Our Leadership

Board of Directors

Curtis Lowery, MD |

Director, Institute for Healthcare & Innovation, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Professor, UAMS Center for Distance Health

Dr. Curtis Lowery is viewed as a champion of antenatal and neonatal telemedicine. He has served as the Director of Obstetrics UAMS since 1992. In that time, he facilitated the process through which Arkansas insurance handles telemedicine, increased Medicaid reimbursements, promoted understanding of telemedicine, and brought telehealth access to over 60 hospitals and clinics in rural Arkansas.

He founded ANGELS, a Medicaid-funded, cost-effective programmatic solution for high-risk pregnancies. ANGELS has been recognized by the Harvard University Ash Institute as one of the nation’s most innovative governmental collaborations.

In his latest effort, Dr. Lowery founded the UAMS Center for Distance Health, a technology-based partnership of the College of Medicine and Regional Programs, which is delivering telemedicine via interactive video throughout Arkansas.

Dr. Lowery was recently recognized by the UAMS College of Medicine through the 2007 Educational Innovation Award. He also received the 2007 Hugo Gernsback Award for Clinical Innovation in Telemedicine by the AT&T Center for Telehealth Research & Policy.

Linda Branagan, PhD |

Director, Telehealth Resource Center, UCSF Medical Center

Linda Branagan is the founding Director of Telehealth Programs at the University of California, San Francisco. Her office provides tools, operational infrastructure and information so that any UCSF provider interested in delivering care via telehealth can do so effectively and compliantly.

She has been in the telehealth industry for over 15 years. Prior to joining UCSF, she was an independent consultant, helping healthcare organizations around the world design and implement sustainable telehealth programs. As an experienced technology product manager, she has led development of telehealth tools for dermatology, ophthalmology, stroke evaluation and disaster response.

She holds a PhD in Organizational Psychology; her research focused on the role of physician champions in hospital-based information technology

Jacob Harper, Esq.

Associate, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, LLP

Jacob Harper advises stakeholders across the healthcare industry, including hospitals, health systems, large physician group practices, practice management companies, hospices, chain pharmacies, manufacturers, and private equity clients, on an array of healthcare regulatory, transactional, and litigation matters. His practice focuses on compliance, fraud and abuse, and reimbursement matters, self-disclosures to and negotiations with OIG and CMS, internal investigations, provider mergers and acquisitions, and appeals before the PRRB, OMHA, and the Medicare Appeals Council.

Tonia Burke

Program Director, Virtual Care, BJC HealthCare

Tonia Burke is an enterprise transformation and innovative health care strategist with exceptional customer relationships. Her work focuses on patient and co-worker satisfaction as core to the creation and implementation of new health care initiatives and technologies. She is committed to fostering a communicative, collaborative culture that creates growth for businesses and individuals. Tonia is currently the Program Director for Virtual Care High Acuity Service Design and Delivery at BJC Health– accountable for all operational and strategic deliverables including the design and delivery of high acuity virtual care to achieve strategic initiatives.

Sandra Harrison, Esq., MPA

Director of Regulatory & Legal Affairs, Oklahoma Hospital Association

Sandra B. Harrison is the Vice President of Regulatory and Legal Affairs at the Oklahoma Hospital Association serving 133-member hospitals across Oklahoma, both rural and urban. In addition to being a registered lobbyist, Harrison also serves as in-house counsel at OHA. Since 2017 Harrison has served as the Chairman of the Telehealth Alliance of Oklahoma, a non-profit in Oklahoma that advocates for removal of barriers to the implementation of telemedicine. In 2019 Harrison was the first hospital association staff appointed to the national telehealth policy group, the Center for Telehealth & e-Health Law based in Washington DC.

Prior to OHA, Sandra Harrison served as the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and Interim Chief Operating Officer for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) with a staff of 7,300 employees. Harrison served as fiscal analyst for the Oklahoma State Senate and a staff attorney for the Oklahoma House of Representatives. She has also been a private sector attorney, Native American Law and Telecommunications Law. She is licensed to practice law in Oklahoma and New Mexico, federal courts, the United States Court of Federal Claims and the United States Supreme Court. Harrison has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of New Mexico along with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma.

CTeL Senior Staff

Christa Natoli

Ms. Christa Natoli serves as CTeL’s executive director and is responsible for developing CTeL’s strategic mission.  She provides direct legal and regulatory expert research and consultation services to CTeL’s members.

Ms. Natoli has extensive policy experience and knowledge in the areas of physician and nurse licensure, Internet prescribing, e-consultations, Medicaid reimbursement, mHealth, and international telemedicine.  As CTeL’s associate director, Ms. Natoli has led research efforts on these topics, which resulted in the production of CTeL’s most coveted publications–the 50 State Internet Prescribing Report, the 50 State Medicaid Reimbursement Report, the 50 State Physician Licensure Report, and the International Telemedicine Report.   Ms. Natoli is also a published author and noted lecturer and speaker.

Before serving as CTeL’s associate director, Ms. Natoli assisted in the editing process of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s best seller, Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and the West, for which she received a special thank you in the book’s acknowledgments.  Ms. Natoli has also worked on a variety of state level and Congressional campaigns where she participated in grassroots organizing, strategy, and research.  Additionally, she has worked with several businesses and non-profit organizations as a business development director and public relations and marketing advisor.

Greg T. Billings

Mr. Greg Billings serves as CTeL’S chief financial officer, after having served as CTeL’s executive director for the past 10 years.  Mr. Billings is responsible for the overall coordination and implementation of CTeL’s financial activities.

Before serving as CTeL’s executive director, Mr. Billings served as Senior Government Relations Director in the Washington, DC office of the law firm of Drinker, Biddle & Reath.   He also was a senior aide and served as deputy chief of staff to two senior U.S. Senators, responsible for overseeing the legislative agenda and personnel strategies related to the Senators’ personal offices and Committee staff.  Mr. Billings also served as chief of staff to the Administrator of the Farm Service Agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  The agency is the largest agency within the USDA, with over 13,000 employees located in all 50 states and the U.S. territories.

In addition, Mr. Billings developed and managed an online business through which he marketed technology and communications services focused on assisting clients in establishing a sales force and building a customer base.

Former Board of Directors

Robert Sprang, MBA

Rob has been the Director of Kentucky TeleCare, the telehealth program based at the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center since September 1996. Active in state and federal telehealth policy initiatives, he is a former Board member and a past President of the Board of Directors for the Center for Telehealth and e-Health Law (CTeL) in Washington, DC, the preeminent organization in the field of telehealth and e-health legal and regulatory research and advocacy.

Rob was primarily responsible for the Kentucky TeleHealth Network legislative language that was passed in the 2000 Kentucky Legislative session. The legislation expanded telehealth from a regional, eastern Kentucky project to a statewide network that now includes over 1300 clinical members. Upon adoption of the bill, Kentucky became the first state to legislatively mandate reimbursement by Medicaid and Commercial Health Plans for telehealth encounters. Kentucky’s legislation also created a Board of Directors where Rob served as Board Chairman from 2010-2018 and he has served as a Board member since 2000.

Karen S Rheuban, MD

Dr. Karen Schulder Rheuban serves as professor of pediatrics, senior associate dean for Continuing Medical Education and External Affairs and director of the Center for Telehealth at the University of Virginia. As a pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Rheuban provides care to patients with congenital and acquired heart disease. Dr. Rheuban is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Telemedicine Association. She is listed in the “Best Doctors in America” database, and was profiled in the National Library of Medicine’s exhibit “Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America’s Women Physicians.”

The Office of Telemedicine of the University of Virginia serves as the hub of a 153-site telemedicine network funded, in part, by federal grants from the USDA, the US Department of Commerce and HRSA, by state grants in partnership with VDH and the Governor’s office, funding from the Federal Communications Commission, and with corporate and foundation grants. The UVA Office of Telemedicine has supported more than 100,000 patient services in Virginia, and thousands of hours of health professional and patient education. UVA Telemedicine is engaged in additional global health outreach.

Dr. Rheuban is a past president of the American Telemedicine Association, a board member of the Center for Telehealth and e-Health Law, and she is the board chair of the Virginia Telehealth Network. She is a trustee of the Swinfen Charitable Trust, an international telemedicine charity. She is a member of the Virginia Board of Medicine ad-hoc working group on telemedicine.

Dr. Rheuban has previously presented congressional testimony regarding telehealth to five committees within the US House of Representatives. In 2010, her efforts led to the passage of a sweeping telemedicine reimbursement bill in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition, she worked collaboratively with CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner to change CMS regulations regarding the credentialing and privileging of telehealth practitioners and to redefine “rural” for purposes of Medicare reimbursement of telehealth.

Dr. Rheuban is the PI on the HRSA funded Mid Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center grant serving 8 states and the District of Columbia. In 2012, she chaired the Institute of Medicine Workshop on Telehealth. She was nominated by the Medical Society of Virginia and appointed to serve on the Virginia Board of Medical Assistance Services (Medicaid), which she currently chairs

Mary DeVany

Ms. Mary DeVany is the Outreach Director for the Great Plains Telehealth Resource and Assistance Center (GPTRAC), within the Institute of Health Informatics at the University of Minnesota.  She has been involved with telemedicine activities since 1993 when she served as the state-wide telemedicine activities coordinator for the State of South Dakota.  Since then she has served as as the Telemedicine Coordinator for Sanford Health  and later as the Director of Avera Telehealth.

Ms. Devany served as the Secretary-Treasurer on the Board of Directors for the Center for Telehealth and E-Health Law (CTeL).  She has served on the Telehealth Taskforce of the American Bar Association, was a member of the Health Care Practice Taskforce of the National Governors’ Association State Alliance for E-Health (2007-2008) and previously served as Board Member and President of the Polycom User Group.  She is also a member of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA).  Ms. Devany has presented on various telehealth topics and has written and contributed to several articles regarding telehealth program implementation and applications.

Jana Katz-Bell, MPH

Ms. Jana Katz-Bell is the Assistant Dean for Interprofessional Programs at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.  She has served as Chief Administrative Officer for the UC Davis Center for Health and Technology since 1995, where she led this distinctive program. Under her leadership, the CHT won national and worldwide attention as one of the best telemedicine programs in the United States.

Along with the Associate Vice Chancellor Thomas Nesbitt, Ms. Katz was responsible for the development and implementation of projects which supported the mission of the CHT as well as the UC Davis Health System.  Prior to her role at UC Davis, Ms. Katz served as the Telemedicine Project Manager for the Stanford Health System.

Ms. Katz received her bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Davis, and her master’s degree in public health at the University of California, Berkeley.  In addition to her formal education and extensive background developing and managing telehealth programs, Ms. Katz has become a nationally recognized speaker on telemedicine issues; her testimony during deliberations of the California State Legislature on Senate Bills 1665 and 2098 led to legislation which favors telemedicine reimbursement.  Ms. Katz is very interested in the intersection between technology and policy and currently is Vice President of the Center for Telemedicine and E-Health (CTeL).

John Blum, JD

Mr. John Blum is the John J. Waldron Research Professor of Law at the Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and is a faculty member of the Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy, as well as an adjunct professor of medical humanities at Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine.  Professor Blum has taught at Loyola for 21 years in the area of health law; his research spans an array of topics from domestic to international health law.  He has written and spoken extensively on telemedicine issues, with a particular focus on credentialing, licensure and international e-health.  Blum is a graduate of Canisius College, the University of Notre Dame Law School, and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Joseph Tracy

Mr. Joseph Tracy is currently Vice President for Telehealth Services at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) in Allentown, PA.  He is responsible for the administrative and outreach efforts of all telehealth services for the network.

Prior to arriving at LVHN in February 2006, Mr. Tracy was the Executive Director of Telehealth at the University of Missouri’s School of Medicine.  He directed the statewide Missouri Telehealth Network (MTN) for 12 years.

Mr. Tracy drafted the Medicare reimbursement language for the substantial gain activity (SGA) legislation in 1999 and U.S. Senate Bill 2505.  Most of the language in S.2505 became law under U.S. House Bill 5661, which required Medicare to begin paying for most telehealth services on October 1, 2001.

Additionally, Mr. Tracy has consulted on the development of a scoring methodology used by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in the scoring (pricing) of S.2505 and for future telehealth bills.  He also was a lead author on a response to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Notice of Proposed Rule Making on the Universal Service Mechanism for Healthcare.  That response was endorsed by, and became the official position of, both CTeL and ATA.  Mr. Tracy has also testified before Congress on issues related to Medicare reimbursement for telehealth and on issues related to the Universal Service Mechanism for Healthcare.

Mr. Tracy currently serves as an advisor to the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Telerehabilitation – University of Pittsburgh.  He has also served as an advisor to:  The Center for Information Technology Leadership, Charlestown, MA; HealthTech, San Francisco, CA; AT Still University, Kirksville, MO; and the Advanced Technology Institute, Charleston, SC.

Susan Makela

Ms. Susan Makela is the Director of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan’s Telehealth Network and Educational Services at Marquette General Hospital. She has been involved with telemedicine activities since 2000, serving on the Michigan Telemedicine Policy Committee and Michigan Center for Rural Health advocating for state policy changes including Medicaid reimbursement.

Ms. Makela is responsible for assuring the clinical telemedicine consults provided in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan were reimbursed leading to the growth of the network. She has fostered friendships and working relationships with all 15 hospitals across the region, and restructured the regional Health Educator Consortium that collaborates on policies and sharing of health education materials. Susan is a member of: CTeL, American Telemedicine Association, American College of Healthcare Executives and American Society for Training and Development. She has presented on various topics and has contributed to several articles regarding telehealth.

Ms. Makela received her Bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University, her Master’s degree in Public Administration from Northern Michigan University and Fellowship in the American College of Healthcare Executives. In addition to her formal education, she has 30 years of experience in healthcare with 15 in management.