Who We Are
The Joint Commission plays a fundamental role in governing the standard of care by which medical centers operate. They have more recently taken an interest in the concept of high reliability and are now defining the necessary metrics required for hospitals to progress to high reliability. The President of the Joint Commission, Dr. Mark Chassin, posed and then answered the following question: “How close or far away is the typical hospital today from the state of high reliability? The answer is, quite far.” Many in the industry are not satisfied to remain there.
The High Reliability Organization Council (HROC) began with a Defense project that some of its founders were doing through a research project by ProcessProxy Corp. (Owings Mills, MD) and the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC). ProcessProxy began Process Improvement work with hospitals in 2005. Before then, its founders have been doing pioneering research, including for the Defense Department's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), for over 20 years related to technology that can improve how demand is met by supply of resources. Key members of ProcessProxy as well as Board Members of HROC are co-inventors of the Military Acuity Model (MAM). MAM includes patented methods, embeds a unique library of Tasks At Risk® models, and has a proven track record of making healthcare providers more reliable. It does this by improving task execution for the physicians, nurses, and support staff involved in patient care.
In realizing that a new paradigm is necessary in order to meet the Joint Commission’s goal of ZERO patients harmed, HROC was formed as an avenue by which ProcessProxy and others interested in serving the Public Good can provide assets (e.g. in the form of royalty-free licenses on key intellectual property) for uses that are non-commercial. We invite other non-profit and for-profit organizations to join in our vision, and in doing so, we hope HROC will benefit National Defense, Medicare Solvency, Public Safety, and Government overall to minimize burdens to the taxpayer while maximizing Government's value. Ultimately, it should enable improvements to various industries and society as a whole around the globe.
Already joining in this transformation includes researchers from Wright-Patterson and Keesler Air Force Bases, the Veterans Administration, Wayne State University, as well as researchers from Mt. Sinai and Johns Hopkins Health Systems, with the list growing every month.
Our Team and Advisory Board Members
Fred L. Brown | Chairman of the Advisory Board
Fred L. Brown’s distinguished healthcare career includes two decades of leadership at hospitals and health organizations. He is a former Chairman of The Joint Commission Board of Commissioners, founding president and CEO of St. Louis-based BJC HealthCare, past Chairman of the American Hospital Association, and was recently inducted into the Modern Healthcare Hall of Fame in 2014. He is also Chairman of the National Kidney Foundation. His in-depth knowledge of healthcare and service in this regard is a true asset to the HRO Council, as he offers not only an extensive network that can help reshape care delivery, but also offers optimal strategies in approaching various stakeholders in HRO for healthcare.
Karen Timmons | Vice Chairman of The Advisory Board for International Affairs
Karen H. Timmons is an internationally known expert in healthcare quality and safety processes, having served as President and CEO of Joint Commission International (JCI), as Global Patient Safety Officer for Det Norske Veritas (DNV), a global provider of services for managing risk, and as a senior advisor to Boston Consulting Group. She has also served on the Global Health Advisory Council for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and is a past board member and treasurer for the International Society of Quality Assurance (ISQua). Timmons has served as chairperson in the following areas for the World Health Organization (WHO): Chair for the WHO Collaborating Centre on Patient Safety Solutions, Chair for the WHO High 5 Steering Committee, and Chair of the WHO HIV Quality of Care Working Group on HIV-AIDS. She is enabling HROC to understand issues of national and global prominence where HROC can contribute uniquely.
Barry Levy | Executive Director
Barry Levy is the Executive Director for the High Reliability Organization Council (HROC). In this role, he provides leadership and guidance associated with achieving near and long-term objectives. In addition, Mr. Levy is responsible for fundraising, implementing new programs and working with HROC advisors and its executive board. Prior to this position, Mr. Levy was a member of the technical staff at Scitor, a mid-tier aerospace/defense corporation, supporting U.S. agencies in the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community. Mr. Levy’s career includes a leadership role for Altegrity Corporation where he served as Vice President of Government Affairs. Previous leadership positions include having served as the Director of Government Relations for Computer Sciences Corporation’s (CSC) North American Public Sector. Mr. Levy has the honor and unique distinction to have been one of only twenty within the federal government selected as a Brookings Fellows. As a career Air Force officer, Mr. Levy’s resume includes positions as a commander, senior staff and procurement official.
Ragupathy Veluswamy, MD, MMM, CPE, FACPE | Advisory Board Principal for Quality
Dr. Veluswamy is the CEO of GKNM Hospital (Coimbatore, India), a 550 bed tertiary care hospital with post-graduate teaching programs, primary care outreach centers and a school of nursing. He was on the Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for 2010 and also 2011. He has done clinical practice for over 20 years in the U.S, has served in various physician leadership and physician executive roles, and has extensive experience in performance improvement activities, including Lean Six sigma and data mining to share best practice information to physicians to promote clinical excellence. Previously he was the Vice President & Chief Medical Officer at Wilkes Barre General Hospital (nee Wyoming Valley Healthcare System) Wilkes Barre, PA.; Vice President for Quality and Utilization at Kimball Medical Center (Barnabas Health System, New Jersey). Dr. Veluswamy is a Fellow of the American Institute for Health Care Quality, fellow of the American college of Physician Executives, and is also a Six Sigma Black Belt from Villanova University and a Lean Six Sigma facilitator. He serves as the Chief Medical Advisor for ProcessProxy, and for HROC he now provides innovation strategies to apply the Military Acuity Model to reduce task saturation and improve efficiency, patient safety and outcomes in various research sites across the United States and India.
Prashant Mahajan, Md, Mph, Mba | Advisory Board Principal for Research
Dr. Mahajan is vice-chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine and a Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Michigan, and also serves as the Chair, Section of Emergency Medicine for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). With an MPH from University of Michigan and MBA in from University of Massachusetts, Dr. Mahajan’s experience in clinical health care as well as in research and executive capacities, spanning over 25 years, has provided him with a unique perspective on analyzing the effectiveness of existing and new programs and research methodologies. He has been widely published, including in the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, and Lancet. He has been successfully funded by NIH and is a co-investigator on CDC, AHRQ, MCHB and other federally supported research projects. A significant portion of his work has been focused on identifying novel diagnostic approaches to the investigation of bacterial and non-bacterial infections in the emergency setting. For over 15 years he has led a multidisciplinary team of investigators with expertise in emergency medicine, infectious diseases, immunology, genomics and bioinformatics to develop novel tools to change the paradigm in the evaluation of febrile illnesses. Dr. Mahajan has been serially funded by NIH to define RNA biosignatures. Dr. Mahajan recently received an AHRQ award to investigate clinical decision making, safety and quality in emergency department. His research interests have also included pediatric trauma, one of the most important causes of pediatric death and morbidity. He has been involved in the development of parsimonious and clinically meaningful decision rules that can be applied at the patient bedside in the evaluation of a febrile child as well as children with blunt head injury, traumatic abdominal injury and injury to the cervical spine. He is also an ardent and passionate educator, and is pursuing a global scope. For example, he is collaborating with pediatricians and emergency medicine providers in India to bring this important pediatric subspecialty to India. With this comprehensive background, Dr. Mahajan has served as co-investigator on Military Acuity Model-related projects, and will be involved with all significant research from HROC.
Mark E. Schlussel | Advisory Board Principal for Governance
Mark E. Schlussels’s distinguished healthcare legal, policy, and board governance career includes three decades of leadership at hospitals and various related boards of trustees and directors. He is a current advisor and consultant to those interested in concierge medicine, and an attorney for healthcare law. He has been Chairman of the Board for a University that is the academic partner for a major Michigan hospital system, as well as serving as Board Chairman and Board Member for hospitals as well. He is also an award-winning trustee, serving his organizations at a strategic level in innovative ways. His in-depth knowledge of healthcare board governance and constructing policy, especially in emerging areas of healthcare, are of significant importance to the HRO Council. He offers the legal and governance frameworks that can help reshape care delivery models, and understands how to navigate that framework toward making healthcare adopt the HRO model to derive maximum value for all stakeholders.
Robert C. Marshall | Advisory Board Principal for Veterans' Quality of Life Challenges
Robert C. Marshall recently finished over four years of service as a disability evaluation system (DES) advisor as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve while assigned to the Marine Corps’ Wounded Warrior Battalion at Naval Medical Center San Diego. During those duties, he personally counseled service-members, and advised commands and medical personnel, regarding military disability issues, including those service-members with various PTSD and TBI injuries. These duties provided significant background and expertise regarding the obstacles faced by those service-members, particularly with regard to accessing benefits and treatment. Additionally, in his over twenty years of service with the Marine Corps, Bob also served in such capacities as a Police Transition Team Leader in Iraq, as the Officer-in-Charge for Governance issues in Helmand Province, Afghanistan for the 2nd Marine Division, and as the Deputy General Counsel for the Joint IED Defeat Organization. Bob will be assisting HROC in understanding the various scenarios where there is failure to recognize or failure to act for veterans that should be helped from disability benefits.
James Volle | Advisory Board Principal for Public Safety Engineering
Jim Volle has a background in Electrical Engineering, and helps enable systems that assist public safety. Having worked in monitoring and early warning system (EWS) projects and organizations for over 20 years, Mr. Volle currently works on projects that provide detection of radioactive threats. His interests include improving the safety and quality of life of vulnerable populations, as well as addressing the significant safety concerns of congested, urban areas. His specific activities with HROC will be in the creation of violence prevention and mass casualty mitigation advances using the Cooperative HRO as a framework, applying it toward the Public Good.
Stephanie Poe, PhD | Clinical Director
Stephanie Poe is a founding member and serves as the Clinical Director for HROC. Prior to working with HROC, Stephanie focused on the intersection of patient care and technology while working with Truefit, a technology firm located in Pittsburgh. She holds a PhD in Immunology from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Her research focused on the regulation of an immune response to bacterial infections and the delicate balance that must be achieved in order to prevent sepsis. She feels that working with HROC bridges the gap between scientific understanding and the improvement of patient care through HROC's focus on Human Performance.
Terry Rajasenan | Research Principal Investigator and Executive Board Member
Mr. Rajasenan is the co-inventor of the Military Acuity Model (MAM) methodology and tools, as well as co-inventor of the Cooperative High Reliability Organization (CHRO) model. He has been awarded 3 patents related to solutions to help manage and prevent task saturation, and also has several more pending. Those patents were combined with a U.S. Air Force invention to create the MAM, which has had at least 8 peer reviewed journal articles discussing it and its methods. MAM won the Military Health System Innovation Award in 2013, was presented at the AMSUS (Federal Healthcare) conference that same year, and was recommended for broader deployment by the House Appropriations Committee, which noted it in both the FY 2014 and FY 2015 Defense Appropriations bills, and is under review by the Defense Department for possible deployment throughout the Military Health System to assist in patient safety. Mr. Rajasenan and the firm for which he currently works, ProcessProxy, have donated licenses at no cost to the Military to utilize his patents. He has been the chief scientist for projects involving MAM and the CHRO models, and has worked in close collaboration with researchers from top technical universities and academic medical centers, and has published research and also helped others publish relating to his inventions in peer reviewed journals.
Kiran Rajasenan, MD | Executive Board Member
Kiran Rajasenan is a board certified medical oncologist for University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), and a clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. He serves on the executive board of UPMC's Oncology and Hematology Associates, the largest oncology practice in western Pennsylvania and has also been recognized as a "Top Doc" by Pittsburgh magazine for the last 5 years. He has also served on the regional board of the American cancer society and also on the board of trustees for Gannon university.
Jeffrey R. Hunt | Executive Board Member
Jeff Hunt is an attorney at Goehring Rutter and Boehm in downtown Pittsburgh. Jeff counsels the firm’s clients in general corporate matters, including formation and operational issues, shareholder matters, employment issues, mergers and acquisitions, and creditors rights. In addition to his corporate law work, Jeff assists clients with structuring and implementing their estate plans through drafting wills and trusts, establishing family limited partnerships and formulating business succession plans. Jeff also represents local taxing bodies and governmental agencies with regard to their bankruptcy related matters.
Ro Agrawal, DO, MBA | Advisory Board Principal for Tasks at Risk Management
Dr Ro Agrawal has a distinct, proven skill set and track record in providing comprehensive solutions for the balancing operational efficiency, cost-effectiveness, patient safety, workforce productivity, and provider satisfaction -- optimally and throughout the continuum of healthcare. Dr Agrawal's extensive experience as a physician executive includes having been a Medical Director for the UPMC Health Plan in Utilization Management, a Senior Medical Director for Wexford Health Sources in Medical Management (managing telemedicine for correctional facilities' health centers throughout the nation), and the National Medical Director of Clinical Client Relations for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield (the 4th largest Blue Cross at the time), where he offered strategic risk mitigation solutions for key Health Plan clients of the health insurer. He was also as a Professional Member of the Pennsylvania State Board of Osteopathic Medicine from 2006 - 2014, chairing several important key committees and serving as Secretary and Vice Chairman of the Board during his tenure. He is double board-certified and actively practices both Emergency Medicine and Addiction Medicine. He has experience and has practiced in both rural and academic settings, including the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s teaching hospitals, where he served as a Clinical Instructor of Emergency Medicine for the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Agrawal focuses on applying better human performance of teams to new care delivery models throughout the continuum of care, given his expertise gained from working for one of the largest health insurers in the nation, and also guides safety and productivity solutions for Emergency Departments and other high risk settings.
Jared A. Mort, Lt Col (RET), USAF, MSN, MBA | Advisory Board Principal For Nursing Services
As a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), Lt. Col. Jared Mort, USAF, NC; MSN, MBA, RN-BC, ACNS-BC, is currently responsible for the nursing care of all inpatient medical-surgical cases at Keesler Air Force Base. With over 18 years experience as a nurse, he brings a strong depth of understanding to the challenges faced in healthcare today. He successfully led the AFMS CNS Cell project, proving the ROI of the CNS. Lt. Col. Mort demonstrated that CNS involvement, and the Military Acuity Model, can dramatically decrease failure to rescue numbers. During 2013, he deployed to Afghanistan as Chief Nurse of a Forward Surgical Team, accomplishing a 99.5% survivability rate. Also, he serves as the Medical-Surgical consultant to the AF Surgeon General; consulting 3000 nurses. Lt. Col. Mort is a member of the NACNS (published), ENA (faculty) and the HROC Advisory Board. In 2017 Lt. Col. Mort was invited, and accepted, to serve on the Veterans Health Administration’s Center for Compassionate Innovation Committee as an Advisory Board Member, seeking to improve the quality of life, physical health and mental health of all veterans in the nation.
Click here to view a short video "Only Air Force Forward Surgical Team Saves Service Members Lives" featuring Col. Mort during the introduction.
Ross Birdsong, Major, USAF | Advisory Board Member
Maj. Ross Birdsong is a Certified Emergency Nurse with 15 years of clinical and 5 years of informatics experience. In addition to a Bachelor’s in Nursing, he has a Master’s in Emergency and Disaster Management. Maj. Birdsong was instrumental in implementing adult, pediatric, and obstetric early warning systems in the Military Health System. He co-developed the Military Acuity Model to mitigate failure-to-recognize and failure-to-rescue events common in medical facilities with inexperienced, task-saturated clinical staff. For the last three years, Maj. Birdsong has led the standardization and optimization of clinical documentation, to include the addition of evidence-based clinical quality measures, for a 13 hospital medical system.
Julie Hendrickson, CDR, USN, Ret. | Advisory Board Member
Julie Hendrickson is a 22-year Navy Nurse Corps veteran with clinically diverse expertise in providing patient care at a number of levels. She spent 10 years facilitating successful Joint Commission and Inspector General surveys at 4 commands and is trained in Lean Six Sigma through both ASQ and the Navy, which expanded her skills with systems and process analysis. Her dedication to care improvements using a systems approach reveals her commitment to quality care of both patients and the healthcare team. She first encountered Terry Rajasenan and his team at Process Proxy while leading a tri-service initiative exploring methodologies to improve utilization of healthcare team resources toward safe, quality and cost-effective care. Her committed leadership resulted in the pivotal collaborative MAM pilot project funded through TATRC. Julie earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Georgetown University in 1991 and her Master of Arts in Human Behavior from National University in 2001. Recently retired in 2013, she continues to expand her experience through home health and hospice care.
John Brennan, MD, MPH | Advisory Board Member
John A. Brennan, MD, MPH is the Executive Vice President for Barnabas Health and the President and CEO of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. He brings 26 years of diverse and national healthcare experience as a practicing physician, teacher, author, and administrator. Prior to his current role, Dr. Brennan held several physician leadership roles in private practice, a health care system, and academia. Additionally, Dr. Brennan served as a Major in the United States Air Force where he was Chief of Emergency Services at the 22nd Strategic Air Command’s Medical Center. He was also awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Training Ribbon and Outstanding Unit Ribbon, and Honorary Chief Master Sergeant. His expertise and range of experiences bring depth to the Advisory Board of HROC.
Greg Cioffi | Director of Creative Design
Greg Cioffi is an interactive designer with 20 years of experience developing and implementing design concepts for various platforms including websites, ATMS, mobile apps and military vehicle interfaces. He has worked with and for a multitude of clients from the military, pharmaceutical, financial, consumer and industrial companies to philanthropic, artistic and educational based foundations. He has been with ProcessProxy since 2011 as Director of Creative Design managing the development of creative presentations and design concepts that meet the business objectives of the organization that advance their brand strategy. He also provides quality control over concepts, projects and the overall brand.
Roger Odom, MSIT, MBA | Advisory Board Member
Roger Odom consults on IT development and operations for the tools used in the Military Acuity Model, and is a key member of the product development team at Processproxy. He has over 15 years of experience in the IT, Healthcare, and Insurance industries. He has helped to develop all of the processes and tools used for successful implementations of the CHROs based on MAM at Wright Patterson and Keesler Air Force Bases, and also for MAM at numerous civilian facilities including Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas in New Jersey and the Mount Sinai Health System in New York.
Anup Swamy | Advisory Board Member
Anup Swamy is a co-founder of ProcessProxy, the firm that supports HROC, advising in the creation of some of ProcessProxy's key models and technologies (e.g. process arbitrage). He currently is employed by Time Inc., serving as leader for brand marketing and consumer revenue for Sports Illustrated, and also leads the new product development and strategic partnerships across all Time Inc. brands for Time Inc. Consumer Marketing. A graduate of University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, he has an MBA in Healthcare Management and was a Principal at Bain & Company in New York, one of the world's pre-eminent management consulting firms serving leading clients across the globe in every industry. He offers expertise in marketing and awareness campaigns, as well as insight into applying HROC's research into a variety of global industries.
Karen Cheng | Advisory Board Member
Karen Cheng is a scientist and engineer with extensive experience in Defense work and biosurveillance. A graduate with a Masters in Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, she has worked as Technical Manager at General Dynamics Corporation, and Program Manager and Software Director at Applied Research Associates (Arlington, VA). She has received several awards, including the Hewlett Packard Award for Excellence, AT&T University Relations Award, and Society of Women Engineers Scholarship. Her background work that is critical to HROC has been her experience as Principal Investigator on a project with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). She is co-author on 3 relevant peer reviewed journal articles related to biosurveillance. She is helping to tie biosurveillance to HROC's safety initiative toward cognitive surveillance.
Annastasiah Mhaka, PHD | Advisory Board Member
Dr. Mhaka is a strategist who leverages discovery science, technology development, medical know-how, business and financing insights to create transformative advances to positively impact global health. She brings over 10 years of strategy, value creation, and business transaction experience working at the intersection of biomedical research, healthcare delivery and enterprise. Dr. Mhaka has sourced, evaluated, negotiated and managed partnerships that bring together competencies from diverse stakeholders with shared common goals including academia, government, industry and private financiers. Most recently she served as Director at Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM) Business Development & Strategic Alliances, where she worked closely with key faculty and leadership in identifying and developing external partnerships for mutual benefit. Her insights in forming synergistic relationships between entities help HROC as it strives to expand public-private partnerships in the mission of serving troops, veterans, and civilian patients globally.
Harold Beznos | Advisory Board Member
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.