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Featured Speakers

barbara_balik.jpgBarbara Balik, RN, EdD, is the Co-Founder of Aefina Partners, an organization committed to health care transformation through thriving partnerships among health care leaders, physicians, team members, patients, and families. She is a Senior Faculty at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a former member of the National Patient Safety Foundation Board of Advisors, and faculty for Arizona State University’s Executive Fellowship in Innovation Health Leadership. Using a human-centered co-design approach, she works with health care leaders to generate flourishing cultures and exceptional outcomes by integrating patient/family experience, quality, safety, and joy in work. Her recent activities with leaders include developing skills and systems for patient/family partnerships in physician practices; culture strengthening that enhances joy in work while improving safety and reducing burnout; physician leadership development; systems that ensure reliable transitions in care; and effective infrastructure design for population health.


Michael D. Pugh, MPH, President, MdP Associates, has more than 30 years of CEO experience in hospitals, health care systems, managed care, and health information technology companies. He is a consultant to senior leaders of health care delivery organizations, payer organizations, and government agencies on issues of quality, performance, strategy, and governance. Mr. Pugh serves as Senior Faculty at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and co-authored two IHI white papers, “High-Impact Leadership” 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 and an instructor in the Master of Science in Health Care Delivery Leadership Program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai in New York. Mr. Pugh has served on the boards of the American Hospital Association, the AHA Health Forum, the Colorado Hospital Association, and The Joint Commission.

Tiffany-2017-color.jpgTiffany Christensen is a professional patient advocate, a nationally recognized public speaker and the author of three books exploring advocacy, end of life planning, and partnership strategies in healthcare. Tiffany is a TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer, a Respecting Choices Advance Care Planning Instructor, an APPEAL certificate recipient, and the co-creator of her own workshop series for developing and advancing Patient Advisory Councils. She has served as a patient advocate at Duke Hospital working primarily in the area of Oncology. She also worked as the Program Coordinator for Duke Medicine’s Patient Advisory Council Expansion Program. After leaving Duke, Tiffany became a Patient and Family Engagement Specialist at the North Carolina Hospital Association focusing on advancing the role of the PFA, Experience Based Co-Design and TeamSTEPPS for Patients. Today, Tiffany is Vice President for Experience Innovation at The Beryl Institute. Tiffany specializes in dynamic, meaningful keynote presentations, leading a cutting edge Patient Experience Assessment based on the Experience Based Co-Design model and leading Patient Experience Innovation Exchanges in which peers work wit​h peers to design and implement the next level of PX improvement. 

uma_kotagal_2.pngUma R. Kotagal, MBBS, MSc, Executive Leader, Population and Community Health, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC), collaborates internally across teams and externally with local partners to improve the health of children in the greater Cincinnati region. As a Senior Fellow at CCHMC, she consults on behalf of, and is an ambassador for, CCHMC with other organizations. She formerly served as Senior Vice President for Quality, Safety, and Transformation and Executive Director of the James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence at CCHMC, overseeing the transformation of the Cincinnati health care system and supporting the development of learning networks. Ms. Kotagal has also served as director of the neonatal intensive care units at the University Hospital and at CCHMC. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association and chairs the Quality Improvement Committee of the Children’s Hospital Association. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

DerekFeeley_120.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.

Williams_Dave_thumb.jpgDavid M. Williams, PhD, Executive Director, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, is co-lead of the Improvement Capability Focus Area. He served as the Improvement Advisor for large Collaboratives in the United States and Europe, including Impacting Cost + Quality in the US, the NHS South West Patient Quality and Safety Programme in England, and the Scottish Government Early Years Collaborative. Dr. Williams is faculty for the IHI Open School and the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) developed with Harvard​ and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He coaches teams and has taught improvement science programs in the US and abroad. He created the Mr. Potato Head exercise used worldwide to teach PDSA testing and measurement. A paramedic by background, Dr. Williams practiced in urban EMS systems for many years and is internationally known as an expert on paramedic care and emergency medical services systems. He serves as Improvement Advisor to the prehospital patient safety and care improvement work at Hamad Medical Corporation’s Ambulance Service in Qatar. Dr. Williams is a 2013 alumni of the Leadership Austin Essentials program and serves as Vice Chairman of the Board for CommUnityCare in Austin, Texas, one of the largest Federally Qualified Health Center systems in the United States. Prior to joining IHI, he led a consulting practice focused on improvement science and expert consulting in education, public safety, and health care.


Reshma_Gupta.jpgReshma Gupta, MD, MSHPM is a practicing internal medicine physician and the Medical Director for Quality and Value Improvement at the University of California Los Angeles. She trained for medical school at the University of California San Francisco, residency and chief residency at the University of Washington Seattle, and the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Fellowship with a masters in Health Policy and Management at the University of California Los Angeles. Dr. Gupta’s works has focused in health system innovation, policy, implementation redesign, and education to better define and improve the culture of delivering high quality care at lower cost. She has worked as an expert advisor with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovations center (CMMI) to test new models of value promoting payment reform. Her research created the first High Value Care Culture Survey and evaluated drivers of value-based decision making in medical centers across California. She has also studied the learning environment for trainees in value-based care. Dr. Gupta serves nationally as the Director of Evaluation and Outreach at Costs of Care, Inc. a global NGO working to curate provider insights to provide high quality care and lower costs. Here, she leads a learning community of health system managers and educators across four countries.  Dr. Gupta has published numerous perspective pieces in JAMA, Academic Medicine, and the AMA Journal of Ethics as well as numerous interviews with national radio outlets such as NPR.​

Helen_McFie.jpgHelen Macfie, PharmD, FABC, is Chief Transformation Officer for MemorialCare Health System in Southern California, a five-hospital, not-for-profit integrated health system that includes a medical foundation. She is responsible for facilitating system-level strategic planning as well as performance improvement f​or clinical quality, patient safety, risk management, Lean strategies, clinical integration, population health, and patient and family experience. She also oversees the system's operational Value Added Teams and the MemorialCare Physician Society's clinical Best Practice Teams. Ms. Macfie facilitates MemorialCare's system-wide strategic planning processes and provides executive oversight for key strategic initiatives, including population health, bundled payment, and physician​ data transparency. Ms. Macfie serves as faculty for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Patient Safety Executive course, as well as on a number of California statewide boards related to improving quality and safety.

changecon3.jpgCommissioned in 1997, Lieutenant Colonel (Dr.) Downing Lu is the Chief Quality Officer for the National Capital Region (NCR) where she works to ensure a reliably safe, high quality and therapeutic care experience for each of the NCR’s nearly 250,000 patients. Her current work also focuses on the global transformation of the Military Health System for the benefit of over 9 million beneficiaries.Previously she was the Chief of Quality and Patient Safety for the Department of Pediatrics at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) where she oversaw a comprehensive quality management and patient safety program. Past assignments include Medical Director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at WRNMMC and at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC); and Medical Director for Pediatric Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) and Pediatric Critical Care Air Transport Team (PCCAT) at Wilford Hall Medical Center. Dr. Lu is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, Tulane University School of Medicine, and Harvard School of Public Health. She completed her pediatric internship and residency at the Floating Hospital for Children, Tufts New England Medical Center, and her critical care fellowship at Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Lu is a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences and maintains a clinical practice as a staff pediatric intensivist at WRNMMC.  She has published a number of publications on pediatric critical care and quality.