Speaker Bios

Allison Bickett
Paul Bray
Theresa Byrne 
Kay Craven
Doyle M. “Skip” Cummings
Jacqueline Halladay
Beverly Johnson
Amy Jones
Kari Kirian
Dionne L. Knapp
Kathrin C. Kucharski
Lindsay E. Kuhn
Jamie Messenger
Bunny Pounds 

Dennis Russo
Rose Ann Simmons
Hazel Tapp
Jim Tillman
Andrea Wallace

Allison Bickett, MS
 is a Doctoral Candidate in Clinical Health Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and presently serves as the Associate Director of Behavioral Medicine in the Department of Family Medicine within Carolinas HealthCare System. She splits her time between the residency programs at Elizabeth Family Medicine and Union Family Practice, where she assists in developing and teaching the Longitudinal Behavioral Medicine curriculum. She supports and evaluates residents in the advancement of their mental health knowledge and clinical interviewing skills, including motivational interviewing and active listening. Additionally, she is creating the infrastructure necessary to build a collaborative behavioral health program at Union Family Practice in Monroe, NC. Allison is interested in exploring the relationship between mental health and chronic disease, and presently serves as the primary investigator in a study examining the prevalence of, association between, and effective treatments for, anxiety and type 2 diabetes mellitus in a primary care setting.

Paul Bray, MA, LMFT
., is currently the Quality Program Manager, Community Based Care, Vidant Medical Group and ECARE Coordinator at The Department of Family Medicine, Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University. Mr. Bray is the Coordinator of Eastern Carolina Association for Research and Education (ECARE), a Practice Based Research Network. He completed his Masters degree from the Southern Illinois University in Rehabilitation Counseling and then post graduate training in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northwestern University. He is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in North Carolina.  Mr. Bray has been actively involved in diabetes and chronic disease management both from the point of research and ambulatory delivery redesign for the past 15 years. Prior to his work in chronic disease management he managed ambulatory care for University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina and was the Executive Director for a community health center in inner city Chicago. He has authored four papers on primary care chronic disease management and numerous presentations. He has been Primary Investigator for six major diabetes and chronic disease projects since 2002 and has received funding from federal and state governments and foundations.

Theresa Byrne

Theresa Byrne has spent her career in healthcare. For years, she worked with employer groups designing and implementing health and wellness programs to improve patient health. Theresa then spent time at Humana facilitating provider engagement. Theresa is excited to be at Insignia where she hopes to have a meaningful impact on improving individuals’ health and wellbeing by working with organizations, like Vidant, nationwide to help clinicians and coaches empower patients.

Kay Craven, MPH, RD, LDN, CDE

CravenMs. Craven serves as nutrition section head for Nutrition Services and Patient Education in the Department of Family Medicine at East Carolina University.   Ms. Craven graduated from Auburn University in Auburn, AL with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Foods and from East Carolina University with a Master of Public Health.  She has worked counseling and educating patients who are living with diabetes over the past 15 years.  She has been the director of an ADA recognized diabetes education center and worked for the largest center for diabetes in Western Georgia and Eastern Alabama.  She joined the Department of Family Medicine full time in 2008 and currently provides Medical Nutrition Therapy for patients at the ECU Brody School of Medicine Family Medicine Center.   Additionally, she delivers education in nutrition assessment and counseling of patients in health promoting and disease treating nutrition therapy to medical students, residents, attending physicians, as well as other health professionals.

Doyle M. “Skip” Cummings, Pharm.D., FCP, FCCP,.  
My research career has been devoted to understanding the critical factors necessary to optimize the prevention and treatment of common diseases in primary care settings including childhood obesity, pre-diabetes, diabetes, and hypertension. I am currently the Berbecker Distinguished Professor of Rural Medicine, a tenured full professor in Family Medicine, Pediatrics, and Public Health as well as an Adjunct Professor of Health Education and Promotion at East Carolina University. I am Director of the Research Division in Family Medicine, Associate Director at ECU’s Health Disparities Research Center, Associate Director for Translational/Outreach Research at the ECU Diabetes and Obesity Institute, and Director of the primary care practice-based research network in rural eastern NC.  Much of my recent research addresses chronic disease care delivery in rural areas through primary care practices. I have recently completed a cluster randomized trial of practice redesign to improve diabetes care for rural African Americans with Type 2 diabetes mellitus. I have also recently collaborated with investigators in a major national study to examine racial differences in blood pressure control patterns among African American and white subjects with Type 2 diabetes mellitus and hypertension. I am currently collaborating with investigators and leading the examination of medication adherence measures for blood pressure control in a rural cardiovascular disparities reduction initiative funded by NHLBI. I will use my background as a clinical pharmacist investigator and this experience in rural primary care practices to help guide the proposed project. These experiences make me well qualified to serve as a co-I on the proposed project subcontract.

Jacqueline Halladay, MD, MPH
.,  I am a health services researcher, Co-Director of the North Carolina Network Consortium Practice Based Research Network (NCNC- see ncnc.unc.edu), a physician consultant to the North Carolina Division of Public Health (NCDPH) and a member of the Community Engagement Core that is embedded in the NC Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill. In these roles I continuously partner with various community members, community organizations, research investigators, clinical and public health practitioners from throughout North Carolina. My work in practice based research and public health has taken me into vast numbers of private primary care practices, community health centers, health departments, federally qualified health centers, and other health care settings in North Carolina. In these projects I often become a practice’s “coach” where I work on site to assist them in redesigning their care delivery and understanding how to review their clinical or other quality data in order for review their progress with making improvements for their patients, and if such improvements are impacting their patients from different races and ethnicities

Beverly Johnson,
 is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care. Ms. Johnson has over 25 years of experience in organizational development and management. She has worked as a health professional providing direct care in hospitals, managing a hospital unit, and teaching. She has served as a trustee of a hospital, national health care organization, and a school board. In these trustee roles, she has chaired and served on strategic planning committees and had fiduciary responsibility for nonprofit organizations. She has provided technical assistance and consultation to over 250 hospitals across the United States and Canada. She has published widely on patient- and family-centered issues and strategies. Bev has received numerous awards for her leadership in advancing patient- and family-centered care.

Amy Jones, BS in Business and Respiratory Care

jones_amy_60x70 Amy Jones began her career in health care 28 years ago as a Respiratory Therapist at Vidant Medical Center and has led the development of several community-based programs for children with chronic diseases and their families including one of the first pediatric asthma programs in the country.  Amy’s professional work with children and their families throughout the continuum of care and her own personal experiences with the healthcare system led to her passion and commitment to patient and family engagement in care and decision-making.  Amy was recognized as the North Carolina Respiratory Care Practitioner of the Year and has spoken on the value of patient and family partnerships at national and international conferences. Amy currently serves as the Administrator for Vidant Health’s Office of Patient and Family Experience.

Kari Kirian, PhD
 Dr. Kirian is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at East Carolina University. She is currently a co-investigator on a three-year grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation for the implementation and evaluation of the COMRADE trial: Collaborative Care Management for Distress and Depression in Rural Diabetes. Dr. Kirian is a Licensed Psychologist and Health Services Provider-Psychology in North Carolina. Her clinical and research interests are in Primary Care Behavioral Health and integrated primary care.

Dionne L. Knapp, PharmD, BCPS, CPP

KnappDionne Knap is the Director of Pharmacy Education at Eastern AHEC, and Assistant Professor of Clinical Education at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.  She is also a Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner at the ECU Physicians Family Medicine Center and a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at East Carolina University.  Dr. Knapp graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and a Doctor of Pharmacy.  She completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency and an Ambulatory Care with an Emphasis in Family Medicine Residency at the Medical University of South Carolina.  Over the past 14 years, Dr. Knapp has provided patient care services and been involved in the education and training of pharmacy students and residents.

Kathrin C. Kucharski, PharmD, BCPS. 

KucharskiDr. Kucharski has held the position of outcomes liaison at Sanofi since 2010.  She previously held the medical liaison position since 2001.  As an outcomes liaison, she is the Sanofi medical lead for population-based regional healthcare decision makers in the mid-Atlantic region.  Specifically, she provides medical education and facilitates and interprets outcomes data to health care systems, employer groups, health care coalitions and managed care accounts.  She also provides scientific support to some advocacy groups and professional societies.  This support is focused in the cardiovascular and diabetes therapeutic areas.

Lindsay E. Kuhn, MHS, PA-C 

KuhnLindsay Kuhn attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received her undergraduate degree in Exercise and Sport Science with a minor in Chemistry.  In 2006 she graduated from the Duke University Physician Assistant Program with a Master of Health Sciences degree.  She has practiced in Family Medicine in Charlotte, NC ever since and enjoys cultivating relationships with her patients.  Her special interests include pediatrics and women’s health as well as preventative health care.  Lindsay is also the Director of Clinical Trials and Quality within Carolinas Medical Center’s Department Family Medicine Research division.  Current projects focus on chronic disease management, improving participants’ outcomes, and using participatory methods including shared decision making.

Jamie Messenger, PharmD, CPP

MessengerJamie Messenger is a Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner at ECU Physicians Family Medicine Center, and Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine at the Brody School of Medicine. She has held this position for the past 5 years.  In addition to her patient care responsibilities, Dr. Messenger is a faculty member providing instruction in the ECU Family Medicine Residency Program.  She completed her undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas and Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.  She completed her residency training in Family Medicine Pharmacotherapy at the Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University.  Her area of interest is evidence-based medication management of chronic disease.  She has provided patient education and medication management for diabetes and other chronic diseases for the past 12 years.

Bunny Pounds, MSN, FNP, BC 
began her nursing career in 2001. In 2005, she began teaching nursing at the University of Maine, Fort Kent while working on her Master of Science in Nursing at Frontier Nursing University. After 3 years of teaching at the baccalaureate level and 7 years of combined nursing experience in cardiac, emergency, obstetrics, and home health, she became a practicing FNP in 2008. She spent 4 years practicing in a hospital owned practice in rural Maine before moving to North Carolina and joining Vidant Medical Group as Lead Provider in the Employee Clinic in mid-2012. At the beginning of 2014, Bunny assumed her current role as Quality Nurse Specialist III for Vidant Health Corporate Quality in the department of Patient Safety/Quality Improvement.

Dennis C. Russo, Ph.D., ABPP

RussoDr. Russo is Clinical Professor in the Departments of Family Medicine and Psychology at East Carolina University.  He also holds appointment as Head of Behavioral Medicine, Department of Family Medicine in the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. He is currently a co-Investigator on a five-year grant from the US Health Resources and Services Administration focused on the development of a Center for Integrated Care Delivery and Co-principal Investigator on a new project, Tele-TEAM Care: Bringing the Healthcare Team to Needy Diabetic Patients in Underserved Rural Communities, jointly funded by the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and the US Health Resources and Services Administration.  A Licensed Psychologist and Health Services Provider-Psychology in North Carolina, Dr. Russo is Board Certified in Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology, has lectured extensively both internationally and nationally and has published over 70 articles, books, and chapters.  In his role as Head, Behavioral Medicine Program in the Department of Family Medicine, he is responsible for Behavioral Health education of Residents and graduate students and in overseeing behavioral medicine clinical services.

Rose Ann Simmons, MPH 
attended East Carolina University in Greenville, NC and received her undergraduate degree in Exercise and Sport Science.  In 2003 sh. Currently she serves as the Director of Patient Education and Health Literacy for the health system within the Office of Patient and Family Experience.

Hazel Tapp, PhD

TappHazel Tapp currently serves as the Associate Director of Research in the Department of Family Medicine at Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, NC. Her research interests are implementing and evaluating patient-centered approaches such as motivational interviewing and shared decision making in order to improve health outcomes for chronic disease. As PI on a PCORI project designed to study the dissemination of shared decision making using participatory strategies, she is currently working with four Practice-based research networks and Medicaid across North Carolina to implement shared decision making across 30 clinical sites. Dr. Tapp previously helped implement shared decision making at six CHS safety-net primary care practices that provide care to Charlotte’s vulnerable population. Dr Tapp serves as a participating member of our PBRN’s community advisory board (CAB). The CAB uses participatory research principles to choose, develop and implement research interventions designed to improve the health of the community. The CAB engages the community using community forums, health fairs, and partnerships. In 2012 Dr. Tapp initiated and facilitates a patient advisory board at Elizabeth Family Medicine that is now meeting monthly.

Jim Tillman, DMin

TillmanJim Tillman is the Integrative Health Coach for the Heart-Healthy Lenoir Project working with hypertension patients from five primary care practices in Lenoir County. Jim uses his coaching and motivational interviewing skills to assist patients in making lifestyle changes toward patient self-management. As a portion of the Heart-Healthy Lenoir Project, he also provides motivational interviewing training for providers and providers’ staff members. Jim has his certification in Integrative Health Coaching from Duke Integrative Medicine. He received the Certificate of Intensive Training in Motivational Interviewing from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Campbell University Divinity School.

Andrea Wallace, PhD

,Wallace Andrea Wallace has over 10 years of training in the research methods and skills needed to participate in the proposed projects. She has participated in the development and conduct of a number of research studies focusing on best practices related to the quality of chronic disease care (asthma, diabetes, and chronic back pain) in primary care settings serving vulnerable patient populations, including first authored publications. Particularly germane to the work of this proposal is a funded study which partnered with community-based clinicians to examine how the diabetes self-management support strategy used can be implemented in a way that is both feasible and effective in community (vs. academic) primary care practice settings, and has resulted in an implementation toolkit for the Living with Diabetes Guide. Her use of multi-method and participatory designs as a means of partnering with health care providers and patients is also relevant to our proposed work with the duke Endowment team.  She understands how partnerships between academia and community clinical practice can contribute to better understanding of how to improve the quality of care delivered to numerous patient populations.