Leah Klusch, RN, BSN, FACHCA received her BSN from Capital University and continued graduate studies in curriculum at Ohio State University.  She is the Executive Director of The Alliance Training Center, a nonprofit educational foundation, providing solutions in the healthcare industry since1989.  Leah is a speaker and trainer,consultant and author, travelling nationally. She has also received her Fellowship from ACHCA in 2009 and received their Education Award in 2011.  Recently she has also launched a series ofMDS web-based programs for skilled nursing, rehab, specialty, hospice and home health.


Dr. Bryan K. Williams is a keynote speaker, consultant, and author, who is a noted authority on service excellence and leadership effectiveness. His passion is to serve others so they may better serve the world. Over the past several years, Bryan has provided training and consulting expertise to hundreds of organizations in over 20 industries ranging from Healthcare to Luxury Hotels. His work with clients has taken him throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Mexico, and the Caribbean.  Prior to this current venture, Bryan worked with the world-renowned Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company for ten years. In his last role, he was the Global Corporate Director of Training & Organizational Effectiveness. Before his corporate assignment, he held over 17 roles with the Ritz-Carlton, beginning as a busboy at The Ritz-Carlton,St. Thomas. Dr. Williams has earned degrees in Business Administration, and anAssociate’s Degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management, and Adult Education, including Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership. Bryan was a member of the Board of Examiners for the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. The Baldrige program administers the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award which is the highest recognition that a U.S. organization can achieve for performance excellence. It is awarded annually by the President of the United States to businesses from all sectors.


Katherine Almendinger is aResearch Director at the American Health Care Association. She supports AHCA’s members by distilling policy, legislative, and regulatory oversight changes into actionable information used for quality improvement and successful change navigation. She uses data to understand how these changes impact the long-term and post-acute care sector, our membership, and residents receiving care. Katherine is also responsible for the acquisition, management, and legal compliance of AHCA’s use of restricted datasets from CMS.

Prior to joining the AHCA team, Katherine worked at the Research Data Assistance Center (ResDAC), where she helped researchers use CMS data to improve program administration and the quality of care its beneficiaries receive. She also has experience in implementing an infectious disease biomarkers study, computational biology, research in genetic metabolic disorders and orthopedic biochemistry, and was a Peace Corps volunteer. She has worked at the University of Minnesota, the Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard, Boston Children’s Hospital, and MassachusettsGeneral Hospital. She volunteers at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and in after school science clubs to share her love of complex systems,problem solving, and using data to make the world a better place.

Education: Johns Hopkins University – DrPH (in progress), health policy & management; Harvard School of Public Health – MS, epidemiology; University of Minnesota – BS, chemistry, molecular biology.


Joseph Tomaino is a Principal in Grassi & Co.’s Healthcare Management Consulting Practice and has over 30years of healthcare management experience working in the not-for-profit, for-profit and government-sponsored segments. Joseph has worked with provider organizations and payers across the United States as an architect of value based care — improving clinical effectiveness along with efficient use of resources. Joseph uses data to understand populations being served and the effectiveness of organizations,then applies innovative design of structures and programs to improve their performance, and finally helps them transform themselves to operate successfully in managed care and accountable care reimbursement environments.

Joseph is a former Director in the New York office of RSM McGladrey, Inc. where he led the continuing care practice within the Healthcare Services Group. Joseph was also Chief ExecutiveOfficer of the Continuing Care Division of a major multi-hospital health system and was responsible for organizations with a total of $280 million a year in revenue.

Joseph also has experience working as a healthcare consultant where he worked with both health insurance companies and healthcare providers re-engineer processes and prepare for managed Medicaid reimbursement models for long term care.  He also serves as a Patient Care Ombudsman for the Office of the United States Trustee, monitoring healthcare businesses as they restructure under bankruptcy.

Joseph has served on the board of directors and executive committee of Westchester Medical Center, a tertiary academic medical center, and of HEALTHIX, a regional health information exchange. Joseph also served on the graduate faculty of Pace University, theCollege of New Rochelle, and Columbia University where he was assistant dean of the school of nursing and director of clinical affairs.

Joseph received his Masters of Science degree in nursing administration from the College of New Rochelle and his Bachelors of Science in Nursing degree from The Catholic University of America. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and the Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors.


A founding member of the firm since 1980, Joe is a Certified Public Accountant with forty four years of practice in the healthcare industry, Joe has lectured extensively throughoutNew York State on reimbursement concepts and financial reporting. His lengthy involvement with associations and committees dealing with healthcare include the Hospital Financial Management Association and the Technical Advisory Committee for the Nursing Home Accounting and Reporting Manual. Joe was sought out by the New York State Department of Health, Office of Health Systems Management, as a member of the technical advisory group responsible for developing a new reimbursement methodology. He is a former chair of the Long-Term Care Committee for the Healthcare Finance Management Association (HFMA) and a member of the HFMA Annual Institute Committee, Hudson ValleyChapter. He also served as a director of the HFMA Hudson Valley Chapter, and has lectured for nursing home administrator courses at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University.

Joe earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Pace University. He is a member of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the healthcare Finance Management Association.


Suzanne Breit has been a certified public accountant since 1988 and has been a member of the firm since 1985. Along with celebrating her twentieth anniversary with the firm in2005, Suzanne was promoted from Senior Tax Manager to Director in November of that year. In 2006, Suzanne made the transition from the tax department to the audit department and was promoted to Partner. She is known as the “care setter” because she sets the standard at HMM for dedication to her work and her concern for the professional needs of her clients. Her responsibilities include auditing (of both healthcare facilities and employee benefit plans), accounting and providing tax services to HMM’s clients. Along with her auditing experience of over twenty years, Suzanne has extensive experience in tax preparation, research and has successfully represented clients in tax audits. Suzanne has been involved in matters relating to more than fifty healthcare facilities throughout New YorkState. Her work requires an extensive practical knowledge of the Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement systems, and the rules and regulations relating those systems.

Suzanne also manages her firm’s employee benefit plan (EBP) practice, bringing value to clients by staying in front of ever changing EBP regulations. She has spoken on numerous times regarding current issues affecting employee benefit plans and fiduciary responsibilities.  Suzanne is a member of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants Healthcare Committee, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. She is also an active member of the NYSSCPA’s Healthcare Committee, NYSSCPA’s Employee Benefits Committee and the NYSSCPA’s Suffolk ChapterEmployee Benefits Committee.

She also gives back to the community by serving on the board of Dominican Village, a not-for-profit retirement and assisted living community, along with serving on several of its committees.


James earned a degree in Accounting from Hofstra University. He is a member of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. James joined HMM in 2004, earned his Certified Public Accounting designation in 2009 and is currently a partner at the firm. He has presented at various association conferences throughout the years and has been a regular at HMM’s annual seminar for most of his career.

James has been involved in matters relating to more than 100 healthcare facilities throughout New York State and is knowledgeable in:

  • Budgetsand projections
  • Financial analyses of operations
  • Preparing and auditing financial statements and third-party cost reports
  • Grant and certificate of need applications
  • Sales of facilities including valuation and closing adjustments
  • OMIG audits, including successfully challenging proposed OMIG adjustments
  • Regulatory issues such as Executive Order 38 and NYS’s withdrawal of equity limitations
  • Medicaid reimbursement and rate appeals
  • Universal Settlement


Brian P. Lee joined HMM in 2008,earned his Certified Public Accounting designation in 2011 and is currently a partner at the firm. Brian has experience working in matters relating to healthcare facilities throughout New York State and the Northeastern United States. He has experience with budgets, projections and operational studies as well as preparing and auditing financial statements, auditing employee benefit plans and preparing third-party cost report submissions. Through his work,Brian has successfully leveraged technology and data to develop successful strategies and bring results for clients.

As part of the New York State’s Medicaid Redesign efforts, Brian has assisted in the preparation of successful Partial Cap Managed Long Term Care (MLTCP), Certified Home Health Agency (CHHA), and Certificate of Need (CON) Applications.

Brian earned a Bachelor ofScience degree from Loyola College in Maryland (now Loyola University Maryland) and a Master of Business Administration Degree from Hofstra University. He is a member of both the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

He is a member of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants


Maureen is the President of Celtic Consulting,LLC and the CEO and founder of CareTransitions, LLP; a post discharge care management service provider.

Recognized as an industry leader in clinical reimbursement for Long-Term Care, Maureen has been a registered nurse for over 30 years with experience as an MDS Coordinator, Director ofNursing, Rehab Director and a Medicare biller.

Maureen is the immediate past-president for the Association of Long Term Care Financial Managers, is theMedicare & MDS 3.0 Advisor for several state affiliates, and is an advisor to the J13 Medicare contractor National Government Services Provider Advisory Group. She is also an Editorial Advisor for HCPro, a national publisher for post-acute care providers. She sits on the Board of Directors for the American Association of Post-Acute Care Nurses (AAPACN) and has served as an ExpertAdvisory Panel member for American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordination(AANAC). McCarthy was recently presented the ACHCA 2018 Education Award, at theACHCA Annual Convocation & Exposition in Orlando, FL.

McCarthy is certified in the resident assessment process, QAPI and Director of Nursing Services, by nationally recognized organizations and holds Master Teacher status in all three certifications.

Maureen and her associates at Celtic Consulting regularly provide consultation focusing on 5-Star QualityImprovement Programs, Quality Auditing, Clinical Care Management, PDPM/PPS/MDS/CMI Services, Compliance Solutions including Medicare Compliance Auditing and Custom Education to meet any organization’s needs. 

Publications authored by McCarthy include:

  • The Long Term Care Compliance Toolkit (2011)
  • ICD-10 Compliance Process Improvement and Maintenance for LTC (2015)
  • Medicare Audits: A Survival Guide for SNF (2016)
  • 5-Star Quality Rating System Technical Users Guide (2017)
  • A fifth publication on Medication Reconciliation due out in Fall of 2018


Stephen B. Hanse, Esq. serves as President & CEO of the New York State Health Facilities Association / New York State Center for Assisted Living (“NYSHFA / NYSCAL”). NYSHFA/NYSCAL is a statewide association of providers of long-term care services, caring for individuals of all ages in proprietary, not-for-profit, and government-sponsored skilled nursing, post-acute, rehab, adult care and assisted living communities across New York. Prior to his service as President & CEO, Mr. Hanse served as Vice President & Counsel for NYSHFA/NYSCAL. At NYSHFA/NYSCAL, Mr. Hanse also represents the New York State Society of Physician Assistants.

Prior to joining NYSHFA/NYSCAL, Mr. Hanse was with the law firm of Featerstonhaugh, Wiley & Clyne in Albany where he represented healthcare organization, healthcare providers and professionals, and Fortune 500 companies before New York’s Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government.

Prior to joining the law firm of Featherstonhaugh, Wiley & Clyne, Mr. Hanse served as Vice President of the Energy Association of New York State. Earlier in his career, Stephen served in several policy positions in the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly.

Mr. Hanse is active in the American Health Care Association, the New York State Bar Association, the Board of the Albany Law School Government Law Center and the Board of Albany Law Elder Law and Special Needs Subcommittee. Mr. Hanse is admitted to the Bar in New York State, the United State District Court for the Northern District, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Among other things, Mr. Hanse serves as a Trustee for the Village of Coxsackie, Attorney Coach for the Coxsackie-Athens High School Mock Trial Team and a Coach for Henry Hudson Youth Soccer. Stephen is married to Maureen Hanse and together they have four boys.


Cornelius D. Murray is a senior partner in the law firm of O’Connell and Aronowitz, in Albany, New York.  He is a member of the firm’s Health Law practice and supervising partner of its Appellate Law, Constitutional Law, andIndian Gaming practices.  He has represented many clients in the health care industry and is currently general counsel for the New York State Health Facilities Association where he focuses on issues involving complex Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement issues, regulatory compliance and certificates of need.  He has served as Chairman of the Administrative Law Committee of the New YorkState Bar Association and the Legal Task Force of the American Health CareAssociation.  A Fellow of the NYS BarFoundation, Mr. Murray is a past president of the Albany County Bar Association and is currently a member of the Albany County, New York State Bar Foundation,as well as the American Health Lawyers Association.  He is listed in the publication The Best Lawyers in America.

Mr. Murray is a graduate of theUniversity of Michigan Law School and a cum laude graduate of Harvard University.  He is admitted to practice in the U.S.Supreme Court; U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals; all U.S. District Courts in New York State, and all New York State Courts.


Mr. Heim is Executive VicePresident of LeadingAge New York (formerly the New York Association of Homes and Services for the Aging).  He has been with the Association in a variety of roles since 1989.  He oversees the Association’s public policy efforts including policy development, regulatory affairs, member communications and litigation activities.

LeadingAge NY represents nearly500 not-for-profit and governmental providers of senior living and services throughout the state, including nursing homes, home care, senior housing,assisted living, managed long term care, retirement communities and other agencies.

Prior to his LeadingAge NY employment, Mr. Heim was a fiscal analyst with the NYS Department of Health and a credit analyst for a commercial bank. He earned his Bachelor’s in Finance from Siena College in Loudonville and an MBA from the University at Albany. Mr.Heim has served on numerous boards and advisory groups, and is a frequent speaker at conferences, seminars and other forums on long term care policy issues.


Tom has considerable experience in leading teams in the evaluation, development and execution of tailored designs and solutions that provide energy savings promote energy conservation and minimize a facility’s impact on the environment. Tom’s facility profiles have included all vertical markets and he is very familiar with all types of facilities and the processes used within those facilities.  He has received dozens of awards from ASHRAE and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)for his innovative energy projects. His outstanding communication skills ensure that our customers are continually updated throughout the project process,ensure Siemens’ team is meeting scheduled milestones, and submitted deliverables meet the expectations of the customer. Tom coordinates project communications and meetings, and identifies any project risks and concerns throughout the entire process between all parties. Tom has been with Siemens for 20 years and has over 40 years of industry-related experience

KeyProjects: Nursing Homes & AssistedCare:  Van Rensselaer Manor Nursing Home, Fort Hudson Health Services, Hoosick Falls Healthcare, Countryside Nursing, & The Lott Residence

Education:   Clemson University ¾ Engineering Studies State of Georgia ¾ Low Voltage License


NemcyDuran, BSN, RN, RAC-CT, CPRA, LNC, QCP, CDP, is President and CEO of DuranConsulting Services, a health care education and consulting firm in New York specializing in Minimum Data Set 3.0.  Considered a leader in her field, she has received many awards, serves as a member of the AmericanAssociation of Nurse Assessment Coordination, American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants, American Association of Director of Nursing Services (AADNS), American Association of Nurse Attorneys (Affiliate), Association of CertifiedFraud Examiners, Philippine Nurses’ Association, New York/Philippine Nurses’Association-America, among others.  She is also a teacher, trainer and accomplished national speaker on various MDS and Health Care Topics.


Dr. Hallett received hisBachelor of Science in Pharmacy from St. John’s University, went on to earn his Masters in Business Administration from Adelphi University, and completed hisDoctor of Pharmacy studies through Shenandoah University.  Most recently, Dr. Hallett was re-credentialed as a Certified Geriatric Pharmacist by the Commission for Certification in Geriatric Pharmacy (BCGP).

Shortly after completing hisMBA, Dr. Hallett founded Guardian Consulting Services, Inc., which is dedicated to providing Consultant Pharmacist services to Nursing Homes, Adult DayPrograms, Assisted Living Facilities, and Group Homes for the Disabled. His company currently provides clinical consultant pharmacist services for more than 40,000 patients in over 250 healthcare facilities and programs throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

Dr. Hallett speaks regularly on medication use issues, including lecturing extensively on Medication Use in Geriatrics, Psychotropic Medication Use, Long Term Care Survey Issues, and has served on faculty at Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, NY as a clinical instructor inPharmacology.

Dr. Hallett currently serves asa Board Member for the New York Chapter of The American Society of Consultant Pharmacists.


Michael Lewensohn has been providing healthcare consulting services to medical and nursing home providers throughout New York State for almost 40 years. These services include managed care contracting and analytics,comprehensive medical record compliance reviews, and alternative medical staff modeling. 

Michael is an active speaker on various topics for nursing home and medical advocacy groups.  Michael also serves in an advisory capacity to an Association of MLTC and Managed Care Health Plans, and the NGS Medicare ProviderAdvocacy Group.  Michael was recently appointed as a member of the NYSDOH VBP Task Force.


Sheryl has been active in the national SNF community for over 30 years.  She is a member of the HealthCare Compliance Association’s Long Term Care Committee, working with representatives throughout the United States on protocols and policies effecting medical review and payment concerns. As a trainer of the MDS since1990, she was a founder of AANAC, a national organization serving over 15,000 members associated with the assessment and care processes in skilled nursing facilities.  Sheryl has worked with the Centers for Medicare &Medicaid Services (CMS) on multiple projects, including serving on theTechnical Expert Panel to evaluate the implementation and impact of the RUG PPSon SNFs.  She was a member of the clinical standards and training team for the federal DAVE project and served as a Data Monitor for the federal STRIVE project.  She also served as an MDS 3.0 Manual reviewer and continues to contribute to that project.


Vincent joined Zimmet Healthcare in 2011 as a “Junior Reimbursement Analyst,” and quickly became an integral member of the firm’s Reimbursement Audit division. As the industry began its transition from “volume to value,” Mr. Fedele was promoted to his current position as Director of Analytics in 2016, charged with leading the firm’s nascent “Risk Management” department.

Vincent’s expertise is merging publicly available data with facility-specific, accretive outcomes to develop(and manage) a provider’s “Risk Profile.” This proprietary ZHSG measure serves to mitigate the provider-exposure endemic to shared savings initiatives and episodic payment models. His “fee-for-service” roots enable Vincent to reconcile the conflicting incentives in a world where volume and value run parallel, to find the resonant balance best suited to the culture and vision of our unique provider clients.

Mr. Fedele lectures extensively on diverse topics associated with SNF reimbursement, risk and compliance. He isa graduate of Boston University and earned his MBA from Rutgers University.


Barbara Speedling, Quality of Life Specialist, is a New York based quality management consultant who provides education, training and support to long-term care providers in the development of programs and services to meet the needs of individuals with dementia, mental disorders, brain injury and complex psychosocial needs. In 2014, she authored,“Why is Grandma Screaming?” a guide to improving the quality of life. Barbara is also a Master Trainer for the OASIS dementia education program.