2023 Keynotes

Opening Keynote: How We Must Change the Trajectory of Safety Progress —It’s Time For A Disruptive Change

Included in the General Conference

Rollin Terry Fairbanks, MD, MS, CPPS Rollin “Terry” Fairbanks  MD, MS, CPPS, is a Senior Vice President and Chief Quality & Safety Officer at MedStar Health. Dr. Fairbanks is Executive Director of the MedStar Institute for Quality & Safety and Professor of Emergency Medicine at Georgetown University, a board member of the Certification Board for Professionals in Patient Safety, and an IHI Faculty Member. Dr. Fairbanks holds a master’s degree in human factors/safety engineering, founded MedStar Health’s National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, and has consulted across the world to develop health care human factors safety programs. A former paramedic, EMS Medical Director, general aviation pilot, and safety engineering researcher, Dr. Fairbanks has authored more than 200 publications including a book on these topics, led the development of the event review program in AHRQ’s Candor program and was a part of the team that developed IHI’s RCA2 program. He has been recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as a leading expert in patient safety and recently awarded the Robert L. Wears Patient Safety Leadership Award.

Kate Kellogg, MD, MPH, CPPS Kate Kellogg, MD, MPH, CPPS, is a Vice President, Patient Safety & Infection Prevention at MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety. Dr. Kellogg leads safety initiatives across the MedStar Health platform and also oversees infection prevention activities, including the COVID response. She is a board-certified attending emergency physician and serves as assistant professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Dr. Kellogg's background includes training in systems engineering, human factors, and patient safety. Her work on patient safety, emergency care, and avoidance of adverse events has been published in peer-reviewed journals and she has been principle investigator on multiple patient safety-related grants and contracts through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Keynote Two: The Lucian Leape Institute Presents: At the Crossroads of Safety and Health Equity: Imperatives and Actions for Identifying and Eliminating Harm from Inequities

Jonathan Perlin, MD, PhD, MSHA, MACP, FACMI Jonathan Perlin, MD, PhD, MSHA, MACP, FACMI, is President and CEO of The Joint Commission. Previously as President, Clinical Operations and CMO, HCA Healthcare, Perlin led clinicians, data scientists, and researchers in developing a learning health system model for improving care across 189 hospitals. His team’s work achieved national recognition for preventing elective preterm deliveries, reducing maternal mortality, increasing sepsis survival, and developing public-private-academic partnerships for improving infection prevention and treating COVID. Before HCA, Dr. Perlin was Under Secretary for Health in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He led VA to national prominence for clinical performance. An elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, he has co-chaired initiatives on digital health, combatting opioids, and climate change. He has served on numerous boards and commissions and holds faculty appointments at Vanderbilt University as Clinical Professor of Health Policy and at Virginia Commonwealth University as Adjunct Professor of Health Administration.

Karthik Sivashanker, MD Karthik Sivashanker, MD,  is the Vice President of Equitable Health Systems & Innovation in the Center for Health Equity at the American Medical Association, and a Medical Director in Quality, Safety, and Equity at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He is a psychiatrist at Justice Resource Institute and serves as a faculty member at IHI. Dr. Sivashanker attended college and medical school at Northwestern University. He completed psychiatry residency at NYP Weill Cornell and a psychosomatic medicine fellowship at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He is a graduate of the Harvard Medical School Fellowship in Patient Safety and Quality and received a Master’s in Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health. He previously conducted research in Venezuela on the vertical transmission of HIV/AIDS in rural mountain communities. As a former VA Under Secretary for Health Diffusion of Excellence Gold Fellow, he led efforts to standardize and improve the process of substance use screening and triage for Veterans. His work focuses on driving racial justice and equity in health care by leveraging quality and safety practices to make inequities visible and to address them as an integral part of health care delivery.

Kedar Mate, MD Kedar Mate, MD, is President and Chief Executive Officer at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), President of the IHI Lucian Leape Institute, and a member of the faculty at Weill Cornell Medical College. His scholarly work has focused on health system design, health care quality, strategies for achieving large-scale change, and approaches to improving value. Previously, Dr. Mate worked at Partners In Health, the World Health Organization, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and served as IHI’s Chief Innovation and Education Officer. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and white papers and has received multiple honors, including serving as a Soros Fellow, Fulbright Specialist, Zetema Panelist, and an Aspen Institute Health Innovators Fellow. Dr. Mate graduated from Brown University with a degree in American History and from Harvard Medical School with a medical degree. You can follow him on Twitter at @KedarMate. 

G. Rumay Alexander, EdD, RN, FAAN G. Rumay Alexander, EdD, RN, FAAN, is currently a professor in the School of Nursing, Assistant Dean of Relational Excellence at the Adams School of Dentistry and formerly the Associate Vice-Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion/Chief Diversity Officer of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At the end of 2019, she completed her presidency of the National League for Nursing.  In February of 2021, she became the American Nurses Association’s Scholar-In-Residence and advises the National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing.  She most recently was appointed to The LeapFrog Group Board. She also serves on several transformative healthcare initiatives addressing diversity, equity and inclusion. As the Senior Vice President for Clinical and Professional Services at the Tennessee Hospital Association, and their first vice president of color for two decades, she designed and executed one of the first U.S. minority health administrators’ programs, Agenda 21. As a result, over 250 minority health care executives are serving and stewarding healthcare in the U.S. Her passion for equity and penchant for holding courageous dialogues is evident in all her encounters.

Tejal Gandhi, MD, MPH, CPPS Tejal Gandhi, MD, MPH, CPPS, is responsible for improving patient and workforce safety, and developing innovative healthcare transformation strategies. She leads the Zero Harm movement and helps healthcare organizations recognize inequity as a type of harm for both patients and the workforce. Dr. Gandhi also leads the Press Ganey Equity Partnership, a collaborative initiative dedicated to addressing healthcare disparities and the impact of racial inequities on patients and caregivers. Before joining Press Ganey, Dr. Gandhi served as Chief Clinical and Safety Officer at the IHI, where she led IHI programs focused on improving patient and workforce safety. She is a Senior Fellow at IHI.

Keynote Three: The Power of Storytelling on Mental Health 

Laurel Braitman, PhD Laurel Braitman, PhD, ​is a New York Times bestselling author, historian, and anthropologist of science. She is the first Writer-in-Residence and the Director of Writing and Storytelling at the Medicine & the Muse Program at the Stanford University School of Medicine where she helps medical students and physicians communicate more meaningfully — for themselves and their patients. She holds a PhD in Science, Technology, and Society from MIT. Braitman is also a Senior TED Fellow and a 2019 National Geographic Explorer. Her last book, Animal Madness, was a NYT bestseller and has been translated into eight languages. Her next book House of the Heart, (forthcoming, Simon & Schuster) is about growing up, mortality, and how we might live with the perspective of a terminal disease without the dire prognosis. She is a Contributing Writer and frequently performs live for Pop Up Magazine, and has taught interdisciplinary courses at Harvard, MIT, Stanford​ School of Medicine, and Smith College. Laurel splits her time between the remote Alaskan wilderness and Berkeley, California with her partner. 

Spotlight Session One: Hot Topics in Patient Safety Research: 2023 Update

Eric Thomas, MD, MPH
Eric Thomas, MD, MPH, is a Professor of Medicine at McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), and Director of the UTHealth-Memorial Hermann Center for Healthcare Quality and Safety. He serves as Associate Dean for Healthcare Quality in the Department of Internal Medicine at McGovern Medical School. Since 1992 he has conducted research on patient safety and his work was heavily cited in the Institute of Medicine’s landmark report on medical error. Dr. Thomas’ current research focuses on diagnostic errors, measuring safety culture, measuring and improving teamwork, and the use of health information technology to improve quality and safety. In 2007 he received the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award for Research from the National Quality Forum and the Joint Commission. Dr. Thomas is Co-Editor-in-Chief of BMJ Quality & Safety and is a member of the Society of General Internal Medicine and the American College of Physicians.

Spotlight Session Two: Engaging Patients to Improve Diagnostic Safety

Eric Thomas, MD, MPHHardeep Singh, MD, MPH, is a Professor of Medicine at the Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety (IQuESt) based at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. He leads a portfolio of multidisciplinary patient safety research related to measurement and reduction of diagnostic errors in health care and improving the use of health information technology. His research has informed national and international patient safety initiatives and policy reports, including those by the National Academies, CDC, NQF, AMA, ACP, AHRQ, OECD and the WHO. He serves as a nominated member of National Academies' Board of Health Care Services and is an elected Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics. His contributions include co-developing the "ONC SAFER Guides,” co-chairing and participating on national panels and workgroups on measuring or improving safety, and developing resources to promote patient safety and diagnostic excellence in clinical practice. He has received several awards for his pioneering work, including the AcademyHealth Alice S. Hersh New Investigator Award in 2012, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from President Obama in 2014, the VA Health System Impact Award in 2016 and the 2021 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award for Individual Lifetime Achievement. 

Eric Thomas, MD, MPHSigall Bell, MD, is a healthcare innovator focused on building strong relationships between patients and clinicians to improve safety and quality of care. As an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, Director of Patient Safety and Discovery at OpenNotes, and co-Director of Research at the national Collaborative for Accountability and Improvement, Dr. Bell’s work concentrates on patient engagement, empowerment, and equity. A recipient of the Arnold P. Gold professorship for humanism in medicine and a contributor to several AHRQ medical liability reform grants, she has trained over 1,000 clinician leaders in medical error disclosure, contributed to national guidelines on compassionate and transparent communication after harmful events, and co-developed organizational “speaking up” climate measures. Her work on open notes has been cited by the National Academies of Medicine, the National Quality Forum, and the IHI National Action Plan.  Her research on diagnostic safety demonstrates that health information transparency and the unique knowledge of patients and families can help prevent ambulatory diagnostic safety blindspots. She strives to bring a culture of engagement to pediatric and adult patients. Prior to her work in patient safety, Dr. Bell was an HIV doctor, international health specialist, and an inductee to the CoSIDA National Athletic Hall of Fame. 

Eric Thomas, MD, MPH
Colonel Steven L. Coffee is a career military officer. He entered the Air Force in 2001 after graduating from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, and commissioning through the Tennessee State University AFROTC program in Nashville, TN. He commanded the Force Support Squadron at the National Reconnaissance Office. He also served as a military aide to Presidents George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama on the social staff. He is a founding member of the Patients for Patient Safety US chapter of the World Health Organization. Colonel Coffee served as a charter member and first community Chair of the MedStar Georgetown Patient and Family Advisory Council for Quality and Safety, and sits on Patient and Family Advisory Councils for the MedStar Health System, the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, Sentrics E3, and Hope for Henry foundation. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for Hope for Henry foundation, and Liver Mommas and Families foundation. He is an adjunct professor with the MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety Academy for Emerging Leaders in Patient Safety. Additionally, he serves on a technical expert panel with the Yale New Haven Health Services Corporation/Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Spotlight Session Three: Strengthening our Resilience - Implementation of Safer Together: A National Action Plan to Advance Patient Safety

Helen McFie, Pharm.D., F.A.B.C.
Helen McFie, Pharm.D., F.A.B.C., is currently Executive in Residence for MemorialCare, a nonprofit health system located in Southern California. McFie was formerly Chief Transformation Officer for MemorialCare and is currently serving as the Acting Chief Operating Officer for MemorialCare’s Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital.
Helen has been named as one of the Top 50 Patient Safety Experts Leading the Field and Top Transformation Officers by Becker’s Hospital Review. She is a member of the Board of Directors for California Healthcare Compare. She is also a faculty member for IHI and for the past eight years has been serving as an active contributor to the IHI’s Leadership Alliance. McFie earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree at UCSF School of Pharmacy, San Francisco, followed by post-graduate residencies in clinical pharmacy at UCSD and in pharmacy administration at Long Beach Medical Center. Her Fellow of the Advisory Board Company (FABC) was earned for completing a two-year fellowship in Leadership of the Healthcare Enterprise for the 21st Century, and she recently earned her IHI Fellowship certification in 2022. She practiced as an acute care pharmacist for 13 years prior to moving into her organizational improvement work. 

Kelly Randall, PhD, LMSW, CPHQ
Kelly Randall, PhD, LMSW, CPHQ, serves as the Vice President for Patient Safety and Regulatory Services with Ascension. Kelly earned her PhD in Health Services Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In her research, she studied the impact of high reliability practices on patient safety outcomes in pediatric hospitals. Randall earned her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Auburn University and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Alabama. Randall is a Licensed Masters Social Worker and a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality.  Kelly has extensive training as a Six Sigma Blackbelt and in Lean Six Sigma Healthcare. 

 Martin J Hatlie, JDQ Martin J Hatlie, JD, is a Co-Founder of Patients for Patient Safety US and President & CEO for Project Patient Care, a Chicago-based safety and quality improvement coalition dedicated to using the voice of the patient to improve care. He is passionate about advancing the roles patients and family caregivers play as patient safety advocates and co-creators of solutions. Hatlie has been active for over 25 years in health system transformation work on projects funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality and Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, among others. He is a founding member of Patients for Patient Safety US, the World Health Organization’s consumer led network of patient safety advocates in the United States.

 Robert Otto Valdez, Ph.D., M.H.S.A Robert Otto Valdez, PhD, MHSA, was appointed Director of AHRQ in February 2022. He was previously the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Professor Emeritus of Family & Community Medicine and Economics at the University of New Mexico (UNM). From 1993 through 1997, Dr. Valdez served at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health (Public Health Service) and simultaneously Director of Interagency Health Policy (Health Care Financing Administration). Before joining DHHS in 1993, he served as a Special Senior Advisor to the Clinton White House on healthcare reform. He previously served in the Office of Child Health for the Health Care Financing Administration during the Carter Administration.