Management Team

Eugene Litvak, PhD

is President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Optimization. He is also an Adjunct Professor in Operations Management in the Department of Health Policy & Management at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), where he teaches the course “Operations Management in Service Delivery Organizations”. Prior to his current position, he was a co-founder (with Michael C. Long, MD) and director of the Program for the Management of Variability in Health Care Delivery at the Boston University (BU) Health Policy Institute and a Professor at the BU School of Management. Before joining Boston University Dr. Litvak was a faculty member at the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis.

He was the co-author of the innovative cost-effective protocols in screening for HIV and hepatitis, which reduce the cost of screening by a factor of 5 to 10 while simultaneously reducing errors by a factor of 20 to 40. These protocols have been positively evaluated by FDA, NIH and CDC, which were the subject of a large-scale international trial supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development as well as Chiron and Roche pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Litvak served as a Principal Investigator from the U.S. for this trial.

Dr. Litvak is an author of more than 60 publications in the areas of operations management in healthcare delivery organizations. He was the editor of The Joint Commission’s patient flow books “Managing Patient Flow in Hospitals: Strategies and Solutions”, 2nd Edition and “Optimizing Patient Flow: Advanced Strategies for Managing Variability to Enhance Access, Quality, and Safety” as well as the leader of the organization’s first patient flow seminars. He was a member of the Institute of Medicine (currently the National Academy of Medicine) Committees “The Future of Emergency Care in the United States Health System”, “The Learning Health Care System in America” and “Optimizing Scheduling in Health Care.” Dr. Litvak also served as a member of the “National Advisory Committee to the American Hospital Association for Improving Quality, Patient Safety and Performance”.  Currently, he serves on the Executive Leadership Council, Strategic Innovation Engine, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Since 1995 he has led the development and practical application of innovative approaches for managing patient flow variability (introduced by him and Dr. Long) for cost reduction and quality improvement in health care delivery systems. Application of these approaches has resulted in significant quality improvement and multimillion-dollar improvements in the margins for every hospital that has applied them. He is also Principal Investigator in many hospital and hospital systems operations improvement projects. These include CMS sponsored initiative “Partnership for Patients” in NJ and nationwide patient flow initiative in Scotland.

Cheri Ward, MPH

is Vice President at the Institute for Healthcare Optimization.  Cheri is responsible for the management of hospital initiatives to improve patient flow. She has led patient flow initiatives that simultaneously increased the quality of care while decreasing costs at a wide range of US and international healthcare delivery organizations including academic medical centers, community hospitals, cancer clinics, as well as multi-hospital programs in the US, Canada, and Scotland.

Cheri holds an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health with a concentration in health policy and management and has co-authored a chapter on patient flow assessment in a book published by The Joint Commission “Optimizing Patient Flow: Advanced Strategies for Managing Variability to Enhance Access, Quality, and Safety”. Prior to her current role at IHO, Cheri accumulated over 10 years of clinical experience providing care in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient clinics and home settings. These roles provided her with critical insights into patient flow struggles experienced by front-line staff. Cheri has utilized her unique combination of experiences to ensure that critical goals of improving staff satisfaction, staff retention, and quality of patient care are balanced with cost reduction and process optimization to create the most efficient healthcare system possible.

Julia Krol, RN, BSN, MBA

has been working with the Institute for Healthcare Optimization since 2012. She has helped many hospitals to evaluate, design, and implement projects to improve operational efficiencies and quality. She manages multi-hospital engagements, including prior engagements with the New Jersey Hospital Association, the NHS Scotland, and the VA New England as well patient flow projects in individual international and US-based hospitals and outpatient clinics. She co-authored multiple chapters in the book “Optimizing Patient Flow: Advanced Strategies for Managing Variability to Enhance Access, Quality, and Safety,” published by The Joint Commission.

During the COVID-19 crisis, Julia was grateful to help several organizations beyond IHO’s clients. She worked with Northwell Health on Long Island in the spring of 2020 to evaluate and implement patient monitoring technologies to improve patient outcomes and ease nursing workload. Additionally, she worked with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to develop the protocol for their Employee Vaccine-or-Test program, and ensured that employees were able to return to in-person work safely.

Julia holds an MBA from Boston University with a certificate in Health Sector Management, as well as degrees from Brown University and the University of Arizona. Before her time with IHO, she was a practicing RN in Cardiac Intermediate Care at University Medical Center in Tucson, AZ, and Gastroenterology/ERCP at Indiana University Hospital in Indianapolis, IN, where she found her true passion for workflow redesign and optimized care.

Muhund Chandramohan, MS

Muhund holds an MS in Industrial Engineering from Texas Tech University with a specialization in discrete event simulation models and optimization. In his role as the Director of Simulation & Analytics, he oversees the simulation and analytic teams to extract valuable insights from healthcare data to drive process improvement initiatives. Muhund has led the development of numerous individualized patient flow simulation models to efficiently allocate capacity, and improve the quality of patient care while decreasing cost and staffing stressors. Simulation models built by his team are used to inform process improvement efforts in operating rooms, acute inpatient units, ICUs, emergency departments, outpatient clinics, and other clinical care areas both within the US and internationally.