Expert Work Group
Our Expert Work Group is designed to ensure that our research is relevant to decision makers (including federal/state policymakers and those in the rural health system), and reaches decision makers and practitioners who can use it to good effect. In policy relevance, we strive to address questions that are of national interest to core rural health constituencies, but also of concern to rural residents, practitioners, managers, and leaders. Within our areas of research, these are individuals who are well informed on issues of behavioral health, rural health insurance and Rural Health Clinics at one or more of these levels. We have sought members with national perspectives, state-level policymakers, and those with community and practice level experience who understand rural behavioral health and rural health issues more broadly.
Charlie Alfero is the Executive Director of the Southwest Center for Health Innovation and the New Mexico Primary Care Training Consortium, as well as the founder of Hidalgo Medical Services, a community health center providing primary medical, dental, mental health and family support in southwestern New Mexico. He has more than 40 years of experience in rural health policy, systems and program development. He has been director of rural outreach for the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and director of the Community Health Services Division in the New Mexico Department of Health. He has developed and assured the continuation of hospital, primary care and related service delivery systems in numerous communities in New Mexico. He is the recipient of the 2013 Louis Gorin Outstanding Achievement in Rural Health, awarded by the National Rural Health Assocation.
Executive Director, Southwest Center for Health Innovation
Southwest Center for Health Innovation
301 West College Ave., Suite 5
Silver City, NM 88061
Phone: (575) 538.1618
Crystal Barter is the Director of Performance Improvement at the Michigan Center for Rural Health. She has been with the MCRH for over eight years and her current work focuses on programs that facilitate operational, financial and clinical quality improvement in Michigan’s Critical Access Hospitals, Rural PPS Hospitals, and Certified Rural Health Clinics. This includes managing the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Grant Program, components of the State Office of Rural Health Grant, the Small Hospital Improvement Grant Program, and various sub-contracts focusing on quality improvement.
Crystal serves on the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health Board of Directors, and is a member National Quality Forum’s Measures Application Partnership (MAP) Hospital and Rural Health Workgroup. She holds a BS in Health Professions with a minor in Biology from Grand Valley State University and has a Masters of Health Care Administration degree from Central Michigan University.
Director of Performance Improvement
Michigan Center for Rural Health
Michigan State University
909 Wilson Rd, B-218 West Fee Hall
East Lansing, MI 48823
Lisa Davis is the Director of the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health, where she is responsible for the overall direction and leadership of the state office of rural health, including ensuring that the office meets its mission of being a source of networking, coordination, and technical assistance to organizations focused on rural health care delivery; developing and sustaining linkages with state and national partners; and seeking ways to expand the office’s role in enhancing the health status of rural Pennsylvanians.
On the national, state, and university levels, Davis serves on a wide range of boards of directors, advisory committees, and task forces focused on rural health policy, rural health research, economic development, outreach and education, and vulnerable populations and specific health issues such as oral health and cancer. She has extensive experience in the field of rural health research.
Davis is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health, an Outstanding Leadership Award from the Pennsylvania Rural Health Association, and an Award for Individual Contributions to Public Health from the Pennsylvania Public Health Association. The Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health received the Award of Merit from the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health. She holds a graduate degree in Health Administration from Penn State.
Lisa Davis, MHA
Director and Outreach Associate Professor of Health Policy and Administration
Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health
118 Keller Building
University Park, PA 16802
Barbara Gage, PhD, MPA, is a national expert in Medicare post-acute care and long-term care payment and quality reporting issues, including bundled payments, episodes of care, and case-mix research. She has led numerous studies for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation over the past 20 years on developing valid and reliable standardized assessment items for both Medicare and the home- and community-based programs. She also directed several studies of the disabled populations’ use of Medicare covered services, including episode analyses using merged administrative claims data and primary data collected by her research team. She led the Development of the CARE Standardized Items and the National PAC Payment Reform Demonstration.
Kevin Lewis is the President and CEO of Community Health Options, a private, non-profit health plan that is partnering with consumers, businesses and health professionals to achieve the Triple Aim. Community Health Options is a Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan and provides qualified health plans on and off the Health Insurance Marketplace for the individual and group markets throughout Maine.
Prior to co-founding Health Options, Kevin was the CEO of the Maine Primary Care Association (MPCA). Kevin previously served as the Director of Continuing Care at the Maine Hospital Association, and earlier as the lobbyist and a budget and policy analyst for the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services.
Kevin earned his Bachelor’s from Dartmouth College (1991), a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Michigan (1995), and is an alum of Leadership Maine (2002), the Health Leadership Development program (2008) and the UCLA Johnson & Johnson Health Care Executives Program (2009). Currently, Kevin serves on the boards of two non-profits: Coastal Enterprises, Inc., the largest community development financing institution in New England, and HealthInfoNet, the health information exchange serving all of Maine. Kevin lives in rural Maine with his wife and daughters and many four-legged rescues.
President & CEO
Community Health Options
P.O. Box 1121, Lewiston, ME 04243