Technology plays an important role in shaping the future of collaborative approaches to health and social care. The benefits are many. Using technology:

  • Providers can view an individual or family across systems
  • Analytics can help us identify the most vulnerable people, enabling us to intervene before their risk escalates
  • Data sharing allows facilitating care across multiple programs, systems and providers
  • Automation frees case workers and staff to focus their attention on the most critical aspects of their work

Tech also is accelerating the pace of change in our work and our sector and is fundamentally changing our business environment. Failure to adapt or lagging behind the pace of change could leave human service organizations in the dust.

During this spark session, Joel White, executive director of Health IT Now, a Washington, D.C.-based coalition of organizations dedicated to the adoption of technology in health care to increase access and lower costs, will interview several leaders of technology companies and engage session participants to uncover key themes, risk points, and opportunities related to maximizing impact through the application of technology solutions.

Learning Objectives

  • Key applications for technology in health care
  • Maximizing impact in health outcomes and cost through tech
  • How to move from digitization to transformation of services

Facilitator: Joel White, executive director, Health IT Now

Panelists: Yared Alemu, founder/CEO, TQ Intelligence; Richard Gengler, founder and CEO, Prevail Health Systems; Kathy Polasky-Dettling, director of clinical strategies, Afia; and Brian Tagney, senior account executive, Solutionz Conferencing

Dr. Yared Alemu
Founder and CEO

TQIntelligence is part of a concerted statewide effort to improve the quality of behavioral healthcare services for patients in publicly funded behavioral health care. Dr. Yared Alemu has been working closely with all the three Medicaid managed care organizations, as part of a selected group representing Together Georgia, focusing on quality and cost. He has also served as the chair of the Clinical Directors Working Group for Together Georgia, exploring best practices and empirically validated treatments. These service opportunities have given Alemu ongoing access to the leadership of the managed care organizations and executive of the behavioral health organizations, significantly impacting the development of TQINTELLIGENCE Population Health Management Platform. This platform is deployed as service as software, to help social service and behavioral health organization, to track and manage client’s progress in treatment. TQIntelligence currently beta testing two different products and trying to meet the many request from providers to become a pilot site. 

Alemu brings an extensive experience of coalition building with a broad range of stakeholders with the focus of addressing difficult and, at times, an endemic public health problem. As part of creating a critical mass in changing the service delivery system in the publicly funded behavioral health sector, to a more data driven and outcome based, Alemu have assembled a stakeholders/advisory group of university, civic, state, and national organizations. This public/private collaboration are critical in curbing the outcomes disparities for behavioral health treatment from low-resource communities. 

Alemu earned his doctorate from Auburn University and bachelor’s from Georgetown University. He has completed his doctoral clinical practicum at Emory University School of Medicine, a clinical psychology fellowship at the Durham VA Medical Center, and a postdoctoral Fellowship in clinical psychology from the University of Georgia Student Health Center. 

Joel White
Executive Director
Health IT Now

Joel White is Executive Director of Health IT Now, a broad-based coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, employers, and payers that supports incentives to deploy heath information technology to improve quality, outcomes, and patient safety and to lower costs. White spent 12 years on Capitol Hill as professional staff, during which he helped enact nine laws, including the Medicare Modernization Act, the Deficit Reduction Act, the Tax Reform and Health Care Act, the Trade Act, and the Children’s Health Act. White was instrumental in developing the Part D e-prescribing law in the Medicare Modernization Act and in developing legislation that passed the House to promote the adoption and use of health information technology. White was the staff director of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee with responsibility for advising members of Congress and directing staff on all policy issues within the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee. The issues include Medicare, health savings accounts, tax credits for health insurance, HIPAA, mental health parity, and health information technology.

Richard Gengler
Founder and CEO
Prevail Health Systems

Richard Gengler grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, and graduated with honors from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management with a degree in accounting.

Following college, he joined the U.S. Navy flight program and was designated a Naval Aviator and selected to fly the F/A 18 Hornet. Over his nine and a half years of service, Gengler participated extensively in various assignments in support of the Global War on Terror, many in leadership positions. During his two tours aboard the aircraft carrier USS Constellation, he flew numerous combat missions as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and earned an Air Medal for his distinguished service.

Kathy Polasky-Dettling
Director of Clinical Strategies

Kathy Polasky-Dettling is the director of clinical Strategies with Afia and is also a consultant with the National Council for Behavioral Health and the SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS). She specializes in agency readiness assessments, developing integrated care strategies, and coordinating multi-year state and county learning communities. She has provided integrated care consultation and Case to Care Management training sessions across the U.S., and has supported numerous Integrated Health Learning Community projects in Michigan and Ohio.

Plasky-Dettling has worked in community mental health centers for 26 years in a variety of positions, including day program worker, case manager, access clinician and administrator. She holds a master’s in counseling psychology from Western Michigan University, and a certificate in Primary Care and Behavioral Health from the University of Massachusetts.

Brian Tagney
Senior Account Executive
Solutionz Conferencing

Brian Tagney has been working in the video conferencing market space for more than 26-years, primarily within the telemedicine and distance learning markets. He has been involved in statewide networks, including the largest single sale state-wide network in the industry; multiple award-winning telemedicine networks; and small business video connections. Tagney owned and operated his own video conferencing integration company, Audio Visual Technologies, where he created, built, and integrated statewide networks for education and health care organizations. His company was one of the first full-service integrators in the health care field.

Tagney was a vice president of sales, director of sales, dedicated channel manager, senior territory manager, and territory manager at VTEL for nine years. He has spent time as a manufacture representative; sold protocol toolkits to developers of cell phones, communication tools, and video connection companies; created award-winning digital signage solutions; and designed and installed telecommunication networks for companies such as RADVision, Ridgeway Systems, SONY, Stampede, Avidex and others.

Tagney was selected to serve on the vice president’s council on telecommunication, where he helped to shape the first reimbursements guidelines of telemedicine and worked to get the new communication tool into the mainstream medical market. Tagney holds a degree in broadcast journalism/TV production from Southern California College, now Vanguard University.