Vermont Press Releases

Four Vermonters to Receive Awards for Outstanding Contributions Toward Improving Access to Health Care

News Release — Bi-State Primary Care Association
May 18, 2016

Contact:
Susan Noon
(603)228-2830 x 144

MONTPELIER, VERMONT – MAY 18, 2016 – Bi-State Primary Care Association, serving Vermont and New Hampshire, will host its 2016 Primary Care Conference and present the annual Bi-State Awards during the Awards Ceremony Luncheon, including: The (board of directors’) Chair Award, The Outstanding Clinician Award, The Community Service Award, and The Public Service Award to four Vermonters nominated by their peers for making significant contributions toward improving access to primary health care in Vermont through their professional and volunteer work. The day-long conference will focus on the impending Transformation to a Value-Based Health Care System and will feature experts in policy and practice from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the Vermont Senate, U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, the National Association of Community Health Centers, Community Health Access Network, Bi-State Primary Care Association and CohnReznick LLP. More than 200 health care leaders from New Hampshire and Vermont will attend the annual conference to be held on May 24 (8:30-4:30) at Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vermont.

Bi-State Primary Care Association is celebrating its 30th anniversary at the Primary Care Conference. Tess Stack Kuenning, MS, CNS, RN, Bi-State’s president and CEO for the past 21 years, will lead the conference agenda with Kevin Kelley, chair of Bi-State’s board of directors and CEO of Community Health Services of Lamoille Valley. The four Vermonters selected to receive awards will be present at the ceremony.

LAMOILLE COUNTY PHYSICIAN TO RECEIVE OUTSTANDING CLINICIAN AWARD

MORRISVILLE, VERMONT – May 13, 2016 – On May 24, Dr. Philip Kiely, Medical Director for Morrisville Family Health Care and for Lamoille Home Health & Hospice, will receive The Outstanding Clinician Award from Bi-State Primary Care Association. This award “honors primary care clinicians from Vermont and New Hampshire whose exemplary skills and service have made a significant impact on the health of underserved patients and the community in which they serve.” Dr. Kiely will receive the award during the Bi-State Awards Ceremony Luncheon at the 2016 Primary Care Conference in Fairlee, Vermont on May 24, 2016.

For over 20 years, Dr. Phil Kiely has provided primary medical care to thousands of Lamoille County residents, most often double booking appointments and working on his “days off.” As a Hospice and Palliative Care physician, Dr. Kiely is fervent in recommending to his patients that they take advantage of community resources that provide guidance on how to approach the difficult and sensitive topic of end of life plans, they recognize and understand their values when it comes to medical decisions, how to enjoy their remaining time, and how to discuss choices with their loved ones.

He is married to Becca Reggio, a father of three, and a native of Reading Massachusetts. Educated at Holy Cross College and Tufts University School of Medicine, he completed a Family Medicine Residency at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Utica, NY, and when he is not working, he is a coach for Girls Varsity Soccer at Peoples Academy and snowboard instructor at Stowe Mountain Resort.

Established in 1986, Bi-State Primary Care Association is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Bi-State’s annual Primary Care Conference features experts in health care policy and practice at the federal, state, and local level and attracts a large audience of primary care administrators, clinicians, and policymakers. For more information, please visit www.bistatepca.org. ###

VISIONARY HEALTHCARE ADMINISTRATOR ANDREW MAJKA TO RECEIVE AWARD

SPRINGFIELD, VERMONT – May 13, 2016 – On May 24, Andrew Majka, former Chief Finance Officer and Chief Strategy Officer of Springfield Medical Care Systems, will receive The Chair’s Award from Bi-State Primary Care Association. This annual award “honors individuals from New Hampshire and Vermont who have made outstanding contributions to Bi-State’s mission of assuring access to health care for vulnerable populations.” Majka will receive the award during the Awards Ceremony Luncheon at the 2016 Primary Care Conference on May 24 in Fairlee, Vermont.

This award honors Majka for the pivotal role he played in developing a new model for primary and preventive health care. While at Springfield Medical Care Systems, Mr. Majka developed a new model of Community Health Center – the Federally Qualified Health Center/Critical Access Hospital model. In 2007- 2008, Mr. Majka’s expertise, impeccable financial credentials and creativity were critical to the community‘s and Springfield Hospital’s understanding and embrace of the new model. The new FQHC/CAH model was approved in a precedent-setting “New Access Point” application by the Health Resources and Services Administration in 2009. Mr. Majka has worked to strengthen Springfield by starting a dental practice and consolidating disparate Springfield practices into a single, state-of-the-art, primary care hub downtown. He has been very generous of his time and expertise and serves as a role model and a valuable resource nationally and to his colleagues and Bi-State Primary Care Association.
As Majka describes it, “Our model is not a collaboration or a cooperative venture; it’s a true integration of all resources. This transformation has led to a paradigm shift placing primary and preventive care at the top of our delivery system.”

And while the financial savings from this new model have been significant, the benefits to the Springfield region in terms of improved care, improved access, and improved overall health of the populations are what make this such a momentous achievement. Majka and Springfield Medical Care Systems have received national recognition and awards for their efforts.

Majka is also honored for his unstinting collaborations with Bi-State and its member organizations, Community Health Centers throughout the state, helping them pursue visionary and empathetic goals in community health.

Established in 1986, Bi-State Primary Care Association is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Bi-State’s annual Primary Care Conference features experts in health care policy and practice at the federal, state, and local level and attracts a large audience of primary care administrators, clinicians, and policymakers. For more information, please visit www.bistatepca.org. ###

CONNIE PHILLEO OF LITTLE RIVERS HEALTH CARE TO RECEIVE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD

E. CORINTH, VERMONT– May 13, 2016 – On May 24, Connie Philleo, board secretary for Little Rivers Health Care in Vermont, will receive the Vermont Community Service Award from Bi-State Primary Care Association. Bi-State’s annual award “honors individuals whose volunteer efforts have made a significant impact on the vulnerable populations in Vermont and New Hampshire.” Philleo will receive the award during the Awards Ceremony Luncheon at the 2016 Primary Care Conference in Fairlee, Vermont.

Philleo has been an active member and secretary of the LRHC Board of Directors for over 10 years. She has consistently served far above and beyond the requirements of the role however, taking on the bulk of the work every year for organizing their annual meeting and publishing their annual report. Whenever staff has needed additional help for projects, she steps up and puts in countless hours to ensure that they are supported and able to produce the best outcomes.

Her volunteer service goes far beyond the work she does for Little Rivers Health Care; she is an active member in the Wells River community, participating in committees and work groups that address local needs and problems. She and her husband offer their services as trained tax consultants free of charge every year to community members who cannot afford to pay for such help and put in many long hours between January and April 15.

Philleo’s other retirement activities have included serving on boards and as an active committee member for several other non-profits, as well as working for eight years as a volunteer executive director of Rivers Reach, a Wells River agency that connected needy residents to local social services.

Established in 1986, Bi-State Primary Care Association is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Bi-State’s annual Primary Care Conference features experts in health care policy and practice at the federal, state, and local level and attracts a large audience of primary care administrators, clinicians, and policymakers. For more information, please visit www.bistatepca.org. ###

VERMONT HEALTH OFFICIAL TO RECEIVE PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD

MONTPELIER, VERMONT – May 13, 2016 – On May 24, Georgia Maheras, Esq., Deputy Director of Health Care Reform for Payment and Delivery System Reform and Director of the VT Health Care Innovation Project, will receive The Vermont Public Service Award from Bi-State Primary Care Association. This annual award “honors individuals whose position allows them to make extraordinary contributions in the area of public health and primary care access.” Maheras will receive the award during Bi-State’s Awards Ceremony Luncheon on May 24 at Bi-State’s 2016 Primary Care Conference in Fairlee, Vermont.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, “Everybody talks about bureaucracy but nobody does anything about it.” Georgia Maheras does something about it. Maheras came to Vermont in 2011 and immediately began working to improve Vermont’s health care system and reduce administrative barriers. Through her transparency and common sense approach to bureaucracy, she is able to manage $45 million in federal investment to the state, funding innovations at all levels including core infrastructure for the Accountable Care Organizations and a substantial investment in Vermont’s Health Information Technology infrastructure.
Maheras has involved herself in the intricacies of Health Information Exchange implementation with the stated goal of providing clinicians with tools (such as event notification) that actually make their work easier.

Prior to relocating to Vermont, and as the Private Market Policy Manager for Health Care for All in Massachusetts, Maheras focused her expertise on increasing health insurance coverage and quality. She championed efforts to reform pharmaceutical companies marketing practices. She served as counsel of record on an Amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court in an effort to uphold Vermont’s data mining law and has served as a consumer representative to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Maheras is a graduate of Suffolk University Law School and holds a master’s degree in Theological Studies from Boston University’s School of Theology.
Established in 1986, Bi-State Primary Care Association is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Bi-State’s annual Primary Care Conference features experts in health care policy and practice at the federal, state, and local level and attracts a large audience of primary care administrators, clinicians, and policymakers. For more information, please visit www.bistatepca.org.
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