Chief Executive Officer
Jon oversees day-to-day operations and sets strategy for C-TAC. Early in his career he met Reverend Diane Smalley, a powerful advocate living with advanced illness, who told him to keep it simple: focus on opening doors. In acting on Diane's legacy Jon has the benefit of drawing on hundreds of innovators’ experience and talent in the Coalition. His role is channeling these resources into practical approaches to improve care for those living with advanced illness.
Chief Strategy Officer
Alishia Parkhill is a nonprofit executive with more than 17 years of experience in marketing, communications, membership and operations management. From leading multimillion-dollar cause marketing campaigns to driving change that creates new paths to reach organizational goals, her work has yielded increased awareness, efficiency and revenue for nonprofit brands. Her passion for improving serious illness and end-of-life care has inspired her to shift her career to focus on these issues and pursue her M.S. in Health and Social Innovation. In her spare time, she serves as a volunteer at a local hospice organization where she provides support to patients and families.
Policy & Advocacy
Jennifer A. Blemur, Esq.
Director of Policy & Advocacy
Jennifer's goal in working in policy is to ensure that elected officials not only know what's happening in their communities but are equipped with forward-thinking legislative solutions. Collaborating with elected officials to create transformative change is core to Jennifer's belief that government can effectively meet the needs of its people.
Jennifer previously served as the State Caucus Director for the Millennial Action Project (MAP). MAP works with young leaders to transform American politics. She previously served as the Director of the Women Legislators’ Lobby (WiLL), a program of Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND). WiLL is a national nonpartisan network of women state legislators who work together to influence federal policy and budget priorities. Prior to WiLL, she served as a Legislative Counsel at the Council of the District of Columbia, where she drafted legislation, met with stakeholders, and helped community members. Her work in state policy began with the National Black Caucus of State Legislators where she worked as Policy Associate and Legal Counsel writing policy articles and toolkits for legislators. She also organized policy symposia and worked with legislators on national policy priorities.
A licensed attorney living in the District of Columbia, Jennifer is a graduate of the David A. Clarke School of Law, a native New Yorker, a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., and a first-generation Haitian-American.
Torrie Fields, MPH
Torrie Fields is the founder and CEO of Votive Health, a serious illness management services company, and is serving as Entrepreneur in Residence at Blossom Rock Ventures. She previously led the development and implementation of programs and processes at Blue Shield of California, working to improve the quality of life for people with serious illness, and their families. Ms. Fields worked as the director of palliative care at Cambia Health Solutions and as a consultant for health plans, purchasers, and academic centers evaluating the impact of palliative care on achieving the Triple Aim. Ms. Fields has led the development of highly-successful palliative care initiatives, including benefit design, case management, caregiver support, medical home development, and policy and engagement efforts. In addition, she worked as an actuary and health services researcher for health plans, health delivery systems, and local as well as federal health departments.
Marian Grant, DNP, ACNP-BC, ACHPN, FPCN, RN
Senior Regulatory Advisor
Marian Grant is the Senior Regulatory Advisor for the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC), and a consultant for the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) and the University of Washington’s MessageLab Serious Illness Messaging project. Dr. Grant maintains a clinical practice as a palliative care nurse practitioner at the University of Maryland Medical Center. She is adjunct faculty at the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins Schools of Nursing. In 2014, Dr. Grant was selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow working on Capitol Hill and at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. Dr. Grant has served on the board of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, The Carolinas Center, been faculty for ELNEC, the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium, and speaks nationally and internationally on palliative care. Before becoming a nurse, Dr. Grant had a career in marketing at the Procter & Gamble Company and worked on the Max Factor and Cover Girl cosmetics brands there.
Senior Public Policy Advisor
Brian W. Lindberg is the Executive Director of the Consumer Coalition for Quality Health Care. Prior to his current position, Mr. Lindberg worked in Congress for 10 years - most recently as the staff director of the House Select Committee on Aging's Subcommittee on Housing and Consumer Interests, and prior to that on the Senate Special Committee on Aging. Mr. Lindberg holds a Master's in the Management of Human Services from the Florence Heller Graduate School at Brandeis University, a Bachelor of Social Work from Temple University, and studied health and human services at the University of Stockholm's International Graduate School.
Senior Policy Advisor
As Senior Policy Advisor to C-TAC and Principal at Healthsperien, Andrew provides comprehensive strategic guidance, in-depth policy analysis and effective messaging development on wide-range of federal health policy and political issues, including those related to the implementation of Affordable Care Act (ACA), quality and value-based purchasing, Medicare, Medicaid, prescription drug coverage and pharmaceutical cost containment, long-term care supports and services, chronic care management, and public and private insurance coverage expansions. Through his work with dozens of public and private stakeholders at the local, state, regional and federal level, Andrew has a special emphasis on policy and political issues related to advanced care and serious illness.
Prior to his work at Healthsperien, Andrew was Founder and Principal of MacPherson Strategic, Inc., a health care policy, legislative strategy, and communications consulting firm. MacPherson Strategic served a diverse set of health care stakeholder clients, including consumer groups, broad-based coalitions, innovative health care start-ups, and the largest health care purchasers.
Prior to founding MacPherson Strategic, Andrew served as Director of Government Affairs at Jennings Policy Strategies, Inc. (JPS), a nationally recognized health policy consulting firm led by Chris Jennings, the former Senior Health Care Advisor to President Bill Clinton and now Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama. From 2005-2013, Mr. MacPherson staffed a wide variety of client and pro bono initiatives in the policy, political, and communications arenas with JPS, Inc., such as the Bipartisan Policy Center health reform project with former Majority Leaders Baker, Daschle, Dole and Mitchell, presidential campaigns including Obama for America and Hillary Clinton for President, and the Clinton Global Initiative. While at JPS, Andrew researched and co-authored numerous articles and speeches on a range of health policy issues.
From 2005 to 2007, Andrew served in the Government Relations Department with the American Psychiatric Association. At APA, Andrew developed national policy positions, conducted in-depth research on physician access and reimbursement, and engaged on all aspects of targeted lobbying activities including those related to implementation of the Medicare Part D drug benefit, physician reimbursement under Medicare and mental health “parity” legislation.
From 2001 to 2004, Mr. MacPherson worked for a range of policy and political organizations and elected officials, including Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Democratic Governors’ Association, Vermont Democratic Party, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, Inc., a market research and strategic communications consulting firm based in Washington, D.C.
Originally from Vermont, Andrew received a B.A. in Political Science from The George Washington University in May 2005.
David Longnecker, MD
Chief Clinical Innovations Officer (Emeritus)
David E. Longnecker, M.D. is the Chief Clinical Innovations Officer (Emeritus) of C-TAC (the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care, (http://www.theCTAC.org), an organization dedicated to the ideal that all Americans with advanced illness, especially the sickest and most vulnerable, receive comprehensive, high-quality, person- and family-centered care that is consistent with their goals and values and honors their dignity. His career spans a spectrum of commitment to healthcare improvement as a physician-scientist, clinician and educator at the University of Missouri, the University of Virginia and the University of Pennsylvania, where he served as Robert D. Dripps Professor and Chair of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Vice Dean for Professional Services, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. He also served as a Director at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), where he founded the Chief Medical Officers Group and co-founded its Integrating Quality initiative to enhance quality, safety and cost-effective care delivery in academic medical centers. He is the author of over 110 scientific articles and chapters and the editor of nine medical textbooks, including the 1800-page Longnecker’s Anesthesiology and its associated website, Access Anesthesiology (http://www.accessanesthesiology.com). Dr. Longnecker is a fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists (UK) and member of the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. His other passions include space medicine, manifested by prior service on the NASA Human Exploration and Operations Committee and the NASA Space Life and Physical Sciences Research Advisory Committee.
Ravi Parikh, MD, MPP
Senior Clinical Advisor
Ravi is a resident in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Ever since serving as a hospice bereavement counselor in high school, Ravi has striven to improve seriously ill individuals’ quality of life, ensuring that people are not only dying better, but living better as well. He has worked to implement novel delivery models of care in advanced illness at the local, state, and national level. He has served on leadership boards of the American College of Physicians, American Geriatrics Society, and Massachusetts Medical Society, and has advised for-profit and non-profit organizations including AARP Services, Inc. and the Healthy Living Center for Excellence. Ravi worked on accountable care organization implementation as a Rappaport Fellow in the Massachusetts State House in 2010; his legislative recommendations earned commendation from the Massachusetts Speaker of the House and were incorporated into landmark payment reform legislation passed in 2012. Ravi’s research interests include delivery reform in advanced illness, cancer survivorship, and integrated palliative care. His work has been published in national venues including The Washington Post, The New England Journal of Medicine, The Journal of the American Medical Association, The Atlantic, and Readers’ Digest Magazine, and he is a staff contributor at the Now@NEJM Blog. He has received the AMA Foundation Excellence in Medicine Leadership Award and the American Geriatrics Society Edward Henderson Award. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Harvard College, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Ravi enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, tennis, and watching basketball.
Mark is C-TAC’s Strategic Advisor and serves as the inaugural Senior Fellow in Advanced Care and Health Policy for the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School.
For over 35 years, Mark has been an advisor to mission-driven healthcare organizations. His experience includes serving as partner in a leading global law firm, as general counsel and chief strategy officer of a leading health care services organization providing end-of-life care, and as a member of nonprofit Boards of Directors serving frail elderly and terminally ill individuals. He recently was a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Advanced Leadership Initiative. Mark has been a partner in the Washington DC and Miami offices of Hogan Lovells (formerly Hogan & Hartson), where he was a founding member of both its Health group and its Miami office.
Over three decades, Mark has worked to structure, develop and expand innovative programs serving the elderly and terminally ill, including PACE, home care, and hospice programs. He served on HHS’s first Negotiated Rulemaking Committee, which reached a consensus recommendation on the hospice wage index that was adopted by the Medicare program. He also has worked on public-private partnerships to establish new medical research institutes, including Scripps Florida on behalf of The Scripps Research Institute and JAX Genomic Medicine on behalf of The Jackson Laboratory.
Mark holds Juris Doctor and Master of Public Policy degrees from The University of Michigan, and served as Managing Editor of the Michigan Law Review. He has served as President (Board Chair) of Hospice Care of the District of Columbia, and as a Board member of Comprehensive Care Management Corporation (now CenterLight Health System), which operates PACE programs in New York City.
Brad Stuart, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Brad Stuart, MD, has more than 35 years of experience practicing internal medicine, palliative care and hospice. As a healthcare innovator with a national reputation, he has a career-long commitment to improving clinical and economic outcomes by promoting dignity, choice and responsibility. He was instrumental in creating the first Advanced Illness Management (AIM) program in the US with a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 1999, shepherded its growth over a decade at Sutter Health, and spearheaded the proposal that earned AIM a $13 million award in 2010 from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation. Brad drove AIM’s growth and development toward a national model now adopted by the American Hospital Association and many US health systems and championed by the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC), where he is a founding Board member. For over 10 years Brad has focused on delivery system redesign, specializing in outcome and financial metrics and analytics, physician and staff training, and value-driven cost reduction in advanced illness. A graduate of Stanford University School of Medicine, he was named to the 2013 HealthLeaders’ Media list of Top 20 national difference-makers and was profiled in Atlantic Monthly. He has been named Physician of the Year by the California Association of Health Services at Home. Brad speaks internationally on clinical, economic and spiritual issues in advanced illness.
Sandra Arias is the Partnership Associate for the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC). She supports the Partnership team in its continued efforts to build and expand C-TAC membership and strategic partners.
Prior to joining C-TAC, Sandra worked as a paralegal at My Sisters’ Place, a non-profit organization in Westchester, NY serving survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking in their legal cases. Sandra’s experience working with communities of diverse backgrounds has driven her to continue advocating for vulnerable populations, while addressing racial and socioeconomic barriers.
A first-generation college student, Sandra received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from The George Washington University, with minors in Spanish and Psychology in May 2018. Sandra currently resides in New York and continues to be involved with mentorship and volunteer opportunities within the Latinx community.
Senior Fellow in Advanced Care and Health Policy with the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School
Cheryl Matheis is C-TAC’s Strategic Advisor. She is a recognized expert in healthcare, aging and consumer law and policy, having served in various high-level positions with AARP for over 25 years. Some of her many highlights include: serving as AARP’s Senior Principal and Counsel for External Affairs; serving as Senior Vice President for Policy, Strategy & International Affairs; providing expert counsel to AARP’s Board of Directors and executives; and directing successful campaigns on Health Reform and Medicare Part D Implementation. As State Affairs Director, Cheryl oversaw work combating predatory lending, and excessive utilities fees, and securing increased access to Medicaid services. She was AARP’s lead representative with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, drafting and securing adoption of consumer protection provisions in model laws. For more than a decade, Cheryl led AARP’s federal regulatory advocacy, brokering agreements with industry and government that resulted in important regulations. She helped write federal standards for Medicare Supplement and Long Term Care Insurance. Throughout her career, Cheryl has worked closely with State Attorneys General, pursuing joint initiatives with the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School.
Cheryl received numerous awards during her AARP career, including the organization’s Outstanding Association Achievement award. She has appeared on major news outlets, including CBS, NBC, ABC, NPR, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.
Cheryl is a graduate of Manhattanville College and Catholic University Law School, where she was a member of the Law Review. She is admitted to practice before the District of Columbia federal and local courts and the United States Supreme Court.
Elder Angela Overton, M.Div.
Senior Advisor to the Interfaith and Diversity Workgroup
Elder Angela Overton, MDiv., an effective communicator of what it means to receive and share Divine Holy Love. Angela is widely known for her practical and dynamic teaching style which helps people apply the timeless truths of sacred text to their everyday lives. She has been preaching, teaching and providing pastoral care for 25 years. Angela resides in Louisville, Kentucky where she has served as an associate minister at Green Castle Baptist Church for 9 years and at Burnett Avenue Baptist Church for 3 years. She is a former Contract Chaplain for Norton Healthcare filling in for Staff Chaplains; where she provided spiritual guidance, emotional support and direct care to patients, family members and staff.
Sarah Park serves as the Partnership Manager at The Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC). In her role, she supports efforts in building and maintaining partnerships as well as growing C-TAC’s reach across the advanced illness care spectrum.
Prior to joining C-TAC, Sarah worked at the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism for the South Korean government to foster awareness for Korean arts and culture. There, she developed social media campaigns, conducted community events, and oversaw New York City engagement for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Sarah’s time at the Ministry grew her dedication for creative and genuine storytelling. She continues to pursue this passion at C-TAC by hoping to share the stories of those living with advanced illness.
Originally from New Jersey, Sarah received a B.A. degree in International Affairs and Global Public Health from The George Washington University in May 2018.
Rev. Tyrone Pitts
Senior Faith Advisor
An internationally published writer on racism, the Rev. Dr. Tyrone Pitts is the general secretary emeritus for the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. In addition for his work with the New Baptist Covenant, Dr. Pitts has also worked for racial justice under the auspices of the National Council of Churches, and currently serves as the chair of the Morehouse School of Religion Board of Directors.
Dr. Pitts is an ordained minister in the Progressive National Baptist Convention, having earned his doctoral ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Ohio.
Strategic Advisor, Community Engagement
Associate Director of Partnerships
Luke holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the George Washington University in International Affairs from the Elliott School of International Affairs with a minor in History. Luke was previously on the Board of Directors at the DC Center for the LGBT Community and served as the Chief Development Officer in charge of fundraising efforts.
In August 2020, Luke moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma to participate in the Tulsa Remote program, connecting remote workers from across the country and building capacity and opportunities in the Tulsa region.
Patient & Caregiver Voice
Tim Bauerschmidt & Ramie Liddle
Tim Bauerschmidt and Ramie Liddle are professional nomads who retired by age fifty to travel full-time in an Airstream travel trailer with Ringo, their Standard Poodle. They have explored every state but Alaska and consider Mexico's Baja California Peninsula the closest thing to home.
C-TAC Fellow and Member, Board of Directors
Shirley Roberson has a Bachelor Science in Health Sciences and has done extensive research in nutrition and alternative health care modalities. Beginning with patient care under Dr. Jewel Pookrum, Shirley has personally experienced the healing benefits of macrobiotic and vegetarian diets. From her own research in medical science and the latest studies, she has effectively counseled others on natural healing that includes diet, meditation, and spiritual practices. Over the years, Shirley has worked with the Hartford Church Health Ministry in the presentation of several health conferences. The Karmanos Cancer Institute frequently features Shirley as a model for patients with advanced breast cancer. Shirley is frequently sought after to participate in groups and retreats for cancer survivors and is the progenitor of the “Blue Chair” featured in the 2018 National Summit.
In addition, Shirley was a graphic designer for over 20 years with her own company located in downtown Detroit, and a technical editing analyst in sales and marketing for the Ford Motor Company. Before pursuing a degree in health science and nursing, she obtained several State certifications in patient care. Shirley obtained her BS degree in Health Sciences but due to the return of stage 4 cancer she was not able to complete the degree program in nursing. Shirley has survived stage 4 cancer for 12 years.
Andrew first joined the C-TAC team as a Marketing Intern in 2020 and now serves as a Communications Specialist. In addition to his work with C-TAC, he is pursuing an MPH in Health Policy at The George Washington University and serves as a Fellow at DC Health's Office of Health Equity. Originally from California, he earned an undergraduate degree from Pepperdine University, where his work as a student health advocate first sparked an interest in health policy and advocacy regarding vulnerable populations. He is passionate about advancing health equity at the intersection of healthcare and complex social needs through collaborative engagement and communication. Additionally, he believes in working within an anti-racist and critically conscious framework in order to achieve the goals and mission of organizations advocating for vulnerable populations. As a Communications Specialist, Andrew leverages his experience, passions, and perspective to amplify and advance C-TAC's mission through seamless and effective internal and external communications.
Senior Project Manager
Jennifer Driscoll has worked for the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC) as the Senior Project Manager since 2019.
Prior to joining C-TAC, Jennifer’s work experience has been concentrated in the Hotel Industry specifically Convention Management and Meeting Planning.
In 2019, Jennifer experienced two substantial loses in her life which has affected how she looks at people living with Advanced Illness and learning how important it is to be an Advocate for someone who is diagnosed with a terminal disease.
She is proud to work with C-TAC and be part of helping to ensure that all Americans with serious illness, receive comprehensive, high-quality, person- and family-centered care that is consistent with their goals and values and honors their dignity.
She is married to Mark Driscoll and they are the proud parents of Nikolaos.
Jennifer is also passionate about her dogs. She is a volunteer with PAWS and the proud mom of many foster fails.
Kristina Minior has worked with the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC) as the Operations Coordinator since 2016. While working behind the scenes, mostly on the financial side, she has learned a lot about advanced care and serious illness.
Kristina’s prior experience includes working at the Global Social Enterprise Initiative at the McDonough School of Business, the Management Office of the U.S. Embassy in Guyana, South America, and the History of Science Department at Harvard University. She has also taught elementary school science and worked and volunteered at environmental non-profit organizations. She has a B.A. from Tufts University and an Ed.M. from Harvard University.
The daughter of two international school teachers, she was born in the Dominican Republic, attended preschool in Iran, elementary school in Indonesia (New Guinea and Sumatra), middle school in New Jersey, and high school in Malaysia. Traveling is still one of her favorite things to do, especially now that she can share the experience with her husband and daughter.
National Summit Producer
CB Wismar is a writer and Creative Director who has written for film and television as well as both print and electronic media. He created events and experiences for Fortune 500 companies for over 30 years including TIME’s 75th Anniversary, the Xerox “drupa” Pavillion, 8 ASTA World Travel Congresses and nine Life@50+ events for AARP. He has created and scripted major events for United Way Worldwide, America’s Promise, MCI, ExxonMobil and Conoco-Phillips. Twice a finalist for the Academy Award in the short subjects category, his scripts have been nominated three times for EMMY Awards.
Partnerships and Programs Intern
Hamid Torabzadeh (he/him) is currently a senior at Long Beach Polytechnic High School in Long Beach, CA. He is passionate about advancing innovation, access, and quality in healthcare by leveraging technology, research, and policy to help people live happier, healthier lives. On his high school campus, he is Co-Captain of Poly’s robotics team, Poly Rabbotics, President of Poly Red Cross Club, Co-President of Poly Model United Nations, Co-Captain of Poly Boys’ Tennis, and Vice President of Poly Speech & Debate. On the healthcare front, he is currently an Intern for digital health start-up, SmartTab, where he is developing wireless ingestible drug delivery solutions that best serve patients and provide a personalized experience for those suffering from chronic diseases including Crohn’s Disease and IBD. He is also a Fellow at the The Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation and a former Summer Intern at Healthcare: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation. He plans on pursuing a pre-med track in his undergraduate education. Outside of his work, Hamid enjoys playing tennis, writing, reading, and traveling.
Joanna is a graduate student in the MBA in Healthcare Delivery Sciences program at The University of Tulsa. She currently serves as an Albert Schweitzer fellow, a research and development intern with LUNA Counseling & Community Care and part of the Champions of Aging cohort for 2021. Her graduate focus includes researching the infrastructure and resources surrounding aging-in-place models within her community- an initiative shaped by her own experience in advocating for family members with chronic illness. This, combined with her role as a patient advocate for uninsured and native populations during the onset of the COVID19 pandemic, has influenced her deep appreciation for holistic care and osteopathic medicine. She hopes to continue her journey of advocacy and continual learning by working with underserved populations as a physician. She enjoys writing, checking out too many books from her local library and finding water-related activities in her beloved landlocked home state- including swimming and splashing in the rain.
Partnerships & Programs Intern
Sabreen Huq is currently a third-year undergraduate student at Brandeis University, pursuing a B.S. in Health: Science, Society & Policy (HSSP) and Economics. Sabreen is the founder of an online public health news outlet, HealthBits, where she works to fill the gap in healthcare education through quick facts, resources, and action steps to help produce the next generation of zealous activists. At Brandeis, she researches the politics of reproductive health, specifically the correlation between black infant mortality rates and the social determinants of health. She is passionate about driving innovations in the healthcare ecosystem. She plans to apply her research and analytical skills by developing successful business strategies to help healthcare companies ensure efficient delivery of resources to those most in need. Her interests include hiking, writing, yoga, and working as an Elementary school tutor in Waltham, MA.