Tahoe Institute for Rural Health Research


Board of Directors:

The board of the Institute consists of 12 members that are affiliated with Tahoe Forest Health System (TFHS), UCD Clinical & Translational Science Center, NSF Center for Biophotonics UC Davis, UCD Graduate School of Management, and Truckee/Tahoe regional community business leaders:

Clyde Batavia, TIRHR
Betsy Cole, EVP, TIRHR
Jake Dorst, Interim CEO/CIO, TFHS
Tom Dwelle, General Partner, Flyer's Energy
Rick Ganong, MD, TTMG
Thomas Hobday, CEO, TIRHR
James Hood, PhD, COO, TIRHR
Dennis Matthews, PhD, CBST, & CSO, TIRHR
John McQuitty, MD
Chris Ryman, TIRHR
Karen Sessler, MD, TFHS Board of Directors
James Stevens, Assistant Dean, UCD, Graduate School of Management
Tod Stoltz, MBA, UCD School of Medicine

Staff of the Institute:

The President and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute is Thomas Hobday, an active community volunteer and retired Assistant Dean for Health Sciences Advancement at the University of California Davis Health System. Prior to joining UC Davis, he had over 30 years in the industrial insurance industry, and since has had 19 years in health system administration and development. Mr. Hobday is a very competent administrator, team leader, and fund raiser. He also served for three years as the National Chairman of Fund Raising for the American Cancer Society and was the only lay member on their National Research Grant Review Committee. In 2013 and 2014 he served on a grant development advisory committee with the National Science Foundation, and also on two occasions as a grant reviewer for that institution.

The Chief Operating Officer and the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) is James Hood, Ph.D. He has over 40 years of experience in the development, manufacture and sales of high technology electronic equipment and systems with twenty years of general management responsibilities. Dr. Hood was the Vice President of Engineering of the company that developed DSL. The existence of his Scientific Advisory Committee, and its distinguished membership, allows the Institute to review projects from a broad and critical perspective, not usually found in organizations of its kind.

The Executive Vice President is Elizabeth “Betsy” Johnston Cole. She has over 30 years of experience in investment banking, strategic planning and finance. From 1998 until 2010, Ms. Cole was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Booth Creek Ski Holdings, Inc. ("BCSH"), the owner and/or operator of multiple Ski Resorts including Northstar at Tahoe. She was a partner in BCRP, LLC., the owner of BCSH. Previous positions held by Ms. Cole include Vice President of Business Development for Vail Resorts, Inc., Chief Financial Officer of Petrowax PA Inc., Vice President of Aurora Capital Partners, and First Vice President, Financial Institutions/Corporate Finance of Drexel Burnham Lambert, Inc.

The Chief Scientific Officer is Dennis Matthews, Ph.D. He joined the Institute on July 1, 2012 after his retirement from UC Davis where he had been the Associate Director for Biomedical Technology of the Comprehensive Cancer Center and where he remains as the Director of the NSF Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology. Dr. Matthews is now a Professor Emeritus in the UC Davis Department of Neurological Surgery and a member of the Biomedical Engineering, Applied Sciences and Clinical Sciences Graduate Groups. He is also a previous Program Leader and Division Leader at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and is currently in charge of developing new biotechnology program opportunities there. Dr. Matthews has more than 35 years of experience in building and leading large scientific research and development programs that focus on optical and x-ray imaging technologies, medical device creation and translation, as well as forming public-private partnerships for commercialization.

Vice President of Business Development, Mark Peshoff: As a former executive within the Office of the CEO and COO at Cisco Systems, Mark Peshoff led the companywide restructuring efforts to fundamentally make the shifts in the Cisco business and strategic plan to align resources to the top priorities, simplify the operating model, enhance the supply chain, restructure engineering and align the go to market strategy with the company 5 year plan. With more that 32+ years in the high tech industry, Mark's experience includes corporate strategy and development, sales management, consulting, product marketing, field marketing, product management, channels and acquisitions assessment/integration. Prior to Cisco, Mark spent 14 years with Hewlett-Packard, building the company's first Network Consulting Organization within both Cisco and Hewlett-Packard, he has held key leadership positions in Europe and Asia Pacific.

Senior Scientists of the Institute:

Richard Johnson, who has more than 40 years of engineering and senior management experience in the design, development and manufacture of electronic products/systems and was responsible for the start-up of several successful companies. The products included word processors, disk drives and media, printers, and satellite communications systems. Most recently he was a founder and key technical leader of Dish Network as Vice President of Advanced Development through the first 10 years of the company's rapid growth.

Stephen Lane Ph.D., was a researcher and scientific manager at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for 30 years where he worked on projects related to nuclear physics, laser fusion, biosecurity, semiconductor manufacturing, and medical technology. At UC Davis in 2002, he co-founded and became the Chief Scientific Officer of the NSF Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology where light based technologies were used to solve important problems in medicine and biology. He currently is an independent consultant and is an Adjunct Professor Emeritus in the UCD Dept. of Neurological Surgery and continues to work on the technology development and commercialization of medical devices and sensors.

Windy McNerney, Ph.D., is currently a researcher at the VA hospital in Palo Alto and Stanford University Medical School where she primarily works on projects related to neurological conditions commonly found in veterans, including TBI and Alzhiemer’s disease. She recently finished a postdoctoral research position at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on neurotoxicology and biosecurity. She earned her PhD and Master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame by conducting research projects on the neural basis of memory formation as well as the EEG waveforms related to memory processing. She is currently on the investigation team for the traumatic brain injury project.

Nina Winans, MD, board certified in Sports Medicine, is one of the clinical investigators involved with the TTUSD/TIRHR collaborative program development and the implementation of Play it Safe Concussion Care. Dr. Winans received her medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. She continued her education at the UC Davis Medical Center and completed her internship, residency and fellowship there. Dr. Winans research experience during her Sports Medicine Fellowship at UC Davis included exercise and hypertension, tension night splints for plantar fasciitis, and elbow dislocations. She currently practices Sports Medicine with the Tahoe Forest Health System MultiSpecialty Clinics and is the Medical Director at the Tahoe Center for Health and Sports Performance.

Division of Clinical Informatics:

TIRHR contracted with the California Critical Access Hospital Network (CCAHN) and Western Healthcare Alliance to manage a grant the Institute received from HRSA to provide services to eighteen California Rural e Health (CAReHIN) member hospitals http://www.carehin.org/ to prepare for changes being mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

Tom Northey who is the Director of IT Collaboration for (CCAHN) is CAReHIN's  Executive Director. CAReHIN will now be more closely aligned with CCAHN yet remain as the technical infrastructure and Meaningful Use driver for Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) in California (a continuation of the CAReHIN Work Plan). CAReHIN's continued focus will be to assist those remaining hospitals still needing to successfully attest for Meaningful use Stage 1 and to assist all those hospitals preparing to attest for Meaningful Use Stage 2. Part and parcel to this effort will be the ongoing development and deployment of a Strategic Roadmap for California's CAHs to assist them in the planning and acquisition of key technologies that will move them along the path to HIMSS Level 7 achievement. This Strategic Roadmap (including MU2, HIE connectivity and HIMSS Level 7) will prepare and position CAHs for participation in whatever Population Health/Payment models emerge. Together with CAReHIN members, we will be refining this roadmap in the coming months. CCAHN through CAReHIN brings a number of key technology partners and an incredible set of resources (both technologically and strategically) together to propel CAReHIN and its members to greater economies of scale (cost savings), toward the achievement of critical initiatives and for the imperative of rural, hospital sustainability."

Tom Northey can be reached at tom.northey@wha1.org, Direct phone: 866-986-3657, Cell phone: 303-919-2992.