The PASRR Technical Assistance Center helps states fulfill the goals of Preadmission Screening and Resident Review

Meet the Team

Edward Kako                        Sherry Snyder
Dustin Dodson                       Pam Raby                               Julie Stanley
Sam Fante                             Richard Sanderson                 Frank Tetrick
Betty Ferdinand                     Nancy Shanley                        Andrea Womack
Carla Lasley                                                                                          

Edward Kako (Director of PTAC),

Dr. Kako is a Senior Associate at Mission Analytics Group. Dr. Kako has experience managing policy analysis, quality assurance, report writing, technical assistance, and strategic planning, both as project director and as a task lead on various projects. Dr. Kako’s recent and current work has focused on approaches to rebalancing long-term care. Currently Dr. Kako serves as Mission Analytics Project Director on the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Technical Assistance contract (under subcontract to New Editions Consulting), which is designed to provide technical assistance to states wishing to add or augment their community-based Medicaid-funded long-term services and supports. Dr. Kako also serves as Project Director for Mission’s Balancing Incentive Program (BIP) – No Wrong Door contract with CMS (also under subcontract to New Editions Consulting). BIP is an Affordable Care Act initiative that provides incentives to states to rebalance their long-term care systems toward community-based services. Under Dr. Kako's leadership, Mission Analytics developed an implementation manual for the program, informed by interviews with key informants and consultations with technical expert panels, to help states implement required structural changes; Mission Analytics continues to provide technical assistance to BIP grantees. Dr. Kako also serves as Mission Analytics Project Director of the Preadmission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR): Technical Assistance to States project with CMS (under subcontract to Truven Health Analytics), which is designed to help states fulfill PASRR's promise to help individuals with mental illness and/or intellectual and developmental disabilities avoid inappropriate institutionalization. In this role, Dr. Kako led the development of the PASRR Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) website, Dr. Kako recently led a project helping the state of Colorado to simplify its system of Medicaid-funded long-term services and supports (LTSS), both through an analysis of policy and through modeling the costs of a simplified system. Dr. Kako has an M.Sc. in Community and Regional Planning from Temple University in Philadelphia and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Dustin Dodson,

Dustin Dodson, MBA, has over 20 years of experience working in nursing facilities and hospitals. Dustin has an in-depth knowledge of how the PASRR process works (and doesn't work) across the continuum of care and services.Having served on the State of Colorado Community Living Advisory Group (the Colorado implementation plan of the Olmstead Act) and other initiatives, such as No Wrong Door and Money Follows the Person, Dustin has an appreciation of the impact of an effectively administered PASRR program and understands the relationship of PASRR to fiscal responsibility, person-centered planning, and broad stakeholder roles. Dustin serves as a consultant to the PASRR Technical Assistance Center where the primary scope of work is to identify opportunities for PASRR-related functions, improvements, and how the PASRR is a leverage point for furthering the Olmstead Act.

Over the past 20 years, he has overseen the training of nursing facility and hospital case managers on the required elements of completing PASRR Ievel II screening tools and how to appropriately interpret the results. Additionally, he serves as a resource to the PTAC offering the provider perspective.

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Sam Fante, 

Sam Fante, B.A., retired in 2009 as Bureau Chief of the Comprehensive Assessment and Review for Long Term Care (CARES) Program for Florida’s Department of Elder Affairs, a position he held since 1996.  In that position he supervised Florida's Medicaid pre-admission screening program and worked intensively to reform the process to ensure Federal compliance.  Mr. Fante was also responsible for the administration of medical eligibility for individuals seeking Medicaid reimbursement for both nursing facilities as well as seven home and community-based Medicaid waiver programs.  This entailed oversight of an annual average of 85,000 assessment and level of care determinations  performed by 270 staff members in nineteen offices throughout the state of Florida. Mr. Fante  successfully  developed programs to assist elders in remaining safely in the least restrictive community environment.  These programs included hospital - based diversion models, a capitated nursing home diversion waiver as well as nursing facility transitioning programs. Since retiring from state government, Mr. Fante has engaged in long-term care consulting as well as continued service on the Board of Directors of the National Association of PASRR Professionals. Mr. Fante holds a B.A. from the University of Kentucky.  He was a State of Florida Management Fellow recipient as well as a Davis Productivity Awards recipient from 2001 through 2007.

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Betty Ferdinand,

Betty Ferdinand, B.A., is the Director of Projects for Collaborative Industries Inc. (CII).  In this role, Betty is responsible for the strategic management of multi-state projects for Collaborative Industries, including profit and not-for-profit organizations providing services and supports to persons with mental illness, intellectual/developmental disabilities, and for persons with memory and advanced physical care needs in community-based and long term care settings. 

Betty’s responsibilities include management and supervision, project development and implementation, regulatory interpretation and development of agency policies and procedures, programmatic and operational support, curriculum development and instruction, system development, strategic planning and evaluation, marketing and public relations, fundraising /event planning, grant writing, and evaluation of performance through reviews and data analysis. 

Betty has over forty years of management experience, and has worked in various capacities throughout the continuum of human service delivery from community-based services to long-term care in both nursing facility and assisted living settings.  Betty was instrumental in successfully developing, implementing and managing all aspects of the PASRR process for the State of Nebraska. Key to Ms. Ferdinand’s success with PASRR was her practical and operational expertise working with Medicaid, Developmental Disability and Behavioral Health authorities, as well as the acute and long term care stakeholders. 

Ms. Ferdinand has a degree in Social Work and Sociology from the University of Nebraska, with graduate work in Human Development and the Family, Aging and Developmental Disabilities.  Ms. Ferdinand is also the chair of the National Association of PASRR Professionals.

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Pam Raby,

Pam Raby is a Licensed Advanced Practice Social Worker who serves as Chief Development Officer and Partner for Ascend Management Innovations, a national provider of healthcare management and PASRR services. Since 1990, Pam has provided consultation to numerous state government agencies in implementation of PASRR and Long Term Care initiatives, including strategies for designing workflow, technology infrastructure, reporting considerations, and quality indicators.  

Pam has over 30 years of experience providing national consulting, multi-level policy development, and oversight of both managed care and treatment services. She has leveraged more than $25M in grant dollars for state government agencies, predominantly through projects to expand evidence-based treatment services for individuals with comorbid mental illness and substance related conditions. In former roles, Pam managed behavioral health and addictions treatment services in a variety of settings. 

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Richard Sanderson,

Richard Sanderson, M.A., is founder and principal of Integrated Health Initiatives (IHI), a behavioral health (BH) consulting firm located in Charleston, SC.  In collaboration with physician groups and managed-care organizations, IHI creates programs that detect and address cognitive and mental health disorders in elderly and other patient populations. These initiatives are aligned with the Patient-centered Medical Home (PCMH) model of care that emphasizes care coordination, transitional care management and patient engagement regarding healthcare decisions.  

Richard has thirty years of BH experience, including sixteen years as a clinician in Virginia and North Carolina. He worked as staff psychologist in a community MH/DD/SA program where he conducted Social Security Disability evaluations and provided outpatient services for persons transitioning from psychiatric hospitals to their communities. Richard subsequently served as quality improvement director of a comprehensive MH/DD/SA program that maintained a sheltered workshop, group homes for persons transitioning from inpatient settings and supervised independent living placements.  He has served on community-based and regional human rights committees focused on the DD/ID/SPMI populations.

Richard was executive director for a private non-profit counseling center serving the mental health needs of persons and families impacted by life threatening illnesses. He also provided executive leadership for a clinical research corporation that conducted FDA mandated Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) studies focused on re-evaluation of the safety of specific pharmaceutical drugs.  Richard is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and University of West Georgia. 

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Nancy Shanley,

Nancy Shanley, M.S., has over 25 years of experience working with individuals with behavioral health, intellectual, and developmental disorders.  Nancy is versed in PASRR regulatory and management requirements and was selected by CMS as a consultant for the national PASRR Technical Assistance Center, where she trained Central and Regional CMS staff on PASRR and audit measures, provided PASRR consultation to several states, wrote multiple PASRR white papers for the PTAC, including one on best-practice Level I systems, and co-development of pending CMS standards within the MDS for triggering Status Changes.  Nancy has presented at several national conferences and for many PTAC PASRR webinars about PASRR and disability assessments.  This includes webinars about PASRR Level I best practices, PASRR Categorical Options and Exemptions, PASRR Conundrums, and conference presentations with CMS about recent PASRR specialized services guidance.  Nancy has consulted for both state and national projects relating to disability policy, regulatory requirements, and project design and implementation strategies. Nancy has been invited to participate in national and local expert panels and consultation activities, such as Tennessee’s Task Force for Developmental Disabilities and the Governor’s Steering Committee for Money Follows the Person. Nancy has served as Chairperson of the Board of Directors for the National Association of PASRR Professionals (NAPP) and as the Chair of the Education Committee that developed the PTAC webinar series “The Power and Possibility of PASRR”.  Nancy also managed multiple state-wide assessment projects for PASRR and for IDD Waivers.  She has experience conducting provider and stakeholder training across many states.  Nancy received Person-Centered Thinking training designed by Michel Smull and The Learning Institute. She was trained as a trainer for the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS) tool developed by AAIDD.  She has extensive experience testing and evaluating individuals with psychiatric and developmental disabilities. Nancy participated in assessment projects that contributed to the development of criteria for early detection of Autism and Autism Spectrum disorders in very young children.

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Sherry Snyder,

Sherry Snyder has over 30 years’ experience in the mental health and substance abuse service systems, ranging from direct service provision to system administration. Sherry draws on her past experience in the public sector as a consultant, specializing in the areas of developing and implementing standards and approaches to serving individuals with mental illness and co-occurring physical health, developmental and substance use disorders, managed care implementation and ongoing operations, integrating physical and behavioral health care, and identifying inter-agency and cross-systems approaches and solutions to resolve complex issues. Sherry spent most of her career in county and state government, including serving as the Acting Deputy Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services in Pennsylvania. Other roles have included Director of Policy, Planning and Program Development, Director of Operations, Special Assistant for Substance Abuse Services and Chief of Care Management. Sherry comes to TAC to carry on her mission to enhance opportunities for individuals with life challenges, including mental health and substance use disorders, to live and thrive in their communities. 

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Julie Stanley,

Julie A. Stanley, J.D., is a Self-Direction Program Specialist with the Virginia Commonwealth University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities where she has facilitated development of a consumer-directed policy guidance document and a guide to self direction for individuals; co-facilitated development and implementation of Virginia’s Options Counseling Standards and served on the ACL Options Counseling advisory committee; served as interviewer and regional interviewer coordinator for the National Core Indicators project; and developed an on-line training certification program for Consumer-Directed Services Facilitators in Virginia’s Medicaid program.  She currently manages Virginia’s No Wrong Door planning grant and chairs the Central Virginia Alliance for Community Living (an Area Agency on Aging).  Previously, Julie worked as Community Integration Specialist with the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) in the Money Follows the Person (MFP) Program. She served for six years as Director of Community Integration for People with Disabilities, working with DMAS and 21 other Virginia state agencies to develop a strategic plan to implement Olmstead, and assisted DMAS in writing and implementing Virginia’s MFP and Systems Transformation Grants. Julie coordinated Virginia’s Olmstead Task Force; served as Assistant Commissioner, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, where she focused on human rights, licensing, risk management and community contracting; and as Assistant Attorney General with the Virginia Office of the Attorney General. Julie has had over 25 years’ experience in the disability and aging fields.  She holds a Juris Doctor degree from Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary.

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Frank L. Tetrick, III,

Frank L. Tetrick, III, MA joined PTAC in 2011, bringing more than 32 years of experience in direct and administrative service within the Commonwealth of Virginia behavioral health and developmental services system. Frank has taken an active role in helping advance the understanding and implementation of specialized services and promoting PASRR collaboration.

From 2003 to 2011 Frank served as Assistant Commissioner for the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS), where he was responsible for leadership of offices that funded and monitored community services supported with state, federal, or grant funds. Frank’s community experience includes serving as Executive Director of a community services board (CSB), Director of Quality Management, and supervision of emergency services.

During his tenure with the DBHDS, Frank helped advance two Gero-pyschiatric initiatives, focused on providing behavioral supports to individuals that were admitted to nursing facilities. He also worked closely with the Virginia Medicaid authority in efforts to align agency policies in support of person-centered practices for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

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Andrea Womack,

Andrea Womack, M.A, is Director of Quality and Independent Contractor Services for Ascend Management Innovations (d/b/a DDM Ascend). In this role, she oversees quality monitoring and reporting for Ascend’s PASRR and Utilization Review services as well as technical and quality support services for over 400 PASRR and specialty assessment independent contractors. Ms. Womack has designed and implemented quality protocols for multiple states to ensure compliance with state and federal PASRR requirements, clinical integrity, and person-centered assessments. Ms. Womack has also developed and delivered PASRR training for assessors, providers, clinical and quality reviewers. During her tenure at Ascend she has also overseen implementation and operations for multiple PASRR state projects. Previously, Ms. Womack worked in community mental health case management for individuals with serious and persistent mental illness. Ms. Womack holds a master’s degree in Social Science from the University of Chicago.  Ms. Womack also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of PASRR Professionals.

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PTAC currently serves as a contractor for CMS.
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