RURAL HEALTH INNOVATIONS - Key Persons
- Program Area Director and Co - Director
Alyssa joined The Center in December 2013 and brings over ten years of Managed Care Medicaid and Medicare experience. This experience includes care coordination, program development, quality improvement and collaboration with local and state partners. In addition, to overseeing operations at The Center, Alyssa works with networks and rural communities to understand the critical components of care coordination, and how it is an essential part of the new value-based payment models.
At The Center, Alyssa oversees program operations related to the organization's mission, including finances and technology. She works with the Chief Executive Officer and Board of Directors to develop The Center's strategic plan and oversees implementation of the strategic plan, budget development, performance improvement and monitoring of the balanced scorecard.
Alyssa received a Master of Administration in Management with a concentration in Organizational Development from The College of St. Scholastica. She holds a double major from the University of Wisconsin Superior in Psychology and Sociology.
Angie joined The Center in 1996 and has nearly twenty years' experience in health care provider recruitment and health care workforce. In her role as Program Specialist, she oversees the Minnesota Web Recruitment service for rural and underserved Minnesota, delivers educational presentations to physician residents at Minnesota residency programs and to advanced practice providers and medical students at Minnesota medical and nursing schools. Angie provides recruitment and retention technical assistance to communities, clinics and hospitals throughout Minnesota. She has been a member of the National Rural Recruitment and Retention Network for more than ten years.
Angie assists in the coordination of providing relevant and pertinent technical assistance, education, tools and resources that will support successful program outcomes and network sustainability for rural Allied Health and HIT Workforce Hospital Networks, as well as MN Accountable Communities for Health Learning Community Teams.
From 2009-2015, Angie was the Education and Outreach Coordinator with the Regional Extension and Assistance Center for HIT (REACH). She provided health information technology (HIT) outreach, education and technical assistance for Minnesota and North Dakota Clinics and hospitals, including the coordination of HIT webinars, boot camps, newsletter, operations plans and evaluations.
Angie is also involved with current health care workforce initiatives including recent work on the Upper Midwest Retention Toolkit, Health Care Home Learning Communities, participation in quarterly Health Education Industry Partnership Council meetings and various workforce studies.
Bethany joined The Center in 2012 and brings over fifteen years of experience in health care with seven years in the clinical laboratory. Since October 2017, Bethany serves as Program Director for The Center's Delta Region Community Health Systems Development (DRCHSD) Program and the Small Rural Hospital Transition (SRHT) Project. As a Director, she also oversees evaluation processes to include the return on community investment (ROCI) analysis for The Center's programs. Previously, Bethany managed the Rural Hospital Performance Improvement (RHPI) Project.
Before joining The Center, Bethany served as the Assistant Program Manager for the Kentucky Rural Health Works Program where she assisted Kentucky rural hospitals and counties with community health needs assessments and provided leaders with economic impact analysis of local health care services. Prior to that, she served as a Program Coordinator with the Kentucky State Office of Rural Health where she assisted with the development and implementation of the Kentucky Rural Hospital Flexibility Program to support rural hospitals with technical assistance and conversion to critical access hospitals.
Bethany is board-certified in health care management and is a Fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE). She attained a Master of Health Administration from the University of Kentucky and holds a Bachelor of Health Science in Clinical Laboratory Science and a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Bethany is certified as a Medical Technologist through the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and holds a current Florida license in clinical laboratory.
- Telehealth and Outreach Program Coordinator
- Program Specialist Team Lead
Caleb joined The Center in January of 2016 and brings over fifteen years of health care experience. As a Program Specialist Team Lead he provides technical assistance with the Technical Assistance and Services Center (TASC) to the state Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program grantees.
Caleb has a Master of Humanities from the University of Colorado Denver where he focused on philosophy and bioethics and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Northern Colorado with an emphasis on ethics and public policy and a minor in political science. He brings experience as a state Flex Coordinator where he managed programs for critical access hospitals. Caleb worked as a nurse's aide while working through college which provided great perspective and appreciation of the patient experience. He also has been a member of numerous ethics committees. Caleb has numerous presentations to his credit including death notification ethics lectures to coroners, first responders, hospitals and most recently was honored to be the key note speaker for the Dietetics in Health Care Communities Meeting in 2015.
Caroline began her work with the Center in November of 2021 and currently serves with both the TASC and SHIP teams as a Program Coordinator II. Her role includes providing support and technical assistance, coordinating educational webinars, and facilitating program events.
Raised in Reno, Nevada, Caroline's first exposure to rural health was during her time as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Sewanee, Tennessee. This experience spurred her passion for rural communities. She brings over four years of experience working in rural Appalachia in both the healthcare administration and community health fields.
Caroline received her Bachelor of Public Health degree from the University of Nevada, Reno, and her Master of Public Health degree from East Tennessee State University. She currently resides in North Carolina.
- Chief Executive Officer, Retired
Dan joined the Center in 2012 and brings experience that includes more than eighteen years providing accounting services for nonprofit organizations, including time spent in an accounting firm where he earned his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation.
At The Center, Dan is responsible for reconciling and reporting financial information to staff, management and the Board of Directors. He prepares monthly reports and invoices appropriate to specific grants and contracts. He coordinates, and is the primary contact, for all CPA and Federal audits. Dan also assists in preparing the annual budget and the preparation of grant and foundation proposals.
Dan received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Minnesota Duluth.
- Program Specialist Team Lead
Debra joined The Center in April of 2015 and brings over thirty years of adult education experience. As a Program Specialist Team Lead, she provides education, coaching and technical assistance to rural health networks on topics such as strategic planning, evaluation, collaboration and community engagement, partnerships and leadership. She utilizes her extensive background in training, facilitation and presentation skills to assist rural health network leaders accomplish their goals. Her passion for healthier people in rural communities lead her to engage in the development of tools for care coordination.
For over ten years, Debra designed, developed, implemented and coordinated education programs across northeastern Minnesota. In that capacity, she worked cooperatively with rural health care providers. She has many years' experience of leadership development within community collaborations.
Debra has a Master of Education in Adult Education and Training and Development from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and has served as an adjunct faculty at three area colleges. Debra has presented on health-related topics at several regional and national conferences.
- Quality Consultation Specialist
Denise joined The Center in June 2022 as a Quality Consultation Specialist II. She brings 20 years in the health care field with experience at a national non-profit health agency, a state-based CMS Quality Improvement Organization, and two hospitals. Within these employers, Denise has worked heavily with the underserved populations in her community, internal and external stakeholders, government agencies, law enforcement, and the media. Her background includes nursing, Medicare/Medicaid education, utilization review, program development, health education, hospital patient safety, and patient experience. She has been in coordinator, specialist positions, hospital leadership, and administration roles.
As a Quality Consultation Specialist, Denise assists rural health care providers in implementing and fulfilling action plans associated with their quality improvement goals. She helps facilitate, monitor, coach, and report out as the selected participants progress through the Program.
Denise earned her Master's in Health Studies from the University of Alabama. She also graduated from Northeastern State University magna cum laude with a Bachelor's in general studies including three core areas of concentration: Health Care Administration, Biology, and Social Science.
Denise holds a current license for Practical Nursing after graduating from the University of Arkansas Fort Smith (formerly Westark College).
- Accounts Payable and Human Resources Assistant
- Web Developer
- Web Application Developer
Joel Stedman has been a web developer working with open-source technologies for 12 years. He has worked at both non-profits and in higher education. At The Center, he evaluates current systems, creates plan for change, and implements technology. He also works with The Center's staff to develop processes, and document educational resources to support these systems.
Joel obtained his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington and has studied web application development and programming at both North Seattle College and New York University's School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
- Community Program Specialist
Kaarin joined The Center in July 2019 as a Community Program Specialist for the Delta Region Community Health Systems Development (DRCHSD) Program. She has a background in research, evaluation, public health, community health needs assessments, strategic planning, and health education. Kaarin has worked alongside community members, school administration, county health departments, hospital administration, and the U.S. Army to help identify and address community health needs. As a member of the DRCHSD team, she assists rural hospitals, clinics, and communities to develop a sustainable population health outlook.
Kaarin has a background in cancer research and has co-authored publications available on ResearchGate:
Research Publications (Part One)
Research Publications (Part Two)
Kaarin received her Master of Public Health with a focus in Infectious Diseases from Kansas State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from North Park University.
Kate Stenehjem, Program Manager, joined The Center in 2006 and manages the day to day operations of the Delta Region Community Health System Development Program (DRCHSD). In this capacity, she manages program development and planning and directs communications and outreach for DRCHSD. Kate also develops internal policies and procedures and serves as a subject matter expert on leadership development and telehealth.
Prior to her position in management, Kate specialized in performing in-depth, strategic research and would synthesize, analyze, edit, and filter information for the 45 state Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Flex) grantees and their hospitals. Kate was responsible for identifying and interpreting rural health needs and managing multiple informational websites for The Center's Programs. She developed technical assistance manuals for specific rural health care topics and created website collections in response to rural health needs and health care trends. She disseminated rural health information to Flex grantees, SHIP grantees, State Offices of Rural Health, and many other rural health stakeholders at local, state and national levels.
Kate received her Master of Library and Information Science (MLS) from the Emporia State University and has a Bachelor of Arts in English from St. Cloud State University.
Kim began her work with The Center in 2009 and currently serves as Multimedia Specialist. Kim works to creatively promote Center programs, services, and resources by highlighting their value and sharing the impact and outcomes. Specifically, this includes strategic, operational, and implementation activities related to media (video, audio, graphics, multimedia, and other forms of digital media) for diverse audiences.
As a Community and Population Health Specialist, Kim supports hospitals, communities, and stakeholders to better understand, engage in, and implement integrated clinical and community-based care delivery models for solutions that address the social determinants of health.
In addition, Kim coordinates the annual Minnesota Rural Health Conference. Internally, she serves on The Center's marketing team; wellness team; and the diversity, equity & inclusion team.
- Senior Program Coordinator
Kiona began her work with The Center in 2017 and currently serves as Senior Program Coordinator across a variety of programs.
Kiona works on the Technical Assistance and Services Center (TASC) and Small Rural Hospital Improvement Grant Program (SHIP) teams, bringing in-depth knowledge of tools and resources through her past work with the Network Technical Assistance team. She also coordinates Small Rural Hospital Transition (SRHT) Project educational activities, supporting rural hospitals across the country in the transition to value-based care and population health.
In addition, Kiona supports the coordination and delivery of Rural Health Innovation (RHI) Consulting services.
Kiona received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Southwest Minnesota State University in May 2015. Kiona is an active volunteer in her community, particularly with organizations doing ground-breaking work to create a community free of violence.
- Program Analyst and Evaluation Specialist
- Director of Health Information Technology and Strategic Initiatives
Maribeth joined The Center in 2019 and has worked as an Accountant in the private sector since 1999.
Maribeth is responsible for accounts receivable, accounts payable, and payroll systems. As a member of our finance team, she maintains general ledger accuracy, provides audit support, and budget preparation. Maribeth supports Expense and Travel Management software and a variety of human resource matters.
She received her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin Superior.
Raised in Arkansas, Matt has a passion for working in rural communities. He brings over six years of health care experience with him and an abundance of communication knowledge. His career path has found him living in Washington, D.C., Tampa, and Abilene, Texas before returning home to Arkansas. He obtained his Master's in Health Communication from Boston University in December of 2021. As a Program Specialist, Matt provides technical assistance with the Technical Assistance and Services Center (TASC) to the state Flex Program grantees including resource creation, identification of best practices, conference planning, etc. He also provides technical assistance to the Small Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP).
Nick McRae began his work at The Center in January of 2022. As a Program Specialist for the Delta Region Community Health Systems Development (DRCHSD) Program, he provides education, coaching, and technical assistance to selected health care organizations and their communities. He leads consultations to target financial, operational, and quality improvement initiatives that assist rural health care organizations in transitioning to value-based care and positioning for population health. His role includes leading reporting and action planning, providing technical assistance (TA) services, and coordinating EMS and Community Paramedicine projects for the DRCHSD Program.
Prior to joining The Center, he supported CAHs, Small Rural Hospitals, and Rural Health Clinics on behalf of Federal Office of Rural Health Policy as a State Office of Rural Health's FLEX and SHIP Grant Program Manager. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army, Air Force, and prior Department of Defense Contractor. He spent most of his career leading cross-functional interagency teams. As a prior EMT-Paramedic he empathizes with anyone who provides direct patient care, and the workforce challenges they are facing.
Nick previously received an Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Medical Services, a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management, with a Clinical Administration concentration. He also holds multiple certifications including a Lean Six Sigma Certification from the University of Alabama at Birmingham's (UAB) School of Health Professions and a Project Management Certification from Collat School of Business. While participating in the National Science Foundation's (Outpace) Research Scholars Program, he was officially inducted into UAB's Delta Alpha Pi and Phi Sigma - Biological Honors Societies. As an advocate for lifelong learning, Nick continues to pursue professional education in Business Analytics and Health Informatics. He hopes to one day, finish his graduate degree in something that generates both meaningful work and a positive net return on the investment.
Nicole began her work with The Center in 2007 and has worked with recruitment and retention, community health assessments, and performance improvement initiatives. As a Program Specialist, she provides technical assistance with the Technical Assistance and Services Center (TASC) to the state Flex Program grantees including resource creation, identification of best practices, conference planning, and coordination of the National Rural Health Information Technology (HIT) Coalition, among other activities. Nicole also serves as a subject matter expert on rural emergency medical services.
Nicole's health care background includes four years of work experience in long-term care. Nicole has a degree in Health Information Management from The College of St. Scholastica.
Patricia began her work with The Center in October of 2021. She currently provides support for the Technical Assistance and Services Center (TASC), and Expanding Rural Access to Pulmonary Care (ERAPC) team as a Program Coordinator. In her role, she assists in coordinating educational webinars and program events. She brings extensive experience and knowledge to The Center, having worked on several government contracts. Through her time at The Center, she has developed a passion for rural health.
She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Bowie State University in 2013.
Patricia joined The Center in 2021 and supports the Delta Region Community Health Systems Development Program (DRCHSD). As a Program Coordinator, she provides scheduling, materials, and communication support.
Patricia also assists the Employee Engagement and Leadership Development programs for the team as well as hosting educational webinars.
Patricia comes from a long health care background and brings strong writing and relationship building skills to The Center. She is also an active volunteer in the region, focusing on child enrichment and community-building activities.
Patricia received her Bachelor's in Business Administration/Marketing and a Minor in Communications from the University of Minnesota, Duluth.
- Associate Dean for Rural Health
Rhonda joined The Center in 2012 and manages the Rural Healthcare Provider Transition Project (RHPTP) and population and community health services. She has worked in hospital settings since 1987. Rhonda is experienced in leadership and organizational development and has assisted hospitals to address organization-wide goals related to improving patient experience and staff retention.
Rhonda received her Master of Science (MS) in Psychology from Georgia College and State University. She is also a licensed professional counselor and has worked in the field of substance use.
- Senior Program Coordinator
Robbie began her work with The Center in 2018 and currently serves as Senior Program Coordinator on the Delta Region Community Health Systems Development (DRHCSD) Program and as the front desk coordinator.
She brings in-depth knowledge of tools and resources through her past work with the Rural Health Innovations' (RHI) Network Technical Assistance team. She provides support to the DRCHSD team while scheduling and coordinating educational webinars, maintaining materials and databases, and communicating closely with hospitals and community champions.
In her role as front desk coordinator, she supports the HR and Finance teams, as well as coordinates all staff and board meetings, and provides Section 508 compliant documents to all Center teams as needed.
She received her Bachelor of Science degree in General Psychology from the University of Wisconsin - Superior in May 2017
- Chief Executive Officer
- Program Director for Three Federal Office of Rural Health Policy
Sally has been with The Center for over 25 years developing rural health technical assistance (TA) and directing federal programs and strategy. As CEO, she provides leadership and program development for rural health issues at the federal, state, and local level by analyzing rural hospital, clinic, network, and state needs to develop and enhance programs.
Sally is the program director for three Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) cooperative agreements to provide services to the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program that covers the Technical Assistance and Services Center, the Small Rural Hospital Performance Improvement Program, the Delta Regional Community Health Systems Development Program, and the Rural Healthcare Provider Transition Project. These programs provide TA to State Offices of Rural Health, hospitals, clinics, and communities. She directs the development of The Center's strategic plan with staff and the Board of Directors. Sally has performed evaluations for grant programs, foundation projects, and hospital initiatives. Sally serves as a liaison to FORHP and other national rural health organizations and represents the organization on appropriate rural health committees and boards.
Previously she directed outreach and education for the Regional Extension Assistance Center for HIT in Minnesota and North Dakota. Sally serves on the Board of Directors for the National Rural Health Association and the Minnesota Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and is a Fellow of ACHE. She received bachelor's and master's degrees in Education and Kinesiology from the University of Michigan.
Scott joined the Center in July of 2022 as an IT Analyst and brought more than 13 years of information technology experience from supporting Community Health Center, manufacturing, and retail.
At The Center, Scott is responsible for meeting the organization's technical needs. He is responsible for providing day-to-day user support, hardware and software support, and coordinating organization-impacting communications.
Scott received his Microcomputer Support Specialist A.A.S from Lake Superior College in Duluth.
- Community Program Manager
Selena McCord joined the National Rural Health Resource Center in June 2018. As a Community Program Manager with the Center's Delta Region Community Health Systems Development Program, Selena is responsible for providing leadership and direction of community care coordination program goals. This involves managing the delivery of technical assistance (TA) services to support participating healthcare organizations (HCOs) and their communities with adopting best practices to improve health outcomes. One critical TA service encompasses the identification, onboarding, and training of the facilities' Community Champion. The Champion is trained to serve as a community liaison and is essential to the foundation of care coordination planning and capacity building to sustain post-project gains.
Prior to joining The Center, Selena worked with local and nationally recognized organizations to identify and address the needs of underserved and disaster-affected populations, to develop and implement training curricula and professional development workshops, and to recruit over 200 health workers from the Northern Gulf Coast region to serve as program participants.
Selena has a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Alabama with a concentration in Healthcare Management.
Selena enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys.
Shannon joined the National Rural Health Resource Center (The Center) in December 2020. As a Consultation Program Manager with the Center's Delta Region Community Health Systems Development (DRCHSD) Program, Shannon is responsible for providing leadership and direction of consultation program areas which includes financial and operational (FOA), quality improvement (QI), revenue cycle management (RCM), and physician practice management (PPM). This involves managing the delivery of technical assistance (TA) services to support participating healthcare organizations (HCOs) with best practices that improve operational efficiency, quality of care, and financial performance.
Prior to joining The Center, Shannon worked at Essentia Health in Duluth, Minnesota as a Certified Epic Principal Trainer for Cadence, in Informational Services (IS). Her work consisted of training new hires for most of Revenue Services and played an integral part in system enhancements.
Shannon graduated from the University of Phoenix with honors and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Administration with a concentration in Medical Records. Shannon obtained certification from American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM) as a Certified Revenue Cycle Specialist in 2022.
- Vice President for Research, Innovation and Evaluation
- Senior Advisor for Rural Health Leadership and Policy
Terry is Executive Director of Rural Health Innovations and Senior Advisor for Rural Health Leadership and Policy for the National Rural Health Resource Center. Terry has more than thirty years' experience in rural health care working with rural health leaders in 47 states. He facilitated seven national summit meetings, written dozens of published articles, led eleven national demonstration projects in rural health and helped to develop three national health care delivery models: critical access hospitals (CAH), frontier extended stay clinics (FESC) and frontier community health integration models (FCHIP).
Terry served as president of the Minnesota Public Health Association, twice as president of the National Cooperative of Health Networks and was Executive Director of both the National Rural Health Resource Center and the Minnesota Center for Rural Health. He testified on a variety of health topics at Congressional committees and subcommittees at the White House and participated in numerous rural health research projects. He has been teaching management and leadership for the MBA program at The College of St. Scholastica for eleven years, and previously lectured at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Terry received the 2014 Presidents Award from the National Rural Health Association. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Rural Health Accountable Care Organization.
- Director of Population Health
Tracy joined The Center in 2009 and directs the development and implementation of population and community health services for hospitals, networks and states in alignment with The Center's vision to sustain and improve health care in rural communities. She serves as a subject matter expert to clients on population health, strategic planning, community health needs assessments and strategies for transitioning to value-based health care.
She is responsible for the management of the Technical Assistance and Services Center (TASC), including strategic planning and work plan development and implementation. In addition to providing technical support, education and information to 45 state Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program grantees, she is responsible for regional and national meetings, conference calls and webinars, and managing consultant projects for Flex Programs and critical access hospitals.
Tracy has worked in public health at the state, local and tribal levels. She received her Master of Public Health (MPH) in Epidemiology from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Public Health from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire.