NICQ Next2 Faculty


NICQ Next2 Faculty

VON Central NICQ Next Faculty

HorbarJLeader: Jeffrey D. Horbar MD is a board-certified neonatologist and clinical scientist with extensive experience in clinical research and its application to the improvement of neonatal care. He is currently a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, Chief Executive and Scientific Officer of the Vermont Oxford Network, Associate Editor of Pediatrics, and Co-Editor of the Neonatal Review Group of the Cochrane Collaboration. read more

Dr. Horbar has been responsible for the development of the Vermont Oxford Network Database which is used by over 900 NICUs around the world to monitor and improve outcomes for very low birth weight infants. He is the leader of the quality improvement initiatives of the Vermont Oxford Network including the National Evidence-Based Quality Improvement Collaborative for Neonatology, and the iNICQ Internet Improvement Collaboratives.

Leader: Buus-FrankM Madge E. Buus-Frank DNP, APRN-BC, FAAN serves as Director of Quality Improvement and Education at the Vermont Oxford Network and has been actively engaged in neonatal care for over three decades. Madge is an honors graduate from Boston College and the University of Connecticut, where she recently earned her Doctorate in nursing. Her doctoral dissertation focused on evaluating the effectiveness and stability of Helping Babies Breathe in Zambia. read more

Madge is an internationally recognized educator and consultant. Prior to her role at VON, she collaborated on the design, development, and execution of innovative educational and clinical solutions for newborn intensive care units and health systems nationally and internationally. Madge was the founding Editor-in-Chief for Advances in Neonatal Care: The Official Journal of the National Association of Neonatal Nursing, a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to advancing the art and science of neonatal care, serving for five years in this capacity. Madge was recently inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN) for her pioneering work in the field of neonatal care.

ZayackDLeader: Denise Zayack RN, BA, MPH has a long history with VON, collecting and submitting data in the early years of the Network, co-leading NICQ teams and as a research project steering team member. As Operations Director of a Canadian NICU she advanced excellence in innovation, patient and family-centered, developmentally appropriate care and safety best practices. read more

Denise mentored and coached interdisciplinary team members through collaborative quality improvement, effective team building, communication and professional development. Denise also worked as a Health Care Consultant to improve health outcomes for those with chronic illness.

Denise’s academic preparation includes Nursing, a BA in Bioethics and an MPH with a concentration in quality improvement science from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice, Dartmouth College, NH.

 Quality Leaders:
BoushonB Barbara S. Boushon RN, BSN serves in multiple roles to improve health care. Through Mark Murray and Associates, she currently works with large and small health care organizations across the United States and Canada to improve access to primary and specialty care, medical office flow and efficiency, and hospital flow. At the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), she led learning collaboratives with health care organizations and government entities seeking to improve care for patients with chronic conditions such as asthma, depression, and HIV/AIDS disease. read more
She also developed and led IHI’s first totally virtual collaborative with the topic of improving access to primary care. Most recently, she directed an initiative to reduce harm from falls on medical-surgical units as part of the safety and reliability work in IHI’s Transforming Care at the Bedside initiative, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Through the National Quality Center (funded through the HIV/AIDS Bureau), she works with state and federal government to improve care for people living with HIV/AIDS disease and serves as faculty for developing quality improvement capacity, leadership potential, and facilitation skills for Ryan White Care Act grantees. With the Veterans Administration, she co-directed the national Transitioning Levels of Care Collaborative and the Patient Aligned Care Team Regional Collaboratives (Medical Home). Currently, she is co-directing the Specialty and Surgical Collaboratives. With the Texas Association of Community Health Centers, she is the lead faculty for their collaboratives that address access, office efficiency, and clinical care improvement. With Vermont Oxford Network, Barbara facilitated the work of the Infection Topic Group, and most recently facilitated the POD Homeroom.
Before becoming involved in these quality and process improvement activities, Barbara worked at Dean Health Systems in Madison, Wisconsin in multiple clinical and administrative roles including RN and RN Coordinator of sub-specialties, Director of Patient Care Services, Director of Software Development and Telecommunications, and Services Initiatives Administrator. In this last role, she led initiatives to improve both access to care and customer service throughout the health system. Previous to this, she also worked as an RN for the Red Cross, and as an RN in a Medical Intensive Care Unit.
Family Leaders:
FryMMarybeth Fry M.Ed. was introduced to a world she never knew existed with the 2004 birth of her daughter at 28 weeks’ gestation and subsequent three month NICU stay; and she wanted other NICU families to know they weren’t alone. In January of 2008, Marybeth became an Akron Children’s Hospital Parent Mentor and Volunteer and began visiting NICU families each week as a graduate parent. read more
She also became involved in NICU FACT (Family Action Collaborative Team), a group of NICU graduate families and staff working together to support NICU families and promote family-centered care in the unit.
Marybeth attended her first VON Conference with the Akron Children’s Team in spring of 2010 and has been fortunate enough to attend every meeting with the team. In the fall of 2010, she became co-chair of NICU FACT and began working more closely with hospital staff on their group’s initiatives. She began attending QuIP (Quality Improvement Council) meetings monthly and participated on NICQ 8 conference calls weekly.
In January 2013, Marybeth secured a paid parent position at Akron Children’s Hospital as the NICU Family Care Coordinator. This amazing opportunity has allowed her to be even more actively involved in furthering family-centered care and to see many of her volunteer projects come to fruition.

Optimizing the Care of the Micro-Premature Infant – POD 1

AustinJune Quality Leader: June Austin RN has had a 25 year career as an RN and consultant in healthcare providing her with experience in clinical care, research, program development, education, facilitation, clinical process improvement and project management. As a member of Mark Murray and Associates she has worked with several groups in the US to improve access and optimize clinical more

She is also a Clinical Process Advisor and Project Lead for Toward Optimized Practice (TOP) – an Alberta based program whose mission is to foster a culture of continuous quality improvement among Alberta physicians and the teams with whom they work. June has been involved in the delivery of improvement collaboratives as a facilitator and faculty member in Alberta for 7 years. She has recently left the position of Provincial Lead Faculty for Alberta AIM, a position she held for over 2 years and continues to teach and provide consultation to this program that works in the area of access improvement and process redesign across Alberta.

NybergAFamily Leader: Amy Nyberg BS is the parent advisor and March of Dimes NICU Family Support Specialist at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI. She started her work in quality improvement after her two oldest boys were born at 24 weeks gestation and spent 120 days in the NICU in 1999. She was involved with the neonatal unit as a volunteer for six years before becoming the March of Dimes NICU Family Support Specialist in 2006. read more

She has presented at multiple national meetings in regards to improving family-centered care in neonatology. She was awarded the 2013 March of Dimes National Award for NICU Family Support Project of the Year in recognition of exemplary work ensuring high quality, innovative programming, volunteer leadership, and overall impact as it informs and comforts NICU families. She currently serves as VON co-family leader for the POD and is a member of the VON NICQ Next Collaborative Advisory Board.

ShafferGFamily Leader: Ginny Shaffer has been in the role of Parent Navigator at the Children’s Hospital at Providence Alaska since 2006. During this time, the parent volunteer group has been re-energized through monthly parent support offerings and community meals. Ginny felt privileged to be included in the interdisciplinary NICQ collaborative team providing input for the design and construction of the new single-family room NICU. During Ginny’s tenure, family-centered care training for new staff has increased significantly.

MorrisM Clinical Leader: Mindy Morris DNP, NNP-BC, CNS is the coordinator of the Extremely Low Birth Weight Program at CHOC Children’s Hospital in Orange County, California. She has worked in the NICU for over 25 years as a nurse, a CNS, and a NNP where she has developed a passion and expertise in caring for the ELBW infant. She partnered with a neonatologist to develop a program and specialty unit within the NICU to care for this unique and most at-risk population via standardized care more

Mindy graduated from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas with her BSN, obtained her MS degree from California State University, Long Beach, her neonatal nurse practitioner certification from Loma Linda University, and her DNP from Brandman University. Mindy participated with the team from CHOC Children’s, Orange, in three NICQ Collaboratives (2002-2010). She is on the editorial board and regular reviewer for the NeoNotes Journal Club. Mindy’s dissertation project on a new protocol to reduce the rate of false-positive newborn screening results will be published in Genetics in Medicine.

SteffenEClinical Leader: Eileen Steffen RNC-NIC has worked in the NICU at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston NJ for the past 31 years. During this time, she has had clinical experiences at various levels including working as a staff nurse, Patient Care Coordinator, Clinical Instructor, and now as NICU Quality and Research Coordinator. Eileen has participated in VON NICQ collaboratives since 2001. read more

In 2005, her unit participated in the “Your Ideal NICU (YIN)” Project and Eileen functioned as the local coordinator and was instrumental in implementing a NICU Family Advisory Council. She continues to work closely with these dedicated volunteers to improve the NICU experience for current and future NICU babies and their families.

Currently, Eileen coordinates and leads staff at all levels to facilitate quality improvement and safety of care to the neonates they care for. She coordinates the NICQ efforts by working collaboratively with her team to plan, organize, implement, standardize, and audit process improvements, while identifying new areas to improve the quality and safety of care provided to the patients. She was honored to act as Clinical Leader for the “Milky Weigh” Nutrition group in NICQ 2009 and for the POD Homeroom in NICQ 7 and NICQ 8. She is currently acting as ONSITE leader for the POD Micro-Premature Infant Homeroom as part of the NICQ Next: Innovations in Newborn Care.

Since 2009, Eileen has been instrumental in helping to lead, plan, and educate during the early stages of the formation of the NJ NICU State Collaborative. She has worked as a member of the Planning Committee while working closely with the other state Collaborative leaders to help coordinate and implement quality improvement initiatives to improve the care provided to all neonates and their families. In addition, since 2012, Eileen has coordinated the NCABSI project at her site.

DunnMClinical Leader: Michael S. Dunn MD, FRCPC is a Senior Neonatologist working in the Women and Babies Program at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto. He is an established researcher who has spearheaded several large randomized trials examining the effect of neonatal more

He has been very involved in VON activities since 1992. He is, or has been, on the Steering Committees of several VON sponsored clinical trials including: Early Surfactant Replacement Trial, DR Management Trial, HeLP trial and the Extremely Low Birth Weight Follow up Project. He and the team from Sunnybrook have been active participants in three NICQ collaboratives, including NICQ 2002 (Family Matters), NICQ 2005 (Senses and Sensibilities) and NICQ 2007 (Staffing for Quality and Safety). Dr. Dunn was also the Clinical Leader for the “Resuscitation and Stabilization” group of NICQ 2009 and has been a regular contributor to the Neonotes Journal Club as an editor. Perhaps his most noteworthy achievement with VON was as the winner of the “NICQ Idol” competition in 2007 after a stirring rendition of “Twist and Shout.”

Dr. Dunn serves on several local, national, and international bodies committed to improving the quality of neonatal-perinatal care. He is a member of the Ontario Provincial Maternal-Newborn Advisory Committee, the Maternal and Perinatal Death Review Committee to the Chief Coroner for the Province of Ontario, and the Canadian Neonatal Network. He is the Past-President of the Neonatal-Perinatal Section of the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) and was a liaison member of the Foetus and Newborn Committee of the CPS. He serves as a Member of the Consensus Committee to Establish Recommended Standards for Newborn ICU Design. He is committed to the provision of quality care to NICU patients and their families, and believes that we, as health care providers, need to do everything in our power to give our newest citizens the best possible start in life.

Optimizing the Care of the Micro-Premature Infant – Group 2

LesterJQuality Leader: John Lester BSc is passionate about quality improvement, particularly when it involves teams that provide health care services to patients and clients. Over the past 18 years he has held a variety of positions in cardiac rehabilitation, chronic disease management, primary care management, and quality improvement in health care across Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, Canada. read more

He has supported teams in Primary Care, Specialty Care, and health care programs to improve the services they deliver. John is currently a faculty member and the Lead for Facilitation for Alberta AIM, where he works with other faculty and facilitators to support health care teams in their improvement journey. When not coaching and facilitating, John enjoys singing and playing his guitar. He and his wife love to travel, attend music festivals, and make salsa and jam from homegrown ingredients.

VernonLFamily Leader: Lelis Vernon BA is the first volunteer NICU parent to work with the NICU team at Baptist Children’s Hospital, Miami, FL. Since then she has worked to create, grow, and coordinate all activities of the Parent Advisory Council (PAC) and provides leadership and support, from a parent’s perspective, in the educational and programmatic activities that promote and implement family-centered care in the NICU. read more

Lelis formally coordinates ways in which PAC family members can contribute to the improvement of health care quality provided in the NICU. She actively participates and collaborates in specific study groups and unit committees of the NICU (Baptist Children’s NICU FCC Committee, Vermont Oxford Network Team, QI teams).

GibbinsS Clinical Leader: Sharyn Gibbins NP-Pediatrics, PhD has worked as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner in two NICUs in Toronto, Canada for the last 20 years and is currently the Director of Professional Practice and Chair of the Research Ethics Board at Trillium Health Partners. Sharyn received her Master’s degree from the University of Toronto in 1992 and doctoral degree from the University of Toronto in more

Sharyn’s area of interest focuses on infant pain assessment and management, use of donor breast milk and factors that influence change in healthcare. She currently holds several research grants and has published several papers and book chapters on her program of research. Sharyn has presented at numerous national and international conferences and continues to examine different approaches to the care of high-risk infants. Sharyn is extremely committed to the well-being of infants and families and believes that an individualized, coordinated and compassionate approach to care improves family outcomes.

PicarilloAClinical Leader: Alan Picarillo MD, FAAP received his medical degree from the University of Massachusetts in 1998 and completed his pediatric residency at the UMass Memorial in Worcester, MA. He completed a fellowship in neonatal-perinatal medicine at UMass Memorial in 2001 and is board certified in pediatrics and neonatal-perinatal medicine. read more

He is currently the medical director of the level 3 NICU at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital in Richmond, VA since 2016.  Prior to his current position, he was the medical director and the Chief of Neonatology at UMassMemorial Healthcare in Worcester, MA. He has been involved in several quality improvement projects in both the NICU and the well infant nurseries and was the co-director of the Massachusetts Neonatal Quality Improvement Collaborative (MassNeoQIC), prior to his relocation to Virginia in 2016.

Optimizing the Care of the Micro-Premature Infant – Group 3

SchrieferJQuality Leader: Jan “J” Schriefer MBA, MSN, DrPH is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine and Director of Quality Improvement (QI) for the Golisano Children’s Hospital at University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) See faculty webpage. She is co-leading a New York State Department of Health funded grant for obesity prevention and management in children for the Finger Lakes region. read more

She teaches in the Managing Medical Information course at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. She leads the URMC Pediatric Sepsis Management and Infection Prevention teams. She oversees three American Board of Pediatric (ABP) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) projects at URMC. She was the lead author in Patient Safety and Quality Improvement – Focus on QI. She was 3rd author on Interdisciplinary Simulation-Based Training to Improve Delivery Room Communication. She has been a QI facilitator for VON since 2001. Previously, she was the Director of Outcomes Management at Spectrum Health/Helen Devos Children’s Hospital. Before that, J worked at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, VT as a critical care nurse, cost accountant and facilitator of the SICU early extubation QI project that won the USA Today and Mosby Quality Awards. At University of Michigan School of Public Health, her doctoral research focused asthma quality of life surveys to predict resource utilization. Her MBA and MSN are from the University of Vermont. She is the proud parent of a 1997 NICU graduate.

BainterJFamily Leader: Janelle Bainter MSW is a March of Dimes NICU Family Support Specialist at Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center in Portland, ME. She has multiple years’ experience related to social work/case management/program management with the following populations: Adult/children with HIV/AIDS, children with mental health diagnoses, potential adoptive families, adolescents with substance abuse/misuse disorders and criminal justice involvement and most recently with families with an infant in the NICU.

ChambersCClinical Leader: Chris Chambers RRT has been a registered respiratory therapist for eighteen years. He received his Associates Degree of Science in Respiratory Therapy from Champlain College, Burlington, VT in 1995. Chris has been employed at Fletcher Allen Health Care since 1995 and has actively worked in the NICU at Vermont Children’s Hospital in all aspects of care, including bedside therapy, delivery room, and transport more

From 2008 to 2010, Chris worked primarily on Fletcher Allen’s EHR implementation team as a Respiratory Consultant and Subject Matter Expert.

Chris was a faculty member as a clinical leader, for the Respiratory 1 Homeroom for NICQ8. Here he helped the teams collaborate with several quality improvement initiatives. He helped lead the homeroom with the use of video, creating standardized care for the delivery room, and family involvement and participation.

He is currently the Supervisor of Respiratory Therapy at Fletcher Allen Health Care in alliance with Vermont Children’s Hospital. In this role, Chris participates in several hospital committees including the NICU Resuscitation Committee and the Respiratory Practice Council. He was an active member of the NICQ2009, NICQ7 and NICQ8 Quality Improvement Collaboratives, and facilitated and implemented many of its initiatives and educational responsibilities.

GrayJ Clinical Leader: James E. Gray MD, MS Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Newborn Medicine Harvard Medical School, is a practicing neonatologist as well as a faculty member of Harvard’s Division of Clinical Informatics where he serves as its Director of Quality and Safety Research, Division of Clinical Informatics. He received his undergraduate and medical degree at Boston University’s 6-Year Medical Science more

In addition to his clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard’s Joint Program in Neonatology, he has received a Master’s degree in Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Gray has extensive experience with the evaluation of neonatal care and the integration of evolving information technologies into the assessment and provision of care. He has developed methods for performing cross-institutional comparisons of NICU outcomes, as well as for performing large-scale evaluations of public health programs. With funding from the National Library of Medicine’s Telemedicine Initiative, Dr. Gray and colleagues developed and evaluated a multi-faceted NICU telemedicine program that provides individualized information and support to high-risk newborns and their families. As a faculty member of the AHRQ funded Center for Patient Safety in Neonatal Intensive Care, Dr. Gray has worked with NICQ collaboratives. His recent research focuses on the use of computer based methods to study complex operational systems within healthcare. Along with Dr. John Zupancic, he has used agent-based modeling techniques to investigate the cost-effectiveness of various deployment strategies for new technologies within statewide systems of perinatal care. In parallel work, he has used data from a comprehensive electronic health record to identify the health care teams that assemble around patients and within operational units. Through the application of network analytic techniques, he is examining the relationship between quantitative measures of team structure and preventable harm in perinatal care and adult intensive care.

Improving Lung, Brain and Nutrition: A Multi-System Approach

KingH Quality Leader: Hannah King MPH is Director, National Service Quality, at Kaiser Permanente, where she has worked for 16 years. She leads strategic projects and consults with executives and teams (Microsystems) to improve or redesign processes for better clinical outcomes, safety, and patient and family-centeredness.She serves as faculty for Kaiser Permanente’s Improvement more

Hannah has held leadership positions in hospital administration, consulting, and teaching. She has been a Quality Improvement Facilitator with the Vermont Oxford Network NICQ since 1999. Some of her contribution’s include co-authoring the Safety Culture Workbook, presenting workshops on topics such as innovation and holding the gains, and helping NICUs achieve their aims. Hannah has a MPH from the University of California, Berkeley.

ODellAFamily Leader: Alexa O’Dell family’s NICU experience in June 2006 with the premature birth of their 24-week twin girls is an example of love, courage and dedication. The O’Dell family experienced the loss of Riley at 30 hours of life due to a level four brain bleed. Carsyn, however, had a long hospital stay. During their 120+ day NICU experience, Carsyn received care at three different facilities including Primary Children’s in Salt Lake City, UT, and Community Medical in Missoula, MT. read more

In February 2008, Alexa became a charter member of the Benefis NICU Family Advisory Council, and has served as its Chair since its inception. The council’s recent focus is in educating families and encouraging parent participation throughout the NICU stay. Alexa has also served as the Benefis family representative for VON since April 2008. Alexa is a CPA and works full-time for the state of Montana as an auditor. Her undergrad degree is from Montana State University-Bozeman. She would also like to acknowledge her son, Cael, (who was 16-months at the time Carsyn was born) and her husband, John, who generously support these volunteer efforts by holding down the fort at home.

CarloW Clinical Leader-Lung: Wally A. Carlo MD is the Edwin M. Dixon Professor of Pediatrics; Director, Division of Neonatology; Director, Newborn Nurseries at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He has extensive experience in clinical research including the design, implementation, data analysis, and reporting of neonatal and childhood research performed by large networks including the Global Network, a project to evaluate the effectiveness of early identification and innovative, but simple antibiotic regimens to treat young infants with suspected serious bacterial infection in low and middle income countries. read more

Dr. Carlo has designed and directed many multicenter and single-center randomized clinical trials and has also done experimental and epidemiological research. He has successfully implemented two large scale multicenter studies in 6 developing countries that enrolled over 190,000 babies and resulted in large and significant revelations in neonatal and perinatal mortality. More recently, he has focused on reducing major morbidities during early childhood. Dr. Carlo has mentored many physicians who now have independent NIH and other extramural funding, and oversees a portfolio of grants for a 13-member Division of Neonatology. In 2005, Dr. Carlo applied his special interest and expertise in neonatal respiratory disorders to quality improvement efforts, leading the Vermont Oxford Network’s NICQ 2005 Respiratory Care homeroom.

BonifacioS Clinical Leader-Brain: Sonia L. Bonifacio MD joined the UCSF faculty in July 2009. Sonia is a native San Franciscan and completed all of her medical training, medical school through fellowship, at the University of California in San Francisco. Dr. Bonifacio is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Co-Director of the Neuro-Intensive Care Nursery at UCSF. read more

Her primary research interests are the neurodevelopmental outcomes of preterm and sick term newborns. During her fellowship, she worked under the mentorship of Drs. Donna Ferriero, Jim Barkovich, and Steven Miller. She plans to continue her work regarding the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging as a predictor of outcome in these at risk patient populations. In particular, she is interested in the neuro-intensive care nursery program and its effects on neurodevelopmental outcome. Recent work includes studying the effect of hypothermia therapy on magnetic resonance imaging findings.

RogersElizClinical Leader-Brain: Elizabeth Rogers MD graduated from Harvard University summa cum laude, and attended Stanford University Medical School, obtaining MD in 2003. She completed pediatric internsip and residency at University of California San Francisco, finishing in 2006, subsequently completing fellowship in neonatal-perinatal medicine at UCSF in 2010. read more

Currently she is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UCSF, practicing neonatology and serving as the Director of the UCSF Intensive Care Nursery Follow Up Program and Assistant Director of Neonatal Clinical Programs. Her research experience is in directing neurodevelopmental follow up ascertainment for neonatal clinical trials, and in outcomes after periviable birth and neonatal critical illness.

EhrenkranzR Clinical Leader-Nutrition: Richard Ehrenkranz MD is currently a Professor of Pediatrics, and of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, at Yale University School of Medicine. He is the Interim Director of the Section of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, as well as the Interim Director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Yale-New Haven Children’s more

Dr. Ehrenkranz has an active program of clinical research in the NICU focused on interventions that improve the clinical and neurodevelopmental outcomes of critically ill infants. The relationship between in-hospital nutritional support and growth and neurodevelopmental outcomes in extremely preterm infants is one of his specific research interests. Other research interests include bronchopulmonary dysplasia/chronic lung disease, intraventricular hemorrhage, retinopathy of prematurity, neuroprotection for hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, and neurodevelopmental outcomes of extremely preterm infants. Dr. Ehrenkranz was the principal investigator representing Yale’s NICU in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network from 1991 to 2011. He is the author or co-author of over 200 papers, chapters and proceedings, and is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Society for Pediatric Research, the American Pediatric Society, and the American Society for Nutrition.

Dr. Ehrenkranz received a BS in Life Sciences from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1968 and his MD from Downstate Medical Center, State University of New York in 1972. After two years as a Pediatric house officer at Yale-New Haven Medical Center, he spent 2 years as a research associate in the Pregnancy Research Branch, NICHD, and then returned to Yale for a Fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. After completing his fellowship in 1978, Dr. Ehrenkranz joined the Yale faculty, being promoted to Professor in 1988.

Improving Outcomes for Infants Requiring Surgery

HeinrichPQuality Leader: Patricia Heinrich RN, MSN is an independent quality improvement consultant with over fifteen years’ experience providing organizational and programmatic leadership and expertise in the science and methods of health care quality improvement and system change. Pat is currently working as a QI Consultant for the New York State Perinatal Quality Collaborative (NYSPQC), and the Ohio Perinatal Quality Collaborative (OPQC). read more

She is also the Collaborative Director for the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality’s (NICHQ) Best Fed Beginnings project. Much of Pat’s previous and current work is focused on reducing disparities in care, improving health literacy, and providing culturally sensitive patient and family centered care. Prior to her improvement work, Pat spent over 20 years as a Maternal Child Health Nurse in various patient care, education, and leadership and management positions.

MillerTeesha Family Leader: Teesha Miller BS holds an undergraduate degree in management and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in public health. She has served in various roles with a local health system before assuming her current role as the Intensive Care Nursery Parent to Parent Manager at Children’s Mercy more

The most interesting dynamic of this role is merging her trainer/educator expertise with compassionate memories of her personal experience as the ‘deer caught in the headlights’. Teesha remembers feeling as if her education and professional experience flew out the window during her NICU experience. Teesha’s goal is to bring patient and family-centered care alive in every interaction. Additionally, she would love to assist staff to be able to relate to every family by meeting them where they are. A person’s emotional state and ability to reason can change from moment to moment during a crisis. What never changes is the basic human desire to be heard and understood.
LundCClinical Leader: Carolyn Lund RN, MS, FAAN has been a Neonatal Clinical Specialist in the NICU at Children’s Hospital Oakland for over 30 years, and is also an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Francisco. As the science team leader for the evidence-based practice project on neonatal skin care for the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics and Neonatal Nurses and the National Association of Neonatal Nurses, the Neonatal Skin Care Guideline was first developed and then evaluated in 51 nurseries in the US in 2001. read more
She also served as team leader on the revision of guidelines in 2007, and the current revision which is due for completion. She has contributed to knowledge of neonatal skin care through original research in the areas of skin maturation, skin integrity and adhesive damage, and how bathing affects the newborn’s skin barrier function and the skin microbiome.

ModiBClinical Leader: Biren Modi MD is an Instructor in Surgery and Associate Surgical Director at Boston Children’s Hospital, Center for Advanced Intestinal Rehabilitation. He is intermittently involved in weekly Department of Surgery teaching conferences and has been a speaker for continuing education lectures on pediatric surgery and retinopathy. read more
Dr. Modi is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Section on Surgery, Publications Committee and is an ad-hoc reviewer for the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, the Journal of Pediatric Surgery, and the Journal of Surgical Education and holds several department and hospital administrative roles at Boston Children’s Hospital.
JaksicTClinical Leader: Tom Jaksic MD, PhD is a pediatric surgeon with a clinical and research experince in neonatal surgical disease, intestinal failure and the metabolism of critical illness. Since the start of his career, he has been involved in medical education. Currently, Dr. Jaksic is a Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and gives lectures to medical students on a regular basis. Additionally, he has given many invited national and international presentations pertaining to his areas of interest. Dr Jaksic is editor at the Journal of Pediatric Surgery. 

Improving Teams and Teamwork

BalonLyonA Quality Leader: Arvelle Balon-Lyon RN, BN has over 25 years of clinical health care experience and has worked exclusively in leading health care improvement for the past 10 years. She has co-led multiple health innovation initiatives and has been a facilitator and/or faculty member in over 20 improvement collaboratives. Ms Balon-Lyon is presently a faculty member with the Alberta AIM Initiative. read more

Her current area of focus includes developing programs and services that influence evidence based changes in medical and nursing practices. Ms. Balon-Lyon is the Assistant Program Director of the Alberta Toward Optimized Practice Program, the Director of Health Innovation Consultants, and part of Mark Murray and Associates team of faculty, advising physicians, teams and senior leaders across Canada on the principles that will reduce wait times and improve the delivery of health care.

MillerB Family Leader: Brenda Miller BFA has been a parent leader in the University of Michigan NICU since 1998, becoming part of the paid staff in 2002. Her full-time role as Parent Coordinator includes development of programs and education for parents, peer support to families, quality improvement initiatives, and participation on unit and Children’s Hospital committees. read more

She has been a Family Advisor with VON since 2006, serving as part of the faculty in the most recent collaborative. Her degree and background is in Fine Arts, with much of her career enjoyed as an illustrator and designer. Brenda’s daughter, Emily, was born at 26 weeks, 1lb, 5oz, and is now in college.

SalasEClinical Leader: Eduardo Salas PhD is Trustee Chair and Pegasus Professor of Psychology at the University of Central Florida (UCF). He also holds an appointment as Program Director for Human Systems Integration Research Department at UCF’s Institute for Simulation & Training. Previously, he was a Senior Research Psychologist and Head of the Training Technology Development Branch of NAVAIR-Orlando for 15 years. read more

During this period, Dr. Salas served as a principal investigator for numerous R &D programs focusing on teamwork, team training, simulation-based training, decision-making under stress, learning methodologies and performance assessment.

Dr. Salas has co-authored over 375 journal articles and book chapters and has co-edited over 25 books. He is on/has been on the editorial boards of: Personnel Psychology, Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, Applied Psychology: An International Journal, International Journal of Aviation Psychology, Group Dynamics, The Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, Human Resources Development Review and Journal of Organizational Behavior and is past Editor of Human Factors journal and current Associated Editor for the Journal of Applied Psychology and Military Psychology. Dr. Salas has held numerous positions in the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) during the past 15 years. He is the past chair of the Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making Technical Group and of the Training Technical Group, and currently he is the president. He is also very active with Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP)—Division 14 of APA. He is past President of SIOP and past Series Editor of the Organizational Frontier and the Professional Practice Book Series. Dr. Salas is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (SIOP and Division’s 19, 21 & 49), the HFES and the Association for Psychological Science. He received the 2012 Joseph E. McGrath Lifetime Achievement Award for the study of teams and groups from INGroup, the SIOP’s 2012 Distinguished Professional Contributions Award and the 2012 Michael R. Losey Award from the Society for Human Resources Management for his applied contributions to understanding teams and groups as well as training effectiveness. He received his Ph.D. degree (1984) in industrial and organizational psychology from Old Dominion University.

His expertise includes helping organizations on how to foster teamwork, design and implement team training strategies, facilitate training effectiveness, manage decision making under stress, develop performance measurement tools, and design learning and simulation-based environments. He is currently working on designing tools, instructional strategies and techniques to minimize human errors in medical environments. He has consulted to a variety of corporate, manufacturing, pharmaceutical laboratories, industrial and governmental organizations.

CarrollSClinical Leader: Sheri L. Carroll MD leads improvement teams at the local, state and national level. She has led a local infection reduction initiative at Betty H. Cameron Women’s and Children’s Hospital that saved over nine babies’ lives since 2011. She has been a state leader in the Perinatal Quality Collaborative of North Carolina (PQCNC), a voluntary statewide collaborative of stakeholders that strive to make NC the best state in which to be more

She led 18 NC hospital teams in a two year collaborative to reduce infections related to central catheters that has saved over a kindergarten class. She is also a faculty member of the Vermont Oxford Network, a nonprofit, voluntary organization of over 950 Neonatal Intensive Care Units worldwide that collaborate to improve infant’s health outcomes. She has served as a team leader for six to eight hospital teams nationwide to collaborate in two year cycles to achieve shared goals, like reducing infection and working better in teams.


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