Our Staff

Dr. Simon Mittal

Dr. Simon Mittal

CareChoice Medical Director

Dr. Mittal graduated from medical school from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, completed his training in Denver, Colorado and is a Board Certified Internist. After spending 6 years in the Army where he was recognized with the Surgeon General’s Award, he spent 10 years with the Mayo Health System and was a Clinical Instructor for the Mayo Medical School. Over the last few years, Dr. Mittal has seen the increasing need for high quality care in assisted living, skilled nursing and long term care facilities as he has helped his father navigate the complex medical issues that seniors face. His desire is to improve the standard of care, improve quality and help facilities provide the care that seniors deserve. He is a Member of ACP, ACPE, AMDA, ACHE.

William (Bill) Knutson, MBA

William (Bill) Knutson, MBA

CareChoice CEO

Bill is a senior healthcare executive and consultant with extensive experience in strategy formulation, physician integration, campus development, service line formation and operational performance. Bill held numerous leadership positions in the HealthEast system in Minnesota, including leading St John’s Hospital as Vice President/Administrator. His consulting projects in hospital and senior services include developing/implementing a neurologist/hospital call system, a medical tourism hospital, senior living campus, geriatric physician practice, payer contracting for a national primary clinic group and critical access hospital strategic plans. Bill has also served as an advisor to medical device startup companies. He recently participated in the development of a virtual ACO in rural Minnesota (Southern Prairie Community Care) under the MN DHS IHP program, is part owner in a wound care company and partner in a physician practice and consulting group for post- acute services. He has been appointed an “Executive in Residence” at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. Bill has a Master’s in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Nichole Pelerine

Nichole Pelerine

Executive Director

Nichole began working with CareChoice in 2011 after relocating to the Twin Cities from Los Angeles. She is an experienced leader with a diverse background in several different industries and passionate in her belief that collaboration is the key to successful innovation. As a mission-driven leader, Nichole is thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with the CareChoice members in creating opportunities to provide better care for the seniors in our community.

Amy Tong, DNP, APRN, ACNS-BC, CNE

Amy Tong, DNP, APRN, ACNS-BC, CNE

Project Director

Amy Tong is an Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist and graduate of the University of Minnesota Post-Masters DNP program. She has worked as an acute care staff nurse, home care case manager, geriatric care consultant and most recently, as a nursing instructor in a BSN program. As a nursing instructor she worked in the didactic, lab, and clinical environments. Some of these environments included acute care, transitional care, long term care, and acute mental health care. She has a love for working with the geriatric population and hopes to contribute to improving the quality of care for this population using the best evidence-based practices available.

Aira Wandmacher, MSN, RN, CNE

Aira Wandmacher, MSN, RN, CNE

Education Director

Aira has a master’s degree in nursing education and brings experience as a nurse educator and leader to the RCMS project. Her background is in the acute care, ambulatory and college setting where she focused on process and staff development. She is passionate about developing education that reaches the learner, so it will be incorporated into practice. Aira is excited to partner with facilities in providing education that improves medication safety.

Stacy Ellerbusch, LSW

Stacy Ellerbusch, LSW

Program Associate

Stacy is a graduate from The College of St. Scholastica and has 20+ years of experience in long term and home health care settings, including positions in Laundry, Housekeeping, as a Home Health Aide, Payroll, Accounts Payable and Lead Receptionist Coordinator. She joined CareChoice in 2014 as the Data Analyst/Administrative Support working on the CMS HCIA-2, Person Centered Care Connections Transition to Home grant. She assisted with implementing the program as well as continuing to support and manage the required program components in participating CareChoice facilities. Stacy currently supports the RCMS DHS PIP project.

Anna Olinger, LSW

Anna Olinger, LSW

Social Work Coordinator

Anna is a Licensed Social Worker, a graduate of the University of North Dakota, and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in gerontology. Along with her education, she brings her background in behavioral health and skilled nursing facilities to the RCBH PIP project. Anna has a passion for quality improvement and meeting the individual needs of each resident. She also understands the need for efficiency and sustainability when implementing change and is looking forward to partnering with facility staff to accomplish this.