2018 ANCOR Policy Summit & Hill DayImage Banner

You are here

2018 ANCOR Policy Summit & Hill Day

October 2, 2018 to October 3, 2018

Washington, District of Columbia

 2018 ANCOR Policy Summit and Hill Day

It’s time to register for ANCOR’s 2018 Policy Summit & Hill Day (formerly Leadership Summit)!

One of ANCOR’s signature events, the 2018 Policy Summit will take place October 2-3 in the heart of our nation’s capital. Click on the "Register" tab to reserve your seat at the table today!

This year’s Summit theme, Connecting the Dots: The Intersection of Politics, Workforce & Regulation, is a recognition of the critical moment we face. With debates on a series of federal regulations before us and the 2018 midterm elections looming large, much hangs in the balance for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the providers who serve them.

With this in mind, we’re working to craft our best agenda yet to ensure an enriching learning and advocacy experience for members of the ANCOR community, and we hope you'll join us in Washington, DC, this October!

 

ANCOR extends its gratitude to DCI, the exclusive sponsor of the 2018 Policy Summit & Hill Day.

  • Washington, DCANCOR member: $525.00
  • Non-member: $675.00

Registration now closed, onsite registration will be available!

Cancellation

Cancellations are subject to a $50.00 processing fee. No refunds will be issued after September 18, 2018. There is no charge for substitutions.

Questions?

Contact us.

 

ANCOR extends its gratitude to DCI, the exclusive sponsor of the 2018 Policy Summit & Hill Day

 Direct Care Innovations

Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol HillHotel Information

Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 737-1234

Location, location, location! ANCOR is back in the heart of Capitol Hill for this year’s Policy Summit & Hill Day. The venue for this year’s Summit is the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, which is only a few blocks away from the Capitol and the offices of your elected officials. 

The time to book your hotel room under the discounted room block has expired. BUT please contact Jerri McCandless (at jmccandless@ancor.org, or 703.535.7850 ext. 107) to see if she can still squeeze in your reservation at the discounted rate of $229/night. Please contact Jerri directly with your arrival and departure dates as soon as possible to see if she can help.

Otherwise, rooms are still available at at Hyatt's non-discounted cost. For help booking at this hotel or others nearby, please also contact Jerri McCandless.

Airport & Ground Transportation

Getting to Washington, DC

The closest airport is Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), and we recommend flying into National it it’s only five miles from the Summit venue and accessible by taxi, rideshare service (e.g., Lyft or Uber) or public transit (i.e., Metrorail Blue Line).

Other area airports include Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD), which is about 30 miles from the Summit venue, and Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI), which is about 35 miles from the Summit venue.

For those located in East Coast cities served by Amtrak, you may find traveling by train to be the most efficient and affordable option. Amtrak serves Washington’s Union Station, which is a seven-minute walk from the Summit venue.

Getting Around Washington, DC

If you fly into Washington National Airport, a taxi to the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill would cost approximately $25. Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are also available, and the cost of these options depends on quality of service and time of day.

Super Shuttle is also an option for participants coming from any of the area airports. Super Shuttle offers a shared ride, during which you might make multiple stops, and service from Washington National Airport costs about $19 each way. To book, find a Super Shuttle representative, located near airport baggage claim, or download the Super Shuttle Mobile App. (Note that a 10% discount is available if you book your trip through the Super Shuttle Mobile App.

Metrorail, the D.C. area’s subway system, is also a convenient option for travelers flying into Washington National Airport. From the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Station, take the Blue Line in the direction of Largo Town Center and transfer to the Red Line at Metro Center Station, or take the Yellow Line in the direction of Mt. Vernon Square/7th Street/Convention Center and transfer to the Red Line at Gallery Place/Chinatown Station. Take the Red Line in the Direction of Glenmont or Silver Spring and get off at Union Station. From there, the Summit venue is a 0.4-mile walk along E Street NW.

As any Washingtonian will tell you, you should check Metro’s operating status before deciding to use this option. The system tends to be efficient and reliable, but weekend track work or other delays can make for a long trip.

 

ANCOR extends its gratitude to DCI, the exclusive sponsor of the 2018 Policy Summit & Hill Day

 Direct Care Innovations

Policy Summit & Hill Day Agenda

Note: This agenda is tentative and subject to change.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Date

Time

Description

Oct 2

7:30 am

Registration and Continental Breakfast

Oct 2

8:45 am

Welcome and Introduction

Oct 2

9:00 am

Keynote Address: Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi

Workforce and Trump Era Regulations

Oct 2

9:20 am

Campaign Spotlight: Included. Supported. Empowered.

  • Gabrielle Sedor, COO, ANCOR
  • Sean Luechtefeld, Communications Director, ANCOR

Oct 2

9:35 am

Panel Discussion with Congressional Staff

The Crossroads of Provider Voices and Lawmaking

Oct 2

10:30 am

Break

Oct 2

10:45 am

Keynote Medicaid Media Panel

  • Dylan Scott, Vox Media
  • Caitlin Owens, Axios

Moderator: Rodney Whitlock, ML Strategies

Oct 2

11:45 am

Break

Oct 2

Noon

Policy Summit Luncheon: Suellen Galbraith Awards & Congressional Champion Awards

Suellen Galbraith Award for Excellence in Public Policy Recipients:

  • Ravi Dahiya, YAI (New York)
  • Chris Sparks, Exceptional Persons, Inc. (Iowa)
  • Gary Blumenthal, PAR (Pennsylvania)
  • Lizette Stiehr, AADD (Alaska)

Congressional Champion Awardees:

  • Representative Brett Guthrie (R-KY)
  • Representative Jim Langevin (D-RI)

Oct 2

1:00 pm

Break

Oct 2

1:15 pm

I/DD, Business Acumen and Managed Care: What’s Next?

  • Kim Opsahl, Director of State Partnerships and Special Projects, ANCOR
  • Erica Lindquist, Senior Director of HCBS Business Acumen Center, NASUAD
  • Laura Vegas, Project Director for MCO Business Acumen, NASDDDS

Oct 2

2:15 pm

Conversation Café: Roundtable Discussion on Why Medicaid Matters

Oct 2

3:15 pm

Break

Oct 2

3:25 pm

Breakout Sessions

  • The Technology Behind a More Robust Workforce
  • The Legislation of Data

Oct 2

4:20 pm

Break

Oct 2

4:30 pm

Regulatory Administration Panel: Trump Administration Rules and Priorities

  • Richard Davis, Senior Policy Advisory, Office of Disability Employment Policy, DOL
  • Melissa Harris, Senior Policy Advisor, Disabled & Elderly Health Program Group, CMS
  • Ralph Lollar, Director of LTSS, Disabled & Elderly Health Program Group, CMS
  • Megan Tinker. Senior Advisor for Legal Review. Office of Counsel to the Inspector General

 

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Date

Time

Description

Oct 3

8:00 am

Continental Breakfast and Hill Visit Preparations

Oct 3

9:00 am

Hill Day “Prep” Rally

  • Esmé Grant Grewal, ANCOR VP of Government Relations
  • Sarah Meek, ANCOR Director of Legislative Affairs
  • Doris Parfaite-Claude, ANCOR Federal Advocacy and Research Manager
  • Al Guida, President & CEO, Guide Consulting

Oct 3

11:00 am

ANCOR Congressional Briefing: HEADS Up Act and the Medically Underserved

Oct 3

12:00 pm

Capitol Hill Visits

Your State Navigator will contact you in September to arrange Capitol Hill visits for your state attendees!

 

ANCOR extends its gratitude to DCI, the exclusive sponsor of the 2018 Policy Summit & Hill Day

Logo: Direct Care Innovations

 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Keynote Address

9-9:20 am

As we launch Disability Employment Awareness Month, we will reflect policymaking and how to ensure workforce policies are created in a way that benefits and enhances opportunities for providers, direct support professionals, and the individuals they serve.

Campaign Spotlight: Included. Supported. Empowered.

9:20-9:35 am

The Included. Supported. Empowered. campaign is a bold new initiative to raise awareness about the successes of people with intellectial and developmental disabilities, as well as the providers who are integral to those successes. During this session, ANCOR staff will introduce Summit participants to the campaign, including how they can get involved and leverage its stories to engage in advocacy on a range of federal issues.

Speakers:

  • Gabrielle Sedor, COO, ANCOR
  • Sean Luechtefeld, Communications Director, ANCOR

Congressional Panel

9:35-10:30 am

ANCOR has been leading issues on Capitol Hill this year from the Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) Delay bill to the Money Follows the Person (MFP) Reauthorization and Direct Support Professional (DSP) Workforce and Data legislative improvements. None of this work is possible without the key staff on Capitol Hill who determine priorities and initiate the process of a bill becoming law.

ANCOR is pleased to have lead Republican and Democratic staff from Capitol Hill join our Policy Summit this year to reflect on past issues they have worked on in the provider space, and project on priorities in our space in the next Congress. These are the voices in the ear of many of your members of Congress!

This session will confront the complexity of provider issues—on both sides of the aisle—and how legislators and, many times more importantly, their key staffers, can compromise on even the most challenging issues.

Medicaid Media Panel

10:45-11:45 am

The media has been a national topic more than ever these days. Providers, however, are no strangers to how the reporting of Medicaid and their services impact policy decisions and the overall public opinion of disability services.  This distinguished panel pulls from top reporters who report on Medicaid and health issues to discuss how and why they report on these issues and the impact that they have seen from providing information to the broader world.  The panel will also reflect on how reporting has changed in recent years, where the challenges and opportunities are to report, and how they would like to see providers involved in the news process.

  • Dylan Scott, Vox Media
  • Caitlin Owens, Axios

Moderator: Rodney Whitlock, ML Strategies

Policy Summit Luncheon: Suellen Galbraith & Congressional Champion Awards Presentations

Noon-1 pm

Please join us to honor our members who have shown exemplary work in the federal public policy field this year as well as Congressional members who have shown they are champions for disability service providers.

Suellen Galbraith Award for Excellence in Public Policy Recipients:

  • Ravi Dahiya, YAI (New York)
  • Chris Sparks, Exceptional Persons, Inc. (Iowa)
  • Gary Blumenthal, PAR (Pennsylvania)
  • Lizette Stiehr, AADD (Alaska)

Congressional Champion Awardees:

  • Representative Brett Guthrie (R-KY)
  • Representative Jim Langevin (D-RI)

I/DD, Business Acumen and Managed Care: What’s Next?

1:15-2:15 pm

Applying managed care approaches to I/DD services and supports continues to be a growing trend across the states. In light of this, there is an increasing focus on the impact of this growth on people with I/DD and the networks that support them. Join us to hear highlights from recent efforts to describe, shape, and prepare for these changes.

Speakers:

  • Kim Opsahl, Director of State Partnerships and Special Projects, ANCOR
  • Erica Lindquist, Senior Director of HCBS Business Acumen Center, NASUAD
  • Laura Vegas, Project Director for MCO Business Acumen, NASDDDS

Conversation Café: Roundtable Discussion

2:15-3:15 pm

Grab some coffee, tea and dessert – it’s time to talk! Some of ANCOR’s best outcomes are a result of our in-person conference discussions. Get ready to address tough topics in your group and report out challenges, thoughts, and solutions. This is policymaking and creating at its best!

Breakout Sessions (3:25-4:20 pm)

Option A: The Technology Behind a More Robust Workforce

At last year's Policy Summit, ANCOR initiated a Congressional letter on technology and received a helpful response from Administrator Seema Verma of CMS. This year, at the 2018 ANCOR Policy Summit and Hill Day, as we continue to explore technology in our arena, ANCOR members have increasingly expressed interest in "back office" technologies that allow service providers to work more efficiently and in effect focus more of their resources and attention to the quality of services being provided.

In a discussion with a panel experts from Direct Care Innovations, we will explore how technology has lended itself as a helpful tool to address issues like payroll, scheduling services, certifying training, and ultimately ensuring that the goals of an individual's person centered plan are delivered.

The panel will discuss effective ways to gather data and how that data can be used to improve services. We will also be discussing how the latest guidance from CMS on technology impacts a variety of technology systems and opens the door to greater use of technology in Medicaid programs. Join us for this great discussion!

Moderator: Esmé Grant Grewal, Vice President, Government Relations, ANCOR

Option B: The Legislation of Data

ANCOR has long been advocating for better and more reliable data in our field, for use in setting reimbursement rates, and across the board in determining funding and policy decisions for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. However, this year ANCOR formed specific data asks and is working with Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill to make important changes and updates in how we access and use data to improve service delivery.  Join this panel to learn about new data being uncovered  like a MACPAC report on HCBS utilization,  how other issues, like the opioid epidemic, are using data to address the greatest challenges, and how legislation is being used to change the landscape of data use as we know it.

Regulatory Administration Panel: Trump Administration Rules and Priorities

4:30-5:30 pm

ANCOR has the pleasure of being at the table as a stakeholder to discuss some of the most key policy transformations happening at the federal level. Now we want to bring the table to you! Join us for an off the record dialogue on how the current Administration priorities are being implemented through regulatory, subregulatory, and deregulatory processes. Hear directly from federal agencies that impact your work about their priorities and what resources are helpful from stakeholders like providers.  This is a conversation you cannot miss!

Speakers:

  • Ralph Lollar, Director of LTSS, Disabled & Elderly Health Program Group, CMS (Invited)
  • Melissa Harris, Senior Policy Advisor, Disabled & Elderly Health Program Group, CMS (Invited)
  • Megan Tinker, Senior Advisor for Legal Review, Office of Counsel to the Inspector General
  • Derrick Witherspoon, Branch Chief/FLSA, Department of Labor (Invited)

 

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

ANCOR DC PAC Breakfast for Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

8-9:00 am

ANCOR Disability Champions PAC will be hosting a breakfast for Senator Murkowski. Learn more about the PAC here and through our FAQ. Learn more about the event by emailing this form to Doris Parfaite-Claude, Federal Advocacy and Research Manager, at dparfaite-claude@ancor.org.

ANCOR extends its gratitude to DCI, the exclusive sponsor of the 2018 Policy Summit & Hill Day

 Direct Care Innovations

Daryn Demeritt, VP of Government Relations, BrightSpring Health Services

Daryn Demeritt is the Vice President of Government Relations for BrightSpring Health Services based in Louisville, Kentucky.


Chelsea Glovis, Project Manager/Implementation Lead, Direct Care Innovations

Chelsea began her academic career in the business and technology industry pursuing a B.S. in Business Management and an International Business Certificate at Arizona State University. She embarked on her professional career working for start-up companies where she was engaged in various junior and senior managerial roles gaining significant experience in operations and software deployment. Chelsea is currently a Project Manager and Implementation Lead at Direct Care Innovations (DCI), a healthcare technology company that creates business management platforms for providers and agencies in the Medicaid, Medicare and managed care markets. Chelsea received her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from Project Management Institute (PMI) in January 2018 and is looking forward to helping DCI customers discover process improvements and ROI through the use of the DCI platform.


Seth Gold, Health Legislative Assistant, Office of U.S. Senator Rob Portman

Seth Gold currently serves as the Health Legislative Assistant for Senator Portman. Prior to joining Senator Portman’s Office, Seth worked for Congressman Michael Burgess, as first a Health Care Fellow and then as a Health Legislative Assistant. Seth is a proud Cincinnatian and received his Master of Public Health at The George Washington University. 


Caleb Graff, Professional Staff Member, House Energy & Commerce Committee

Caleb serves as professional staff for the US House of Representatives' Healthcare Committee on Energy and Commerce.


Esme Grant Grewal, VP of Government Relations, ANCOR

Esmé Grant Grewal is ANCOR’s Vice President of Government Relations. In this role, she works with the Government Relations Committee and ANCOR GR team on all legislative and policy priorities and leads the organization’s relationships with Congress and the Administration. Prior to this role, Esmé served as the Director of Public Policy for the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), where she worked with all State Councils on Developmental Disabilities on federal advocacy and policy priorities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She has past appointments with the American Bar Association’s Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law and as Chair of the American Branch of International Law Association’s Disability Committee. Esmé is Co-Chair of both the Developmental Disabilities, Autism and Family Support Task Force and International Task Force for the Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities, a coalition of over 100 leading national disability organizations based in Washington, DC. Prior to joining NACDD, Esmé led the Disability Rights Program for the U.S. International Council on Disabilities and worked extensively with former Congressman and Majority Whip, Tony Coelho. Esmé has served the San Francisco Mayor’s Office on Disability where she had the opportunity to participate in implementation of the City’s ADA Transition Plan. As an attorney and member of the California Bar Association, she has published multiple law reviews on various topics of disability law. She is a past Board Member of Quality Trust. She is a proud sibling to a brother and sister with developmental disabilities.


Al Guida, President & CEO, Guide Consulting

With more than three decades of experience in health public policy and government relations, Al is a top strategic thinker in the field. He is adept at advancing legislation and public policy, and impacting government and regulatory issues. Most notably, Al secured $15 million funding for Mental Health First Aid and the 2014 inclusion of the Excellence in Mental Health Act during a period when few mental health legislations were passed. Additionally, he has secured four amendments in both the Senate Finance Committee and House Energy & Commerce Committee including amendments for medical homes and structure of insurance exchange benefits. Al also led Medicaid Reform by initiating a mental health, disability and child welfare coalition in 2007 to stop $6 billion in Medicaid funding cuts as well as worked with Eli Lilly Co. to insert strong language into a veterans spending bill, prohibiting the Department of Veterans Affairs from instituting policies and procedures that restricted access to vital medicines for veterans with severe mental illness.

Before starting Guide Consulting Services, Al served as the Executive Director of the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign, (NMHAC), which addressed the stigma associated with mental illness. Prior to the Campaign, Al served as Senior Vice President for Government Relations and Public Policy at the National Mental Health Association – now called Mental Health America – where he coordinated state and federal government affairs and helped to start NMHA’s State Health Care Reform Department. In his seven-year tenure, he fought for mental health parity legislation, Medicaid expansions, the inclusion of mental health care in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), and additional federal funding for the Children’s Mental Health Services Program.


Kitti Gutierrez, Innovation Associate, Direct Care Innovations

Kitti has worked in the field of disability for over 28 years. She completed her B.S. in Education and Psychology at Black Hills State University. She began her career as a Special Education Director/Teacher in Montana. Kitti moved to Wyoming entering the human services industry working at an agency supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as a Case Manager, Agency Trainer, Director of Operations and CARF surveyor. Kitti moved in to the electronic health care market and is currently an Innovation Associate, at Direct Care Innovations (DCI), a healthcare technology company that creates business management platforms for providers and agencies in the Medicaid, Medicare and managed care markets. Kitti enjoys consulting with agencies on successful approaches of change management and integrating electronic solutions in to their business practices. 


Melissa Harris, Senior Policy Advisor, Disabled & Elderly Health Program Group, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

Melissa Harris is the Senior Policy Advisor of the Disabled & Elderly health Program Group for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).


Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, President & CEO, RespectAbility

Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi is the President of RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for people with disabilities. She regularly works with disability organizations, national, state and local policy leaders, workforce development professionals, media, employers, philanthropists, celebrities and faith-based organizations in order to expand opportunities for people with disabilities. Mizrahi has submitted testimony on employment for people with disabilities in all fifty states and at the Federal level and has met 1-1 on disability issues with 46 of America’s governors.

Mizrahi has published more than a hundred op-eds and publications on disability issues, including in USA TodayThe Hill and other media outlets. She is a co-author of Disability & Criminal Justice Reform: Keys to Success, which brought critical attention to the school-to-prison pipeline for people with disabilities and was featured on the PBS NewsHour. She is involved in the Emmy-winning TV shows Born This Way and Deaf Out Loud and advancing positive portayals of disability in Hollywood. Dyslexic herself, she also knows what it means to parent a child with multiple disabilities.

You can reach Mizrahi at JenniferM@RespectAbility.org or on Twitter @JLMizrahi.


Erica Lindquist, Senior Director, HCBS Business Acumen Center, NASUAD

Erica Lindquist is the Senior Director of the Disability Network Business Acumen Center at the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD). In that role, she manages the Business Acumen for Disability Organizations Resource Center.

Prior to joining NASUAD, she worked at the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) where she was responsible for project management and research related to quality measure development for LTSS and person-driven care, and was instrumental in the recent release of the accreditation standards for LTSS.

Before joining NCQA, she spent seven years in managed care operations at a FIDE-SNP in Wisconsin which offered full acute, primary and long-term care services to frail elders and those with physical and/or intellectual or developmental disabilities. Erica received her master’s degree in Gerontology from Bethel University and her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin - Stout.


Ralph Lollar, Director, LTSS, Disabled & Elderly Health Program Group, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

Ralph Lollar is the Director of the Division Long Term Services and Supports, Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group at CMS. Ralph worked for more than 30 years for the New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities (NJDDD). In his role as administrator for the NJDDD, Medicaid/Waiver Unit, Mr. Lollar had significant involvement in services for seniors and people with disabilities through a Medicaid State Plan service delivery system in both a Managed Care and Fee for Service Model. Ralph's work included close involvement with the Money Follows the Person demonstration project. He worked with fellow waiver administrators in the management of a bi-monthly New Jersey HCBS Committee to ensure statewide coordination of all five 1915(c) HCBS waiver programs. He has a master's degree in social work from Rutgers University and is a Certified Public Manager.


Sean Luechtefeld, Communications Director, ANCOR

Sean Luechtefeld joined the ANCOR team in 2018 as Communications Director. In this role, he leads communications for ANCOR, the ANCOR Foundation and the ANCOR Services Corporation, collaborating across the organization to strengthen the services provided to the association’s members.

Prior to joining ANCOR, Sean served as Associate Communications Director for Prosperity Now (formerly CFED), a nonprofit committed to ensuring everyone can achieve financial stability, wealth and prosperity. In that role, he oversaw the organization’s digital media strategy; worked with the programs, policy and research teams to develop strategic communications plans; and led marketing efforts for Prosperity Now’s events, including its signature Prosperity Summit. Most recently, he led a complete overhaul of brand messaging concurrent with the launch of the Prosperity Now brand.

In addition to his work at ANCOR, Sean is an adjunct professor in the Master's program in Communication at Johns Hopkins University. Earlier in his career, Sean held a variety of academic and professional positions across the communications field, including coaching a nationally competitive intercollegiate debate team, teaching undergraduate political communication and argumentation courses, managing events and online communications for a disability consulting firm in Florida, and contributing to the opening of a startup community history museum in North Carolina.

Sean earned his Ph.D. in Communication with a focus in rhetoric and   political culture from the University of Maryland in 2016. He holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and a B.S. in Political Science, both from the Florida State University, and an M.A. in Communication from Wake Forest University.


Donna Martin, Executive Director, Community Provider Network of Rhode Island

Donna Martin is the Executive Director of Community Provider Network of Rhode Island.


Sarah Meek, Director of Legislative Affairs, ANCOR

Sarah Meek currently serves as the Director of Legislative Affairs for the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR). In this position, Sarah directs all of ANCOR’s federal advocacy and manages relationships with Capitol Hill.

From December 2012-October 2017, Sarah Meek was the Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for Lutheran Services in America – Disability Network (LSA-DN). LSA-DN is a nationwide association of Lutheran social ministry organizations serving the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. LSA-DN includes 25 organizations that support more than 150,000 individuals in 33 states. Sarah directed all federal advocacy activity on issues affecting persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including long-term services and supports, housing, employment and   transportation.

Sarah has a background in federal government public policy and grassroots advocacy as well as programs in aging and disabilities. She has a B.A. in Political Science from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX, and a Master of Social Work in Community Empowerment and Program Development from the University of Georgia School of Social Work.


Barbara Merrill, Chief Executive Officer, ANCOR

A seasoned disability and association professional, Merrill was selected to serve as ANCOR’s Chief Executive Officer in November 2014, concluding a national search by the ANCOR Board of Directors. Merrill, who had previously served as ANCOR's Vice President for Public Policy, has been involved in disability issues since 1992 as an advocate, state legislator and attorney for people with disabilities and the providers who serve them. At ANCOR, she has led the development and implementation of all aspects of ANCOR's public policy agenda, representing ANCOR's diverse membership of private providers of services for people with disabilities before federal and state policy makers, while keeping ANCOR members fully apprised of the impact of critical system changes and providing guidance and technical assistance.

Prior to joining ANCOR, Merrill was the Director of Government Relations for the MENTOR Network, a national network of community health and human services providers headquartered in Boston. Elected to ANCOR's Board of Directors in 2010, Barbara co-chaired ANCOR's Government Relations Committee prior to joining ANCOR's professional staff. A native of the state of Maine, she brings over 20 years experience working with associations. She has represented a variety of clients, including psychologists, NAMI-Maine, nursing facilities, and providers of services to people with disabilities. She successfully orchestrated the passage of legislation in Maine to increase wages for Direct Support Professionals, and Maine’s Mental Health Parity law, and in 2002, became the first Executive Director of the Maine Association for Community Service Providers. Barbara left private practice in 2004 to serve in Maine’s House of Representatives, and in 2005 ran for Governor of Maine as an Independent, earning the loser’s prize of hosting Inside Maine, a political talk show aired on Maine’s most popular talk radio station.


Mindi Mitchell, Chief Operations Officer, Direct Care Innovations

Mindi began working in the human services industry as a DSP while finishing a B.A. in Sociology at Eastern Oregon University in 1999. Mindi is currently the COO at Direct Care Innovations (DCI), a healthcare technology company that creates business management platforms for providers and agencies in the Medicaid, Medicare and managed care markets. Prior to joining DCI, Mindi worked at RISE Services, a multi-state provider agency supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities for over 19 years, where she held numerous leadership positions. At DCI, she hopes to help companies become empowered through technology to run their businesses in a more efficient way and has significant experience in helping companies navigate change. Mindi has an MBA from the University of Oregon and in her spare time, she enjoys traveling, following Oregon Duck football, and spending time with her french bulldog, Lexi.


Representative Seth Moulton (D-MA)

Seth Moulton was first called to service when he joined the Marines in 2001, days after graduating from college and months before the attacks on 9/11. As the leader of an infantry platoon, he was among the first Americans to reach Baghdad in 2003. He served four tours in a war that he didn’t agree with – but he was proud to go, so no one had to go in his place.

After returning home from Iraq, Seth earned joint degrees in Business and Public Policy at graduate school, and then worked in the private sector in Texas to build the country’s first high speed rail line. But it wasn’t long before he was called to serve once again – this time in his home district in Massachusetts.
Seth ran – and won – on a platform of bringing a new generation of leadership to Washington, becoming the only Democrat to unseat an incumbent in a primary in 2014.

In the two terms since he was first sworn in, Seth has worked tirelessly to uphold his commitment to bipartisanship. He has passed several bipartisan bills, including the Faster Care for Veterans Act and the Modernizing Government Travel Act, and was named the most effective freshman Democrat by the Center for Effective Lawmaking. He has also concentrated on spurring economic development in Massachusetts, creating the first intergovernmental task force focused on growing the economy of Lynn, the biggest city in his district.

Today, as a member of the Budget Committee, Seth is focused on creating a new economic agenda that will make a difference for American families. He also sits on the House Armed Services Committee and is the top Democrat on the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.

Seth lives in Salem, Massachusetts, with his wife Elizabeth.


Kim Opsahl, Director of State Partnerships & Special Projects, ANCOR

Kim Opsahl is ANCOR’s Director of State Partnerships and Special Projects. In this role, she serves as the liaison to ANCOR’s State Association members and leads special projects, like ANCOR’s ACL Business Acumen grant-related activities.

She brings over 20 years’ experience working with state government and advocating on behalf of programs and services for Hoosiers with disabilities. Prior to working with ANCOR, she served as the President/CEO for the Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (INARF). In that role, she was responsible for developing and directing the Association’s resources in order to meet the needs of Indiana’s disability service provider industry.

During her nearly thirteen years with INARF – three as President/CEO – Kim graduated summa cum laude from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. During that time, she also received her Health Law Certificate, served as the Indiana Health Law Review (IHLR), Vol. X’s Executive Business Editor, and had her law review note – Using Integrated Care to Meet the Challenge of the ADA’s Integration Mandate: Is Managed Long-Term Care the Key to Addressing Access to Services? – selected by IHLR for publication. She was admitted to practice in the State of Indiana in October 2014.


Caitlin Owens, Reporter, Axios

Caitlin Owens is an American journalist based in ​Washington, D.C.​ She is a reporter at Axios, reporting on health care. Owens graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill​ in 2014 with a Bachelor's degree​ in journalism and mass communication.

Prior to her current role at Axios, she was a staff reporter at Morning Consult​. She also was a reporter at National Journal​ and the Los Angeles Times​.


Doris Parfaite-Claude, Federal Advocacy & Research Manager, ANCOR

Hailing from an advocacy background, Doris Parfaite-Claude joined ANCOR as Federal Advocacy and Research Manager in 2016. Parfaite-Claude has advanced policies and issues through polling, campaigns, and legislative advocacy since 2011. She connects ANCOR’s diverse membership with federal officials by keeping them informed of grassroots and political action committee opportunities. Additionally, Parfaite-Claude is responsible for developing workforce-related content that ANCOR members can use as educational and/or advocacy resources.

Prior to joining ANCOR, Parfaite-Claude was a Legislative Assistant for the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, an organization representing Latino officials nationwide on immigration, voting rights and Census issues. A native of California, she has worked on almost all facets of policy-making since obtaining her Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University in Washington, DC in 2011. At NALEO Educational Fund, she performed research and prepared materials to advance the organization’s legislative agenda, and organized fly-in days so members could speak about their concerns to their Members of Congress. As a polling analyst at Lincoln Park strategies, she examined data to inform clients on messaging opportunities in their issue and political campaigns. In 2010 she developed a firsthand understanding of the power of the federal budgetary process through her internship with the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Taskforce, chaired by former OMB Director Alice Rivlin and the former Senator Pete Domenici.


Stuart Portman, Health Policy Advisor, U.S. Senate

Stuart Portman serves as Health Policy Advisor for the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance. In this capacity handles issues related to Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the ACA Exchanges. Previously, he served as the Senior Health Care Legislative Assistant and Legislative Correspondent for Senator Orrin Hatch and provided policy details on concepts within CMS, FDA, and NIH’s jurisdiction.

Prior to working on Capitol Hill, Stuart attended the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University where he focused his coursework on Medicaid, CHIP, and ethical debates within the health care services community. He also worked as a Research Assistant on a project evaluating federal and state investments in health information technology.

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Stuart attended the University of Denver for his Bachelor degree in Biology and Political Science. He enjoys the thrill of travel, baking cookies and pies, reading/falling asleep in the sun, and discussing policy issues with people holding a diverse array of opinions.


Dylan Scott, Policy Reporter, Vox

Dylan Scott is a policy reporter for Vox, leading the news organization’s coverage of the Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, the 2017 tax overhaul and the 2018 midterm elections. He previously reported for STAT, National Journal, Talking Points Memo and Governing magazine. Since coming to Washington, D.C., in 2011, he has covered the biggest political news of the day: Supreme Court rulings on the Affordable Care Act and gay marriage, the opening of diplomatic relations with Cuba, the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and the 2016 presidential campaign. He has broken news on major developments on Capitol Hill, interviewed the most powerful people in politics including Vice President Joe Biden, and traveled across the country to tell stories beyond the Beltway.

Dylan’s first job out of college took him to the award-winning Las Vegas Sun in 2010, where he covered the fallout of the Great Recession in one of the country’s hardest-hit metropolitan areas.

Before graduating from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, he was awarded first place by the Associated Press Society of Ohio for Best Investigative Reporting for a series of stories exposing questionable accounting practices and budget decisions by the university’s administration.

To learn more about Dylan’s experiences, check out his resume and clips. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


Gabrielle Sedor, Chief Operations Officer, ANCOR

Gabrielle Sedor joined ANCOR as its Chief Operations Officer in February 2015 to assist the CEO in day-to-day operations and supervise ANCOR’s Communications, Marketing and Education teams.

Prior to coming to ANCOR, she was the Communications Director at PAR, a Pennsylvania state provider association and ANCOR member, where she directed PAR's lobbying, marketing and communications activities. She was an integral part of a successful campaign to restore over $24M in proposed cuts to autism and ID services in Pennsylvania’s FY2011-2012 budget, as well as a multi-year effort to change the name of the PA Department of Public Welfare to the Department of Human Service (Act 132 of 2014).

With over 16 years at PAR and 3 at ANCOR, Gabrielle has strong experience in every aspect of association management. She is also an active, engaged community volunteer – while in Pennsylvania, she served as president of the PA Association of Government Relations, and chaired the public policy committees of the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg and the Central PA Association of Female Executives. She currently represents ANCOR on the Board of the National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (NADSP).

Gabrielle graduated Brown University and has lived and worked overseas, teaching English in high schools and private institutions in Wroclaw, Poland; Santiago, Chile and London, England. In 2010, Gabrielle joined less than five percent of all association professionals by earning the Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential, the highest professional credential in the association industry.


Greg Sunstrum, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell

Greg Sunstrum serves as Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director for Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12). His legislative portfolio includes healthcare, auto issues, and tax policy. Prior to his current position, he worked for former Congressman John D. Dingell on his legislative staff. A native of Dearborn, Michigan, he graduated from the University of Michigan in 2009 with a B.A. in public policy and has lived in Washington, D.C. for nine years.


Megan Tinker, Senior Advisor for Legal Review, Office of Counsel, Office of the Inspector General

Megan Tinker is the Senior Legal Advisor for the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and will be joining us for an important discussion on federal government oversight of critical incident reporting.

Ms. Tinker has been leading the OIG audits of group home settings across the country. For the first time, OIG partnered with the Administration for Community Living and Office of Civil Rights to publish a joint report on their findings. Hear directly from Megan and others on the priorities of OIG and other federal agencies that impact your work, and what resources are helpful from stakeholders like providers.


Laura Vegas, Project Director, MCO Business Acumen Center, NASDDDS

Laura Vegas has more than 24 years of experience working in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). 

Prior to joining NASDDDS, Laura was the Director of Employment and Community First CHOICES and Select Community for BlueCross/BlueShield of TN. Employment and Community First CHOICES is TN’s new Managed Long Term Services and Supports HCBS program for people with IDD that went live July 1, 2016. 

Laura also worked for the TN Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities for more than 17 years, serving most recently as Assistant Commissioner for Policy and Innovation. While at DIDD, the NCI project launched under her leadership. She also lead the Department in receiving Person Centered Systems accreditation from CQL, the Supporting Families CoP and the Becoming a Person Centered Organization CoP,

Laura began her career by working for a non-profit IDD provider organization in Tennessee.


Rodney Whitlock, Vice President, Health Policy, ML Strategies

Rodney is a veteran health care policy professional with more than 20 years of experience working with the US Congress, where he served as health policy advisor and as Acting Health Policy Director for Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa and, earlier, on the staff of former US Representative Charlie Norwood of Georgia.

During his years with Representative Norwood, Rodney managed the Patients’ Bill of Rights, which passed the House in 1999 and 2001. In February 2005, Rodney left the office of Congressman Norwood to join the Finance Committee Staff as a health policy advisor to Chairman Grassley. In that capacity, he was lead Senate staffer for the Medicaid provisions of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 and the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006.

In 2007, Rodney worked on the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act, which passed Congress twice and was subsequently vetoed twice by President George W. Bush. Rodney spent 2009 and 2010 deeply engaged in health care reform legislation. Late in 2010, he became the Acting Health Policy Director for Senator Grassley, and shepherded the Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act of 2010 into law. Following his tenure in Senator Grassley’s Congressional office, Rodney served as Health Policy Director in the Senator’s personal office.


ANCOR extends its gratitude to DCI, the exclusive sponsor of the 2018 Policy Summit & Hill Day

 Direct Care Innovations