NATIONAL association of travel Healthcare organizations

Meet the Clinical Executive Team

Amber Barna, BSN, RN - Medical Solutions

Amber has been a registered nurse for over 20 years, holding several key positions in nursing leadership, regulatory compliance, and infection control. Amber currently serves as VP, Clinical and Quality Services at Medical Solutions. She also volunteers her time as a member on the Joint Commission Advisory Committee for Healthcare Staffing Services. Amber earned her ASN from College of St. Mary, BSN from University of St. Mary, BSBA from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and graduated in July 2021 with her MSN in Executive Leadership.

Michelle Brudigan, RN, BSN - Fastaff, US Nursing Corporation, trustaff

As Senior Vice President of Clinical Services, Michelle Brudigan oversees the hiring and professional standards for Fastaff and U.S. Nursing Coporation. maintaining the company’s Joint Commission Certification for Healthcare Staffing Services. Since joining the organization in 2001, Michelle has served in many roles, including Director of Credentialing and Regional Sales Director.

Denise Carlson, MBA, MSN, RN, Clinical Director/Risk Manager- Jackson Nurse Professional

Denise Carlson, MBA, MSN, RN, joined Jackson Healthcare this year. As Clinical Director, Denise, provides her expertise relating to quality, risk, and clinical support for our clinicians. She brings more than 30 years of nursing experience in a variety of settings to the Orlando team. In addition, she serves as a member of the NATHO Clinical Executive Council and Health Care Staffing Services Advisory Council.

Earl Dalton, MHA, MSL, RN, NEA-BC - Health Carousel

NATHO Director

Earl currently sits as chair of the Clinical Executive committee for the National Association of Travel Healthcare Organizations (NATHO) and membership in the Joint Commission’s Staffing advisory council and technical council. In 2018 Earl keynoted the Philippines Nurse Association’s Annual conference and events in South Korea and UAE. Dalton recently was a contributing author on “Building a Culture of Safety: A National Nursing Licensure Model” published in Beckers 2021. Dalton was published in Customer Care News for innovation in customer experience in 2015 and won the Mount St Joseph Distinguished Nurse Administrator award for Cincinnati.

Thad Dufelmeier, RN, CCWP - Theodore Drew & Associates

Thad Dufelmeier is the Founder/CEO of Theodore Drew and Associates (TD). Founded in 2009, TD offers Joint Commission consulting, clinical oversight, business process outsourcing, competency services, State Licensure services, payroll and accounting services, and digital marketing services. Thad was a Critical Care RN for the first 15 years of his career, with experience in major medical centers in the Greater Los Angeles area. He also assists healthcare staffing companies in becoming Joint Commission certified with over 200+ JC certifications under his belt. He is also a husband and father of 3 sons and loves sports and cooking.

Doreen Donohue, DNP, RN NEA-BECAUSE, CPHQ - The Joint Commission

Dr. Donohue is the Field Director for the Disease Specific/Health Care Staffing Certification program at The Joint Commission. She has over 35 years of nursing leadership experience in a variety of hospital operations roles. Dr. Donohue received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the College of Mount St. Vincent in Riverdale, NY, her Master of Science in Nursing Administration from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and her Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Terim L. Dortch, MSN, RN - Medical Solutions

CEC Co-Chair

Terim joined Medical Solutions in 2018. As the Manager of Clinical Services, Terim manages a large performance management and clinical services team of nurse managers who interview and oversee the performance of several thousand contingent clinicians working in facilities nationwide. Terim also meets with facility partners to develop an understanding of their hiring expectations and provides insights into onboarding policies for facility partners. Currently, she is co-vice chair of the Clinical Executive Committee for the healthcare travel industry and co-authored a paper to call to action a National Compact License. Prior to joining Medical Solutions, Terim worked as the Emergency Department Clinical Nurse Supervisor at a major Magnet pediatric trauma facility in Omaha, NE. A former travel nurse herself, she is also an experienced pediatric trauma and Med/Surg nurse leader. Terim received her MSN in Executive Leadership from Nebraska Methodist College and BSN from the University of Nebraska Medical Center-Lincoln.

Jillene Eliassen, RN, BS, BSN, Vice President of Clinical Services - Travel Nurse Across America

CEC Co-Chair

Jill Eliassen proudly serves as vice-chair of NATHO’s clinical executive council and as the vice president of clinical services at TNAA, one of the fastest-growing healthcare traveler agencies in the country. With more than 20 years in the healthcare industry, her professional career includes tenure in bedside nursing at a level-one trauma ICU, service as an RN paralegal, and work in rapid response staffing. In 2013, Jill joined TNAA and brought a unique skill set combining one-to-one clinician care, risk mitigation, and policy management. She is responsible for building TNAA’s clinical department to its full functionality and leads a team of more than a dozen people, including clinicians and referencing specialists who support thousands of healthcare travelers. She is involved at every step of an assignment’s creation and placement, ensuring that each assignment meets the facility’s needs and the traveler’s goals. Jill, who also holds a bachelor’s degree in healthcare sciences, joined NATHO in 2015 and was appointed vice-chair in 2021. She is also a member of The Joint Commission. She lives in Colorado with her husband, her two children, and their dogs. She enjoys the beautiful Colorado outdoors as she boats and skis with her family in her free time.

Marisa Freo, Vice President of Credentialing- Epic Staffing Group

Marisa has over 20 years in healthcare staffing. She recently joined Epic Staffing group as VP of Credentialing overseeing multiple life science and healthcare staffing verticals ensuring regulatory compliance. Prior she has worked from smaller to large firms in a leadership role either VP or Director of Credentialing. She has significant experience in establishing the protocols and processes needed to achieve and maintain Joint Commission Certification along with the experience in personnel management and training. In the beginning she was bedside as a Home Health Aid and Unit Tech. Graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Ethics from Dallas Christian College. She lives in Texas with her husband and 4 children.

Kelly Gunn, MBA, RN, NE-BC- Accountable Healthcare Staffing

Kelly Gunn is a nurse executive and consultant in healthcare staffing. For over 15 years, she has been providing clinical support and expertise to healthcare staffing organizations. She assists organizations with preparation for The Joint Commission, acts as a clinical resource, and serves as a liaison between the client and healthcare professionals. Kelly joined Accountable Healthcare Staffing in 2019 and as the Director of Clinical Services, supports the Travel division as well as all branches across the country to achieve mutual goals. She earned her BSN from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI and her MBA from Rutgers University in New Jersey. Kelly currently lives in Illinois and is a member of the IONL

Melissa Knybel, BSN, RN - Randstad Healthcare

As the VP of Clinical Practice within Randstad's risk management team, Melissa support all field branches and operations related to workplace safety, quality, and risk within healthcare environments. As the clinical expert, she provides support during the sales & client engagement process with clients looking to Randstad to support their clinical and non-clinical staffing needs. Prior to joining Randstad, Melissa was employed as a Registered Nurse working in a variety of settings. She has over ten years of clinical experience, primarily in the critical care setting. Melissa currently serves on the board of NATHO as well as on NATHO's Clinical Executive Committee. Additionally, she is one of the education coordinators for TravCon (Travelers Education Group) and serves on the conference planning committee.

Stacy Laue, RN BSN- RTG Medical

As the Director of Clinical and Compliance Services, Stacy develops policies and procedures to elevate the staffing initiatives at RTG Medical while providing experienced clinical support. Stacy has been a registered nurse for over 20 years. Her clinical experience is grounded in Intensive Care with specialty expertise in open heart surgery. Prior to her work in the travel nursing industry, she was the Director of Supply Chain for large 16 hospital health system. She also has experience as a Value Analysis Manager overseeing products implemented by the group purchasing organization. She has trained new employees and was responsible for reviewing and strategic planning and implementation as a Territory Manager for a global medical device company.

Peter J. Mecouch, MBA, MSN, RN- General Healthcare Resources

Mr. Mecouch currently represents General Healthcare Resources as Director of Quality Assurance. He has a clinical background in nephrology and critical care nursing. For the last 16 years, he has served in varying clinical and administrative leadership roles in the acute care realm.

Jenny Palmgren- Medical Staffing Solutions Inc.

Jenny Palmgren, BSN, RN is an accomplished nurse leader with over 16 years of hospital experience. Currently, Jenny serves as the Clinical Nurse Manager for MSSI. Over her career Jenny has held several nurse leadership roles including Clinical Nurse Manager of a Float Pool, Staffing Office, Nursing Supervisor Department, Educational Coordinator and Float Pool RN. Jenny has years of experience in working with travel nurses and their onboarding. Jenny earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from University of Wisconsin - La Crosse and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Sally Porter, RN, BSN, Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer - Supplemental Health Care

Sally Porter has maintained the highest standards, keeping the welfare of the patients she cared for at the forefront of everything she does. As Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer for Supplemental Health Care, she has the opportunity to take that philosophy across the country. The standards, policies, and procedures she has developed ensure the highest levels of screening and service from the thousands of healthcare professionals SHC places in hospitals, schools, clinics, and therapy centers nationwide. Sally is a past member of the Health Care Staffing advisory board of the Joint Commission and a current member of ASHRM.

Donita Ross, MSN, RN, NE-BC, CGNC Associate Chief Nurse Officer - Health Carousel International

CEC Vice-Chair

Donita is a former nurse leader of perioperative, medical surgical, and oncology services for a 320-bed acute care facility in Cincinnati, OH. She has given conference presentations on leadership and best practices in the gastroenterology/perioperative setting as well as regional, national and international conference presentations on the nursing shortage and international workforce solution. Donita developed and led several multi-state educational conferences and specialty certification review courses. She has also administrated educational scholarship programs to support advanced educational opportunities and certification in nursing along with multiple evidence-based practice policies focused on safety and improved patient outcomes. Donita is also the recipient of the Mount Saint Joseph University Distinguished Leadership Award and the Cincinnati Business Courier’s Health Care Hero Award.

JoEllen Ryan, Chief Nursing Officer - Theodore Drew & Associates

JoEllen Ryan is the Chief Nursing Officer of Theodore Drew & Associates. JoEllen is the CNO of Healthcare Staffing Hire, a division of Theodore Drew & Associates. She worked for Joint Commission as a Healthcare Staffing and Disease-Specific reviewer for 16 years. JoEllen was a Nursing Instructor at Northern Illinois University, retiring after 20 years in 2019. Currently, she holds a PRN position in a Pediatric Unit at Swedish American Hospital. A co-owner and President of ABC Staffing until 2000. Previous to teaching at the university, JoEllen was a manager of a Pediatric and PICU in Rockford, Illinois. She currently is the Founder/President of Latortuga Foundation, which has coordinated at least yearly a medical mission trip to assist the Mayan communities in Chiapas, Mexico.

Sara Spanjer, BSN, RN, Chief Clinical Officer - Fusion Medical Staffing, LLC

As the Chief Clinical Officer at Fusion Medical Staffing, Sara Spanjer oversees the Clinical, Compliance, and Operations departments for the organization. She has over 15 years of experience as a nurse including inpatient and outpatient bedside care, clinical sales, recruiting and operations. She helped start the travel nursing department at Fusion in 2013, and later implemented the Clinical and Operations departments along with driving the buildout of a proprietary credentialing system and assisting with the development of Fusion Marketplace. She was recognized in SIA's 40 Under 40 in 2021 for her leadership in the industry. She lives in Omaha, NE with her husband and three daughters and enjoys traveling and the outdoors.

   Meghan Stimmler, RN, BSN - Stability Healthcare, Inc

    Meghan has been a registered nurse for almost 25 years. As the Director of Nursing, Meghan provides clinical support for nurses and Allied Health                      professionals, as well as develops policies and procedures for standards of care. Meghan received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of      Southern California in 1998. She lives in California with her husband and four children. 

  Kim Robinson, RN, BSN - Medical Solutions

   Kim has been a registered nurse for 15 years and currently serves as the VP of Operations at Medical Solutions. She has experience in a variety of                     specialties including Healthcare staffing, Emergency department, Cath Lab/IR, and MedSurg/Neuro/Ortho. Kim is currently finishing her MSN in Nursing             Executive Leadership.

  Jaclyn Neilly, BSN, BA, RN - Amare Medical Network

   I have been a nurse for six years, having worked med surg for a year and OB for four. I joined Amare in September 2021 as an RN Care Manager, and was       promoted to the Director of Clinical Services in January, 2022.


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