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Featured Speakers

johnaugust.jpgJohn August, Director of Healthcare Labor Relations, Cornell University, Extension and Outreach Division, has more than 42 years of experience in the US labor movement, including organizing and representing health care workers, social workers, airline mechanics, truck and bus drivers, public employees, and college teachers, among others. Over the past 10 years and in his current role, he has worked with unions and health systems to provide strategic guidance and planning, facilitation and development of labor-management partnerships, health system transformation, and union leadership in performance improvement. His current projects include Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Health Network, SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, New York City Health and Hospitals, and the Doctors Council SEIU. In a white paper for the Doctors Council SEIU, Mr. August presented a transformed vision of union organization to lead on performance improvement in the nation’s largest public health system. Prior to his current role, he served as Executive Director of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions from 2006 to 2013, where he co-chaired the Labor-Management Partnership, and as Deputy Director of the Health Systems Division of SEIU from 2001 to 2006, where he was responsible for strategic organizing and collective bargaining. In December 2013, Mr. August was appointed as a member of the Payment and Oversight Panel of the Delivery System Reform Incentive Program of the New York State Department of Health Medicaid Reform Program. He is a frequent speaker to academic, public policy, trade union, and government forums on innovation in collective bargaining and organizing.

EvanBenjamin.pngEvan M. Benjamin, MD, FACP, is Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences as well as Senior Vice President for Quality and Population Health and Chief Quality Officer for Baystate Health in Springfield, Massachusetts. Dr. Benjamin, a board-certified internist, founded the Division of Healthcare Quality at Baystate in 2000 and helped to create the Center for Quality of Care Research in 2006. His work has helped to transform health care within the three-hospital Baystate Health system, garnering a number of national awards, and has been a model for other health care organizations. Nationally recognized for his work in outcomes management and quality-of-care improvement, his publications have appeared in more than 40 articles in major journals. His research in measuring quality, patient safety, and health policy has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA. He has contributed to five books, including Healthcare Quality: The Clinician’s Primer (ACPE 2012).  Currently, he is on the editorial board for the American Journal of Medical Quality, and is an active reviewer for JAMA. Dr Benjamin sits on a number of national and regional boards and committees, including the Board of Directors of Mercy Health (formerly Catholic Health Partners), a 25-hospital health system based in Ohio where he chairs the Board Quality Committee. He is an active faculty member for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, MA, and a member of the Family & Patient Committee of the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF). He sits on the Premier, Inc., Board Quality Committee and chairs the Premier, Inc., Strategic Clinical Advisory Committee. Dr. Benjamin speaks nationally regarding the impact of the health care delivery system on the quality and safety of health care. Dr. Benjamin received his BA in chemistry with highest honors form Williams College, Williamstown, MA; his MD from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, OH; post-graduate education in Internal Medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Yale University School of Medicine and training in epidemiology with the US Public Health Service.

america.jpgAmerica Bracho, MD, MPH, is the Executive Director of Latino Health Access, a center for health promotion and disease prevention in California that facilitates mechanisms of empowerment for the community and trains community health workers as leaders of wellness and change. Dr. Bracho worked as a physician in her native Venezuela for several years, after which she came to the US to obtain a Master’s Degree in Public Health at the University of Michigan. She is a current member of the Casey Family Programs Board of Trustees and a former trustee of the Marguerite Casey Foundation. Dr. Bracho served on the Institute of Medicine Round Table on Health Disparities and on the Advisory Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Local Initiative Program. She has been a presenter for hundreds of universities, professional associations, and community groups. She served as a consultant for the Pan American Health Organization and as a faculty member for several international courses in Latin America, Australia, and Europe. Dr. Bracho is the recipient of numerous awards for her work and she has been featured in several documentaries, including the HBO special “The Weight of the Nation” and a TedMed Talk on the role of patients in improving health care and their communities. She co-authored the book Recruiting the Heart and Training the Brain: The Work of Latino Health Access.

Feeley_Derek_thumb.jpgDerek Feeley, DBA, joined IHI as Executive Vice President in September 2013 and became CEO in January 2016. His work is international in scope, guiding work to deliver IHI’s mission to improve health and care across the world. Prior to taking up his current role, Mr. Feeley had been Director General (DG) Health and Chief Executive of the National Health Service (NHS) in Scotland since November 2010. From January 2011, the DG role was extended to cover Health and Social Care. He was the principal adviser to Scottish Ministers on health and care issues and he provided direction to the work of NHS Boards in ensuring the delivery of high-quality health and health care. Mr. Feeley has had a varied background in policy analysis during thirty years in public service. From 2002 to 2004, he spent two years as Principal Private Secretary to Scotland's First Minister. Thereafter, he moved on to work on developing a framework for service redesign in the NHS. He was a 2005-2006 Harkness/Health Foundation Fellow in Health Care Policy and spent a year in the United States working with Kaiser Permanente and the Veteran's Health Administration. Mr. Feeley was appointed as Director of Healthcare Policy and Strategy on his return. In that role he was responsible for advising the Scottish Government on all health care quality issues, including patient safety, and he also led on health care information technology.

clayjohnston.pngClay Johnston, MD, PhD, is the inaugural Dean of the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin. His ambitious vision includes building a world-class medical school by creating a vital, inclusive health ecosystem that supports new and innovative models of education, health care delivery and discovery – all with a focus on improving health and making Austin a model healthy city. Dr. Johnston is also a neurologist, specializing in stroke care and research. He was formerly at the University of California, San Francisco, where he served as Associate Vice Chancellor of Research and founding director of the Center for Healthcare Value. He is a graduate of Amherst College, completed medical school at Harvard University, and received a PhD in epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley.

AndreaK.jpgAndrea Kabcenell, RN, Vice President, IHI, is on the research and development team and leads major IHI initiatives. Since 1995, she has directed Breakthrough Series Collaboratives and other improvement programs, including Pursuing Perfection, a national demonstration funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The current focus of her work is leadership for improvement, building effective networks to foster innovation and regional health improvement, and care for older adults with complex needs and for people of all ages with advanced illness. Prior to joining IHI, Ms. Kabcenell was a senior research associate in Cornell University's Department of Policy, Analysis, and Management focusing on chronic illness care, quality, and diffusion of innovation. She also served for four years as Program Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

wright2_300.jpgWright L. Lassiter III, President, Henry Ford Health System (HFHS), oversees all hospital and service operations for the $4.7 billion six-hospital health system consisting of more than 60 clinical locations and more than 23,000 employees. Having joined HFHS in 2014, he also serves as a member of the system’s Executive Cabinet. A seasoned health care executive, Mr. Lassiter has more than 20 years of experience working in large, complex health systems, including Methodist Health System and JPS Health Network in Texas. Since 2005, he held the top executive position at Alameda Health System (AHS) in California, where he is credited with leading the expansion and turnaround of the $865 million public health system, achieving eight years of positive financial performance. Additionally, under his leadership, Alameda garnered The Joint Commission Top Performer status, increased patient engagement from the 1st percentile to the 80th percentile, and twice received the Press Ganey Spirit of Excellence award for employee engagement. Mr. Lassiter also led efforts to improve quality and patient safety and he is credited with an 18-month effort that reduced patient harm across AHS by 50 percent. His work has received many national accolades, including "Top Blacks in U.S. Healthcare" in 2014 by the John Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions and "Top 25 Minority Healthcare Executives in U.S. Healthcare" in 2012 by Modern Healthcare magazine. He serves on several boards, including America's Essential Hospitals Board of Directors and YMCA-USA National Board of Directors, and he is chair of the Metropolitan Hospital Governing Council of the American Hospital Association.

kath.jpgKatharine Luther, RN, Vice President, IHI, is responsible for IHI's work in North America and leads IHI's cost, quality and value efforts. She has over 25 years of experience in clinical and process improvement focusing on large-scale change projects and program development. Ms. Luther was previously an IHI Executive Director, and in that role she designed new programs to impact cost and health care quality. She has worked in a variety of areas including system improvement, rapid-cycle change, and partnering with all levels of health care workers, from senior leaders and physicians to front-line staff. A Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Ms. Luther also has experience in Lean. 

lindsaym.jpgLindsay A. Martin, Executive Director and Improvement Advisor, IHI, focuses on innovation and system-wide improvement. She directs IHI's 90-day research and development process, which seeks new solutions to difficult health care problems by identifying best practices and innovations inside and outside of health care and bringing them into prototype testing. She also serves as faculty for the business case for quality improvement, system measurement, and regional data as applied to improvement. Ms. Martin coaches health care organizations on implementing improvement innovation programs and, as an Improvement Advisor, teaches the Model for Improvement, reliability science, and data collection and analysis. 

KedarMateHiRes1-(2)_120.jpgKedar Mate, MD, Senior Vice President, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), is responsible for Research and Development, Innovation, and Faculty. In this capacity, he oversees the developments of innovative new systems designs to implement high-quality, low-cost health care both in the US and in international settings. An internal medicine physician, Dr. Mate is also an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Weill-Cornell Medical College and a Research Associate at Harvard Medical School’s Division of Global Health Equity. His current research activities include improving population management, behavioral health integration, health equity, addressing complex needs patients, and ambulatory patient safety. Dr. Mate serves as a senior advisor to IHI’s programs in the US, Asia, and the Middle East and he serves as an IHI principal investigator on multiple research awards. Previously he worked with Partners In Health, served as a special assistant to the Director of the HIV/AIDS Department at the World Health Organization, and led IHI’s national program in South Africa. Dr. Mate has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and white papers and he has delivered keynote speeches in forums all over the world. He graduated from Brown University with a degree in American History and from Harvard Medical School with a medical degree.​

annepeach.jpgAnne Gallagher Peach, RN, MSN, Partner, Future Vision Group, has more than 30 years of experience in senior management positions in health care, including serving as Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Executive for the eight-hospital Orlando Health system, Chief Operating Officer of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Orlando, and Executive Director of 150-bed Dr. P. Phillips Hospital in Orlando. During her early career, she was a critical care nurse and clinical nurse specialist with an expertise in pulmonary nursing. Ms. Peach has served as a faculty member in several universities and currently holds an appointment as adjunct faculty at the University of Central Florida College of Nursing.  She is published in Brunner and Suddath’s Textbook of Medical and Surgical Nursing, has served on numerous professional and community organizations and boards, and has received a variety of community and professional honors and awards throughout her career. Ms. Peach was honored as one of the “100 Great Nurses” in Florida by the Florida Nurses Association and inducted into the Hall of Fame. Each year she works as a nurse in Lourdes, France, caring for the sick and terminally ill. Ms. Peach has led numerous teams in leadership development, patient safety, and quality, and she frequently presents at local, state, and national conferences.

Michael D. Pugh.pngMichael D. Pugh, MPH, President, MdP Associates, LLC, has over 30 years of CEO experience in hospitals, health care systems, managed care, and health information technology companies. He is a nationally known advisor and consultant to senior leaders of health care delivery and payer organizations as well as government agencies, focusing on issues of quality, performance, strategy, and governance. Mr. Pugh is a Senior Faculty member for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and co-author of two IHI white papers, “High-Impact Leadership for Innovation and Improvement” and “Seven Leadership Leverage Points for Organization-Level Improvement in Health Care.” He is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Colorado at Denver School of Business, teaching the quality and outcomes course in the MBA/Health Administration Program. Mr. Pugh also teaches health care strategy and health care quality courses and is an instructor in the Master of Science in Health Care Delivery Leadership Program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, NY. He has been active in health care leadership and has served on the boards of the American Hospital Association (AHA), the AHA Health Forum, the Colorado Hospital Association, and the Joint Commission.​

Saeed_Shahab_D1.jpgShahab Saeed, MBA, PE, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Questar Energy Services and Questar Info Comm, has served on the executive management committees of various Questar subsidiaries with accountability for functions from engineering to human resources to supply chain and information technology. A veteran of two successful turnarounds in the information technology and energy sectors, Mr. Saeed was also President and Chief Executive Officer of Consonus, a provider of data-center managed services. He is a faculty member at the Gore School of Business at Westminster College, teaching courses in leadership and executive development for the Masters of Business Administration program. Mr. Saeed serves as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Intermountain Health Care's Urban Central Region, and has been a trustee, chairman, or director for many conferences and councils, including the Department of Homeland Security's Energy Information Sharing and Analysis Center.​​

Richard P. Shannon, MD, Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, University of Virginia, is responsible for aligning the University of Virginia Health System's key components to achieve the goal of becoming a top-decile academic medical center. His pioneering work in patient safety is chronicled in the chapter “First, Do No Harm” in the book, The Best Practice: How the New Quality Movement is Transforming Medicine. Dr. Shannon's innovative work also has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, on CNN and CNBC news segments and ABC's "20/20," and was a centerpiece for the PBS report "Remaking American Medicine." Prior to joining the University of Virginia, he served as the Frank Wister Thomas Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, and previously served as Chair of the Department of Medicine at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. He is an elected member of honorary organizations, serves on several editorial boards, and is faculty for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Dr. Shannon currently serves on the board of directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, and he was a senior fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania.

KevinSowers.pngKevin W. Sowers, MSN, RN, FAAN, is the President of Duke University Hospital. Mr. Sowers joined Duke Hospital in 1985 as a staff nurse in oncology and has been in leadership roles within Duke University Health System over the last 20 years. Prior to becoming President, Mr. Sowers served as the Chief Operating Officer for Duke University Hospital from 20032009. He received his BSN from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio and his MSN from Duke University School of Nursing. Mr. Sowers is accountable for the operations of the 957-bed academic teaching hospital with over 10,000 faculty, staff, and volunteers. He is responsible for driving organizational excellence and implementing the strategic plan of the organization in collaboration with the Duke Medicine physician group. Mr. Sowers is internationally known for his lectures and writings on the issues of leadership, organizational change, mentorship, and cancer care. He is currently on the Board of Directors for University Healthcare Consortium and the Counsel of Teaching Hospitals. He is adjunct faculty at Duke University School of Nursing, Duke University Fuqua School of Business, and UNC School of Public Health. He has also served in leadership roles with the American Heart Association, Susan G. Komen, and a variety of leadership roles at the national level within the Oncology Nursing Society.