MA, MDiv, PhD, TRT, Principal and Lead Trainer, Carla Cheatham Consulting Group, LLC, Assist. Professor, MS in Palliative Care, University of Maryland
Dr. Carla Cheatham began her career in psychosocial services with an MA in Psychology, certification in trauma therapy, PhD in Health & Kinesiology, and MDiv before working 10 years as an interfaith healthcare chaplain and bereavement coordinator. Carla is a national keynote speaker and consultant focusing on emotionally intelligent and resilient professionals and organizations, member of NHPCO’s Trauma-Informed End of Life Care Work Group, former Chair of NHPCOs Ethics Advisory Council, and Assistant Professor for University of Maryland’s MS in Palliative Care. She publishes books and videos about healthy leadership and organizations, resilience, communication, boundaries, trauma-informed care, post-traumatic growth, grief, service recovery, cultural humility and values-neutral care, emotionally competent professionals and teams, and more. Learn more at carlacheatham.com or by contacting Carla at 512-527-4455 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Humorist, Communication Specialist
Juli Burney is an award winning teacher, entertainer and author, who makes an amazing connection with her audiences. She is able to entertain with the ability of a headlining comedian while motivating with the ease of a top-notch motivational speaker.
Juli has been recognized by her state as Artist of the Year because of her ability to help improve people's lives through humor and the effective use of communication tools. She has worked in all 48 continental United States and Canada, and she has been commissioned by a variety of associations from the National Endowment of the Arts to Fortune 500 companies to develop training programs that stick.
She has filmed for Showtime and HBO, along with making several guest appearances on radio and television programs. Her humor is delightful, universal and enlightening with whatever topic she presents.
Juli was selected from a nationwide search to be featured in Discover Your Inner Strength, a highly successful book series from Tennessee based Insight Publishing. The book features best-selling authors Stephen R. Covey (Seven Habits of Highly Effective People), Brian Tracy (Million Dollar Habits), and Ken Blanchard (One Minute Manager). Juli, Blanchard, Covey and Tracy are joined by other well known authors and speakers, each offering time-tested strategies for success in frank and intimate interviews.
BSN, RN, Executive Director, The Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice
Rachel Hammon received her Bachelors of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Texas in Austin. She has 29 years of experience in nursing with 25 years’ experience in the home health industry. During her employment with a home health agency, she served in many roles (i.e. Pediatric Case Manager, Medicare Case Manager, DON / Administrator and Corporate Director of Clinical Services), which gave her a diverse knowledge of the industry. At the Texas Association for Home Care and Hospice Rachel assisted member agencies with compliance with state and federal laws (Medicare, Medicaid, OSHA, BON, etc.), served as a liaison with state and federal government officials, and on the Nurse Practice Advisory Committee for the Board of Nurse Examiners. As the Executive Director, Rachel is responsible for implementing the mission of the association which is to advocate for ethical practices, quality, and economic viability of licensed providers in Texas. As part of that advocacy she routinely works with state and federal legislators and agency staff on legislation and policy that affects the home care industry.
RN, Senior Provider Relations Consultant, Provider Outreach & Education, Palmetto GBA
Charles Canaan has over 30 years of diverse nursing experience in a variety of healthcare settings, to include inpatient, outpatient, home and organizational settings. His education includes a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia and a Master of Public Health Degree in Health Promotion and Education from the University of South Carolina and a Coding for Health Care Professionals Certificate from Trident technical College. He currently provides education and consultation to Medicare providers with learning needs.
CEO and Founder, Precision Medical Billing
Petria’s expertise lies in hands on experience of billing for numerous home health and hospice agencies throughout the years. She has been in the home health and hospice industry’s for over 21 years and has owned and operated Precision Medical Billing for the past 17 years. She has supervised, hired, and trained 100s of medical billing staff and speaks regularly at home health association conferences.
Legal Counsel for the Commissioner, Texas Workforce Commission
William T. (Tommy) Simmons serves as legal counsel for Commissioner Aaron S. Demerson, the employer representative on the Texas Workforce Commission, where he advises the Commissioner on final-level unemployment, tax, and wage claim appeals and discrimination charges, assists business groups with employment-related legislation, and counsels employers on Texas and federal employment laws. Mr. Simmons has served as legal advisor to the Commissioner representing employers since 1987 and has given over 2400 talks before employer groups. He authored the TWC book Texas Guidebook for Employers - Especially for Texas Employers, is the assistant editor of the Employment Law Handbook of the Texas Association of Business, and produces mobile and web apps for employers.
COS-C, Chief Executive Officer, Healthcare Provider Solutions, Inc.
Melinda A. Gaboury, with more than 28 years in home care, has over 18 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 Associate Director on the Home Care Association of Florida Board of Directors. Melinda is also the author of the Home Health OASIS Guide to OASIS-D1.
CPA, Knight Home Care Financial
Amy L. Knight is a CPA, originally from Oklahoma and now based in Austin, Texas with over 20 years experience almost exclusively in home health and hospice. Her CPA firm, Knight CPA Group, has extensive experience with all financial issues pertaining to home health, hospice and other healthcare providers including cost reporting, accounting & payroll issues that are specific to healthcare providers.
JD, BSN, RN, HCS-D, COS-C, Vice President Quality and Education, McBee
Lisa brings more than 35 years of experience in the home health & hospice industry, specializing in regulatory compliance, both as an RN and a home care attorney. Lisa founded Selman-Holman & Associates and CoDR (Coding Done Right), a coding outsource and audit company in 2004. Lisa has a wide range of regulatory experience in home health and has served on numerous committees and task forces. Selman-Holman was recently acquired by McBee in July 2021. In her role as VP of Education and Quality, Lisa leads the quality audit team to ensure the highest-level of accuracy in coding and clinical documentation internally at McBee and externally for clients nationwide. She will expand McBee’s educational offerings, including live events and on-demand online trainings through the McBee Post-Acute Academy.
BSN, RN, HCS-O, HCS-D, HCS-H, COS-S, Manager of Post-Acute Education, McBee
Michelle has more than 30 years of experience in healthcare with an extensive background in critical care and home care. Michelle has been instrumental in the content creation for the McBee Post-Acute Academy. She currently specializes in Quality, Clinical, and Regulatory Consulting and Education. Michelle develops and provides custom on-site client education programs. She speaks regularly for various home care associations. Her expertise regularly appears in the Decision Health Diagnosis Coding Pro and she is a subject matter expert contributor for several Decision Health publications. Michelle currently serves on the AHCC’s Board of Medical Specialty Coding and Compliance Certification HCS-D and HCS-O Committees.
Terrence B. Robinson
Managing Member at the TB Robinson Law Group, PLLC
Terrence Bouvier Robinson is an experienced litigator with more than three decades in the legal practice, concentrating his practice on the litigation of complex employment matters. He has extensive experience advising and representing individuals and employers in a wide range of industries. He has particular knowledge with respect to the employment issues within the restaurant, hospitality, and home health care industries. He represents individuals and employers in discrimination cases; wrongful termination suits; wage and hour, individual, and collective actions; and tort/contract disputes arising out of the employment relationship. He specifically handles cases arising under Title VII, the ADA, the ADEA, the FLSA, the FMLA, the TCHRA, ERISA, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and various other statutory and common law causes of action, including claims involving trade secrets, non-compete agreements, workers' compensation retaliation, whistle-blower claims, defamation, assault, and the intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Hospice Chaplain at Brookdale and Faculty Member at The Institute for Life and Care, Motivational Speaker
Jeff Vankooten is an entertaining, informative, and inspirational speaker on the topics of resilience and meaning. He takes the subject of death that seems morbid and taboo at first glance and turns it on its head to compel people to be inspired to live the deepest, richest, most vibrant life possible. He has over 35 years experience speaking from the platform and has engaged audiences from non profit to Fortune 500. His primary audience are all those who are on front lines of wanting to live a life that matters. In addition to speaking, Jeff is a hospice chaplain and keynote speaker.
CEO, Caring Senior Services
Jeff Salter began his career in senior care in 1991 working for a home health care agency in Odessa, TX. He started his own company 4 months later serving seniors that needed additional non-medical care to remain at home. Jeff expanded the business to include other locations in Texas - Midland, McAllen, Corpus Christi, San Antonio and Austin. After operating for 12 years he began offering franchises in 2003, and today Caring Senior Services is in 20 states with over 50 locations. Jeff’s company continues to add locations through addition of franchises and corporate locations, and his existing offices benefit from focused efforts in marketing and sales. Caring Senior Service was named one of the top 500 franchises in the United States, by the Entrepreneur Magazine's Franchise 500 as well as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States as named by Inc. Magazine.
Deputy Associate Commissioner for HHSC Medicaid/CHIP Operations Management
The HHSC EVV Operations unit is responsible for the implementation, operation, and effective use of EVV to document and verify Medicaid service delivery. Jordan Nichols is the director of HHSC EVV Operations and has been with the team since 2019.
Shelby Betts is a consultant for small and mid-sized businesses who want to utilize great technology to enhance their businesses and drive their mission. Shelby is passionate about seeing owners succeed, creating great places to work for their employees, and making operational processes make sense. When she’s not at work, Shelby enjoys hiking, hanging with her sweet husband, and being the neighborhood cat lady.
Inspector General Sylvia Hernandez Kauffman
Texas Health and Human Services
Sylvia Hernandez Kauffman is the Inspector General for Texas Health and Human Services. Gov. Greg Abbott appointed her to the position in January 2018.
As Inspector General, Sylvia is responsible for the day-to-day operations and overarching vision, direction and strategy of the 500-person office, which ensures appropriated dollars for health and human services are used for their intended purposes. The work she oversees protects Texas tax dollars and the health and welfare of those who utilize HHS programs.
During her time as Inspector General, Sylvia has placed significant emphasis on data analytics to detect fraud, waste and abuse. In the 2022 fiscal year, the agency recovered nearly half a billion dollars and demonstrated a return of $6.21 for every dollar invested.
RN, MHA, HCS-D, HCS-C, HCS-H, COS-C, Prinicpal, SimiTree Healthcare Consulting
J’non Griffin is a 34 year veteran of home care as an RN. She received her Master’s Degree in Health Care Administration in 2005. She has experience as a field nurse, director and executive with home health and hospice agencies, both large and small. J’non is certified as a Homecare Coding Specialist-Diagnosis (HCS-D), Certified in OASIS competency, COS-C, Certified in Homecare Coding Specialist-Hospice (HCS-H), Home Care Specialist-Compliance (HCS-C) and is an AHIMA approved ICD-10-CM trainer/ambassador. J’non is an accredited ACHC and CHAP consultant. She has presented several webinars, and has been a nationally recognized speaker on a variety of subjects.
PT, DPT, MS, MBA, COS-C, Director, Operations Consulting, SimiTree
John Rabbia brings over a decade of home health operations leadership experience and provides a balance of both clinical and operational expertise. As a consultant with SimiTree Healthcare Consulting, John has worked with agencies across the country to use their data to drive strategic improvement efforts for financial and operational indicators.
Sr. Manager Managed Care Compliance and Operations
Mike Osborne has 25 years of State Service with The Texas Department of Health and the Health and Human Services Commission and 17 years with the Vendor Drug Program, assisting with pharmacy providers with Point of Sale claims and software issues. He also has 8 years with Managed Care Compliance and Operations, Senior manager of Research and Resolution. Coordinate complaints, from various stakeholders, against the MCOs to ensure the timely delivery of contracted services and benefits to members and reimbursement to the providers.
Contract and Finance Manager, HHSC
James Brady is the contract oversight and finance manager for EVV and joined the team late 2020. James started his public sector health career at the Department of State Health Services in 2013 and since has worked in several areas within DADS and HHSC supporting long term care fee-for-service. Prior to his career with the state, James worked at several private sector companies such as Dell for 13 plus years.
Vice President of Hospice Professional Services, Axxess
Zaundra Ellis is the Hospice Product Manager for Axxess. She leverages her many years of expertise in the hospice industry to create a software that is easy to use and allows clients to be clinically, administratively and financially compliant. Prior to joining Axxess, Zaundra served as the Executive Director and Regional Director for Kindred Hospice and Heart to Heart Hospice agencies across Texas. In this role she oversaw an inpatient hospice facility, created and implemented a companywide QAPI program for an organization that served more than 2,500 patients, and used her experience to create operations that improved compliance and maximized reimbursements. Zaundra is an active member of the Texas Association of Home Care and Hospice and has served on multiple committees including the Education, Hospice and Medicare/Medicaid committees.
CTCM Director, Provider Monitoring
Contract Administration & Provider Monitoring, Medicaid and CHIP Services, HHSC
Kaliope Schmidt is the Director of Provider Monitoring within Medicaid and Chip Services, Contract Administration and Provider Monitoring. She began her career in 2009 investigating allegations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation in facilities and agencies contracted by HHSC to provide Long Term Care services. Though an investigator at heart, Kaliope wanted to learn contract monitoring to ensure that agencies contracted with HHSC are provided with the right tools and education to succeed, while ensuring service delivery is performed in a reliable and acceptable manner. Kaliope has always worked with Long Term Care providers (licensed and certified by HHSC) throughout her 14-year tenure with the state. Kaliope has been invited to speak at several provider association conferences and stakeholder meetings on topics regarding program and contracting requirements, changes to service delivery requirements, and implementation of new services.
Director of Operations within Medicaid and Chip Services (MCS), Contract Administration and Provider Monitoring (CAPM)
Nikolaos Vekris is the Director of Operations within Medicaid and Chip Services (MCS), Contract Administration and Provider Monitoring (CAPM). Nikolaos has 18 years of public service experience working for the Department of Commerce, TXMHMR, DADS, and HHSC with 13 years of supervisory and management experience in both the public and private sector. The past 14 years have been dedicated to CAPM, or its predecessors, including Provider Monitoring and Operations. Mr. Vekris has reviewed or monitored hundreds of providers in Medicaid Waiver programs and various other contract types.
CEO, Forte Consulting Group
Ann started in home health care accidently in 2006 while she was figuring out what to do with a Political Science and Business degree in San Antonio. Her original plan of becoming Michael J Fox from Spin City didn’t seem to have as much potential as she originally thought. A part time job in a private pay PAS agency turned into managing a private pay PAS agency which turned into Regional Director for a Medicaid PAS program and then to Administrator at an adult Home Health Agency. She started her consulting company with her business partner in 2013 and since then has had the opportunity to work with Home Health and Hospice clients across the US with a focus in Texas.