The Executive Board serves as a strategic advisor to operations of The Beryl Institute. The board provides practical advice on strategy, growth opportunities and future plans, along with valuable insights into market and industry trends.
Michael C. Bennick, MD, MA
Medical Director of Patient Experience, Associate Chief of Medicine at Yale-New Haven
Dr. Bennick is currently the Medical Director of the Patient Experience and Associate Chief of Medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He is an Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine and a Fellow of Trumbull College at Yale University.
Dr. Bennick began his professional life as a sociologist interested in how individuals find meaning within the communities they reside. This led him on a journey which brought him to Internal Medicine and to recognize, as the poet Cortney Davis notes, that "the reality of the body is the surest pathway to the mysteries of the soul.” The patient has been the focus of Dr. Bennick’s attention for more than a quarter of a century. As a graduating resident he was recognized with the Terry Guth Award for Excellence and Humanism in Medicine and has remained committed to training students, residents, fellows and colleagues to better appreciate the power of a patient’s narrative and the importance of patient and family centered care.
Dr. Bennick received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania with an individualized major: The Concept of Community, A Study in Sociological Theory and Existential Religious Thought. He subsequently received his Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania and his medical degree from Temple University. Dr. Bennick did both his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the Graduate Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and his fellowships in Gastroenterology and Clinical Investigation at Yale-New Haven Hospital.back to top »
Britt Berrett, Ph.D., FACHE
Program Director/Faculty, University of Texas at Dallas
Berrett is currently Program Director and Faculty at University of Texas at Dallas and is working to create a new undergraduate program in Healthcare Administration in the Jindal School of Management. Previously he served as president of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, an 898-bed hospital. In addition to his role as president of the Dallas hospital, Berrett also served at the system level as an executive vice president of Texas Health Resources. He oversaw strategic planning and operations for Texas Health Dallas, guiding the hospital in its mission to improve the health of the people in the community it serves.
While on a two-year mission in Peru, Berrett developed a great appreciation for the role that healthcare providers can play in improving the quality of life for an entire community. It is his concern for the quality of life in the community that makes him a passionate advocate for excellence in healthcare and a perfect fit for Texas Health Dallas.
Prior to joining Texas Health Dallas, Berrett served as president and chief executive officer of Medical City, a 677-bed hospital, since April 2000. He received his bachelor's degree in finance from Brigham Young University and his master's degree in hospital administration from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Berrett also received his PhD in Public Administration from the University of Texas at Dallas.back to top »
Joanne Carrocino, FACHE
President & CEO, Cape Regional Medical Center
Joanne is the president & CEO of Cape Regional Health System located in Cape May Court House, New Jersey. The system is comprised of 242-bed Cape Regional Medical Center, Cape Regional Physicians Associates, Cape Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice, Cape Regional Urgent Care and numerous outpatient services and facilities. Joanne is a member of the American Hospital Association’s Board of Trustees and Chairs AHA’s Regional Policy Board for New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Joanne also serves on the New Jersey Hospital Association’s Board of Trustees and chairs NJHA’s for-profit board, Healthcare Business Solutions.
Prior to Cape Regional, Joanne was with the St. Barnabas Health Care System and was the CEO of Kimball Medical Center in Lakewood, NJ. Joanne has also served as the CEO of Inova Mount Vernon Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia. Joanne earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration at Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) and received her Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Hospital Administration from Temple University. Joanne is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.back to top »
Chief Talent and Experience Officer, Cancer Treatment Centers of America<
Carty is currently the Chief Talent and Experience Officer for Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Prior to joining Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Carty served as the Vice President of Culture, Chief Experience Officer and Chief Marketing Officer for Tenet Healthcare Corporation (formally Vanguard Health Systems). He was part of the leadership team that took Vanguard Health System from 15 hospitals, 18,000 employees and $2.8 billion in revenue, to 30 hospitals, 45,000 employees and $6.5 billion in revenue. He was also part of the leadership team that merged Vanguard Health Systems with Tenet Healthcare Corporation to create the second largest health care system with 89 hospitals, over 100,000 employees and over $15 billion in revenue. His responsibilities included overseeing the strategy and execution of three offices including, Culture & Talent Development, Customer Acquisition & Patient Experience, and Organic Growth through Brand Management, Marketing (B2B and B2C) & Sales.Carty holds multiple leadership roles with Vanguard Health Systems.
Prior to joining Vanguard Health Systems, Carty was a partner with Gallup Consulting, where he led the health care consulting for the Midwest, Texas, and Pacific Northwest divisions.Carty graduated top of his class in three years from Benedictine University, with duel bachelor degrees in biology and biochemistry. He has an MBA in Global Executive Leadership from the University of Nebraska. He is also certified in Lean Process Improvement from Toyota University, Information Technology from SUNY-Binghamton School of Management, and as a Strengths Coach from Gallup University.back to top »
CEO, Sick Girl Speaks, Inc.
Christensen was born with cystic fibrosis and has received two life-saving double lung transplants. Today she is a national public speaker, the author of Sick Girl Speaks and We are the Change: Transforming the Healthcare Experience through Partnership.
She is the Senior Co-Chair of Duke Healthcare’s Patient Advocacy Council, a Respecting Choices Instructor/ Facilitator, and the first patient to ever be certified as a TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer.
Christensen travels throughout the United States teaching healthcare students, healthcare professionals, and community members about patient safety, advocacy, and end of life. She uses her conservatory theater training as a foundation for her fresh, interactive and dynamic approach to her presentations on the patient perspective
Christensen represents Project Compassion by traveling throughout North Carolina teaching community members, healthcare students and healthcare professionals about advocacy, advance care planning and organ/eye/tissue donation. As a part of this initiative, Christensen has designed, developed and launched her own Train the Trainer curriculum, "Finding Your Voice in the Healthcare Maze.”back to top »
Director – Domain 4 – Improving Patient Experience, NHS England
Neil Churchill is Director for Patient Experience at NHS England, the national commissioning body which oversees the budget, planning, and delivery of the National Health Service in England. Neil joined the NHS after a 25 year career working for patient groups, such as Barnardo’s, Crisis, Age Concern and Asthma UK. He is responsible for leading improvement on non-clinical aspects of quality, such as communication, compassion and co-ordination. Recent programmes have included NHS England’s Commitments to Carers, a review of payment incentives linked to patient feedback and the strengthening of consumer rights. Neil is based in London, UK.
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Pam Guler, MHA, FACHE
Vice President, Chief Patient Experience Officer, Adventist Health System
Pam Guler is Vice President, Chief Patient Experience Officer for Adventist Health System, a 45 campus system with locations in 10 states. She provides strategic mentorship to leadership teams throughout the organization on the best practices for improving and sustaining patient and family experience and engagement. Pam leads the Adventist Health System strategies for person centered care.
In her role, Pam oversees strategic efforts that educate on and demonstrate the benefit of key best practices. She facilitates both internal and external networking, and provides key accountability methods to leadership teams across the system. She is responsible for effectively partnering with Press Ganey, and leveraging that partnership throughout the hospitals. Pam has been instrumental in the development and deployment of a strategy that has rapidly increased the pace of change in patient experience results for Adventist Health System.
Pam has more than 25 years experience with a varied background in healthcare and business. The most recent 11 years have included progressive roles in healthcare, focused on patient experience and engagement, physician and team member engagement, hospital administration, performance improvement, and service line development.
Pam has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and her masters in healthcare administration. She is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt with a strong background in leading teams in process improvement. Pam is also a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE).back to top »
Partner, Language of Caring
Wendy Leebov, is a lifelong advocate for creating healing environments for patients, families, and the entire health care team, Wendy has helped hospitals and medical practices enhance the patient experience. Wendy is Managing Partner of the Language of Caring, LLC. Previously, she served as President of the Leebov Golde Group and before that, change coach and Vice President for the Albert Einstein Healthcare Network in Philadelphia.
A communication fanatic, Wendy has written more than ten health care books and developed The Language of Caring program -- a powerful, video-based skill-building system for patient- and family-centered care ---that dramatically improves HCAHPS performance and the patient and family experience, Also, with Carla Rotering, MD, Wendy launched the groundbreaking video-based program — The Language of Caring for Physicians: Communication Essentials for Patient-Centered Care.
Leebov received her B.A. from Oberlin College and a doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.back to top »
President, Malone Advisory Services
Mary has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Prior to forming her own firm, she worked for Press Ganey Associates for more than 14 years, serving in a variety of senior leadership positions. She writes and speaks often on various aspects of patient satisfaction.back to top »
Medvedeff has committed his entire career to the triple aim of advancing healthcare quality, enhancing the medication use process and empowering patients to take a more active role in their health and wellness. He most recently served as the CEO of Avatar International, where he worked to give patients a voice in the optimization of the care experience – a meaningful component of healthcare reform. His leadership and focus on organizational culture was instrumental in attracting top talent to Avatar and ultimately delivering remarkable corporate results.
He has chaired several national workgroups including the National Changing Diabetes Program HIT group, The Pharmacy Quality Alliance’s Diabetes and Medication Reconciliation Workgroups and the Florida Behavioral Health Collaborative. His accomplishments have been recognized with numerous professional accolades and he is most humbled by becoming the first two-time winner of the American Pharmacists Association’s Pinnacle Award. Medvedeff also volunteers his time
Medvedeff attended the University of Florida where he studied organic chemistry and ultimately received his Doctor of Pharmacy and Master of Business Administration degrees.back to top »
Dean and Professor, University of Tennessee, Knoxville College of Nursing
Dr. Niederhauser is currently Dean and Professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville College of Nursing. Prior to her current position, Dr. Niederhauser has held various leadership roles at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, School of Nursing & Dental Hygiene (SONDH) including Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Department Chair. She has also held academic appointments at George Mason University and George Washington Universality.
She has received numerous research grants to study parental barriers to childhood immunizations and has published extensively in this area. She developed and tested the "Searching for Hardship and Obstacles to Shots” (SHOTS) survey to identify parental barriers to childhood immunizations (www.shotsurvey.org). Dr. Niederhauser published the book "Core Review for Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioners” in 2007 and has authored over 35 articles and book chapters on child health and educational issues.
Dr. Niederhauser is a board certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. In 2006, she received the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners State Award for Excellence and in 2011 she received the Research Award from Sigma Theta Tau, Gammi Psi Chapter. Dr. Niederhauser is a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow, completing the 3 year fellowship program for nurses in executive leadership roles in 2011.back to top »
Tony Padilla, MBA
Chief Patient Experience Officer, UCLA Health
Tony Padilla has dedicated his career to improving the patient experience. He leads UCLA Health’s efforts in fostering a patient-centered culture through its CICARE philosophy. Mr. Padilla was instrumental in the implementation of CICARE and its success in raising UCLA’s HCAHPS "hospital rating” scores from the 26th percentile in 2007 to the 97th percentile in 2012. Mr. Padilla partners with teams of patients, physicians, staff and executives to improve the patient experience at UCLA Health.
Mr. Padilla is responsible for ensuring that CICARE is incorporated into UCLA’s leadership practices, service training, employee selection and onboarding processes. He partners with the entire UCLA team to ensure that patients are true partners at each juncture of their experience. In partnership with the UCLA’s Performance Excellence team and the UCLA Institute for Innovation in Health, Mr. Padilla works to make the voice of the patient a central component of UCLA’s improvement paradigm. Mr. Padilla also oversees UCLA’s Patient Advisor Program, Patient Liaison Services, Patient Satisfaction Surveys, Language Assistance, "Front Door” services, UCLA’s Patient and Family Guest House, and a volunteer corp. of over 3,000 individuals.
Mr. Padilla develops and instructs courses in Patient Advocacy at UCLA Extension and has served on the member advisory boards of University Healthsystems Consortium, The Picker Institute, Press-Ganey Associates, and the Beryl Institute. He earned his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Southern California and his MBA from Pepperdine University.back to top »
Director of Service Excellence, Cleveland Clinic
Carol Santalucia is a seasoned healthcare leader with a passion and commitment to enhancing the patient experience. After 28 years in various service excellence and leadership roles at Cleveland Clinic, Carol began her own healthcare consulting practice, Santalucia Group, LLC. While at the Cleveland Clinic, Carol played a pivotal roles in the formation of Cleveland Clinic’s Service Excellence Department. As director of the department, Carol built a team charged with ensuring consistent service delivery throughout the system via education and training. Carol built strong relationships with leaders across the organization to ensure consistency in service delivery. Also in this role, Carol served as an advisor to Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi on developing their Service Excellence team and adapting the H.E.A.R.T. program to meet the cultural needs of their patients and employees. The design, creation and implementation of Cleveland Clinic’s service recovery model Respond with H.E.A.R.T.® – a model that has become the industry standard for service recovery. Not only does the program provide a framework for frontline staff to address patient concerns and complaints in an empathetic way, it also engages all employees in identifying and fixing problems. This program led to Cleveland Clinic’s Communicate with H.E.A.R.T.® – a comprehensive communication program that addresses both upfront communication and service recovery.
She also shaped Cleveland Clinic’s Patient Advocacy Department and served as a patient advocate for 5 years before being promoted to a leader in this area. As a leader, she helped refocus the advocate’s role from reactive to proactive in an effort to enhance the patient experience. The development of Cleveland Clinic’s patient navigation program. Carol received an MBA in Healthcare Administration from Cleveland State University and a BS in Psychology from Denison University. She is a past-president of the Society for Healthcare Consumer Advocacy’s Board of Directors and the Ohio Society for Healthcare Consumer Advocacy. She is also a Board Member of the American College of Healthcare Executives of Northern Ohio and part of The Beryl Institute's Speakers Bureau.back to top »
Airica Steed, Ed.D, MBA, RN
System Chief Customer Experience Officer, OhioHealth
Dr. Airica Steed, Ed.D, MBA, RN, CSSMBB, FACHE, IASSC – Diversity MBA Magazine awarded Top 100 Executive Leader Under 50 and Modern Healthcare awarded "Up & Comer”, currently serves as the System Chief Customer Experience Officer. In this newly created executive position, she is charged with architecting and designing a world class customer experience across the care continuum and driving continuous improvement efforts across the health system. Prior to her current role, she served as a Vice President for Advocate Healthcare system and as a Senior Management Consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers Healthcare Advisory Practice.
Dr. Steed is an accomplished transformational change leader, scholar and expert spanning multiple market verticals leveraging Lean Six Sigma, Malcolm Baldrige framework, "Big 4 Consulting”, organizational development, service excellence and change leadership. She has published numerous peer reviewed articles and book chapters and has been an active speaker in the industry. She holds a Bachelors degree in Nursing, a Masters of Business Administration, and a Doctorate in Leadership, in addition to numerous credentials and certifications, including a Master Black Belt and International Certification in Lean Six Sigma. Dr. Steed has also served multiple terms on the Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige National Performance Excellence Award.back to top »
Founder and Owner, Sweeney Healthcare Enterprises
After completion of a 3 1/2 year study known as The Patient Empathy Project, Sweeney founded Sweeney Healthcare Enterprises, an organization that spreads the message that 96% of all persons have some fear about hospitals, healthcare and doctors. She is a speaker, facilitator and motivator who shares her research in an effort to change minds and behaviors of caregivers, thus changing outcomes for both patients and organizations.
As a member of the National Speakers Association, Sweeney is on a mission to transform healthcare - one caregiver at a time. Although she holds a degree in nursing, business, a masters certificate in project management, and is a certified facilitator with the Tom Peters Company, she still attributes most of her success to an earlier career in improvisational comedy, which taught her to build enthusiasm, think differently about the work she does and pull audiences into the power of possibility within themselves. Sweeney previously served as the Director of Ambassador and Customer Services at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Ind.back to top »
Alison Tothy MD
Chief Experience and Engagement Officer, University of Chicago Medicine
Dr. Tothy is responsible for leading efforts to optimize patient experience and engagement across the medical system. From high level strategic planning to oversight in development, implementation, and optimization of national best practice standards, patient-centered care strategies, and innovative approaches to patient care, Dr. Tothy strives to improve patient outcomes through improved patient, family, and caregiver engagement.
Dr. Tothy is a Certified Patient Experience Professional and has extensive leadership training including certificates in Lean Healthcare, Team STEPPS, the Chicago Management Insititute at the Booth School of Business, and Patient Experience Leadership from the Beryl Institute.
Prior to her current role, Dr. Tothy served as the Associate Chief Medical Officer for Patient Experience at University of Chicago Medicine, as well as the Medical Director and Section Chief of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at the University of Chicago. Dr. Tothy received her B.A. from Brandeis University and obtained her M.D. from Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She completed a residency in Pedatrics and a fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine through the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Chicago and is a practicing physician in the Pediatric Emergency Room at the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital.back to top »
Audrey S. Weiner, DSW, MPH
President and CEO, Jewish Home Lifecare
Audrey Weiner received her doctorate in Social Welfare Administration from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and her Master’s in Public Health from Yale University. She is immediate past Chair and remains a Board member of LeadingAge nationally, is past chair and member of Board of the Continuing Care Leadership Coalition, the New York area non-profit long term care provider association, and a member of the Board of Greater New York Hospital Association. She previously chaired the LeadingAge Ethics Commission and Talent Cabinet.
She was the founding editor of the Journal of Social Work in Long-Term Care and is the co-editor of three distinct volumes on person-centered care with Judah Ronch, PhD. She is the author of numerous other publications, many addressing talent development in long term care and caregiving.back to top »
Owner, Westbrook Consulting
Paul Westbrook served at the Inova Health System from 2012-2015 as Vice President of Patient Experience. Paul was responsible for the creation, implementation and maintenance of systems that deliver excellent patient experiences—every time, every touch.
Prior to his work at Inova, Paul’s career with The Ritz-Carlton and Marriott International spanned more than 26 years. He served as Senior Vice President of Brand Management, Luxury Segment, for the Marriott International, Inc. where he was responsible for developing and executing the multi-year brand strategy for The Ritz-Carlton. Previously, he was Senior Vice President of Ritz-Carlton’s Product and Brand Management, where he deployed brand strategy across more than 70 hotels globally, in areas including Rooms, Food and Beverage, Culinary, Spa, Retail, and Guest Recognition operations.
Paul received degrees in Hotel Management from Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland, and Paul Smith’s College in upstate New York. He serves on the Boards of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards and the Beryl Institute.
When Paul's not transforming patient experience, he is enjoying outdoor exercise--sailing--traveling anywhere in the world--fixing things (or creating things that need fixing) with his tractor, and giving his two perfect grandkids rides on it.back to top »