NRTRC Board of Directors
AlaskaRebecca Madison, MBA, CPHIT, CLS, MT (ASCP), Cindy Roleff
IdahoTom Hauer, Neill Piland
MontanaDoris Barta, MHA, Thelma McClosky-Armstrong
OregonCathy Britain, Doug Romer
UtahPatricia Carroll, Wes Valdes, DO
WashingtonCara Towle, RN, MSN, Nancy Vorhees
WyomingJim Bush, MD, FACP, David Wheeler, MD, PhD, FAAN
Rebecca Madison, MBA, CPHIT, CLS, MT (ASCP)Rebecca Madison, MBA, CPHIT, CPHIE, CLS, MT (ASCP), MBA is the Executive Director of the Alaska eHealth Network (AeHN). AeHN provides health information exchange (HIE) services and clinician assistance for Electronic Health Records (EHR) implementations. Rebecca and the AeHN HIE team coordinate connectivity for providers, patients, payors and health facilities to allow the secure transfer of health information for treatment and payment.
Executive Director, Alaska eHealth Network
Rebecca is an accomplished, results-driven Senior Health Care IT Executive with over 30 years of successful experience transforming health care clinical settings through innovative use of technology. Her track record nationally, and in Alaska, includes large-scale implementation projects and building Telehealth and Health IT systems from the ground up. Rebecca is successful in obtaining public funds through federal, state, and local grants to support the start-up and growth of Health IT and Telehealth programs. She is an expert in assessing existing clinical operations to develop a customized IT strategy. Her unique blend of business acumen, technical expertise, and administrative experience comes from clinical background both as a Medical Technologist and a healthcare CEO to give her a personal understanding of industry trends and needs of health care service providers.
Rebecca served as the Chair of the Alaska Federal Health Care Access Network (AFHCAN) Telehealth Advisory Board for seven years. Her career includes positions as CIO, VP of IS and CEO for rural health care organizations in both Alaska and the lower 48.
Cindy RoleffCynthia is a Lead Telehealth Coordinator for AFHCAN in Anchorage, AK. She has been with AFHCAN for 3 ½ years and manages the telehealth education program. She has consults with organizations as they implement/develop telemedicine programs throughout the state of Alaska and in various other US locations. AFHCAN usage and programs continue to grow exponentially. Cynthia helped to develop an online series of three (10 week and longer) university based telemedicine courses currently offered through the University of Alaska. During this past year, she chaired the development of a brand new professional society for telemedicine (the Alaska Coalition for Telemedicine & Telehealth). This new society has membership that crosses all aspects of telehealth in the state.
Lead Telehealth Coordinator, AFHCAN
Cynthia has 26 years of ICU and medical/surgical nursing experience working both in small rural facilities and in large inner city teaching hospitals. During 9 of those years, her primary focus was in professional education. She taught at the University of Alaska, School of Nursing in Anchorage, managed the Alaska Native Medical Center’s (ANMC) Nursing internship and Preceptor Development programs and worked as the Supervisor of Hospital Education for ANMC. Her Master’s degree is in Business Organizational Management and is board certified in Nursing Professional development. Cynthia chairs the Alaska Coalition of Educators – Health Care group where she facilitated the development of a statewide competency system and collaborated in the development of an online multi-disciplinary clinical coaching course. She does a great deal of distance education in her current job and as a consultant for the University of Alaska and the University of Idaho.
Cynthia is also an Air Force retiree, a musician and enjoys hinging, camping, skiing, travel and spending time with her husband and three husky-mix dogs.
Tom HauerTom is the TeleHealth Director for Kootenai Medical Center and the North Idaho Rural Health Consortium. The TeleHealth network has provided northern Idaho with educational and consultative services since 1996.
Director, North Idaho Rural Health Consortium
Mr. Hauer has over thirty years’ experience as a Maintenance and Sales Engineer in the communications industry with emphasis on private line video, voice, data and fiber optic services.
Tom got his formal education at the University of Utah in Electrical Engineering (1977).
Neill PilandNeill is currently a Research Professor at the Institute of Rural Health at Idaho State University which he directed from 2002 to 2004. A Health Economist and Health Services Researcher, he received his Doctorate in Health Administration from UCLA and also holds Masters Degrees in Public Health and in Economics. He has been Principal Investigator for over twenty-two major research and demonstration projects including evaluation of the quality of care in Arizona's Medicaid managed care experiment (AHCCCS) and New Mexico’s Community Intervention Trial for Smoking Cessation (COMMIT) site.
Research Professor and Director, Idaho State University, Institute of Rural Health (TELIDA)
He has authored or coauthored over ninety articles, four books and numerous book chapters on numerous aspects of health care delivery, health promotion and health care financing. He is currently directing economic analysis of the Institute's Real Choices, Telehealth and National Center for Child Traumatic Stress Programs. Before coming to Idaho he was Director of the Medical Group Management Association Center for Research in Denver, Colorado and Director of the Lovelace Institute for Health and Population Research in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
He is also Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Senior Research Scientist at the Medical Group Management Association Center for Research.
Doris Barta, MHADoris received her Masters Degree in Health Administration from Montana State University – Billings in 1999, and her Certification of Telehealth Program Manager in 2013. Ms. Barta is the Director of Telehealth Services for St. Vincent Healthcare, a regional Level II Trauma Center serving southcentral Montana, eastern North and South Dakota, northern Wyoming and western Idaho. The Partners in Health Telemedicine Network, which is managed by Ms. Barta, was established in 1994, as a partnership of healthcare facilities and providers in Montana and Wyoming offering telemedicine, teleconferencing, and medical and community education. Partner sites include 20 unique communities with 15 additional sites, serving a 35 member network.
Director, Telehealth Services, Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center (NRTRC)
Membership includes 12 critical access hospitals, 6 outpatient/mental health clinics, 11 specialty physician practices, and the Montana Hospital Association. In addition we have connections to 7 Indian Health Service clinics and hospitals, as well as the Indian Health Service Billings Area Office. PHTN is capable of linking to any other Telemedicine site in Montana and throughout the region and nation.
Ms. Barta has worked extensively in grants management for several years, and has helped secure over $50 million in federal, state and foundational support for healthcare initiatives including telehealth, trauma education and training, pediatric services, women’s health services, and capital expenditures for healthcare development.
Ms. Barta also serves as the PI for the Northwest Regional Telehealth Network (NRTRC), which is a region-wide (seven-state) consortium of healthcare organizations and educational institutions. The mission of the NRTRC is to advance the development, implementation, and integration of telehealth through sharing information, leveraging resources and creating a synergistic telehealth community; its vision is to insure access to quality healthcare for everyone. The NRTRC represents seven western states (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Utah, Washington and Wyoming). The NRTRC assists healthcare organizations, networks, and providers implementing cost-effective telehealth programs serving rural and medically underserved populations, with a special emphasis on program development through shared training and expertise.
Executive Director, Eastern Montana Telemedicine Network (EMTN)
Ms. McClosky Armstrong has over 35 years of experience in the development and management of healthcare services. As director of the Eastern Montana Telemedicine Network, Thelma is responsible for the overall management of a 39-site interactive videoconferencing network providing medical and mental health services, continuing professional education and administrative services throughout eastern and central Montana, northern Wyoming and western North Dakota.
The Eastern Montana Telemedicine Network received the 2002 American Telemedicine Associations Presidents Award for the Advancement of Telemedicine. This award is given annually to a program for its outstanding and lasting contribution to the field of telemedicine. Ms. McClosky Armstrong served on the board of the American Telemedicine Association for 8 years, 4 years in executive leadership, serving as President in 2005- 2006. In 2009 Ms McClosky Armstrong was elected to the first class of the American Telemedicine Association College of Fellows.
This is a high honor that recognizes significant achievements in telemedicine, service to the general telemedicine community, and service to ATA.
Ms McClosky Armstrong actively promotes telemedicine services at the local, state, regional, national and international level. Ms McClosky Armstrong:
- Worked collaboratively with third party payers. Montana was one of the first telemedicine networks in the nation to secure reimbursement from both public and private payers.
- Was instrumental in development and subsequent passage of the State of Montana’s telemedicine licensure legislation.
- Was one of the founding members of the Montana Healthcare Telecommunication Alliance. This alliance was organized to promote and advocate for telemedicine services throughout the state of Montana.
- Has been engaged at the federal level, influencing policy development in the areas of Universal Service Support and reimbursement.
- Hosted several visits from national and international groups researching the potential benefits of telemedicine services to their organization and country.
- Presented at multiple regional and national conference. (Examples include, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, The National Rural Health Association, the International Society for Telehealth and the American Telemedicine Association
Cathy BritainCatherine Britain is a co-founder and a past president of the Telehealth Alliance of Oregon (TAO) and currently serves as the Program Director. She is the principal and owner of CSBritain Consulting in Medford, Oregon. Catherine served as the chair of the TAO reimbursement workgroup which was responsible for developing Oregon’s telehealth reimbursement legislation in 2009. She also serves on the advisory board for the NRTRC.
Executive Director, Telehealth Alliance of Oregon, CSBritain Consulting
Doug RomerDoug Romer is the Executive Director of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Grande
Executive Director, Grande Ronde Hospital
Ronde Hospital, a twenty-five bed critical access hospital located in rural northeast Oregon.
Doug has over thirty-five years’ experience in the healthcare industry including Surgical Services management, performance improvement, accreditation and licensure. Doug serves on the Board of the Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center and the Telehealth Alliance of Oregon. Doug is the telemedicine coordinator for Grande Ronde Hospital and has implemented several successful telemedicine programs that have increased access and quality of care for its rural community. Some of these telemedicine advances are “firsts in the nation” and Grande Ronde continues to build on those successes.
Patricia CarrollPatricia began her career in health care as an RN in Public Health Nursing in New York City. She has over 20 years of clinical experience in nursing in a wide range of specialties including in-patient, out-patient, surgical and emergency department.
Outreach and Network Development Specialist, Utah Telehealth Network (UTN)
After obtaining her Master’s Degree in Nursing Informatics from the University of Utah, she was hired as the project coordinator for the operating room information management system implementation at the University Utah Hospital. She then joined the electronic medical record team as a Clinical Analyst for the Cerner electronic medical record implementation for results review, clinical documentation, and computerized physician order entry.
In 2007 Patricia became the Outreach Coordinator for the Utah Telehealth Network. She is responsible for the continual development of existing and new clinical telemedicine programs, policy and procedures, and distance education.
Wes Valdes, DODr. Wesley Valdes has served as the Telehealth Services Medical Director for Intermountain Healthcare since November of 2011. Since his arrival, Intermountain Healthcare has launched an online physician service, hosted demonstration booths at HIMSS, ATA, and mHealth conferences, and engaged in building software solutions for inpatient remote monitoring.
Medical Director, Telehealth Services, Intermountain Healthcare
Dr. Valdes has helped get telehealth reimbursement language adopted with Select Health which is the healthcare insurance company owned by Intermountain Healthcare. Dr. Valdes works in collaboration with Intermountain Healthcare’s Healthcare Transformation Lab and helps guide the organization regarding how to adopt telehealth strategies and technology to support the organization's mission and values.
Cara Towle, RN, MSNCara Towle, RN MSN, is the Director for Telehealth Services at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She has worked in the field of telehealth and telemedicine for more than 15 years. As the Manager of International Medical Services at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, she established and managed “Second Opinion Ltd.,” an international telemedicine service providing clinical consultations to patients in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, and also managed the UCSF-Stanford Remote Global Medical Forum, a telemedicine program providing monthly CME programs to medical centers in Singapore, Manila, and Hong Kong. As the Director of Telehealth Services at the University of Washington, she developed a broad telehealth network of rural hospitals and tribal health centers in rural western Washington and linked with telehealth networks throughout the 5-state region. Working with UW departments and rural sites, she has facilitated and implemented distance learning programs and clinical telemedicine services from UW Medicine serving sites throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond. She also served on the steering committee for the Washington Telehealth Collaborative, and is a founding Board member for the Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center.
Director, University of Washington School of Medicine
Nancy VorheesNancy Vorhees brings experience in direct patient care, health care management, operations and education to Inland Northwest Health Services. At INHS, Nancy manages and directs Northwest Health Partners, which consists of several services of INHS including Northwest TeleHealth, Northwest MedStar, Community Wellness and Health Training and Center of Philanthropy. All divisions under Nancy’s direction serve to integrate the delivery of healthcare services throughout the Inland Northwest Regional economic development, removal of barriers to health care, quality care and customer satisfaction are the focus of her work.
COO, Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS)/Northwest Telehealth (NWTH)
Nancy has been with INHS for over 16 years, is a registered nurse and has her master’s degree in nursing.
Jim Bush, MD, FACPDr Bush joined the Wyoming Dep’t of Health in March 2007 as Staff Physician and Medicaid Medical Director. Prior to that he had a solo practice on Internal Medicine in Fort Collins, CO. Interested in Medical Policy and Organization, he has filled many roles including that of Chief of Staff at Poudre Valley Hospital, President of the Colorado Society of Internal Medicine, and President of the Fort Collins IPA . Enjoying teaching as well he has been on the Clinical faculty of the U of Colorado for 23 years, and has also been involved with teaching Residents in Family Practice in Fort Collins.
Medical Director, Wyoming Medicaid
In 2010 he was elected to be Governor of the Wyoming Chapter of the American College of Physicians for 2012-2016. He is Chairman of the Wyoming Telehealth Consortium and oversees the State of Wyoming’s Telehealth contract.
David Wheeler, MD, PhD, FAANDavid Wheeler, MD, is a neurologist in private practice in Casper, Wyoming. During his 11 years there, he has engaged telemedicine in a variety of ways. He served as the Medical Director for Wyoming Stroke Enhancement Project (Telestroke), 2008-2010, during which they provided stroke coverage for the ER in Douglas using the ReachCall Telestroke system. He served on the board of directors for Wyoming Health Information Organization from 2012-2015. WyHIO sought to enhance access to care by improving HIE and connectivity including telemedicine. Wyoming Neurologic Associates continues to use telemedicine in their practice both to see patients in follow-up at various institutions and clinics around the state. Within the practice they see patients in consultation and for follow-up between their sites in Casper and Cody. They have resumed providing ad hoc telestroke consultation with a few small hospitals in Wyoming using video connections when seeing the patient will help with decision making.
President, Wyoming Neurologic Associates