May 15, 2023
Anna Falvey and Brendan Talian
The individuals honored in Becker’s 2023 “Patient safety experts to know” list are noteworthy proponents of patient harm reduction, disease management, disaster preparedness and more.
These healthcare providers, experts, researchers and executives value patient safety above all. For these patient safety experts, the improvement of the patient journey is of the utmost importance. They are constantly seeking new ways to improve processes and transform safety standards.
Note: This list is not an endorsement of included leaders, hospitals, health systems or associated healthcare providers. Leaders cannot pay for inclusion on this list. Leaders are presented in alphabetical order.
Contact Anna Falvey at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or comments.
Jason Adelman, MD. Chief Patient Safety Officer, Associate Chief Quality Officer, and Executive Director of Patient Safety Research at Columbia University Irving Medical Center/NewYork-Presbyterian (New York City). Dr. Adelman has a large number of responsibilities that range from leading a team of quality and patient safety specialists in inpatient safety initiatives to leading the NIH and AHRQ-funded Center for Patient Safety Research At Columbia University. Furthermore, as vice chair for quality and patient safety for the department of medicine at Columbia University, Dr. Adelman oversees the patient safety operations, research and education for the department. He is a national leader and innovator in the field of medical errors and has been at the forefront of developing novel methods to measure and prevent errors in health information technology systems.
Rebecca Armbruster, DO. Chief Medical Officer of Temple University Hospital – Jeanes Campus; Associate Chief Medical Officer, Patient Safety, Temple University Health System; Patient Safety Officer, Temple University Hospital at Temple University Health System (Philadelphia). Dr. Armbruster oversees the medical operations at the Jeanes Campus, supports the safe movement on to, off of, and through the campus facilities, ensures high-quality care delivery to patients and works to ensure a satisfactory experience of care for all patients. Under her guidance, the Temple University Health System has implemented a systemwide series of hand-washing initiatives, hospital-associated infection reduction processes, and monitoring tools for identifying risks to our patients in real-time. She has played a key role in fulfilling the system’s commitment to patient safety.
Wendy P. Austin, RN, MS, AOCN, COA, NEA-BC, FACHE. Senior Vice President, Operations for City of Hope Orange County (Irvine, Calif.). Ms. Austin is the senior vice president of operations for City of Hope Orange County, a large cancer research and treatment organization. In her role, she oversees clinical operation of Orange County’s most advanced cancer center, City of Hope Orange County Lennar Foundation Cancer Center. This includes inpatient and outpatient operations as well as nursing, laboratory, diagnostic imaging, pharmacy, radiation oncology, perioperative, patient support, facilities, IT and patient access services. She helped to introduce programs focusing on whole-person care which ensures that each patient is treated as an individual and their treatment journey is personally managed by a diverse team of experts.
Leah Binder. President and CEO of The Leapfrog Group (Washington, D.C.). As president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, Ms. Binder serves as a voice for those calling for increased hospital safety and quality. Under her guidance, The Leapfrog Group launched the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, which assesses the safety of general hospitals nationwide and presents the information in an easily digestible format. She has also greatly improved the yearly Leapfrog Hospital Survey.
Diana Breyer, MD. Chief Quality Analytics Officer for UCHealth; Chief Medical Officer for UCHealth Northern Colorado (Aurora, Colo.). Dr. Breyer works closely with data analysts and care teams to identify opportunities to improve care, reduce clinical variations, create processes to address those opportunities and monitor those processes to ensure care and outcomes are improved. Data collection and analysis are the keys to providing higher quality, more efficient, more effective and safer healthcare, Dr. Breyer stresses. Getting that data in front of the providers and care teams is what helps move the conversation toward better care. She was instrumental in UCHealth’s adjustment to the pandemic and had a meaningful impact on the safety of patients, providers and staff.
Phillip Chang, MD. Senior Vice President and Chief Medical and Quality Officer of Memorial Hermann Health System (Houston). Mr. Chang has served as the senior vice president and chief medical and quality officer for Memorial Hermann Health System since May 2022. He leads strategic direction and operational management for enterprisewide quality and safety programs. He also allocates resources to support clinical quality and measurable patient safety excellence. He aims to utilize his knowledge to improve patient outcomes and enhance the health of the community.
Emily Chapman, MD. Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Medical Affairs for Children’s Minnesota (Minneapolis). Dr. Chapman oversees quality, safety, education and research at Children’s Minnesota. She speaks locally and regionally about clinical care, cognitive error, leadership and program development. Prior to her current role, Dr. Chapman was a pediatric hospitalist in the Children’s Hospital medicine program, which she guided for six years as it developed and expanded.
Harry (Hyung Jin) Cho, MD. Vice President of Quality for Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Boston). In 2023, Dr. Cho became the vice president of quality at Brigham and Women’s Hospital as well as faculty at Harvard Medical School. His work centers on improving outcomes across complex healthcare settings through developing innovative, scalable solutions. His initiatives focus on the intersection of patient safety and overuse and aims to eliminate unnecessary testing and treatment that cause physical and financial harm to patients. In his previous position with NYC Health + Hospitals, he spearheaded the value and safety initiative, with the aim to eliminate overuse, or unnecessary testing and treatment that leads to patient harm.
Jan Compton, BSN, RN. Vice President of Patient Safety and Chief Patient Safety Officer of Baylor Scott & White Health (Dallas). Ms. Compton has more than three decades of nursing experience at Baylor Scott & White and has held increasingly higher patient safety leadership roles at the system since 2008. She was named chief patient safety officer in 2014 and currently oversees all safety initiatives for the system’s 50 hospitals and more than 800 care sites. Ms. Compton is also a member of the North Texas Association for Healthcare Quality and a member and past chair of the patient safety and quality committee for the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council.
Scott Cormier. Vice President of Emergency Management, Environment of Care and Safety at Medxcel (Indianapolis). In his role at Medxcel, Mr. Cormier develops, implements and manages safety programs at 1,900 healthcare facilities across the nation, including over 130 hospitals. He aims to improve the healing environment for patients by leading emergency preparedness, security, fire protection, accident prevention, life safety and general safety efforts. His leadership allows hospitals to remain operational in the face of severe weather, disease and other disasters. As a national expert in patient safety, compliance and disaster preparedness, he has been published in almost 20 scholarly journals and holds more than 20 professional certifications.
Krista Curell, JD, RN. Executive Vice President and Chief Integration and Transformation Officer at UChicago Medicine. As executive vice president and chief integration officer, Ms. Curell is managing initiatives that will improve patient safety, such as an effort to reduce patient length of stay. She launched a comprehensive clinical documentation improvement program, which resulted in enhanced revenue and performance on quality rankings. She also developed a clinical performance tracking system, allowing physicians to measure compliance across numerous metrics. Ms. Curell’s leadership, especially during the pandemic, has shaped the structures, policies and procedures that will be applied to patient safety in crisis situations and beyond.
Lisa Esolen, MD. Executive Vice President, Chief Quality Officer at Guthrie (Sayre, Pa.). Dr. Esolen has helped develop Guthrie into a national leader in safety, quality and patient experience. To do so, she has defined next generation patient journeys, created transformational playbooks for quality and safety, improved clinical operations efficiency and developed a platform model for policies and procedures. In doing so, she has been able to create a unified, standardized process across the health system. Her efforts have led to consistent reductions in hospital-acquired infections, bringing them to historically low levels.
Rollin J. “Terry” Fairbanks, MD. Senior Vice President and Chief Quality and Safety Officer at MedStar Health (Columbia, Md.). Dr. Fairbanks is senior vice president and chief quality and safety officer for MedStar Health, one of the largest healthcare systems in the Washington DC and Baltimore region with 10 hospitals, 300 outpatient sites, 31,000 employees, and $7.5 billion annual revenue. As a member of MedStar Health’s leadership team, Dr. Fairbanks is responsible for the quality, safety and infection prevention of the health system. He not only challenges the healthcare industry to think differently about its approach to safety, but he developed substantial tools that allow his organization to operationalize these concepts.
Mohamad Fakih, MD. Chief Quality Officer, Ascension (St. Louis). Dr. Fakih works to improve the quality of care at Ascension, a nonprofit health system spanning 139 hospitals, over 2,600 care sites and 50 senior living sites. His overarching goal is to create a standardized process to optimize disease management and avert patient harm. He works to identify best practices, create a process to support patient and provider adoption and solidify the process to achieve sustainable results. He has contributed to the creation of a comprehensive toolkit used to promote the appropriate utilization of urinary catheters in the hospital setting, which has been adopted by Michigan Hospital Association and Ascension, and led to significant reduction in unnecessary catheter use. In addition, he has established a system antimicrobial stewardship structure for Ascension.
Baruch S. Fertel, MD. Vice President of Quality and Patient Safety at NewYork Presbyterian Health System (New York City). Since joining NewYork Presbyterian in August 2022, Dr. Fertel has overseen a significant restructuring of the system’s approach to quality and safety. Under his guidance, the team now holds a significant, proactive focus on harm prevention. He also oversaw the launch of new quality and safety dashboards and fostered partnerships with multiple stakeholders. He joined NewYork-Presbyterian from Cleveland Clinic, where he developed numerous standardization and care pathways across the system.
George Foltin, MD. Chief Patient Safety Officer for Maimonides Medical Center and Vice Chair of Clinical Services for the Department of Pediatrics at Maimonides Children’s Hospital (Brooklyn, N.Y.). Dr. Foltin brings 35 years of experience to his roles, where he is a key contributor to hospitalwide safety initiatives. Upon his appointment as chief patient safety officer, he was tasked with implementing a transformation to high reliability. Dr. Foltin works with senior executives, facilitates corrective action and interventions for significant safety events, helps reengineer peer review, oversees the safety culture, plans seminars on safety and works with the Joint Commission preparedness coordinator.
Tejal Gandhi. Chief Safety and Transformation Officer at Press Ganey (South Bend, Ind.). Dr. Gandhi develops innovative health transformation strategies that improve patient and workforce safety for client healthcare organizations. She serves as executive sponsor of Safety 2025: Accelerate to Zero, a program that challenges health organizations to commit to safety improvement goals and safety as a core value and to cultivate a culture of transparency. Dr. Gandhi is an international leader in patient safety with over 100 peer-review publications as well as local and national leadership roles in the field.
Carmen Gonzalez, MD, MSQHS, FACP, FACMQ. Chief Patient Safety Officer and Professor of Emergency Medicine for The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston). Dr. Gonzalez leads MD Anderson’s patient safety efforts through risk assessment, forging partnerships and creating processes to achieve zero preventable harm. She also serves as a professor in the department of emergency medicine. Her work as chief patient safety officer supports providers and clinical departments, provides oversight of key safety data, engages key stakeholders and develops processes for improvement. Dr. Gonzalez leads the patient safety and quality officers program which includes 76 physicians and two pharmacists working as safety quality leaders who also are serving as subject matter experts to help mitigate risk. She developed an educational curriculum where there is ongoing training, continued growth and recruitment, and access to training and the tools necessary to support MD Anderson’s core value of safety.
Linda Groah, MSN, RN, CNOR. Executive Director and CEO of the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (Denver). Ms. Groah has helmed the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses since 2007. She is a veteran perioperative nursing executive, previously serving as COO of Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Francisco and nurse executive for Kaiser Foundation Hospital-San Francisco. Ms. Groah also was director of nursing OR-PACU-Surgery Center at the University of California San Francisco Hospitals and Clinics and operating room director at the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon.
Bruce Hall, MD, PhD. Chief Medical Officer of BJC HealthCare (St. Louis). Dr. Hall leads the Clinical Advisory Group for the BJC Center for Clinical Excellence in addition to his other roles at BJC HealthCare. His responsibilities include physician engagement strategies as well as health system efforts to successfully participate in alternative payment and episode reimbursement. Dr. Hall is also a professor of surgery in the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and serves as a guest lecturer for Washington University’s Olin Business School in St. Louis.
Theresa Harris, JD. Vice President of Patient Safety and High Reliability at Hackensack Meridian Health (Edison, N.J.). Ms. Harris leverages decades of experience in health care and law to oversee and manage the network’s resources related to Patient Safety and High-Reliability training. She promotes a culture of safety and ensures the systematic impregnation of an effective Patient Safety Plan. She is an essential leader in improving the patient safety standards at Hackensack Meridian Health.
William Isenberg, MD, PhD. Chief Medical and Quality Officer for Sutter Health (Sacramento, Calif.). Dr. Isenberg is the chief medical and quality officer for Sutter Health where he works to prioritize the safety of patients and communities across the system’s network. He is a key leader and partners with physician, nursing and operational leaders across the network’s 22 hospitals. Through his leadership, Sutter has applied the system’s Safe Care Error Prevention Tools which helps all staff, whether clinical or supportive, reduce harm to patients and one another by encouraging a culture where they can speak up when they have concerns or perceive errors.
Mark Jarrett, MD. Senior Vice President, Chief Quality Officer and Deputy CMO at Northwell Health (New Hyde Park, N.Y.). As chief quality officer and deputy CMO of Northwell Health, Dr. Jarrett oversees care quality and patient safety initiatives across 23 hospitals and nearly 800 outpatient facilities. Under his leadership, Northwell piloted the use of black-box technology in its operating rooms to collect more information during surgeries — an industry
Greg Jones. Director of Ancillary Services at Clarinda (La.) Regional Health Center. Mr. Jones is responsible for patient and staff safety at Clarinda Regional Health Center, protecting patients and providers alike from everything from falls to intruders. He takes a hands-on leadership approach, often interfacing with patients directly to get their opinions about how to best keep them safe. Mr. Jones has been serving the health center in various capacities since 2022.
Leslie Jurecko, MD. Chief Safety, Quality and Patient Experience Officer at Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Jurecko serves as chief safety, quality and patient experience officer at Cleveland Clinic, a nonprofit 6,102-bed healthcare system consisting of 19 hospitals and 226 outpatient locations. In her role, she creates and executes strategy to support patients through a seamless healthcare journey. She leads Cleveland Clinic in delivering transformative gains in clinical care, process effectiveness and high reliability standards. Previously, she served as senior vice president for quality, safety and experience for Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Corewell Health, then Spectrum Health.
Samrina Kahlon, MD. Patient Safety Officer for NYC Health + Hospital/ Metropolitan (New York City). Dr. Kahlon leads the vision, strategy and implementation of patient safety activities across her hospital. She is key in mentoring and sponsoring patient safety projects, preparing an annual patient safety plan and reviewing national patient safety goals as well as incidents within the hospital. During her tenure, she developed a training program for staff physicians to improve patient safety and quality of care. She is also the editor-in-chief of Urban Medicine Journal of Quality Improvement and Patient Safety.
Michael Kantrowitz, DO. Vice Chair for Quality and Safety in the Department of Medicine for Maimonides Health (Brooklyn, N.Y.). Dr. Kantrowitz is the vice chair for quality and safety in the department of medicine for Maimonides Health where he has an essential role in ensuring the delivery of high-quality patient care. He plays an extensive role in educating the next generation through training and mentoring resident physicians and gastroenterology fellows. He was instrumental in building a satellite hospital during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic to help manage the local surge. The hospital was operational in just 10 days. It enabled the safe expansion of surge capacity and ensured high-quality, safe and accessible care for patients.
Kathryn “Kate” Kellogg, MD. Vice President of Patient Safety and Infection Prevention for MedStar Health (Columbia, Md.). Dr. Kellogg is vice president of patient safety and infection prevention at MedStar Health, one of the largest healthcare systems in the Washington DC, Baltimore, Md., region with 10 hospitals, 300 outpatient sites, 31,000 employees and $7.5 billion annual revenue. Dr. Kellogg sets the strategic vision for the MedStar system’s comprehensive patient safety risk reduction and infection prevention programs and is accountable for the implementation and outcomes of these programs across the system. She leads a team of clinicians, professionals and subject matter experts in both the safety and infection prevention arena. This year, she was recognized with the Robert Wears Safety Award.
Mona Krouss. Assistant Vice President of Value and Patient Safety and Associate Clinical Professor at NYC Health+Hospitals (New York City). Dr. Krouss, leads systemwide patient safety strategy including the patient safety council composed of facility-based patient safety officers and patient safety associates, three to five prioritized patient safety projects per year, and supporting the facilities in an additional three to five patient safety projects. She has revamped the patient safety infrastructure across NYC Health+Hospitals, bringing patient safety back to the forefront of our 42,000-plus staff. Through the patient safety infrastructure, multiple patient safety-oriented projects have been completed including patient ID, debriefing, telemetry guidelines, CLABSI reduction and anticoagulation safety.
Josh Lumbley, MD. Chief Quality Officer at NorthStar Anesthesia (Irving, Texas/ Washington D.C.). As national chief quality officer, Dr. Lumbley is responsible for ensuring that NorthStar Anesthesia delivers best-in-class quality outcomes for its patients, nationwide. Under Dr. Lumbley’s leadership, in 2020 96 percent of NorthStar’s clinical sites received an “Exceptional Performance Payment Adjustment” score under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He combines a passion for lifelong learning, data-driven decision making and strategic leadership to improve clinical performance and elevate physician wellness at NorthStar.
Kedar Mate, MD. President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (Boston). Dr. Mate’s academic work has honed in on health system design, healthcare quality, large-scale change strategies, and value improvement approaches. He has published various articles, book chapters and white pages. Previously, Dr. Mate served as Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s chief innovation and education officer.
Melissa Matherne, BSN, RN. Director of Patient Safety and Quality at West Jefferson Medical Center (Marrero, La.). As director of patient safety and quality at West Jefferson Medical Center, Ms. Matherne is passionate about stimulating sustained improvements in patient outcomes. She ensures that solutions are consistently monitored to ensure success. She has helped to significantly reduce hospital acquired infections from 2019 to 2022, implemented daily huddles to promote discussion, and has championed participation in employee engagement surveys and safety culture surveys.
Patricia McGaffigan, RN, MS, CPPS. Vice President of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (Boston). Ms. McGaffigan is the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s representative on a variety of committees, taskforces and panels. She also speaks at conferences on a regional and national level. She is the Institute’s senior sponsor for the national steering committee for patient safety and president of the certification board for professionals in patient safety.
Missam Merchant. Hospital Supervisor at University Health (San Antonio). Ms. Merchant looks at systems issues and trends at a high level and is able to put committees in place and connect people to improve processes to prevent safety issues from occurring. She served as a partner with the administration to safely assign patients rooms during COVID-19 surges. She is also a proactive force in catching communication breakdowns between units before they become safety hazards.
James Merlino, MD. Chief Clinical Transformation Officer of Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Merlino became the first chief transformation officer of Cleveland Clinic in December 2019. In his role at Cleveland Clinic, he oversees the offices of patient experience, enterprise quality and safety and continuous improvement. Before joining the organization, he was chief transformation officer at Press Ganey, where he spearheaded a new organizational strategy to widen the definition of patient experience to include safe, high-quality and patient-centered care built on an engaged and aligned healthcare culture.
Jordan Messler. Chief Medical Officer at Glytec (Waltham, Mass.). Dr. Messler is responsible for spearheading continuous improvement initiatives for Glytec’s clinical strategy and product development while supporting the delivery, customer, quality and regulatory teams to ensure ethical and safe glycemic management best practices. He has given more than 30 national and regional talks on the history of hospitals, teamwork in the hospital, engaging hospitalists in quality improvement and more.
Chantel Moffett. Director of Quality, Patient Safety, and Accreditation at LCMC Health (New Orleans). Ms. Moffett is responsible for NOEH’s Quality and Performance Improvement program by ensuring compliance with existing regulations, standards, policies and procedures. Despite assuming her role under an unexpected transition in leadership, she led the organization’s quality efforts with confidence and poise, which ultimately resulted in successful CMS and The Joint Commission surveys.
David Nash, MD. Founding Dean Emeritus of the Jefferson College of Population Health (Philadelphia). Dr. Nash is internationally recognized for his efforts in physician leadership development, care quality improvement and public accountability for outcomes. An internist by training, he is a principal faculty member for quality-of-care programming with the American Association for Physician Leadership. Dr. Nash has also authored over 100 peer-reviewed articles, edited 25 books and is currently the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Medical Quality, Population Health Management and American Health and Drug Benefits.
Arun Patel. Director of Patient Safety and Clinical Risk Management at Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (Los Angeles). Dr. Patel is responsible for patient safety and risk management for the second-largest public health system in the United States. He has made a large impact on the safety and quality of care for vulnerable populations. He has established multiple systems to ensure better patient safety including executive peer review and a systemwide patient safety program.
Jonathan Perlin, MD, PhD. President and CEO of The Joint Commission (Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.). In 2022, Dr. Perlin became the president and CEO of The Joint Commission. Since his appointment, he has led the organization in its mission of improving the safety and quality of care offered to patients. Dr. Perlin has been recognized with the John Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety for using AI to detect sepsis early and save 8,000 lives. He has also been published for preventing hospital acquired infections, reducing pre-term deliveries, and using health informatics for improving safety and quality.
Robert A. Press, MD, PhD. Executive Vice President of Medical Affairs at Maimonides Medical Center (Brooklyn, N.Y.). Twenty-plus years in medical affairs prepared Dr. Press for his current role as executive vice president of medical affairs. Dr. Press leads a team of quality and patient safety experts, works closely with data analysts and care teams to identify opportunities for enhanced care delivery, and cultivates a culture of compassion that leads to equitable care. Under his leadership, the hospital has implemented stringent measures to combat hospital-acquired infections, resulting in a considerable achievement standard for C. difficile and UTI infections.
Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD. Chief Quality and Clinical Transformation Officer at University Hospital (Cleveland). Dr. Pronovost is tasked with fostering the ideation and implementation of new protocols that will enhance value of care, developing new frameworks for population health management for 1 million patients seen by University Hospitals, and managing the hospital’s ACO. He has successfully integrated an analytic platform that centralizes claims, medical records and scheduling data for clinician use. This system reduced the annual cost of care for Medicare patients by 30 percent over three years. He also contributed to the creation of a life-saving intervention that reduces central line-associated bloodstream infections, decreasing infections by 80 percent across the nation. Ultimately, Dr. Pronovost’s mission is to lead the system’s “zero Harm” mission.
George Ralls, MD. Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Orlando (Fla.) Health. Dr. Ralls spent time as vice president and system chief quality officer of Orlando Health before being named to his current role. He was also chief quality officer for the system’s Orlando Regional Medical Center. He previously worked as deputy county administrator and director of health and public safety for Orange County, Fla. He is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and in 2007, he collaborated with Orlando Health’s graduate medical education team to create Florida’s first emergency medical services physician fellowship.
Jennifer Schwehm. Assistant Vice President for Quality and Safety and Associate Chief Nursing Officer at University Medical Center New Orleans. Ms. Schwehm is responsible for all aspects of quality and safety at the University Medical Center New Orleans, including regulatory compliance and infection prevention. In less than 3 years, she has transformed care delivery at UMCNO, including dramatic reductions in reportable hospital-acquired infections, patient harm events and quality of care. She has restructured the department to better meet modern quality and safety departments as well as implementing processes that ensure patients receive the highest quality, safest and most equitable care possible.
Edward G. Seferian, MD. Chief Patient Safety Officer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles). Dr. Seferian helms the patient safety program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, which holds a national reputation for high quality care delivery. He is responsible for leading institutional initiatives and organizational quality and safety goals. He leads a Cedars-Sinai Health System patient safety collaborative, allowing leaders across the system to share and learn from each other. Dr. Seferian also serves as editor of the hospital harm report, a weekly publication containing important learnings related to safety events as well as recognition of safety leaders. Under his leadership, Cedars-Sinai has fostered a strong safety culture that proactively identifies risks, reviews adverse events and balances system improvement with individual accountability.
Madhuri Sopirala. Chief Infection Prevention Officer; Associate Professor of Infectious Diseases for Parkland Health; UT Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas). Dr. Sopirala serves as the chief infection prevention officer for Parkland Health and an associate professor for infectious disease for UT Southwestern Medical Center. In her role for Parkland Health, she leads infection control and processes improvement efforts to reduce healthcare-associated infections. She also leads academic detailing of surveillance for these infections. She was key in establishing a link nurse program in three different hospitals she worked which provides key education for front-line nurse representatives who learn to carry out patient safety initiatives.
Jo-el Sprecher. Patient Experience and Safety Director at Mary Greeley Medical Center (Ames, Iowa). Ms. Sprecher assists senior leadership in the development and operationalization of strategic plans as they relate to patient safety and experience. She is charged with leading patient rounding efforts, internal auditing processes and goal setting. Her work has led to the implementation of a new patient entertainment and engagement system, digital rounding platform, remote nursing and digital patient outreach program, safety rounding and leadership rounding. Among other organizations, Ms. Sprecher is a member of the Quality and Patient Safety Council.
Susan Stallard. Vice President, Corporate Quality and Operational Effectiveness for Orlando (Fla.) Health. Ms. Stallard serves as vice president of corporate quality and operational effectiveness, where she is the strategic leader of systemwide corporate quality programs and performance improvement initiatives at Orlando Health. In this role, she oversees all aspects of clinical quality and patient safety, including infection prevention, in support of the organization’s Embrace Quality and Safety strategic imperatives. While leading the transformation of Orlando Health’s infection prevention department, her efforts led to the achievement of year-over-year reductions. Most recently, during fiscal year 2023 to date, the organization reduced CLABSI by 50 percent and C. difficile by 46 percent.
Juanita Stroud. Vice President of Safety and Medical Staff Services for Atrium Health (Charlotte, N.C.). Ms. Stroud is vice president for safety at Atrium Health. She is responsible for patient safety across the continuum of health services offered by Atrium, such as acute, ambulatory and continuing care. She also oversees the system’s two patient safety organizations which focus on the improvement of patient care and safety by collecting and operationalizing data to identify opportunities for improvement and to share best practices. With her 20 years of experience, she developed a comprehensive view of safety that draws connections across all of Atrium Health’s programs and revolves around establishing procedures that make Atrium’s facilities the safest they can be.
Charleen Tachibana. Senior Vice President and Chief Quality, Safety and Patient Experience Officer at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health (Tacoma, Wash.). Dr. Tachibana’s responsibilities include strategic and operational accountability for clinical quality, safety and the patient experience for the Pacific Northwest Division of CommonSpirit Health. Dr. Tachibana leads VMFH’s efforts to achieve the health system’s quality and safety goals, which are closely aligned with its financial goals. Under her leadership, VMFH hospitals have been ranked among the top in the nation.
Jason Tibbels, MD. Chief Quality Officer for Teladoc Health (Purchase, N.Y.). Dr. Tibbels is the chief quality officer for Teladoc Health, one of the largest virtual care-focused medical networks in the world. He is responsible for leading the organization’s strategy for the delivery of excellent care through continuous improvement through research, better methodology and other important initiatives. He provides clinical leadership and oversight of the delivery of telemedicine services in the U.S. and internationally, including general medicine, primary care, chronic care programs, behavioral health and dermatology. He also offers his telemedicine subject matter expertise across the country to policymakers, regulatory bodies, healthcare organizations/stakeholders and media.
Lisbeth Votruba, MSN, RN. Chief Clinical Officer of AvaSure (Belmont, Mich.). Ms. Votruba has served as AvaSure’s chief clinical officer since 2014. Her primary goal is to advance her vision to revolutionize inpatient care delivery via virtual technology. Partnering with 36 percent of academic medical centers and 67 percent of the largest U.S. health systems, she guides the delivery of inpatient telehealth solutions that have provided safer environments for over 1.5 million patients. She pioneered video monitoring of fall-risk patients and has contributed to research regarding fall risk reduction, the mitigation of workplace violence and the support of nurses during a pandemic.
Sandeep Wadhwa, MD. Global Chief Medical Officer at 3M Health Information Systems (Salt Lake City). Dr. Wadhwa is the global chief medical officer for 3M Health Information System. He oversees the development of healthcare payment and quality methodologies used by over 15 countries and impacting 2 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. He also provides clinical insights across the company’s capture to code technology solutions. His work allows payers and providers to focus on seeking equitable, transparent and rigorous design of payment, quality and health outcome systems. Recently, Dr. Wadhwa oversaw the development and launch of 3M Ambulatory Potentially Preventable Complications grouping software, which helps pinpoint patient safety events after elective procedures.
Eric Wei. Senior Vice President and Chief Quality Officer at New York City Health+Hospitals (New York City). Dr. Wei serves as the senior vice president and chief quality officer in which he oversees the largest municipal healthcare system in the U.S. with over 42,000 staff. He has created a multiprong strategy for transforming quality and safety through fostering a culture of safety, building internal quality improvement capacity, aligning improvement activities with system strategic pillars, and becoming a data-informed organization through a novel data and analytics strategy.
Jennifer L. Wiler, MD. Chief Quality Officer, Metro Region at UCHealth (Aurora, Colo.). Dr. Wiler leads and improves quality and patient safety for the five hospitals that make up UCHealth’s metro Denver region. She ensures adherence to the most effective, evidence-based, safe and efficient clinical practices and drives clinical standardization as a means to reduce variability and patient harm. With over 60 peer-reviewed papers, Dr. Wiler is a nationally recognized expert in quality, safety, healthcare operations and payment policy.
This article originally appeared in Becker’s Hospital Review.