S​ummit Speaking F​aculty



James Merlino, MD, Chief Transformation Officer, Press Ganey

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Dr. James Merlino joined Press Ganey as president and chief medical officer of the strategic consulting division in 2015. As an accomplished surgeon and industry leader in improving the patient experience, Jim draws from more than two decades of health care experience to oversee Press Ganey’s consultancy division. Under his leadership, the consulting team helps providers improve the delivery of safe, high-quality care in a patient-centered environment.

Prior to joining Press Ganey, Jim served as chief experience officer and associate chief of staff at the Cleveland Clinic health system, as well as a practicing staff colorectal surgeon at the organization’s Digestive Disease Institute. At Cleveland Clinic, Jim was responsible for leading strategic programs to improve the patient experience across the system. He spearheaded numerous groundbreaking initiatives to ensure the highest standards for patient care, and improve patient access and referring physician relations. He championed organizational cultural alignment around the patient as a key component of patient-centered care.



Kevin Tabb, MD, Chief Executive Officer, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Beth Israel Deaconess System

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Kevin Tabb, MD, is Chief Executive Officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.  

Under Dr. Tabb’s leadership, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and its network of community hospitals and physicians are delivering extraordinary care, fostering innovation, educating the next generation of clinicians, and cultivating groundbreaking discoveries in a rapidly evolving health care landscape.  

Before coming to BIDMC, Dr. Tabb was Chief Medical Officer at Stanford University Medical Center. He had broad strategic and operational responsibilities, which included physician network strategy, clinical quality and patient safety initiatives, regulatory and medical staff affairs, and graduate and continuing medical education. He was previously Chief Quality and Medical Information Officer at Stanford. Prior to joining Stanford, was President of the Clinical Data Services Division of GE Healthcare IT. 

Raised in Berkeley, CA, Dr. Tabb emigrated to Israel at the age of 18 and served in the Israel Defense Forces, the country’s military service. He received his undergraduate degree from Hebrew University in Jerusalem and his M.D. from Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Hadassah Hospital.

ToniAngela McClure, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Chief Experience Officer, Fresenius Medical Care North America

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Angela McClure is the chief experience officer for Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), the world’s largest fully vertically integrated renal company providing dialysis services and products to more than 190,000 patients managing end stage renal disease. Reporting to the FMCNA CEO, she and her team lead the strategy and programs to support the overall experience for patients and their families, colleagues, physicians, partners and other customers. This important work leads to stronger engagement, the delivery of superior quality within a culture of compassionate care, and higher performance.  McClure previously served as senior vice president of human resources for FMCNA. Prior to joining Fresenius Medical Care in 2014, she was the head of HR for Physiotherapy Associates, a Select Medical Company, and prior to that served in various HR management roles with Gentiva Health Services, now Kindred Healthcare. McClure graduated cum laude from the University of North Texas with a BS concentrating in management, human resources and organizational behavior.


LeeThomas H. Lee, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Press Ganey

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Dr. Thomas H. Lee joined Press Ganey as Chief Medical Officer in 2013, bringing more than three decades of experience in health care performance improvement as a practicing physician, a leader in provider organizations, researcher and health policy expert. As CMO, Tom is responsible for developing clinical and operational strategies to help providers across the nation measure and improve the patient experience, with an overarching goal of reducing the suffering of patients as they undergo care, and improving the value of that care. 

In addition to his role with Press Ganey, Tom continues to practice primary care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Tom received a BA from Harvard College and earned his MD/MSc from Cornell University-Medical College and Harvard.

stramburgPaul Sternberg Jr., MD, Chief Patient Experience Officer, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

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Dr. Sternberg is the Chief Patient Experience Officer for Vanderbilt University Medical Center as well as G. W. Hale Professor and Chairman of the Vanderbilt Eye Institute in Nashville, Tennessee. He is a renowned retinal specialist, and has been named one of the Best Doctors in America for both medical and surgical retinal conditions every year since 1994. Dr. Sternberg maintains an active academic and research program, studying the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration. He has authored more than 230 scientific articles and 30 book chapters, and received research funding from the NIH, numerous foundations, and industry.

Honors include the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Heed Ophthalmic Foundation Award, the Lew Wasserman Award of Merit from Research to Prevent Blindness and the Sommer Prize from the EyeCare Foundation. Dr. Sternberg has served on the boards of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, where he was vice president, and currently serves on the board of the International Retinal Research Foundation. In 2009, he took on additional leadership responsibilities at Vanderbilt as Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, Chief Medical Officer and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Adult Health Affairs. Additionally, Dr. Sternberg is currently the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art in Nashville, Tennessee.

dudleyJessica C. Dudley, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Brigham and Women’s Physicians Organization, Vice President of Care Redesign, Brigham Health

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​As chief medical officer for the Brigham and Women’s Physician’s Organization (BWPO), Dudley is responsible for the strategic development and oversight of physician led efforts to improve the quality and efficiency of clinical care. Dudley oversees the BWPO’s performance in risk contracts across commercial payers and as a Pioneer Accountable Care Organization with Medicare.

 As vice president for care redesign for Brigham Health, Dudley is responsible for coordinating institutional and physician led efforts to develop population health management and care redesign programs that support the delivery of high value patient care with a focus on reducing overall medical trend and improving quality performance. Dudley has been active in the development of education and training programs to support the development of physician leaders including a leadership program with Harvard Business School. Dudley developed a physician incubator program to increase front line physician engagement in identifying opportunities to redesign care to deliver improved outcomes and quality and reduce overall healthcare costs.

Previously, Dudley served as a medical director within the Partners HealthCare System addressing trend and quality performance across its Academic and Community hospital network.  Dudley also served as medical director for Partners Human Resources supporting the development and management of the pharmacy benefit for Partners employees and their dependents including contracting and on-going formulary management.

Dr. Dudley received her undergraduate degree from Yale University and medical degree from Harvard Medical School.  She completed her internship and residency in Primary Care Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, where she was a practicing primary care physician for 10 years. Dudley is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Toni​​Brian Carlson, Senior Director of Patient Experience, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

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Brian Carlson currently serves as the Senior Director of Patient Experience for Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Mr. Carlson joined Vanderbilt in 2007 as the Administrator for the Vanderbilt Eye Institute. Prior to joining Vanderbilt, he was the CEO/COO of a multispecialty physician group practice in Western New York. Mr. Carlson began his professional career at Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation in Chicago.

In his current role, Mr. Carlson oversees and directs the strategic and operational components of the organizations Patient Experience program and VUMC’s Service pillar.


ToniKelly Parent, BS, Vice President for the Patient and Family Experience, Beaumont Health System

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Kelly Parent has more than a decade of experience leading patient and family engagement efforts across clinical, education, research, and quality and safety venues. In 2006, Kelly began volunteering as a Family Advisor at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Michigan and was then hired as the first PFCC Program Manager at Michigan Medicine. Kelly also served as family faculty and consultant for IPFCC and was hired as Program Specialist for Patient and Family Partnerships in 2015. Currently as the Vice President for the Patient and Family Experience at Beaumont Health System, Kelly is leading efforts to create high quality, safe, and satisfying experiences for patients and families across the health care continuum.


PylesKim Pyles, FACHE, System Vice President, Patient Experience & Service Excellence, Ochsner Health System

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Kim serves as System Vice President of Patient Experience & Service Excellence for Ochsner Health System (OHS), with system responsibility for healthcare consumer experience and service excellence strategy for the Louisiana region’s largest health system.  Prior to joining Ochsner, Kim was an Account Leader and Leadership Coach for The Studer Group, Huron Consulting. Kim also served as Vice President of Operations for St Dominic Health System, Associate Vice President Ambulatory Services, Associate Vice President of Patient Services and other multiple, advancing leadership roles within Lakeland Regional Health.

Kim is known for leading extensive cultural transformation to consistently achieve results tied to strategic imperatives that improved clinical outcomes, patient/ consumer and physician experience and engagement, staff engagement, productivity, strong financial performance, and growth.  Those that she is most proud of have been the direct result of intentional, complex cultural transformation efforts that required the collaborative execution of cross-functional teams.

mylodDeirdre Mylod, PhD, Executive Director, Institute for Innovation; SVP Research & Analytics, Press Ganey

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Deirdre Mylod, PhD, joined Press Ganey in 1997 and currently serves as the executive director of the organization’s Institute for Innovation and senior vice president of Research & Analytics. In this joint role, she is responsible for advancing the understanding of the entire patient experience, including patient satisfaction, clinical process and outcomes. Through the Institute, Mylod partners with leading health care providers to study and implement transformative concepts for improving the patient experience.

As a prominent thought leader within Press Ganey and the industry, regularly lectures on such topics as public policy, legislation and the future of the patient experience. She is the architect of Press Ganey’s Suffering Framework, which reframes the view of the patient experience as a means to understand unmet patient needs and reduce patient suffering. She has extensive expertise in survey development, methodology and statistics. Mylod holds a master’s degree and a PhD in psychology from the University of Notre Dame.

pageSven Gierlinger, Chief Experience Officer, Northwell Health

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As a previous luxury Hotel Executive, Mr. Gierlinger brings a unique perspective to the patient experience dialogue. However, it was his personal patient experience spending three months in hospitals that motivates him to challenge the status quo in healthcare. Now as Chief Experience Officer for Northwell Health, one of the largest Integrated Delivery Networks in the country, Mr. Gierlinger is driving culture transformation grounded in patient centeredness and empathy.

Mr. Gierlinger came to Northwell Health from the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit where he served as Vice President, Hospitality and Service Culture, responsible for creating a superior and consistent service experience for patients, visitors and employees. Mr. Gierlinger worked closely with leadership to drive culture change around improving the customer experience in every encounter across the system. Prior to that, he was an Administrator, Hospitality Services, for Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, responsible for all aspects of non-clinical operations, the Wellness & Integrative Health Center, retail shops and café, and the customer experience. Additionally, he was an integral part of the team, leading the efforts to achieve the acclaimed Malcom Baldridge National Quality Award.

Mr. Gierlinger began his career in the luxury hotel business, holding a series of leadership positions with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. He played a key role in the openings of several Ritz-Carlton hotels in Germany, Japan, Indonesia and the U.S., responsible for executing and implementing Ritz-Carlton service standards, training staff, and leading teams of trainers.

Mr. Gierlinger is an Executive Board member at The Beryl Institute and the Founding Council member of the Institute of Innovation. 

He received a bachelor’s degree in hospitality business administration from the Bavaria Hotel Management Academy, Altoetting, Germany.

danielsChrissy Daniels, MS, Partner, Strategic Consulting, Press Ganey

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Chrissy Daniels is a national thought leader in patient experience and health care value. She joined Press Ganey in August, 2017 and brings to her role of consulting partner more than 20 years of expertise in advancing the patient experience and building an engaging and collaborative culture. She is also widely recognized for her pioneering work in the areas of consumerism and physician performance data transparency. 

Prior to joining Press Ganey, Chrissy was Director of Strategic Initiatives at University of Utah Health Care, responsible for teaching and coaching physicians, leaders and staff on the importance of patient experience as a measure of quality. In this role, she was also responsible for designing the University of Utah Health Care’s online physician review process, making the system the first in the country to electronically survey its patients and post the results publicly online. In addition, Chrissy worked closely with hospital, physician and executive leadership to drive culture change around improving patient experience and value in every encounter across the system. This work resulted in system-wide initiatives targeting leadership and team development, communication, and motivation which evolved into a model for cultural transformation.

Toni​​Toni Land, MBA, BSN, CPXP, Director of Patient Experience, Greenville Health System

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Toni is currently the director of Patient Experience for Greenville Health System.  She is responsible for the strategic design and organizational implementation of a patient-centric plan that delivers the desired patient and family experience.

She is a nurse by trade with a Master’s in Business administration from North Greenville University and Patient Experience certification through the Beryl Institute. Toni has more than 30 years’ experience in healthcare. These experiences have ranged from inpatient pediatrics & adult care to leadership in homecare, nurse educator, nurse manager and manager of an outpatient pediatric hematology & oncology clinic. These experiences have provided a multi-lens view of the many touchpoints in healthcare. This lens along with a passion to engage families in their care, in an effort to obtain better outcomes, took her officially into the wonderful world of patient experience. 


cabral Joseph Cabral, Chief Human Resource Officer & President Workforce Solutions, Press Ganey

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Joseph Cabral is the chief human resources officer and president of workforce solutions at Press Ganey, a position to which he brings significant experience driving cultural transformation and caregiver engagement to support Press Ganey’s broad client base.

Most recently, Joe was chief human resources officer at Partners HealthCare, one of the largest diversified health care service organizations in the United States. With more than 20 years of experience developing and executing strategies that enhance cultural and organizational change, Joe has spent more than a decade driving business objectives, vision and values forward in all aspects of talent management and human resources in order to achieve the organization’s goals. Prior to Partners HealthCare, Joe served as chief human resources officer at Cleveland Clinic and at Northwell Health, and he has held key HR leadership roles at NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital.

Joe holds an MS degree in quality systems management, has taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Massachusetts and has served as a Baldrige Examiner as well as on New York’s Regional Economic Development Council. He has been cited by Time, BusinessWeek, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Forbes and other industry publications for his expertise in human resources best practices, and in 2014 he received the CHRO of the Year Award from HRO Today.

ToniTracy Church, EVP & Chief Administrative Officer, Hartford HealthCare

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Tracy Church is Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for Hartford HealthCare, the premiere health care network in Connecticut with more than 18,000 employees and $2.4 billion in net revenue. Mrs. Church has more than 30 years of health care industry experience, especially in employee and labor relations, compensation and benefits, workforce planning, rewards and recognition, strategic planning, and learning and organizational development.

She came to Hartford HealthCare from her position as vice president for Human Resources Operations and Compliance at San Francisco-based Dignity Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare West).In her more than 10 years with Dignity, she held positions of increasing responsibility, most recently providing strategic leadership for the system’s employee and labor relations practice area in addition to her oversight of Dignity’s facility-based HR leaders and generalist support of operations.

Tracy holds a Masters of Arts in organizational management from the University of Phoenix and earned certifications from the Yale School of Management; the Global Leadership in Health Care Program at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business; and Sun Healthcare Group’s Executive Program at the Anderson School, University of California at Los Angeles. She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland, College Park.


dempseyChristy Dempsey, MSN, CNOR, CENP, FAAN, Chief Nursing Officer, Press Ganey

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Christina (Christy) Dempsey is the Chief Nursing Officer for Press Ganey Associates, Inc. and is responsible for providing clinical guidance to help clients transform the patient and caregiver experience with Compassionate Connected Care ™. Christy is a registered nurse with over three decades of healthcare experience regularly speaking and publishing nationally and internationally on nursing, perioperative and emergency services management, medical practice, supply chain and materials management, and physician/hospital collaboration. She serves as faculty for the Missouri State University Dept. of Nursing and holds master’s degrees in both business and nursing and certifications in both perioperative nursing and executive nursing practice. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. Her book, The Antidote to Suffering: How Compassionate Connected Care Can Improve Safety, Quality, and Experience, was released on November 3, 2017.

maureen_swick1 Maureen Swick,  RN, MSN, PhD, NEA-BC, System Chief Nursing Officer, Atrium Health

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Maureen Swick, RN, MSN, PhD, NEA-BC, is senior vice president and system nurse executive for Atrium Health. As the SNE, Swick represents over 15,000 nurses throughout Atrium Health to ensure consistency in nursing policy, strategy, practice and quality. Swick is also responsible for system-wide patient experience and security operations. Previously, Swick was chief executive officer of the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) and senior vice president, chief nursing officer of the American Hospital Association (AHA). 

Swick has more than 30 years experience in health care including six years as the senior vice president and chief nurse executive for Inova, a not-for-profit healthcare system based in Northern Virginia where she also had system-wide responsibility for security and disaster preparedness. Throughout her career, she held a variety of nursing leadership and management roles at hospitals and health systems across the northeastern United States.
Swick previously served as a board member for both AONE and the AHA, and most recently as past president of AONE’s board.

Swick has received numerous awards including, the 2011 Outstanding Achievement Award-Nursing Spectrum and the AONE National Award in Leadership Informatics. She earned her Ph.D. at Kennedy Western University and a Master of Science in nursing from Columbia University, New York.


ToniSusan Haufe, MHA, CPXP, Chief Experience Officer, Yale New Haven Health

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Susan Haufe is the inaugural chief experience officer for Yale New Haven Health System, after serving for over two years as executive director of Patient Experience. In her current role, Haufe works with leaders at all health system delivery networks to implement a signature patient experience, including standards of professional behavior, standardized metrics and management of patient relations and other components. She earned her bachelor’s degree in social work from Texas Christian University and her master’s in health administration from the University of Washington.


Steve​​Steven Kreiser, Partner, Strategic Consulting, Press Ganey

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Steve Kreiser is a Partner with the Press Ganey Strategic Consulting Group, specializing in safety and High Reliability. Steve has more than 30 years of experience improving safety and reliability in naval operations, military and commercial aviation and health care. During his nine years at HPI, he worked with more than 100 hospitals and 1,000 outpatient facilities to improve patient safety, safety culture, leadership accountability, cause analysis and peer review. On average, his clients have achieved an 80% reduction in preventable serious safety events with associated improvements in quality outcomes, safety culture survey domains, experience of care indicators and financial savings. Additionally, he has worked with a number of academic medical institutions to improve cultural indicators while gaining a commitment to patient safety and reliability among academic medical staff faculty.

Prior to joining HPI in 2008, Steve was a naval officer and F/A-18 pilot, retiring as a Commander with 21 years of leadership and management experience. He has completed more than 3,500 flight hours and 720 carrier landings, including combat missions in Iraq, Bosnia and Afghanistan. During his military career, he served in numerous positions designed to improve reliability and safety in naval aviation, serving on numerous aircraft mishap
investigation boards and human factors councils tasked with discovering root causes for aviation mishaps and associated human errors. 

Steve holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Virginia.

ghazala[1]​​​Ghazala Sharieff, MD, MBA, Corporate Vice President / Chief Experience Officer, Scripps Health

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Ghazala Q. Sharieff serves as the Corporate Vice President and Chief Experience Officer for Scripps Health. With decades of experience as an executive, clinical professor, lecturer, author and committee chair, she is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in patient experience, physician integration, pediatric emergency medicine, conflict management and teambuilding. Dr Sharieff completed her MD at Michigan State Medical School, an Emergency Medicine Residency at Stanford University, and a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship at Rady Children’s Hospital. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s from University of Knoxville.

phillips[1]Shannon Phillips, MD, MPH, Chief Patient Experience Officer, Intermountain Healthcare

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Shannon leads the Office of Patient Experience at Intermountain Healthcare in Utah and Southern Idaho. The team supports empowered and fulfilled caregivers in co-creating an extraordinary experience that is personalized and caring, supports health, delivers exceptional value and is free from harm. Prior to joining Intermountain, she served as Cleveland Clinic’s first patient safety officer and as associate chief quality officer. She is a pediatric hospitalist with interests in the inpatient care of medically complex children and the overall family-centered approach to patient care. She is a Senior Fellow in Hospital Medicine and recognized as a “Top Doc” since 2006. In 2018, Modern Healthcare recognized Shannon as one of the 30 top Patient Experience leaders in healthcare. Currently, she sits on the National Quality Forum’s National Quality Partnership Leadership Council, the Expert Panel on Common Formats and the Measures Application Partnership Hospital Workgroup. Additionally, she serves on the Executive Committee of the Council on Quality and Patient Safety of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She has been a visiting professor and invited consultant to organizations in the US and across the globe. Her hope is that healthcare is an empathic and effective human experience.