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VHA Georgia Regional Leadership Expo

2015 VHA Georgia Leadership Expo

Leadership Expo
Conference Overview

Attend the 2015 VHA Georgia Leadership Expo for a day of education, networking and leading practice sharing. As health care leaders, it is important to efficiently manage the complexities of our current health care environment so that your teams continue to meet their goals and objectives. Being part of VHA Georgia means you have a body of peers and colleagues that are also experiencing similar challenges and the demand for higher quality, more affordable health care. By coming together, VHA Georgia members will have an opportunity to interact with others who can provide insights, ideas and support.

By attending this event, you will be able to identify techniques for navigating the complexities of health care which include learning how to:

  • Lead and manage these complexities
  • Engage physicians
  • Reduce readmissions; pursue bundled payments; process changes
  • Reduce CAUTI infections
  • Structure Patient-Centered Medical Homes
  • Handle chronic and acute pain management (ortho/spine)
  • Manage and minimize falls

All of these objectives will be met through expert keynotes, leading practice breakout sessions, poster case study exhibits and a vendor expo. Over 80 leading practices will be shared by VHA Georgia members during the poster exhibit, the winners of which will be recognized during our awards celebration and luncheon. In addition, there will be over 70 suppliers from Novation, Phoenix Health Care Management Services, VHA Georgia and VHA exhibiting their products and services as part of the event.

Who Should Attend
  • Supply Chain Leaders
  • Buyers
  • Performance Improvement, Quality, Nursing and Ancillary Clinical Departments
  • Orthopedic and Spine Service Line
  • Surgical Services
  • Orthopedic Nursing
  • Primary and Post-Acute Leaders
  • Physical Therapy
  • Rehab
  • Care Coordination/Discharge Planning
  • Pharmacy
  • Physicians
  • Anyone involved with health care design and delivery

Connie Merritt, RN, BSN, PHN

Owner, Connie Merritt Productions

Connie Merritt has a preeminent reputation as a national speaker, author and business professional working with leading companies, organizations and associations in today’s health care and consumer marketplace industries. As president/owner, Ms. Merritt's role is dedicated to excellence in research, development and management through communications to help people breakthrough to ‘next’ to reach their goals. She helps people and organizations gain key understandings to help make vital adjustments in their personal lives and careers. Connie Merritt Productions is focused on communications and presentations that provide practical tools and strengthen quality characteristics – and skills in:

  • Stress and Success Management
  • Leadership
  • Time Management
  • Productivity
  • Balanced Living for Greater Accomplishment

Ms. Merritt's programs draw upon her vast experiences as a registered nurse, researcher, author and business professional. She delivers timely programs for organizations and individuals to continue to learn (and develop) the best practice skills and strategies to thrive now and continue to excel in managing tasks and relationships.

Jimmy Chung, MD, FACS, CHCQM

Director of Medical Product Analysis, Providence Health & Services

Dr. Jimmy Chung received his MD at UC San Diego and completed his surgery residency at University of Washington. He practiced general and vascular surgery in Santa Cruz, California for 13 years before accepting his current position with Providence in Seattle. Dr. Chung has previously served as Chief of Staff at Dominican Santa Cruz Hospital, Chair of Surgery, Trauma Director, President of the Santa Cruz County Medical Society and Board member of the California Medical Association. At Providence, Dr. Chung has developed regional, physician-led Value Analysis Teams for evaluating surgical and procedural products and integrated physician leadership into developing strategic plans for Providence-wide standardization initiatives. In addition, he implemented physician education and alignment models for using Value Analysis to validate the selection of all clinical products and serves as a physician advisor in the field during the implementation phase of conversions.

Debbie Reber, MHS, OTR

Vice President of Clinical Services, Brooks Rehabilitation

Debbie Reber is the Vice President of Clinical Services for Brooks Rehabilitation and a clinical and operations expert with strong quality, leadership and project management skills. For the last four years, Ms. Reber has lead the Brooks team for successful formulation and implementation of the Medicare Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative. Brooks was selected to be a Model 3 post-acute bundled provider and is one of only a few in the nation to hold this distinction. The initial focus of this initiative was integration and decision-making for care redesign for orthopedics. Currently Ms. Reber is implementing system wide congestive heart failure and spine programs.

Ms. Reber is a national speaker on post-acute bundled payment programs. Brooks Rehabilitation is modeling the way using their experience in post-acute care coordination to assist acute facilities managing Medicare Shared Savings Program beneficiaries, as well as commercial Accountable Care Organization agreements.

Ms. Reber is a clinical and operations expert with over 30 years of experience in post-acute care. She has a Master of Health Administration degree from the University of North Florida and a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Virginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of Virginia. Over the past 25 years at Brooks, Ms. Reber has worked in a number of key leadership roles including Director of the Stroke Program and Director of Outpatient Services. She is on the board of the Florida Occupational Therapy Association and also serves as an Administrative Surveyor for the Florida Department of Health, Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program.

Nickie Graves, RN, MPA, CIC

Infection Preventionist, Gwinnett Medical Center - Duluth

Nickie Graves is the sole Infection Prevention Practitioner for an acute care hospital, inpatient rehab facility and a long-term care residential facility. Her duties include but are not limited to surveillance activities and prevention strategies for Medical Surgical, Surgical Services, Intensive Care, Outpatient Services, Acute Rehab and Long-Term Care. Ms. Graves participates in unit based multidisciplinary meetings and in corporate Infection Prevention updates and education, as well as provides feedback of unit performance. She is responsible for the surveillance data that is aggregated and entered into NHSN monthly with analysis. At the Gwinnett Extended Care Center (GECC), a long-term care center, Ms. Graves oversees surveillance activities, outbreak management of scabies, norovirus, and flu, and also provides ongoing education and Infection Prevention updates to staff, physicians and families. In this role, she is also the primary resource person for co-workers as the most experienced practitioner.

Joel M. Presley

Clinical Integration Director, Tift Regional Medical Center

Joel Presley serves as Clinical Integration Director, PCMH Project Manager and Executive Director for the South Georgia Primary Care Network. He has the responsibility of overseeing the PCMH transformation of the Tift Regional Health System, Population Health and a collaboration of 39 primary care physicians. Mr. Presley received his BS from Park University, Valdosta, GA in Social Psychology and his AAS from Southwest Georgia Technical College, Thomasville, GA in Respiratory Therapy.

Jamie Branch, ACPAR, CFC

PCMH Practice Facilitator, Tift Regional Medical Center

Jamie Branch serves as they Patient Centered Medical Home Practice Facilitator for Tift Regional Medical Center. In this role, he coaches primary care practices on transformation to patient-centered medical homes. Mr. Branch received his associate degree from East Central, Fitzgerald, Ga, in ECE.

Cameron D. Nixon, MD

Physician, Affinity Health Group (Tift Regional Medical Center)

Dr. Cameron Nixon practices Internal Medicine at the Affinity Health Group in Tifton, Ga., a PCMH recognized practice. He completed his residency at Baptist Health Systems Internal Medicine in 2004 and obtained his medical degree from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Dr. Nixon is involved in extracurricular activities including medical missions, volunteering at community health fairs, working with the American College of Physicians School Outreach Program and is a volunteer CPR trainer for the American Heart Association.

Monica Quinn Newton, DO, MPH

PCMH Director, Northeast Georgia Physicians Group (Northeast Georgia Health System)

Dr. Monica Newton is a physician at the Northeast Georgia Physicians Group in Gainesville, Ga., where she has served as the Patient Centered Medical Home Director since 2012. Prior to her appointment with Northeast Georgia, she served at Vaughan Regional Medical Center and several nursing homes in Alabama. Dr. Newton obtained her undergraduate degree in psychology from Auburn University, her medical degree from Midwestern University in Osteopathic Medicine and her MPH in International Health from the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

Bobby Norris, MBA

Director of Operations, Northeast Georgia Physicians Group (Northeast Georgia Health System)

Bobby Norris the director of operations for Primary and Urgent Care for the Northeast Georgia Physicians Group. He is responsible for the daily operations of 13 primary care offices and 3 urgent care offices. Mr. Norris is involved in the Patient Centered Medical Home implementation, Information Technology Optimization and implementation of LEAN principles to improve practice efficiencies. He obtained his undergraduate degree in exercise physiology from North Georgia College and his MBA in Healthcare from Brenau University.

Darlene Moore, MSN, LSSYB, RN

Nurse Manager, WellStar Kennestone Hospital

Darlene Moore is a nurse manager on the Ortho/Spine Surgery floor at Kennestone Hospital Regional Medical Center. She is responsible for the unit operations including managing productivity, overtime, staffing, scheduling and payroll. As manager, she is also responsible for hiring and retaining excellent staff, as well as creating a safe work environment that enables the organization to meet or exceed its mission and goals. Ms. Moore's role also includes fostering communication and collaboration among physicians, staff, patients and families, and other departments. Achieving threshold scores in all 10 domains in HCAHPS is also a focus of hers. This has led to creativity in finding ways to improve the scores, particularly in the area of pain management. Ms. Moore received her undergraduate degree in nursing from Kennesaw State University and her MSN in Nursing from Western Governors University.

Melanie Mays

Director of Marketing, Posey

Melanie Mays has 20 years-experience in the health care industry. Her experience spans across medical device, biotechnology and health care administration with specific success developing award winning programs – most recently with the Novation Innovative Technology Designation. Melanie is the creator and designer of PoseyPartners® SAFE Approach to Falls Management - an integrated partnership program that provides clinicians with innovative products, tools, and education resources to minimize fall rates, reduce costs and assist in compliance. She holds an MBA from the University of Southern California and is an Adjunct Professor at Mount St. Mary’s University.

Ron Culberson, MSW, CSP, CPAE

Speaker, Author, Humorist

As a speaker, humorist, and author of three books, including his most recent called Do it Well. Make it Fun: The Key to Success in Life, Death, and Almost Everything in Between, Ron Culberson’s mission is to change the workplace culture so that organizations are more productive and staff are more content. By combining excellence with humor, he helps organizations attract and retain great employees, develop excellent leaders, and deliver extraordinary products and services.

For ten years, Ron worked in a large hospice organization as a social worker, Counseling Manager, and Senior Director of Quality Services. Through these roles, he gained experience on the front line, in middle management, and ultimately in senior management. He has a proven track record as a successful member of a multidisciplinary team and as an effective senior leader.

VHA Georgia 2014 Leadership Expo Brochure

For more event details including the agenda and continuing education information, please view our Printable Brochure.

Have Questions?

Contact us at or 770.850.7400 for more information. We will be glad to assist you.

900 Circle 75 Parkway Suite 1450 | Atlanta, GA 30339 | 770 850-7400
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