Health system executives, patient flow strategists, transfer center directors and industry experts share their insights on operationalizing transfer center logistics to balance patient care and growth.
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Allison Massari knows that you have the power to transform lives. As an advocate for both patient and provider, Massari has an intimate understanding of the demands and challenges of the medical profession, and compelling authority to address the delicate nature of patient-centered care. She experienced firsthand the critical value of receiving personalized health care from committed leadership teams, and empathetic providers after surviving two life-threatening car accidents, one where she suffered second and third degree burns on over 50% of her body. In addition, raised by her father, an Oncology surgeon, and her mother, a nurse, Allison was mentored in the world of medicine from an early age. Captivated by her father’s compassionate work, she shadowed him in his practice, and also worked in hospitals and medical office settings. Allison’s riveting and courageous journey from absolute loss to a triumphant and hope-filled life, addresses sensitive topics, shining light on the provider’s immense value to a patient who is suffering, and helping to reinvigorate employees and heal burnout in the workplace.
Prepare to be taken on a journey. With her perceptive view inside the patient experience, Allison Massari’s riveting and insightful keynote illuminates the immense value that healthcare providers have upon a patient who is suffering. This dynamic and poignant program offers real solutions to the struggle of how to keep the patient first despite limited time and other practical constraints. By weaving her remarkable journey with potent life-lessons, Allison highlights the integral nature of patient-centered care and fortifies audience members, reigniting their passion for why they went into healthcare in the first place. She explains, “The power of what you do goes far beyond the technical part of your job. You are healing the places medicine cannot touch. In fact YOU are the medicine.” Hailed as “life-changing”, Allison’s keynote offers a sincere and direct approach to navigating adversity, transcending life’s difficulties, and always finding a way to be the healer in the room. This content rich and deeply moving speech also offers applicable tools for managing change, adversity, and the everyday challenges of being human.
Allison Massari has been named one of the Top Ten Best Speakers for motivation by Meetings and Conventions Magazine. As an international keynote speaker, executive coach and entrepreneur, Allison ignites vitality, inspires confidence, and bolsters success in audiences worldwide. At the 2013 Million Dollar Round Table Conference she was a main platform speaker, addressing 8,600 people from 75 countries. She also spoke about “The Future of Happiness” at a TEDx event in Spain. She has been featured on ABC, NBC and FOX networks, and starred in an award-winning documentary about overcoming adversity and PTSD, hosted by the head of special forces for the US military in Afghanistan.
John is one of the key thought leaders to emerge in American Healthcare in the past decade, he brings a rich and varied professional background to the task of helping doctors, administrators, boards, and front-line staff alike survive and prosper during the most profoundly challenging upheaval in the history of modern medicine.
Having helped pioneer the Renaissance in patient safety as one of the founders of the National Patient Safety Foundation in 1997, his efforts (and healthcare publications) are dedicated to reforming American Healthcare from a reactive cottage industry to an effective and safe system of prevention and wellness. A lawyer, Air Force and airline pilot, prolific internationally-published author, national broadcaster, and renown professional speaker, John’s leadership is propelled by a deep commitment.
As a native Texan, John grew up in Dallas where he earned his Bachelors Degree and a Juris Doctor Degree from SMU, and is still a licensed Texas attorney. Named Distinguished Alumni of SMU for 2002, and distinguish Alumni for Public Service of the SMU Dedman School of Law in 2010, he is also a decorated Air Force pilot veteran of Vietnam and Operations Desert Storm/Desert Shield and a Lt. Colonel in the USAF Reserve, well known for his pioneering development of Air Force human factors flight safety education, and one of the civilian pioneers of Crew Resource Management (CRM). John has piloted a wide variety of jet aircraft, including most of Boeing’s line and the Air Force C-141, and has logged over 13,900 hours of flight time since earning his first pilot license in 1965, and is still a current pilot. He was a flight officer for Braniff International Airlines and a Boeing 737 Captain for Alaska Airlines, and is an internationally recognized air safety advocate, best known to North American
television audiences as Aviation Analyst for ABC World News and Aviation Editor for
Good Morning America.
Before joining ABC, John logged countless appearances on national shows such as Larry King Live, PBS Hour with Jim Lehrer, Oprah, NPR, Nova, the Today Show, and many others. He is also the nationally-known author of 20 major books, including the acclaimed WHY HOSPITALS SHOULD FLY (2009), and, with co-author Kathleen Bartholomew, CHARTING THE COURSE (2012), plus five non-fiction: (Splash of Colors, Blind Trust, On Shaky Ground, What Goes Up and Golden Boy) and 13 international fiction bestsellers: Final Approach, Scorpion Strike; Phoenix Rising); Pandora’s Clock; Medusa’s Child; The Last Hostage; Blackout; Fire Flight; Saving Cascadia; and Orbit. Pandora’s Clock and Medusa’s Child both aired as major, successful two-part mini-series on television. (WHY HOSPITALS SHOULD FLY won the prestigious “Book of the Year” award for 2009 from the American College of Healthcare Executives).
Dr. Berkowitz is the Medical Director of the WMC Health Transfer Center, which manages over 12,000 requests for transfer per year to hospitals throughout the region. He is a practicing emergency and EMS physician with varied interests including aeromedical transport, disaster medicine and health informatics.
Dr. Berkowitz‘s transfer focus includes the design of specialty workflows in order to maximize efficiency, the use of transfer data to improve operations and contribute to strategy, and the incorporation of technology in order to improve the transfer process. He has published and presented multiple times regarding transfer systems of care and is an active member of the NY regional transfer and EMS community. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his family gardening, hiking, and renovating their 200 year old farmhouse in the Hudson Valley.
Brooke uses evidence-based patient perception research sprinkled with humor and storytelling to show how moving from a task environment to a touch environment is the key to improving the patient experience. Based on 1,000 hours of observing and interviewing patients in hospitals across the country, Moving From Task To Touch helps health professionals understand how their team can better connect with patients by introducing touch concepts that are consistent with what Brooke’s research indicates patients want.
Brooke’s talk utilizes video excerpts from Task To Touch e-Learning, a new video training company featured on HealthStream®, interactive exercises, and inspirational stories to help activate touch for participants.
In addition to being CEO of Task To Touch LLC, Brooke is also CEO of Perception Strategies, Inc., one of the nation’s largest healthcare mystery shopping companies. A successful trainer and consultant, Brooke helps clients across the U.S. achieve their own success by understanding and benefiting from consumer perception so that they can remain competitive in today’s market. Brooke is co-author of Turn Your Customer On: 23 Ways to Motivate Employees and Make Your Customers Love You. She has been featured on Good Morning America and in The Wall Street Journal as well as several professional healthcare magazines.
Charmaine (Mina) LeFevre, RN, MS, ONC, is the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) Nurse Navigator for Atlantic Health System in Morristown, New Jersey. She is experienced as an Orthopedic /Trauma Registered Nurse and is a member of the National Association of Orthopedic Nurses (NAON).
Mina earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Thomas Edison State University and her Master of Science in Management from Stevens Institute of Technology. She has 10 years’ experience as an Orthopedic /Trauma Registered Nurse and 13 years’ experience as a Systems Analyst/Project Manager at AT&T. She completed her Project Management Certification from Stevens Institute of Technology and also has achieved the designation of Orthopedic Nurse Certified from the Orthopedic Nurse Certification Board (ONCB).
For the past two years she’s worked on Integrated Care Delivery for Atlantic Health’s CJR initiative. Mina’s combination of clinical nursing and project management experience provide a strong foundation for the CJR initiative at Atlantic Health, which aims to support better and more efficient care for beneficiaries undergoing lower extremity joint replacements. This proved instrumental in helping Atlantic Health System’s largest hospital, Morristown Medical Center achieve the 2nd highest reconciliation payment in the nation for Model Year 1.
Mina resides in Mount Olive, New Jersey with her husband, two sons and two pugs.
Connie Wroblewski, RN is on a mission to demonstrate the importance of a strategic patient flow process and the impact it can have on healthcare organizations. With her progressive 15 year nursing career in healthcare, from nursing assistant to unit manager, adjunct nursing faculty to nursing administration, she understands the importance of each key role in the patient flow process. She is currently employed at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota, where she has been the lead in the creation, development, and implementation of a centralized patient flow process. In the past year, the impact of this new process at St. Luke’s 267- bed level II Trauma Center is a revenue increase of 11%. Connie continues to fuel her passion of an effective process by pursuing her certificate in Project Management.
Darin Vercillo is a co-founder of Central Logic and has developed and implemented numerous medical information systems to manage complex patent needs, medical education, and faculty and staff logistics. Prior to founding Central Logic, Darin was a clinical advisor and technical developer at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center.
Darin is a practicing, board-certified hospitalist in the Salt Lake City area. He also served as a physician knowledge engineer and interim Chief Medical Officer at TheraDoc in Salt Lake City.
Darryn W. Dunbar, MS, RN, CNM, NEA-BC is an accomplished nursing leader, clinician and educator whose career spans nearly three decades and includes clinical expertise in Emergency/Trauma Nursing, Critical Care, Behavioral Health and Women’s Health. Amidst a perpetually changing healthcare landscape, he is passionate about the provision of safe patient care and reduction of harm. Darryn is the Director of Behavioral Health, Critical Care (interim) & Patient Transport at Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, DC. He is pursuing an Executive Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree at The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, focusing on emergency department (ED) crowding, risks associated with extended ED length of stay for critically ill patients and systematic approaches to addressing throughput, patient flow, and capacity management.
Jon is a graduate of Dartmouth Medical School and is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) and the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. In addition to his clinical duties as a practicing hospitalist, he is the Medical Director for the Transfer Center and Inpatient Flow at DHMC. In these roles, he has led numerous Quality Improvement initiatives focused on improving access and flow both within the medical center and regionally. He has an avid interest in quality improvement education, having taught locally and nationally at both the Undergraduate and Graduate Medical Education levels.
With over 30 years of experience, Judy Raimo is a seasoned Nurse leader in the Care Management and Patient Flow arena. Judy’s vision of a centralized resource allocation center has become a reality at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. Currently serving as a Service Line Director, Judy oversees Care Coordination across the continuum, Utilization Review, Discharge Planning, Centralized Bed Management/Interfacility Transfer Center, Float Pool, Hospitalist Services and the House Supervisors.
Innovative, collaborative and transformational are words that describe Judy’s leadership style. Partnering with Molly Rank, System Director of Performance Improvement, has been the key to recent success at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. Molly brings organizational expertise in healthcare data and analytics and supports process improvement teams. These interdisciplinary teams have achieved a length of stay reduction of .50 days sustained for one year 2017-2018, increased access to private with corelated improved Press Gainey Patient Experience scores, decreased time of ED to inpatient bed placement, and reduced LWBS in the ED.
Learning to speak the Language of the CFO and Executive Team has created renewed employee engagement and meaningful work within workgroups and teams. This fluency, according to Judy, is the “magic sauce” to getting approval for the FTE’s, technology and resources necessary for success.
Healthcare first piqued Kevin’s interest when he was a teen volunteer at the Orange, CA hospital where he was born. After working as an ambulance EMT for many years, Kevin chose to continue his healthcare career by becoming a RN, providing care in such settings as Trauma ICU, Emergency Room, Trauma Room, and Post-Surgical units. He has been an advocate for patients and their families as a bedside RN, as well as an advocate for his staff as a Charge Nurse, Director, Chief Nursing Officer, and Vice President.
Kevin earned his Master’s in Healthcare Innovation from Arizona State University and is one of a small few in the nation to hold this degree. Combined with a nursing degree, public speaking degree, and organizational leadership degree, Kevin brings a unique perspective and approach to clinical integration and innovation.
Kevin has served as a clinical and professional advisor on several healthcare boards, been published in various journals, and speaks nationally at conferences on patient engagement and clinical integration and innovation.
In 2017, he founded Meek Clinical Partners where he now works collaboratively with chief executive leadership teams from hospitals across the country to formulate and implement successful hospital and ambulatory care models.
Liss has been in nursing leadership with Dartmouth Hitchcock for three years, and was previously a nursing and pharmacy director at Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital. She has over twenty years of experience as a registered nurse including past work in a variety of acute care practice settings. Liss is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and Rotary Club International, a Team STEPPS master trainer and Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt certified. Liss lives in Lebanon, New Hampshire with her husband, two teenage children, and two poorly socialized Bernese Mountain Dogs.
Mike is a certified level IV Pragmatic Marketing product manager with over 22 years of hospital operations, consulting and technology experience. He is currently serving as a Product Director for Central Logic.
During his 20+ years in tertiary/quaternary hospital operations Mike has been a clinician, an administrator, and a change agent. He has led departments including the ED, surgical scheduling, patient placement, patient transportation, and performance transformation. With certifications in Lean/Six Sigma, Mike has demonstrated effectiveness in the capacity to lead, evaluate and implement organization-wide process and quality improvements. He is adept at team facilitation, cross-functional training, performance coaching and mentoring. Over the course of his career, Mike has developed a deep understanding of the value and role analytics has in transforming process and obtaining outcomes.
Mike lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his wife, three kids and three dogs
Michelle has more than 20 years of experience in executive leadership positions in for-profit and not-for-profit health systems. Her distinguished service includes multistate, integrated health systems in the Pacific Northwest, Colorado, Florida, and California. She has served in executive strategic and nursing leadership roles, operational and programmatic leadership, and strategic consultative and advisory roles and has achieved measurable results in multi-network healthcare transformation, outreach and business development, patient journey optimization, bed management, patient flow and trauma certification preparation. She is adept at strategizing market success for hospitals and healthcare systems with distinguished record of forging key relationships at all levels of an organization from business champion to executive, to ensure highly- reliable outcomes. She received her BSN from Beth-El College of Nursing at University of Colorado, and her MBA from Regis University.
Michelle is passionate about ensuring sustainable change by collaboratively engaging key players to arrive at strategic solutions. Michelle can quickly assess complex organizational, process and people situations and bring together teams to implement enduring solutions. She is collaborative leader who is motivated by the “Why” behind the “What” before delivering win-win solutions.
Michelle follows a hands-on approach to client work. She has extensive experience in leading cross- functional teams to plan, build, launch, and manage complex projects. She is skillful at orchestrating multiple projects while ensuring the analytic ability to evolve project strategy as needed. Her specific areas of expertise include: clinical strategy and operations, patient flow, access to care strategies, strategic and operational implementation, business development, and leadership of high-performing leadership and physician teams. Michelle is a skilled communicator with excellent written, verbal, and presentation abilities.
Michelle is based in Montana and is a Partner and Principal Consultant at The Eleva Group, where she works with a small group of passionate, committed, dynamic, and experienced healthcare professionals where she leads and supports strategy, planning, and optimization engagements with some of the industry’s most progressive hospitals and health systems.
Molly supports PeaceHealth as part of the Performance Improvement (PI) team. She has served in a variety of roles on the PI team, including Management Engineer (ME) Lead for the Columbia Network, and she is currently serving as a system leader for the PeaceHealth PI team.
Working closely with Judy Raimo, Service Line Director, Molly has discovered a special place in her heart for operationalizing measures related to patient flow. Over the course of her career in industry and healthcare, she’s learned the importance of making data more meaningful and accessible to frontline caregivers and leaders. She’s been integral in development of a systemwide Tableau-based LOS dashboard providing easy access to LOS-related metrics (e.g., overall LOS by unit and by DRG) and discharge-related metrics (e.g., timeliness of discharge order entry, timeliness of discharge).
In her time at PeaceHealth, she’s enjoyed working with providers, caregivers and leaders in learning and applying the concepts of Lean to identify solutions to improve the team dynamic. As part of the ME team, Molly assists with the process of issue discovery and facilitates the testing of hypotheses using data analysis and modeling (considering the questions, “Is this truly the problem,” and “Will this approach help here?”).
Prior to her time in healthcare, Molly spent the first 14 years of her career at UL LLC, where she put her Biomedical Engineering degree to work in evaluating and testing medical equipment for several years before ultimately landing in process improvement. Her exposure to Lean as a part of the UL team made her aware of the need for daily improvement – inspired, led and supported by the people doing the work.
Dr. Dinerman serves as the Medical Director, LifeFlight of Maine. He is also the Medical Director of the Transfer Center, the Tele-health program and the Regional Health Care Partnership Provider Relationsprogram at Eastern Maine Medical Center. As well, he is the Physician Advisor to the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) compliance program. In these positions, he provides medical oversight of the system for transfer and transport of patients to Eastern Maine Medical Center and telemedicine activities, as well as the statewide LifeFlight of Maine air and ground critical care transport teams and the MedComm Communications Center. He is an active participant in national, local and statewide activities which bear upon “peri-hospital” care of patients. His clinical practice is that of emergency medicine and critical care transport medicine aboard LifeFlight aircraft and ground ambulances. Of late, he has focused considerable effort on improving patient flow and institutional capacity, particularly as it affects the ability of a hospital to manage the volume of patients who present with an unscheduled demand for care.
Dr. Dinerman served as the Chief of the Emergency Medicine Service at Eastern Maine Medical Center for eighteen years, completing his tenure in this position on Oct. 31, 2006. From June 1992 to June 1996 he served as the State EMS Medical Director for Maine. From March 1979 until October 1988 he served as the Associate Director, Department of Emergency Medicine, Denver General Hospital, Denver, Colorado, as well as the Director and Physician Advisor to the Paramedic Division for the Denver Department of Health and Hospitals and Physician Advisor to the Denver Fire Department. During the same period he served as the Agency Disaster Coordinator for the Denver Department of Health and Hospitals. He is a former member of the National Association of EMS Physicians where he served as the Chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee. He has served as a member of the EMS Technical Assistance Team for the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration on multiple occasions. He lectured as a charter faculty member of the National EMS Medical Directors’ Course and Practicum for more than twelve years.
Dr. Dinerman is a native of New York City and received his undergraduate education at Columbia University and his medical degree from Yale University. He completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine. He received his flight training to become a licensed pilot, in Denver, Colorado.
He has a deep and abiding interest in the academic, operational, political, clinical and cultural aspects of health care system design, particularly as it relates to, and impacts transport medicine, telehealth, patient flow and hospital capacity. His personal motto remains “passion, creativity and irreverence in the service of evolution….”
Since July 2014, Dr. Kurani has served as Medical Director, Inpatient Medicine, at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC). In this position, he has led initiatives to expand the scale of and optimize operational efficiency in the delivery of care for patients admitted to SCVMC. He is the lead hospitalist for the SCVMC Utilization Management Committee and quality initiatives, and he oversees and manages the productivity and performance of more than 50 hospitalists who care for 10,000-plus patients every year.
Under Dr. Kurani’s leadership, the medical center has improved physician capacity by more than 30% and decreased physician-related costs by $1 million. In addition, physician order turnaround time has improved by more than 40%.
Dr. Kurani also serves as lead hospitalist for SCVMC’s Center for Leadership Training Patient Access and Flow, Rapid Transformation; Chair of the Length of Stay Reduction Committee; lead hospitalist, Utilization Management; and lead hospitalist, Quality Improvement. Previous positions at SCVMC include Medical Director, Medical Short Stay Unit, and Medical Director, Transitional Care Unit.
Besides his work at SCVMC, Dr. Kurani is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Stanford University, where he received a teaching award for being an outstanding preceptor in clinical medicine. In addition, he has presented at prominent national meetings, and he has participated in a number of physician leadership training programs.
A resident of Los Gatos, CA, Dr. Kurani earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley and his medical degree from the University of Southern California. He performed his internal medicine residency at SCVMC.
Lessons Learned in Transforming Patient Flow
Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Panel: Sanjay Kurani, MD; Jen Eng, MD; Andy Nevitt, MD; Joyce Van de Pitte, RN; Colleen Martin, MSW/MPH and Clifford Wang, MD, MPH
Steven A. Maser, MD is a solo practitioner who has been practicing in Morristown since 1993. He currently serves as the Medical Director of Orthopedic Surgery for Atlantic Health System, a 5 hospital System throughout northern New Jersey. He is the Chief of the Hand Surgery Service at Morristown Medical Center (MMC), he served as Interim Chair of Orthopedic Surgery at MMC from November 2016 through July 2018, and he served as Medical Staff President at MMC in 2014-2015.
Dr. Maser is Board-Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, and he has fellowship training and subspecialty certification in hand surgery. He treats hand and upper extremity conditions and injuries – from children whose fingers were crushed in doors to adults suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. Dr. Maser will recommend the least invasive treatment offering the best possible result, and his goal is to return his patients to their livelihoods as quickly and safely as possible.
He received his Doctor of Medicine from Jefferson Medical College in a combined program with the Pennsylvania State University. He went on to complete an Orthopedic Surgery Residency at Hahnemann University Hospital, and he returned to Jefferson to complete a Hand Surgery Fellowship at the Hand Rehabilitation Center. While at Jefferson, he had the opportunity to work closely with the Hand Therapists, and he cherishes the role that hand therapists have in the rehabilitation of his patients. After his fellowship, he began practicing in Morristown, where he continues to practice hand surgery.
New Jersey Monthly Magazine has named Dr. Maser one of New Jersey Top Docs each year from 2012-2017. He was also elected to serve as the President of the Morris County Medical Society in 2006-2007.