Research Advisors

The High Reliability Organization Council is always looking for experts in various fields to help further its research and education goals. As such, here is a list of the exemplary individuals who have contributed their time and significant efforts toward research studies and publications related to HROC's mission:

Sherry Henricks | Research Advisor For Partner Collaborations

Sherry Henricks, RRT, MBA is charged with helping determine who can qualify for HROC grants of MAM patent licenses and other HROC support, relative to a potential partner's ability to help HROC fulfill its mission and serve the Public Good. She is an expert in communications devices and using technology to support processes. She is a change agent dedicated to improving patient safety and healthcare operations. Sherry has over 20 years of business development leadership for medical device, medical IT, and telecommunications companies, including Carefusion-Vital Signs, Siemens Medical, Draeger Medical, AT&T, Philips-Emergin, and Vocera-Extension Healthcare. As an alarm and alert fatigue specialist, she led teams to increase awareness and provide technology with workflow redesign to minimize information overload, poor communications, and interruption risks that have been a focus of HROC's research. She has also served as a Physician Development manager for LifeBridge Healthcare to gain and offer perspective to challenges facing healthcare providers. She will be focused on using technical devices to tie together and support Cooperative HROs.

Margo Malaspina | Research Advisor

Margo Malaspina, RN, BSN, is a process redesign expert that has served as director of quality management at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBIMC). She is proven in enabling quality gains using a small footprint team, having helped NBIMC achieve Joint Commission Top Performer status three consecutive years with a team of 3 people for a 500 bed facility. She has published on cognitive overload and its impact on not only care teams that have improved quality substantially in the face of budget cuts, but also for patients themselves, enabling significant reductions in readmission rates as well.

Eva Johansson | Research Advisor

Eva Johansson is an expert in process redesign and quality improvement using small footprint teams, and an expert in the task saturation prevention components of the Military Acuity Model. She is the Vice President of Quality Initiatives at St. Luke's and Roosevelt's hospitals. She has published on the subject and how to force multiply teams using micro-targeting in areas such as Core Measures (having reached Joint Commission Top Performer status for her hospitals), Readmissions, and also Sepsis prevention (New York state has the most stringent sepsis laws in the nation).

Sue Duffy | Research Analyst

Sue Duffy serves as research analyst for HROC, finding areas of interest to apply HRO, and evidence that support the webinars and other efforts undertaken by HROC. She has extensive experience in healthcare, both long term and acute care medical settings. She has also worked as staffing coordinator for nurses and aides in long term care, including working with Terry Rajasenan on a labor arbitrage based scheduling system for nurses that resulted in overtime reduction of 86% in just 6 weeks. She has done extensive research and support functions at ProcessProxy as well, especially in findng supporting evidence for webinars and publications produced by ProcessProxy to help support HROC.

Aashka Shah | Research Director and Project Lead

Aashka is a recent graduate from the University of Michigan with a degree in Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience. She helped with the founding of HROC and took a leading role in helping advance its mission and vision with her fellow Research Director and Project Lead. She has aided in the promotion of HROC with potential sponsors and partners, and provided specific tools that helped HROC participants in their task management. Additionally, with her experience in clinical research at Wayne State University and the University of Michigan, she was able to bring clinical knowledge into creating Continuing Medical Education materials for HROC to help gain educational partners and expand in HROC's mission to provide education in new methods to improve reliability, safety, and value of teams, with a special focus in healthcare. Aashka will be pursuing a Master’s in Healthcare Administration from Columbia University in the Fall of 2016.

Uthara Ramesh | Research Director and Project Lead

Uthara is currently studying Public Policy at New York University. She helped found and create the overarching mission of HROC with her fellow Research Director and Project Lead. She focused on applying a new HRO approach toward the improvement of public safety, specifically focusing on the prevention of gun violence, and investigated possible designs for process-oriented and technology-based solutions. Moreover, she has contributed to the Center for Community Alternatives, a community-based alternative to incarceration (promoting reintegrative justice to reduce reliance on incarceration) to consequently reduce criminal behavior and improve public safety. She ultimately plans to bridge her work with HROC to the work she has been doing in reforming the criminal justice system to maximize the societal benefit within the current resource constraints.

Greg Fisher | Research Advisor

For nearly 30 years Greg Fisher has been a software developer and technology integrator. Greg’s work at University of Pittsburgh has centered on HIV/AIDS in Pennsylvania. Here he developed and continues to manage a state-wide data system for collecting and monitoring data to facilitate services, interventions, planning and evaluation. He is a founding member of the HIV prevention website stophiv.com and helps to create their online leaning courses. Greg’s nationally recognized work with the WorkLink Community Transportation Project integrated RFID, GPS and GIS technologies to advance community and economic development efforts. Greg’s early work includes the development and implementation of a county-wide Management Information System to support the Healthy Start Program. The system was created to coordinate and track services and referrals delivered by healthcare/service providers to low-income mothers and their families. In his spare time, Greg applies his data skills to improving car performance for Forbes Field Motorsports in Pittsburgh, PA.

Frank Campanaro | Research Advisor

Frank Campanaro is an accomplished and highly networked entrepreneur that pioneered unique and effective logistical platforms within the federal contracting arena from medical, construction, national security, alternative energy, and beyond. He is also a Special Operations Forces veteran who served in combat that is dedicated to empowering active duty service members to transition into success in the private sector through the non-profit charity that he leads, with training programs offering an innovative curriculum such as climbing of the world’s tallest mountains, as well as relevant course work and other activities. He is focused on contributing to HROC's public service mission of improving the quality of life for veterans and active duty service members (in their health and well-being) as well as national security overall, and helps guide HROC's research activities through firsthand experience accrued over his career, as well as contemplating new and innovative approaches toward the mission.

Robert Seach | Research Advisor

Robert Seach is a highly skilled and innovative project manager who is focused on assisting the HROC initiatives in both Public Safety (including National Security) and Patient Safety, by helping address Failure To Rescue (FTR) and better outcomes at lower costs through his investigations and subsequent solutions in disease-induced and medication-induced cognitive impairment. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame, Mr. Seach focused on the pharmaceutical industry, leading teams to not only excel in operations, but also to bring cost-effective, and reduced risk products to market. Through his extensive network, he is assisting in HROC's awareness campaign, and is also helping in the project management for potentially the most significant Cooperative HRO (in terms of population density) in the nation (New York City metro area).

Becky Alsup | Research Advisor

Becky Alsup, BSN, RN, is the Sepsis Coordinator of Saint Joseph's Mercy Oakland (SJMO, in Michigan), and a patient safety expert in tying sepsis to task saturation. She is leading the Cooperative HRO / Military Acuity Model project for SJMO and for Trinity Health System in infection patients' Time-to-Treatment, as she has deployed MAM in the reduction of unexpected mortality successfully at SJMO. This research, and lessons learned, are of significant value to both the VA and Military Health System, as well as healthcare as a whole.

Urmi Ashar, MD, MBA | Research Advisor

Dr. Urmi Ashar uses insights derived from the study of medicine, psychology and business as well as international experiences to build innovative solutions to complex challenges. Her background includes leading clinical practice in Anesthesiology along with in-depth expertise in healthcare system and organizational governance (she currently serves on the board of a Community Health System in Western Pennsylvania, and boards of various technology start-ups in the Pittsburgh region). Dr. Ashar is passionate in her pursuit of preventing task saturation to, in turn, prevent the culture of blame placed on doctors and other clinicians in the industry's paradoxical quest for high quality at lower cost. Given the alarming increase in physician and nurse burnout facing the nation, she is focused on help reduce physician occupational stress and overall failure to thrive, both at a personal and professional level for the physician and at a systemic level for health providing organizations. For HROC, she is focused on helping transform physicians, nurses, and other clinicians from becoming victims in a system that has yet to understand the full implications of task saturation to instead becoming leaders in crafting a new compassionate, more productive healthcare system of the future.

Janet Hayes | Research Advisor

Janet Hayes has extensive experience in consulting, information, Lean Six Sigma, project management, sales, training, strategic planning, change management, and the practical application of technology. After receiving her Masters degree in Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh Executive MBA program, she has managed complex initiatives, implementing new technologies, navigating uncertain situations, creating new business functions and facilitating consensus. Janet’s proficiency in operational efficiency and team dynamics has taught her the criticality of reducing task saturation. She uses her knowledge of data analytics, business intelligence and metrics to demonstrate concrete results from initiatives like a transition to a high reliability organization. Janet's professional career included key leadership roles at IBM Corporation and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). As a consultant, she has helped nearly 200 different organizations in different industries, including healthcare (Rehabilitation Institute of Pittsburgh, Cleveland Clinic, Charleston Area Medical Center, etc.), banking, non-profit, public sector, manufacturing and professional services. This experience has given Janet a unique perspective on the importance of looking at every organization as a unique combination of interlocking social and technical systems.

Allan Echko | Research Advisor

Allan is an accomplished business advisor having leadership experience managing multiple organizations with full "bottom-line" accountability. During his professional career he has enjoyed executive level responsibilities in a variety of professional positions and industries. Those experiences have allowed him to develop "hands-on" functional skills complementary to HROC’s mission to educate individuals or groups interested in learning more about High-Reliability Organizations. He has proven skills in organizational development and resource alignment, change management techniques and financial management practices. Using those skills as a Research Advisor, Allan helps provide directional clarity to organizations working with HROC, including changing the way people think about task management, the dangers of task saturation, and the benefits of improved team reliability to both financial and quality of life factors.

Rick Halton | Research Advisor

Rick Halton is an experienced international awareness-building leader, with tenure in high tech start-ups and leading tech corporations, having co-founded Apervita, the cloud platform health enterprises use to manage health analytics and data at scale that solved healthcare challenges for members of the platform using earlier and better interventions. He has managed multi-disciplinary teams across the globe, most recently focusing on predictive analytics, algorithms, data exchanges, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. He is also former vice president of global marketing for Hewlett Packard Communications and Media Solutions (CMS), director of EMEA marketing for Openwave, founding employee of Vodafone Spain, and launch employee of Orange UK. Rick brings to the HRO Council (HROC) deep experience in building strategic partnerships in health care. As such, he will be expanding networks and partnerships for HROC, in an effort to expand the use of CHRO grow the number of stakeholders involved CHROs beyond clinicians. He will also be bringing to HROC the skills to broaden internationally the awareness of the problems posed by task saturation, as well as various solutions that have been researched to address the issue, and finally how the CHRO can complement the work already done in the area of human factors, to gain maximum impact of the Public Good licenses of the Military Acuity Model available through HROC as grants.

Keynan Hobbs | Research Advisor

Keynan Hobbs is a board-certified Adult Psychiatric/Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist, with ten years of experience in a variety of settings where mental health care is delivered. His work in process improvement includes designing and implementing nursing assessments and interventions for patients at risk for suicide. He is also a combat veteran of Desert Shield/Storm where he served with the 101st Airborne Division. His published article on the health risks and vulnerabilities of military veterans was written while he was studying nursing at University of Pennsylvania and training at Philadelphia VA. Following five years as a psychotherapist at San Diego VA, he continues his work with active duty and veterans in his private practice at Listening Post Counseling and Consulting. Keynan will be focusing on how to improve the Mental Health of Veterans and active-duty Military personnel using new high reliability techniques based on task saturation prevention in his research with HROC.

Cynthia Ferguson, PHD, MPH | Research Advisor

Dr. Cynthia T. Ferguson, PhD, MPH, MSN, MFA, CNM, AFN-BC, is board certified as an Advanced Forensic Nurse and Certified Nurse Midwife, with twenty-four years of working in women’s health, and over sixteen years of experience working in medical forensics. She earned a PhD of Public Health after focusing her research and dissertation on Interpersonal Safety of Active Duty Women in the Deployed Environment while on deployment in Afghanistan. For ten years, the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army and Department of Defense have relied on her to design and contribute to their policy development and sexual assault examination training programs. Dr. Ferguson serves as a sexual assault subject matter expert, medical-forensic exam trainer for healthcare personnel, and consultant/expert witness. She has worked as a contractor at Defense Health Agency providing key information for violence prevention and medical-forensic response. Dr. Ferguson is part of the Assault Medical Response/SME Violence Medicolegal Response for the Air Force Surgeon General at Defense Health Headquarters (DHHQ) via a sub-contract with Systems Plus, Inc., and is a Forensic Nurse Examiner. She is a retired Commander (O5) Nurse Corps Officer of the U.S. Navy, and remains current in her licensure and professional certifications related to violence prevention and response. Dr. Ferguson also assists with reviewing, writing and editing issues of healthcare policy related to violence, medical-forensic educating/training, and executing subject research on topics related to Violence Prevention and Response in the military. During her military career, she researched, developed and published what is termed the SAFE CARE model. The SAFE CARE model is used today by healthcare providers to maintain competency in sexual assault examinations utilizing patient simulation methods. Dr. Ferguson has also published on the role of the forensic nurse in violence prevention and response in public health, maintaining that healthcare providers are the key to prevention methods using epidemiology and other research methods. In addition, she has stressed that forensic nurses are essential to respond to incidents of violence, such as sexual assault, domestic violence, gang violence, human trafficking, homicide, and suicide, and she highlights the many challenges they face to improve the patient care process and mitigate occurrences of violence in the community. Violence Prevention and Response Programs (ViPR) in local communities or on the national stage require careful needs assessment, background research, program development, program implementation and overall evaluation. Dr. Ferguson is experienced in all of these program phases as well as in using qualitative research methods to assess, plan, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of a program.

Dr. Ferguson will be advising and assisting with research specifically in two critical areas -- reducing violence (especially in Veteran and Military suicide, assaults, and homicides) using free Military Acuity Model (MAM) tools and solutions. She will also lend her expertise to better connect military members transitioning out of the Military via the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) with the services they need. In this capacity, she can assist military personnel with understanding and utilizing free MAM tools for servicemembers before they transition out of the Military. In general, Dr. Ferguson will be focusing on research concerning violence prevention, and in developing solutions for the safety of active-duty service members, veterans, and society as a whole.

Harold Beznos | Research Advisor

Harold Beznos is an expert in innovative designs for improving quality of life through living conditions for people with special needs and risks, including in the application of technologies toward "smart residences" (e.g. smart homes, smart rooms, etc.). He has been contributor to cancer, infectious disease, and medical research, as well as an advocate for people confronting the challenges of sepsis, and above all Veterans and Military troops, helping fund initiatives on their behalf. Given the Beznos families' involvement for multiple years in healthcare smartgrid innovations, he will focus will focus on designing and guiding smart residences to maximize prevention, and the consequent impact on patient safety and healthcare cost-effectiveness.