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Members of the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services

Member Biographies

Chair: Ronnie Musgrove, JD

Former Governor of Mississippi
Jackson, MS
Term Expires: April 2019

Ronnie Musgrove has dedicated his life to serving the people of Mississippi. For more than two decades, he’s taken a leading role in the State to improve education, expand economic development, and ensure that government lives within its means.

During Ronnie Musgrove’s tenure as Governor of Mississippi, he helped create more than 52,000 new jobs, brought more than $14 billion in new investments to the state, invested in creating rural jobs, and brought Nissan to Mississippi, which was the largest economic development project in state history.

He also passed historic education funding reforms to ensure every school got its fair share. His administration enacted the largest teacher raise in state history, strengthened school accountability standards, and made Mississippi the first state in the nation to have a computer hooked up to the Internet in every classroom.

Governor Musgrove’s dedication to providing quality public education and creating economic opportunity for all Mississippians has received national attention. His history-making efforts in providing health insurance for children (from under 1,000 to over 60,000), expanding civil defense, and working with the Mississippi National Guard have not gone unnoticed. Having received many accolades, he is the recipient of a Distinguished Service Award from the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C.

A strong fiscal conservative, Governor Musgrove balanced the budget without raising taxes by ordering state agencies to cut their budgets by five percent and cut spending by $50 million in his first budget, while managing to increase funding for education.

Governor Musgrove has served in many leadership positions throughout his career of public service. During his time as a state senator, Governor Musgrove chaired the Education Committee. In 1998 he was recognized nationally as a leader among his peers, serving as chair of the National Conference of Lieutenant Governors. He served as chair of the Southern Regional Education Board, as the chair-elect for the Southern States Energy Board, on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and the Executive Committee for the Democratic Governors’ Association, where he served as vice chair of policy.

Governor Musgrove is chair of the Mississippi Center for Legal Services Advisory Group and is the Senior Policy Scholar in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. In March 2014, Gov. Musgrove was reappointed by U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, to serve as a board member on the National Assessment Governing Board, of which he is a past-chairman of the NAEP 12th Grade Preparedness Commission. He is also past co-chairman of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee.

Governor Musgrove is active in volunteerism working with both Habitat for Humanity and Stewpot Community Services. He and his wife, Melody, are active members of Parkway Hills United Methodist Church of Madison. They have four children and reside in Madison, MS.

Steve Barnett, DHA, CRNA, FACHE

President & CEO of McKenzie Health System
Lake Orion, MI
Term Expires: August 2023

Steve Barnett has served as a hospital chief operating officer and chief executive officer over the past 17 years. Currently Steve is serving as the President and CEO of McKenzie Health System, a rural Critical Access Hospital in Sandusky, Michigan.

Steve has been a member of the Michigan Health and Hospital Association since 2001, served and chaired their Legislative Policy Panel, and sits on the Small and Rural Hospital Council. He also serves on numerous healthcare related boards, is an Assistant Professor in the Central Michigan University’s College of Medicine, and is an Adjunct Professor at Saginaw Valley State University.

Steve began his healthcare career as a Respiratory Therapist, went to Oakland University and received his bachelor’s degree in Nursing, which led to a master’s degree in Nurse Anesthesia from Southern Connecticut State University and finally earned his Doctorate in Healthcare Administration from Central Michigan University.

Kathleen H. Belanger, MSW, PhD

Nacogdoches, TX
Term Expires: March 2020

Kathleen Belanger, MSW, Ph.D. retired as Professor of Social Work at Stephen F. Austin State University, is a member of the Rural Policy Research Institute’s Human Services panel, and a consultant with the National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment at AdoptUSKids. Her experience, research and numerous publications address rural human services, particularly racial disproportionality in child welfare, working with faith communities, building sustainable programs in and with communities, demystifying research and data, addressing foster and adoptive parent recruitment and retention challenges, and building evidence in practice. Her awards include the CWLA’s Champion for Children Award for her work in rural child welfare.

Tyrone (Ty) F. Borders, PhD, MS, MA

University of Kentucky
College of Public Health’s Department of Health Services Management
Lexington, KY
Term Expires: April 2019

Tyrone Borders earned doctoral and master’s degrees in health administration, as well as a master’s degree in epidemiology from the University of Iowa, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Kansas. His research focuses on the conduct and analysis of population-based studies to identify subgroups of persons at risk for poor health and problems obtaining health services, with an emphasis on rural populations. His research has been funded by AHRQ, RWJF, NIAAA, and NIDA and has culminated in numerous peer-reviewed articles. Borders serves as editor of The Journal of Rural Health, the world’s foremost academic publication devoted to rural health research. In 2007, he was inducted as a Fellow into the American College of Epidemiology.

Kathleen Dalton, PhD

Retired, Department of Health Policy and Administration, School of
Public Health
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC
Term Expires: April 2019

Dr. Dalton’s experience in health care finance spans roles not only as researcher but also as manager, consultant and hospital trustee. Following a 20-year career in health care finance she earned her doctorate in health policy from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina. After completing a CMS-funded dissertation on payments to teaching hospitals under the Medicare prospective payment system, she remained at the University for five years as a research faculty member, where she was a frequent investigator with their program on rural health policy and also conducted multiple studies under contract to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. After joining RTI in 2005 she continued to focus on Medicare payment policy and the effects of reimbursement incentives on care delivery.

Molly Dodge

Chancellor, Ivy Tech Community College
Madison, IN
Term Expires: August 2023

Molly Dodge serves as the Chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College campus in Madison, Indiana. Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system. Ivy Tech has 19 campuses throughout Indiana. Ivy Tech serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana.

Prior to this role, Dodge served in dual roles as director of adult education and director of the Clearinghouse and special projects at the Madison-based, non-profit River Valley Resources, Inc. As Clearinghouse director, she created a multi-tenant nonprofit center focused on the provision of employment and wrap around services to families living in poverty. The Clearinghouse includes permanent and rotating office space for nonprofit service providers; training classrooms; computer lab; a 3,200 square foot food pantry; and an information resource and referral center. In her role as the director, Dodge spearheaded a capital campaign to raise $2 million to purchase and renovate a building and recruited tenants and needed services to the facility. As director of River Valley Resources’ adult basic education program, Dodge coordinated delivery of adult education, foundational skill development, career pathways, and academic and career counseling services to adults and out-of-school youth.

Carolyn Emanuel-McClain, MPH

CEO, Rural Health Services, Inc.
Santee, SC
Term Expires: March 2020

Carolyn Emanuel-McClain graduated UNC-School of Public Health (Chapel Hill, NC) with a Master’s in Public Health (Administration) in 1979. She was employed by Pembroke Medical Services, a free standing NHSC site) immediately upon completing graduate school (1979) until 1981. In 1981 she founded the Lumbee Medical Center in Pembroke and was responsible for obtaining the first PHS Section 330 funding for a health center in Robeson County, NC. In 1985 Lumbee Medical Center formed a consortium with other health care facilities in the county and the name became Robeson Health Care Corporation with the principal office located in Pembroke, NC. In 1986 Emanuel-McClain became the Executive Director of Family Health Centers, Inc. in Orangeburg, SC where she remained for the next 15 years and was responsible for the health center being the first CHC to become JCAHCO accredited in SC. From June 2001 until August 2009 she worked as an independent consultant with numerous health centers in SC and the southeast. She also worked as a consultant with the SC Primary Health Care Association and for Management Solutions Group, Inc. Effective August 14, 2009 Carolyn Emanuel-McClain became the Interim Chief Executive Officer for Rural Health Services, Inc., d/b/a/ Margaret J. Weston Community Health Centers in Clearwater, SC and was named the CEO in April of 2010. Mrs. Emanuel-McClain has served as a past Chair of the National Association of Community Health Centers and as President of the SC Primary Health Care Association.

Kelley Evans

Chief Executive Officer,
Beartooth Billings Clinic,
Red Lodge, MT
Term Expires: April 2019

Ms. Evans responsibilities include the overall administrative management and operation of the Beartooth Billings Clinic. Beartooth Billings Clinic is a private not for profit 501(c) 3 located in Red Lodge, Montana. Beartooth Billings Clinic is an integrated provider based clinic with a ten bed Critical Access Hospital. The facility was replaced in 2010, upgrading an original Hill Burton era facility to a state of the art organization. As with many rural organizations, Beartooth Billings Clinic encompasses the services of Home Health, Hospice, Rehabilitation (OT, ST, PT), Public Health, Endoscopy, Skilled Swing Bed, Same Day Care, Children’s Center, and specialty visiting clinics such as orthopedics, general surgery, cardiology, urology, gastroenterology, and dermatology.

Constance (Connie) E. Greer

St. Paul, MN
Term Expires: March 2020

Constance Greer was employed by the State of Minnesota from 1980-2014 in the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) in state Departments in which OEO was located. (Minnesota Department of Human Services, St. Paul). From 1991-2014, she served as the Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity. Duties included leadership, management, policy development, and supervision of state and federal anti-poverty programs. This included Community Action, Homeless Shelters (HUD), Food Banks and Food Shelves, The Emergency Assistance Food Program (TEFAP) (USDA), SNAP Outreach and SNAP-Ed. She was also responsible for legislative and budget activity, planning and policy analysis and evaluation. From 1980 to 1991, she held positions in the Office of Economic Opportunity including administration, monitoring, training and technical assistance for Head Start, Head Start/Child Care Collaboration, Energy Assistance, Weatherization, Food Shelves, Homeless Programs, Lead Abatement, and Community Action Agencies. From 1973-1980, she was employed by the Bi-County Community Action Agency, Bemidji Minnesota, in positions including Head Start Director and Director of Personnel and Operations. She supervised and managed the delivery of agency programs including Energy Assistance, Weatherization, and Senior Citizen Services. Managed and supervised a staff of sixty persons. Constance has a BA in Social Work from the University of Minnesota.

Joe Lupica, JD

Chairman, Newpoint Healthcare Advisors
Phoenix, AZ
Term Expires: August 2023

Joe Lupica is a veteran healthcare industry advisor. During his career, he has served a variety of nonprofit, corporate and public-sector clients, providing governance advice, affiliation development, and scenario planning. He is best known for his focus on the community and municipal hospital sector of the industry.

Mr. Lupica pioneered an award-winning community collaboration model to build consensus when not-for-profit or public-sector hospital leaders consider community objectives and evaluate options. In dozens of projects, his teams have produced innovative alignment structures for the transformation of hospitals and healthcare networks. He has also provided guidance to help local hospital leaders stand firm against mergers that would not advance their institutions or the communities they serve.

Mr. Lupica was President of Stroudwater Capital for seven years prior to joining Newpoint. He formerly served as a Regional Vice President for one of the nation’s largest hospital systems. During his Wall Street career, Mr. Lupica was a senior officer of Kidder, Peabody & Co., where he served as Vice Chairman of KP Global Markets, President of Kidder Peabody China, and SVP of Corporate Business Development. Prior to joining Kidder, he was Vice President and Executive Director of Corporate Finance at Goldman, Sachs and partner in a major Connecticut law firm, where he was a leading business litigator.

Mr. Lupica served in the Reagan White House as Special Assistant for Intergovernmental Affairs, and served a cabinet officer as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. During his federal service – as now – he has focused on local and regional issues faced by community officials and their constituents.

Mr. Lupica earned his JD and BA, cum laude, from Cornell University.

Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., MD, MPH, MBA, FAPA

Executive Director
Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, The University of Texas
Austin, TX
Term Expires: March 2022

Dr. Martinez is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc., and a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties. A native Texan and licensed psychiatrist, Dr. Martinez is the fifth executive director and the first Hispanic to lead the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health since its creation in 1940. The foundation’s grants and programs support mental health services, research, policy analysis and public education projects in Texas. As chief executive officer, he oversees the vision, mission, goals, strategic planning and day-to-day operations of the foundation. The Hogg Foundation is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Martinez holds an appointment of Associate Vice-President within the division. He is also a clinical professor with an appointment in the university’s School of Social Work; and holds an adjunct professor appointment at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry. His academic interests include minority health, health disparities, and workforce issues.

Carolyn Montoya, PhD, CPNP

Associate Professor,
College of Nursing, University of New Mexico,
Albuquerque, NM
Term Expires: April 2019

Carolyn Montoya is currently the coordinator of the Family and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Concentrations at the University of New Mexico College of Nursing. Ms. Montoya received her bachelor’s degree from the College of Nursing at UNM and her master’s degree in nursing from Yale University. She maintains national certification through the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board. As a National Health Service Corp scholar, she completed two years as a pediatric nurse practitioner in Brownsville, Texas before returning to her native New Mexico. In addition to her academic duties, Ms. Montoya has maintained a continuous clinical practice at Pediatric Health Services in Albuquerque. She has been active with the New Mexico Nurse Practitioner Council for several years, serving two terms as president of the Council. Ms. Montoya was elected as a state affiliate representative for the American College of Nurse Practitioners in the spring of 1997 and was later elected as president for the 2001-2002 year. In 2001, Ms. Montoya was selected as a fellow for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Primary Care Policy Fellowship. She was also president of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners for the 2007-2008 year.

Maria S. Poepsel, CRNA, APRN, PhD

Columbia, MO
Term Expires: March 2020

Maria “Sallie” Poepsel has a broad-based experience in healthcare for approximately 41 years encompassing clinical, education, research, leadership and administrative practices. Within the last 21 years she has been providing anesthesia services in level I trauma, ambulatory surgery center, office-based and rural hospital settings. She has focused her practice in rural critical access hospitals since 2000, and has been a tireless advocate for her profession and more importantly, for access to healthcare services in rural and medically underserved areas. She has served in many committees both nationally and at the state level, including the state’s DHSS task force for hospital licensure and regulations to review and revise the rules and regulations and make these consistent with the federal CMS regulations. She has participated as a volunteer anesthesia provider overseas through the Medical Missions Foundation Inc. based in Kansas City, MO, to provide much needed surgical and anesthesia services in third world countries. She is a consummate professional and has been a lifelong learner, completing her PhD in Public Policy and Administration specializing in Healthcare Services.

Chester A. Robinson, DPA

Associate Professor
Jackson State University
Jackson, MS
Term Expires: March 2019

Chester Robinson is currently a full-time Associate Professor at Jackson State University. He previously taught at Tennessee State University for 5 years and has had fourteen years experience as an adjunct professor at five universities. He has taught courses for graduate and under graduate students in the following subject areas: Public Administration, Public Policy, Program Implementation, Social Science Research Methods, Public Health, and Organizational Behavior. His prior work experience was as a senior program manager, with fifteen years of experience effectively managing Federal health care and social insurance programs. This career provided him with broad experience in legislative development, policy formulation, program implementation and evaluation techniques. For four years, he was responsible for the management of the Medicare health care provider education and professional affairs program.

Mary K. Rolf, MBA, MHA

President/Chief Executive Officer, Home Care of Central New York, Inc.
Bridgeport, NY
Term Expires: March 2020

Kate Rolf is a senior healthcare executive with over 20 years of leadership experience, which is complemented by her master’s in business administration, certification as a Home Care Executive, fellowship from the American College of Healthcare Executives, and licensure as a New York State Nursing Home Administrator. She is President and Chief Executive Officer at Home Care of Central New York, Inc. (dba VNA Homecare), an eight company long term/community-based home care network with over 500 employees that includes Visiting Nurse Association of Central New York, CCH Home Care & Palliative Services, Home Aides of Central New York, Independent Health Care Services, the Eldercare Social Day Program, two charitable organizations, the VNA Foundation of Central New York and Eldercare Foundation as well as VNA Homecare Options, a managed long term care (MLTC) plan that operates in 48 counties throughout New York State. Strengths include strategic planning, financial management, streamlining operations and customer service. Ms. Rolf currently serves on Board of Directors for Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA), LeadingAge New York where she is also their Home and Community Based Service Cabinet Chair, the Long Term Care Executive Council and Selective Services. She has received countless honors and awards, most recently the Home Care Association of New York State’s 2015 Advocacy Award and the Excellence in Health Care Award for Innovations in Health Care.

John J. Sheehan, CPA, MBA

Retired Partner
Chesterfield, MO
Term Expires: April 2019

John Sheehan joined BKD in 1977 upon graduation from the University of Missouri—St. Louis. He retired from BKD on June 1, 2012. BKD is a national CPA and advisory firm with its largest industry concentration in services to health care providers. The BKD National Health Care Group works with thousands of providers nationwide, including hospitals and health systems, long-term care and skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, rural health clinics and physician groups and other health care organizations. These providers depend on BKD’s health care professionals for assurance services, tax advice, financial and strategic planning, financing assistance, reimbursement services and compliance assistance. He was a member of the BKD National Health Care Group and specialized in serving BKD’s hospital clients. He began his career providing both audit and consulting services, eventually focusing exclusively on consulting services. His experience, which spans more than 34 years, includes Medicare, Medicaid and operations consulting. He prepared and reviewed cost reports, Medicare exception requests and appeals, financial feasibility studies and operations studies. He also provided litigation support and managed many varied financial services for health care industry clients.

Mary T. Sheridan, RN, MBA

Bureau Chief, Bureau of Rural Health & Primary Care, Idaho Dept. of Health and Welfare
Meridian, ID
Term Expires: March 2020

Mary Sheridan, RN, MBA, is the Bureau Chief of the Bureau of Rural Health & Primary Care, Division of Public Health, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, since 2003. She has many years of clinical nursing experience and provides leadership for federal and state programs designed to improve healthcare access in rural and underserved communities. Mary actively leads a number of rural initiatives in Idaho’s Statewide Healthcare Innovation Plan, a healthcare transformation effort.

Benjamin (Ben) H. Taylor, PA, Ph.D.

Martinez, GA
Term Expires: March 2020

Ben Taylor is a graduate of the Army’s Physician Associate Program through the University of Oklahoma. Additionally, he holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Virginia State University, a Master’s degree in Emergency Medicine from the University of Nebraska and a Doctorate in Health Sciences from Walden University. He lectures in multiple medical venues and currently practices in multiple clinics in South Carolina and Georgia. He continues to be active in PA advocacy.


Robert L. Wergin, MD, FAAFP

Physician, Milford Family Medical Center, Memorial Health Care Systems
Milford, NE
Term Expires: August 2023

Dr. Robert Wergin is a family physician in Nebraska and was President and Board Chair of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He practices the full spectrum of family medicine at the Milford Family Medical Center, from obstetrics to geriatrics. He also serves as medical director of Crest View Care Center. 

Dr. Wergin currently serves on the board of the Milford Public Schools Foundation, is medical director for the Milford volunteer fire department, team physician for Milford Public Schools, and sideline physician for the Nebraska Shrine Bowl. He also serves as Milford city physician, and is an instructor of advanced cardiac and advanced trauma life support. In addition, he is a volunteer faculty member at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, teaching medical students and residents on their rural rotations.

Peggy Broussard Wheeler, MPH

Vice President
Rural Health & Governance, California Hospital Association
Sacramento, California
Term Expires: April 2019

Ms. Wheeler currently serves as Vice President of the Rural Healthcare Center (RHC) at the California Hospital Association. RHC represents small and rural hospitals and other members of the sponsoring organizations who provide service to rural populations in the State of California. Ms. Wheeler is responsible for developing, and executing public policies, legislation and regulations on behalf of rural hospitals at the state and national levels. Previously Ms. Wheeler served as the Health Policy Analyst for the California Legislative Rural Caucus. In this capacity, she staffed the 45 legislative member Rural Caucus by conducting research and providing analyses of relevant issues that affect individuals, families, and communities in rural California.

Date Last Reviewed:  April 2019