Continuing Education

Marymount University presents
A One-Day Inter Professional and Interdisciplinary Conference: 

Palliative Care at the Forefront of Healthcare Solutions-2020


Sponsored by OpusCare



March 27, 2020

 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Pullman Miami Airport Hotel 
Miami, Florida

This interdisciplinary conference will bring together palliative care professionals who are devoted to advancing palliative care education, research and best practices.  This one day conference will be of interest to health care practitioners, health care leaders and palliative care providers.

Join an outstanding array of regionally, nationally and internationally recognized experts in the field of palliative care as they deliver up to date information about best practices to advance palliative care. The following topics will be covered:

  • Operational Considerations for Palliative Care

  • Palliative Care at the Hospital Level

  • Palliative Care and Medicare Advantage 

  • Medical Center Operations and Palliative Programs

  • The Early Identification Process and Financial Impact 

  • Palliative Care Prognostication

  • Moral/Ethical Considerations: Religion, Spirituality and Palliative Care

  • A Comparative Analysis of Palliative Care and End-of-Life Treatment in the Netherlands and the United States

Conference Fee

includes breakfast, lunch, light refreshments and post-event cocktail reception

A certificate of participation will be issued by Marymount University for all attendees. 

Need assistance with the registration process? Please email
or call the Malek School of Health Professions at Marymount University: (703) 284 1580.

The full conference program will be available soon. 

Program Sponsors


OpusCare Florida

Plaza Health Network

Miami-Dade Ambulance


Keynote Speaker

Dr. Emilio Herreran
Global Chief Health Officer of Keralty

Dr. Emilio Herrera is the President and founder of NewHealth Foundation, a non-profit institution for the observation and optimisation of health and social care systems and family environment support, with the aim of improving the quality of life in people with advanced diseases and high dependency at the end of life. He was the CEO of Enterprising Solutions for Health and formerly Director General of Socio-Health Care and Health of the Extremadura Health Service, Government of Extremadura (2002-2008).

As the global CHO of Keralty, he leads the evolution of the company's health model towards a more comprehensive and integrated approach, capable of caring for people throughout their lives, with the inspiration of compassion as the principal value and commitment.

Dr. Herrera has been recognized for his outstanding work in the field of palliative care as a recipient of the Annual International Association for Palliative Care award for the Regional Palliative Care Program in Extremadura, Spain (2003), SEN 2006 national award for the "Comprehensive Plan for Socio-Health Care for Cognitive Deterioration", National Infanta Cristina Prize for IMSERSO 2006 for the Framework Plan for Social and Health Care 2005-2010 in Extremadura.  He has also recently received the 2015 International Award for the Development of Palliative Care Public Policies ("Palliative Care Policy Development Award 2015", from the European Journal of Palliative Care).

From the NewHealth Foundation he created the NewPalex® Program for the development of Palliative Care Teams and Units and leadership of Integral Programs;  OMIS (Observatory of Integrated Models in Health for the promotion of socio-health coordination) and continues to promote the project "All With You" that promotes citizen involvement and organization in communities capable of helping and caring for patients in terminal situations (Compassionate Cities). He is a member of the Board Committee of the Public Health and Palliative Care International and the scientific societies SECPAL and SEDISA.

Invited Speakers

Betty Assapimonwait
Regional President at Humana, 
Miami/Fort Lauderdale Area

Betty Assapimonwait is the recently appointed Humana Regional President of South Florida. In her new role, she is responsible for continued development and expansion of Humana's Medicare business in South Florida and staff leadership across all business and operations within those markets. She comes to Humana from Family Physicians Group in Central Florida, where her leadership since 2016 led to improved patient outcomes and patient panel growth at the company's 22 senior-focused primary care medical centers.  

Bringing 35 years of Managed Healthcare experience to her new role at Humana, Betty's vast experience in executive-level roles has included MSO Global Risk, National Medicare, and Medicare Market leadership, including past leadership service at Humana for 27 years in Florida, Puerto Rico, Kentucky, and Washington DC. 

Betty is a dynamic and strategic thinker with a proven track record of developing and implementing innovative, collaborative, and effective solutions for both Medicare Advantage Health Insurers and Providers. This ability to develop and implement innovative solutions have made her a well-established leader in the healthcare industry. She has been the "Go-To Leader" to either build new opportunities for organizations or innovate new solutions for existing entities.

Dr. Miguel Ayala
Chief Executive Officer 
Alamo Medical Group
San Antonio, Texas 

Miguel Ayala, MD joined South Alamo Medical Group in 1999 and is now a managing Partner. Dr. Ayala is a board certified internal medicine physician and has been practicing for over 15 years. He is a 1996 graduate of the Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico and completed his internship and internal medicine residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center in 1999. 

Ninsy Baldor, MSW
Vice President of Palliative Care, OpusCare

Ms. Baldor has over 11 years of clinical social work, case management, and marketing experience. She began in 2005 as a social worker for Pan American Hospital. Ms. Baldor was promoted to Lead Social Worker of the Social Work/Case management department and rehired by the new administration for Metropolitan Hospital of Miami. She also served as case manager at Memorial Hospital-Miramar. She was then part of the marketing team at West Gables Rehabilitation Hospital for 3 years where she served as Physician/Clinical Liaison. She earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from Florida International University in 2006.


Edwin F. Estevez 
Chief Executive Officer, 
Rio Grande Valley ACO Health Providers, Texas 

Mr. Estevez proudly oversees all strategic operations of 32,000 lives with over 40 primary care practices in three different markets, and over 500 affiliated employees through an accountable care organization. Consistently and passionately committed to transformational growth at the individual, group, and organizational levels. With over 25 years experience delivering transformational growth opportunities to a diverse audience as an excellent communicator, engaging bilingual/bicultural public speaker, motivating international educator, productive administrator, and effective leader. As a systemic thinker, Mr Estevez has achieved personal and professional success in project and risk management, organizational cultural change, and human capital growth.  

Mr. Estevez’ general experiences are in the fields of international education (Mozambique, South Africa, Dominican Republic, Thailand, Spain, and Paraguay), clinical social work (mental health counseling), risk management (health care), administration, research and analytics (Education and Health Care), and business development (across sectors).


Enrique Fernandez M.D.
Associate Medical Director of Palliative Care

Dr. Enrique C. Fernandez is a family medicine doctor in Miami, Florida and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Kendall Regional Medical Center and Palmetto General Hospital. He received his medical degree from Universidad Superior de Ciencias Medicas and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He specialized in family medicine and hospice & palliative medicine.

Dr. Kathleen Garces-Foley,
Professor of Religious Studies, Marymount University

Kathleen Garces-Foley is Professor of Religious Studies in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Marymount University. Her research focuses on contemporary religious trends in the United States, including such topics as race and immigration, young adults, and hospice care.  Dr. Garces-Foley is co-author of The Twentysomething Soul: Understanding the Religious and Secular Lives of American Young Adults (Oxford University Press, 2019), author of Crossing the Ethnic Divide: The Multiethnic Church on a Mission (Oxford, 2007), and editor of Death and Religion in a Changing World (Routledge, 2006) in addition to publishing fourteen articles and chapters. She was one of 12 Virginia faculty members honored by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia with its 2012 Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award- being recognized in the “Rising Star” category and served as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar in Slovenia in 2014.


Kathleen Garces-Foley is also Founding Director of the Coalition to Improve Advanced Care, which was launched in April 2016. The mission of the Coalition to Improve Advanced Care, “CIAC,” is to improve the quality of life for those facing advanced illness and their caregivers in Arlington, VA and surrounding regions. Working with healthcare providers, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations, CIAC is committed to changing the culture in Arlington County around illness, dying, and healthcare through education and community organizing.


Faustino Gonzalez MD
Chief Medical Officer of Hospice Services
Trustbridge Hospice
Broward & Palm Beach Counties 

Dr. Faustino Gonzalez joined Trustbridge in September of 2001 as an Associate Medical Director. During his tenure with the organization, he has been integral to the creation of access to care for all, including helping to create a team dedicated to Hispanic members of the community. Additionally, he has served as Access Medical Director and today, Dr. Gonzalez, whose specialties are Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine (HPM), serves as Chief Medical Officer of Hospice Services.

Dr. Gonzalez attended Colgate University in New York; College of the City of New York and the Universidad Central del Este in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic. He did his Internal Medicine residency at the Jersey City Medical Center, New Jersey. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine; ABIM, Subspecialty in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

Cristina Jimenez
Chief Executive Officer, Coral Gables Hospital Tenet Healthcare, Florida 

Cristina Jimenez began her career at Coral Gables Hospital and has served in various roles over a more than 30-year span. In her previous role as Chief Operating Officer, Jimenez oversaw operations for all non-nursing departments and managed the overall direction of the facility licensure and regulatory accreditations. Recently, Jimenez was involved in helping the hospital achieve designations as the first in Miami-Dade County to earn The Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval for both total hip and total knee replacements. Before being promoted to CEO, Jimenez was the hospital's Associate Administrator. Under her leadership, the hospital achieved Joint Commission Accreditation, implemented a new risk management system and hospital safety program.

 Rafael P. Perez
President and CEO, Doctors Healthcare Plans Inc. Florida

 Mr. Perez has over 30 years of managed healthcare experience, including over 20 years in senior executive management positions, including health plan operations, contracting, medical management, company startup, sales, and marketing. Mr. Perez started his healthcare career as a pharmacy director for Humana. From 1990 through 1998, he was the Executive Director, Senior Vice President for CAC Ramsey and United Healthcare, Inc. responsible for all South Florida operations. Mr. Perez was co-founder, CEO, and Chairman of Medica HealthCare Plans, Inc. until the sale of the company in 2012. In 2009, he was a State finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in healthcare. Mr. Perez has a pharmacy degree from the University of Florida and a Master's degree in Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University.          


Holly Prince 
Regional Vice President, Anthem, Inc., and Chief Operating Officer, Simply Healthcare Plans, Inc., Miami, Florida

Ms. Prince has extensive experience in leadership positions in Medicaid and Medicare managed care organizations operating in multiple states. She joined Anthem, Inc. as part of the acquisition of Simply Healthcare Plans, Inc., where she was the first CFO and an integral member of the executive management team.

Before joining Simply Healthcare Plans, Inc., Ms. Prince was the Corporate Controller and Interim CFO for DentaQuest, a dental benefits management company based in Boston, which at that time served over 14 million members primarily in government-sponsored programs in 26 states. She led the due diligence team on the seller's side as CFO of Atlantic Dental, Inc., and a Medicaid dental managed care organization when DentaQuest purchased that company in 2008. Ms. Prince began her professional career in public accounting, first with BDO Chartered Accountants and later with Moore Stephens Lovelace, a Florida regional boutique firm focused on serving the healthcare industry.

Ms. Prince is a graduate of Erskine College in South Carolina and a licensed, certified public accountant. She is a returned Peace Corps volunteer.

Fernando Valverde, M.D.
Chief Executive Officer, Doctor’s Medical Centers MSO

Ex Regional President Humana Medicare and Medicaid for South and North Florida

Dr. Valverde served as Chief Executive Officer of Florida International University (FIU) Health and Associate Dean for Community and Clinical Affairs at the FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, both located in Miami.

Over the past 25 years, Dr. Valverde’s contributions have led to the health care sector’s growth on both a regional and national basis, including the founding, operation and management of several health care companies. Those businesses include Health Plus of Puerto Rico, now known as Humana of Puerto Rico, and several Physician Practice Management companies, including GoldStar Medical Management, Tradition Management Services and Coastal Physician Group of Florida.

Ana M. Viamonte Ros, M.D.
Medical Director of Palliative Care and Bioethics Services, Baptist Health, South Florida  

Dr. Ana Viamonte Ros currently serves as Medical Director of Palliative Care and Bioethics Services at Baptist Health South Florida. She is also the Associate Professor at Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at Florida International University. Previously, Dr. Viamonte Ros served as Florida's first Surgeon General and the first woman to head the Florida Department of Health from 2007-11. She is committed to advancing the opportunities for equitable and accessible health care to all through her professional and community volunteer activities.

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