Policy 2011

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Conference Speakers

Jonathan Linkous
Jonathan Linkous, Chief Executive Officer, American Telemedicine Association (ATA)
Jon Linkous is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), the largest membership-based organization in the world focusing exclusively on providing health and medical care through telecommunications technology. ATA's annual meeting and trade show are among the fastest growing in the country. The Association advocates for changes in public laws that promote the deployment of telemedicine throughout the world. As the chief staff executive of ATA, Mr. Linkous has spoken and written extensively in the U.S. and in other countries on policy issues, emerging applications and market trends affecting telemedicine. Mr. Linkous has over 20 years experience in the nation's capital working in corporate and public sectors. He served as a senior consultant with Issue Dynamics Inc. (IDI), a Washington DC consulting firm specializing in telecommunications and technology policy. While at IDI, Mr. Linkous assisted in the early formation of ATA. For five years he was a leader in the aging services community as the Executive Director of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. His principle interest in this position was in using telecommunications and adaptive technology to assist older Americans and their caregivers. Mr. Linkous holds a Masters of Public Administration from the School of Government and Public Affairs at the American University in Washington, D.C. and a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio with additional postgraduate work at the LBJ School of Public Affairs in Austin, Texas.
TEL : 202-223-3333 Email  jlinkous@americantelemed.org


Lynnae M. Ruttledge

Lynnae M. Ruttledge, Commissioner, Rehabilitation Services Administration, U.S. Department of Education. President Barack Obama has appointed Lynnae Ruttledge as the new RSA Commissioner in 2009. She previously served as the Executive Director of the Washington Division of Vocational Rehabilitation where she was responsible for leading Washington State’s vocational rehabilitation program, working annually with more than 23,000 individuals with significant disabilities to achieve their vocational goals. Previously, Ruttledge served in leadership positions at the Oregon Department of Human Services, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Services for more than 25 years. Ruttledge began her public service career in Michigan as a classroom teacher in the public school system. She has received numerous recognitions and awards for her service including the Washington Governor’s Award for Leadership in Management in 2007. As a person born with a disability, Ruttledge received assistance from the vocational rehabilitation program and graduated from the Northern Michigan University with a B.A. in Education.


David M. Brienza, PhDDavid M. Brienza, PhD is Director of the RERC on Telerehabilitation and task leader on R4 Telerehabilitation for self-management of chronic edema/lymphedema in individuals with mobility limitations. He is a Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology with secondary professorial appointments in the department of Bioengineering and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Brienza received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1986, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia in 1988 and 1991, respectively. From 1987 to 1991 he worked as a research assistant at the REC on Wheeled Mobility at the University of Virginia. In 1991 he joined the faculty at Pitt. Dr. Brienza has been working in the fields of wheelchair R&D, pressure ulcer prevention, and seat cushion and support surface R&D since 1987. He has made significant contributions in the areas of cushion design, standard test methods, and soft tissue biomechanics. He has consulted for several companies developing seat cushions and support surfaces, and serves as a consultant to the SADMERC for seat cushion and wheelchair coding policy. His research and development experience includes being principle investigator of two NIH R01 grants, several NIH SBIR grants, an NIDRR FIR grant, and a PVA grant among others. Within the RERC structure, he has served in numerous roles including student researcher, co-investigator, task leader, Co-Director and Director. Dr. Brienza currently serves as Director of the RERCs on Telerehabilitation and Spinal Cord Injury. He is the former Director of the RERC on Wheeled Mobility.


Brad Dicianno, MDBrad Dicianno, MD is a task leader on R3 Telerehabilitation Enhanced Wellness Program in Spina Bifida. He is an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at UPMC. He is the Associate Medical Director of the Human Engineering Research Laboratories. His research focus is understanding preventative care measures and their impact on health and wellness in disability populations such as spina bifida. He is the director of the Adult Spina Bifida Clinic at UPMC. He also has research interests in assistive technology and telerehabilitation and serves as the medical director of the UPMC Center for Assistive Technology where he oversees a multidisciplinary team of clinicians who prescribe a variety of assistive technology such as wheelchairs and where telerehab is used for remote service delivery. He received an MS in bioengineering in 2008 and continues to be involved in the design and development of advanced control interfaces such as power wheelchair joysticks for individuals with complex movement disorders. Dr. Dicianno completed a K12 NIH fellowship under the mentorship of Rory Cooper, PhD. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine after obtaining a BS in Evolutionary Biology and a BA in the History and Philosophy of Science as an undergraduate there. He completed residency in the Dept. of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at UPMC where he served as chief resident.


Jeffrey DygertJeffrey Dygert, Executive Director, Public Policy, AT&T. Jeff Dygert works in AT&T's public policy group and has responsibility for energy and environmental issues. Before moving to AT&T, Jeff worked at the FCC for 13 years, where he held a variety of jobs in the Office of General Counsel, the Wireline and Enforcement Bureaus, and the Office of Engineering and Technology. He also practiced as a litigator for 5 years. Jeff holds a bachelor's and a law degree from the University of Virginia. He lives in Washington, DC with his partner and son.


Jeffrey DygertMerrill Friedman is the Associate Vice President for Advocacy at Amerigroup Corporation, and works closely with stakeholders, advocates and consumers to ensure that diverse needs and preferences are recognized and addressed in health benefit programs as well as promoting the vision of independent living for seniors and people with disabilities.

Before joining Amerigroup, Merrill was a consultant in the Child and Adolescent services field starting up and serving as Acting Director of a foster care agency for at-risk children and adolescents who have been severely abused and neglected. Prior to that, Merrill was President and CEO of Summit, LLC which owned and operated behavioral health and juvenile justice treatment facilities in multiple states.

Merrill also served as the Vice President of Development for two publicly traded health care and corrections companies, and has extensive experience in the development of new business, program development, marketing, merger and acquisition opportunities, and operations management of facilities and community-based services. These operations, located in the United States and Puerto Rico, provided specialized care and services for adolescents requiring community-based or 24 hour structured treatment in the following disciplines: mental health, behavioral and emotional disorders, intellectual and developmental disabilities, sexual abuse and perpetration, and substance abuse.

Currently, Merrill is a member of the MI Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC), the VA Department of Health & Human Resources Secretary's Blueprint for Livable Communities Citizen Advisory Group and the MD Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary's Long Term Care Reform Committee. She attended Towson State University and holds a degree in Psychology.


Lia Hotchkiss, MPHLia Hotchkiss, MPH is Director of the Comparative Effectiveness Research Portfolio at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Ms. Hotchkiss develops and manages projects on the effectiveness and comparative effectiveness of different treatments and appropriate clinical approaches to difficult health problems.  She has also been involved in the implementation of AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program since its launch in 2005.

Prior to joining AHRQ, Ms. Hotchkiss conducted research at the Advisory Board Company’s Nursing Executive Center on strategies for implementing evidence-based nursing practices.  She also worked at the Patient Safety Center at the New York State Department of Health developing educational brochures for parents and children.

Ms. Hotchkiss earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester and her MPH (Epidemiology) from the University at Albany School of Public Health.  She is also a certified project management professional.

Contact Information
Lia Hotchkiss, MPH
Center for Outcomes and Evidence
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
540 Gaither Road
Rockville, MD  20850
301-427-1620 (tel)
301-427-1520 (fax)


Robert Jarrin
Robert Jarrin is a Senior Director of Government Affairs for Qualcomm Incorporated.  He is based in Washington, DC and represents Qualcomm on US domestic regulatory matters relating to wireless health and life sciences.  Jarrin’s areas of responsibility include wireless health policy, FDA regulatory oversight of converged medical devices, healthcare legislative affairs, CMS telehealth reimbursement and the regulation of health information technology.  Externally, Jarrin serves as Co-Chair of the US Policy Working Group for the Continua Health Alliance and sits on the Scientific Advisory Board of Medical Automation. Prior to joining Qualcomm, Jarrin worked as a Manager of Strategic Partnerships for Ericsson Wireless Communications, served as a Law Clerk in the White House Office of Counsel to President Clinton and also served as a Law Clerk and subsequent Consultant in the US Department of Justice to Attorney General Janet Reno.  Jarrin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland at College Park and a Juris Doctorate from Northeastern University School of Law.


Elizabeth Lyle
Elizabeth Lyle, JD, is the special counsel for innovation in the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  During 2009-2010, she managed the National Broadband Team's disability access work and wrote an FCC working paper on accessibility issues in conjunction with the National Broadband Plan.  She began at the FCC in 1996 as senior legal advisor to the chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. In 2001 she became a vice president at Wallman Strategic Consulting, and then later that year returned to the FCC as an attorney-advisor in the Office of the General Counsel.  She co-managed the FCC-wide proceeding on providing access to telecommunications equipment and services to people with disabilities in 1998-1999 and co-wrote with then-Chairman William E. Kennard a law review article about how the next generation of technologies must be accessible, usable, and affordable.  Previously, she was a political appointee at the Department of Commerce, where she served as acting senior policy advisor for technology to Secretary Ronald H. Brown; Deputy Executive Secretary; and Director of National Information Infrastructure Initiatives at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.  Lyle is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Chicago Law School.  She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband and two sons, one of whom is on the autism spectrum.


Dr. Michael McCueDr. Michael McCue is Associate Professor and Vice-Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology at the University of Pittsburgh and is Director of the Rehabilitation Counseling Program. He is Co-Director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Rehabilitation Engineering Center on Telerehabilitation (NIDRR).

Dr. McCue receive his PhD in Rehabilitation for the University of Pittsburgh in 1981. He completed his postdoctoral training in clinical neuropsychology at the University of Pittsburgh from 1981 to 1983. He holds a Masters in Education in Rehabilitation Counseling from Kent State University (1978) and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from John Carroll University (1973).

Dr. McCue is the Project Director and Principal Investigator of an Interagency Agreement between the University of Pittsburgh and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Hiram G. Andrews Rehabilitation Center that has existed for over 12 years. Dr. McCue is also a member of the Executive Committee of the UPMC Center for Assistive Technology, having served in that capacity since 2001.

Dr. McCue is a clinical neuropsychologist who has been providing assessment and neuropsychological rehabilitation services to individuals with brain injury and other cognitive disabilities since 1981. Dr. McCue has directed over 20 national research, demonstration and training programs in telerehabilitation, rehabilitation assessment and intervention and has published over 40 articles, chapters and abstracts related to telerehabilitation, neuropsychology and rehabilitation of cognitive disability. He is an RSA Institute on Rehabilitation Issues (IRI) scholar (2002-2003), an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Neuropsychology and Past President of the Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Association. 


James H. Rimmer, Ph.D.,James H. Rimmer, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Disability and Human Development, Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Kinesiology and Nutrition and Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. He is the Director of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Interactive Exercise Technologies and Exercise Physiology for People with Disabilities, which is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). His research interests include evaluating the use of convergence technologies (internet – television – mobile phone) to deliver effective and efficient health promotion programs including online environmental assessment of fitness and recreation facilities.  He is currently developing a web-based health risk appraisal (HRA) and wellness coaching platform that includes rich-tailored messaging support (telephone, internet, text message, video) to provide a flexible, cost-effective health promotion delivery system for weight management and reduction of obesity and obesity-related secondary conditions in youth and adults with disabilities. He has published over 100 refereed journal articles and 20 book chapters and has given more than 100 invited presentations to national and international audiences.


Richard Schein
Richard M. Schein, PhD, MPH is a research scientist within the Department of Rehabilitation Science & Technology at the University of Pittsburgh. He received his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Rehabilitation and Disability Studies with a concentration in Medical Rehabilitation from Springfield College, a Master’s of Science degree in Rehabilitation Science and Technology, a Master’s of Public Health in Health Policy and Management, and his Doctorate of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Science all at the University of Pittsburgh. He was awarded a National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program for his work in assistive technology. He currently serves as the Project Coordinator to assist the Department of Veterans Affairs’ four Polytrauma Rehabilitation Centers in developing Centers of Excellence in Assistive Technology. His research areas include: wheeled mobility and seating, funding and policy, continuing education and telerehabilitation. He is a member of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America, American Telemedicine Association, and American Association for the Advancement of Science

Contact Information
Richard M. Schein, PhD, MPH
Department of Rehabilitation Science & Technology, School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences
University of Pittsburgh, 6425 Penn Avenue, Suite 401, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Phone: 412-624-6438
Email: rms35@pitt.edu


Kate SeelmanKatherine D. Seelman, Ph.D. is associate dean of disability programs and professor of rehabilitation science and technology at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh. She holds a secondary appointment in the School of Public Health, an adjunct position at Xian Jiatong University, China and is co-scientific director of the National Science Foundation-supported Quality of Life Technology Engineering Research Center. Dr. Seelman is one of two Americans serving on the World Health Organization 9-member international editorial committee to guide the development of the first world report on disability and co-chair of the U.S. launch of the report in September 2011.

In the Clinton Administration, she served for seven years as the Director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research in Washington. She assumed her position at the University of Pittsburgh in 2001.   In 2002, Governor Edward G. Rendell appointed Seelman, who has had a life-long disability, to the Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Advisory Council.  In 2004 Seelman was named by the Allegheny County Executive and the Mayor of Pittsburgh to the City-County Task Force on Disability which she co-chairs.  In 2007 the Allegheny County Executive named her to the Area Agency on Aging Advisory Board.  The Allegheny County Council has recognized her with two service awards. 
 In 2007 the University of Pittsburgh’s Chancellor presented her with the University’s Distinguished Public Service Award.  In 2010, ACHIEVA presented her with its Professional Service Award.  In 2011, she was invited to the join the Advisory Board of the Center for the Study of Chronic Illness and Disability, George Mason University by Dr. Lynn Gerber, former Director of the NIH Department of Rehabilitation.

Dr. Seelman has lectured and keynoted in countries throughout the world including Japan’s National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities and the World Health Organization in 2003 and in Vietnam for the World Bank in 2002.  In 2008, she keynoted two international conferences, ICOST and APCHI (Seoul, Korea). In September 2010, she presented a series of five lectures on Access and Assistive Technology in Korea. She is widely published with a focus on health and technology policy for people with disabiities and older adults. She is a chapter co-author for the June, 2011 WHO World Report on Disability. Recent articles have appeared in International Journal of Telerehabilitation (2010), Engineering, Medicine and Biology (2008), Encyclopedia of Special Education (2007), Encyclopedia of Bioengineering (2006) and Disabilities Studies Quarterly (2005).  She is the author of the Forward and a chapter on technology for the Handbook of Smart Technology for Aging, Disability and Independence: Computing and Engineering Design and Application and co-editor of the Handbook of Disability Studies.

During her career, she has received numerous awards including the Gold Key Award from the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, the Distinguished Public Service Award from the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the Outstanding Public Service Award from the Association of Academic Physiatrists, an honorary fellow in the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA), a National Science Foundation Assistantship and a distinguished Switzer Fellowship.   In 1995 she was honored by her alma mater with induction into Hunter College Hall of Fame. Dr. Seelman earned her doctorate in public policy from New York University in 1982, with a concentration on science, technology and public policy.

Contact Information
Katherine D. Seelman, Ph.D.
Professor Rehabilitation Science and Technology
Associate Dean Disability Programs
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
University of Pittsburgh
5036 Forbes Tower
Pittsburgh, PA 15260


Joshua J. Seidman, Ph.DJoshua J. Seidman, Ph.D. is the Director of the Meaningful Use division in the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology (HIT) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). He oversees three areas: helping to evolve meaningful use practice and policy; supporting providers through ONC’s regional extension program to become meaningful users of health IT; and oversight of ONC’s e-Quality Measurement agenda. Previously, Seidman was the founding President of the Center for Information Therapy and has worked for the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as the Director of Measure Development. He has also worked at the American College of Cardiology as Assistant Director of Private Sector Relations, conducting extensive research and analysis in managed care and quality-of-care issues. Dr. Seidman holds a Ph.D. in health services research and a master of health science degree in health policy and management, both from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.


Patrick SheehanPatrick Sheehan, joined the Department of Veterans Affairs in 1989 as a Computer Specialist and worked within the VA’s IT test facility as an adaptive trainer until September 2002. As an adaptive trainer Patrick trained both disabled veterans and federal employees on a variety of access technologies that ranged from screen-readers, text magnification programs to hardware such as scanners, closed circuit televisions and note takers. In September of 2002 Patrick was asked to serve as the agencies Section 508 coordinator. In this capacity Patrick has the responsibility to insure that all electronic and information technology that the VA buys, procures, maintains, or develops meet the requirements of Section 508.
Patrick is currently serving as the Director of the Section 508 Program Office within Product Development’s Product Assessment Competency Division
Patrick makes himself available to IT professionals, procurement officials, and disabled VA employees to explain what Section 508 is, what disabled employees can expect from the VA regarding access and the VA’s responsibilities under Section 504 and 508.

Patrick received a BS degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland and a BA degree from Providence College. Patrick has served on the Board of Directors with the American Council of the Blind working on issues like transportation and pedestrian access for blind and low vision individuals. He has also chaired the Accessibility Advisory Committee for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit authority (WMATA for the past 20 years working on transit issues for disabled persons .


Jenifer Simpson Jenifer Simpson is the Senior Director for Government Affairs at the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), a national membership organization in Washington, D.C., USA, advocating for the independence of people with disabilities. She coordinates several policy areas and heads the Telecommunications & Technology Policy Initiative at AAPD that focuses on ensuring that all technology – products and services – is designed with disability users in mind. She co-founded and co-chairs the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology, a coalition of over 315 national and community-based organizations that advocates for legislative and regulatory safeguards that will ensure full access by people with disabilities to evolving high speed broadband, wireless and other Internet Protocol (IP) communication technologies. Her public policy research topics have included initiatives in the digital TV transition, E-curriculum development for emergency responders, standards for disability accessibility, and broadband topics such as health information technology and telerehabilitation. Previously, Ms. Simpson served the federal government, first as an Employment Advisor at the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, and more recently, at the Federal Communications Commission, where she implemented the disability accessibility mandates in the Communications Act. Ms. Simpson has a M.B.A. from Trinity University and a B.A. in Art from the University of Massachusetts. She parents a 26 year old young man with cerebral palsy.

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