New Federal Nursing Home Commission Members Named

New Federal Nursing Home Commission Members Named

Top leaders in the long-term care industry lead the names announced Friday afternoon as members of the White House’s new Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes.

Neil Pruitt Jr., the Chairman and CEO of PruittHealth, and Jeannee Parker Martin, the president and CEO of LeadingAge California, are on the list, which includes 25 stakeholders with a wide variety of backgrounds. More than 800 applications were received, organizers

“The commission members are leaders who bring decades of experience in nursing home management as well as safety and quality,” said Jay J. Schnitzer, MITRE’s chief medical and technology officer, who will serve as the moderator of the commission. “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 new commission’s mission is to review nursing homes’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic and come up with recommendations for new regulations and procedures for future emergency situations.

While skilled nursing providers have viewed the commission as an opportunity to establish more support for new emergencies, regulators and traditional counterparts have made it clear that they see it as an opportunity to create more demands of providers across a variety of issues.

Commission members will meet for the first time next week and then weekly through July. They are to issue a report on Sept. 1 before the panel is dissolved.

The commission was announced at an April 30 White House ceremony that garnered wide attention. Its administration is being handled by the MITRE Corporation, a private contractor engaged by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

According to CMS, the commission was created to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the nursing home response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its stated intention was to include industry experts such as clinicians, infection control and prevention professionals, administrators, academicians, state and local authorities, medical ethicists, residents, families, resident/patient advocates. 

The group will work on developing recommendations on three fronts, the agency said:

  • Putting nursing home residents first by ensuring they are protected from COVID-19 and improving the responsiveness of care delivery to meet the needs of all residents to maximize quality of life for residents
  • Strengthening regulations to enable rapid and effective identification and mitigation of COVID-19 transmission in nursing homes
  • Enhancing federal and state enforcement strategies to improve compliance with infection control policies in response to COVID-19

Commission members will serve in a voluntary, unpaid capacity and must sign a non-disclosure agreement and conflict of interest disclosure form.

The full list of commission members includes:

  • 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




Laura Hofmann, MSN, RN – Director of Clinical and Nursing Facility Regulatory Services
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