Our Team

Our top priority is our clients. Meet the people who are committed to our initiatives, serving our clients, and advancing sustainable healthcare transformation.

President and CEO

Tom Evans, MD, FAAFP
President and CEO

Tom Evans, M.D. has been President and CEO of the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative (IHC) since 2005.  IHC focuses provider-led initiatives to improve statewide healthcare performance through engagement of stakeholders, rapid deployment of best practice, and public reporting of clinical performance data.  IHC has been recognized as one of 26 national Hospital Engagement Networks (HEN) driving to achieve the CMS Partnership for Patients initiative goals. 

Dr. Evans received both BA and MA degrees from Drake University.  He received his MD degree from the University of Iowa in 1983 and completed his Family Medicine residency at Broadlawns Medical Center in 1986.  He practiced family medicine for 13 years before serving as Chief Medical Officer for the Iowa Health System from 1999 to 2005.  

Dr. Evans has served as President of both the Iowa Medical Society and the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians.  He has also served on the delegations for both the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).  Dr. Evans has served on the Board for the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF), and currently serves on the board of the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI).  He is the chair of Iowa’s Medical Home System Advisory Council, works with the National Quality Forum’s (NQF) Measures Application Partnership and is leading the National Priorities Partnership (NPP) Medication Safety Affinity Group.

Dr. Evans is a faculty member with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the College of Medicine at Des Moines University, and the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Team

Karthik Abbineni, MS-IS
Data Analyst

Karthik Abbineni is a data analyst at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. His focus is on data analytics and visualization to help hospitals, clinicians and communities improve the quality of healthcare while reducing the cost. Abbineni received a bachelor’s degree in electronics and communications from Vellore Institute of Technology, India and a master’s degree in information systems from Iowa State University. He has extensive analytics experience and knowledge including requirement analysis, outlier detection and descriptive, prescriptive and predictive analytics to identify the best possible solutions with meaningful information.

Sandy Atkinson, BSN, RN, CPHQ
Clinical Quality Consultant

Sandy Atkinson is a clinical quality consultant for the Compass Hospital Improvement Innovation Network. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing and is a certified professional in healthcare quality. Atkinson has experience as a hospital quality and patient experience director, in medical-surgical, emergency room and surgical nursing and hospice and inpatient case management.

Michaelle Bahnsen, BSN, RN, CPC
Clinical Quality Consultant

Michaelle Bahnsen is a clinical quality consultant for the Compass Hospital Improvement Innovation Network. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Chamberlain College of Nursing and holds a Certified Professional Coder designation from the American Academy of Professional Coders. Prior to joining IHC she worked for payers in various roles that involved clinical research, clinical and technical writing, identification of markers of quality for developing centers of excellence, provider payment strategies, new-to-market clinical programs and employer benefit design. Bahnsen’s clinical experience includes long-term care, inpatient mental health, medical-surgical and home health care.

Jess Bender, MA, BS, RT(R)(MR)ARRT, CPHQ
Quality Improvement Advisor

Jess Bender is a quality improvement advisor for the Iowa Compass Practice Transformation Network program. He received both his bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry and his master’s degree in healthcare management from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City. Between obtaining his degrees, he attended St. Luke’s College in Sioux City for training as a dual board registered radiology and magnetic resonance imaging technologist. Bender is especially interested in the implementation and use of Lean concepts in healthcare to streamline processes, reduce waste, increase employee satisfaction and improve patient outcomes.

Ashley Bolsem, LMSW
Social Service Lead

Ashley Bolsem is social service lead at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. She holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in social work and is a licensed master social worker. Prior to her role at IHC she was a quality management and quality improvement administrator for a local non-profit organization. Bolsem has experience in human service program development, quality and process improvement, data management, risk assessment, community building, policy writing and systems-level/macro thinking for social work.

Jennifer Brockman, MHA, BSN, RN
Division Director, Health Services

Jennifer Brockman is division director, health services at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. She has more than 15 years of clinical nursing experience including long-term care, medical, surgical and emergency room, home care and hospice, cardiac rehabilitation, oncology, quality management and utilization review and infection prevention. Her areas of expertise include infection prevention, hospital wide process improvement and hospital quality reporting. She received a bachelor’s degree in science and nursing from the University of Iowa and received a master’s in healthcare administration from Walden University.

Bobby Brummel, MSDS
Data Analyst

Bobby Brummell is a data analyst at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. He received a bachelor’s degree in management information systems at Iowa State University and a master’s degree in data science from Indiana University. Brummel works in data efforts for both the health services and population health divisions. His primary focus is to depict analytical results - via charts, graphs and tables in ways easily understood for government, hospitals and partners. Prior to his role at IHC, he has served in many job roles in different data and IT departments, most recently being with the National Marrow Donor Program.

Nicky Carlson, BSN, RN
Iowa Program Manager, TCPi

Nicky Carlson is the Iowa/Nebraska Compass Program Transformation Network program manager for Iowa Healthcare Collaborative.  She supports clinicians while moving to value-based care and facilitates both the Iowa and Nebraska portion of the Compass PTN.  Carlson received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Northwestern College and specialized in obstetric nursing prior to becoming a part of the Compass team. 

Kate Carpenter, BHA, CPHQ, RT (R)(M)(CT)
Director, Health Services

Kate Carpenter is director of hospital services at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. She holds a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration and is a NAHQ Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality. Carpenter leads the Compass Hospital Improvement and Innovation Network and leads the design of innovative quality, patient safety and performance improvement projects to drive sustainable and transformational improvement efforts across the care continuum. She serves as the co-lead to the PfP Readmissions Affinity Group and on the Iowa Care Coordination Statewide Strategy committee. Carpenter has 12 years of clinical experience in the medical imaging field and holds board certifications in general radiography, mammography and computed tomography.

Lana Comstock, MSN, RN
Clinical Quality Consultant

Lana Comstock is a clinical quality consultant for the Compass Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN). She received her master’s degree in science of nursing education and has primary nursing experience in home care, long-term care and paralegal nursing. Comstock is an experienced nurse administrator with focus in nursing management, nursing education and organizational quality in various clinical settings. Her responsibilities within the HIIN includes facilitation of the Falls Prevention Community of Practice and the Opioid Guardianship Project, as well as serving as a consultant to hospitals in Iowa, Illinois and South Dakota promoting all quality measures to improve safety across the board.

Ellyn Cottingham, MHA, MLS, (ASPC)CM
Director, Physician Services

Ellyn Cottingham is the director of physician services at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. Prior to this she was a medical laboratory scientist and shift supervisor in the Core Laboratory at MercyOne Des Moines.  She received a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Des Moines University and a bachelor’s degree in clinical laboratory sciences from the University of Iowa. 

Lauren Fidler, BBA
Data Analyst

Lauren Fidler is a data analyst at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. In this role she assists with daily analytical programmatic tasks that support the mission, vision and cornerstones of IHC. Fidler depicts analytical results in ways that are easily understood in a presentable manner and contributes to the successful achievement of program objectives through effective team involvement and proactive communication and collaboration. She acts as the Hospital Improvement Innovation Network database manager and is skilled in Tableau, R and SQL.  

Linda Firkins, CPA
Division Director, Administrative Services

Linda Firkins is division director, administrative services at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. She received her CPA designation in 1993 and has served in various accounting and human resource management positions since that time.  Firkins has recently served as the director of finance at Disability Rights Iowa where she managed multiple federal grants for the agency.  She was responsible for all financial activities of the agency including working with and reporting to the Board of Directors.  She also worked as chief financial officer for ISED Ventures where she managed multiple federal grants and was responsible for all financial accounting and human resource functions.

Lori Galioto, MSN, RN, CNL
Communications Lead, TCPi

Lori Galioto is the communications lead for the Compass Practice Transformation Network at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. She received a bachelor’s degree in nursing degree from Creighton University and a master’s degree in nursing degree from Grand View University.  She is also a certified clinical nurse leader. Galioto has experience working in inpatient, outpatient and clinic settings. Her clinical background includes critical care, cardiovascular care, cardiac electrophysiology, hospice, cardiac rehab and internal medicine. She is a trained health coach and worked as a health coach in an ACO prior to joining IHC.

Isaac Harris, BA
Project Coordinator, Population Health Services

Isaac Harris is the project coordinator, population health division at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. In this role he helps manage project operations to ensure that volume, cost and quality standards are achieved, and internal and external resources are adequate. Prior to his role at IHC he worked as a business analyst and most recently as a process improvement consultant for Equifax. Harris has a proven record for identifying and applying appropriate process and tool enhancements to achieve business process improvements. He received a bachelor’s degree in business management.

Norma Haskins, BS
Education Coordinator

Norma Haskins is education coordinator at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. She received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland and her teaching certification from the Northern Ireland Ministry of Education. She brings to her position more than 20 years’ experience teaching in higher education institutions and 15 years’ experience developing, planning and implementing education programs and webinars.

Margaret Hough
Business Development Associate

Margaret Hough is the business development associate at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. She has more than 28 years of experience working in state government in fundraising, finance and as executive assistant to the Governor of Iowa.

Lexie Hudachek, MA
Project Support Specialist

Lexie Hudachek is the project support specialist for the hospital services division at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. In this role she supports hospitals in the Compass HIIN by providing user support and network communications to hospitals. Prior to her role at IHC she worked remotely as a marketing intern for Brand and Bash in Buena Vista, CO, a graduate assistant STEM Festival coordinator for the NE Iowa STEM Hub at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls and she currently serves as a photographer for Lexie Shannon Photography. Hudachek received a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and a master’s degree in general communication from the University of Northern Iowa.

Ashley Johnson, MSA, BA
Chief Accountant

Ashley Johnson is as an accountant at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. She has more than six years’ experience in various accounting positions. Johnson holds bachelor’s degrees in both accounting and business administration and a master’s degree in accounting.

Sydney Johnson, BA
Digital Media Specialist

Sydney Johnson is the digital media specialist at the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative coordinating and executing digital and print content management, website administration, social media engagement and promotional strategies. Johnson holds a bachelor's degree in graphic design, with focuses in interactive media and user experience design. As a designer, she has a demonstrated history of working in print and website design among other digital media industries and is skilled in corporate design, customer service, Adobe Creative Suite, graphic design and digital media. She has worked as a freelance graphic designer as well as web designer and webmaster for the city of Alleman.

Melissa Kapping, MSN, RN, CPHQ
Director, Project Management

Melissa Kapping is the director, project management at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. In this role she supports the organization-wide project management program. Kapping started with IHC as a quality improvement advisor for the Transforming Clinical Practice initiative and was promoted to Iowa program manager and then director of physician services. She previously worked as a supervisor at an orthopedic clinic and assisted with designing and implementing hospital-based nurse rounding positions focused on evidence-based education, care coordination and utilization of electronic record systems. Kapping is pursuing a doctorate in nursing with a focus on public health policy.

Ansel Landini, BA, BS
Data Analyst

Ansel Landini is a data analyst at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. He received a bachelor’s degree in computer science and bachelor’s in mathematics from the University of Iowa in 2016. Prior to his role at IHC, Landini was a help desk IT consultant for the University of Iowa. He has an extensive educational background in software development and innovation techniques and is fluent in contemporary computing languages including HTML Suite, Java, and .NET. Landini is IHC's developer for the Iowa Report, and provides supporting hospital, clinic and community level SQL and data analysis as needed.

Shawna Law
Administrative Specialist

Shawna Law is the administrative specialist at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. In this role she runs the front desk at IHC and provides high-level support assistance to the administrative team. Law is certified in Microsoft applications and is a certified nursing assistant. Prior to her role at IHC Law had several years of administrative experience in a retirement community. She also has experience as a certified nursing assistant.

Jim Lee, MS
Instructional Design Lead
Biography coming soon.
Sue Lovanh, BA
Help Desk Technician

Sue Lovanh is the help desk technician for the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative data department. In this role she provides day-to-day technical support to the Compass PTN Portal users. She serves as the first point-of-contact to resolve issues for users seeking technical assistance and is committed to continuously meeting goals by quickly identifying issues and problems and providing prompt solutions. Prior to her role at IHC she worked in various roles at Wellmark and as a test examiner for Des Moines Area Community College. Lovanh received a bachelor’s degree in human services.

Stephanie Muller, BA, PHR, SHRM-CP, IPMA-HR
Director, Human Resources

Stephanie Muller is Iowa Healthcare Collaborative’s director of human resources. She is responsible for the overall development and management of IHC’s growing human resources department, including implementing HR practices that support IHC’s long-term strategic objectives and enhancing the corporate culture. With more than 18 years of extensive hands-on experience leading HR initiatives, in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors, Muller brings expertise in employee engagement, rewards and recognition, talent acquisition and retention and compensation and benefits administration. She received her bachelor’s degree in public agency administration from Northern Arizona University and holds certifications as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) (from the Human Resources Certification Institute), a Certified Professional in Human Resources (SHRM-CP) (from the Society for Human Resource Management) and a Certified Professional in Human Resources (IPMA-CP) (from the International Public Management Association for Human Resources).

Jingjing Niu, PhD, MS, BEd
Research Analyst

Jingjing Niu is a research analyst at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. Dr. Niu is trained in health promotion, health behavior and inquiry methodology. She has investigated and co-investigated dozens of projects in healthcare management, disease control, mental health and substance abuse. Her expertise lies in project and survey design, project management, statistics analysis and presenting results. Dr. Niu has successfully worked with multiple local and international professional groups and is skilled at interacting sensitively, effectively and professionally with diverse individuals and communities.

Ashley O'Donnell, MSN, RN
Clinical Quality Consultant

Ashley O’Donnell is a clinical quality consultant for the Compass Hospital Improvement Innovation Network. She has experience as a care coordinator and discharge planner and has served as a registered nurse in the medical/surgical department, neurology and in the emergency department. O’Donnell received an associate’s degree in nursing from Mercy College of Health Sciences, a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Grand View University and a master’s degree in nursing – clinical leadership from Grand View University.

Dino Omerhodzic, MPA, BA, PAA
Project Coordinator, Health Services

Dino Omerhodzic is project coordinator for the health services division at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. In this role he helps manage project operations to ensure that volume, cost and quality standards are achieved, and internal and external resources are adequate. Prior to his role at IHC he was a senior health informatics solution coordinator at Telligen, serving as a measure writer for hospital inpatient and outpatient quality measures. Omerhodzic received a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology and a master’s degree in public administration degree from Drake University.

Charles Palmer, MA
COO

Chuck Palmer serves as chief operating officer at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. Prior to his role at IHC he served two appointments as director of the Department of Human Services. He previously served as the department’s administrator of the Division of Mental Health. Prior to that, Palmer spent more than a decade as president for Iowans for Social and Economic Development. He has also served as director of planning and allocation of the United Way of Greater Des Moines.

Katie Pfadenhauer, BA, MA
Director, Education

Katie Pfadenhauer serves as director of education services at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. In this role, she oversees all aspects of educational events at IHC including learning communities, conferences, workshops and webinars. She previously served as the operations manager for the Iowa Business Council, managing meetings and events for key business leaders in the state. Pfadenhauer received a bachelor’s degree in public relations and organizational communication and a master’s degree in communication from the University of Northern Iowa.

Matt Pitlick, PharmD, BCPS
Pharmacist
Biography coming soon.
Beth Riha, MSIO, CPHQ
Division Director, Population Health Services

Beth Riha is division director of population health at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative supporting efforts toward delivery system reform, funding transformation and expanded provider networks with both C3 pilot communities and healthcare systems in Iowa. Riha received a bachelor’s degree in organizational psychology and sociology from Buena Vista University and a master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology from Walden University.  She has more than ten years of experience in curating needs assessments, organizational development, data integration and workflow design.

Sharmie Russell
Office Manager

Sharmie Russell serves as the office manager at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. She joined the IHC team as the receptionist and executive support. She was promoted to office manager, and now handles the day to day operations of IHC, assists with human resources, IT and many other various duties. She is a retired cosmetologist.

Cari Seddon, MA, RD, CDE
Director, Community Integration

Cari Seddon is the director, community integration at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. In this role she supports collaborative clinical and community partnerships driving sustainable healthcare quality improvements with focused attention on providing person-centered care throughout Iowa. Seddon received a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a master’s degree in family and consumer science from Western Michigan University. Seddon is a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, is certified in adult weight management and holds a cardiovascular disease and diabetes certificate. She is six sigma lean certified and has over 17 years of experience in patient care and population health management.

Jennifer Sorensen, BA
Quality Improvement Advisor

Jennifer Sorensen is a quality improvement advisor for the Compass Practice Transformation Network. She graduated from Grand View University with a bachelor’s degree in human services. Sorensen’s work under the TCPi grant includes utilizing patient and family engagement tools, social determinants of health, integration of behavioral and medical health and implementation of best practices to transform healthcare. Prior to her role at IHC she worked in Iowa and Wisconsin with diverse populations in community-based settings for more than ten years. She has a strong background in behavioral health, disability services, integration of care, criminal justice and community building. Sorensen believes that a higher quality of healthcare builds an excellent quality of life for the community. 

Alwin Tan, BSBA
Data Analyst

Alwin Tan serves as a data analyst at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative supporting the health services and population health divisions. Prior to his role as a data analyst, Tan served as a statistical analyst at Cerebral Group, responsible for developing the regression model to assist the management team with project budgeting. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration and actuarial science and information systems with a concentration in finance from Drake University in 2017. 

Gretchen Tegeler, MA, BA
Healthy Communities Consultant
Biography coming soon.
Kelli Todd, MPH, BA
Director, Development

Kelli Todd is the director of development at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative leading business development, strategic planning and fundraising strategies. Todd received a master’s degree in public health with a focus on health policy and is completing her master’s in healthcare delivery science.

Leveraging more than 12 years in the healthcare industry and seven years of state and federal government experience, her background includes wide-ranging work in health policy research, analysis and implementation of health reform initiatives on topics such as rural health, health insurance exchanges, managed care, accountable care organizations, food safety and inspections, federal impact of health reform in Iowa and the Affordable Care Act. Todd is also experienced in grant and technical writing, strategic planning and organizational development.  

Lorrie Tritch, BS
IT Consultant
Biography coming soon.
Tony Troester, MS, MPH, MBA, PMP, CSSBB
Quality Improvement Advisor Team Facilitator

Tony Troester is a quality improvement advisor for the Iowa/Nebraska Compass Practice Transformation Network program. He received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication and master’s degrees in healthcare operations management, public health and business administration. He is a certified project management professional and is certified Six Sigma Black Belt by the American Society for Quality. Prior to his role at IHC Troester worked as a cardiology clinic manager and has experience with quality initiatives, Lean/Six Sigma, data analysis, project management and healthcare policy.

Gloria Vermie, MPH, BS, ADN
Community Services Analyst

Gloria Vermie serves as program analyst for the population health division at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. She is responsible for research, analysis and special projects related to rural health, delivery transformation and provider and community services. Her previous professional roles include healthcare administration, leading federal and state grant initiatives, quality management, policy and community engagement. After receiving an undergraduate degree from Drake University, she completed a master’s degree in public health from Wichita State University and the University of Kansas.