Joan Marren, RN, MA ,MEd,
Joan Marren is currently a national consultant in health care strategy and practice, primarily focused on home and community-based services. She is a founding member of Quadrant Consulting, LLC, a partnership of four experienced leaders in Home Care and Hospice services.
In March 2013 Ms. Marren retired from the Visiting Nurse Service of New York after 36 years of distinguished service. From 1995 until her retirement Ms. Marren served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) and President of VNSNY Home Care. She is a highly regarded and respected leader in home and community-based health care. In her COO role, Ms. Marren played a key role in strategy development and oversaw care delivery, administration and quality for all service delivery operations of VNSNY, its affiliates and subsidiaries. She assured consistency in, and accountability for, implementation of Agency strategy and fiscal responsibility across business units generating $1.2B in revenue. Ms. Marren was instrumental in developing, testing, and implementing the first iteration of New York State’s Managed Long Term Care program at VNSNY and growing it within the organization. In addition, she spearheaded the development of leading edge home care clinical systems; new models of transitional and chronic care management; robust quality infrastructure and scorecard measurement processes; and deployment of evidence-based clinical practice by front line service delivery staff. She has numerous publications describing this work in peer-reviewed journals.
From 1980 to 1987, Ms. Marren was Director of Home Care for Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center and Mount Sinai Hospital where she oversaw the total operations of these hospital-based certified home health agencies and at Mt Sinai, doubled the agency’s census and visits and expanded the scope of services provided.
Ms. Marren has been a member of and Chair of the Home Care Association of New York State, a member of the United Hospital Fund Advisory Committee on Long Term Care Policy and the Johns Hopkins-Bloomberg School of Public Health/Health Policy and Management Stakeholders Advisory Committee for the Guided Care Project. She served on the Advisory Committee for the RWJ/Northwest Health Foundation RIBN Project to increase baccalaureate graduates in nursing and on two CMS Technical Expert panels to develop assessment and payment systems for the home health industry. She was also a member of the Home Health Care Reimbursement Workgroup charged with advising the NYS Department of Health on the development of a Medicaid PPS reimbursement system for home care. Until her retirement in March, Ms. Marren was a member of the Board of Directors of the Visiting Nurse Associations of America, the Advisory Boards for Nursing Spectrum and Home Care 100 and the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Nursing. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Guthrie Clinic, a multihospital regional health system in Sayre, Pennsylvania. She is also a Board member of NEF (Nurses Educational Funds, Inc.) a non-profit organization dedicated to advanced education for nurses through scholarship assistance.
Ms. Marren received her diploma from the Bellevue School of Nursing, her Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude, in Nursing from Hunter College of the City University of New York, and her Master of Arts and Master of Education degrees from Columbia University, Teachers College. She was the recipient of the 1994 Ruth F. Wilson Award, the highest honor conferred by the Home Care Association of New York State. She is a 2004-2007 Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow.
K. JEANNE DENNIS, MSW
Jeanne Dennis is a national consultant in Hospice and Palliative Care. She is a founding member of Quadrant Consulting, LLC, a partnership of four experienced leaders in Home Care, Hospice and Palliative Care and she is an Associate with The Corridor Group.
Ms. Dennis retired from the Visiting Nurse Service of New York at the end of 2014 after a total of 18 years. From 2001 until she retired, Ms. Dennis served as the Senior Vice President of VNSNY Hospice and Palliative Care. In that role she had responsibility for the leadership of the Hospice and Palliative Corporation, one among the family of VNSNY corporations. She held the position of Hospice Executive Director from 1988 to 1992, when she re-located to California. VNSNY recruited her back in 2001 to manage a significant challenge facing the Hospice Program. During her tenure, the program grew to become the largest hospice provider in New York State, employing 320 staff and a corps of 300 volunteers with a budget of $85m and a positive margin. Other milestones during this period include: opening an 8 bed Hospice Residence; establishing a 25 bed In-Patient Unit; accomplishing a financial turnaround; acquiring another Hospice program; implementing The VNSNY Hospice Care PATH: a model of excellent service delivery; creating SPARK, a Palliative Care Management Program and negotiating a contract with a Medicare MCO to add SPARK to its member benefits; establishing a Physician Fellowship Program with 7 NYC Academic Medical Centers and developing an organizational ethics program.
From 1993 to 2001, Ms. Dennis was Director of Program Service at TrinityCare Hospice in Torrance California. In this position she directed, in partnership with the Director of Clinical Services, the day-to-day operation and delivery of hospice care across four teams and four sites. She held responsibility for all of TrinityCare Hospice’s special programs including: TrinityKids Care, The Gathering Place (community bereavement center), The End of Life Education and Resource Project and the development of a Palliative Care Consultation team. She was a central participant in the leadership team that brought TrinityCare Hospice successfully through the process of a HCFA Operation Restore Trust survey.
From 1982-1988, Ms. Dennis was the Administrative Coordinator of Cabrini Hospice in New York City. During this time she also served as Consultant Hospice Surveyor for the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations.
Ms. Dennis is a current member of the Board of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization serving on its Nursing Home Task Force, Public Policy Committee, and Short Stay Task Force. She is a current ex-officio member and former President of the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of New York State. She was a member of the National Hospice Work Group from 2010-2014.From 1994 -2000 she served on the Board of the California Hospice and Palliative Care Association and as its President in 1997. She was a member of the Southern California Cancer Pain Initiative from 1997-2001.
Ms. Dennis received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Iowa, a Masters in Social Work from San Diego State University. She holds a certificate in Bio-Ethics and Medical Humanities from New York University and a Certificate in the Principles and Practices of Organizational Development from Columbia University, Teachers College. She was the recipient of the Carol Raphael Innovation Award in 2011.
PATRICIA VIGILANTE, RN, BSN, MPA, CHPCA, CPHQ
Patricia Vigilante is a consultant to health care agencies. She is a registered nurse with over 35 years of health care experience, including 23 years in hospice. Patricia earned her Master’s degree from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service, with a specialty in health care administration.
While Patricia’s hospice experience has encompassed a full spectrum of clinical and management roles, her very first role was serving as an inpatient unit volunteer. This turned out to be a career changing experience, and inspired a switch in specialization from obstetrics to end-of-life care. Patricia became a hospice staff nurse, making home visits in her suburban community. She advanced to a clinical preceptor role; then became a team manager and eventually the hospice program’s administrator. During graduate school, Patricia developed a keen interest in management systems and health care quality. This led to a leadership position with a large urban hospice program, serving as the director of quality management services. There, Patricia’s responsibilities included: agency adoption of an electronic medical record; documentation review and compliance monitoring; oversight of orientation and clinical education; implementing a major revision of the federal hospice regulations, and leading the hospice’s quality assessment and performance improvement program. Patricia was responsible for
managing Additional Development Requests and the appeals process. She drafted new policies and managed the adoption process. Her experience includes leadership for accreditation survey preparation and writing/implementing plans of correction. Patricia’s hospice was one of 9, across the country, chosen to assist with testing the final draft of a patient-level data item set. Patricia served on the Technical Expert Panel (TEP) that convened to make recommendations to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) about implementing the Hospice Item Set, a component of CMS’s Hospice Quality Reporting Program. She served on the June, 2014 TEP which made recommendations to CMS about future hospice quality measures. Patricia holds national certifications in hospice and palliative care administration and in health care quality.
Patricia is committed and enthusiastic about engaging with front line interdisciplinary staff, supervisors, team managers and agency leadership to be “the best at getting better” in all domains of hospice practice.