Innovate. Advocate. Collaborate.
Tom Koutsoumpas, CEO, National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation
Tom Koutsoumpas serves as President and CEO of Capital Caring Health (CCH), one of the oldest and largest not-for-profit advanced illness care, primary care at home, palliative and hospice care providers in the nation. All CCH care services are provided in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.
Tom also serves as CEO of the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI). NPHI is a unique not-for-profit organization that includes as members, 72 hospice/advanced illness care providers. Collectively, NPHI members care for over 121,000 patients and families across America every day and annually provide over 150 million dollars in charity care. Their shared mission is care must be delivered at the bedside and not dictated by the boardroom.
Earlier in Tom’s career he helped make the hospice movement in America a reality by helping lead the effort to develop and implement the Medicare hospice benefit. His passion to improve care delivery also led him to become a co-founder of the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC). C-TAC is a national, not-for-profit non-partisan alliance of patient and consumer advocacy groups, health care providers both public and private, and faith-based organizations, all with the shared mission of providing comprehensive world-class patient-centered advanced illness care especially for those who might otherwise not have access to the best available chronic illness management.
Other accomplishments include helping establish Healthsperien, a consulting and legal services firm focused on strategic issues that bring together the public and private sectors to advance hospice and advanced illness care. And, Tom is a member of the Roundtable on Quality Care for the seriously ill which is attached to the Medical Division of the National Academy of Sciences and is a contributor to the Project on Advanced Care at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School.
Tom is a co-author of A Roadmap to Success: Transforming Advanced Illness Care in America. He also penned the foreword to the publication, Have Your Own Say: Getting the Right Care When It Matters Most (2012) by Gundersen Health System and the Center for Health Transformation.
A native of Indiana, Tom received his Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. where he has served as a Board of Regents member.
Carole Fisher - President, NPHI
Carole serves as President for the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI). Utilizing her previous experiences and deep familiarity with not-for-profit community-based hospice and palliative healthcare, she is charged with leading a wide range of activities for the membership organization. With an emphasis on developing strategic partnerships, meaningful collaborations and transformational innovations, Carole provides support for the NPHI membership comprised of the nations’ most notable and distinguished end of life healthcare organizations.
As a seasoned C-suite advisor, innovator and public policy advocate, for the past 35 years, she has successfully led and transformed for-profit and mission driven healthcare operations. Carole has significant experience in growing and transforming companies, developing people, and preparing organizations for navigating the unforeseen and unanticipated. She has significant experience in growing market share, contracting with payers, building specialty provider networks, developing and integrating cutting edge technology, facilitating M&A mid-size transactions and is well respected for her ability to merge cultures and teams.
Carole is the former President and CEO of Nathan Adelson Hospice. In a fiercely competitive market she positioned the organization as a nationally known industry leader respected for their clinical advancements and innovations. Under her leadership Nathan Adelson Hospice was recognized eight years by Modern Healthcare Magazine as a 100 Best Places to Work in the country.
Carole has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and attained a Masters Certification in Organizational Leadership from the Thayer Institute in Asheville, North Carolina. She serves as an adjunct faculty member for Teleios University and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Thayer Institute. Previously she served on the Board of Directors for MountainView Hospital – a subsidiary of HCA, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation, Health Insight, UNLV Health Law Program Advisory Board and the Nevada Hospital Association.
Carole spends her time working between her homes in Las Vegas, Nevada and Covington, Louisiana.
Chief Policy Officer
G. Lawrence Atkins, PhD - Chief Policy Officer
Dr. Atkins is a senior consultant to the Long-Term Quality Alliance and the National MLTSS Health Plan Association located in Washington, DC. He was, until recently, Executive Director of both organizations, and, before that, was the Staff Director of the federal Commission on Long-Term Care which issued its final report in September 2013. Prior to that, he headed U.S. Public Policy at the global pharmaceutical manufacturer Merck.
Dr. Atkins is a veteran of more than 40 years of health and social policy analysis, policy development, and legislative representation at the local, state, and federal levels. He directed Public Policy at Schering-Plough Corporation; was founder and President of Health Policy Analysts, Inc., a firm providing consultation on pharmaceutical, health benefits, and health care reimbursement issues; was Executive Director of the Corporate Health Care Coalition, an alliance of Fortune 100 companies on federal and state health reform issues; and headed a health and benefits policy practice in the Washington office of the New York law firm Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam and Roberts. During the 1990s, Dr. Atkins served on two quadrennial Social Security Advisory Commissions – 1991 as a Commission member and 1995 as a member of the Technical Panel.
During the 1980s, Dr. Atkins served on the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging as professional staff, Deputy Staff Director and Republican Staff Director for Chairman John Heinz (R-PA) and advised Senator Heinz as a member of the Senate Finance Committee on retirement income and health policy matters, and as a member of the 1983 National Commission on Social Security Reform. Prior to his work in the Congress, Dr. Atkins developed health and human services policy at the state and local government levels.
Dr. Atkins is a founding member an immediate past President of the National Academy of Social Insurance. He holds a Ph.D. from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University where he is currently a member of the Board of Advisors. He holds Masters degrees from the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky, and an undergraduate degree from Kenyon College.
Senior Advisor, Communications & Philanthropy
Steve Cone, Senior Advisor, Communications & Philanthropy
Steve Cone is Chief of Communications, Marketing, and Philanthropy at Capital Caring Health. In this role, he provides leadership to increase public and brand awareness of Capital Caring Health, and he also oversees the organization’s philanthropic activities and develops strategies to enhance the organization’s impact and reach.
Prior to his role with Capital Caring Health, Steve co-managed a data consulting and marketing services firm headquartered in New York. From 2015 to 2017, Steve was Chief Revenue Officer of the American Bar Association and from 2010 through June 2015, Steve was AARP’s Executive Vice President responsible for all membership activities and partnerships with corporations across America.
With more than 45 years of senior-level marketing and fundraising experience, he has created or led efforts to develop many national loyalty programs including United’s MileagePlus®, Hyatt’s Gold Passport, and Saks Fifth Avenue’s, SaksFirst rewards program.
Steve has provided marketing services to major organizations including Apple, American Express, FedEx, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, and the San Diego Zoo. Steve has also led marketing campaigns for environmental groups like The Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund. He has also provided marketing support to presidential campaigns for both major parties.
Senior Advisor, Institute for Health Equity
Audrey Easaw, Senior Advisor, Center for Health Equity
Audrey Easaw, Branding, Customer Experience and Marketing Strategist, has a 25-year successful track record of leading corporations and nonprofits through transformational change. She is a strong proponent of public-private partnerships that enhance the human condition in the areas of education, health, housing and community development, and financial services.
At McMillon, Audrey provides program operations and strategic partnership expertise for clients in the B-to-B and B-to-C space. Her portfolio includes strategic communications and strategic planning development, disparity study interviews and focus groups, and leadership training for federal, state and county government.
Easaw's career began with account service work for advertising agencies representing Coca-Cola USA, Russell Athletic, and Georgia Power. She also managed Account Services, Financial Services Marketing, Strategic Partnerships, and Research for Giant Advertising, Giant Food Inc.'sin-house ad agency for 11 years.
As Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Communications, Easaw led the new customer-focused business model strategy and training for Enterprise Community Investment and Enterprise Community Partners while also rebranding the two national organizations headquartered in Columbia, Maryland. Prior to that, as Director of Marketing & Customer Focus at Fannie Mae, she directed re-branding efforts for Fannie's $100 billion rental housing portfolio.
As Corporate Engagement Management Director for AARP, Easaw partnered with leadership across the organization to ensure alignment on membership programs and initiatives strategically presented to AARP's Board of Directors. She helped launch the AARP Experience, which included developing a strategic marketing and communications plan, and an employee engagement strategy that ensured enhanced interactions with AARP's 37 million members.
Easaw has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of South Carolina. She is also a trained counselor/therapist with a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from Bowie State University. She has leadership certificates from George Mason University and from the Senior Executive Leadership Program in Cambridge, MA. At every opportunity, she enjoys hiking mountains, running trails, travel, and counseling women and children who are working through life changes.
Rachel Jordan, Communications Associate
As a Communications Associate with the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI), Rachel is responsible for supporting a wide range of strategic activities including preparing legislative updates, overseeing traditional and social media outreach, and conducting research to advance the priorities of the collaboration. Before joining the team, Rachel served as a Policy and Strategy intern for Healthsperien and NPHI during the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters.
Rachel has experience in public policy having previously interned for the U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms and U.S. Senator Cory Booker. She also served as the Special Projects Manager at Text Surge, a full service firm specializing in peer-to-peer texting campaigns, where she assisted in supporting their wide range of clients.
Rachel received her Bachelor of Arts degree from American University in Justice and Law with a concentration in Criminal Justice and minor in Public Health.
Senior Director of Member Engagement
Beth Kurta, Senior Director of Member Engagement, National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation
Beth first discovered hospice as a college-aged volunteer in 1989 and has worked with members of the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation, a collaborative of not-for-profit, community-integrated hospice and palliative care providers, since 2007. In her role as Senior Director of Member Engagement, she oversees member recruitment and onboarding, meeting production, and member relations. Beth is also responsible for the Organizational Excellence Initiative which allows her to work directly with member leadership through Forums, Workgroups and User Groups. She also manages the member portal and is responsible for the Annual Summit.
Beth brings a variety of experiences that have honed her organizational and operational skills. A 1992 graduate of Northern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in Administrative Gerontology, she is a licensed Nursing Home Administrator and certified Director of Activities. Beth has spent her career as a servant leader, beginning with Hospice of Michigan, working at various elder care facilities in the Detroit area and serving as Executive Administrator for the Detroit Super Bowl XL Host Committee prior to joining NPHI.
A lifelong resident of metropolitan Detroit, Beth currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Grosse Pointe South Gridiron Club, is Past Commodore of the Grosse Pointe Sail Club, is an active member of St. Ambrose Catholic Church, and is a member of Alpha Gamma Delta. Beth has two adult sons.
Regulatory & Compliance Director
Margherita Labson, Regulatory & Compliance Director
Margherita Labson is a well-recognized expert in home care quality, legal and regulatory issues across the home care continuum. An experienced clinician, she is certified in both healthcare quality and case-management and has practiced across the spectrum of home care services. She is a published author and an experienced presenter, having taught at the University of Akron, in their college of nursing. She is responsible for helping to create the first quality-based recognition for home health franchise organizations as well as those providers delivering community-based palliative care. Following the completion of 25 years of work in her most recent position as the executive director of the home care program for the Joint Commission, she undertook a sabbatical and spent 18 months studying the needs and problems of health care consumers at home. She now works with organizations to help home care providers gain recognition for the care they provide in order to align their efforts with other health care delivery systems resulting in better integrated care and services. Her interests include advancing frameworks of care that enable improved outcomes, advocating for home-based health care including palliative care as a recognized specialty, and promoting the recognition of the home health aide in the care delivery system.
Currently, Margherita serves on several boards including the Home Centered Care Institute, Healwell, California-State University Institute for Palliative Care and the Florida Palliative Care Coalition. She works with organizations to promote regulatory compliance, advance thought-leadership in the industry, and foster contemporary practice models capable of producing improved outcomes of care.
Andrew MacPherson, Senior Advisor, National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI)
As Senior Advisor to the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation, Andrew works to advance the organization’s strategic and policy initiatives by providing timely political and policy analysis, engagement with stakeholder organizations, and advocates on behalf of the Partnership and its members with the Congress.
Prior to his work with NPHI, Andrew was Founder and Principal of MacPherson Strategic, Inc., a health care policy, legislative strategy, and communications consulting firm. MacPherson Strategic served a diverse set of health care stakeholder clients, including consumer groups, broad-based coalitions, innovative health care start-ups, and the largest health care purchasers.
Prior to founding MacPherson Strategic, Andrew served as Director of Government Affairs at Jennings Policy Strategies, Inc. (JPS), a nationally recognized health policy consulting firm led by Chris Jennings, Former Senior Health Care Advisor to President Barack Obama and previously to President Bill Clinton. From 2007-2013, Mr. MacPherson staffed a wide variety of client and pro bono initiatives in the policy, political, and communications arenas with JPS, Inc., such as the Bipartisan Policy Center health reform project with former Majority Leaders Baker, Daschle, Dole and Mitchell, presidential campaigns including Obama for America and Hillary Clinton for President, and the Clinton Global Initiative. While at JPS, Andrew researched and co-authored numerous articles and speeches on a range of health policy issues.
From 2005 to 2007, Andrew served in the Government Relations Department with the American Psychiatric Association (APA). At the APA, Andrew developed national policy positions, conducted in-depth research on physician access and reimbursement, and engaged on all aspects of targeted lobbying activities including those related to implementation of the Medicare Part D drug benefit, physician reimbursement under Medicare and mental health “parity” legislation.
From 2001 to 2004, Andrew worked for a range of policy and political organizations and elected officials, including Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Democratic Governors’ Association, Vermont Democratic Party, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, Inc., a market research and strategic communications consulting firm based in Washington, D.C.
He is a member of the National POLST Paradigm Leadership Council. He regularly speaks to national audiences on a variety of health policy and political issues, and particularly those related to advanced illness and end-of-life care.
Originally from Vermont, Andrew received a B.A. in Political Science from The George Washington University in May 2005.
Director of Special Projects
Debra McCarron, Director of Special Projects, NPHI
Debra McCarron, Director of Special Projects, has extensive experience in strategic communications & marketing, stakeholder engagement, event planning, and project management. She joins NPHI to provide strategic communications support to the organization.
Before joining NPHI, she served as the Deputy Director of the Communication and Outreach Division at Ripple Effect, a government consulting firm. There she led healthcare policy projects for federal agencies such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Office for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). As the Project Director of the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network (LAN), she led a multifaceted communications team to fully support LAN communications, events, and stakeholder engagement.
Additionally, she utilized her marketing and branding expertise to grow a small community business from one location to three. She assisted in the day-to-day operations of the three facility sites, including budget management, human resources, support, facilities management, and internal and external communications. She co-owned Quality Design Solutions, a full-service company specializing in web design, marketing, and database development for non-profit and small businesses.
Early in her career, she supported NIH medical research grants at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She also has over four years of clinical research experience at the University of Maryland, Department of Cardiology, where she worked with interventionists developing glycoprotein IIb/IIIa platelet inhibitors.
Debbie grew up in Maryland, received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Virginia Tech, and has completed coursework at the University of Maryland at Baltimore in Instructional Systems Design. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, the Association for Talent Development, and the Society for Health Communication. She is passionate about community service. She serves as a committee member for the American Cancer Society Making Strides Breast Cancer Walk of Central Maryland and volunteers her time for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Smithsonian's National Zoo, and the Carroll County Arts Center.
Ethan McChesney, Policy Director, NPHI
Serving as Policy Director for the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI), Ethan is responsible for supporting a wide range of initiatives including monitoring policy and regulatory developments, interfacing with industry and government officials, preparing collateral materials, assisting with event planning, and providing strategic guidance to advance the priorities of the Partnership. Ethan also plays a key role in supporting the work of the NPHI Innovation Lab, where he provides policy and project management oversight.
Prior to joining NPHI and Healthsperien, Ethan held multiple public policy-focused internships, namely, with the National Coalition on Health Care, where he was involved in communications, message development, and policy analysis efforts. He also spent time with Wynne Health Group, one of the preeminent healthcare policy consulting firms, where he assisted in servicing their diverse set of clients. Additionally, Ethan has prior experience in the congressional office of the senior Senator from Colorado, Michael Bennet.
Ethan graduated from the University of Kansas in December of 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and minors in Sociology and Psychology.
Mike Milward, Strategic Advisor, NPHI
As a strategic advisor to the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation, Mike works to advance the organization’s strategic and innovative support to its members and helps to coordinate outreach to potential new member organizations across the country.
Prior to joining NPHI, Mike served as CEO of Hospice of Santa Cruz County on the central coast of CA. Mike is an attorney, having graduated from the University of Santa Clara Law School in 1981. Subsequently, Mike did his graduate work in Theology and Spirituality at the Graduate Theological Union at UC Berkeley. Mike has served as a hospice chaplain and bereavement specialist for the past 20 years.
In addition to his advisory role with NPHI, Mike serves as the CEO of the California Hospice Network, an affiliation of CA non-profit Hospices.
Cameron Muir, M.D.
Chief Innovation Officer
Cameron Muir, Chief Innovation Officer, NPHI
Cameron Muir, M.D., FAAHPM, is the Chief Innovation Officer for the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation. In his role, he is responsible for the Innovation Lab and implementing emerging innovative models designed to care for people with advanced illness. He is also the Chief Innovation Officer for Capital Caring Health and the Chief Medical Officer for Hospice of the Piedmont.
Prior to his work with NPHI, Dr. Muir was Medical Director of the Palliative Care and Home Hospice Program of Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He served as the Director of the Palliative Care Program of the Northwestern University Medical School. Dr. Muir is Board-Certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine and Internal Medicine. Dr. Muir received his medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, completed his residency in internal medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, and earned fellowships in bioethics at the University of Chicago Medical Center and in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Wendy O'Brien, Finance Coordinator, NPHI
Wendy serves as the Finance Coordinator of the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI), assisting the executive leadership on all financial matters. Her responsibilities include oversight of finance and accounting operations.
Wendy brings a diverse background to NPHI. In 2003, she worked for a real estate land broker where she assisted with the purchases and sales of land properties. Wendy went on to work for Ameriprise Financial Services as the Office Manager to a Certified Financial Advisor. During this time, she gained knowledge in financial planning. Wendy established and maintained client’s insurance policies, retirement, and brokerage accounts. In 2015, she became the Executive Assistant to the CEO at Nathan Adelson Hospice and expanded her background experience in the healthcare industry. She maintained multidimensional complex calendars and served as a liaison to the board of trustees, senior leadership and operations team.
Originally from Honolulu, Hawaii, Wendy moved to Las Vegas in 1998. She attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Landscape Architecture. She enjoys traveling the world and spending time with her husband and daughter.
Senior Strategic Advisor
Ray Quintero, Senior Strategic Advisor, National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation
Ray provides strategic consult to the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation, a collaborative for over 70 not-for-profit, community-integrated hospice and palliative care providers. In this role, he provides strategic guidance, internal and external messaging, policy analysis, and advises stakeholder outreach for NPHI. More broadly, Ray is engaged in overall health system delivery transformation.
Ray’s nearly two decades of experience in health policy strategy has made him knowledgeable in the diverse issues impacting hospice care. He has led and been actively involved in numerous multi-stakeholder coalitions aimed at improving our nation’s health care delivery and financing systems.
Ray served as Senior Vice President of Public Policy at the American Osteopathic Association. His government relations background also includes positions at Merck Pharmaceuticals, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), and American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP). As well, Ray provided grassroots and public affairs counsel to a range of health care clients while serving as Vice President of Strategic Alliances at SevenTwenty Strategies. Ray began his career in health care government relations as a policy advisor in the Health and Life Sciences practice of B&D Consulting.
A native of Arizona, Ray received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Arizona, where he served as Student Body President and on the Arizona Alumni Association Board.
Administrative Services Manager
Stephanie Rogers, Administrative Services Manager, NPHI
In her role as Administrative Services Manager with the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation, Stephanie supports both the members and the NPHI executive team in various roles.
For our members, she maintains all membership data, collects and disseminates annual member information, and manages Member Portal access and content. She is also responsible for managing the website, handles weekly member updates and meetings communications, and oversees all meeting registrations.
For the NPHI team, Stephanie supports ongoing as well as short-term projects and initiatives. She is a project manager on the Innovation Lab Advanced Cardiac Care Program.
Manager, Center for Education & Vendor Relations
Sarah Sharp, Manager, Center for Education Education and Vendor Relations, NPHI
Sarah serves as Manager, Center for Education and Vendor Relations for the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation. In her role, she is developing the Center for Education through compilation of course curriculums and education events to support education efforts of NPHI member programs. Additionally, Sarah is building NPHI’s Preferred Vendor Program to elevate the partnerships with vendors and benefits/services available for the members we serve.
Sarah brings experience in NCQA & URAC Accreditation for health plans and MBHOs, strategic planning, large-scale program management, training & talent development, and marketing communications. She serves as a Managing Partner at HPS Consulting and strategic consultant to a clinically based software solution that targets people with unaddressed SDoH factors. Previously, Sarah was the Director of Training and Development at a large Medicaid and Medicare health plan, also serving their in-house PBM. There she led the development of staff training, member & provider materials, and website design & content for Medicare, Medicaid, and Exchange products as well as pharmacy benefit managers. Sarah has also collaborated with Fortune 500 companies and other organizations to support and guide their efforts in accelerating the performance of internal teams, business relationships, and products.
Sarah holds a B.A. in International Studies with concentrations in Economics, Spanish and Anthropology from Michigan State University.
Christy Whitney, Strategic Advisor, NPHI
Christy Whitney, RN, MS, serves NPHI as a Strategic Advisor using her decades of experience to support the organization and its members on policy and market evolution related matters on a project by project basis. She previously served as the founding CEO of HopeWest hospice in Grand Junction, Colorado for 29 years. She also worked closely with NPHI founder Tom Koutsoumpas to stand up the original form of the organization. She was an appointed member of the National Rural Advisory Committee for HHS and served on the Caring for Colorado Foundation. She co-authored the American Nurses' Association Standards of Hospice Nursing, and wrote chapters for the A.H.A. publication "Hospital Hospice Management Models" and the V.A. Hospice Manual. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Colorado in Community Health Nursing.