Atul Gawande, MD, MPH

As both a practicing surgeon and an accomplished writer and speaker, Atul Gawande offers audiences an unprecedented look into the heart and soul of medicine. Dr.Gawande is a general surgeon at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and is an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Gawande’s book, Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science ,features fourteen essays written for The New Yorker, where he is a staff writer on medicine and science. Atul also writes regularly for the New England Journal of Medicine.

In Complications ,Dr. Gawande offers a raw view from the scalpel’s edge, where science is ambiguous, information is limited, the stakes are high, yet decisions must be made. In dramatic and revealing stories of patients and doctors, he explores how deadly mistakes occur and why good surgeons go bad. He shows what happens when medicine comes up against the inexplicable. At once tough-minded and humane, Complications is nuanced and lucid, unafraid to confront the conflicts and uncertainties that lie at the heart of modern medicine, yet always alive to the possibilities of wisdom in humanity ’s heroic attempts at healing.

Dr.Gawande is a unique and important voice on an increasingly diffi cult and newsworthy subject. Audiences of all kinds are thrilled by his insider’s portrayal of the detective work involved in diagnosis and treatment. Anyone who’s been a patient finds his candid accounts of patient care enlightening. Medical audiences love his eloquent way of reflecting their conflicts and concerns. Hospitals and healthcare systems, researchers and insurance companies appreciate is focus on patient care tempered with the knowledge that costs matter and nothing in medicine is cut-and dry.

Non-medical audiences appreciate his deep insight into the issues of ethics and performance that all professionals face. Direct and profound, his talks speak to the most pressing issues in medicine and healthcare today with a voice that is both candid and compelling. As with his writing, his stories and ideas capture the hows and the whys, the conflicts and the mysteries of modern medical practice.

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Lee Allen
  As a seasoned professional, Lee has worked in education and public broadcasting for the past twenty-five years in various local, regional and national capacities including management; instructional television design and production; community and educational outreach campaigns, consulting and advisory capacities. Before coming to public television, he was an educator in the Fayette County and Jefferson County, KY Public Schools and developed special education curriculum materials for the state of Florida.

Currently, Lee works at Devillier Communications, Inc. in Washington, D.C. and is the project director for the Remaking American Medicine™ Health Care for the 21st Century national media and outreach campaign. Previously, he had a private consulting firm and developed and implemented national outreach campaigns for WETA/Washington, D.C.; Dr. David Suzuki, renowned Canadian author, biologist and geneticist; Manifold Productions, Chevy Chase, MD, and Outreach Extensions, Malibu, CA.

Prior to that, Lee was the Executive Director of the Public Television Outreach Alliance (PTOA), located in Washington, D.C., a public broadcasting agency that produced programming and national outreach campaigns for PBS stations. During his tenure at PTOA he received a CINE Golden Eagle Award as Executive Producer of the one-hour PBS special Power of the Spirit, hosted by Bill Moyers, as part of a national media campaign on drug addiction.

Before coming to the PTOA, Lee was Director of Educational Services at KCPT in Kansas City, MO from 1986 to 1993, and prior to that an Educational Consultant for Kentucky Educational Television from 1977 to 1986. Lee has a BA in Education and an MA in Communications from the University of Kentucky.

  Diana Artemis, MS
  Diana Artemis is a systems analyst/process improvement professional living in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. Diana also has extensive experience facilitating industry sector visioning projects and government/industry strategic planning and policy analysis work. She has recently been invited to serve on the Malcolm Baldrige Board of Examiners and plans to apply her expertise in quality improvement programs to help hospitals and hospital systems qualify for the Baldrige Award.

Diana became interested in the field of patient safety after suffering the consequences of an avoidable medical error. Her story is contained in Rosemary Gibson’s book, Wall of Silence. Since then, Diana has networked extensively with patient safety groups across the nation and is a founding advisor to Consumers Advancing Patient Safety (CAPS), assisting CAPS with the development of six national patient safety goals that were presented at the AHRQ National Summit on Patient Safety Research in November 2003. Diana provides volunteer services to members of the NPSF Patient and Family Advisory Council, serves as Virginia Representative to People United for Limiting Substandards and Errors (PULSE), and has been a speaker at various conferences on healthcare risk management and patient safety.

Diana presented testimony at the initial Senate Subcommittee Hearings on Patient Safety and Medical Errors in 1999. She provided recommendations on how best practices, public reporting, continuous process improvement and communications training, to include patient-focused care, could lead to better outcomes and greater efficiencies in managing and delivering healthcare.

  William A. Brock, MD, FCCM, FCCP, FACP
Dr. Bill Brock earned his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1980, after graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in 1975. He continued his medical training at Pitt completing a residency in Internal Medicine in 1983. He is board-certified in both Internal Medicine and Critical Care Medicine.

Dr. Brock has devoted much of his professional career to bridging the gap between what we know and what we do in intensive care through the development of pathways and protocols aimed at an evidence-based standard of care. He moved to Albany, Georgia in 1983 and completed a two-year commitment to the National Health Service Corp doing Internal Medicine and Critical Care Consulting. He remained in Albany, GA for 18 years, initially developing a three-man Pulmonary/Critical Care consulting group and eventually transitioning into a full-time Director of Critical Care Services for Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (PPMH). During his tenure there, PPMH received the VHA National Quality Award for Clinical Effectiveness in 1997 largely due to quality improvement efforts in Critical Care.

He moved to Virginia in 2001, joining the Sentara Medical Group Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine division and accepting a newly created position within SENTARA HEALTHCARE as Medical Director for Critical Care Quality for the system. In this position, Dr Brock coordinates the Critical Care quality improvement initiatives across six different hospitals in one of the nations largest integrated health care delivery systems. Last year SENTARA HEALTHCARE received the AHA Quest for Quality Award in part due to the significant improvements in developing a coordinated critical care delivery system across Hampton Roads.

He is husband to Amy (23 years), father to Alison and Tori, and son to the original Bill Brock. Alison (17) will be attending UGA in the fall as a member of the Equestrian team, and Tori (13) continues her interests in modeling while pursing her role as a ninja point guard for her middle school basketball team. Amy is a former critical care nurse, currently working as a school nurse to 1500 middle school students in Chesapeake, VA

  Frank Christopher
Frank Christopher is an award-winning producer, director, writer and editor who has been making documentaries throughout the United States, Latin America, Africa and Asia since graduating from U.C.L.A. film school in 1970. Included among the many awards garnered by Christopher’s films and television are: an Academy Award Nomination for Best Feature Length Documentary, six Emmys, two CINE Golden Eagle Awards, the Blue Ribbon Award from the American Film Festival, the Gold and Silver Awards from the Houston International Festival, the Grand Coral First Prize from the New Latin American Cinema (Havana, Cub), the Outstanding Documentary Award from the National Latino Film and Video Festival, and the Director’s Choice Award from the Thomas Edison-Black Maria Film and Video Festival.

Christpher’s recent documentaries include Nat Turner – A Troublesome Property and Fei Hu: The Story of the Flying Tigers both broadcast on PBS. He is a partner in the documentary production company, Crosskeys Media, L.L.C., which is located in California. He is Executive Producer of Remaking American Medicine . . . Health Care for the 21st Century, a four-part television series on quality improvement in health care to be broadcast on PBS in spring 2006.

  Jim Conway
Jim Conway has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute since 1995 and is President of the Health Care Dimensions Hospice and Deputy Director of the Dana-Farber / Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center. Prior to joining Dana-Farber, he had a 27-year career at Children’s Hospital, Boston as Radiology Administrator, AVP of Finance, and Assistant Hospital Director for Patient Care Services. His areas of expertise and interest include executive leadership, patient safety, change management, and patient-/ family-centered care.

He holds a Master of Science degree from Lesley College, Cambridge, MA and serves on the Adjunct Faculty at the Harvard School of Public Health. Jim is the 2001 winner of the first Individual Leadership Award in Patient Safety by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). A Diplomat of the American College of Healthcare Executives, he received their 1999 Massachusetts Regents Award as Healthcare Executive of the Year. He is on the Board of Directors for the Dana-Farber / Children’s Hospital Cancer Care, serves as a member of the IOM Committee on Identifying and Preventing Medication Errors, is an Advisor to the Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors, a Distinguished Advisor to the National Patient Safety Foundation, and a member of the JCAHO Sentinel Event Alert Advisory Group. Conway is also a member of the Clinical Issues Advisory Council of the Massachusetts Hospital Association, a member of the executive committee of the Medical, Academic and Scientific Community Organization (MASCO), and a longtime member of the board of the Ronald McDonald House in Boston.

  Sallie S. Cook, MD
  Sallie S. Cook, MD serves as corporate medical officer and senior clinical advisor for quality improvement initiatives, review activities and other related VHQC functions. Dr. Cook joined the VHQC in 1990 after serving as a member of the medical staff and Medical Director of the Blood Bank at the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) Hospitals since 1982.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate from Westhampton College of the University of Richmond, she received a B.S. in Biology. She earned her MD from the Medical College of Virginia (MCV), where she also served a residency in anatomic and clinical pathology. She joined the faculty of the MCV Department of Pathology in 1981 after completing a fellowship in immunohematology. She is board-certified in anatomic and clinical pathology and in the subspecialty of blood banking. Dr. Cook is an Associate Clinical Professor of Pathology in the MCV School of Medicine. Dr. Cook is currently the president of Virginians Improving Patient Care and Safety (VIPC&S), a coalition of more than 40 organizations dedicated to improving health care quality and patient safety. She was recently elected president-elect of the American Health Quality Association and will serve as president in 2006-2007. She also serves on the board of directors of Virginia Blood Services, Centralized Credentials Verification Services and formerly chaired the Medical Affairs Section of AHQA.

  Charles Darby
Mr. Darby is the Co-Project Officer on the CAHPS® survey at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (CQuIPS). The CAHPS survey has become the industry standard for measuring consumers’ assessments of their health plans. It has been adopted for use by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), most state Medicaid programs, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. CAHPS surveys are now being developed for hospitals, ambulatory care, nursing homes and end-stage-renal-disease facilities.

Mr. Darby has over 30 years of experience in survey research, much of it focused on patients and health care providers as respondents. He has worked on a number of national surveys, including the Medical Expenditure Panel, National Nursing Home Survey and Physician Survey on Diabetes Care. He has conducted both qualitative and quantitative evaluation research in a number of areas, including work for the National Cancer Institute (NCI). He recently completed an assignment at the World Health Organization (WHO) where he assisted in the development of a series of surveys designed to measure a construct related to the responsiveness of health systems of countries world-wide to the legitimate demands of their citizens.

  Stephanie M. Dougherty, RN, BSN
Stephanie Dougherty, B.S.N., Fellow, Executive Patient Safety Fellowship, VCU. She is currently the Patient Safety Officer/Risk Manager at Hunterdon Medical Center in Flemington, New Jersey, where she is a leader in influencing culture change to embrace patient safety concepts, analyzing systems for emergent error, and designing and implementing
patient safety programs. Her research interests in patient safety include human factors analysis and the study of organizational systems, failure analysis in high risk processes and new program design, metrics of patient safety effectiveness, and medical team training. Ms. Dougherty received her B.S. in Nursing from the William Paterson University, Wayne, New Jersey. She is certified in critical care nursing, gastroenterology, and in risk management from the American Society of Healthcare Risk Management.
  L. Dale Harvey, MS, RN
Ms. Harvey has earned both a Bachelor and Master of Science in Nursing from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University. She recently completed an Executive Fellowship in Patient Safety at MCV School of Health Administration.

Ms. Harvey’s current role in the Department of Performance Improvement at the VCU Health System includes a focus on enhancing patient safety through oversight of critical events and facilitation of proactive risk analyses. In addition, she serves as an internal consultant, providing expertise in goal development and project planning, team facilitation, as well as data collection and analysis methodologies.

Ms. Harvey’s nursing experience includes cardiology and general medicine, as well as quality improvement/performance improvement, risk management, and project management. Ms. Harvey is the President-Elect of the Virginia Association for Healthcare Quality.

  Anne Irving joined KPMAS in March, 2003, in the newly-created position of regional Patient Safety Officer. She previously was the Manager of Risk Management for a professional liability insurance provider; in that role she conducted risk assessments and educational programs for practitioners and provider organizations. She has also published numerous articles and conducted regional educational programs on a wide variety of risk management and patient safety topics.

Anne is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, and a Distinguished Fellow in the American Society of Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM). She also is certified in both Healthcare Quality and Healthcare Risk Management. Anne served two years recently as an Examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, and has been on the Board of the Virginia Chapter of the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management, and several work groups of ASHRM.

Anne holds a B.S. in Occupational Therapy from the University of Minnesota, and a M.A. in Health Care Administration from the George Washington University. She successfully completed an advanced course of study in the 2003-2004 Health Forum’s Patient Safety Leadership Fellowship program.

  Beverley H. Johnson
Beverley H. Johnson is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Family-Centered Care in Bethesda, Maryland. She has had clinical and administrative experience in an academic medical center and served as a hospital trustee and a trustee for NACHRI. She has provided technical assistance and consultation to over 150 hospitals, federal, state, and provincial agencies, and community organizations.

Bev has co-authored books and other publications on patient- and family-centered practice, planning, and program development in pediatrics, newborn intensive care, maternity care, geriatrics, and other aspects of adult health care. She has co-authored a series of guidance publications that include: Creating Vision, Mission, and Philosophy of Care Statements, Collaborative Design Planning, Creating and Sustaining a Patient and Family Advisory Council, Creating and Expanding Patient and Family Resource Centers, Advancing Patient- and Family-Centered Geriatric Care and Creating Patient and Family Faculty Programs. The newest publication in this series released in 2003 is titled, Changing the Concept of Families as Visitors: Supporting Family Presence and Participation. Working with patient and family advisory councils across North America, she provided leadership for the development of the brochure, Your Role in Safe Medication Practice: A Guide for Patients and Families.

Working closely with a team from the American Hospital Association (AHA), Bev provided leadership for the development of a Patient- and Family-Centered Care Toolkit. This Toolkit is part of the AHA’s Strategies for Leadership Series to assist hospitals with transformational change and in making the Institute of Medicine’s Crossing the Quality Chasm recommendations a reality for their organizations. The Toolkit, including a video, discussion guide, hospital self-assessment inventory, and resource guide for advancing the practice of patient- and family-centered care, was sent to the Chief Executive Officer of every hospital in the United States (over 6, 500 hospitals) in October 2004.

Bev currently serves on the:

  • Selection committee for the American Hospital Association McKesson Quest for Quality Prize.
  • Consensus Committee to Establish the Recommended Standards for Newborn ICU Design.
  • Member, Co-Management Learning Network, an initiative of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
  Anton J. Kuzel, MD, MHPE
Dr. Anton J. Kuzel, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University is a graduate of the University of Illinois Medical Center, Abraham Lincoln School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, completed his Family Practice residency at MacNeal Memorial Hospital, Berwyn, IL. He has a Master’s degree in Health Professions Education, Univ. of Illinois Center for Educational Development, Chicago, IL. He is coeditor of 2 books on qualitative and health services research, has authored articles and book chapters on methods and standards for qualitative inquiry, is associate editor for Qualitative Health Research, and serves on the editorial advisory board for the principal reference on qualitative research. Recent AHRQ-funded qualitative projects dealt with patient and provider experiences with medical errors in primary care.
  Karen Remley, MD, MBA, FAAP
Dr. Remley is medical director for External Quality for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia. She joined the company in 2004 and is responsible for the Quality Insights Hospital Incentive Program, a collaborative program which addresses patient safety, outcomes and satisfaction in the hospital setting. Additionally, she serves as a liaison with the medical community, organized medicine, national and state safety and quality organizations and legislative representatives.

Dr. Remley continues as an attending physician at the Children’s Hospital of the King's Daughters, Norfolk, VA, and as a faculty member teaching health care economics and global health to master’s of public health students at the School of Health Professions, Eastern Virginia Medical School.

A former associate medical director for Trigon from 1998 to 2000, she most recently worked as the chief executive office for Physicians For Peace (2001-2003) and was the chief medical officer for Operation Smile Inc.(2000-2001).

A board-certified pediatric emergency medicine specialist, Dr. Remley received her medical degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and her master's in business with health management focus, Duke University.

Of interest, her husband is a current member of the American College of Cardiology and is a practicing Electrophysiologist.

  Suzanne Rita, RN, MS
  Suzanne Rita has been working in healthcare for over 25 years. She has been a leader in emergency nursing, staff development and quality improvement. Ms. Rita was a founding member of the Falls Prevention Task Force that developed and implemented the current fall prevention program at Sentara Healthcare. In collaboration with Dr. David Levin, she developed the conceptual model for Fall Prevention that is used to define the Sentara Healthcare fall prevention program. Currently, Ms. Rita leads the Safety Initiative at Sentara Bayside Hospital.

Ms. Rita is an adjunct faculty member at Old Dominion University School of Nursing. Along with Ms. Sayles, she has developed and teaches a class entitled “Patient Safety in Healthcare” for students in the school of nursing. She has a master’s degree in nursing (education) from Old Dominion University.

Ms. Rita has two sons, Matthew and Christopher, and lives with her family in Chesapeake, Va.

  Shannon M. Sayles, RN, MA
  Shannon Sayles leads the implementation of the safety initiative across the Sentara Healthcare system. She has over 30 years experience in healthcare, including over 14 years in performance improvement both in hospital and health plans. She has led successful initiatives focusing on clinical and process improvements and developed successful disease management programs. She is certified by the Juran Institute as a Six Sigma Black Belt. She has presented at national performance improvement and managed care conferences. Most recently, she was a member of the team that implemented the safety initiative at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital that led to national recognition by the American Hospital Association when they received the Quest for Quality Prize. In addition to a clinical master’s degree, she recently completed a master’s degree in organizational development. Her thesis on sustaining improvement in patient safety was recognized for excellence by the Fielding Graduate University.
  Matthew C. Scanlon, MD
Matthew Scanlon, MD is a pediatric critical care physician at the Medical College of Wisconsin and the Patient Safety Officer for the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. He has additional training in epidemiology, has completed the Advanced Training Program for Health Care Improvement with Intermountain Healthcare, and is a graduate of the Patient Safety Leadership Fellowship, a project co-sponsored by Health Forum, ASHRM and National Patient Safety Foundation. Dr. Scanlon is co-investigator on a grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to examine the impact of bar coding technology on both medication errors and employee work. He has been an invited speaker on patient safety and human factors at regional, national and international meetings. His primary area of patient safety interest is the impact of medical devices and technology on reducing errors, causing new errors, and changing how work is done in health care environments.
  Laurie E. Scudder, NP
Laurie E. Scudder is a practicing Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. A graduate of the University of Maryland School of Nursing, she holds a master’s degree in pediatric primary care. She has practiced in a variety of urban and suburban clinical settings caring for newborns to adolescents. She currently maintains a clinical practice in Columbia, MD.

She is a clinical assistant professor in the School of Nursing and Health Science at George Washington University, having formerly taught at the University of Maryland and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Since 1995, she has served as the curriculum coordinator at Nurse Practitioner Alternatives, Inc., an NP owned continuing education and consultation firm she co-founded. In that capacity, she served as co-chairperson of the National Conference for Nurse Practitioners from 1995 to 2000. Currently, she is the curriculum coordinator for several regional NP conferences.

She is a past-president of the Nurse Practitioner Association of Maryland and has served on the executive board of the American College of Nurse Practitioners. Her editorial positions have included appointments as a contributing editor to Medscape Nurses and as an editorial board member of the Nurse Practitioner Journal. She has authored numerous clinical and legislative articles and is the co-editor of the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Review Manual, which is published by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Additionally, she serves as continuing education accreditation coordinator at Medscape.com.

Executive positions include appointments as Associate Director of the Nurse Practitioner Association of Maryland and the Maryland Health Advocacy Alliance.

  Patricia Selig, PHD, FNP, CDE
Dr. Selig has worked with adult and pediatric populations for more than 25 years. She is a family nurse practitioner and the Diabetes Case Manager for the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals. Dr. Selig holds an adjunct faculty position at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing.

Dr. Selig received her baccalaureate degree from the University of Massachusetts and her master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. She completed her doctoral studies in Health Related Science in the Department of Health Administration at Virginia Commonwealth University in May of 2003. Her research interests include diabetes, metabolic syndrome, women’s health, and health care delivery systems.