VNAA - Visiting Nurse Associations of America

Keynote Speakers

Opening Speaker: Dr. Ira Byock

Session Title: Giving the Best Care Possible - A Leading Role for Home Health and HospiceTransformation through Innovation

This year's opening keynote speaker is Dr. Ira Byock, the Director of Palliative Medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Professor at Dartmouth Medical School. Since his residency in 1978, Dr. Byock has been involved in hospice and palliative care. He helped found a hospice homecare program for the indigent population served by the university hospital and county clinics of Fresno, Calif. Throughout his career, Dr. Byock had lent his expertise to organization such as the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine where he was president; he served as Director for Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation national grant program. He was also the co-founder and principal investigator for the Missoula Demonstration Project, a community-based organization in Montana dedicated to the research and transformation of end-of-life experience locally, as a demonstration of what is possible nationally.

In addition to being a consistent advocate for the voice and rights of dying patients and their families, Dr. Byock has also authored numerous articles and books on the ethics and practice of hospice, palliative and end-of-life care. This includes his first book, Dying Well, (1997) and his most recent book, The Four Things That Matter Most, (2004), which is used as a counseling tool widely by palliative care and hospice programs, as well as within pastoral care. He has been a featured guest on numerous national television and radio programs, including NPR: All Things Considered and Fresh Air, ABC Nightline, CBS 60 Minutes and PBS The News Hour.

Closing Speaker: Dr. Mary Wakefield

Session Title: TBD

Dr. Mary Wakefield, RN was appointed Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) by President Barack Obama on February 20, 2009. HRSA works to fill in the healthcare gaps for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable and strives to expand access to quality healthcare in partnership with healthcare providers and health professions training programs.

Dr. Wakefield has also served as director of the Center for Health Policy, Research and Ethics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and worked on site as a consultant to the World Health Organization's Global Programme on AIDS in Geneva, Switzerland.

Dr. Wakefield is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and was elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM). She served on the IOM committee that produced the landmark reports To Err is Human and Crossing the Quality Chasm. She has served on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, as chair of the National Advisory Council on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, as a member of President Clinton's Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry, and as a member of the National Advisory Committee to HRSA's Office of Rural Health Policy.

Dr. Wakefield is a native of Devils Lake, N.D. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the University of Mary in Bismarck and master's and doctoral degrees in nursing from the University of Texas at Austin.

Hospice Interest Group Speaker

Kim Neuman, Senior Analyst for Hospice Issues, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC)
Kim Neuman, senior analyst for hospice issues at the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), will be a special guest at VNAA's 30th Annual Meeting. Neuman will engage in an interactive discussion with hospice members during the Hospice Interest Group Meeting on May 2, 4:30 b 4:45 p.m. Topics to be covered include nonprofit concerns in general, proposed changes to the hospice payment model, upcoming quality measure reporting and red flags for waste, fraud and abuse. Neuman will also be visiting with one of VNAA's hospice members in Arizona.

Prior to joining MedPAC in July 2008, Neuman spent nine years at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). At CMS, she served in a variety of capacities, including as a technical advisor on Medicare Part B and Part D drug issues, as the Acting Deputy Director of the Division of Outpatient Care and as a technical advisor on inpatient hospital issues.

Now is your opportunity to meet with MedPAC's Kim Neuman and hear what she has to say but also address your concerns and ask questions. Don't miss this great opportunity for your agency to meet in-person with an official from MedPAC, register now

Public Policy Forum Speakers:

Neleen Rubin (Former Senate Finance Committee Staffer)
eborah Randall (Attorney and Expert in Home Care and Hospice)
Don't miss Neleen Rubin, former Senate Finance Committee staffer, and attorney Deborah Randall, an expert in home care and hospice, at the Public Policy Forum taking place at the VNAA Annual Meeting in Phoenix on Friday, May 4, 8:30 b 10:30 a.m. Neleen Rubin, currently a Principal with the Mizeur group, was the key Senate Finance Committee staffer on Medicare Part A provisions during negotiations on the Affordable Care Act. Deborah Randall has more than 25 years of experience working with hospices and home care agencies on regulatory issues, compliance, fraud and abuse and reimbursement. This session is designed to be interactive and will be moderate by Kathleen Sheehan, VNAA's Vice President for Public Policy.

Be sure and read about our great Preconference Session speakers too, click here.

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