with more than 30 years in home care, has over 22 years of executive speaking and educating experience, including extensive day to day interaction with home care and hospice professionals. She routinely conducts Home Care and Hospice Reimbursement Workshops and speaks at state association meetings throughout the country. Melinda has profound experience in Medicare PDGM training, billing, collections, case-mix calculations, chart reviews and due diligence. UPIC, RA, ADR & TPE appeals with all Medicare MACs have become the forefront of Melinda’s current impact on the industry. She is currently serving on the NAHC/HHFMA Advisory Board and Work Group and is Treasurer on the Home Care Association of Florida Board of Directors. Melinda is also the author of the Home Health OASIS Guide to OASIS-D1 and Home Health Billing Answers, 2022.
Melinda attended Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee and received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. She began her career in 1991 with a large Tennessee based home care chain as a staff accountant and later joined a national healthcare consulting firm as their Reimbursement Manager.
Dawn Hall, RN
Director, Population Health, Well Care Health
Dawn launched her nursing career as a Registered Nurse (RN) in the labor and delivery unit for a few years, and then transitioned into home health care in 1999. Dawn worked as a field RN and gained more experience with hands-on patient care. She created one of the first telehealth programs in the Triad region. Hall went on to become the Manager of Clinical Practice, where she implemented best practices to ensure optimal patient outcomes. She spent the next 7 years moving up the management ranks in the home health care sector, and most recently serves as the Director of Population Health for Well Care Health in North and South Carolina. Hall is passionate about working with patients in their own environment, and helping them to remain at home whenever possible . She enjoys collaborating with other post acute partners to develop best practices and prevent readmissions.
Managing Consultant/RN, FORVIS
Angela provides consulting services to home care and hospice clients. With over 30 years of experience as a registered nurse, she has spent the last 17 years in executive leadership in home health, hospice operations, and software development in the post-acute space, including performing compliance-focused reviews of home health and hospice documentation. As a consultant, Angela has actively participated in operations assessments, compensation modeling, and audits and appeals related to OIG audits and other program integrity contractors. She is actively involved in the educational and advocacy activities of NAHC and NHPCO. Angela has been a presenter at NAHC, as well as other industry trade shows and state associations, and has been published in Nursing Administration Quarterly. Before entering the post-acute industry, she was a Certified Critical Care RN (CCRN) and a Certified Registered Nurse Infusionist (CRNI). Angela also is a past vice president of finance for the Junior League of Springfield, Missouri; vice president of Lake Country Soccer; and has volunteered for various community events.
Barbara Karnes, RN Award Winning End of Life Educator, Award Winning Nurse, NHPCO Hospice Innovator Award Winner 2018 & 2015 International Humanitarian Woman of the Year
Barbara Karnes is a Registered Nurse and author who noticed, after her experience at the bedside of hundreds of people before they died, that each death she witnessed was following an almost identical script. Each person was going through the same thing. And most families had the same questions.
It was after these realizations that Barbara sat down and wrote the Little Blue Book that changed an industry.
Gone From My Sight, which takes its name from the poem to which it alludes, has been in print continuously since 1985 and has sold over eight million copies. It has been co-opted and copied and imitated even as Barbara Karnes continues to publish and travel the world giving lectures. It is the original source.
Barbara Karnes has dedicated the last 35 years of her life to the education, care and comforting of dying people and their loved ones, and the most useful things she’s learned along the way have been distilled into her books.
Jennifer Kennedy, Ed.D, MA, BSN, RN, CHC
Vice President of Quality and Standard, Community Health Accreditation Partner (CHAP)
Dr. Jennifer Kennedy is the Vice President for Quality and Standards at CHAP. She has more than 35 years of experience as a leader and nurse in diverse healthcare settings and has worked in hospice and palliative care for the last 20+ years. She has a bachelor’s degree in nursing, a dual master’s degree in health education and case management, and a doctoral degree in health care education and policy and is a certified healthcare compliance professional. Jennifer is the lead for the CHAP quality team and interacts with CMS and their contractors related to hospice regulatory and quality issues for hospice, home health, home infusion, pharmacy, and durable medical equipment. She also collaborates with the CHAP Center for Excellence an education content developer and serves as faculty. Jennifer is a member of the ANA’s national palliative nursing task group and has been honored by the UK’s St. Christopher’s Hospice as a Nursing Pioneer for their Palliative Care Nursing Project. She speaks at for national and state events and teaches Graduate Health Care Administration courses at the university level.