Our Leadership

Board of Directors

Anthony T. Pavel, JD | Treasurer

Mr. Anthony Pavel is a Partner in the Food and Drug Practice of K&L Gates LLP, in Washington, DC.  His practice focuses on providing regulatory counseling on food, drug, cosmetic and medical device products. Mr. Pavel’s practice focuses on medical device regulation, with a concentration on e-health, telemedicine and diagnostics.  Mr. Pavel regularly advises clients in relation to the preparation of FDA submissions, including complex 510(k) premarket notifications, premarket approval applications, as well as recalls and market withdrawals, adverse event reports, and product listings and establishment registrations. Mr. Pavel works with clinical laboratories, manufacturers and distributors of medical device and laboratory equipment, advising them on all areas of regulatory compliance including Quality Systems Regulation, Laboratory Developed Tests/CLIA, clinical kitting and regulatory/marketing strategy. Mr. Pavel is a member of the Center for Telehealth and eHealth Law’s Board of Directors.

Samuel G. Burgiss, PhD

Dr. Samuel Burgiss is a professor in the Department of Radiology at the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine in Knoxville.  From 1994 to 2005, he directed the UT Telehealth Network which provided over 100,000 patient encounters.  The program was also named as one of the Top 10 programs in the U.S. for telemedicine program excellence in 1999.  Sam has contributed over 140 invited lectures, papers, and book chapters to the telehealth field.  He is a co-author of the report “Protecting Privacy When Using Telehealth Technology in Healthcare,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (2002), and a contributing co-editor of the “Telehealth Technology Guidelines,” Office for the Advancement of Telehealth (OAT), Health Resources  and Services Administration (HRSA), HHS (2001).

Dr. Burgiss has served twice as a witness before the U.S. Congress for telemedicine reimbursement and received two awards from OAT for his outstanding efforts in advancing the field of telemedicine (2001 and 2006).  In 2004, he received the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) President’s Award for Leadership.  He authored the Telehealth Technical Assistance Manual published by the National Rural Health Association (2006) (www.ruralhealthweb.org).  He is a member of the Editorial Board of the peer reviewed journal Telemedicine and E-Health, and also a member of the Advisory Board for iCons in Medicine, which promotes appropriate technologies and social networks to improve health care globally in remote and medically underserved areas.

In addition to telehealth, Dr. Burgiss has over fifteen years of experience with medical products in software and computer design, project management, and marketing.  This experience includes published papers and patents in medical technology for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scanners, automated leukocyte differential counting, and blood gas analysis.  Dr. Burgiss received his BS, MEE, and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University.

Curtis Lowery, MD

Dr. Curtis Lowery is viewed as a champion of antenatal and neonatal telemedicine benefiting the patient and physician and is the newly appointed Chairperson for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Lowery has served as the Director of Obstetrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences since 1992.  In that time, he facilitated the process in which Arkansas insurance handles telemedicine, increased Medicaid reimbursements, promoted understanding of telemedicine, and brought telehealth access to over 60 hospitals and community clinics in rural Arkansas, providing medical consultations combined with provider and patient education.  Dr. Lowery established ANGELS, a Medicaid-funded, cost-effective programmatic solution to assist Arkansas’ high-risk pregnancies.  Dr. Lowery founded this effort, which reaches throughout Arkansas to those in need of subspecialty maternal-fetal medicine support.

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. This Center directly offers telemedicine, continuing medical and health education, public health education, and evaluation research through interactive video throughout Arkansas.  The Center for Distance Health represents the culmination of Arkansas’ telemedicine and distance health technology expertise, with directors and stakeholders who have been instrumental in developing telehealth initiatives in Arkansas.  He was recently recognized by the UAMS College of Medicine through the 2007 Educational Innovation Award, and ANGELS was announced by Harvard University Ash Institute as one of the nation’s most innovative governmental collaborations.  Dr. Lowery also received the 2007 Hugo Gernsback Award for Clinical Innovation in Telemedicine by the AT&T Center for Telehealth Research & Policy.

Karen S. Rheuban, MD

Dr. Karen Rheuban currently serves as Professor of Pediatrics (Pediatric Cardiology), Associate Dean for Continuing Medical Education and Medical Director of the University of Virginia Office of Telemedicine.  In addition to providing direct clinical services to patients, both inpatient and outpatient, Dr. Rheuban oversees a large ACCME accredited continuing medical education program that includes educational services delivered via on-site lecture or videoconferencing formats, an affiliated hospital program that provides services to 25 hospitals, as well as computer-assisted instructional materials and web-based on-line continuing education activities.

Dr. Rheuban has provided Congressional testimony on the use of telemedicine technologies before both the House Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Health and the Agriculture Committee.  She has been awarded recognition in the database “Best Doctors in America” and in 2003 was awarded recognition by the National Library of Medicine program as one of our nation’s outstanding female physicians in the exhibit “Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America’s Women Physicians”.

Dr. Rheuban is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the American Academy of Pediatrics, a board member of the Center for Telemedicine Law (CTeL), and the immediate past president of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA).

Dr. Rheuban received her medical degree from The Ohio State University.


CTeL Senior Staff

Greg T. Billings

Mr. Greg Billings serves as CTeL’S executive director, after having served as CTeL’s senior director for the past three years.  Mr. Billings is responsible for the overall coordination and implementation of CTeL’s mission to provide legal and regulatory research and information to the telehealth community.

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.

Mr. Billings has made numerous in person and video presentations on telehealth legal and regulatory issues.  Additionally, he served in an informal technical advisor capacity to both Congressional and Executive Branch policymakers during the recent developments on the credentialing and privileging “by proxy” issue.  Mr. Billings provided technical information on the impact of proposed Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ credentialing and privileging requirements on telehealth providers.

Christa Natoli

Ms. Christa Natoli serves as CTeL’s deputy executive director and is responsible for developing CTeL’s strategic mission.  She is one of two senior staff that 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.

Former Board of Directors

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 currently serves 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 A. Tracy, MS

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.