Senior Leader Past Participants

Richard W. Besdine

Richard W. Besdine, MD, has devoted his career to geriatrics through university-based and public health care policy work for more than 35 years. He has trained more than 125 physicians in geriatrics. Dr. Besdine is Professor of Medicine and Public Health, Director of the Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research, Director of the Division of Geriatrics in the Department of Medicine, and first Greer Professor of Geriatric Medicine, at Alpert Medical School and the School of Public Health of Brown University. He is Chief of Geriatrics for Lifespan, and the other Brown-affiliated hospitals. He is also Chief Medical Officer for Healthcentric Advisors (formerly Quality Partners) of RI, the Quality Improvement Organization for the State of RI. Dr. Besdine also served as Interim Dean of Alpert Brown Medical School (2002-2005). He is past President of the American Geriatrics Society, and was first CMO for HCFA (now CMS) and Director of its Quality Bureau.

Audrey Chun

Audrey Chun, MD, completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. She then finished her fellowship in geriatrics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine where she also served as Chief Fellow. As a recipient of a Health Professions Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) funded Geriatric Academic Career Award (GACA), she was able to pursue her clinical interests that include geriatric assessment, medical education, and delivery of care in the outpatient setting. She has been featured in the Frontline documentary “Living Old” and has participated in numerous panel discussions on aging in America and its implications. Currently, Dr. Chun is Vice Chair for Clinical Services in the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, and Director of Coffey Geriatrics at the Martha Stewart Center for Living at the Mount Sinai Medical Center.

Tara Cortes

Tara A. Cortes, PhD, RN, FAAN is the Executive Director of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing and a professor in Geriatric Nursing at the New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing. Dr. Cortes has developed collaborative models with advanced practice nurses and physicians in traditional as well as nontraditional settings to enhance the care of the American elderly population. The consistent theme across her work is the essential role of advanced practice nurses improving the quality of life in specific patient populations and the interdisciplinary nature of health care. Dr. Cortes is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, a Past Fellow of the Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellows Program and a 2013-2014 Health and Aging Policy Fellow. She received the Distinguished Alumni Award from New York University, where she completed her PhD and Masters degrees.

Gwendolyn Graddy-Dansby

Gwendolyn Graddy-Dansby, MD, FACP,has been the Medical Director for PACE Southeast Michigan (PACE SEMI), since 2001. PACE SEMI (formerly known as Center for Senior Independence) was the first Program of All Inclusive Care of the Elderly site in the state. Dr. Graddy, in collaboration with the Interdisciplinary Team (IDT) at PACE SEMI developed its Comfort Care program, focused on identifying appropriate patients early and enrolling them into Comfort Care. The goal is to improve and maintain not just quality of life, but quality of death and dying.

Dr. Graddy completed her undergraduate education at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1980. She graduated from Wayne State University School of Medicine in 1984. She joined the Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) in 1987 and is Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Geriatrics and is a Fellow in the American College of Physicians. Dr. Graddy is a member of Straight Gate International Church in Detroit and the Department Head for Gate Care Health Ministry. She speaks extensively on healthy aging, caregiving and Alzheimer’s Disease. She has also begun to study the role that PACE has on controlling hospital utilization through its effective care coordination practices.

Barry Ensminger

Barry Ensminger has devoted his professional life to advocating for better health care, especially preventive and primary care for poor women and children, in jobs with government and non-profits at the national, state and local levels: Public Citizen Health Research Group and the Center for Law and Social Policy in Washington, DC; Director of Policy and Counsel for New York City Council President Carol Bellamy; Executive Director of Planned Parenthood of New York City; General Counsel of the March of Dimes and the NYC Human Resources Administration; consultant to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NY Community Trust and other health philanthropies and community-based organizations; Vice President for External Affairs at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn.

Barry is still a student, seeking to match an advocate’s zeal with engaged scholarship. He teaches health policy and politics as an adjunct professor at the New School. He has been a lecturer in health law at Rutgers, an associate clinical professor at the Mailman school of public health, a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and the Institute for Health Policy Studies at UC San Francisco Medical School. He studied health care in India, South Africa and Haiti and is currently on the board of End of Life Choices New York and the Center for Social Epidemiology. Barry is a graduate of Stanford  University and U/Penn law school. He lives in Brooklyn and Woodstock NY with his wife, Jill.

David Labby

David Labby, MD PhD was the founding Chief Medical Officer of Health Share of Oregon, a Coordinated Care Organization  (CCO) financially and clinically accountable for the physical, behavioral and dental care of 220,000 Medicaid enrollees in the Tri County region around Portland, Oregon. He was at Health Share from 2012, when CCOs were launched as the key element in the state’s health care transformation efforts, until retiring in July 2015. He continues to work with Health Share as their Health Strategy Adviser as well as consulting with other CCOs.

Before coming to Health Share, Dr. Labby was Medical Director for CareOregon, the state's largest Medicaid Managed Care Plan, where he was responsible for developing and overseeing the health plan's care management program for members with complex conditions. Starting in 2006, he initiated and led the plan’s “Primary Care Renewal” Initiative to support key network providers in moving to a "medical home" model of care that includes integrated behavioral health. Dr. Labby directed Health Share’s “Health Commons” program, a three year federally funded “Innovations Grant” initiative focused on creating a regional system of care for high needs/high cost individuals. Dr. Labby is a General Internist who practiced in Primary Care.

Marie Monrad

Marie Monrad is the principal at Monrad Strategies, a consulting firm that provides strategic planning, facilitation, and support for interest based decision-making, performance improvement efforts and leadership development. As an experienced leader in the health care and public sector fields, Marie has particular expertise in helping diverse stakeholders find common ground to move critical priorities in complex decision-making environments.

Prior to Monrad Strategies, Marie served for ten years as the Vice President at Kaiser Permanente where she was responsible for helping lead the largest labor management partnership in the United States with a coalition of 27 different local unions across 10 states providing health services to over 12 million people. Prior to working at Kaiser Permanente, Marie worked for twenty years with the largest labor unions representing public sector and health care workers across the country developing public policy positions, leading organizing and legislative campaigns that focused on low-wage workers in child care, health care and the public sector.  Prior to that, Marie worked with community groups, women’s organizations, tribal nations and coalitions advancing economic empowerment.

She is currently working with the State of California’s Workforce Development Board to support their $10 million initiative to further High Road Training Partnerships in six different industries across California, identifying innovative approaches to help labor and management jointly address the workforce needs for the future of their industries with a particular focus on equity for low wage workers. Marie has a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a certificate in Executive Leadership from Harvard’s Business School.

Barbara Riley

Barbara E. Riley currently works as a public policy consultant focusing on aging and disability, human services, health care and social justice issues. She previously served as the Director of the Ohio Department of Aging having been appointed in 2007 by Governor Ted Strickland. Prior to that, she served in various leadership roles at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services including two years as Director. In that capacity she was responsible for overseeing the Medicaid, Child and Family Services, Child Support, Income Assistance, Unemployment Compensation and Workforce Development programs.

Riley started her work in Ohio with the Legislative Budget Office managing the health, human services and justice sections. Before moving to Ohio, she was an administrator of various non-profit service organizations in Michigan and Missouri. She has her undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State University and a graduate degree in public policy and political science from Washington University in St. Louis.

Martha Rounds-Watson

Martha Rounds-Watson, MS, APRN, GCNS-BC, has been passionate about geriatric healthcare for over 25 years and currently serves as a Clinical Innovation Specialist/Magnet Coordinator at Newport Hospital in Newport, Rhode Island. In her career, she has been responsible for a broad range of geriatric initiatives for frail elders at acute care hospitals, in adult day care and  at assisted living organizations. She has been involved in initiatives to manage common hospital acquired conditions such as falls, pressure ulcers, CAUTI, restraints and delirium. She also has been involved in education of staff in efforts to improve overall geriatric knowledge, especially in delirium management, pain management and palliative care initiatives. Martha holds an MS degree from the University of Rhode Island as an APN Geriatric Clinical Nurse Specialist. She also holds a certification from ANCC in Pain Management.