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Respite Care Providers’ Network

The RCPN is the preeminent national voice for those who are simply too ill to languish in the streets. We support the development of new and existing medical respite programs through education, client advocacy, networking and research. In addition to hosting an annual conference and other training events, we provide comprehensive respite resources and information.

The mission of the Respite Care Providers’ Network is to improve the health status of individuals who are homeless by supporting programs that provide medical respite and related services.

Join the Respite Care Providers’ Network

The Respite Care Providers’ Network operates as a Standing Committee of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council. We invite your participation at the following levels:

  1. Join the Respite Care Providers’ Network by becoming an Individual Member of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council.  On the Individual Membership Application form, simply choose the RCPN membership option, and elect to receive Respite News.
  2. List your program in the Medical Respite Program Directory. Contact Julia Dobbins for more information.
  3. Become an Organizational Member of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council.
  4. Nominate yourself or a colleague to serve on the RCPN Steering Committee. Open positions are announced in January of each year in Respite News and on this webpage.
  5. Nominate a person, team, or agency for the 2020 Willie J. Mackey National Medical Respite Award.

2019-2020 RCPN Steering Committee (effective July 1, 2019)

The mission of the Respite Care Providers’ Network (RCPN) is to improve the health status of individuals who are homeless by supporting programs that provide medical respite and related services. The RCPN Steering Committee works to achieve this mission.

Donna Biederman, DrPH, MN, RN (VICE CHAIR)
Assistant Professor
Duke University School of Nursing
Durham, NC

Melissa Brown, LICSW
Manager, Edward Thomas House
Harborview Medical Center
Seattle, WA

Kim Despres, BSN, DHA
Grand Canyon University
Phoenix, AZ

Henry Fader, JD
Pepper Hamilton LLP
Philadelphia, PA

Joseph Funn
Consumer Representative
Baltimore, MD

LaSonya Kelly, LCSW-C
Manager, Health Care for the Homeless
Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services
Rockville, MD

Pamela Kerr, MSW
Program Director
The Boulevard
Chicago, IL

Susannah King, MSW, LICSW
Social Work Unit Supervisor
Hennepin County Health Care for the Homeless
Minneapolis, MN

Brooks Ann McKinney, MSW
Director of Vulnerable Populations
Cone Health and Hospitals/Triad Health Network ACO
Greensboro, NC

David Munson, MD (CHAIR)
Medical Director
Barbara McInnis House
Boston, MA

Annie Nicol, FNP, PA
Director of Homeless Services
Petaluma Health Center
Petaluma, CA

Randy Pinnelli, PA
Program Coordinator
Care Link – Community Medical Centers, Inc.
Stockton, CA

Courtney Pladsen, DNP, FNP
Greater Portland Health
Portland, ME

Jordan Wilhelms
Complex Care Program Manager
Central City Concern
Portland, OR

Preston Witt, BA
Chief Services Officer
Harmony House
Houston, TX


NHCHC Media Experts: COVID-19

To request an interview with a National Health Care for the Homeless Council staff or community member, contact Terri Woodmore, Communications Manager.

Council Staff

Hugo Aguas, MA

Research Associate

Hugo works with the research team to research health outcomes using data driven methodologies, Hugo collaborates with other community health partners throughout the country to develop educational materials pertaining to medical care for those experiencing homelessness. Hugo also disseminates data and provides ease-of-access to community partners throughout the nation, and assists in writing publications and scheduling educational seminars on public health amongst those experiencing homelessness.



Barbara DiPietro, PhD

Senior Director of Policy

Barbara directs the policy and advocacy activities for the National Health Care for the Homeless Council. This includes conducting policy analysis, providing educational materials and presentations to a broad range of policymakers and other stakeholders, coordinating the Council’s policy priorities with national partners, and organizing staff assistance to the Policy Committee and the National Consumer Advisory Board.



Tineciaa Harris MSPH, MS

Clinical and Quality Improvement Manager

Tineciaa works to improve the clinical environment in health centers broadly through education, training, technical assistance, and policy with a focus on quality improvement. Tineciaa operates on the national level in frequent partnership with both federal and non-profit organizations and leads initiatives that seek to improve health outcomes for people experiencing homelessness.



Katie League, LCSW-C

COVID-19 Project Manager (Policy Team)

Katie works with the policy team to support the Council’s efforts surrounding the COVID-19 global pandemic. She works to identify and promote promising practices, common challenges, and key policy issues faced by the HCH community.




Courtney Pladsen, DNP, FNP-BC, RN

Director of Clinical and Quality Improvement

Courtney Pladsen leads initiatives to improve the delivery of primary care, substance use treatment, and mental health care nationally. She directs training and quality improvement initiatives, and contributes to research and policy recommendations on emerging clinical issues affecting people experiencing homelessness.

Bobby Watts

Bobby Watts, MPH, MS

Chief Executive Officer

Bobby Watts has 30 years of experience in administration, direct service, and implementation of homeless health services, beginning as a live-in counselor at the New York City Rescue Mission. He spent most of his career prior to joining the Council at Care for the Homeless, which operates clinics and shelters and conducts policy analysis and advocacy in New York City.

HCH Community Experts


Kristie Hartig, MSN, RN, PHN, CWOCN
Topeka, KS

Erin Ryan, MSW, MPH
Senior Vice President, The Night Ministry
Chicago, IL

Return to main Experts Guide page


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