Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Eight health care leaders receive awards

Bi-State Primary Care Association, serving Vermont and New Hampshire, held its 2016 Primary Care Conference today in Fairlee, presenting its annual Bi-State Awards during the Awards Ceremony Luncheon. Andrew Majka of Springfield was among those honored.

The (board of directors’) Chair Award, The Outstanding Clinician Award, The Community Service Award, and The Public Service Award went to eight individuals nominated by their peers for making significant contributions toward improving access to primary health care in the twin states through their professional and volunteer work. The day-long conference focused on the impending Transformation to a Value-Based Health Care System and featured 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 attended the annual conference held on May 24 (8:30-4:30) at Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vermont.

2016 Bi-State Primary Care Association Awards

The Chair Award

The Chair Award honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to Bi-State’s mission of assuring access to health care for the vulnerable populations in Vermont and New Hampshire.

New Hampshire: Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas - New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services 

Nicholas Toumpas, recently retired commissioner of the NH Department of Health and Human Services, served as commissioner for an eventful eight years comprised of monumental federal and state health care reform. Toumpas accomplished the state’s legislative directives with tenacity and grace, never wavering from the mission of the Department. He spearheaded a new Medicaid Management Information System, Modified Adjusted Gross Income changes, and likely the most important accomplishment of his career, the New Hampshire Health Protection Program. Thanks in part to Mr. Toumpas and his team of experts, over 47,000 New Hampshire residents have access to health insurance coverage - many for the first time in their entire adult lives.

Vermont: Andrew Majka, Chief Finance Officer and Chief Strategy Officer of Springfield Medical Care Systems

While at Springfield Medical Care Systems, Mr. Majka, with a team of professionals, helped to develop a new model of Community Health Center - the Federally Qualified Health Center/Critical Access Hospital model. In 2007- 2008, Mr. Majka’s expertise was 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 with his team 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. Springfield Medical Care Systems have received national recognition and awards for their efforts.


The Public Service Award honors individuals from New Hampshire and Vermont whose position allows them to make extraordinary contributions in the area of public health and primary care access.

New Hampshire: Patricia Tilley, Chief of the Bureau of Population Health and Community Services, Division of Public Health Services at the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

Ms. Tilley has shown great care and concern about the impact of state policies on medically underserved populations and on the Community Health Centers that provide patient-centered primary health care services to those populations. Ms. Tilley is a creative, forward thinker who considers how to leverage state resources for family planning and primary care. She understands that many patients served by Community Health Centers require extra resources to address complex health and social service needs and effectively communicates that information. She is a valued partner and advocate for Community Health Centers inside the Department of Public Health. Ms. Tilley’s role at the Bureau is to foster systemic approaches to promote health and wellbeing, prevent chronic conditions through population-level strategies and interventions, and to reduce health inequities. 

Vermont: Georgia Maheras, Esq., Deputy Director of Health Care Reform for Payment and Delivery System Reform and Director of the Vermont Health Care Innovation Project

Georgia 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.


The Outstanding Clinician 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.  

Vermont: Philip Kiely, MD, Medical Director for Morrisville Family Health Care and for Lamoille Home Health & Hospice

For over 20 years, Dr. 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. 

New Hampshire: Sandra Rose, PhD: Goodwin Health Center’s Director of Behavioral Health

While Dr. Rose was at Goodwin Community Health, she was the driving force behind piloting SBIRT (screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment) which is an evidence-based practice used to identify, reduce, and prevent problematic use, misuse, and dependence on alcohol and illicit drugs, most notably including non-judgmental conversations about their use by the patient. She leveraged grant funds for SBIRT and a plan for implementing it statewide. She continued her visionary work by starting an adolescent SBIRT program for Goodwin Health Center, among other innovative administrative and clinical practices. She was ahead of her time in New Hampshire in the implementation of chronic disease treatment, including substance abuse peer support and wellness groups. Treating substance abuse as a chronic disease, she received grant support to implement this very successful program. It was through her vision and leadership that Goodwin Community Health was such an early and successful adopter of integrating behavioral health care into their primary care setting.


The Community Service Award honors individuals whose volunteer efforts have made a significant impact on the vulnerable populations of Vermont or New Hampshire. 

New Hampshire: Ron Spaulding, DDS, Board Member and Oral Surgeon (retired), Ammonoosuc Community Health Services

Dr. Spaulding initiated his relationship with Ammonoosuc Community Health Services over five years ago with a generous gift of dental equipment to the health center. Since then, his strategic guidance, informed by years of dental surgical practice in the north country of Vermont and New Hampshire, has been instrumental in assuring ACHS’s capacity to begin to address the dearth of access to dental and oral health services in their service area. As a content expert, he has provided the ACHS board of directors and senior leadership team with valuable guidance in every step of their creating an in-house dental practice in an effective and efficient manner. 

Vermont: Connie Philleo, Board Secretary, Little Rivers Health Care

Connie Philleo, board secretary for Little Rivers Health Care in Vermont,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.

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.  



  1. Family doctors still exist. There are many still offering similar services to their predecessors although home visits are no longer possible except in emergency cases. Although more people are seeking care from doctors specializing in different areas of medicine, family doctors are still an integral part of the health care system.

    Portsmouth Family practice

  2. chuck gregory1/30/17, 12:25 PM

    Absolutely! Their major problem is that even though they are among the most highly skilled professionals in America, they are finding it so hard to practice as they know best that many of them are considering unionizing to protect themselves from insurance companies, ACO's and for-profit health care systems. In the name of profit, these outfits try to keep MD's from prescribing proper courses of action and medication to cure their patients. We can expect the new administration to try turn over VA medical services to these scoundrels.


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