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:


Bharat Monteiro founded and built GE Healthcare global Lean Healthcare consulting practice to a $8 million business in under 24 months. He created 8 different offerings, trained the sales and delivery teams, and embedded Lean Healthcare as a delivery methodology within the rest of the business. He is an executive with over 25 years of proven operational & commercial experience with verifiable results across a broad range of industries, especially in Healthcare consulting and Healthcare software/technology, but also in the Automotive, Electronics, Food & Beverage equipment manufacturing, and Pharmaceuticals industries. With a Masters in Engineering, Mr. Monteiro has provided keen insight to corporate leadership and investors trends in health care technologies and methodologies. He has held leadership roles at several Fortune 500 organizations including General Electric, Eastman Kodak, SPX Technologies, Breed Automotive and Invensys. Over the course of his career, Bharat has worked with and led teams in France, India, Italy, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the UAE, United Kingdom and the United States. Key U.S. clients included: Cedar Sinai Hospital (Los Angles, CA), Mass. General Hospital (Boston, MA), New York Presbyterian Hospital (New York, NY), Trinity Health System (Novi, MI), and Virtua Health (Marlton, NJ). Key global clients included Dubai Healthcare City (Dubai, UAE), King Faisal Specialty Hospital (Riyadh, KSA), Lothian Health (of NHS, Edinburgh, UK), Univ. of Birmingham (of NHS, Birmingham, UK). Bharat has been practicing Lean for 15 years, is a Six Sigma Master Black Belt, and has significant experience in deploying Lean, Six Sigma, ISO 9000, ISO 14000, and other Quality & Continuous improvement initiatives in a variety of environments, cultures and countries. The Lean business grew 65% in the first year, 42% in the second year and achieved an 82% increase in customer satisfaction under Bharat’s leadership. He has created models to service his clients faster, and designed and introduced new value-added offerings to differentiate the software and build customer intimacy, teaching HROC team members how to develop "solutions" models to help expand the reach of new methods such as the Military Acuity Model, which has assisted our team on multiple Defense projects.

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.

Stephanie Poe, PhD | Research Advisor for Immunology

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.

IGOR ZADOROZHNYI | Research Advisor for Safety Solutions in Warzones

Igor achieved the rank of Senior Lieutenant as an officer of operational and tactical level after attending the prestigious Tarasa Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. He is a native Ukrainian, an official member of the military press, and a military adviser. His tactical experiences in warzones have included, being a commander of a mine platoon in the Donbas Region, doing mine-cleaning missions, and commanding an infantry platoon in the battle for Irpin. He has military-honed skills as diverse as engineering regiment of operational support, supply and administration for special operations forces, battalion psychologist, and Human Resources manager. Most of all, Igor understands the complexities and urgencies of various situations in combat. He is now demonstrating the examples of resilience and recovery shown by Ukrainians helping HROC in understanding not only the challenges in protection but also the resourcefulness of those under extreme duress and task saturation situations and their ability to not only recall checklists, but also perform creative problem-solving. He brings an unparalleled depth of understanding to the challenges facing Ukraine and its inhabitants today. Altogether, this furthers HROC’s goal of avoiding predictable and preventable catastrophes.

ANNA ELLIOTT | Research Advisor for Cooperative HRO Impact

Anna Elliott assists HROC's effort toward expanding the large-scale impact of HROC's Human Performance research, to go beyond healthcare yet to also continue to assist health outcomes by going "upstream" of healthcare episodes in the context of a load-balanced Cooperative High Reliability Organization (CHRO) that can impact social determinants. Having studied both the Defense Dept. research on the Military Acuity Model and also having become an expert in the CHRO after intense tutelage of inventors and innovators of the concept, she is now a key member of the innovation team at HROC in applying Human Performance to a wide range of challenges facing organizations, and also leads the determination of which entities can benefit from grants of CHRO-related tools and mobile technology to show significant, publishable improvements. She has nearly 15 years of experience working in high growth, post-acute technology and healthcare companies. A Healthcare specialist her entire career, she also offered design changes to user interfaces to match the needs of Human Resources and Human Capital in a wide variety of industries, and how to appeal to firms and industries that are growing or also consolidating (via Mergers & Acquisitions, another key area of expertise for her). Finally, she is experienced in micro-targeting related to needs and opportunities throughout entire processes of business' supply and demand, with her successes in this area having led to over $150 million in value to the organizations involved. In short, she is an expert in micro-targeting not only tasks at risk of failure, but also opportunities that offer rapid, significant gains overall.

Annastasiah Mhaka, PHD | Research Advisor

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.

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.

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.

Reece Odom | Research Advisor

Reece Odom is an expert in the application of Tasks At Risk Assist (TARA) applications, including subprojects in TARA determining task saturation risks from facial emotion and stress recognition, and also smartphone testing and tuning for Veterans and other vulnerable populations. Being visually impaired and also autistic, he offers perspectives and insights on these vulnerable populations, to in turn improve quality of life, through TARA, for people with special needs and risks.

Krishna Anand | Research Advisor

After Mr. Anand donated his time to successfully help lead a programming project in Machine Learning (which now serves as a key engine for the tools HROC is donating to Veterans/Active-Duty Service Members, the disabled, elderly, substance abuse patients, and other vulnerable populations), he has been asked by HROC to join its team as HROC's lead Python Programming Specialist / Data Scientist. He is also instructing multiple Veterans in his areas of expertise, all of whom have an interest in using Machine Learning to manage the Delayed Discounting Curve related to both addiction and a key part of the overload-prevention tools being donated by HROC. A key goal is increasing cognitive science "enablers" using stochastic models / machine learning, where Mr. Anand has already been an informal advisor in the past. With almost two years of experience working in biosciences as a Data Scientist to affect healthcare, focusing on the opioid epidemic, Mr. Anand has worked with a genetic dataset concerning patients from around the country such as Veterans and individuals recovering from and facing pain related issues from medical procedures and trauma, and helped develop models to improve healthcare and treatment options for these individuals by identifying at-risk genetic features relevant to potential opioid abuse. A graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles with a degree in Psychology with an Emphasis in Statistics, Mr. Anand is dedicated to improving the lives of large, disadvantaged populations, and will first apply his expertise in Cognitive Science and Machine Learning to reduce addiction and other risks, initially in Veterans, pain control patients, and urban demographics.

Carlo Aiello | Research Advisor

A Veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Mr. Aiello has contributed his time toward HROC to help improve its speed to develop AI solutions toward its mission, which includes providing tools that HROC is donating for Veterans/Active-Duty Service Members, the disabled, and disadvantaged populations. Having over 5 years of experience working in serving as an Emergency Medical Technician, he will serve as an advisor on the toll overload takes on those confronting emergent situations, and given the urgent / crisis nature of his work, its impact on burnout of clinicians and others. Given his experience as a supervisor as well as sales, he will also advise on, and support (as alpha-version user / tester, and also systems analyst / programmer), the tools meant to help in management of tasks that can aid in terms job retention and advancement for Veterans and others. Dedicated to improving productivity and reliability for Veterans and other populations that can struggle coping with the increasing demands of work and information overload, Mr. Aiello will focus his assistance toward HROC's mission to help improve human performance, an area where the Air Force excels.

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.


Ms. Wdowik-Melfi has assisted with, and improved, people’s capabilities in languages, learning, productivity, creativity, and focus enhancement throughout her career, including in her organization Wdowik Worldwide. She has also served as Program Director for training children, which is important to HROC’s mission of education for health and safety to people of all ages. We are harnessing her skills generally in these areas mentioned, as well as initially her capabilities to interpret questions from, and answers to, those working with us that speak Polish, Spanish, and Portuguese, given her native or bilingual proficiency in those languages. In HROC's humanitarian efforts, she has successfully helped us in connecting with people to create a support network, liaising with individuals, assisting in project management including the creating problem-solving often required, and also importantly doing communication-based activities such as public opinion research for challenges that must be addressed by programs. She is committed to science-based public health and public safety initiatives in Europe, and above all dedicated to humanitarian efforts in war zones (more can be found at:

Ryan Odom | Research Advisor

Ryan Odom is a designer and developer of systems to solve problems related to the crisis in Ukraine and also worldwide that are related to civil defense against natural and man-made disasters. He is helping lead a task force focused on using 3D printing to harness the utility of additive manufacturing to create frames for do-it-yourself (DIY) electricity sources, and to create replacement parts for drones, and ultimately even frames for DIY drones, to help in delivery of “survival essentials” in Ukraine, such as medicines, devices, fuel, and food. He is also in a task force undertaking a scientific study in public safety regarding early warning and early interventions systems for toxic air, which is becoming more prevalent in areas confronting disaster. Being a student, he offers perspectives and insights on whether and how students can be harnessed to assist in DIY initiatives in mitigation of and recovery from catastrophes, to in turn improve survival rates and quality of life for both children and adults.