Dr. Paull on Medication Safety
Dr. Paull hosts special guest expert Mary E. Burkhardt, M.S., R.Ph., in an AMEE Patient Safety Special Interest Group (SIG) Medication Safety Podcast
Program Director, Executive Master’s in Clinical Quality, Safety & Leadership
Instructor of Medicine, Georgetown University
Carole Hemmelgarn, MS, MS, is the Director for the Executive Master’s program for Clinical Quality, Safety & Leadership at Georgetown University, and the Senior Director, Education for the MedStar Institute for Quality & Safety. Carole graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Speech Communication. She received a master’s degree in Patient Safety Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a second master’s degree in Health Care Ethics from Creighton University. She was an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois Chicago for ten years teaching in their master’s program for patient safety. Ms. Hemmelgarn is involved in patient safety work across the country. She sits on the Leapfrog Patient & Family Caregiver Expert Panel, Board of Quality, Safety and Experience at Children’s Hospital Colorado, Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes Collaborative at Children’s Hospital Colorado, Clinical Excellence Council for Colorado Hospital Association, and the Board of Directors for the Collaborative for Accountability and Improvement. Her passion resides in transparency and communication after medical errors, the power of storytelling in health care, and the aftermath endured by providers, patients, and families when medical harm transpires.
“This program adapts to the ever changing healthcare environment. When COVID- 19 hit and the racial unrest these important events were included in our class discussions.”Carole Hemmelgarn, Speaking about CQSL 6505 Interprofessional Experiences, Communication and Simulation
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Georgetown University
Bryan O. Buckley, DrPH, MPH, is a health equity-focused and systems-oriented leader in health delivery system redesign, performance improvement, and change management. He has 10+ years of success applying various performance improvement, leadership, strategy, and change management methodologies across the public health and healthcare sector. Currently, Dr. Buckley is the Director for Health Equity Initiatives at the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), where he supports NCQA’s Health Equity strategy across multiple departments to better integrate health equity concepts into existing programs and projects. Dr. Buckley serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, where he teaches in the Georgetown Executive master’s in clinical quality, safety & leadership. In addition, he is on the faculty team teaching clinical transformation and community partnerships to medical students and is an Associate Member of the Georgetown University Medical Center Teaching Academy for the Health Science, developing course curriculums through change management and an equity lens.
Dr. Buckley holds a Doctor of Public Health from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, a Master of Public Health, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University. He is a Founding Executive Board Member of the DrPH Coalition. In addition, he serves on the Advisory Board for the Michigan State University & Grand Valley State University MPH programs. As a member of the American Public Health Association, he serves as an Executive Board Member and Immediate Past Chair of the Community Health Planning & Policy Development (CHPPD) section. Locally he serves as a Board Member of the American Heart Association (AHA) Greater Washington Region and Food & Friends.
Instructor of Medicine, Georgetown University
Mr. Richard (Tony) Calabria is currently the Clinical Quality and Regulatory Programs Director for the Department of Quality & Safety at MedStar Health. Mr. Calabria holds a BS is Psychology and a MA in Experimental Psychology and is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality and Certified Lean/Six Sigma Black Belt. He has over 15 years of experience in healthcare quality and process improvement. Throughout his career, Mr. Calabria has facilitated and led clinical quality improvement initiatives and serves as a subject matter expert for CMS and HSCRC Pay for Performance Programs, such as VBP/QBR and HAC/MHAC, as well as for publicly reported metrics, such as Leapfrog and CMS Star Ratings. Mr. Calabria is active in the Healthcare Quality Community as a board member for the Maryland Association for Healthcare Quality and as a faculty member of the MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety.
“The Quality Improvement Methods course, offers students a unique opportunity to learn about and use many of the Quality Improvement Tools that are commonly used throughout healthcare. Many tools and methods are covered, along with an opportunity to apply select methods to hypothetical or real-life situations that student may face as a Quality Leader. Additionally, this course aligns with the National Association for Healthcare Quality standards and prepares students for the Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality Exam. A certification that many healthcare employers find desirable or are now requiring.”Tony Calabria, speaking about CQSL 6503 Quality Improvement Methods
Associate Professor of Medicine, Georgetown University
David completed his undergraduate degree at DePauw University and his medical degree at Wayne State University School of Medicine. Following an internship in Internal Medicine at University of Iowa. He completed a residency in Anesthesiology and fellowship in Pediatric Anesthesiology at University of Iowa. He taught at University of Iowa for 2 years rising to the rank of Assistant Professor before transitioning to private practice in Grand Rapids MI. For more than 20 years he provided direct patient care to surgical patients in Grand Rapids, while also serving in multiple different leadership and executive roles, including Chair for a Department of Anesthesiology, President of the Michigan Society of Anesthesiologists, Director for the Michigan Board of Medicine, President of the Medical Staff, Perioperative Medical Director, Vice President for Quality and Safety, and Interim Chief Medical Officer. In 2012 he left Grand Rapids to serve first as the Chief Medical Officer for 2 hospitals within the Ascension Health System and later as the CMO for 2 hospitals within CommonSpirit Health. During his career he has participated in and led the creation of multiple undergraduate and graduate medical education programs. Most recently he worked for the ACGME as CLER site visitor helping teaching hospitals across the United States improve the clinical environment.
David is the founder and President of Probitas Healthcare Advisors LLC and Compass Executive Coaching, where he focuses on clinician leadership development, and helping physician and other healthcare leaders solve their most pressing problems and achieve their professional goals. He is a certified executive coach through the Center for Executive Coaching, an ICF approved training program
David earned his Masters of Medical Management degree from Carnegie Mellon University. He has authored multiple book chapters and peer reviewed articles. He has lectured nationally and internationally on the topics of quality, patient safety and the role of influence in change management initiatives.
Professor of Emergency Medicine, Georgetown University
Dr. Fairbanks is vice president and chief quality & safety officer at MedStar Health, professor of emergency medicine at Georgetown University, founding director emeritus of the National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, and he practices emergency medicine at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC. Dr. Fairbanks is the senior quality, safety, and infection prevention leader at MedStar Health, a ten-hospital, 300 outpatient site health system with 31,000 employees in the Washington DC and Baltimore, Maryland region. He is a healthcare safety innovator, who has brought safety science approaches which are common in other complex high-risk industries into the healthcare environment. A safety engineer prior to entering medical school, Dr. Fairbanks has authored more than 150 publications and edited a book on healthcare safety, safety science, and human factors engineering, and used his research funding from the National Institutes of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Office of the National Coordinator in Health IT and several foundations to influence the way the nation’s healthcare industry approaches safety. Dr. Fairbanks has served in safety advisory roles for several national organizations and for the United States, British, Spanish, and Australian governments. A former paramedic, EMS Medical Director, general aviation pilot, and safety engineering researcher, Professor Fairbanks earned a thesis-based master’s degree in industrial systems engineering with a human factors/safety engineering focus at Virginia Tech, completed Medical School at VCU’s Medical College of Virginia, and residency training in emergency medicine at the University of Rochester where he was chief resident and won the New York State Emergency Medical Services Physician of the Year Award for his pioneering work in EMS safety. He completed the Wharton School’s Physician Leadership certificate, and the National Patient Safety Foundation’s HRET Patient Safety Leadership Fellowship. Dr. Fairbanks is recognized internationally for his innovative work in healthcare safety. He has been listed in Becker’s Hospital Review “Top 50 Experts Leading the Field of Patient Safety” and was recently recognized with the 2021 Robert L. Wears Patient Safety Leadership Award. His leadership in keeping patients and healthcare workers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic was recognized by the Medical Society of the District of Columbia’s John Benjamin Nichols Award for outstanding contributions toward improving the health of the community on May 14, 2021.
Professor of Medicine, Georgetown University
John is an active clinician-educator in addiction medicine and internal medicine in the Trinity Health System, where he serves as Medical Director of Patient Experience for the IHA Medical Group. He has nearly 40 years of experience in patient care and medical education, with active faculty appointments at six medical schools.
John’s academic focus is the interface of medical education, substance use disorders and safety. From 1995 to 1998 he participated in a SAMHSA funded Faculty Development Fellowship in Substance Abuse. John was the founding medical director of the Research Division on Substance Abuse in the Department of Psychiatry at Wayne State University from 1996 to 2005 where he served as the medically responsible investigator for a multi-million-dollar portfolio of NIH-funded clinical studies, including pioneering work with buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorders (OUD). Since 1998 John has been active in training healthcare providers across the United States in safer opioid prescribing and the use of buprenorphine to treat OUD. From 2005 to 2008, he was the Chief Medical Officer at Brighton Hospital, the second-oldest addiction treatment hospital in the United States.
After completing training in LEAN Management, Six Sigma, and Patient Safety, he began to incorporate quality and safety training into graduate and undergraduate medical education programming. From 2008 to 2015, John directed the Internal Medicine Residency Program at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he created and directed the first accredited addiction medicine fellowship training program in the State of Michigan. From 2015 to 2020, John was a part-time Field Representative for the Clinical Learning Environment Review program of the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education. In this capacity, he participated in quality and safety reviews at over 100 hospitals and residency sponsoring-institutions.
John earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and his medical degree at the Wayne State University School of Medicine. He completed residency training in Combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina, where he served as Co-Chief Resident in Pediatrics. He is Board Certified in Addiction Medicine, Pediatrics, and Internal Medicine. His current clinical practice includes hospital medicine and addiction medicine at Trinity Hospital Ann Arbor and Livonia in Michigan.
Instructor of Medicine, Georgetown University
As a Strategy and Consulting Manager, Mary recently joined Accenture Federal Services in the Health Practice space. Mary recently advised the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) on developing and sustaining High-Reliability Organization principles and values. Mary also assisted in transitioning Military Treatment Facilities under the purview of the Defense Health Agency (DHA). Before working with the DHA and VHA, she was a System Clinical Safety Program Operations Manager for MedStar Health Institute for Quality and Safety. Mary started her career as a nurse at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and continues to hold her DC Nursing License. Her passion is patient and employee safety and engaging patients and families in decision-making around care. This passion led her to become a Clinical Risk Manager for MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. She assisted in initiating the Patient Family Advisory Council for Quality and Safety (PFACQS). Mary presently serves as the co-lead for the PFACQS. Mary is also part-time faculty for the Executive Masters in Clinical Quality, Safety and Leadership program at Georgetown University. Mary is certified as a Professional Patient Safety (CPPS) and has a Prosci Change Management certification.
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Georgetown University
Sadaf is a research scientist at the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare at the MedStar Health Research Institute. Her research interests focus on investigating how complex, adaptive systems influence the nature of cognitive work, and designing tools and processes to improve safety in safety-critical environments. Sadaf applies theories from cognitive ergonomics such as prospective memory, interruptions, and situation awareness to improve medication safety.
Sadaf earned her doctorate in engineering psychology from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Through her prior experience at the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, she has hands-on experience in engaging with clinicians through qualitative and quantitative research methods.
Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine
Kristen Miller, DrPH, MSPH, MSL, CPPS is the Scientific Director of the National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare at MedStar Health, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine, Affiliate Faculty at Georgetown Innovation Center for Biomedical Informatics, and Adjunct Faculty at Catholic University Department of Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Miller is a clinically oriented human factors researcher focusing on medical decision making, informatics, and the assessment of medical interventions with an emphasis on usability, human error, and patient safety. Her research interests also include an evaluation of the ethical, legal, and policy implications of health information technology and digital health tools. Her portfolio includes federally funded work from the National Institutes of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Science Foundation, and the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine. Dr. Miller received her bachelors degree in public health studies from Johns Hopkins University, a masters degree in occupational health and safety and a doctorate in public health from Texas A&M University School of Public Health, and a masters degree in healthcare law from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. Her experience includes a post-doctorate with the Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for Patient Safety, experience with multiple healthcare systems including the Veterans Health Administration, Johns Hopkins, and Christiana Care Health System. Dr. Miller is an influential promoter of programs that further the career of early-career research scientists and female professionals in research and public health. She has current and previous teaching experience at the Catholic University in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan-Flint in the Department of Public Health and Health Sciences and as invited faculty for an international summer school on e-Health and m-Health sponsored by the Association of Computing Machinery Special Interest Group in Computer Human Interaction which took place in Dublin, Ireland and Stockholm, Sweden.
Instructor of Medicine, Georgetown University
Crystal Morales is the Director of Nursing Wellbeing for MedStar Health. She is also an active faculty member for Academy for Emerging Leaders in Patient Safety: The Telluride Experience. She has been a Georgetown instructor for the Executive Master’s program for several years.
She has a strong and extensive background in healthcare management, research, and education. Crystal skillfully managed MedStar Health’s High Reliability Program, and led efforts to develop and implement the Care for the Caregiver program, the Patient Communication Consult Service, the event review process after adverse events, and many other safety efforts, establishing herself as a safety content expert and trusted partner. Most recently Crystal was selected to take part in the MedStar Nursing Leadership Development Program, in partnership with Wharton.
Crystal also has a Master’s Degree focused in Patient Safety Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Associate Professor of Medicine, Georgetown University
Dr. Paull graduated from Duke University with degrees in zoology and medicine. He underwent general surgical training at the New York Hospital Cornell Medical Center and cardiothoracic surgical training at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He received his master’s degree in Patient Safety Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is a Veteran of the United States Air Force. He served as an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Wright State University School of Medicine and the Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center in his hometown of Dayton, Ohio. From 2008 to 2018, he worked at the VA National Center for Patient Safety in Ann Arbor, Michigan, sequentially as Co-Director of Medical Team Training, Director of Patient Safety Curriculum, Director of Medical Simulation, Senior Medical Officer/Deputy Director, and as Acting Chief Officer. He is the author of multiple publications on the topics of surgery, patient safety, team training, simulation, high-reliability healthcare organizations, and graduate medical education. He is an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine and serves as a Field Representative for the Clinical Learning Environment Review (CLER) Program at the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
“Like the students, I share the challenges of balancing professional responsibilities with the opportunities afforded by participation in a graduate education program. ‘So, what brings me back semester after semester?’ The students. And the sincere belief that they represent our future patient safety leaders.”Doug Paull, speaking about CQSL 6501 Introduction to Patient Safety & Quality
Associate Professor of Medicine, Georgetown University
Dr. Ratwani is the director of the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, vice president of scientific affairs at the MedStar Health Research Institute, and an associate professor at the Georgetown University School of Medicine. As director, he oversees the Center’s vision and strategy and has overall responsibility for Center activities. He is also an active applied researcher serving as principal investigator on numerous grants and contracts, including three research project grant (R01) awards from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which are among the most prestigious grants. Raj has expertise in health information technology, usability and safety, interruptions and workflow, data visualization, and modeling. Raj’s research has been funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), National Institutes of Health (NIH), The Pew Charitable Trusts, and industry partners. His work has been published in high-impact journals such as The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and Health Affairs and has influenced both policy and frontline clinical practice. His research has been featured by Politico, Fortune, Kaiser Health News, National Public Radio (NPR), and many other media outlets. He serves on the federal 21st Century Cures Act Health Information Technology Advisory Committee and has testified to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. He holds a doctorate in human factors and applied cognition and was a National Research Council post-doctoral fellow at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. He enjoys spending time with family, traveling, distance running, and tennis.
Instructor of Medicine, Georgetown University
Dr. Szolnoki is a practicing clinician, a board-certified pediatric anesthesiologist. She earned her medical degree from Semmelweis University, Hungary, and completed a Master’s of Science in Patient Safety Leadership program. She has experience leading quality improvement and patient safety programs at both hospital and national levels. Her organizational leadership experience includes leading a large group of medical faculty at a nationally ranked academic hospital. Her professional interests include change management, leadership development, and personal coaching. Dr. Szolnoki has been in a teaching capacity for over 15 years.
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Georgetown University
Edmund A. Tori, DO, FACP, CHT, is the Director of Wellbeing Education in the MedStar Health Center for Wellbeing. He is also the Director of the You Are Not Alone Program, serving MedStar Health clinicians and associates through claims and litigation. Ed is an assistant professor at Georgetown University and serves as faculty for the Executive Master’s in Clinical Quality, Safety, and Leadership at Georgetown University.
He was a part of the initial team assembled to form the Center for Wellbeing. As the former Director of the Care for the Caregiver program, he helped to institute a 24/7 peer support hotline, on-the-ground Wellness Stations, regular Wellness Rounds and Wellness Office Hours, escalation pathways, and system-coordination for access to other employee resources.
Dr. Tori is the former Director of the Influence Center. He speaks, coaches, and conducts workshops internationally on influence, persuasion, rapport, and body language.
Dr. Tori previously served as a hospitalist and as the Medical Director of the Cardiovascular Step-Down Unit at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, MD where he was responsible for running peri-operative cardiac services.
Ed completed his Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, followed by a residency in internal medicine at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, where he was both Chief Resident and Resident of the Year. Dr. Tori is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Africana Studies from Cornell University.
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Georgetown University
Dr. Alex Yazaji is the Vice President for Medical Affairs and the Chief Medical Officer at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital & MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital. Before his current role, he served as the president of the medical staff at Medstar Union Memorial Hospital. He also served as the Chief Quality and Safety Officer and the vice chair of medicine for Medstar Union Memorial and Good Samaritan hospitals. He serves on the board of directors for both hospitals. He holds a faculty appointment at Georgetown University as an Assistant Professor. Alex also serves as a faculty in the executive master’s in quality, safety, and leadership at Georgetown University. Alex received his medical degree from Damascus University and went on to residency training in Internal Medicine at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, followed by a fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at the University of Maryland Medical Center. In 2004, he established and directed the hospitalist program at Bayhealth in Delaware until returning to Baltimore to join MedStar Union Memorial in 2008. Dr. Yazaji participated in the MedStar/ Wharton physician leadership development program in 2017. Dr. Yazaji won multiple teaching awards from the house staff. His interests include patient safety & quality and practicing high-quality medicine. He worked on multiple quality and safety initiatives at the local level, such as reducing hospital-acquired conditions, capacity management, and reducing readmission and length of stay. He also led and participated in many initiatives at the MedStar level, such as Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI), alcohol withdrawal management, lab utilization, respiratory monitoring, sepsis, telemetry utilization, and improving mortality.
Research Scientist & Clinical Human Factors Specialist, MedStar Health
Chris is a research scientist and clinical human factors specialist within the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, and an adjunct instructor at the University of Maryland, College of Information Studies. He holds a Master of Science in human-computer interaction from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Master of Science in nursing from the University of Maryland School of Nursing. Chris provides unique expertise in nursing practice and patient safety for a variety of projects and grants. His professional expertise is in the integration of medical technology within facilities, the assessment of best practices for medical staff, and user experience design of both web and mobile applications. His nursing practice is based in emergency medicine and was a founding member of the unit practice council on his unit to implement and continuously improve the unit/department‐specific Relationship‐Based Care (RBC) delivery model and related outcomes. He is also a recipient of the Laurence B. Heilprin award for his paper on health inequities within the homeless population from the University of Maryland.
Performance Improvement Advisor, MedStar Health
Shirlet Bomhoff is a Performance Improvement (PI) Advisor with over two decades of experience in leadership, driving system-wide strategic transformation and sustainment of desired outcomes. Shirley is a Masters prepared Nurse by background and is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. She serves on the Maryland Association for Healthcare Quality Education Committee member. Shirley started her career as a nurse and graduated from Georgetown University School of Nursing. Shirley has experience in external consulting and has worked for a variety of large healthcare systems. Currently, she is with the MedStar Corporate Office of Performance Improvement and Analytics. She has a passion and expertise in PI methodologies and combines the principles of Lean Six Sigma, change management, high reliability, and human factors into her work. She is adept in performing statistical analysis and data visualization, supporting an informative and compelling case for change. A thought leader in the development of a strategic roadmap to drive the enculturation of continuous improvement, effective governance structures, and sustainability systems throughout the health system. Trusted consultant with acute emotional intelligence facilitating productive and clear communication with corporate leaders, local leaders, physicians, stakeholders, subject matter experts, and the frontline.
Director, Clinical Performance Improvement, MedStar Health
Andrea Brooks received her Doctor of Nursing Practice and Master of Science degrees from the University of Maryland School of Nursing in Baltimore, Maryland. She completed her Masters of Business Administration from R. H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Family Nurse Practitioner and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board as an Emergency Nurse Practitioner. Andrea has over 15 years of clinical experience in healthcare including emergency department, urgent care settings, medical weight loss, retail clinics, and aesthetics.
In addition to her clinical expertise, Andrea is performance-driven healthcare professional with experience in developing high-impact relationships and synergistic care delivery models. Andrea balances strategic decisions and financial stewardship with a hands-on approach to leadership- resulting in improved efficiency, cost reduction, enhanced access to care, and improved clinical outcomes. She leverages her core strengths and connections to develop new business, establish referral networks, and secure strategic affiliations.
As President of the American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners, Andrea promotes high-quality, evidence-based practice for nurse practitioners providing emergency care.
Her scholarly interests include emergency medicine, aesthetic medicine, process improvement methodologies, interdisciplinary team training, and leadership development. Andrea is a 2015 Nursing Leadership Institute Fellow and the 2019 recipient of the National Jeannine Rivet Leadership Award.
ACGME CLER Field Representative & Professor, Department of Medical Education, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Dr. Casanova received his undergraduate degree from Tulane University in New Orleans and his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
He spent 20 years in private practice in Austin, Texas before starting his career in academic medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). He received his Master in Health Professions Education from the University of Illinois in Chicago in 2018.
He is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Medical Education and has served as clerkship director, residency program director, and assistant dean on two of the TTUHSC campuses.
Director of Quality Improvement of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM)
Dr. Gerry Castro is the Director of Quality Improvement of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM), where he administers the portfolio of programs and research. Prior to joining SIDM, he was the Project Director for Patient Safety Initiatives in the Office of Patient Safety at the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (Joint Commission). His professional efforts are focused on improving patient safety through defining and applying evidence-based strategies in health care. Dr. Castro was the Principal Investigator for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT project “Investigations of Health IT-related Deaths, Serious Injuries or Unsafe Conditions.” He was a member of the AHRQ Diagnostic Centers of Excellence Special Emphasis Panel, AAMI Foundation Board of Directors, as well as the NQF Common Formats and HIT Patient Safety and Expert Panels.
He received his undergraduate degree from Loyola University in Chicago and his Master of Public Health degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in health policy and administration. He received a Ph.D. in Public Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, focusing on patient safety and safety event analysis.
Specialties: Patient safety, health IT, international and governmental liaison, public presentation, grant writing.
Professor of Medicine at the University of Utah; Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Clinical Epidemiology at The University of Utah School of Medicine
Dr. Classen is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Utah and a Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Clinical Epidemiology at The University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the CMIO at Pascal Metrics, a federally certified Patient Safety Organization (PSO)
He received his medical degree from the University Of Virginia School Of Medicine and a Master’s of Science degree in medical informatics from the University Of Utah School Of Medicine. He served as Chief Medical Resident at the University of Connecticut. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. He developed the medication safety programs at Intermountain Healthcare; He was the chair of Intermountain Health Cares Clinical Quality Committee for Drug Use and Evaluation and was also the initial developer of patient safety research and patient safety programs at Intermountain Healthcare. In addition he developed, implemented, and evaluated a computerized physician order entry program at LDS Hospital that significantly improved the safety of medication use.
He was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee (IOM) that developed the National Healthcare Quality Report and the Institute of Medicine Committee on Patient Safety Data Standards. He was recently a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Health Information Technology and Patient Safety.
He chaired the QUIC (Federal Safety Taskforce)/IHI Collaborative on Improving Safety in High-Hazard Areas. Dr. Classen was Co-Chair of the Institute of Healthcare Improvements Collaborative on Perioperative Safety and the Surgical Safety Collaborative at the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI). He was also a faculty member of the IHI/National Health Foundation Safer Patients Initiative in the United Kingdom. In addition, Dr. Classen is one of the developers of the “Trigger Tool Methodology” at IHI, used for the improved detection of adverse events, which is currently being used by more than 500 different healthcare organizations throughout the United States and Europe.
He currently co-chairs the National Quality Forum’s AHRQ Common Formats Committee, and Dr. Classen is an advisor to the Leapfrog Group and has developed and implemented the CPOE/EHR flight simulator for AHRQ and National Quality Forum. This Electronic Health Record (EHR) Flight simulator has been used to evaluate hundreds of inpatient and ambulatory EHR systems after implementation across the United States and The United Kingdom and a critical Health IT Safety Measure of the National Quality Forum’s Safe Practice #16 for Computerized Provider Order Entry within EHRs.
Senior Director for High Reliability and Patient Safety, MedStar Health
Laura Lee is MedStar Health’s Senior Director for High Reliability and Patient Safety. In this role, Laura is integral to developing and operationalizing MedStar Health’s high reliability and patient safety strategic initiatives. Laura is committed to bringing the principles of high reliability to life through practical applications at the front line of care delivery and healthcare operations and to advancing MedStar Health as a leader in the design of proactive safety systems that anticipate and prevent hazards and unsafe conditions.
Prior to joining the MedStar Health team, Laura was the Director of the Office of Patient Safety and Clinical Quality at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (NIH CC). As a member of the senior leadership team, Laura’s responsibilities included managing the NIH CC’s patient safety, clinical quality improvement, and performance measurement programs, guiding the NIH CC’s high-reliability journey, and managing the NIH CC’s accreditation activities.
Laura holds a Master of Science in Patient Safety Leadership from the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois-Chicago, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the Catholic University of America, and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Gettysburg College.
She lives in Washington, DC with her husband, Peter, an architect. Laura’s son, Kristof is an urban farmer in DC specializing in rooftop farms.
Any extra hours in the day are spent hiking, paddling, traveling, and stitching.
Mental Performance & Leadership Coach
Sebastian Little is dedicated to creating spaces for full self-expression and play. He operates his own coaching and consulting practice, where he partners with leaders and teams to build leadership competencies, high-performance practices, and team culture.
Sebastian worked as a consultant at the McChrystal Group, a management consulting and leadership development firm in Washington, D.C., founded by retired 4-star general Stan McChrystal. He is a graduate of Yale University and a former varsity football athlete. During his Yale tenure, he partnered with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence as both a student and an intern, creating a curriculum on emotionally intelligent leadership. He received his ACCC professional coach certification through the Accomplishment Coaching training program.
Associate Professor in Medicine, Georgetown University
Dr. Mayer is the Executive Director for MedStar Health Institute for Quality and Safety. He has a strong background in academia, ranging from co-executive director at UIC Institute for Patient Safety Excellence, director of UIC Masters of Science Patient Safety Leadership Program, associate dean for Education, and associate chief medical officer for Quality and Safety Graduate Medical Education. Most recently, Dr. Mayer was one of four medical professionals presented with the 2017 Humanitarian Award from the Patient Safety Movement Foundation for his lifesaving achievements in patient safety. He was also awarded the Becker’s Health 2017 top 50 people in patient safety. Dr. Mayer also founded and has led the Academy for Emerging Leaders in Patient Safety: The Telluride Experience for the last ten years.
President & Founder, Nehal Group LLC Umbereen S. Nehal, MD, MPH is an MIT Sloan Fellow MBA candidate, a former Medicaid medical director, and a former Chief Medical Officer for a 14-center community health organization in NYC. Educated at Aga Khan University, Baylor College of Medicine, and Harvard School of Public Health, she has been named a “Top Voice” four times by LinkedIn and has over 230,000 followers. Dr. Nehal was the clinical lead for $1.8b in new funding for Medicaid reform for value-based care. She was recognized by President Obama for a healthcare enrollment campaign for the White House. Dr. Nehal is published in the area of quality improvement, business models for AI in healthcare, and medical education for patient-centered care. Dr. Nehal was an elected board member for the American Academy of Pediatrics, Massachusetts Chapter, and frequently has been invited to advise federal agencies and the White House on public policy. She lives in Boston and enjoys painting, snowshoeing, and trying new recipes.
Senior Director of Government Relations, Catholic Health Association of the United States
Paulo G. Pontemayor currently serves as Senior Director of Government Relations for the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA), the national leadership organization of more than 2,200 Catholic healthcare systems, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other health organizations—the largest group of nonprofit health care providers in the nation. He also serves as Chair Emeritus for the Partnership for Medicaid, made up of organizations representing clinicians, healthcare providers, safety-net health plans, and counties whose goal is to preserve and improve the Medicaid program. Prior to CHA, he has worked at The Joint Commission, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, and as an aide for several members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Paulo has an Executive Certificate in Healthcare Leadership and Patient Safety from Georgetown University, a Master of Public Health degree from the Milken Institute of Public Health at George Washington University, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Washington in Seattle. He was recently named a Top 40 under 40 healthcare leader by the National Minority Quality Forum and has been recognized as a Top 100 Lobbyist in 2021 and 2022 by the National Institute for Lobbying and Ethics.
Director, Performance Improvement Training and Education, MedStar Health
Katy is the Director for Performance Improvement Training & Education at MedStar Health. In this role, she is responsible for developing a standardized performance improvement (PI) curriculum and educating associates throughout the MedStar system in PI methodology and tools.
Katy is a physical therapist by background and has 19 years of healthcare experience in all settings of the healthcare spectrum. She has had the privilege of following patients from acute care to skilled nursing facilities, to home care and the outpatient setting. After obtaining her Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt certification in 2014, Katy left PT (other than the occasional consult for a friend in pain) to pursue PI work full time. Prior to her current role, she was the Director of PI and Quality at the University of Maryland Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Institute, where she established the PI foundation for the hospital. She holds a Master of Physical Therapy and an MBA.
Associate Professor, Health Sciences, UCLA Geffen School of Medicine
Dr. Miriam Schwartz earned her B.S. degree in Biology from California State University at Los Angeles and obtained her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences at Purdue University. She received her B.A., M.A., and M.D. degrees from the University of Dublin – Trinity College in Ireland. She completed family medicine residency at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and geriatric medicine fellowship in the VA-UCLA Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program. Dr. Schwartz is an attending physician in two state homes – the Lancaster and Ventura Veterans Home of California. She is a volunteer staff physician at the Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System. Dr. Schwartz is also a Health Sciences Associate Professor at the UCLA Geffen School of Medicine. She is a volunteer faculty mentor in the UCLA Maternal Child Health Pipeline Training Program that recruits undergraduate students from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds into maternal and child healthcare professions.
Chair, Department of Bioethics, Kansas City University School of Medicine and Bioscience
David M. Sine, DrBE, ARM, CSP, CPHRM, has more than 30 years of healthcare safety and risk management experience in private and public sector health systems. He is currently Chair of the Department of Bioethics at the Kansas City University School of Medicine and Bioscience and previously served as the Chief Risk Officer of the Veterans Administration Hospital System, is a member of The Joint Commissions’ Committee on Healthcare Safety, and acts as a risk management and patient safety advisor to the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems. David was formerly a senior staff engineer for The Joint Commission, a senior consultant for the American Hospital Association, and a vice-chair of the board of Brackenridge Hospital in Austin, TX, and continues to publish in the areas of risk management, ethics, and patient safety.
Associate Professor of Medicine, Georgetown University
Dr. Thomas is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at MedStar Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC). He joined the faculty in 2018, and his primary clinical duties are with the MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute. Prior to coming to Georgetown, he completed his transplant nephrology fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), where he would remain on as faculty. While at MUSC, he was the transplant fellowship director and the interim medical director of the kidney transplant program. He would move onto the University of Maryland Medical Center and subsequently would be the associate nephrology fellowship director.
Dr. Thomas is passionate about medical education. He has an interest in the use of social media in education, completed the Nephrology Social Media Collaborative Internship and has produced blog posts, and participated in Twitter journal clubs. Here at Georgetown, he is an associate member of the GUMC Teaching Academy. He has a great interest in being an alley for diversity and inclusiveness in the medical field. Dr. Thomas is a member of the inaugural cohort of the Georgetown School of Medicine’s Bias Reduction and Improvement Coaching Program where he trained to discuss the science, impact, and best practices to mitigate bias. He is also a member of the Georgetown Medical School’s Racial Justice Committee and the GUMC Department of Medicine Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.
Associate Professor, University of Kansas Medical Center
Paul Uhlig is a cardiothoracic surgeon with years of experience building innovative teams to improve patient care. Paul is in clinical practice and an Associate Professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas. Paul has previously served at Dartmouth and Harvard, where he was instrumental in helping to build one of the first comprehensive simulation centers. Using the work of Jody Gittell on Relational Coordination, Paul has pioneered an innovative care model called Proximal Care that seeks to put the patient in the center of care and allows the patient not to simply participate in their care but actually drive their care.
Director of Organization Development, Marshfield Clinic Health System
Dr. Karen Altekruse serves as the Director of Organization Development at the Marshfield Clinic Health System – one of the nation’s largest rural healthcare systems, serving over 300,000 unique patients with more than 3 million patient encounters in a year. The health system has over 11,000 employees and 1,600 providers, comprising 170 specialties, a health plan, and a research institute.
Since joining the Marshfield Clinic Health System in 2019, Dr. Altekruse has taken on additional functional areas of responsibility beyond organization and leadership development. She currently oversees performance, non-clinical learning and development, onboarding, change management, operational effectiveness, and employee/provider engagement.
After a successful exit of a marketing communications firm, she founded and scaled to a second-stage enterprise, Karen enrolled in an MBA program with concentrations in executive coaching and organizational behavior. In 2015 she earned a doctorate in Leadership Studies and was a full-time faculty member for a northern Wisconsin college before taking on the role of executive director of the college’s small business and entrepreneurship center. In this role, she coached and mentored business owners and entrepreneurs in growing their businesses. In 2016 Karen left academia and her role at the center to focus on working with businesses and executives who wanted to align their people strategy with their business strategy. Karen subscribes to the philosophy that businesses will grow and have the competitive advantage when they invest in developing their number one asset – their people.
When not at work or speaking about all things leadership and people development, Karen can be found sailing the great lakes, gardening or biking.
Director, Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (CQuIPS)
Craig A. Umscheid, M.D., M.S., is a hospitalist and clinical epidemiologist who serves as the Director of the Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (CQuIPS). Most recently, he was a Senior Science Advisor and Director of the Evidence-based Practice Center Division at AHRQ. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University, where he practices clinically. Prior to joining AHRQ, Dr. Umscheid was an Associate Professor at the University of Chicago, where he served as the Chief Quality and Innovation Officer and Vice President of Healthcare Delivery Science. He began his career at the University of Pennsylvania, where he became an Associate Professor, Vice Chair of Quality and Safety for the Department of Medicine and was a co-founder and Director of Penn Medicine’s Center for Evidence-based Practice.
His career has been dedicated to disseminating and implementing research evidence into clinical practice to support patient care quality. This work has been supported by AHRQ, PCORI, CDC, and NIH and has been described in over 125 peer-reviewed publications and cited over 10,000 times. Dr. Umscheid co-led an AHRQ Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) while at Penn, has co-authored clinical practice guidelines with the CDC, NIH, and IDSA, is a former Chair of the PCORI Advisory Panel on Healthcare Delivery and Disparities Research, a former Deputy Editor of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, and a past member of AHRQ’s Patient-Centered Clinical Decision Support Learning Network Steering Committee and the Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC).
Dr. Umscheid received his undergraduate degree from Cornell, his medical degree from Georgetown, trained in Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago, and received a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Primary Care Physician-Scientist Fellow supported by a National Research Service Award from HRSA.
Senior Vice President, Field Engagement, Michigan Health and Hospital Association
Sam R. Watson, MSA, MT(ASCP), CPPS, is the senior vice president of Field Engagement for the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA). In this role, Watson leads member services and develops strategic relationships with stakeholders to further the mission of the MHA. Additionally, Watson provides executive leadership for the Education division and the MHA Keystone Center.
Over the years, Watson has led numerous efforts to build collaborative relationships across multiple entities in Michigan and beyond. Most recently, co-leading the creation of Superior Health Quality Alliance, an eight-organization consortium that addresses quality and safety through federally funded contracts. Prior to being named senior vice president of Field Engagement, Watson led the MHA Keystone Center in its efforts to improve patient safety and quality, including federally funded Hospital Engagement Networks, Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks, and many statewide quality initiatives, with focus areas such as surgery, obstetrics, hospital-associated infections, emergency departments, sepsis, falls, pressure ulcers, venous thromboembolism, and care transitions.
Under Watson’s leadership, the MHA Keystone Center was the recipient of the Eisenberg Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality Award and Dick Davidson Quality Milestone Award for healthcare improvement. Watson has been recognized as one of the 50 Experts Leading the Field of Patient Safety by Becker’s Hospital Review, a leading healthcare publication.
Watson currently serves on several professional organizations and committees, including the boards of directors for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Christian Life Services – Holland Home, Spectrum Health West Michigan, and the Michigan Homecare and Hospice Association.
Chief Medical Officer, CommonSpirit
Bob’s accountabilities include quality, patient safety, clinical service lines, physician engagement, academic medicine, clinical research, medical informatics, and clinical data science. He joined Dignity Health in 2008 and served as Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. Previously, he was a senior executive in the Veterans Health Administration. Bob received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a medical degree at the University of Missouri, Columbia. He received a master’s degree in public health at the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in business administration at Stanford University Graduate School of Business.