Meet the Experts
Grounded in data analytics, high reliability organizing principles, and proven ROI models, Press Ganey Strategic Consulting works with you to address your biggest challenges across every consumer, patient, and caregiver experience. Our consultants leverage your data in concert with our solutions, analytics, and mentoring expertise to design and implement a tailored action plan.
- Aaron Fausz, Senior Manager
- Adam Higman, Partner
- Alicia DiValli, Manager
- Alan Bennett, Senior Manager
- Bonnie Thompson, Senior Manager
- Brad Pollins, Senior Manager
- Brinn Leach-Wilson, Senior Manager
- Charles Demanche, Manager
- Charles Hagood, President
- Cindy Reistroffer, Senior Manager
- Dave Varnes, Director
Aaron Fausz, PhD
Aaron leads the Payer solutions team in Strategic Consulting, partnering with clients to identify organizational and individual gaps, drive engagement and positive change, and leverage strong interpersonal skills to influence others. Aaron has more than 30 years of experience in organizational transformation, continuous improvement, and organizational development in various healthcare settings.
Before joining Press Ganey, Aaron authored 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 in Strategic Consulting. He has more than 15 years of experience in partnering with health plans and systems across the country to improve consumer experience, quality outcomes, and operational efficiency.
Before joining the Strategic Consulting team, Adam was a vice president of Soyring Consulting, now part of Press Ganey.
Alicia leads the Experience solutions team in Strategic Consulting, partnering with clients to develop, refine, and implement all aspects of workforce strategy, including leadership development, culture transformation, and employee resilience and engagement. She also works with clients to broaden and reimagine their approaches to the patient experience.
Before joining Press Ganey, Alicia spent several years at the Advisory Board—now a part of Optum Health—where she held a number of roles in areas ranging from research to strategy to consultative service delivery leadership.
Alan Bennett, MBA, CPPS, LSSBB
Alan leads the Safety and Reliability solutions team in Strategic Consulting, partnering with clients to deliver event investigation and cause analysis, propose process improvement methods, and recommend workforce safety practices.
Before joining Press Ganey, Alan served for 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 in Strategic Consulting, partnering with clients, including health systems and payer organizations, to improve the delivery of patient-centered care and coordinate high reliability tactics with existing initiatives using data-driven strategies.
Before joining Press Ganey, Bonnie served as Director of Health System Improvements at Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, where she provided organizational oversight for services aimed at assuring exceptional member experience (quality, accreditation, credentialing, provider relations, utilization management, network management, and member services).
Brad Pollins, MS, SPHR
Brad leads the Experience solutions team in Strategic Consulting, partnering with clients to help them transform into highly reliable and patient-centric entities. Brad brings more than 20 years of experience in healthcare, leading programs to transform culture and achieve better strategic and operational outcomes.
Before joining Press Ganey, Brad was the Executive Director at the Center for Transformation and Innovation, where he led and delivered strategic planning, physician leadership development, and executive coaching.
Brinn Leach-Wilson, MAOM
Brinn leads the Payer solutions team in Strategic Consulting, working extensively to design customized and complex solutions to address a wide range of requirements. Brinn brings more than 20 years of experience in health plan administration and healthcare information technology to her role, excelling at large-scale business transformations that optimize operations, reduce costs, and enable scalable growth.
Before joining Press Ganey, Brinn was the Director of Configuration and Consulting at a healthcare information technology organization.
Charles Demanche, MBA
Charles leads the Clinical Improvement solutions team in Strategic Consulting, partnering with clients to improve a wide range of initiatives, including strategic planning, productivity benchmarking, and hospital expansion. He has expertise in assimilating and analyzing large amounts of complex information to guide key business recommendations, bringing more than 25 years of healthcare experience to his role.
Before joining Press Ganey, Charles held positions as Director of Imaging Services, Administrative Director of Support Services, Clinical Engineering Manager, and Supervisor of Biomedical Services at different healthcare organizations.
As President of Strategic Consulting, Charles oversees the growth, strategy, and daily operations of the safety and reliability, patient experience, workforce engagement, clinical improvement, operational and process improvement, payer improvement, and strategic outreach segments of Press Ganey’s consulting organization.
Before joining Press Ganey, Charles was the founder and CEO of Healthcare Performance Partners (HPP), now a Vizient company. He is the author of the book Lean-Led Hospital Design: Creating the Efficient Hospital of the Future.
Cindy Reistroffer, D.Sc., MBA, RN
Cindy leads the Payer solutions team in Strategic Consulting, partnering with clients, which include health systems and payer organizations, to improve the delivery of patient-centered care and implement positive change.
Before joining Press Ganey, Cindy spent a decade helping integrated healthcare systems transition from volume-based business models to value-based care models. Notably, 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 directs and leads the Safety and Reliability solutions team in Strategic Consulting, partnering with clients to implement high reliability practices and reduce serious safety events.
Before joining Press Ganey, Dave served in the U.S. Navy in positions designed to improve safety and performance in a demanding and fast-paced environment. During his 21+ years in leadership and management positions, his titles have included Naval Training and Operations Procedures Standardization, Standardization Officer, Operations Officer, Search and Rescue Officer, and Quality Assurance and Safety Officer.
Debbie Hunter, MBA
Debbie leads the Safety and Reliability solutions team in Strategic Consulting, partnering with clients to improve safety and reliability practices, guiding organizational development success, motivating associates, building high-performance teams, and engaging employees to meet established goals. Debbie brings more than 20 years of healthcare experience focused on patient engagement, quality, process refinement, and performance improvement to her role.
Before joining Press Ganey, Debbie served as the Assistant Vice President of Performance Improvement at Wake Forest Baptist Health, where she planned and coordinated the development, management, and implementation of the medical center’s performance excellence and quality improvement strategies.
Donna leads the Safety and Reliability solutions team in Strategic Consulting, partnering with clients to improve safety and reliability practices by implementing multidisciplinary care models for safety and quality, just culture, and peer review models.
Before joining Press Ganey, Donna garnered 30 years of healthcare experience, serving in leadership roles such as Vice President of Operations and Chief Nurse Executive at numerous state- and national-level organizations.
Dragana Gough, MSCP
Dragana leads the Clinical Improvement solutions team in Strategic Consulting, partnering with clients to improve and optimize ongoing staffing and budget management, optimize and forecast care delivery, and plan and build interactive workflow process maps to ensure workflow efficiency. Dragana utilizes Design for Six Signa (DFSS) methodology and the Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, and Verify (DMADV) framework for various improvement initiatives.
Before joining Press Ganey, Dragana spent more than 15 years in the information technology industry and holds multiple pertinent certifications such as CISSP, ClearCase Training, and SNMP Research Training, among others.
Edward Romero, MSN
Edward leads the Clinical Improvement solutions team in Strategic Consulting, providing expertise in areas like budgeting resources, developing standard operating procedures, considering space and staffing requirements related to facility design, understanding patient care delivery models, and improving workflow and operations.
Before joining Press Ganey, Edward spent 20 years in managerial and leadership roles. He previously held the positions of nurse manager, administrative “house” nurse supervisor, hospital administrator on-call, and staff nurse level II and III NICU.
Gary Yates, MD
Gary serves in a Strategic Consulting leadership role, partnering with clients to improve quality and patient safety protocols, create stronger safety culture in healthcare organizations, and adapt high reliability strategies from other industries. Gary has more than 35 years of experience in the healthcare field.
Before joining Press Ganey, Gary was President of the Sentara Quality Care Network. He is also the former Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Ofﬁcer for Sentara Healthcare.
Greg Prentiss, CAPT, USN, Ret., MS
Greg directs and leads the Safety and Reliability solutions team in Strategic Consulting, helping clients improve by designing and implementing human error prevention programs, resulting in dramatically reduced safety event rates. Greg has more than 25 years of leadership experience and delivers seminars, training programs, and lectures on human error prevention, root cause investigation, and performance improvement methodology.
Before joining Press Ganey, Greg was a U.S. Navy FA-18 pilot, where he recorded more than 2,800 flight hours and 780 carrier-arrested landings, including combat missions over Iraq.
Jennifer oversees the operations of the Strategic Consulting business. Beyond her operational leadership role, she leads consulting solution design and delivery targeted to smaller hospitals and non-acute care providers. Scaling solutions for these organizations is critical to supporting them in providing safe, high- quality, patient-centered care for their communities. Jennifer has spent more than 25 years in the healthcare industry, building and delivering creative solutions that enhance market position and drive greater performance.
Before Press Ganey, Jennifer was a consulting leader with KPMG, Tiber Group (now Guidehouse), and Truven (now IBM Watson), supporting organizations to plan strategies, calculate physician personnel, execute mergers and acquisitions, and implement operational improvement initiatives.
Joan Kelly, EdD(c), M.S.Ed, MBA
Joan is a Partner in Strategic Consulting. She 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.
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 in Strategic Consulting, leveraging his experience in high-performance, high reliability organizations to improve operational efficiency and safety for clients through a standardized approach to job planning, briefing, and debriefing—all supported by sound leadership practices.
Before joining Press Ganey, John held many U.S. Navy safety leadership positions, including Squadron Nuclear Safety Officer, Squadron Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization Officer, and Squadron Safety Officer. He also served on Aircraft Mishap Investigation and Field Naval Aviator Evaluation boards.
Kelly leads the Safety and Reliability solutions team in Strategic Consulting, partnering with clients to design and implement complex, large-scale culture projects that support transformations and provide coaching to create and sustain patient-centered excellence for every patient, every time.
Before joining Press Ganey, Kelly served as Clinical Director of the Ambulatory Surgery and Pre-Surgical Testing Evaluation departments at Baptist Hospital, where she increased patient volume year after year by improving efficiencies, 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.
Before joining Press Ganey Strategic Consulting, Kerry held the position of Quality and Medication Safety Officer at Saint Thomas Health Services, a five-hospital health ministry that's part of Ascension Health.
Lucas Higman, DSc
Lucas oversees the Clinical Improvement solutions team in Strategic Consulting, partnering with clients to deliver analysis, implementation, and interim management engagement that drive efficiency and clinical quality improvements in areas including perioperative services, sterile processing, and emergency departments. He brings deep clinical optimization knowledge and expertise from working with more than 100 U.S. healthcare facilities, ranging from large academic centers to small rural hospitals.
Before joining the Strategic Consulting team, Lucas was a Vice President of Soyring Consulting, now part of Press Ganey.
Marty oversees the Experience solutions team in Strategic Consulting, partnering with clients to improve caregiver and patient experience in areas including safety culture, employee and physician engagement, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Marty also serves as a thought leader.
Before joining Press Ganey, Marty was Vice President of Engagement Services at Avatar Solutions.
Rick Boothman, JD
Rick is a Partner in Strategic Consulting. He is a world-renowned leader known for his equitable, compassionate approach to unanticipated medical error. Rick offers over 40 years of experience resolving patient safety issues and helping organizations improve safety, and holds academic appointments at the University of Michigan’s Medical School and Vanderbilt University Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy.
Before joining Press Ganey, Rick oversaw risk management—as well as claims and litigation—at the University of Michigan Health System for over 17 years. Prior to that role, he was an accomplished trial lawyer in Michigan and Ohio. Rick is a frequent speaker on various legal, risk, leadership, and peer review topics.
Rob Douglass, CDR, USN Ret., MS, SRO Certified
Rob leads the Safety and Reliability solutions team in Strategic Consulting, partnering with clients to improve human performance in complex health care systems using evidence-based methods derived from high-risk industries. Rob brings more than 20 years of experience implementing safety and reliability practices to his role.
Before joining Press Ganey, Rob served many roles at FirstEnergy, including Director for Safety and Human Performance — Electrical Generation. Before working for FirstEnergy, he spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy Nuclear Submarine Force.
Shannon Vincent, MA
Shannon leads the Safety and Reliability solutions team in Strategic Consulting, partnering with clients to develop and implement surveys, using statistical analyses to interpret results, and create effective action planning approaches that engage all stakeholders with an organization’s mission.
Before joining Press Ganey Strategic Consulting Shannon advised organizations in various industries, including gaming, financial services, energy, and retail, on talent management, coaching, and leadership strategies.
Shelly Turner, DNP, MBA, BS, CPHQ
Shelly leads the Clinical Improvement solutions team in Strategic Consulting to help clients improve patient experience scores, redesign case management to promote physician–patient partnerships, and achieve decreased length of stay and readmission rates in both inpatient and ED environments. Additionally, Shelly helps clients successfully navigate accreditation surveys, revise staffing models, and turn around financial and efficiency metrics.
Before joining Press Ganey, Shelly held executive-level positions, such as Chief Nursing Officer, and served in administrative leadership roles.
Steven Kreiser, CDR, USN Ret., MBA
Steve oversees the Safety and Reliability solutions team in Strategic Consulting, partnering with clients to improve patient safety, safety culture, leadership accountability, cause analysis, and peer review. He has also worked with many academic medical institutions to improve cultural indicators while gaining commitment to patient safety and reliability from academic medical staff faculty.
Before joining Press Ganey, Steve was a naval officer and FA-18 pilot, serving in numerous positions designed to improve naval aviation reliability and safety. 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 safety measures, processes, and in situ simulation initiatives. Susan is a registered nurse with more than 30 years of healthcare experience in women’s and pediatric nursing as a leader responsible for clinical excellence, process improvement, patient engagement, regulatory compliance, risk management, clinical education, and infection control.
Before joining Press Ganey, Susan worked to build a simulation and human factors program, developing ongoing multidisciplinary simulations for each healthcare organization area. She also worked in critical care and management for more than 10 years.