Aaron Fausz, PHD
Aaron leads the Payer solutions team, where he works with clients to find and fill the gaps in their organization and their teams, and get patients and employees more engaged. He helps clients to use what they’re naturally good at to get the best out of people around them, and change things for the better. Aaron has more than 30 years’ experience helping all sorts of healthcare organizations to change, grow, and get better at what they do.
He’s written two books: Leading Healthcare Improvement: A Personal & Organization Journey and Healthcare Is Killing Us: The Power of Disruptive Innovation to Create a System that Cares More and Costs Less.
Adam Higman, DHA
Adam oversees the Payer solutions team. He has more than 15 years’ experience partnering with health plans and systems across the country to make the consumer experience better, improve outcomes, and get their operations running more smoothly.
Before joining our Strategic Consulting team, Adam was a vice president of Soyring Consulting. He moved over when Soyring became part of Press Ganey.
Alan Bennett, MBA, CPPS, LSSBB
Alan leads the Safety and Reliability solutions team. He specializes in investigating events and cause analysis. Meaning that when things go wrong, he helps healthcare organizations get to the bottom of what happened, and change things for the better. He’ll help make processes better, and put workplace safety practices in place.
Before coming to us, Alan spent eight years as the Riverside Health System Director for Patient and Workforce Safety in Newport News, Virginia.
Bonnie Thompson, MSN, MBA, PMP
Bonnie leads the Payer solutions team, working with health systems and payer organizations to put patients at the center of care. Plus, she puts together data-driven strategies to help clients build best practice into the initiative they’re already running.
Before coming our way, Bonnie was Director of Health System Improvements at Greater Oregon Behavioral Health. She was in charge of the services that guarantee a great experience for members (including quality, accreditation, credentialing, and more).
Brad Pollins, MS, SPHR
Brad leads the Experience solutions team, helping hospitals and healthcare systems become reliable, patient-centered places. Brad has more than 20 years’ experience in healthcare. He’s led programs that transform culture, make organizations run more smoothly, and achieve better strategic outcomes.
Before joining our team, Brad was the Executive Director at the Center for Transformation and Innovation, where he was in charge of strategic planning, physician leadership development, and executive coaching initiatives.
Brinn Leach-Wilson, MAOM
Brinn leads the Payer solutions team, designing custom solutions to solve payer problems. Brinn has more than 20 years’ experience in health plan admin and healthcare IT. She’s known for handling large-scale business transformations that cut costs and clear the way for growth.
Before she joined us, Brinn was the Director of Configuration and Consulting at a healthcare IT organization.
Charles Demanche, MBA
Charles leads the Clinical Improvement solutions team. He helps make initiatives of all sorts work better—from setting strategy, to putting productivity benchmarks in place, to expanding hospitals. With more than 25 years’ healthcare experience, he’s an expert at turning mountains of complex information into clear recommendations.
Before coming to us, Charles had been Director of Imaging Services, Administrative Director of Support Services, Clinical Engineering Manager, and Supervisor of Biomedical Services at different healthcare organizations.
Charles Hagood, DSc
President, Strategic Consulting
Charles is the President of Strategic Consulting. Which means he’s in charge of the safety and reliability, patient experience, workforce engagement, clinical improvement, operational and process improvement, payer improvement, and strategic outreach arms of our consulting work.
Before joining us, Charles was the founder and CEO of Healthcare Performance Partners (HPP), now a Vizient company. He is the author of Lean-Led Hospital Design: Creating the Efficient Hospital of the Future.
Cindy Reistroffer, DSc, MBA, RN
Cindy leads the Payer solutions team, helping health systems and payer organizations put patients at the center of care, and change things for the better.
Before joining us, Cindy spent a decade helping integrated healthcare systems move from volume-based business models to value-based care models. Cindy facilitated teams in organizational risk readiness and participation in accountable care organizations, advanced payment models (APM) and Medicare Advantage (MA) contracts based on Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and private payer contracts.
Dave Varnes, CDR, USN RET, MSAE
Dave leads the Safety and Reliability team, helping clients put best practices in place to build reliability and cut the risk of serious safety events.
Before he joined our team, Dave was part of the U.S. Navy, helping build performance and make things safer in high-pressure environments. In his more than two decades in leadership roles, he’s been Naval Training and Operations Procedures Standardization Officer, Standardization Officer, Operations Officer, Search and Rescue Officer, and Quality Assurance and Safety Officer.
David L. Larsen, RN, MHA
Senior Advisor Payer Solutions
David L. Larsen currently works as Senior Advisor Payer Solutions at Press Ganey and prior to that he worked as an independent healthcare consultant working with predictive analytics, member engagement, and pharma vendors to improve their offerings and sales approach to managed care plans and working with managed care plans to improve their Medicare Advantage Star Ratings focusing on improvements related to CAHPS, HOS, HEDIS, medication adherence, and member experience measures.
David served as the Director of Quality Improvement for SelectHealth in Salt Lake City, Utah for 32 years and worked for Intermountain Healthcare for 38 years. SelectHealth is a mixed model HMO with more than 950,000 members in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada across all insurance product lines including, Medicare Advantage, manage Medicaid, large, small, and individual commercial plans, and ACA plans. Intermountain Healthcare is an integrated health care delivery system with 23 hospitals and over 1,500 employed physicians.
As the Director of Quality Improvement, David had responsibilities for oversight of the Medicare Advantage Stars program for which SelectHealth received a 5 Star rating in 2022, maintaining NCQA accreditation; HEDIS performance measurement and improvement; CAHPS and HOS measurement and improvement, public reporting (transparency), and population health.
David has also been responsible for the oversight and development of chronic disease registries, performance measurement and web based reporting systems, quality improvement pay for performance incentives for providers, provider transparency programs, and direct patient improvement interventions related to chronic illnesses including patient adherence monitoring, reminders, and incentive programs.
Debbie Hunter, MBA
Debbie leads the Safety and Reliability solutions team. Her work involves helping clients work more safely and reliably, guiding organizational development success, and putting together the right team for any task. Debbie has over two decades of experience helping clients build stronger patient relationships, deliver better care, get processes running more smoothly, and hit new heights in performance.
Before joining us, Debbie was Assistant Vice President of Performance Improvement at Wake Forest Baptist Health, where she planned and ran the medical center’s performance excellence and quality improvement strategies.
Donna leads the Safety and Reliability solutions team. She uses a range of methods to help healthcare organizations be safer and more reliable: peer review models, just culture (finding and fixing the root cultural causes of issues), and templates for care from across different disciplines.
Donna built up 30 years of healthcare experience before joining our team. She had leadership roles that included Vice President of Operations and Chief Nurse Executive at a number of state and national organizations.
Dragana Gough, MSCP
Dragana leads the Clinical Improvement solutions team, working with clients to better manage staff and budgets, forecast how care needs to be delivered, and build interactive workflow maps to make processes run more smoothly. She’s well-versed in the Design for Six Signa (DFSS) methodology and the Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, and Verify (DMADV) framework, and puts them to work on a range of challenges and projects.
Before coming to us, Dragana spent more than 15 years in IT. She’s certified in CISSP, ClearCase Training, and SNMP Research Training.
Edward Romero, MSN
Edward leads the Clinical Improvement solutions team. Wherever things could work better in a healthcare organization, Edward has the know-how to make it happen. His expertise includes budgeting, setting up standard operating procedures, and making workflows and operations run smoothly. He understands how the staff and space an organization needs relates to the design of the facilities they use, and is well-versed in models of patient care delivery.
Before he joined us, Edward spent 20 years as a manager and leader. He’s been Nurse Manager, Administrative House Nurse Supervisor, Hospital Administrator On-call, and Staff Nurse Level II and III NICU.
Gary Yates, MD
Gary is a leader within Press Ganey’s Strategic Consulting arm, working with clients to raise the bar for quality, safety, and reliability. He does that by helping them put robust patient safety protocols in place, build safety into their culture, and borrow proven reliability strategies from other industries.
With more than 35 years’ experience in healthcare, Gary has been President of the Sentara Quality Care Network and Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Ofﬁcer for Sentara Healthcare.
Greg Prentiss, CAPT, USN RET, MS
Greg leads the Safety and Reliability solutions team. He’s an expert on making things safer for clients by cutting human error. With more than 25 years’ experience as a leader, Greg lectures and runs training programs and seminars on preventing human error, finding the root cause of events, and improving performance.
Before joining us, Greg was a U.S. Navy pilot. He flew combat missions over Iraq, and racked up more than 2,800 flight hours and 780 carrier-arrested landings in the cockpit of F/A-18 jets.
As well as heading up the operations of our Strategic Consulting business, Jennifer helps smaller hospitals and non-acute care providers deliver better, safer care, with patients at its heart. With more than 25 years in the healthcare industry, Jennifer is known for coming up with creative ways to help clients perform better and outstrip competition.
Before Press Ganey, Jennifer was a consulting leader with KPMG, Tiber Group (now Guidehouse), and Truven (now IBM Watson). She helped organizations to strategize, pull off mergers and acquisitions, and operate better.
Joan Kelly, EDD, MSEd, MBA
As a Partner in Strategic Consulting at Press Ganey, Joan brings more than 15 years of expertise in consumer experience for the health and wellness space. Joan is known for driving innovation and engagement across large, multi-faceted organizations, and bringing valuable consumer experience ideas to fruition through the alignment of ideas, people, and processes. Joan’s passion is to transform the healthcare experience for both staff and patients.
Before joining Press Ganey, Joan was chief experience officer at Yale New Haven Health System. She has also advanced innovation across various multinational organizations and institutions, including NASA and the Walt Disney Company. She has served as a keynote and panel speaker on patient engagement and experience topics for organizations and conferences worldwide.
John Rodriguez, CAPT, USN RET, MA
John leads the Safety and Reliability solutions team. His experience in high-performance, high reliability organizations means he’s perfectly placed to help clients work more safely and operate more smoothly. His approach to job planning, briefing, and debriefing is supported by sound leadership practices.
Before joining us, John was a safety leader in the U.S. Navy. His titles included Squadron Nuclear Safety Officer, Squadron Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization Officer, and Squadron Safety Officer. Plus, he was on the Aircraft Mishap Investigation and Field Naval Aviator Evaluation boards.
Kathy Barry, DNP, MHA, RN, NEA-BC
Kathy directs and leads the Clinical Improvement solutions team in Strategic Consulting, partnering with clients to strengthen the nursing workforce environment, transcend nursing excellence and develop nurse managers. Kathy has an extensive background in nursing practice and operations.
Prior to joining Press Ganey, Kathy most recently served as the Deputy Executive Director of the Office of Nursing Services at the VA-the largest health system in the country.
Kelly leads the Safety and Reliability solutions team. Her work is about helping clients design complex, large-scale culture projects, and get them up and running. The goal? Help organizations transform, raise standards, and put patients at the center of care.
Before coming to us, Kelly was Clinical Director of the Ambulatory Surgery and Pre-Surgical Testing Evaluation departments at Baptist Hospital. Every year she was there, she brought more patients through the door by making things run smoothly, boosting patient experience, and ensuring engagement.
Kerry Butler, PHARMD, MBA
“Kerry leads the Safety and Reliability solutions team in Strategic Consulting, partnering with clients to improve safety and reliability practices by implementing, deploying, and integrating high reliability organizing principles in systems, hospitals, and clinics throughout the country.
Prior to joining Press Ganey, Kerry held the position of Quality and Medication Safety Officer at Saint Thomas Health Services, a five-hospital health ministry that is part of Ascension Health.”
Lucas Higman, DSC
Lucas heads up the Clinical Improvement solutions team. He partners with clients to deliver analysis, implementation, and interim management engagement. The result? Better emergency departments, better surgeries, and better sterile processing. He brings deep clinical optimization knowledge and expertise from his work with more than 100 U.S. healthcare facilities—from huge academic centers to small rural hospitals.
Before becoming part of our Strategic Consulting team, Lucas was a Vice President of Soyring Consulting, now part of Press Ganey.
Marty is in charge of the Experience solutions team. He uses his knowledge of safety culture, employee and physician engagement, and diversity, equity, and inclusion to help clients give patients and caregivers a better experience.
Before joining us, Marty was Vice President of Engagement Services at Avatar Solutions.
Mary Jo Assi, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN
Associate Chief Nursing Officer and Partner, Strategic Consulting
As Press Ganey’s Associate Chief Nursing Officer and Partner, Strategic Consulting, Mary Jo is responsible for leading strategies to achieve nursing and caregiver excellence by delivering compassionate connected care, strengthening caregiver resilience and engagement, and improving the health care practice and work environment, within a framework of high reliability and safety. During her more than 35 years of nursing experience, she has worked as a clinician, nurse educator, advanced practice registered nurse and nurse executive. More recently, Mary Jo held the position of Director of Professional Practice and Magnet Program Director for ten years in both community hospital and academic medical center settings, and during that period was appointed to the Commission on Magnet Recognition-a position she held for six years. As the Vice President for Nursing Practice and Innovation at the American Nurses Association, she led several groundbreaking nursing initiatives at the national level, including the creation and launch of the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation Grand Challenge, a social movement aimed at improving the health of the nation’s 4.0 million nurses, and the development of position statements and white papers focused on critical issues for nursing including workplace violence, incivility and bullying, nurse fatigue, and optimal staffing for safe patient care. Mary Jo was appointed as a fellow to the American Academy of Nursing in 2016.
Rob Douglass, CDR, USN RET, MS, SRO Certified
Rob leads the Safety and Reliability solutions team. He takes methods proven to work in high-risk industries, and uses them to help people to perform better in complex health systems. He’s been putting safety and reliability practices in place for more than 20 years.
Before becoming part of our team, Rob was at FirstEnergy, where his roles included Director for Safety and Human Performance, Electrical Generation. Before that, he spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy Nuclear Submarine Force.
Shannon Vincent, MA
Shannon leads the Safety and Reliability solutions team. She’s an expert at helping clients set up and send out surveys, and using statistical analyses to make sense of the results. Her approach ensures all stakeholders are fully engaged with an organization’s mission.
Before joining us, Shannon advised organizations as varied as gaming, financial services, energy, and retail on talent, coaching, and leadership strategies.
Shelly Turner, DNP, MBA, BS, CPHQ
Shelly leads the Clinical Improvement solutions team, and works to make clients better at what they do. That means bringing patient experience scores up, and rethinking case management so that patients and physicians are partners is planning treatment. It means cutting how long people stay and how often they’re readmitted to inpatient and emergency departments. And it means steering clients through accreditation surveys, helping them rethink how they staff their hospitals, and turning their finance and efficiency metrics around.
Before she joined us, Shelly was an administrative leader and held exec-level positions like Chief Nursing Officer.
Steven Kreiser, CDR, USN RET, MBA
Steve heads up the Safety and Reliability solutions team, and has expertise across a spectrum of safety issues. He helps clients build safety into their culture, protect patients, and make leaders accountable for safety in their organization. He helps clients run peer reviews, and get to the bottom of why things go wrong when they do. He’s also worked with many academic medical institutions to improve cultural indicators and commitment to patient safety.
Before joining us, Steve was a naval officer and F/A-18 pilot, working to make naval aviation safer and more reliable. He retired as a commander with 21 years of leadership and management experience.
Susan Teman, RN, CPPS
Susan leads the Safety and Reliability solutions team in Strategic Consulting, partnering with clients to improve in safety, process improvement and in-situ simulation initiatives. Susan is a registered nurse with more than 30 years of health care experience in women’s and pediatric nursing and as a leader responsible for clinical excellence, process improvement, patient relations, regulatory compliance, risk management, clinical education, and infection control.
Prior to joining Press Ganey, Susan worked to build a Simulation and Human Factors program, developing ongoing multidisciplinary simulations for each area of a health care organization. She also worked more than 10 years in critical care and management.