Webinar Presenter Bios

Exploring Equitable, Scalable, Value-Based Pain Care Delivery

Samuel "Le" Church, MD, MPH, CPC, CRC, FAAFP

Family Physician

AAFP Member

Dr. Samuel Church, or “Le” as his friends call him, is a private practice family physician in Hiawassee, GA, a rural community in the North Georgia Mountains.

In addition to his primary care responsibilities, Dr. Church has been a longtime advocate for education in healthcare, hosting students from the local high school and Young Harris College for pre-professional shadowing, as well as medical assisting students, nursing students, physician assistant students, medical students, and residents, and practicing clinicians and their staffs.

The recipient of numerous teaching awards from the MCG/Athens Medical Partnership, Dr. Church is most proud of his staff team’s enthusiastic embrace of a “teaching culture” in their office and eagerness to share with others experiences that may lead to improvement of health of the local and broader community. Dr. Church embraces any opportunity to help students learn and grow, expanding the classroom while on hikes or on the lake with student groups, or even over a meal with his family.

A graduate of Stetson University and East Carolina School of Medicine, Dr Church is the current President of the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians and is a member of the AMA CPT Editorial Panel. Last, but not least, he lives on a small farm with his wife, Nancy, and 4 children, partnering with them regularly on community endeavors.

David Elton, DC

Co-Founder, Arete Healthcare
CEO, Arete Networks

Dr. David Elton is co-founder of Arete Healthcare, and CEO of Arete Networks. The thesis of Arete Healthcare is that independent evidence-based high-value outpatient practices serving patients and local communities are essential to a well-functioning healthcare system.

Dave brings a unique perspective to this space after more than 25 years at United Health Group and Optum leading musculoskeletal (MSK) research & development and launching MSK and type 2 diabetes clinical practices. He also led capitation management, value measurement, clinical operations, clinical/coverage policy development, and legal/regulatory compliance for Optum MSK and Behavioral Health businesses.

Dave has seen first-hand how clinical practices have been fragmented, isolated, and underserved by technology. In his role with Arete Healthcare, he is committed to supporting practices to achieve their full potential through modern technology, enterprise-level administrative support, better integration with the delivery system, and participation in value-based contracts.

Amy Goldstein, MSW

Director, Alliance to Advance Comprehensive Integrative Pain Management

Amy Goldstein serves as AACIPM’s Director. She founded Healthcare Collaboratives, LLC in 2019 to continue her passion for promoting person-centered health care through alliance building and strategic collaboration—always the foundation behind her work. Amy was previously the Director of State Pain Policy Advocacy Network and later Alliance Development Director for the Academy of Integrative Pain Management (AIPM). In that role, she was responsible for the creation, growth and sustainability of this national state-based and federal network to improve person-centered pain policy. Amy has been in the healthcare field for 25 years, advocating for people living with kidney failure, cancer, chronic pain, substance use disorder, mental health issues, and multiple sclerosis.

Karen S. Johnson, PhD

Vice President, Practice Advancement

American Academy of Family Physicians

Karen Johnson is an accomplished leader with experience that spans traditional health care boundaries having worked with employers, plans, physicians, and health systems over her 30+ year career. Understanding each of these unique perspectives fuels her work as a translator, bridge-builder and change agent. Her long-standing personal mission is to make healthcare work better for more people at a cost they can afford. Ensuring that primary care is adequately funded, appropriately evaluated, and connected to the broader healthcare system in a patient-centered manner has been the central focus of these efforts for many years.

She possesses a broad understanding of the complex healthcare ecosystem with specific expertise in value-based strategies, advanced provider payment models, primary care transformation, health data exchange/interoperability, healthcare systems, and health policy. She brings deep experience with provider payment models having worked with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) on its primary care and value-based payment strategies, including shared-risk ACO contracting.

In her role at the American Academy of Family Physicians, Karen’s leadership include the FPM journal editorial staff, the Center for Payment Innovation focused on moving primary care payment toward appropriately funded, prospective models and the Center for Career and Practice with the mission of equipping family physicians to enjoy successful careers in a variety of practice settings and roles.

Chris Knackstedt

Founder, Tellus Wellness

Managing Director, ValueIQ, LLC

Chris Knackstedt has worked for 25 years in the healthcare industry and has served in senior executive positions in some of the nations’ top integrated health systems and insurance plans including as CEO, President and CFO. He holds his MBA and is also a CPA. For the past seven years, Chris has worked extensively with a partner in launching and growing ValueIQ, a boutique consulting firm serving health plans and some of the nations’ top integrated health systems in their transition from fee-for-service payment arrangements to value-based payment arrangements. He is also a founder of Tellus Wellness. Tellus Wellness offers a trusted and credentialed network of chiropractors, acupuncturists, nutritionists, massage therapists, and naturopaths to self-funded employers. The network integrates into the employer health benefit plan offering by expanding employee benefits, providing evidence-based navigation tools to the member to aid in their education and selection of the best type of practitioner for their complaint, and creating direct access for members to these complementary providers. Early results have shown significant reductions in cost to the employer and member while increasing satisfaction for the members.

Tobias Moeller-Bertram, MD


President, VitaMed Research, LLC

Dr. Tobias Moeller-Bertram, MD serves as the Chief Executive Officer of SAVAS Health and President of VitaMed Research, LLC. Prior to going into private practice, he held an appointment as Associate Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology and Psychiatry and as the director of clinical pain research at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). Tobias is triple-board certified in Anesthesiology, Pain Management, and Addiction Medicine. He received his education in multidisciplinary pain management at UC San Francisco prior to returning to San Diego in 2005 as an Assistant Clinical Professor and enrolled in a masters’ program for clinical research. During his years at UCSD and the VA, Dr. Moeller-Bertram served as the Director for clinical pain research, published numerous papers and book chapters and presented his work at many national and international conferences as guest lecturer or visiting professor. After a career in academia at UCSD, he moved to private practice in 2013 to focus on a comprehensive, holistic approach to patient care.

Today, as a serial entrepreneur in healthcare and software development with special interest in novel, value-based-care delivery systems and models, Tobias oversees more than one dozen integrated pain clinics across southern California. Through our Unitized Transdisciplinary Care program, patients are afforded access to traditional medicine as well as a wide range of holistic opportunities, chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, naturopathic medicine, yoga, meditation, and massage. Besides keeping a busy practice, he conducted many scientific inquiries to better understand the effects of stress on pain perception. His areas of expertise include PTSD and fibromyalgia chronic pain, and he received funding and support from sources including the “Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research,” the “Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health” and industry leaders. Tobias currently holds appointments as Associate Clinical Professor (voluntary) with the University of California Riverside School of Medicine and University of California San Diego School of Medicine.

Joshua Plavin, MD, MPH, MBA

Associate Medical Director, Comprehensive Pain Program, Osher Center for Integrative Health at the University of Vermont

Assistant Professor of Family Medicine & Psychiatry, University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine

Dr. Joshua Plavin currently serves as the Associate Medical Director at the Comprehensive Pain Program and Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine & Psychiatry at the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine, as well as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmoutn. Prior to these roles, he worked at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont as the VP and Cheif Medical Officer.

Isabel Roth, DrPH, MS

Research Assistant Professor
Program on Integrative Medicine
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Dr. Isabel Roth is a Research Assistant Professor in the Program on Integrative Medicine, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and serves at the Well-being Liaison for the department. Isabel studied Dance and Neuroscience at Oberlin College, graduating with highest honors. She earned a Masters of Science in Physiology, Biophysics, and Complementary and Alternative Medicine from Georgetown University, and Doctorate in Public Health in Community Health Practice from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. In 2021, She completed the T32 Postdoctoral research fellowship in Complementary and Integrative Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, and joined the faculty at the Program on Integrative Medicine. Her research interests involve the identification of effective implementation strategies to promote access to evidence-based complementary and integrative health practices among diverse populations with chronic conditions. Dr. Roth has methodological expertise in qualitative research, mixed methods, community-based participatory research, and implementation science. She currently serves as the Chair for the Integrative, Complementary, and Traditional Health Practices Section of the American Public Health Association. In 2018 she was awarded the Young Investigator Award from the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health. Most recently, she was awarded a K01 Career Development Award from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Dr. Roth is also a registered yoga teacher who has worked with people with chronic pain and long covid.

Cindy Steinberg

National Director of Policy and Advocacy, U.S. Pain Foundation


Cindy Steinberg is the National Director of Policy and Advocacy for the U.S. Pain Foundation, Policy Council Chair for the Massachusetts Pain Initiative and a nationally recognized leader in pain policy. She is a frequent speaker regularly in the media. Her dedication to pain advocacy was sparked when she sustained a severe crush injury that left her with daily back pain.

In February of 2019, Cindy was invited to testify at a hearing on “Managing Pain During the Opioid Crisis” of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee by Chairman Lamar Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray. Cindy was the only patient and pain advocate invited to testify. In May 2018, Cindy was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, to serve on the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force created by Congress. Cindy was appointed to a three-year term on the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (IPRCC) in 2015 by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Sylvia Burwell. The IPRCC the highest-ranking pain policy oversight committee in the United States. In addition, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker appointed her to serve on his Opioid Working Group and in 2017 he appointed her to be a Commissioner on the Massachusetts Drug Formulary Commission.

Cindy is the recipient of numerous accolades for her contributions to the field of pain management, including the American Pain Foundation’s Presidential Medal, the State Pain Initiative Champion Award, the Grunenthal Unsung Hero Award, and the American Academy of Pain Medicine’s Presidential Commendation Award. Cindy was selected as one of six leaders in the field of pain management to receive the Mayday Pain & Society Fellowship for 2013-2014.



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