MEET THE TEAM

PTAC’s team of seasoned consultants have years of experience providing effective technical assistance to state PASRR programs. Their areas of expertise include mental and behavioral health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, person-centered PASRR evaluations, financing of PASRR Specialized Services, nursing facility care planning, PASRR-related data analysis, and the intersection of PASRR and Olmstead compliance.

Debbie Pierson, M.P.A., will provide primary PASRR consultation to the states in the Southern CMS Region.  Ms. Pierson is a partner and co-founder of Sage Squirrel Consulting, LLC.  During her 15 years in Indiana’s aging network, Debbie has worked on both state and local HCBS service delivery systems. She is an operational specialist combining a common sense approach to optimizing business processes and leveraging technology with Medicaid knowledge to create improved business and participant outcomes. While with the Indiana Division of Aging as Deputy Director, Debbie oversaw Older Americans Act programming, state funded HCBS programming, two 1915(c) Medicaid waivers, as well as a complete redesign of Indiana’s PASRR process giving Debbie a broad perspective on how to support states and contractors in effective design and implementation of PASRR programs. 

Debbie Pierson 

PTAC Consultant: Southern Region

Edward Kako

PTAC Consultant:

Specializing in Training and

Data Analysis

Dr. Kako is a Senior Associate at Mission Analytics Group, Inc. (Mission). Dr. Kako has experience managing policy analysis, quality assurance, report writing, technical assistance, and strategic planning, both as project director and as a task lead on various projects. Dr. Kako’s recent and current work has focused on approaches to rebalancing long-term care. Dr. Kako is a senior member of the team contributing to training and data collection and analysis tasks. Dr. Kako led the development of the PASRR Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) website.

Dustin Dodson

PTAC Consultant:

Specializing in Care Planning in

Long-Term Care Facilities

Dustin Dodson, MBA, has over 20 years of experience working in nursing facilities and hospitals. Dustin has an in-depth knowledge of how the PASRR process works (and doesn't work) across the continuum of care and services. Having served on the State of Colorado Community Living Advisory Group (the Colorado implementation plan of the Olmstead Act) and other initiatives, such as No Wrong Door and Money Follows the Person, Dustin has an appreciation of the impact of an effectively administered PASRR program and understands the relationship of PASRR to fiscal responsibility, person-centered planning, and broad stakeholder roles.

Frank L. Tetrick, III 

Lead PTAC Consultant:

PTAC Consultant: Western Region

Frank L. Tetrick has provided PASRR technical assistance (TA) to states since 2011.  As our lead TA consultant, he collaborates with and supports a team that provides PASRR technical assistance to all fifty states and the District of Columbia.  Frank provides primary PASRR consultation to the states in the Western CMS Region and he serves as lead consultant on matters related to Specialized Services.

 

Frank has prepared or facilitated multiple PASRR related webinars and developed “PASRR Frequently Asked Questions” posted to the PTAC website.  His 30+ years of community and state executive experience in developing and evaluating the quality of community-based mental health, intellectual disability, and substance abuse programs gives Frank unique insight to the challenges state authorities and their contract providers can encounter in developing and managing PASRR programs.  

 

During his tenure as Assistant Commissioner for the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, Frank promoted and advanced a statewide intellectual disability initiative with emphasis on person-centered planning and treatment, including services in State facilities and State licensed HCBS providers. His overall experience at the community and state level gives Frank a balanced perspective on how best to improve systems of care that support individuals in the most community-integrated settings possible.

Laura L. Nuss

PTAC Consultant: Eastern Region

Laura Nuss, M.S is a Project Manager/Senior Analyst for New Editions Consulting, Inc. Ms. Nuss has over 35 years of experience in home and community-based services (HCBS) including direct service delivery, program development and implementation, quality systems design and  implementation, policy development and stakeholder engagement.  Prior to joining New Editions, Ms. Nuss held senior leadership positions in North Carolina, Connecticut and the District of Columbia state government where she led many initiatives including Preadmission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR) and delivery of Specialized Services for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Money Follows the Person, person-centered planning and thinking, self-direction, quality and performance management, information management, No Wrong Door and cross systems employment first strategies while leading Medicaid policy efforts.  Ms. Nuss can draw on this experience to support states in developing and managing PASRR programs. 
 

Ms. Nuss has also provided direct technical assistance to states for the past four years in Medicaid policy and program development, quality and performance management systems, employment policy, braided funding strategies and stakeholder engagement. Her experience in multiple states and providing technical assistance to others provides a broad perspective in system improvement to support advances in integrated community services.

Teja Stokes provides primary PASRR consultation to the states in the Central CMS Region.  Ms. Stokes is the Director of Contracts & Strategic Partnerships for the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS). In this role, she provides a broad range of technical assistance (TA) to states on issues related to Medicaid structure and quality, organizational success strategies, and effective service modalities. Ms. Stokes’ nearly 30 years of experience in home and community-based services (HCBS) program development, implementation, quality, and policy provides the understanding and expertise to support state authorities and contract providers in developing and managing PASRR programs. 

 

Before joining NASDDDS, Ms. Stokes served as a Director in the Government Health and Human Services division at IBM Watson Health where she led many federal and state projects aimed at providing direct technical assistance in HCBS, Preadmission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR), beneficiary engagement and quality of care. She has held various positions within Virginia state government, where she supported Medicaid policy development, community-based behavioral health services, and provision of developmental disabilities services. Ms. Stokes offers more than 25 years of experience in change management, including quality improvement, process mapping, strategic planning, process improvement, and group facilitation helping community-based service systems advance quality outcomes for people receiving integrated services and supports.

Teja S. Stokes

PTAC Consultant: Central Region

PTAC currently serves as a contractor for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 

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