MELISSA BREEN

Marshfield Clinic Health System
Chief of Staff

Melissa Breen joined Marshfield Clinic Health System as chief of staff in May 2016. She works to advance the organization’s mission, vision, and core values, ensuring the strategic direction is evident and communicated clearly across the enterprise. Breen advises executive leadership and works closely with the Marshfield Clinic Health System Clinic Board of Directors. As a representative for the CEO, Breen works with representatives from numerous communities, organizations, and local governments to build and strengthen key relationships that promote Marshfield Clinic Health System brand awareness and goodwill, while meeting community expectations and business needs. Breen has over 20 years of experience in the health care industry. Prior to joining Marshfield Clinic Health System, she was vice president of membership and certification with Medical Group Management Association Colorado and spent many years with the Wisconsin Medical Society.

LEIGH A. BURGESS, MHA, MED, MA

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (sponsor)
Independent Consultant

Leigh Burgess is formerly the vice president of research operations for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health. In this role, she and her colleagues worked to advance the missions of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health and the Dartmouth College research community, by developing and implementing strategic initiatives within basic, translational, and clinical research. Burgess supported a team of clinical research operations and administration staff and directed the administrative and operational functions of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health system-wide Clinical Trials Office, Human Rights Protection Program, Office of Sponsored Projects, Research Nursing, Office of Technology Transfer, Central Research Lab, and Research Finance. Her past leadership experience includes graduate medical education, oncology quality, patient centered care, patient education, and research operations. Burgess is currently a doctoral student completing coursework towards her Doctorate in Business Administration.

RITA CARREÓN

UnidosUS
Vice President, Health

Rita Carreón is the deputy vice president for health at UnidosUS, a national civil rights and advocacy organization. In this role since 2016, Carreón oversees the organization’s strategic direction in health, including areas of community engagement, programming, social determinants of health, and health equity. She works in partnership with UnidosUS Affiliates, government, and private partners to advance access to quality and equitable health care. Previously Carreón was vice president of clinical strategies and health care equity at America’s Health Insurance Plans and led health programming at the National Association of Community Health Centers. She sits on the American Cancer Society’s and American Heart Associations’ Health Equity Councils and is a member of Pfizer’s Multicultural Advisory Council and the Women of Impact for Health Care. Carreón is a certified health insurance executive and holds a post graduate certificate in Health Care Administration and Bachelor of Science degree in Community and School Health from California State University, Long Beach.

MORGAN JONES, MSPH, FACHE

Duke University Health System
Associate Vice President, Strategic Planning, Duke Health

Morgan Jones is responsible for leading Duke Health’s Strategic Planning team where she oversees enterprise wide planning and business development for clinical strategy and implementation. Prior to joining Duke, she served as the interim assistant director (Assistant Chief Operating Officer) and strategic planner at the Durham VA Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. She has worked with the Joint Commission in accreditation standards and cultural competencies. Jones holds a Master of Science in Public Health in Hospital Administration and Health Policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a mom to three beautiful girls and enjoys playing tennis with her husband and trips to the beach in her free time.

COURTNEY KAMMER, MHA

Rush University Medical Center
Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer

Courtney Kammer is senior vice president, chief human resources officer at Rush University Medical Center. Kammer is a healthcare professional with over 21 years of experience. She has been at Rush since 2006 serving in roles focused on the faculty recruitment, onboarding, and retention programs. In 2019, she was appointed interim vice president of talent management in the human resources department. She completed the Executive Master’s of Healthcare Administration program at University of Minnesota and currently serves on the executive board as the treasurer of AAPPR (Association for Advancing Physician and Provider Recruitment). Kammer held several executive leadership roles in the state recruitment association and has participated in numerous committees. She looks forward to enhancing her leadership skills among this progressive group of female executives.

RATNA KANUMURY, MMSC, PA-C

Cook County Health
CCH Director of Advanced Practice Program Services

Ratna Kanumury has been the Director of Advanced Practice Program Services since February 2015. She is a strong supporter of optimizing team practice to improve a patient- centered approach to care. She leads credentialing for all non-physician providers within Cook County Health to assure patient safety and the delivery of high quality care. Kanumury has developed a clinical training program with 11 Advanced Practice Programs across Chicagoland and a pipeline for recruitment of well qualified health care professionals. She has led several efforts to improve billing, coding and clinical documentation for clinicians. She builds strong partnerships across the organization to improve health care outcomes. Kanumury continues to practice Primary Care Internal Medicine and delivers care on the southside of Chicago.

LAURA KAZAGLIS

John Muir Health
Vice President of Practice Operations, John Muir Health Physician Network

Laura Kazaglis began her career in Akron, Ohio as a nurse and respiratory therapist initially focused on operations. From the beginning of her career, Kazaglis gravitated toward newly created and uncharted roles and responsibilities, many times becoming the first to hold the positions she took. She has always welcomed the challenges that come with new opportunities and the lifelong learning she has enjoyed throughout her journey. After moving to California in 2002, she began her career at John Muir Health as an operational project manager and physician liaison, implementing the first electronic health record system (Cerner) for the John Muir Physician Network. In 2006, Kazaglis was promoted to executive director of clinical operations, where her accomplishments included the redesign of all clinical policies and procedures, and the creation and development of the first clinical training program for all ambulatory staff members. In 2015, she was a promoted to her current role as vice president of practice operations. Kazaglis has always been and remains a passionate patient advocate, committed to the mission of providing quality healthcare for the communities and patients they serve.

IRENE KIM, MD, FACS

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Associate Professor of Surgery; Co-Director Comprehensive Transplant Program; Surgical Director Kidney Transplant Program

Dr. Irene Kim is a liver and kidney transplant surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA, where she is also an associate professor in surgery. Kim was named the co-director of the Comprehensive Transplant Center in 2019 and the surgical director of the kidney transplant program in 2018. Kim obtained her undergraduate degree from MIT, medical degree from UCSF, and residency and fellowship training at Tufts and Stanford, respectively. Her research focuses on the immunology and treatment of patients with high HLA-antibody sensitization. She is the current chair of the Minority Affairs Committee at UNOS/OPTN, chairs the Transplant Committee at Cedars-Sinai, and has served on several committees for the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS). Kim is an avid Francophile and loves to travel with her husband and two young children, Sylvie and Max.

EWA KISILEWICZ, MBA

BDC Advisors, LLC
Principal

Ewa Kisilewicz is a principal at BDC Advisors, LLC, a national strategy consulting firm that serves health delivery systems and provider organizations. She joined BDC in 2015. Currently, Ewa focuses on strategic planning, payer strategy development, and payer-provider innovations. With BDC, Ewa has also worked on developing clinically integrated networks, primary care engagement models, and regional ACO strategies. Prior to joining BDC, Ewa worked at Accenture Management Consulting, where she was focused on process improvement and IT system implementation support. Ewa holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Ottawa.

HAMILA KOWNACKI, RN, MSHA

Sutter Health
Chief Operating Officer, Sutter Health CPMC

Hamila Kownacki is currently the COO at Sutter Health CPMC, a multi-campus healthcare system in San Francisco and part of Sutter Health, an integrated health care system in Northern California. Prior to her current role, Kownacki was CAO at CPMC’s largest campus and hospital where she was the hospital administrator and led strategic, financial, and operational oversight for many tertiary and quaternary programs. Prior to joining Sutter Health, Kownacki served as managing director of strategy and planning at Kaiser Permanente, Northern California; COO at Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation; vice president of facilities and planning, director of strategy and business development at Sutter Health CPMC. She has also held positions with Prudential Health and St. John’s Hospital. Kownacki has a Master’s in Health Care Administration from St. Mary’s College, a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, and is a licensed Registered Nurse in California.

MONICA M. LEE-GRIFFITH, MD, MBA

Henry Ford Health System
Director of Obstetrics, Henry Ford Hospital; Vice Chairperson, Department of Women’s Health, Henry Ford Health System

Dr. Monica Lee-Griffith has been a physician in the Henry Ford Health System since 1999, holding progressive leadership positions within the Department of Women’s Health. She currently serves as vice chairperson in the department of women’s health for the Henry Ford Medical Group, as well as medical director of obstetrics for Henry Ford Hospital. Lee-Griffith received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University, Medical Degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine, and completed her OB/GYN residency at Wayne State University/Detroit Medical Center, where she served as chief resident. She recently obtained her Executive Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, graduating with distinction. Lee-Griffith is an experienced, innovative leader with expertise in healthcare strategy, process improvement, and service excellence. As an obstetric hospitalist, she has particular interests in quality, safety, and value-based obstetrical care initiatives for culturally diverse, health vulnerable populations.

JASPREET LOYAL, MD, MS

Yale New Haven Health
Chief of Pediatric Hospital Medicine, Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital; Associate Professor in Pediatrics, Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Jaspreet Loyal is a pediatric hospitalist and an associate professor in the department of pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine. From 2012 to 2017, she served as the medical director for the Well Newborn Unit at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital. In 2017, she became the medical director for the inpatient pediatric units where she provides clinical oversight, and leads development, implementation and monitoring of programmatic initiatives including quality and safety, the safe flow of patients, and patient experience. In 2016, Loyal joined the Yale pediatric residency leadership team as an associate program director. Loyal received an undergraduate degree from St. Catherine’s University in Minnesota, a graduate degree in Epidemiology at Stanford University in California, and a medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin. Prior to joining Yale, she was a resident and chief resident in pediatrics at Weill Cornell-New York Presbyterian.

CHRISTA LESE MARTIN, PHD, FACMG

Geisinger Health System
Associate Chief Scientific Officer, Geisinger; Professor and Director, Geisinger Autism & Developmental Medicine Institute

Christa Lese Martin is the associate chief scientific officer at Geisinger and a professor and founding Director of Geisinger’s Autism and Developmental Medicine Institute. She is board-certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics in Clinical Cytogenetics. At Geisinger, Martin is part of the leadership team for the MyCode Community Health Initiative – a groundbreaking precision health program bringing genomic medicine into everyday healthcare. Martin received her Bachelor of Science degree from Penn State University and completed her PhD in Human Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh. She did her postdoctoral training at the University of Chicago in the Department of Human Genetics and remained on faculty as an Assistant Professor and Director of the Clinical Cytogenetics Laboratory. Before joining Geisinger, Martin was an associate professor in the department of human genetics at Emory University and operations director of Emory Genetics Laboratory.

SARAH MCKAY, MHA

Tufts Medical Center
Vice President, Perioperative Services, Surgery, and Anesthesia 

Sarah McKay, MHA is the Vice President of Perioperative Services, Surgery, and Anesthesia for Tufts Medical Center, the academic medical center for the Wellforce healthcare system in Massachusetts. She oversees operations for the Operating Room at a level one trauma center, in addition to leading all aspects of the Surgery, Orthopedics, and Anesthesia product lines. McKay was promoted to her current role following the transformation of the operational performance of the Operating Rooms at Tufts Medical Center during her tenure as Executive Director. During her time in this role, she built a high-performing leadership team that has improved safety, quality, efficiency and the patient experience.  Known locally as an agent of change, she has a passion for improving systems and processes within hospitals to create the optimal experience for clinicians and patients. McKay holds a Master’s degree in healthcare administration from Simmons College.

RATAN MILEVOJ, MBA

Valley Children’s Healthcare
Director, Innovation and Organizational Renewal

Ratan Milevoj has been serving as the director of innovation and organizational renewal for Valley Children’s Healthcare since May 2019. In her current role, she is responsible for bringing best practices to the organization including implementing and managing new ideas and innovations. Ratan joined Valley Children’s in 2004 and has held several leadership roles, including serving as director of physician network development, where she was responsible for acquisitions, start-ups, primary care strategic plan, and operations. She has also served as the director of health information management, patient access, payer contracting, and revenue integrity at Valley Children’s Hospital. Ratan earned her Master of Business Administration with emphasis in Finance and Marketing and Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from California State University, Fresno.

HEATHER L. NELSON, MHA, CHCIO

University of Chicago Medicine
Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, UChicago Medicine

Heather Nelson is currently serving as senior vice president and chief information officer for the University of Chicago Medicine IT division at University of Chicago Medicine. Her responsibilities include: supporting all information management systems (clinical, business, and administrative), clinical engineering, IT support services, the IT project management office, reporting, and analytics capabilities and technologies. She also serves privacy and IT security functions for University of Chicago Medicine. Nelson’s team is comprised of talented IT professionals that are dedicated to supporting patient care, care teams, and business processes throughout the health system and in the communities.

JENNIFER NICKOLES, MS

Johns Hopkins Medicine
Vice President for Operations and System Integration, Johns Hopkins Health System; Chief of Staff, Johns Hopkins Medicine

As vice president of operations and system integration, Jennifer Nickoles is accountable for the implementation of strategic, governance, and integration initiatives to more fully coordinate health system wide operations at Johns Hopkins. She also serves as chief of staff for Johns Hopkins Medicine; developing and ensuring the coordination and execution of JHM strategic initiatives. Nickoles began her career in academic medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1996. Over the next two decades she took on increasing levels of responsibility, serving in a variety of operational, finance, and management roles in the department of medicine before working in the Office of the Dean focusing on faculty resources and research infrastructure. Nickoles earned her Bachelor of Science in Business and Management from Johns Hopkins University, as well as a Master of Science in Real Estate. She resides in Maryland with her husband and four sons.

ELLEN PIERNOT MD, MBA, CPE

Golden Valley Health Centers
Vice President, Chief Medical Officer, and Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Ellen Piernot is the vice president, chief medical officer, and chief operating officer of Golden Valley Health Centers. She is board-certified in both family medicine and clinical informatics. Piernot has been with Golden Valley Health Centers in the Central Valley of California since 2015, where she has oversight of all the medical and behavioral health providers as well as provider recruiting, nursing, health education, and quality. During her tenure, she has worked to develop a strong presence of clinical leadership through her four regional medical directors, and to expand the teaching opportunities offered at the health centers. Prior to arriving at Golden Valley Health Centers, she worked for both large and small Federally Qualified Health Centers in Arizona and New Mexico. Piernot completed medical school at the Medical College of Wisconsin and residency at Waukesha Family Medicine Residency in Wisconsin. She earned her Master’s in Business Administration from the University of New Mexico-Albuquerque. Piernot was a National Health Scholarship Corp scholar and completed her service in New Mexico.

JULIA W. PUCHTLER, CPA

University of Pennsylvania Health System
Chief Financial Officer, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Julia Puchtler serves as the chief financial officer of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), an 805-bed acute care hospital that is part of Penn Medicine. Puchtler initially joined Penn Medicine as the vice president of finance, operations, and budget in March of 2015. From 2009-2015 Puchtler worked at Trinity Health—and its predecessor organization, Catholic Health East–in various roles within corporate finance, ultimately serving as the vice president of strategic finance and decision support. Puchtler spent 2001- 2009 at Ernst and Young working in the firm’s health care assurance and advisory services. Puchtler received a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Penn State University and a Master of Science in Accountancy from the University of Virginia. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and has been a Fellow of Healthcare Financial Management Association since 2011.

CHRISTINE THORBURN, MD

Sutter Health
Interim CEO, Rheumatologist, and Board Chair, Palo Alto Foundation Medical Group, Palo Alto Medical Foundation

Dr. Christine Thorburn currently serves as the interim CEO and chair of the board of the Palo Alto Foundation Medical Group (PAFMG), which is affiliated with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, a Sutter Health affiliate. She has also been a rheumatologist with the group since 2005 after completing Medical School, Internal Medicine Residency and Rheumatology Fellowship at Stanford University and a post-doctoral Research Fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. Prior to joining the board of directors, she held several different leadership positions within the medical group. Throughout her medical training, she maintained a dual “career” as a professional road cyclist, representing the United States of America in the Olympic Games in Athens (2004) and Beijing (2008), after which she “retired” from professional athletics.

DEBBIE C. THURMOND, PHD

City of Hope
Ruth and Robert Lanman Endowed Chair and Professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology; Director, Diabetes and Metabolism Research Institute, City of Hope Beckman Research Institute

Debbie Thurmond is the Ruth and Robert Lanman Professor of Gene Regulation and Drug Discovery at the Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope. After completing her Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Iowa in 1997 , she carried out postdoctoral work in physiology and biophysics. She joined the Indiana University School of Medicine faculty in 2001, quickly ascending to full professor and associate director of the Diabetes Center. In 2015 Thurmond embarked on a leadership position at the City of Hope as the founding chair of the department of molecular and cellular endocrinology. As of September 2020, Dr. Thurmond was named director of the Diabetes and Metabolism Research Institute at City of Hope (having previously served as deputy director since 2019). Thurmond maintains a highly-funded research program and is an internationally awarded scholar serving on acclaimed advisory panels in the fields of diabetes and obesity research. Her awards include the Trailblazer in Research Award from Indiana University in 2010 and her endowed chairship in 2017. In 2018 Thurmond was the first woman to have been awarded the Davidson Award in Physiology from the University of Toronto, Canada, as part of the Banting and Best Award in Diabetes. Recently, she was nominated for a 2020 Alexander M Cruickshank Lecturer award.