Barbara DiPietro, PhD
Senior Director of Policy
Barbara DiPietro 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.
Julia Dobbins, MSW
Director of Medical Respite Care
Julia Dobbins leads our work on medical respite/recuperative care, assisting medical respite/recuperative care programs at all stages of development in communities of all sizes on matters of program design, financing, and best practices. She provides guidance and oversight for medical respite/recuperative care activities, including training, technical assistance, and resource and program development. She is the staff liaison to the Respite Care Providers’ Network (RCPN) and coordinates and facilitates the activities of the RCPN Steering Committee.
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.
Caitlin Synovec, OTD, OTR/L, BCMH
Medical Respite Manager
Caitlin Synovec is an occupational therapist with clinical experience working with adults experiencing homelessness to improve quality of life and engagement in their preferred communities. As the Medical Respite Manager, she works with the Director of Medical Respite on projects of the National Institute for Medical Respite Care (NIMRC) and the Respite Care Providers’ Network (RCPN).
Bobby Watts, MPH, MS
Chief Executive Officer
Bobby Watts is the chief executive officer of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, which supports Health Care for the Homeless programs and medical respite providers with training, technical assistance, sharing of best practices, research, publications, and an active policy and advocacy program working to eliminate homelessness. He 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. In February 2021, he was appointed as a member of the Biden-Harris Administration’s COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force.
HCH Community Experts
Kelly Bruno, MSW
President & CEO, National Health Foundation
Los Angeles, CA
Brett Dennis-Duke, MA
Researcher/Mental Health Specialist, Harvard University/Edward Thomas House Medical Respite
Josephine Ensign, DrPH, RN, ARNP
Professor, University of Washington
Leslie Enzian, MD
Medical Director, Edward Thomas House Medical Respite, Harborview Medical Center