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About the Speakers

Melanie Cozad, Ph.D., assistant professor of economics, joined Furman in 2012. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in economics at the United States Naval Academy with honors and distinction (2002), an MBA from Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma (2007), and an MA and PhD in economics from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville (2010, 2012).

She served as an Officer in the United States Marine Corps from May 2002-June 2007. Her research focuses on quantifying the behavioral responses of individuals, firms, and states to health and environmental policies.

Currently, she is examining the ways in which health insurance expansion might impact the efficiency of health care delivery at the state level, the effects of a health insurance mandate on hospital utilization and input decisions, and responses to fuel price increases. 


James (Jim) Deyling is president, Private Business Division, for BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina. In this capacity, he directs overall efforts of the BlueCross BlueShield private business division to achieve desired market growth and operational results. He is responsible for managing and leading all activities related to sales, marketing, operations, provider contracting and provider management, underwriting and managed care activities and programs. 

A longtime employee of BlueCross BlueShield, Deyling has served as senior vice president for Group & Individual Division, Major Group Division, and as vice president for Marketing & Sales. He first came to BlueCross BlueShield South Carolina in 1992, and prior to that he was a director at BlueCross BlueShield of Ohio.

Deyling currently serves on several boards, including Goodwill Industries, Providence Hospital Development Board, TCC of South Carolina, Companion Benefit Alternatives, and Midlands Interfaith Homelessness Action Council.

A veteran of the Vietnam War, Deyling is a graduate of Thomas Edison College and received a Master’s in Business Administration from Cleveland State University.


M. Carmela Epright,Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy at Furman University. During the 2012-2013 academic year she served as a visiting scholar to the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, where she studied with the Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship Program.  Epright received her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in philosophy and an M.A. in applied ethics from Loyola University, Chicago. She teaches courses in ethics, bioethics, feminist philosophy and the philosophy of psychology.

In 2004 she was awarded the Alester G. Furman, Jr. and Janie Earle Furman Award for Meritorious Teaching at Furman University. In addition to her work as a professor, Dr. Epright serves as a clinical ethicist and ethics consultant to numerous medical entities, including the Medical University of South Carolina, South Carolina Medical Association, and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. She has published articles in bioethics, feminist philosophy, moral theory, and moral psychology. She is currently working on a book that examines the ways in which physicians conduct competency and criminal responsibility evaluations, as well as how they diagnose and treat the criminally mentally ill. 
 

Hugh Greene is president and chief executive officer of Baptist Health, a comprehensive community-based health system in Jacksonville, Florida, comprised of five hospitals.  Greene is the immediate past chair of the Florida Hospital Association Board, and he currently serves as a member of its Executive Committee and its Legislative Advocacy Committee.  He also currently serves on the Regional Policy Board of the American Hospital Association and was appointed by the governor to the Low Income Pool Council, where he continues to serve.

Greene has been active in civic affairs in Jacksonville, most recently co-chairing the economic development transition committee for Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown. He has served numerous times on the Board of Directors for the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, including as chair in 2011 and chair of the Cornerstone economic development division in 2007. He also currently serves as vice-chair of the Board of Trustees for the University of North Florida. 

In addition, Greene has worked in numerous leadership roles providing community service in Northeast Florida. He has been active with the United Way of Northeast Florida where he has served as chair of the Board of Trustees and as 2006 Campaign Chair. Greene was the founding chair of JaxCare, a healthcare program for the working uninsured.  Additionally, as board chair for the Sulzbacher Center, which provides comprehensive services to the homeless men, women, and children in Northeast Florida, he received the Excellence in Healthcare Award for his efforts on behalf of healthcare for the homeless.  Currently, he also serves as a member of the Healthcare and Bioscience Council of Northeast Florida, where he chairs the Access to Care work group. 

Greene is the recipient of several awards, most recently the 2012 Humanitarian Award by OneJax and the 2013 Distinguished Business Leader Award by the University of North Florida’s Coggin College of Business. In 2009, he was named “Grassroots Champion” for Florida by the American Hospital Association in 2009 for his political involvement on behalf of hospitals.

Greene holds a master’s degree in Health Administration from the Medical College of Virginia and a master’s degree of Divinity from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.  He is a magna cum laude graduate of Wake Forest University where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.


Stuart Hamilton, M.D., is founder and director of the Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center, a community based, primary medical care safety-net system that was granted Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) status in 1993. Operating from fifteen clinical sites in Richland, Lexington, Newberry, and Fairfield counties, the Cooperative’s services include pediatrics, family medicine, obstetrics/gynocology, dentistry, pharmacy, and family counseling. All services are available with a sliding fee scale that is based upon family size and income, and no one is denied services due to an inability to pay. Since its founding, the Cooperative has contributed to a reduction in the service area’s infant mortality statistics, a reduction in inappropriate hospital emergency department usage, and a reduction in total hospital days in the chronically ill population.

Hamilton is also associate medical director of Select Health of South Carolina, Inc., South Carolina’s first and largest Medicaid managed care provider for low-income individuals. Select Health covers more than 200,000 lives (2011) and as medical director, Hamilton is responsible for supervision of quality assurance, physician credentialing, utilization management, disease state management, medical formulary development, and multiple compliance issues.

A decorated retired Lieutenant Colonel, Hamilton has also received numerous awards for community service including the state’s highest civilian award, the Order of the Palmetto (2007); SC March of Dimes’ Heroes in the Field (2008); and the City of Columbia’s Humanitarian of the Year award (2010).

Hamilton is a graduate of Trinity College and received his M.D. from Columbia University. He began his residency at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, and later was chief pediatric resident at Richland Memorial Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina.
 

Anthony (Tony) Keck is the director of Health and Human Services for South Carolina Governor Nikki R. Haley. He has more than twenty-four years of experience in health care management, consulting, policy and academics in the United States and Latin America. Prior to his appointment in South Carolina, Keck served three years in the administration of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal as health and social services policy advisor to the governor, and chief of staff and deputy secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals.

In the private sector, Mr. Keck managed and consulted for organizations such as Johnson & Johnson where he was director of Operations for Latin American Consulting and Services; Ochsner Clinic New Orleans, as director of Management Engineering; and worked as administrator of St. Thomas Health Services, a community clinic.

Keck also serves on the Board of the National Association of Medicaid Directors, has an appointment at the Tulane University School of Medicine Department of Family and Community Medicine and was recently appointed to the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Governance and Financing of Graduate Medical Education.

Keck holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial & Operations Engineering and a Master’s of Public Health from the University of Michigan. He is completing his doctoral thesis in health systems management at the Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine focusing on physician workforce issues. 


Thornton Kirby is president and chief executive officer of the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA). In this role he oversees a wide range of activities on behalf of the state’s 92 hospitals, including policy development and legislative advocacy, as well as efforts to improve the quality and safety of patient care. Central to SCHA’s vision is a simple truth: hospitals are expected to deliver excellent patient care in a safe environment.

Under Kirby’s leadership, the Hospital Association has been nationally recognized for its work to transform health care in South Carolina.  Through the work  of the SCHA and its member hospitals, South Carolina now ranks in the top five among all states in delivering timely care for patients suffering severe heart attacks. In addition, South Carolina is recognized as one of the fastest improving states in health care quality, and South Carolina hospitals ranked fifth among all states for bonuses earned under Medicare’s new Value Based Purchasing program. In 2013, SCHA also undertook its most ambitious effort to date, launching a first-in-the-nation partnership with The Joint Commission to transform South Carolina’s hospitals into highly reliable systems of care.

Kirby serves on a number of state and national boards including the Boards of the Joint Commission Resources, the SC Student Loan Corporation, the South Carolina Office of Rural Health, and AHA’s Regional Policy Board for Region IV.  His previous positions included executive secretary to the Board of Trustees / executive assistant to the president at Clemson University, vice president of Tuomey Regional Medical center and attorney at Nexsen Pruet Jacobs & Pollard.

A health care attorney and a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. Kirby is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of South Carolina School of Law. 


Serving as Furman University’s interim president since July 1, 2013, Dr. Carl Kohrt is a successful business executive and an accomplished academic with deep Furman ties.

Dr. Kohrt enjoyed a 29-year career at Eastman Kodak Company, joining the company as a scientist and retiring as executive vice president and chief technical officer, where he was responsible for research laboratories on four continents. From 2001 until his retirement in 2008, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Battelle Memorial Institute, one of the world’s largest, non-profit research and development corporations.

Dr. Kohrt has been a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow, a National Science Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow at the James Frank Institute, a Woodrow Wilson Fellow (honorary), a Sloan Fellow, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.  He also has been a longstanding member of Furman’s Board of Trustees, serving as its chair from 2006 to 2008.

Kohrt was graduated magna cum laude from Furman in 1965 with a B.S. degree in chemistry, and earned a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Chicago and a Master’s degree in Management Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He and his wife, Lynne, are the parents of three sons, and they have 10 grandchildren.


George Khushf, Ph. D., is professor of philosophy, and the director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of South Carolina.  As part of his responsibilities with the Center for Bioethics, he conducts monthly rounds in administrative and organizational ethics for senior administrators of the Palmetto Health Alliance, and consults on emergent ethical issues in health care practice.  Before moving to his current position at USC, he served as managing editor of the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy and as a research associate of the Center for Ethics and Health Policy at Baylor College of Medicine (1993-1995).  

Khushf’'s research focuses on areas where there is overlap between clinical and administrative professionals in healthcare, including systems based quality improvement initiatives, safety and security, budgeting, and use of new technologies.  He also conducts research on philosophical and ethical aspects of emerging science and technologies, including human-machine interfaces, tissue engineering, and synthetic biology.  He serves on the boards of a dozen journals, and has worked with several national and international initiatives to develop standards in emerging areas, most recently with a National Institutes of Health sponsored working group to develop guidelines for human subjects research with nanomedical products.

Khushf received a B.S. in civil engineering from Texas A&M University (1983), and an M.A. (1990) and Ph.D. (1993) in religious studies and philosophy from Rice University.  

 

Armin Meyer, M.D., is a pulmonologist with Pulmonary Disease Associates and assistant professor of Medicine at Greenville Health System-University Medical Center.  He is director of Greenville Health System’s Pulmonary Hypertension Program, Pulmonary Function Lab and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program, Pulmonary Resident Clinic and Smoking Cessation.  Previously, he has served as senior house officer, registrar, and staff physician at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary in the United Kingdom, and as house physician at both Westmorland General Hospital in the United Kingdom and Urban Hospital in Berlin, Germany.  His areas of interest include integrating palliative care in the Intensive Care Unit setting and implementing evidence-based medicine into clinical practice through protocols and guidelines.

Meyer is Board certified in pulmonary, critical care, internal, and hospital and palliative care medicine.  He received his MD from the University of Würzburg and the Free University of Berlin, completed an internal medicine residency at Cleveland Clinic Foundation and a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care at Duke University. 

 

Mark S. Nantz is the Chief Executive Officer of Bon Secours Saint Francis Health System in Greenville, South Carolina. His responsibilities include executive leadership for St. Francis Downtown with 277 beds; the 93-bed St. Francis Eastside; the Optimum Health Network; St. Francis Physician Services; and, the Saint Francis Foundation. In addition Mr. Nantz is the Market Leader for the Bon Secours Charity Health System in Suffern, New York and provides executive leadership for Good Samaritan Hospital with 370 beds; Bon Secours Community Hospital with 187 beds; the 73-bed St. Anthony Hospital; the Schervier Pavilion; and, Mount Alverno Assisted Living.

Previous to his arrival at Bon Secours Saint Francis in January 2010, Mr. Nantz was
with Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, North Carolina serving as President, Carolinas Medical Center – Northeast in Concord. Other leadership positions with Carolinas Medical Center-Northeast included Executive Vice President and Chief Operating/Chief Financial Officer. Nantz also worked with KPMG Peat Marwick from 1987-1991.

He is a Certified Public Accountant in North Carolina, a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, and Member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Healthcare Financial Management Association and South Carolina Hospital Association.

Currently, Nantz is a member of the following Boards: Greenville Chamber of Commerce, South Carolina Hospital Association, Upstate SC Alliance, Metropolitan Arts Council, Peace Center, Artisphere and LiveWell Greenville.

Nantz is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, North Carolina, and obtained his masters of health administration from Pfeiffer University.
 


Lee Pearson, DrPH., has worked in public health in South Carolina for the past 20 years.  He has managed hospital-based community health programs and has led or served on numerous statewide initiatives.  His interests span from chronic disease prevention to aging services.  He holds a doctorate in public health from the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health, where he serves as adjunct faculty for the graduate program in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior.

Pearson has extensive experience in academic administration and grant management and is currently the director of operations for the South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health—an independent, non-profit organization.  The Institute serves as a non-partisan resource for state and local officials on matters of health policy and acts as a neutral convener around the state’s public health priorities.  


Shelli Quenga, Director of Programs, joined the staff of Palmetto Project in June 2010 as the director of the Children’s Health SC, focused on enrolling the 100,000 children who were eligible but not enrolled in South Carolina’s free health insurance program, and continues to spearhead the organization’s healthcare access initiatives. Shelli is also an adjunct professor at Trident Technical College in the Department of Community, Family, and Child Studies focusing on special education. She holds a master’s degree in counseling from Webster University and a bachelor’s degree from Vassar College. She continues to work with children with special healthcare needs and their parents as an applied behavior analysis therapist and advocate for educational, community, and medical services.

Quenga is the former director of a regional non-profit focused on children with special healthcare needs and a Nova-award winning three-county healthy community initiative. She is the recipient of the South Carolina Hospital Association Community Service Award and the award for Outstanding Contribution to the Lives of Children by the Tri-County Association for the Education of Young Children. Also, she volunteers with special needs children on horseback and is moderately fluent in Spanish.

 

Mark Quinn is director of Public and Member Relations at The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina and has had a long career as a professional journalist in South Carolina. Quinn worked in television journalism for more than 16 years, 13 of which were spent in Columbia, South Carolina. For 11 years, he worked in various on-air capacities for one of the most successful NBC affiliates in the country, WIS-TV. In 2007 he began work with South Carolina Educational Television and is the former host of ETV and ETV Radio’s weekly news and public affairs program, The Big Picture and The Big Picture on the Radio. Among the highlights of his tenure with SCETV was his on-site coverage of both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions of 2008 and the statewide gubernatorial, congressional, and constitutional officer debates in 2010.
 

 

John C. Ropp III, M.D., F.A.A.F.P.  is Chairman of the South Carolina Coalition for the Care of the Seriously Ill (SC-CSI).  He is Board-certified in Family Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine and is a practicing physician with Colonial Healthcare in Hartsville, S.C.  After graduating from The Citadel, Dr. Ropp attended the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and then completed his residency at McLeod Family Medicine in Florence, S.C.  He is serving a third term on the Board of Trustees at the South Carolina Medical Association (S.C.M.A.) and became involved with the founding of the Coalition while sitting on the S.C.M.A. Bioethics Committee.  In his private practice, Dr. Ropp cares for many older patients and has been medical director for three area hospices and skilled nursing facilities.  He is married to Caroline Ropp and they have five children: Elizabeth, Johnny, David, Mary Grace, and Sarah Catherine.  Dr. Ropp serves as an Elder at Hartsville Presbyterian Church, volunteers monthly at the Free Medicine Clinic of Darlington County, and is currently enrolled in a Healthcare M.B.A. program at George Washington University. 
 

Pamela Roshell, Ph.D., was appointed by the Obama Administration as regional director of Region 4 of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in July 2012, bringing nearly 20 years of experience in health care policy, public administration, and gerontology. She is the first African American woman to hold this position in Region 4.

As a presidential appointee, Roshell provides executive leadership as the primary representative for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for intergovernmental and external affairs with federal, state, local and tribal government organizations, and other external partners in the Region. In her role, Roshell is responsible for the eight southeastern states, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee, as well as six federally recognized tribes; making Region 4 the largest of ten regions.

Since accepting her appointment, she has focused on advancing the Administration’s priorities to enhance the health and well-being of Americans by providing for effective health and human services including: fostering sound, sustained advances in the sciences underlying medicine, public health, and social services, increasing efficiency, transparency, and accountability of HHS programs and strengthening the nation’s health and human services infrastructure and workforce.

Using these priorities as a guide, Roshell has addressed many critical and complex regional challenges, internally and externally. The Region has advanced several important issues and continues to lead national implementation of Agency policy and programs.  She has incorporated the One HHS philosophy into daily operations in order to better serve the communities in Region 4. Under her leadership, Region 4 has incorporated several innovative programs and initiatives focused on expanding the healthcare conversation to members of the federal family and non-traditional partners.

Prior to her appointment as regional director, Roshell served in a variety of leadership roles at AARP including state director in Georgia and South Carolina. A native of South Carolina, Roshell is a graduate of Columbia College, and received a Master’s of social work with a specialty in administration from the University of South Carolina. She has built on that specialty with the completion of a PhD in social policy analysis, planning and administration from Clark Atlanta University. She and her husband Win are the proud and involved parents of one daughter.


Angelo Sinopoli, M.D., vice president for Clinical Integration and chief medical officer of Greenville Health System, came there first as a resident in 1982. After completing his residency in 1985, he returned in 1987 as a member of the Pulmonary Critical Care faculty. As chair of the Internal Medicine Department, Sinopoli oversees approximately one hundred physicians in various practices, including Internal Medicine faculty and specialists system-wide, 40 hospitalists and the Internal Medicine residency program.

Sinopoli is Board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine and Critical Care Medicine. He is a member of several professional societies, has authored numerous abstracts and journal articles, and has presented at multiple conferences. He holds a professorship position at the University of South Carolina School Of Medicine. He has earned several teaching awards from the Medical School.

Sinopoli earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of South Carolina and a medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina. Following his internship at GHS, he completed a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.