Speakers
A-K

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Paul Ambrose

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.

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Dr. Aaron Blight, Ed.D.

Founder, Caregiving Kinetics

International Speaker

Aaron Blight, Ed.D., is an international speaker and consultant on caregiving, aging, and healthcare. He is the Founder of Caregiving Kinetics and has been recognized as a “Top 100 Healthcare Leader” by the International Forum on Advancements in Healthcare.

Aaron’s passion for supporting caregivers is rooted in his personal experience as a family caregiver; his professional work as the owner of a large home care company and as a leader at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; and his study of caregiving as a phenomenon of social science.

Aaron serves as an Adjunct Professor at Shenandoah University, an honorary board member of the Well Spouse Association, and an advisory board member of the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University, a master’s degree from the University of Baltimore, and a doctorate degree from The George Washington University.

Aaron and his wife, Jessica, live outside of Washington DC, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. They have four children and two grandchildren. Aaron enjoys exercise, music, travel, cats, and ice cream.

Dr. Blight speaks with groups all over the world about caregiving. In workshops and conference talks, he invites participants to think deeply about the meaning and significance of their individual caregiving experiences. He attends caregiver support groups to facilitate discussions related to his book, When Caregiving Calls: Guidance as You Care for a Parent, Spouse, or Aging Relative.

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Elizabeth Brogdon

Senior Provider Relations Consultant Provider Outreach and Education

Palmetto GBA

Elizabeth has over 20 years of nursing experience. She is a graduate of Forsyth Technical College. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration from Columbia Southern University.  She has a background in Emergency Medicine in Nursing, Occupational Health and Home Health Care. Her educator experience includes Instructor for The American Heart Association and several other agencies. She previously worked for Palmetto GBA as a Medical Reviewer on the Pre-Claim Review Demonstration. Elizabeth is currently a Senior Provider Education Consultant with Provider Outreach and Education for the Review Choice Demonstration. Her duties include providing education for the Review Choice Demonstration through one on one and large group setting sessions.

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Wanda Crotwell

Lobbyist

The Southern Group

Wanda Connelly Crotwell is a government relations professional with more than 30 years of experience in the fields of government, communications, and public relations. Prior to joining The Southern Group, she was a lobbyist and strategic advisor at Mike Daniel and Associates for seven years.  Before joining MD&A in 2012, she was assistant to the Commissioner for External Affairs at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, where she served under four separate commissioners and managed governmental affairs, legislative services, constituent services, annual budget requests, accountability reports, internal communications, and media relations.  In this capacity she also served as policy advisor and strategic counsel to the Commissioner. In addition to her 18 years of experience in South Carolina state government, she has worked in the field of communications for both non-profit and for-profit private sector companies in both South Carolina and Georgia, including The Independent Mail in Anderson, South Carolina; J. Walter Thompson Advertising in Atlanta; and The Easter Seal Society of South Carolina, where she was director of development.

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Joanne E. Cunningham

Chief Executive Officer

Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare (PQHH)

Joanne E. Cunningham was appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare (PQHH) in August of 2018. PQHH is a national coalition of national home health provider companies with a mission to improve quality and enhance and improve the Medicare home health program. Joanne comes to the Partnership from the Home Care Association of New York State, which represents the more than 400 home care provider organizations that support the provision of high quality home care in New York State, where she served as President and CEO for 11 years.  Prior to these positions, Joanne spent 10 years in executive and senior leadership positions at the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) and Healthcare Trustees of New York State. Joanne spent the early part of her career working in health policy and advocacy in Washington, D.C. as HANYS’ Vice President for Federal Relations, and as the chief health care advisor to then-Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-MA), former Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), and former Governor William Donald Schaefer (D-MD).

 

Joanne holds a Master of Health Science degree from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Hygiene and Public Health and is a political science graduate of the State University of New York at Potsdam.

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Melinda A. Gaboury, COS-C

Co-Founder, CEO, Healthcare Provider Solutions

Melinda A. Gaboury, with more than 29 years in home care, has over 20 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, 2021.

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Dan George

Senior Provider Relations Representative, Provider Outreach and Education, Palmetto GBA

Dan George has been with the Medicare program since 2004. In 2008, he became part of Palmetto GBA’s Congressional Unit. This unit handled complex inquiries for Part A, Part B and Home Health and Hospice. His experience is extensive in, but not limited to, coverage polices, compliance, billing, enrollment, and systems. In 2007 and 2008, he was a manager for Palmetto GBA’s Beneficiary Call Center. Prior to working with Medicare, Dan worked in skilled nursing facilities for 12 years. He directed Dietary Departments, which included participation in nutritional assessments, care planning, wound rounds, and patient documentation. Since late 2012, he has been a part of Palmetto GBA’s Provider Outreach & Education Department, focusing on Home Health & Hospice.

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Angela Huff

Managing Consultant/RN

FORVIS

Angela is a member of BKD National Health Care Group and 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 operations improvement assessments and compliance-focused reviews of home health and hospice documentation, including audits and appeals related to the OIG and program integrity contractors.

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Kristen Juarez Kollu

Director, Division of Provider Services, Bureau of Healthcare Systems & Services, DHEC

Bio coming soon!

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Dr. Kara Huncik

Medical Director of Hands of Hope Pediatric Hospice and Palliative Care
Agape Care Group

Kara B. Huncik, MD is the Medical Director of Hands of Hope, the pediatric program of Agape Care Group.  Hands of Hope provides both pediatric palliative and hospice care to children up to 21 years of age, covering South Carolina and now expanding into Georgia.  Dr. Huncik completed her medical degree at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center.  She then moved to Charleston, South Carolina to complete her residency in General Pediatrics.  Later, Dr. Huncik served as the Medical Director of the Medical University of South Carolina Medically Fragile Children’s Program.  Following the closure of the MFC program in 2009, Dr. Huncik practiced general pediatrics, where she continued to care for children with special healthcare needs and chronic medical conditions before joining Hands of Hope as Medical Director in 2021.  Dr. Huncik is passionate about high quality, evidence- based, patient and family centered care.

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Barbara Karnes

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, RN, is an internationally recognized author, speaker, thought leader and expert on end of life care and the dynamics of dying. Barbara was recognized in 2018 as a Hospice Innovator by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and was named the 2015 International Humanitarian Woman of the Year by the World Humanitarian Awards.

Barbara’s experience as a hospice care provider at the bedside of hundreds of people, and as an administrator overseeing the care of thousands, led to the 1985 publication of Gone from My Sight: The Dying Experience. Affectionately referred to in the industry as the “little blue hospice book,” Gone from My Sight has sold over 30 million copies worldwide, is published in 12 languages, and remains the leading resource on the market today educating families on the signs of approaching death. 

In 2015, Barbara’s film New Rules for End of Life Care was featured in film festivals around the world and was the recipient of 10 prestigious film awards.

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Cindy Krafft PT, MS, HCS-O 

Owner/Founder

K&K Health Care Solutions

Cindy Krafft PT, MS, HCS-O brings more than 20 years of home health expertise that ranges from direct patient care to operational / management issues as well as a passion for understanding regulations. She is a nationally recognized educator in the areas of documentation, regulation, therapy utilization and OASIS. She currently serves on multiple Technical Expert Panels with CMS Contractors working on clinical and payment reforms. Cindy is on the editorial board of Home Healthcare Now and a frequently sought out expert contributor for other home health publications. She has written 3 books – The How-to Guide to Therapy Documentation, An Interdisciplinary Approach to Home Care and the Handbook to Home Health Therapy Documentation – and co-authored her fourth, The Post-Acute Care Guide to Maintenance Therapy with her business partner Diana Kornetti PT, MA, HCS-D.