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MITRE announced the selection of 25 members to the independent Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes. Commission members include resident advocates, infectious disease experts, directors and administrators of nursing homes, academicians, state authorities, clinicians, a medical ethicist, and a nursing home resident. Dr. Jay J. Schnitzer, MITRE’s chief medical and technology officer, will serve as the moderator of the commission.

“The commission members are leaders who bring decades of experience in nursing home management as well as safety and quality,” said Schnitzer. “This diverse group will act quickly to identify and communicate best practices for protecting nursing home residents throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.”

The commission members were chosen from more than 800 applications through a rigorous evaluation process. Selection criteria included expertise in infection control and prevention or infectious disease, direct experience with the pandemic and/or other health emergencies, leadership in issues relevant to the commission, and contribution to diversity of viewpoints and representation to the commission’s composition.

The commission members are:

  • Roya Agahi, RN, MS HCM, WCC; Chief Nursing Officer, formerly of NYC Health + Hospitals, soon to be of CareRite, New York
  • Lisa M. Brown, PhD, ABPP; Professor of Psychology, Palo Alto University, California
  • Mark Burket, CEO, Platte Health Center Avera, South Dakota
  • Eric M. Carlson, JD; Directing Attorney, Justice in Aging, California
  • Michelle Dionne-Vahalik, DNP, RN; Associate Commissioner, State Health and Human Services Commission, Texas
  • Debra Fournier, MSB, BSN, ANCC RN-BC, LNHA, CHD, CPHQ; COO, Veterans’ Homes, Maine
  • Terry T. Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN; President, The John A. Hartford Foundation, New York
  • Candace S. Goehring, MN, RN; Director, State Department of Social and Health Services, Aging and Long-Term Support Administration, Washington
  • David C. Grabowski, PhD; Professor of Healthcare Policy, Harvard University, Massachusetts
  • Camille Rochelle Jordan, RN, BSN, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, CDP; Senior Vice President of Clinical Operations & Innovations, Signature Healthcare, Kentucky
  • Jessica Kalender-Rich, MD, CMD, AGSF, FAAHPM, FACP; Medical Director, Post-Acute Care, University of Kansas Health System, Kansas
  • Marshall Barry Kapp, JD, MPH; Professor Emeritus of Law, Florida State University, Florida
  • Morgan Jane Katz, MD, MHS; Assistant Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Maryland
  • Beverley L. Laubert, MA; State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, State Department of Aging, Ohio
  • Rosie D. Lyles, MD, MHA, MSc, FACA; Director of Clinical Affairs, Medline Industries, Illinois
  • Jeannee Parker Martin, MPH, BSN; President and CEO, LeadingAge California
  • G. Adam Mayle, CHFM, CHC, CHE; Administrative Director of Facilities, Memorial Healthcare System, Florida
  • David A. Nace, MD, MPH, CMD; President, AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, Pennsylvania
  • Lori Porter, LNHA, CNA; CEO, National Association of Health Care Assistants, Missouri
  • Neil Pruitt, Jr., MBA, MHA, LNHA; Chairman and CEO, PruittHealth, Inc., Georgia
  • Penelope Ann Shaw, PhD; Nursing Home Resident and Advocate, Braintree Manor Healthcare, Massachusetts
  • Lori O. Smetanka, JD; Executive Director, National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, Maryland
  • Janet Snipes, LNHA; Executive Director, Holly Heights Nursing Home, Colorado
  • Patricia W. Stone, PhD, MPH, FAAN, RN, CIC; Professor of Health Policy in Nursing, Columbia University, New York
  • Dallas Taylor, BSN, RN; Director of Nursing, Eliza Bryant Village, Ohio

In addition to the official Commission members, there may be additional members added and guests invited to provide additional viewpoints and insights.

“The response to the call for nominations was tremendous, and we’re appreciative of all the applicants’ interest and willingness to serve on the commission,” continued Schnitzer. “We’re excited to be underway.”

The commission will convene via teleconference in June and will meet regularly using virtual collaboration tools to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the nursing home response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This work will inform efforts to safeguard the health and quality of life of vulnerable Americans, as well as prepare for future threats to nursing home residents’ safety and to public health.

Specifically, the commission is tasked to:

  • Identify best practices for facilities to enable rapid and effective identification and mitigation of transmission of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases in nursing homes;
  • Work to recommend best practices as exemplars of rigorous infection control practices and facility resiliency that can serve as a framework for enhanced oversight and quality monitoring activities;
  • Identify best practices for improved care delivery and responsiveness to the needs of all nursing home residents in preparation for, during, and following an emergency; and
  • Identify opportunities to leverage new sources of data to improve existing infection control policies and enable coordination across federal surveyors, contractors, and state and local entities to mitigate coronavirus and future emergencies.

Recommendations made by the commission will encompass both immediate and long-term actions.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the formation of the Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes on May 14. MITRE, an independent, not-for-profit organization, is standing up the commission and facilitating its activities and will independently author and deliver a report on the commission’s findings and recommendations to CMS on September 1.

Learn more about the Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes at


MITRE’s mission-driven teams are dedicated to solving problems for a safer world. Through our public-private partnerships and federally funded R&D centers, we work across government and in partnership with industry to tackle challenges to the safety, stability, and well-being of our nation.

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CONTACT: Mike Murphy


Copyright Business Wire 2020.

PUB: 06/19/2020 03:30 PM/DISC: 06/19/2020 03:30 PM


Tags: Quality, Safety