Sessions / Faculty

2020 Virtual Annual Conference
On-Demand Starting October 23


The FAHQ Conference Planning Team has again selected topics presented by expert healthcare professionals willing to share their innovative approaches in applying best practice to improve the quality and safety of care provided. Our invited speakers and poster presenters represent a range of healthcare organizations within Florida and nationally.

Session Descriptions and Speaker Qualifications

Sessions listed alphabetically by speaker last name.
Click here for session groupings.

Excellence in Healing: Providing the best nutrition care for patients

Providing the Best Nutrition Care for Patient with Wounds addressing the evidence surrounding how nutrition status can impact wound healing and associated clinical and economic outcomes.  We will review evidenced-based nutrition therapy guidelines and key nutrients needs to aid in the wound healing process that can be consumed through food and key targeted nutrition therapies for wound healing. 

Erin Benya, MS, RD Clinical Liaison – Southeast Region, Abbott Nutrition, Baltimore, MD

Erin is a Registered Dietitian with over 12 years of experience in the field of nutrition. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics from Gannon University and a Master of Science degree in Applied Nutrition with a concentration in Nutrition Education from Northeastern University. Before coming to Abbott, Erin was a clinical nutrition manager within the Johns Hopkins Health System and worked in both academic and community hospital settings. Erin’s clinical focus was working with the critically ill and oncology patient populations elevating the role of nutrition and streamlining the nutrition care process.

Improving Your Outcomes by Managing for Daily Improvement

Managing for daily improvement (MDI) is a tried and true management process that has been in the manufacturing and service business for many decades.  It the past 1-2 decades there has been a slower introduction and acceptance of MDIs in healthcare.  In healthcare we seem to mainly manage based on outcome measures, that are representative of the past (last month, last quarter) and one cannot make immediate changes to change the course of that outcome.  With MDIs you front line leaders can instantaneously see issues within a process or leading measures that can impact an outcome measure or lagging metric.

Michelle Hennessy, BBA, LSSMBB Performance Improvement Project Manager, Baycare Health Systems, Clearwater, FL

Michelle Hennessy, CPHQ, LSSMBB (Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt) is currently a Performance Improvement Project Manager supporting multiple hospitals within BayCare Health System based out of Clearwater, FL. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration diploma from Florida Metropolitan University. She is Certified Professional In Healthcare Quality along with her Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt Certification. Her extensive career path includes over 20 years in Healthcare Quality within the hospital setting and on the insurance side of Healthcare. She has taught and provided mentorship for hundreds of team members on how to incorporate quality into their workflow.

Inspire, Cultivate, Engage: Constructing “Care” in Healthcare

The delivery of healthcare has become more complex, but the makeup of the healthcare team has not changed. We are still human beings taking care of human beings. It is through interactions and the communication amongst individuals, the development of empathy is established and shared. Often, coworkers may not feel fully connected or understand the intention of other team members. An element that can improve the connection of team members and understanding others is by showing empathy and sharing a focus that is often referenced as the mission and vision of an organization. There are three types of empathy, cognitive, emotional and compassionate. Developing and sharing evidence-based knowledge on compassionate care establishes a fundamental approach for the delivery of care in the healthcare environment.

Doreen Herdman,MSN, RN, CPHQ, CPHRM, CPPS, CHC, LSSBB Corporate Compliance Program Manager, Shriners Hospitals for Children Headquarters, Tampa, FL

Doreen Herdman has over ten years’ experience in a clinical role. She obtained a legal nurse consultant certificate and was a nurse advisor in a plaintiff-medical malpractice law firm. Applying her clinical experience to the legal nurse consultant role, she continued to see the types of encounters patients and clinicians face in the healthcare industry. She became a licensed healthcare risk manager and certified as a Healthcare Quality Professional (CPHQ), Risk Manager (CPHRM), Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS) and Healthcare Compliance (CHC). Doreen also obtained a black belt in Lean Six Sigma (LSSBB) and is TeamSTEPPS master trained. Incorporating her clinical experience with the regulatory and healthcare standards, Doreen presently is a Corporate Compliance Manager at Shriners Hospitals for Children headquarters and responsible for implementing tools to establish a Just Culture system-wide.

HUDVASH – Advancing Process Improvement Through Mentorship

The Orlando VA Healthcare System serves over 100,000 Veterans in Central and East Central Florida catchment area.  The Veteran population is of varying socio-economic backgrounds, some of whom are considered vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, the homeless, and those with severe mental and physical ailments.  To ensure care is aligned across the continuum and handoff is unbroken VIERA HCC has established a partnership with their county/community partners to ensure. To address complexities of social determinants of health, the VA’s HCHV Program uses a three-pronged approach to end Veteran homelessness. As with any program, there are inefficiencies and non-value added processes that benefit from a closer look. Through the use of data, the DMAIC Model, and mentorship of the novice Belt, LEAN/Six Sigma methodologies were applied to with the following resulting outcomes: 1) Negative discharges have been reduced by 75% and 2) Staff efficiency has improved by 25%.  Time and money have been saved and wasteful redundancies have been removed, allowing clinicians more time to do what they were educated to do

Homeyra (Mae) Hafizi, MSN, RN, CPHQ, COHN/S, LSSBB
Quality Management Specialist, Orlando VA Health Care System, Orlando, FL

Tony Ingram, LCSW, Supervisor, Social Work Services, VIERA Health Care Clinic, Melbourne, FL

Jacob Mckee, LCSW, Supervisor, Healthcare for Homeless Veterans (HCHV), VIERA Health Care Clinic, Melbourne, FL

Evolving Quality Structure and Governance Models

This session will discuss organizational and regulatory quality structure trends driven by the demands of an aging population with comorbidities and the mandate to lower cost and improve patient access. Coupled with the increasing regulatory scrutiny of quality oversight, organizations are evaluating their structure to improve collaboration across disciplines with limited quality resources. The presenter will share comprehensive strategies and tactics for developing a quality structure and governance model that will help improve an organization’s performance and the delivery of safe, high-quality, patient

Adam Higman, DHA, FACHE Partner, Press Ganey LLC, Strategic Consulting, St Petersburg, FL

Adam brings extensive management and consulting experience to his role as Partner at Press Ganey, having worked with more than 75 healthcare organizations ranging from critical access hospitals to large academic facilities throughout the United States. Adam joined Press Ganey in July 2017, through Soyring Consulting, where he served as an executive vice president. In addition to leading a number of large-scale redesign projects, Adam has conducted assessments and overseen implementations focusing on quality, operational efficiency and growth planning for areas including clinical, diagnostic and support services; care management; and interventional services. Adam holds a Doctor of Health Administration from the Medical University of South Carolina and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE).

I Did Get the Memo – Improving Physician Engagement

Strategically partnering and engaging physicians in initiatives that optimize the quality of patient care in a large multisite healthcare system can be challenging.  By leveraging the use of technology institutions can break down communication barriers to improve physician engagement, therefore streamlining the ability for valuable data to lead to actionable quality improvement initiatives and outcomes based on best practice.

Kathleen Johnson, MSN, RN, NE-BC, CRN, Quality & Analytics
Baptist Health System Jacksonville, Florida

Kathleen Johnson works in the Department of Clinical Quality Analytics for the Baptist Health System in Jacksonville, Florida. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from East Carolina University in 1997 and went on to obtain a Master’s of Science in Executive Nursing Administration in 2012 from the University of Alabama. Her experience includes a combination of front line nursing, management, consulting, and performance improvement. Over the past 22 years she has worked in a variety of healthcare settings and has published in several peer reviewed journals on topics that include the use of Lean Six Sigma principles to promote high reliability in healthcare, and making an impact with the use of transformational leadership and shared governance. She is professionally focused on collaborating with multidisciplinary teams to streamline processes, improve patient and employee satisfaction, and increase the efficiency, effectiveness, revenue, and workflow in daily operations of healthcare systems.

Susan Tyler, RN, RNC, Clinical Resource Coordinator
Baptist Health System Jacksonville, Florida

Susan Tyler works as a Clinical Resource Coordinator for the Baptist Health System in Jacksonville, Florida. She obtained her nursing degree from Florida Junior College of Jacksonville, and has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of North Florida.She is a clinical expert in Women’s System Services and has been a valued member of the Baptist quality team for the past 6 years. In her current role she develops evidence based competencies, analyzes quality metrics to streamline and standardize bedside nursing practice, provides educational team support, and partners with the quality analytics team to provide direction, coordination, development, and support for quality improvement programs system wide.

Collaborating to Improve Quality, Patient Safety and Sustainability

This session will begin with an overview of the role the Florida Hospital Association (FHA) has taken in supporting its member hospitals and the history of FHA quality efforts that have proven to be effective in driving results for more than 10 years.  Aggregate outcomes data from our most recent initiatives (HIIN, STRIVE, AHRQ ICU Safety) will be shared showing successes and ongoing opportunities for improvement across multiple harm topics.  Additionally, the audience will learn about many cross-cutting strategies that streamline the adoption of best practices, promote collaboration among multi-disciplinary teams and engage patients and families to partner in their care.  The session will conclude with a summary of the FHA focus on the future by sharing the highlights of our strategic plan on quality improvement.

Cheryl Love, RN, BS-HCA, MBA, CPHRM Director of Quality and Patient Safety, Florida Hospital Association, FL

Kim Streit, MBA, MHA, Senior Vice President, Florida Hospital Association, Orlando, FL

Cheryl is the Director of Quality and Patient Safety for the Florida Hospital Association (FHA) where her role is to serve and support quality and patient safety initiatives for member hospitals throughout the state. She has been a registered nurse for 35 years with clinical experience in hospital emergency departments. She has more than 20 years of hospital leadership experience in nursing, quality, patient safety, infection prevention, and occupational health and has successfully lead organizations in their quality and patient safety efforts. Her previous specialty certifications include Emergency Nursing (CEN), Infection Control (CIC), and Occupational Health (COHN-S). Currently she is a nationally Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management (CPHRM). Cheryl earned her BSN from Chamberlain College of Nursing, DeVry University, Chicago, Illinois, a BS degree in Healthcare Administration and MBA from St. Leo University in Florida.

Improving Patient Outcomes Using Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing

This session will describe the use of Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing which can be performed at the Patient’s bedside to assess dysphagia. The presenter will share how to establish a FEES program in the hospital setting. Improvements in Patient outcomes, collaboration opportunities with hospital staff and reduction of resources will be discussed. Real examples with proven results and outcome data will be provided during this presentation.

Stephanie Dodson Mataya, MS, CCC-SLP Speech Language Pathologist, FEES Coordinator, BayCare Health System, Clearwater, FL

Stephanie has over 32 years of clinical experience as an SLP, and specializes in dysphagia with all age groups. Stephanie received her BS in Speech and Hearing Science from the University of Illinois and her MS in Speech Pathology from Illinois State University. She is currently the coordinator of the Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) Program for BayCare Health System. Stephanie has successfully established FEES programs in outpatient and inpatient settings. In addition to her clinical work she is a FEES educator who teaches courses to SLPs in the US and Canada.

Introducing High Reliability: Creating a Just Culture

This session will present the Nemours Children’s Hospital journey toward high reliability.  Attendees will learn why we began this critical journey, what the impact of this change can be for a healthcare organization, how this effort must be linked to a Just Culture, what the changes have meant in practice, and will gain some practice in the application of these processes in considerations of accountability.

Mark W. Milner, MBA, MHS, BSN, RN, ACM, CPHQ, LTCA, CENP, FACHE Director, Safety, Quality, and Operational Optimization, Nemours Children’s Hospital, Orlando, FL

Mark has been a practicing nurse and healthcare leader for more than 30 years, and has an extensive background in quality and safety. He is currently the Director of Quality, Safety, and Operational Optimization at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando. Previously, Mark served as the Chief Nursing Officer at Ephraim McDowell Health in Danville, KY. He was also the Quality executive at Ephraim McDowell Health, Health First (Melbourne, FL), and Ochsner Health System (New Orleans, LA). Prior to those positions, Mark was a Director with The Joint Commission and an owner of CareTeam of Winter Park, a pediatric home health care agency. Mark is board certified in quality, case management, and executive nursing. He is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and a Solutions for Patient Safety Regional Champion in Florida. He is also a mentor in the American College of Healthcare Executives. Previously, he was the Treasurer for the Kentucky Association for Healthcare Quality. He has also been a Baldrige criteria examiner for both the Florida Sterling Council and for the Kentucky Center for Performance Excellence. He received his masters’ degrees in business and healthcare administration from the University of Florida, and his undergraduate degrees in education and fine arts from Indiana State University, and his nursing degree from Aspen University. In addition to his work in healthcare, Mark is currently illustrating a children’s book.

Mixed Methods Inquiry for Performance Improvement

This session will explore the utilization of mixed method inquiry in developing and prioritizing behavior specific performance improvement initiatives. The presenter will discuss quantitative and data analysis to prioritize performance improvement strategies and the use of qualitative data collection to gain a deeper understanding of the patient perspective; and, to develop behavior specific action plans for performance improvement. She will utilize real examples with proven results.

Rebecca Olsen, Ph.D., CPHQ, MCHES Associate Professor of Public Health, University of Tampa, Tampa, FL

Dr. Olsen is an Associate Professor of Public Health at the University of Tampa. She currently serves on the board of the Florida Association of Healthcare Quality, Medical Care Councilor for the American Public Health Association and Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute Ambassador for Florida and Research Consultant for BayCare Healthcare System. Her scholarly work has primarily focused on healthcare delivery, utilization, cost-effectiveness, performance improvement and organizational change.

Evidenced Informed Quality Improvement to Implement Routine Screening for Delirium: Impacting Outcomes in the Hospitalized Oncology Patient

This presentation will describe this evidence-informed Quality Improvement project to implement routine screening for delirium in the hospitalized oncology patient. In addition to evaluation of the process measure of delirium screening, patient outcomes impacted include length of stay and falls with injuries.

Cassandra Vonnes, DNP, GNP-BC, APRN, AOCNP, CPHQ, FAHA Geriatric Oncology NICHE Coordinator, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL

Dr. Vonnes attended the University of South Florida for her BS, MS and DNP. Her 25-year NP experiences include acute care and outpatient nephrology and cardiovascular medicine. She was inducted as a Fellow of the American Heart Association for her contributions in cardiovascular medicine. Dr. Vonnes has taught clinical and didactic at the USF College of Nursing for undergraduate and Nurse Practitioner students. Her recent venture into oncology provides an opportunity to use her geriatric expertise as the Nurses Improving the Care of Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) coordinator at Moffitt Cancer Center achieving Exemplar Status. Under Dr. Vonnes leadership Moffitt Cancer Center was the first hospital in Florida to be recognized by the IHI and John A. Hartford Foundation as Committed to Care Excellence for the Older Adult. She has presented both nationally and internationally on Fall and Injury prevention, delirium and geriatric assessment.

Storytelling to Embrace HRO

Storytelling of patient safety events is a best practice to engage front line staff in embodying the culture of patient safety with memorable practices. This session will illustrate the value of storytelling, based on the science and provide a structured approach to integrating patient safety stories into practice with learnings.

Susan V. White, RN, PhD, CPHQ, FNAHQ, NEA-BC Chief, Quality Management, Orlando VA Health Care System, Orlando, FL

Glorybel Rodriguez, MSN, RN, Patient Safety Specialist, Orlando VA Health Care System, Orlando, FL

Dr. White’s areas include quality management, patient safety, risk management, survey readiness, infection control, utilization management, controlled substance inspections, and credentialing and privileging. She has an extensive career in administration, management, and clinical roles. She is a member of NAHQ, ANA, AONE, and Sigma Theta Tau. She is a reviewer for the Journal for Health care Quality. She is an NAHQ Fellow; recipient of the FAHQ Quality Award, the NAHQ Claire Glover Quality Award, and FAHQ Author Award. She was co-editor of Patient Safety. Principles and Practices by Springer (2004) and completed the performance improvement section in HQ Solutions (2017).

Poster Topics and Presenters

Sessions listed alphabetically by presenter last name.  Click here for daily schedule and poster viewing times.

Decreasing HAI’s throughout the hospital over a 2-year period

Anais Ballate Larkin Community Hospital, Miami, FL

Increasing Community Engagement Through Health Education Program in a Small Rural County of Florida

Palak Gupta Health Education Consultant, Sumter County Health Department, Bushnell, FL

Decreasing the Nulliparous Singleton Term Vertex (NSTV) Primary Cesarean Section Rate with Preoperative Checklist

Carson Rodeffer, MD Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies, Orlando, FL

Implementation of a Structured Continuous Readiness Program at an Academic Center to Improve Standards Compliance

Patricia Woods, MSN, RN, CPHQ, CJCP Accreditation and Survey Specialist, UF Health Jacksonville, Jacksonville, FL

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