John B. Chessare, MD, MPH, FACHE

is President and Chief Executive Officer of the GBMC HealthCare system. An active and visionary leader in the healthcare field for more than three decades and a pediatrician by training, Dr. Chessare served as president of Caritas Christi Health Care System’s Caritas Norwood Hospital, a 264-bed hospital located just outside of Boston, Mass. from September 2005 through October 2008. In addition to his duties at Caritas Norwood, he was the senior vice president for quality and patient safety of the entire Caritas system and served as the system’s interim president from May of 2006 until May of 2008. Dr. Chessare has held several other executive level healthcare leadership roles, including at Boston Medical Center/Boston University School of Medicine from 1998 to 2005; at Albany Medical Center/Albany Medical College from 1994 to 1998; and at the Medical College of Ohio from 1983 to 1994. Dr. Chessare joined GBMC after working as a consultant with regional and national healthcare organizations focusing on operational changes to improve patient flow and patient satisfaction while reducing costs. Additionally, he served as faculty for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the Institute for Healthcare Optimization in seminars on improving hospital operations. Dr. Chessare has attained fellowship status in the American College of Healthcare Executives. He earned his medical degree from the University of Rome in 1979, completed his pediatric residency at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center – where he served as chief resident in pediatrics, and completed fellowship training in General Academic Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Dr. Chessare completed his Masters of Public Health in Medical Care Organization from the University of Michigan School of Public Health..

Katherine A. Hochman, MD, MBA, FHM

is the Associate Chair for Quality and Assistant Chief of Medicine as well as a practicing hospitalist at NYU Langone Health in New York City. Dr. Hochman earned a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1994 and an M.B.A. from the University of Miami’s School of Business. She completed medical school at the University of Miami in 1999 and completed her internal medicine residency and chief residency at NYU Langone /Bellevue Hospital in 2002 and 2003, respectively.

Dr. Hochman served as an Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program from 2005- 2008. She became the first Director of the NYU Hospitalist Program from 2008 – 2015. Under her leadership, the program grew from 1 to 35 FTEs and the percentage of patients care for by hospitalists grew from 5% to 85%.

In 2014, Kathy was inducted into NYU’s AOA chapter as a faculty member. In 2015, she became a faculty advisor for the House Staff Patient Safety Council. She is a fellow of the Society of Hospital Medicine and was selected to serve on this society’s national Quality and Patient Safety Committee in 2016. In 2017 under her guidance, NYU Health won the Healthcare Association of New York State’s Pinnacle Award for Quality and Safety for: “Discharge Before Noon Initiative: Our Success in Improving Patient Care by Increasing Efficiency”.

Kathy is an Associate Professor at NYU Health.  Her academic interests include increasing efficiencies on the medicine service.  She has published on timely discharge with the “Discharge Before Noon” initiative and the importance of a 7 day hospital and has spoken locally and nationally on these topics.

Shaf Keshavjee, MD

is a thoracic surgeon and Director of the Toronto Lung Transplant Program. He is Surgeon-in-Chief, James Wallace McCutcheon Chair in Surgery at University Health Network. He is a Professor Division of Thoracic Surgery and Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, and Vice Chair for Innovation, Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Keshavjee completed his medical training at the University of Toronto in 1985. He subsequently trained in General Surgery, Cardiac Surgery and Thoracic Surgery at the University of Toronto followed by fellowship training at Harvard University and the University of London for airway surgery and heart-lung transplantation respectively. He joined the faculty at the University of Toronto in 1994 and was promoted to full professor in 2002. Dr. Keshavjee was the inaugural holder of the Pearson-Ginsberg Chair in Thoracic Surgery and served as the Chair of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at the University of Toronto from 2004 to 2010.

Dr. Keshavjee’s clinical practice is in thoracic oncology, lung cancer, and lung transplantation. He has a passion for surgery and innovative research. He is a senior scientist in the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, University Health Network. He leads a large team of researchers in a foremost research program and is widely published in the field. His specific research interest is in lung injury related to transplantation. His current work involves the study of molecular diagnostics and gene therapy strategies to repair organs and to engineer superior organs for transplantation.

Dr. Keshavjee has served on the board of directors of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, the Canadian Society of Transplantation and the American Association for Thoracic Surgery where he is currently the Vice President. He has received numerous awards for contributions to science and medicine, including the George Armstrong Peters Young Investigator Award, Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award, the Colin Woolf Award for Excellence in Medical Education and the Lister Prize in Surgery – the highest award for research achievement in the University of Toronto Department of Surgery. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and has been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from Ryerson University, as well as an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Queen’s University. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Society for Transplantation for his contributions to the field of lung transplantation. He has also received two Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals. He was awarded the Order of Ontario and also received Canada’s highest civilian honor with an appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Ellis M. Knight, MD, MBA, FACP, FACHE, FHM

received a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University in 1976, an MD with honors from the Oregon Health Sciences University in 1980 and an MBA from UMass Amherst in 2006. He is a board certified internist and in 2009 was named by the Society of Hospital Medicine as one of 500 inaugural Fellows in Hospital Medicine in recognition of his pioneering work as a practicing hospitalist. He has held a number of administrative positions at Palmetto Health in Columbia, SC and currently works for Coker Group, a national healthcare consulting firm, with offices in Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas and Philadelphia.  Dr. Knight is both Senior Vice-President and Chief Medical Officer for Coker Group, where he heads up their Hospital Operations and Strategic Services division.  In this role, he advises hospitals and healthcare systems on modern hospital operations management principles to include managing patient flow variability through the deployment of IHO’s Variability Methodology.

Uma Kotagal, MD

serves as Senior Vice President for Quality and Transformation at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and is responsible for executing the strategic plan related to Transforming the Delivery System. Dr. Kotagal led the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pursuing Perfection initiative at CCHMC, a result of the IOM Quality Report, which is focused on raising the bar for health care delivery. Dr. Kotagal is the Director of the Division for Health Policy and Clinical Effectiveness, which focuses on the development, implementation, and study of interventions focused on improving the health of children, as well as, informing national policy. A Health Services Researcher by training and a neonatologist, Dr. Kotagal has been a pioneer in the application of industrial sciences to health care to dramatically change medical and quality of life outcomes, patient and family experience and value. Dr. Kotagal was born in Bombay, India, where she received her undergraduate degree and MBBS from the University of Bombay. She did a rotating internship at the University of Bombay from 1970-1971 and another rotating internship at Detroit General Hospital from 1971-1972. Dr. Kotagal did her pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital of Michigan from 1972-1974, went on to do a fellowship in Neonatology at Children’s Hospital of Michigan from 1974-1975, and a fellowship in neonatal physiology at the University of Cincinnati from 1975-1977. Dr. Kotagal is board-certified from the American Academy of Pediatrics in Pediatrics and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. She is a also a member of the Society for Pediatric Research, Midwest Society for Pediatric Research, Ohio Perinatal Society, Ohio Perinatal Association, and the Cincinnati Pediatric Society.

Thomas M. Krummel, MD

is currently the Emile Holman Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery at Stanford University and the first Susan B. Ford Surgeon-in-Chief at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Dr. Krummel has served in leadership positions in the American College of Surgeons, the American Pediatric Surgical Association, the American Surgical, the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Pediatric Surgery. He has mentored over 100 students, residents and post docs.

Throughout his career, Tom has been a pioneer and an innovator.

  • While just a surgical resident, he formed what was then the world’s second ECMO team. The success of that team served as a major impetus to more wide spread adoption.
  • He helped “jump start” the study of the cellular and biochemical mechanisms of scarless repair in the fetus; his work has been funded by the NIH for over 18 years. He is the recipient of over $3M in research funding over his career.
  • Over the last 14 years he has been a pioneer in the application of information technology to simulation-based surgical training and surgical robotics. Along with Dr. Kenneth Salisbury, Professor of Surgery and Computer Science, Dr. Krummel is the recipient of one of the first NIH Phased Innovation R21/R33 programs to develop collaborative simulation-based surgical training systems. For his work in this arena he was awarded two Smithsonian Information Technology Innovators Awards.
  • For the past six years he has partnered with Dr. Paul Yock to direct the Biodesign Innovation Program. This Program is designed to teach the invention and implementation of new surgical technologies through interdisciplinary education at the emerging frontiers of engineering and the biomedical sciences.

Dr. Krummel has lectured throughout the world and is author or co-author of over 200 publications, chapters and books. He has served as a frequent consultant to the medical device industry.

Peter I. Lachman, MD, MPH, MBBCh, FRCPCH, FCP (SA)

leads on the transformation program at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London as Associate Medical Director. Peter was a 2005- 2006 Quality Improvement Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge Massachusetts, sponsored by the Health Foundation. On his return at the Royal Free Hospital developed a model of care to decrease variability with 24/7 consultant delivered care, and at Great Ormond Street introduced and developed the transformation program.

He was previously Consultant Pediatrician and Clinical Director of Woman and Children’s Services at the North West London Hospitals NHS Trust, as well as Deputy Medical Director. In that position, he helped accomplish the merger of the two hospitals, implemented clinical governance standards, developed a new model of ambulatory pediatric services, redesigned facilities, and developed clinical services for children with complex and chronic disabling conditions.

His prior posts include Consultant Pediatrician and Senior Lecturer at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and Consultant Pediatrician at Queens Medical Centre and Nottingham University.

His current interests are in patient safety and in designing services that are safe and friendly at the same time. Improving the flow of patients in order to improve safety and decrease of variation are central to this work. Main interests are in transformation of complex organizations; understanding the constraints of change; engaging professionals in change; developing leaders at an early time in their careers; management of complex conditions; and the political environment needed for change.

Robert G. Lahita MD, PhD, FACP, MACR, FRCP

is currently Vice President and Chairman of Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBI) of BarnabasHealth. He is also Professor of Medicine and Adjunct professor of both Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Rutgers, the New Jersey Medical School. He is also Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the Mount Sinai Medical School in New York City. Administratively, in a new departure, Dr. Lahita’s interests have taken him to study hospital flow and efficient management of resources within NBI and in healthcare delivery systems in general. However, his interests are many and in addition to his academic and medical appointments, Dr. Lahita has written, co written, edited, and co edited numerous books on the topic of lupus, including Lupus: Q and A. His most recent work is his book entitled Women and Autoimmune Disease, your body betrayed, from Harper Collins. He serves as the Editor of the Yearbook of Rheumatology, Orthopedics and Women’s Health, Associate Editor of the Journal Lupus and is on numerous other editorial boards. He is also the editor of the standard textbook called Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (5th edition 2011) and the Textbook of Autoimmune Diseases. He is also the author of 135 peer reviewed scientific publications and he lectures around the world. Dr. Lahita is a Master of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). He was the first Chairman of the Board of directors of the Lupus Foundation of America. He has served on NIH study sections for General Medicine and NIAMS and he is currently on the Arthritis Advisory Council of the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Lahita is a trustee of BarnabasHealth, Saint Peters University and Saint Benedicts Preparatory School. Dr. Lahita’s research interests are many and revolve around systemic lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune diseases. He has had a keen interest in endocrinology and because of this, his interests’ center on the gender predilection for rheumatic diseases that favor women. His laboratory research is focused on estrogen and androgen metabolism and autoimmunity.

Marilyn Rudolph, RN, BSN, MBA

serves as Vice President, Performance Improvement for VHA Pennsylvania, Inc. In this role, she supports organizations in their efforts to improve healthcare quality, and clinical and operational performance in wide variety of healthcare initiatives. Prior to joining VHA, Ms. Rudolph was Director of the Outpatient Surgery and Endoscopy Departments at Sewickley Valley Hospital, Sewickley, Pennsylvania. In addition to her leadership and performance improvement roles, her clinical background includes over 20 years as a registered nurse with focus on ambulatory, emergency, critical care, and perioperative nursing.

Ms. Rudolph led hospital efforts to improve perioperative patient flow and serves as faculty for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Flow Innovation Community and Reengineering the Operating Room programs. In addition to her expertise in patient flow, Ms. Rudolph has delivered numerous presentations and workshops on clinical and operational improvement, as well as co-authored several articles for national healthcare journals related to healthcare and perioperative improvement. Ms. Rudolph serves as faculty for Waynesburg University, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, and has served as adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Ms. Rudolph received a BSN from Slippery Rock University and MBA from Point Park University.

Frederick C. Ryckman, MD

graduated from Michigan State University in Biology/Zoology and from the University of Michigan Medical School with high honors in 1973. He completed his General Surgery Residency at the University of Florida in1982 and thereafter a fellowship in Pediatric Surgery at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. He has remained a practicing surgeon at the University of Cincinnati / Cincinnati Children’s Hospital since 1984, where he is presently a Professor of Surgery. He has been the Surgical Director of solid organ transplantation leading the liver, small intestine, and multi-visceral transplant services since 1985. His other practice interests include long-term heart/lung bypass (ECMO) and hepatobiliary surgery in infants and children. He is the Clinical Director of the Pediatric Surgery Department and Director of the Pediatric Surgical Fellowship program.

Dr. Ryckman’s interest in OR management led to a collaboration with the Program for the Management of Variability in Health Care Delivery (now the Institute for Healthcare Optimization) to re-engineer flow management in the Operating Room at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Application of this methodology led to substantial improvements in access, utilization and safety. Ongoing efforts include use of the principals of decreasing variability and matching demand and capacity to better manage and enhance hospital wide flow. These initiatives use many of the management techniques emphasized by Dr. Eugene Litvak’s work. Dr. Ryckman’s role as the Vice President of System Capacity and Perioperative Operations places him at the crossroads of patient safety, hospital wide patient flow, and daily operations management in the complex operating room environment of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Peter P. Semczuk

serves as Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the Moses Campus, Montefiore’s largest campus which includes Montefiore Hospital and the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. He has led the journey at Montefiore in transforming an 820 bed institution into a true, 7 day per week institution. He has lectured extensively on this subject and is also well known for his work in emergency services, having overseen the expansion of Montefiore’s Department of Emergency Medicine to the second busiest in the nation. Dr. Semczuk opened the very first freestanding  ED in NY State in 2014 where volume has tripled since it was opened. His other focus has been the patient experience, an area where he has won numerous awards from eminent industry leaders Press Ganey and the Studer Group.

Prior to joining Montefiore, Dr. Semczuk was the Associate Director of Operations at North Central Bronx Hospital, a position which primarily focused on leadership development and performance improvement. He holds a BA in Economics from Hofstra University, an MPH from Columbia University and a DDS from New York University. He also completed his general practice residency at the VA Medical Center in Brooklyn. He completed a one year fellowship at the Montefiore Institute for Performance Improvement where he was trained in LEAN and Six Sigma methodologies. He is a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and was recently profiled as one of the HealthLeaders 20 who are making a difference in healthcare.

C. Daniel Smith, MD

is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Medical School and was trained in general and gastrointestinal surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. After additional training in advanced laparoscopic surgery in Montreal, Canada, Dr Smith joined the faculty of the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine where he was the Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery and founded the Cincinnati Institute of Videoscopic Surgery. In 1996 he was recruited to Emory University and soon after joining the Emory University School of Medicine’s Department of Surgery, he served as the Chief of General and Gastrointestinal Surgery and Director of the Emory Endosurgery Unit and Emory Simulation, Training and Robotics Center (ESTAR). He was also appointed as the W. Dean Warren Distinguished Professor of Surgery.

Dr. Smith is currently the Chair of the Department of Surgery and Surgeon-in-Chief at Mayo Clinic Florida. He maintains a very busy clinical practice focusing on the management of esophageal and gastric diseases and laparoscopic surgery. Dr Smith is also active in research in each of these areas and has authored or co-authored over 100 articles and 25 book chapters. He currently is the Editor-in-Chief or the Journal for Laparoendoscopic & Advanced Surgical Techniques, a peer-reviewed medical journal. In addition he is a leader in developing virtual reality simulation for surgeons in training. He is a contributing member of leading surgical societies and is certified by the American Board of Surgery. He serves on the Board of Governors and is the President of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Fellowship Council, the organization that oversees non-ACGME accredited fellowships in GI, bariatric, minimally invasive and hepatopancreatobiliary fellowships, and serves on the American College of Surgeons committees for Education Institute Accreditation and Bariatric Centers Accreditation.

Peter Viccellio, M.D.

A graduate of MIT and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Viccellio began practicing emergency medicine in 1980.  He joined the faculty at Stony Brook in 1988. Under his leadership, Emergency Medicine became a Department in the Stony Brook school of medicine, the 16th such department in the country.  At that time, he also began Stony Brook’s emergency medicine residency program. He is currently a professor of emergency medicine, and serves as Vice Chairman and clinical director of the department at Stony Brook, as well as associate Chief Medical Officer for the hospital.

Dr. Viccellio has lectured and published on issues related to overcrowding, and participated in the establishment of a full capacity protocol at Stony Brook University Hospital, which has been emulated internationally. He has published data demonstrating impact on patient flow, patient safety, length of stay and patient satisfaction. For his efforts, Dr. Viccellio was awarded the National ACEP Colin C. Rorrie, Jr. Award for Excellence in Health Policy. The full capacity protocol has been cited as an important mechanism for addressing overcrowding by Urgent Matters,  AHRQ, The Advisory Board, the New York Department of Health and multiple other health departments, Inside the Joint Commission, and Joint Commission Benchmark. It was recently adopted by the entire province of Alberta, Canada, and was demonstrated to improve capacity and decrease length of stay.

Dr. Viccellio has published papers on numerous other subjects, including head and cervical spine trauma, and has authored two books on toxicology.  He has served in a number of leadership positions at the state and national levels of the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, including president of New York ACEP. He chaired the ACEP Task Force report on Boarding, and coauthored the resulting publication, Emergency Department Crowding:  High-impact Solutions.  He is a frequent lecturer on emergency medicine topics at the local, national, and international conferences. Known for his engaging teaching style, Dr. Viccellio has received a number of teaching awards,including the Aesculapius Award for Excellence in Teaching from the SUNY School of Medicine.

Ross IS Zbar, MD, FACS

is a graduate of Harvard College and the Yale University School of Medicine.  He completed his training in both Otolaryngology – Head/Neck Surgery at the University of Iowa as well as Plastic Surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.  He is double board certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties.  He was the first recipient of the Webster Fellowship in International Plastic Surgery where he traveled for one year performing reconstructive surgery in developing countries.  Dr Zbar has published extensively throughout his career in peer reviewed journals and has authored several textbook chapters.  Additionally, he is an examiner for the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Dr Zbar maintains a private practice in Plastic Surgery focused on reconstructive surgery.  He presently serves as the Medical Director of Peri-Operative Services at Hackensack University Medical Center – Mountainside.  His primary focus in this position is improving flow through the operating room.