KHC Member Spotlight: Russelyn Cruse

Russelyn Cruse
CHI Saint Joseph Health Partners

Job Title: Market Director of Clinical Operations

Member of KHC for: 1 year

Provide a brief description of your job: I lead our west market team in providing better health, better care, better experience and lower costs by increasing the connectivity to network providers and facilities to the patients they serve and utilizing evidenced based care models to develop and promote the highest quality care at the best value.

What do you see as the biggest threat to our community’s health? How do you feel it needs to be addressed?

Health inequity is the biggest threat to our community’s health. Excellent healthcare and access to resources that address social determinants of health should be available to every person in our community. Priority needs to be placed on addressing systemic barriers to healthcare by equally distributing the power and resources across our community, address racial and socioeconomic biases that can negatively influence patient experience within the healthcare system, and by addressing the whole person by assessing for and addressing social determinants of health as part of the healthcare experience.

Improving health is one of the three main priorities of the Triple Aim. What are the best strategies for improving health in our community? 

A large part of improving the health of our community is making sure that everyone has access to high quality care.  Connecting patients to the resources that are available to them can lower incidence of chronic conditions, decrease barriers to accessing resources, and drive down the cost of care over a lifetime. At CHI Health Partners, our goal is to promote and facilitate patients making those connections. More times than not, a simple annual wellness visit with a primary care provider can set a patient up for healthier outcomes each year because it provides an opportunity to address patient needs, preventative care, and an opportunity to get in front of health issues at earlier stages for improved outcomes at less of an expense. The health of our community starts with empowering people and giving them the right tools for success.

What is the KHC’s biggest contribution to improving community health and healthcare? 

KHC provides a table for members to come together to tackle challenges around health in our community and create alliances in doing so. The information sessions that are available to members provide incredibly relevant resources.  Navigating a pandemic is not something any of us were expecting, but the KHC has provided a platform where we can share and collaborate with other stakeholders to continue to address the Triple Aim effectively and continue to deliver quality care to the community collectively.

What do you do in your spare time? Provide a fun fact about yourself.

In my spare time I enjoy gardening and spending quality time with family and friends. I love seeing people and things around me at their very best.

What is your favorite app or social media outlet?

My favorite app is Pandora Internet Radio.  Music is my favorite form of art.

KHC Member Spotlight: Delanor Manson

Delanor Manson, MA, BSN, RN
Kentucky Nurses Association (KNA), Kentucky Nurses Foundation (KNF), and Kentucky Nurses Action Coalition (KNAC)

Job Title: CEO

Member of KHC for: 2 years

Provide a brief description of your job: As the leader of 3 nonprofits I manage the day to day operations as well as strategic planning, community outreach and membership support.

What are you currently working on that you are most excited about? How do you think it will drive improvements to health and healthcare in the community?

In the past 3 months KNA focused primarily on the mental and physical health of nurses fighting COVID-19 in all healthcare settings. With the support of community volunteers, KNA provided over 500 “Thank You Nurses” signs to homes and every Kentucky hospital, 2,100 face shields and over 10,000 bottles of hand sanitizer in collaboration with Kentucky distillers, Galen College of Nursing and the KNF. In collaboration with the International Society of Psychiatric Nurses (ISPN) we developed an in-depth peer support program titled Kentucky Nurses Helping Nurses.

What do you see as the biggest threat to our community’s health? How do you feel it needs to be addressed?

The biggest threat to the health of Kentuckians today is the failure to social distance and continue to wear masks. COVID-19 is still a deadly disease.

Why do you think a multi-stakeholder coalition like the KHC is needed in the community?

It will take years of effort and stakeholder collaboration to resolve the ills of unequal access to healthcare that promoted comorbidities and early demise in the communities of color. KHC could enhance the conversation and move the efforts along with greater commitment.

What is your favorite quote?

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” -Eleanor Roosevelt

What do you do in your spare time? Provide a fun fact about yourself.

I design and make gemstone and sterling silver jewelry.

If you could spend the day with one celebrity, who would it be and why?

Michelle Obama-She is always creating new tracts of her life I would love to hear about where the next tract of her life is taking her.

What is your dream vacation spot?

I am seeking a bike, hike and canoeing vacation soon.

If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the Title should be?

The Sky Was Not the Limit

KHC Member Spotlight: Marcie Timmerman

Marcie Timmerman
Mental Health America of Kentucky

Job Title: Executive Director

Member of KHC for: 3 years

What KHC committees have you participated? Mental Health

Provide a brief description of your job: MHA Kentucky provides education on mental wellness for everyone, not only someone with a diagnosed mental illness. We also advocate for system change promoting early understanding, screening, and intervention for mental health issues.

Lowering cost is one of the three main priorities of the Triple Aim. What are the best strategies for addressing cost in our community?

Early identification, intervention and treatment are the best strategies for reducing community cost of mental health issues and mental illness. Too often, we only treat people with mental illness at “Stage 4” – with involuntary commitment or imprisonment. Those are the most expensive options. Our B4Stage4 initiative encourages early intervention for long-term savings, in addition to other benefits.

Improving health is one of the three main priorities of the Triple Aim. What are the best strategies for improving health in our community?

Incorporating mental health into our view of wellness is crucial to improving overall health. A number of physical ailments co-exist or are exacerbated by mental health concerns such as stress and anxiety. Too often, providers and health care decision-makers still stigmatize mental health issues or ignore their role in overall well being. That has to change.

Why do you and your organization belong to the KHC? What do you find most valuable as a member?

We decided to join the KHC when mental health and substance use disorder became priority issues, and we have not regretted taking that leap. The connections we have made with other stakeholders in the system have grown our mutual understanding.

Why do you think a multi-stakeholder coalition like the KHC is needed in the community?

Multi-stakeholder coalitions are drivers of real, systemic change. KHC has already provided many reports to the community at large that would have been impossible without collaboration from a variety of areas. It’s important to have a unified voice when asking for systemic change, and KHC has been a respected one.

What is your favorite quote?

“Words and ideas really can change the world,” Dead Poet’s Society.

What is your favorite app or social media outlet?

I’m a social media nerd. My favorite platform these days is Twitter (@MarcieTimmerman) but I’m part of some amazing Facebook groups.

What is your dream vacation spot?

Some day, I will get to Ireland.

KHC Member Spotlight: Misty Roberts

Misty Roberts
Humana

Job Title: Associate Vice President, Clinical Strategy & Quality

Member of KHC for: 4 years

What KHC committees have you participated? Measurement Strategy Team & PMAC

Provide a brief description of your job: I am responsible for advancing the clinical quality strategy and vision to improve health outcomes and infuse a culture of clinical quality throughout the organization using strategic thought leadership, collaboration and co-creation. I collaborate with executive leaders to ensure clinical quality priorities are aligned and clinical quality goals committed to the Board of Directors are achieved.

Share your personal interest in Health and Healthcare System Improvement.

As a Registered Nurse with over 20 years of experience in the healthcare system, I have a deep passion for improving healthcare and health outcomes. Early in my career I realized in order to be effective at improving health outcomes, the healthcare system needed help as well. This drove me to studying quality and process improvement, creating a mindset of continuous quality improvement. This challenges me to think differently and embrace change. Improving processes can create efficiencies and improve effectiveness, which can result in better quality and improved health outcomes.

Lowering cost is one of the three main priorities of the Triple Aim. What are the best strategies for addressing cost in our community? 

Healthcare costs are nearly 18% of the GDP and more than $10,000 per individual. Reducing waste in healthcare is essential to lowering these costs. Our CMO recently released a Special Communication in JAMA with updated waste estimates up to $935 billion annually. This is approximately 25% of total healthcare expenditures in the United States. There are many interventions that can be implemented or enhanced to reduce waste. Examples include implementing value based payment models, effective care management, improved coordination of care, quality improvement initiatives and compliance with Choosing Wisely guidelines. Intense focus on even a few of these interventions could result in significant reduction in costs for all stakeholders.

Why do you think a multi-stakeholder coalition like the KHC is needed in the community?

Bringing together multiple stakeholders creates collaboration, fosters innovation and allows the opportunity to share best practices and learn from others. There is not one group that has all the solutions. Bringing together multiple groups working towards a common goal allows a greater opportunity to achieving this goal than working individually.

What is the KHC’s biggest contribution to improving community health and healthcare? 

In addition to the value created by facilitating a multi-stakeholder group to work towards a common goal, creating transparency in quality measures scores is extremely important. Identifying opportunities for improvement through transparency is the first step in creating the necessary change.

What is your favorite quote?

I am currently living by the following two mottos:

Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good

Don’t sweat the small stuff As a self-proclaimed perfectionist and Type A personality, I have to constantly remind myself how important this is!

What do you do in your spare time? Provide a fun fact about yourself.

With a two year old girl and five year old, I have very little spare time, so the majority of my time is spent with them and my husband. However, before kids, I used to love playing poker. There’s so much strategy, psychology, math and patience involved in poker. I love the way it challenges me!

KHC Member Spotlight: Will Hancock

Will Hancock
Novo Nordisk

Job Title: Account Manager

Member of KHC for: 2 years

Provide a brief description of your job: As an Account Manager at Novo Nordisk, my focus is helping patients living with diabetes and chronic obesity to access our products by working with local organizations in the healthcare industry.

Share your personal interest in Health and Healthcare System Improvement.

I was working as an engineer in the chemical industry when I developed late-onset, type 1 diabetes as a 25-year-old.  After struggling with my diagnosis and eventually learning how to manage my blood sugar, I became passionate about working in the healthcare industry to help others like me.  Without formal training as a clinician, I saw the pharmaceutical industry as a way to accomplish that by using my problem-solving skills learned as an engineer combined with my personal experiences with diabetes.

What are you currently working on that you are most excited about? How do you think it will drive improvements to health and healthcare in the community? 

I have the privilege of working with multiple people across various organizations in KY that have an interest in improving diabetes care, and that gives me the opportunity to connect the dots between people in those organizations.  I get the most joy from my work when I can share success from one place to the next that positively influences patient care.

Why do you and your organization belong to the KHC? What do you find most valuable as a member?

I really enjoy the level of networking available through the KHC because it’s a place where organizations that pay for care cross paths with those who provide it.  Learning about obstacles in the healthcare system allows for collaboration on potential solutions, and I love being a part of that.

Why do you think a multi-stakeholder coalition like the KHC is needed in the community?

When there are multiple stakeholders, there are usually multiple opinions on what should happen to improve healthcare.  If we can agree that improving patient care is the primary objective, I believe we can work through our differences and make things better.  The KHC provides a forum to facilitate those discussions between stakeholders.

What is your favorite quote?

Don’t listen to criticism from people you would never go to for advice.

What is your dream vacation spot?

My wife and I honeymooned in Maui and have yet to find anything else that compares.  

KHC Member Spotlight: Tammy Geltmaker

Tammy Geltmaker
Qsource

Job Title: Program Director

Member of KHC for: 15 years

What KHC committees have you participated? Qsource has participated on the Performance Measurement Alignment Committee (PMAC) and in monthly All Member Meetings.

Provide a brief description of your job: As a Program Director for Qsource, Tammy provides oversight to a multidisciplinary team and collaborates with stakeholders to support quality improvement efforts across the state.

Share your personal interest in Health and Healthcare System Improvement.

Early in my healthcare career while working as a hospice nurse “it” hit me.  That “it” I’m talking about is how connected we truly are — providers, patients, families, advocates. We aren’t silos. We interact with each other. Each of us are a piece of a puzzle that connects to make a difference in healthcare. That connection, and ability to make a positive impact, makes it personal.

What are you currently working on that you are most excited about? How do you think it will drive improvements to health and healthcare in the community? 

I love engaging with patients and members of the community around topics that are important to them. For more than four decades Qsource has worked with providers and patients to improve care. I’m excited to facilitate that interaction between providers and patients that gives a voice to those that want to be heard.  Voice drives change.

Why do you and your organization belong to the KHC? What do you find most valuable as a member?

Being involved on a local level is important. KHC allows us to do that. We’re able to network with an entire spectrum of healthcare stakeholders that each bring knowledge, experience and a passion for what they do each day. We love partnering with likeminded and goal oriented people dedicated to making a difference. That’s the value of KHC.

Why do you think a multi-stakeholder coalition like the KHC is needed in the community?

Remember that puzzle I mentioned? Well, each piece impacts the other. It’s critical to know about how each piece functions individually and together, the barriers faced by each and the successes that can be shared. We’re in this together and TOGETHER we can make an impact on the statewide healthcare community.

What is your favorite quote?

“What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail” by Robert Schuller. I’ve kept that quote sitting on my desk for 15 years after starting work at the QIO and it’s as relative today as it was then.

What is your dream vacation spot?

I have a bucket list of places I would like to visit. First on that list: going on a “Land and Sea Alaskan Cruise” to see the Great Outdoors. Next stop? New England or maybe even out West!  

KHC Member Spotlight: Holly Teal

Holly Teal
Willis Towers Watson

Job Title: Client Relationship Director

Member of KHC for: 1 year

Share your personal interest in Health and Healthcare System Improvement.

For most of my adult life I have had an interest in learning about the body, and how factors such as the environment, stress, exercise, sleep, light and nutrients affect our health.  I have applied these learnings in my household, and feel very fortunate that I have a healthy family. However, when I do engage with the healthcare system, I am reminded of how difficult it must be for most people who don’t have the knowledge that I do, who don’t know how to navigate the system and who, for many, are in an endless cycle of treatments and medications that won’t bring them any closer to health.  At some point in my life, I would like to be part of a solution that prioritizes patient health above all else. 

Why do you and your organization belong to the KHC? What do you find most valuable as a member?

My organization helps employers sustain a healthy engaged workforce by designing and delivering an optimized employee health benefit strategy.  Understanding the challenges and views of all stakeholders in the healthcare equation is critical to making informed recommendations to our clients.  Also, as mentioned, health is my passion, and I want to do what I can personally to support KHC’s mission.

Why do you think a multi-stakeholder coalition like the KHC is needed in the community?

The healthcare system needs major change, and there’s too much at stake to wait for a solution.  Louisville is small enough for a grassroots effort to succeed and large enough to make a significant impact. KHC has been successful at bringing in all the right stakeholders, shedding light some of the major issues, and engaging people in finding solutions.  This is how problems get solved.

What do you do in your spare time? Provide a fun fact about yourself.

I enjoy latin dancing.

What are you passionate about?

Healthcare that treats the whole person and the underlying causes of disease rather than the symptoms.  

KHC Member Spotlight: Greg Potts, MD

Greg Potts, MD
Papa John’s International

Job Title: Sr. Medical Director

Member of KHC for: 5 years

KHC Committee Participation: Executive Committee, Kentucky Performance Measurement Alignment Committee (PMAC)

Dr. Potts is the Medical Director for Papa John’s International and serves as the physician for Papa John’s Onsite Medical Clinic in the company’s headquarters based in Louisville, Kentucky.

What do see as the biggest threat to our community’s health? How do you feel it needs to be addressed?

Beyond the obvious smoking/vaping hazards, I think it is imperative that employers, payers, health systems, among others, must do a better job in assisting the community and on an individual basis in curbing the obesity epidemic. As we all know, being overweight/obese increases your risk for certain cancers, type II DM, HTN, OA, sleep apnea and numerous other conditions. More importantly, it can result in reduced quality and quantity of one’s life, not to mention the economic impact it has on society.

Lowering cost is one of the three main priorities of the Triple Aim. What are the best strategies for addressing cost in our community?

I believe that much can be gained in lowering healthcare costs by striving to ensure that all individuals have access to appropriate preventive services as well addressing the obesity epidemic that we have seen steadily grow worse each decade.

Why do you and your organization belong to the KHC? What do you find most valuable as a member?

We belong to the KHC in hopes of being a good community steward by advocating for high quality and affordable health care for all. The most valuable aspect to me is the amount of knowledge and broad ranging views of the other KHC members.

What is your favorite quote?

“Our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners.” -Shakespeare

What is your dream vacation spot?

Fiji

KHC Member Spotlight: Joshua Honaker, MD, MBA, FAAP

Joshua Honaker

Joshua T. Honaker, MD, MBA, FAAF
Norton Healthcare

Job Title: Chief Medical Administrative Officer, Norton Medical Group

Member of KHC since: January 2019

KHC Committee Participation: Executive Committee, KY Performance Measurement Alignment Committee (PMAC)

Dr. Honaker serves as the clinical administrative leader of the Norton Medical Group, which employs more than 1,100 providers at Norton Healthcare. In his role, he provides oversight of clinical, quality, safety, patient experience, physician leadership development, and recruitment of providers.


What are you currently working on that you are most excited about? How do you think it will drive improvements to health and healthcare in the community?

We are developing a strategic plan for our system around Behavioral Health. I believe this is the last large gap our society has to overcome to achieve greatness in healthcare delivery. Without the appropriate Mental and Behavioral Health resources, we are unable to address organic diseases adequately, nor take care of the patient as a whole. Two-thirds of patients with chronic diseases suffer from anxiety or depression, and half of patients referred to resources will not show up for the appointment. If we are going to give the very best level of care, manage costs, impact the growing chronic disease tsunami, we must tackle this challenging topic.

Improving health is one of the three main priorities of the Triple Aim. What are the best strategies for improving health in our community?

I believe the best way to improve health in our community is early intervention and by means of prevention, by empowering parents to enable children to grow up to be secure and healthy adults. Most adult chronic diseases are secondary to poor lifestyle choices, many of which stem from early childhood trauma or deficits in their early years.

What is the KHC’s biggest contribution to improving community health and healthcare?

The power of bringing all the stakeholders together in one room is key to solving the challenges in health care. Since the employers are the ultimate payer for a large portion of society’s health costs, we must partner with them to provide quality in a cost effective manner. Without such unity, we will all pay a higher price with less returns. 

What is your guilty pleasure?

Any outdoor survival television show, like “Alone.”

What are you passionate about?

Improving the ease of accessing and navigating quality health care.

KHC Member Spotlight: Jenny Goins

Jenny Goins
Kentucky State Government, Personnel Cabinet

Job Title: Commissioner, Department of Employee Insurance

Member of KHC since: 2018

KHC Committee Participation: Employer Strategic Workgroup, KY Performance Measurement Alignment Committee (PMAC)

As Commissioner of the Department of Employee Insurance, Jenny manages the Kentucky Employees’ Health Plan. With 265,000 members, it’s the largest self-insured health plan in the Commonwealth. She is also responsible for optional employer sponsored Group Life, Dental, and Vision Insurance programs.


What do you see as the biggest threat to our community’s health? How do you feel it needs to be addressed?

Lack of understanding and engagement. The healthcare industry, how it works, how to choose the best plan that works for you, how to select the right provider, all of these can be so overwhelming for the average person. How often have we heard people even in the industry say “I’m not sure what to do” related to their own coverage. We have to continue to determine how best to communicate and educate people. What tools can we provide so people want and feel enabled to use the services available to them.

Improving health is one of the three main priorities of the Triple Aim. What are the best strategies for improving health in our community?

The Kentucky Employees’ Health Plan covers 6% to 7% of the Commonwealth’s population. Kentucky’s issues, are our issues. We have to meet people where they are when we can. We partner with multiple medical, pharmacy, and wellness administrators to ensure we help people struggling with diabetes, issues, hypertension, obesity, and behavioral health issues by providing free to low-cost services in these and other areas.

Why do you think a multi-stakeholder coalition like the KHC is needed in the community?

Solving the healthcare crisis in our State requires multiple stakeholders – not any one group can solve the issues. All of us in the industry – payors, providers, members, and community organizations – all have a role to play as we all work to improve the health status of Kentuckians.

Why do you and your organization belong to the KHC? What do you find most valuable as a member?

I see a two-fold benefit to the State Personnel Cabinet belonging to KHC. First, it’s important for our health plan leadership to be involved in multi-stakeholder discussions to fully understand and take action to improve the population health of Kentuckians. Secondly, it’s critical as a large employer and self-insured plan to share our experiences, our program successes, and our challenges.

What is your favorite quote?

I really have so many, but this one always gets me through – “Optimism is a force multiplier” – General Colin Powell

What do you do in your spare time? Provide a fun fact about yourself.

Whenever I can, I head to our small cattle farm in East Tennessee. We have eight cows, one bull, and four calves (expecting eight more calves in late Fall). I’m a true city girl and I’m loving every minute of feeding the cows, running fence, mowing, and doing whatever’s needed. My new form of exercise, meditation, and stress relief.