Meet the Judges

Liz Jensen, RN, MSN, RN-BC

Liz Jensen is the Clinical Director at Direct Supply. She is a board certified gerontological nurse with over 25 years experience in nursing leadership, practice and education in the post-acute care setting.  She specializes in translating evidence based research, regulations and risk management strategies into practical process and application for clinicians and frontline care providers. 

In her current role, she consults with Senior Living Operators and Clinicians on process and practice improvements to improve clinical care capabilities that drive positive resident outcomes. She leads the Direct Supply Clinical Product Advisory Board, coordinating collaborative innovation development, testing and implementation with product developers and more than 50 senior care providers.   

William R. “Rod” Baird

President, Geriatric Practice Mgt., Inc
16 Biltmore Ave. Suite #300
Asheville, NC 28801

Rod Baird's experience includes 35+ years of accidental healthcare entrepreneurship.  This includes three major start-ups, all in his hometown of Asheville, NC:

  •  a PALTC Provider network (2.5 employees to 1,200),followed by a
  •  PALTC Medical Group (5 moonlighting MDs to 75 Practitioners), and
  • a HIT spin-off from the medical group (now 65+ employees).

The HIT company, he cofounded in 2012 is GPM, the developer of GEHRIMED™, a complete ONC certified ambulatory EHR for LTPAC Physicians.  GPM does all development work of its core products in Asheville, but also offers ‘add-on’ products through the GHERIMED Market Place.  3rd Party Vendors offer: CCM software & staffing, Frailty measurement, RCM, Voice-to-text/data, etc.

Until 2014 he was also the President of Extended Care Physicians, a NC/SC based LTC Physician group. Earlier in his career he founded a Home Health Agency which evolved into a complete LTPAC service delivery network (homemakers through IRF and LTACH).  That organization is now owned by the region’s dominant Health System

Rod is an active and enthusiastic AMDA member.  He is on these committees, Innovations, Practice Management, Public Policy, &Quality, writes a practice management colmn for Caring for the Ages, and is on the JAMDA Editorial Board.

In 2012 he was selected as a CMS Innovation Center Advisor - working on developing infrastructure for a LTC - PCMH model of care.  He is national lecturer and published author for LTPAC Physician management issues. 

Debra Bakerjian, PhD, FNP, FAAN, FAANP, FGSA

Dr. Debra Bakerjian is associate adjunct professor, at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis where she teaches geriatrics, patient safety, quality improvement, and interprofessional education and collaborative practice. She has almost 30 years of nursing home (NH) experience as a nurse practitioner and has served as a consultant to many NHs in the areas of systems change, quality improvement, and patient safety. Bakerjian earned both Family Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant certificates from the UC Davis School of Medicine in 1991. She earned a Master in Family Health Care Nursing degree in 1992 and a doctoral degree in Health Policy and Geriatrics in 2006, both from UC San Francisco School of Nursing. She is currently the principle investigator on a study of Music and Memory on nursing home residents with dementia. Dr. Bakerjian is a Fellow of the American Academy in Nursing, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and Gerontological Society of America.

Steven Handler, MD, PhD, CMD

Steven Handler, MD, PhD, CMD is an Associate Professor with a primary appointment in the Division of Geriatric Medicine where he is the Director for Geriatric Telemedicine Programs. He has secondary appointments in the Department of Biomedical Informatics, and Clinical and Translational Research. Steven also serves as the Chief Medical Informatics Officer for UPMC Community and Provider Services Division and as the Co-Director and Medical Director for Telemedicine and Health Information for the RAVEN (Reduce AVoidable hospitalization using Evidence-based interventions for Nursing facilities in Western Pennsylvania) CMS Innovation Award. The main goal of this innovation award which is in 17 partner nursing homes, is to reduce potentially avoidable hospitalizations. The RAVEN project is the only CMS innovation award that has a telemedicine component to reduce potentially avoidable hospitalizations and CMS regards this as one of the most innovative concepts being tested as part of this evaluation. Steven completed his medical school training at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, residency at Tufts University and Fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. He is a practicing geriatrician with direct patient care responsibilities in the nursing home and hospital settings. His primary research area focuses on medication and patient safety primarily in the nursing home setting. For the past decade, Steven’s research has been at the intersection of biomedical informatics and geriatrics utilizing an active medication monitoring system to detect and manage adverse drug events among older nursing home residents. More recently, he has focused on the application of telemedicine in the long-term and post-acute care settings. He has published over 85 peer-reviewed articles in various geriatrics, nursing, informatics, health services, and patient safety journals over the past decade. Steven recently helped to create a new telemedicine start-up company called Curavi Health, where he is the Chief Medical and Innovation Officer. He has been a member of the IPAC since its inception.