PRAXIS Advisory Board

A passionate and dedicated group of healthcare experts – led by Chair Byron Thomashow, MD – guided the development of the PRAXIS initiative. In addition to their service on the full advisory committee, members serve on subcommittees to ensure the COPD Foundation is providing PRAXIS users the most accurate and impactful professional development opportunities, resources, discussion points, field highlights and policy updates available. Click on their names below to learn more about the experience this diverse group of professionals brings to this important effort.

Becky Anderson, RRTplus

Becky Anderson, RRT

Becky Anderson is a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) with 35 years of experience in providing care for people with chronic respiratory disease and acute respiratory compromise. She is currently the Manager of the Disease Management section of Respiratory Care Services at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, ND. In 2008, she became Sanford’s first Respiratory Therapy Clinical Specialist and was tasked with fostering an interdisciplinary team that cooperatively improved overall performance outcomes such as cost of care, readmissions and adherence to evidence-based care for COPD diagnosis-related groups (DRGs). She is co-chair of the Ad Hoc Committee for Respiratory Therapists and Disease Management for the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), chairperson of the Local Leadership Board for the American Lung Association in North Dakota and was recently selected to serve on the COPD Guidelines Work Group for Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI). In addition, she serves by gubernatorial appointment on the North Dakota Tobacco Prevention and Control Advisory Committee. Anderson’s beloved mother is living well with asthma/COPD overlap syndrome.

Kimberly Driscoll, PhDplus

Kimberly Driscoll, PhD

Kimberly Driscoll, PhD, is an assistant professor and a licensed pediatric psychologist in the Department of Pediatrics in the University of Colorado School of Medicine’s Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes. Her primary research interests involve adherence to medical treatment regimens, with a focus on using technology to optimize adherence and health outcomes in type 1 diabetes. Dr. Driscoll received an NIH K23 Career Development Award aimed at providing longitudinal intervention to improve insulin pump adherence among adolescents. Dr. Driscoll earned her PhD in clinical psychology from Florida State University. She completed her residency at Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota and her fellowship training at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center where she specialized in working with children with cystic fibrosis and their families.

Kathleen Fraser, RN-BC, MSN, MHA, CCM, CRRNplus

Kathleen Fraser, RN-BC, MSN, MHA, CCM, CRRN

Kathy Fraser is a registered nurse, a certified case manager, certified rehabilitation registered nurse and is board certified in case management with the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She holds master’s degrees in Nursing and Health Care Administration.

Fraser has been a nurse for 36 years beginning with hospital nursing which included emergency room and labor & delivery. While Director of Nursing, she was responsible for setting up and overseeing satellite ventilator units in hospitals across the country in conjunction with a long term care company and then transitioning to become their first internal case manager – 22 years ago, she created their first case management department. For 20 years, she has specialized in workers’ compensation and for 15 years she has worked as a regional director of Zurich Financial Services Managed Care Case Management Unit.

Fraser is the current Case Management Society of America’s National Board of Directors President through June 2016. She is also on the Role Delineation and Expert Panel Committees of the American Nurses Association Certification Council for Case Management. Kathy also serves on the Board of Directors of NTOCC (National Transitions of Care Coalition).

She was recently selected by Seak, Inc. and the National Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Medicine Conference as one of the “50 Most Influential People in Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Medicine.” She was the only registered nurse and the only case manager on the list. Fraser also has a personal passion for helping COPD patients and caregivers, based on her own experience with the disease. Both her paternal grandfather and father died of emphysema, and she was the primary caregiver for her father during the last year of his life. The cause is very near to her heart and she hopes to help improve outcomes for COPD patients through her work on this project.

Leonard Fromer, MD, FAAFPplus

Leonard Fromer, MD, FAAFP

Leonard M. Fromer, MD is the Executive Medical Director of the Group Practice Forum and an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Dr. Fromer is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a diplomat of both the American Board for Family Practice and the National Board of Medical Examiners. He is a past president of the California Academy of Family Physicians and has served as a member and Chairman of the American Academy of Family Physicians Commission on Health Care services for more than 10 years.

Fromer received his medical degree at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn and completed his residency at the University of California Irvine/Long Beach Memorial Hospital.

He also lectures extensively on the topics of health-system reform, the patient-centered medical home and the accountable care organization. He has been featured on CBS News, ABC News, and in the New York Times.

Danny Fu, PharmD, CDEplus

Danny Fu, PharmD, CDE

Dr. Fu is currently an ambulatory care clinical pharmacist supervisor at Carolinas HealthCare System NorthEast in Concord, NC. His practice sites include various internal medicine clinics where he collaborates with other health care providers to manage anticoagulation, diabetes, dyslipidemia and COPD. Dr. Fu attended the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy and is also a certified diabetes educator (CDE).

deNay Porter Kirkpatrick, DNP, APN-BC plus

deNay Porter Kirkpatrick, DNP, APN-BC

deNay Porter Kirkpatrick, DNP, APN-BC, is board certified nurse practitioner in adult health. She received her doctorate in nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing. Dr. Kirkpatrick currently serves as the Lead Nurse Practitioner for the UAB COPD Integrated Practice Unit, where she is responsible for leading a multi-disciplinary team whose goal is to improve care and reduce costs for patients with COPD. She has more than 20 years of experience as an adult health nurse practitioner.

Jerry A. Krishnan, MD, PhDplus

Jerry A. Krishnan, MD, PhD

Dr. Krishnan is Professor of Medicine (Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep, and Allergy) and Public Health (Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics), and Associate Vice President for Population Health Sciences in the Office of the Vice President for Health Affairs at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System. He is also a practicing pulmonologist specialized in the management of patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). He is Principal Investigator in Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)-funded clinical effectiveness trials to improve care transitions after hospital discharge (PArTNER), use of supplemental oxygen (PELICAN) and care of children with uncontrolled asthma (CHICAGO Trial). He is also an investigator in the PCORnet CAPriCORN and COPD Patient-Powered Research Network consortia and a Chair of the PCORI Improving Healthcare Systems merit review panel. He serves as the chair of the Steering Committee for the COPD Outcomes-based Network for Clinical Effectiveness and Research Translation (CONCERT), a principal investigator in the NHLBI-sponsored AsthmaNet consortium and site-principal investigator in the COPD Clinical Research Network. His area of expertise is delivery science, which seeks to identify care strategies that improve quality, outcomes and value of healthcare.

Valerie G. Press, MD, MPHplus

Valerie G. Press, MD, MPH

Valerie G. Press, MD, MPH is an assistant professor of medicine in the Section of Hospital Medicine at the University of Chicago. Dr. Press earned degrees in medicine and public health from the University of Michigan and completed her residency in the combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Program at the University of Chicago. She then completed the University of Chicago Hospitalist Scholars Fellowship. Her work primarily focuses on improving patient-centered education for underserved patients with chronic disease and limited health literacy through novel interventions in the community and hospital settings targeted at both patients and clinicians.

During her Hospitalist Scholars fellowship, Dr. Press led the development and implementation of the Chicago Breathe Project that provided inhaler education for five Chicago residency programs and two community sites serving minority patients with funding from the American College of Physicians Foundation. As part of the Robert Wood Johnson Finding Answers Disparities Research for Change project, she led a systematic review of interventions that aim to improve health disparities and care for minority populations with asthma. Since then, she has built her research program and received additional postdoctoral training through the National Institute of Health Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Randomized Behavioral Clinical Trials fellowship, the Medical Education Research, Innovation, Teaching and Scholarship (MERITS) Program and the National Institute of Aging Butler-Williams Scholars Program.

Most recently, she completed work funded by an institutional KM1 on the comparative effectiveness of educational strategies (intensive "Teach to Goal" vs. brief in-person or video education) designed to improve hospitalized patients' ability to self-manage their asthma and COPD through promoting correct use of respiratory inhalers. She has since received an NIH K23 to continue this work and expand it to examine the utility of video module education for inhaler use. In addition to her work with the COPD Foundation PRAXIS program, Dr. Press co-directs the University of Chicago COPD Readmissions Reduction Program and is a member of the Society of Hospital Medicine Taskforce for COPD.

Tina Shah, MD, MPHplus

Tina Shah, MD, MPH

Dr. Shah is a Pulmonary and Critical Fellow at the University of Chicago (UC) who is finding population-based solutions to health by bridging the gap between policy making and implementation. Combining her passion for pulmonary medicine with policy, she drafted the first Massachusetts State COPD action plan with the American Lung Association (ALA), a five-year statewide strategy to improve COPD care. In anticipation of the impending Medicare readmissions penalty expansion to COPD, she used national data to understand the COPD population targeted by the penalty, publishing this work in the leading respiratory journal Chest. Her expertise spans from policy to implementation and she uses lessons learned from the policy level to mitigate problems with policy implementation at the ground level. As a key COPD taskforce member, Shah developed and implemented a comprehensive program at UC to reduce COPD readmissions. She is the lead investigator of the inaugural 2014 UC Innovations Grant for her operational research to evaluate the program from both a cost and quality perspective.

Dr. Shah is also the immediate past Chair of the American Medical Association (AMA) – Resident Fellow Section (RFS), representing over 40,000 physicians. Under her leadership, the RFS created its first successful social media strategy, made resident physician wellness a national priority and launched the first large-scale study to identify the drivers of resident physician satisfaction. From her recent authorship of the AMA’s policy on electronic cigarettes to her frequent lobbying to Congress on behalf of both patients and physicians, she remains a tireless public health advocate.

She is a speaker for the ALA COPD Education Institute and is a Global Healthcare Thought-Leader at the Center for Healthcare Innovation, an international life sciences think-tank. Shah received her MD from Jefferson Medical College and her MPH from Harvard University. She will complete her fellowship in June 2016.

Gulshan Sharma, MDplus

Gulshan Sharma, MD

Dr. Sharma is a Sealy and Smith Distinguisher Chair, Department of Internal Medicine and Professor and Director of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine; he also serves as the Associate Chief Medical Officer of University of Texas Medical Branch Health Systems, Galveston Texas. He performs health services research to understand health care delivery of patients with COPD. Sharma uses systems engineering and health information technology to improve the care of patients with COPD. He was successful in obtaining the first center of excellence in COPD care by Joint Commission in the state of Texas. Dr. Sharma also serves on the regional collaborative for Region 2 to reduce readmissions under the 1115 Medicaid waiver demonstration project.

Jean Rommes, PhD plus

Jean Rommes, PhD

Dr. Jean Rommes, PhD is a COPD patient and advocate with intimate knowledge of and experience with the challenges for the care and treatment of patients. Rommes is a member of the Pulmonary Horizons program committee and is a speaker at Pulmonary Horizons conferences. She is a board member of the Patient-Powered Research Network. She is also a member of the American Thoracic Society's Public Advisory Roundtable Council and of the Medical and Scientific Committee for the COPD Foundation. She has been featured in a New York Times article about COPD. Dr. Rommes attended Michigan State University and Syracuse University. She is a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration; she has a MS in Student Personnel Administration and a BA in English.

Rhonda Rotert, MPAS, PA-Cplus

Rhonda Rotert, MPAS, PA-C

Rhonda Rotert, MPAS, PA-C is the Director of PA/NP services at McFarland Clinic in Ames, Iowa and specializes in pulmonology. She is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and is affiliated with Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames. Rotert is a Fellow of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and a member of the Iowa Physician Assistant Society.

Byron Thomashow, MDplus

Byron Thomashow, MD

Dr. Byron Thomashow is a Professor of Medicine Columbia University Medical Center and an attending physician at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital. He also serves as the chairman of the COPD Foundation Board of Directors. He serves as medical co-director of the Jo-Ann LeBuhn Center for Chest Disease on the Columbia campus and is medical director of the New York-Presbyterian Lung Volume Reduction program.

Dr. Thomashow received his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and completed his residency from St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center. He completed his fellowship at the Harlem Hospital Center in New York City.

J. Andrew (Andy) Woods, PharmD, BCPSplus

J. Andrew (Andy) Woods, PharmD, BCPS

Dr. Woods is Associate Professor of Pharmacy at the Wingate University School of Pharmacy and an Internal Medicine Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at Carolinas Medical Center – Main, an 874-bed teaching hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is an active member of the North Carolina COPD Taskforce where he is currently working in collaboration with other practitioners to develop a state COPD Strategic Plan. In his young career, he has authored several manuscripts and book chapters, focusing primarily on COPD and other pulmonary disorders. Of note, he has presented original research in COPD at both the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) Annual Congress and the American Thoracic Society International Conference.

Barbara Yawn, MD, MSc, MSPH, FAAFPplus

Barbara Yawn, MD, MSc, MSPH, FAAFP

Barbara P. Yawn, MD, MSc, FAAFP, is the Director of Research at Olmsted Medical Center and an adjunct professor in the Department of Family and Community Health at the University of Minnesota, both in Rochester, MN. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and winner of the AAFP's 1988 and 1989 Outstanding Scientific Paper Award.

Since 1987, Dr. Yawn has published more than 180 peer-reviewed articles, in addition to producing a nationally syndicated radio health program and writing a health column for community newspapers across the country. She has served as principal investigator for several clinical trials. Yawn received her medical degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine and completed her residency at the University of Minnesota at Fairview.

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