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Planning Committee

Conference Co-Chairs

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    Harry Hoar

    Harry Hoar, MD

    Internal Medicine & Pediatric Hospitalist
    Baystate Health
    Springfield, MA

    Dr. Harry Hoar is an Internal Medicine and Pediatric Hospitalist, Medical Director of Quality Assurance, and Director of Clinical Reasoning Education at Baystate Medical Center- UMass Chan Medical School.  He created the Clinical Reasoning Academy, a novel interprofessional education series that brings together providers, nurses, other medical professionals, patient advocates, and patients to improve diagnostic quality and safety culture at Baystate.  He is a long-time member of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine and co-chair of the SIDM 2023 conference.

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    Verity Schaye, MD, MHPE

    Verity Schaye, MD, MHPE

    NYU Grossman School of Medicine
    New York City, NY

    Verity Schaye serves as the Assistant Dean of Education in the Clinical Sciences and the Director of Integrated Clinical Skills in the Office of Medical Education at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and clinically as an internal medicine hospitalist at Bellevue Hospital. She completed her MD in 2008 and completed her internal medicine residency training at New York university School of Medicine in 2011. In 2016, she received a MHPE from Maastricht University with an education research focus in best practices to teach and assess clinical reasoning and also serves as the Assistant Director for Curricular Innovation in the Institute for Innovations in Medical Education at NYU focusing on innovative assessment of clinical reasoning including use of artificial intelligence to assess clinical reasoning documentation. She was a SIDM Fellow in 2019 and is chairing this year's conference.

Conference Planning Committee

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    Dan Berg

    Dan Berg

    Patient Advocate
    Minneapolis, MN

    tired in 2016 from The Minneapolis Foundation, where he worked with charitable Minnesota families for nearly twenty years. Following the death of his daughter, Julia Berg, as a consequence of diagnostic error, he has published articles and commentaries about the culture of medicine and medical systems from the patient/family perspective. With his wife, Welcome Jerde, he has participated in numerous forums on the topic of patient safety through the University of Minnesota Medical School, the Minnesota Alliance for Patient Safety, and the American Association of Medical Colleges. He has participated in several projects and conference planning committees for the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM). He serves as chair of the Patient Engagement Advisory Committee of SIDM, and in 2022 received its first annual Patient Engagement Award.

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    Christina L. Cifra, MD, MS

    Christina L. Cifra, MD, MS

    Assistant Professor
    Boston Children’s Hospital
    Harvard Medical School
    Boston, MA

    Dr. Christina L. Cifra is a health services and patient safety researcher in the field of diagnostic excellence in pediatrics and critical care. She completed pediatric critical care fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and received formal quality improvement training as a resident scholar at the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. She completed her MS degree in Translational Biomedicine, focusing on translation to populations, at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. She is currently an attending pediatric intensivist in the Division of Medical Critical Care at Boston Children’s Hospital and a member of the faculty of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Cifra has published foundational studies on the frequency and causes of diagnostic error in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and has proposed a unified research agenda for diagnostic excellence in critical care medicine. She is currently investigating diagnostic error and the role of diagnostic uncertainty in the assessment of critically ill children on PICU admission and is conducting ethnographic work in the PICU to delineate the influence of referral communication on the PICU diagnostic process. She is also leading innovative work on diagnostic process handoffs across institutions, which includes studies aiming to standardize referral communication for inter-facility transfers to the PICU and improve feedback to PICU-referring clinicians. In addition to her scientific contributions, Dr. Cifra has also devoted considerable effort to facilitating wider recognition and support for scholarship in diagnostic excellence. She is the current Chair of the Research Committee of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine and is an Associate Editor for Diagnosis, the premier journal for diagnostic safety research.

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    Maria Dahm

    Mary Dahm, PhD, MA

    ARC DECRA Fellow
    Senior Research Fellow
    Institute for Communication in Health Care
    Australian National University
    Canberra, Australia

    Dr. Maria R. Dahm is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Communication in Health Care (ICH) at the Australian National University. She is a leader in the field of in diagnostic communication with a particular focus on diagnostic uncertainty. Dr Dahm holds a prestigious 2022 Discovery Early Career Researcher Award Fellowship from the Australian Research Council where her 3-year project addresses how communication can to improve diagnosis, and patient safety. Her research focuses on investigating the impact of health communication on diagnostic excellence and quality and safety of care, and improving consumer engagement in health communication research.

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    Robert El-Kareh, MD, MPH, MS

    Robert El-Kareh, MD, MPH, MS

    Associate Professor of Medicine
    University of California, San Diego Health
    San Diego, CA

    Robert El-Kareh, MD, MPH, MS is an Associate Professor of Medicine within the Division of Biomedical Informatics at the University of California, San Diego. He also serves as Associate Chief Medical Officer for Transformation and Learning and leads the Clinical Decision Support Oversight Committee at UC San Diego Health. Clinically, he is a practicing hospital medicine physician and is board-certified in Clinical Informatics.

    Dr. El-Kareh's primary academic activities involve the use of clinical data to improve diagnostic safety in healthcare. Dr. El-Kareh has active research and performance improvement projects related to detection and evaluation of inpatient diagnostic delays, systematic feedback of patient outcomes to frontline providers and tools to guide the appropriate use of diagnostic tests.

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    traber_giardina

    Traber Giardina, PhD

    Assistant Professor
    Baylor College of Medicine and Houston VA
    Houston, TX

    Dr. Giardina is a patient safety researcher and assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine and the Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. Dr. Giardina’s work focus on patients’ experiences of diagnostic error and exploring methods to leverage health IT to improve patient engagement in safety.

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    Cristina Gonzalez, MD, MEd

    Cristina Gonzalez, MD, MEd

    Professor of Medicine
    Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center
    Bronx, NY

    Cristina M. Gonzalez, M.D., M.Ed., an alumna of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, completed her internal medicine residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital- Weill Cornell Medical Center, and her medical education research fellowship at University of Cincinnati, earning a Master’s Degree in Medical Education.  Upon completion of that fellowship she was selected as a Scholar in the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  This prestigious four-year award launched her research program designing, implementing, and evaluating interventions aimed at implicit bias recognition and management in clinical encounters.  She was subsequently selected as a Scholar in the Macy Faculty Scholars Program of the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation to continue advancing her work.    Dr. Gonzalez is an internationally renowned expert in the development of skills-based curricular interventions in implicit bias recognition and management (IBRM) for physicians across the continuum of training and practice. In 2019 she transitioned from foundation funding and was awarded NIH funding from the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities. This grant provides five years of funding to design and validate novel metrics facilitating future evaluation of interventions focused on IBRM with robust, clinically relevant outcome metrics. In 2022 she was selected as a Scholar in the National Academy of Medicine’s Scholars in Diagnostic Excellence program. This funding mechanism will enable her to continue her work in IBRM through the lens of equity in diagnosis. She recently joined New York University Grossman School of Medicine as a Professor of Medicine and Population Health and an Associate Director for the Institute for Excellence in Health Equity.

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    Helen Haskell, MA

    Helen Haskell, MA

    Patient Advocate
    Mothers Against Medical Error
    Columbia, SC

    Helen Haskell is president of the nonprofit patient organizations Mothers Against Medical Error and Consumers Advancing Patient Safety. She is an Institute for Healthcare Improvement senior fellow, a board member of the Patient Safety Action Network and the International Society for Rapid Response. She is a recently retired board member of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and a previous chair of the Patient Engagement Committee of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine and of the WHO Patients for Patient Safety Advisory Group. She continues to work with the World Health Organization on patient safety and patient engagement and with SIDM and AHRQ on diagnostic issues.   Helen’s goal since the medical error death of her young son Lewis has been to enhance the patient contribution to safety and quality in healthcare. She has written or co-authored dozens of articles, book chapters, and educational materials on patient engagement in safety, quality, and diagnosis, including a co-edited textbook of case studies from the patient perspective. Her son Lewis’s story has been featured in educational programs and videos including Transparent Health’s full-length Lewis Blackman Story. Helen holds a bachelor's degree in Classical Studies from Duke University and a master’s degree in Anthropology from Rice University in the United States.

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    Goutham Rao, MD

    Goutham Rao, MD

    Clinical Associate Professor in Family Medicine
    Case Western Reserve University
    Cleveland, OH

    Goutham Rao, MD is the Jack Medalle Professor and Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland. He is also Chief Clinician Experience Officer for the University Hospitals Health System. Dr. Rao is board certified in both family medicine and obesity medicine and practices in both specialties.  He is an established health services researcher who is currently the PI of the  UH-ADVANCE (Advancing Diagnosis through Validated Analytics and Novel Collaborations for Excellence) Center - an AHRQ-funded diagnostic safety center of excellence.  He is or has led or served as a co-investigator of a number of other large research projects funded by AHRQ, PCORI, the NIH and the American Heart Association. Dr. Rao's focus is improving the diagnosis of common but serious conditions in primary care. He is the author of more than 100 publications, including four books. He is Editor-in-Chief of Family Practice: An International Journal (Oxford University Press). He has or does serve in a number of prominent national roles. He is a past chair of the American Heart Association's Obesity Committee and currently serves on the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.  Dr. Rao is a graduate of McGill University School of Medicine and completed his family medicine residency at the University of Toronto. He competed fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh.

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    Dana Siegal

    Dana Siegal

    Vice President, Risk Management & Analytics
    COVERYS
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    Thilan Wijesekera

    Thilan Wijesekera, MD, MHS

    Assistant Professor, Program of Hospital Medicine
    Yale School of Medicine
    New Haven CT

    Thilan Wijesekera, MD, MHS received his medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry before completing his residency training in Yale University’s Primary Care Residency Program. He subsequently completed a General Internal Medicine Fellowship in Medical Education at Yale University School of Medicine, during which he received a Master of Health Science degree in the Medical Education Pathway. In 2018, he joined the Academic Hospitalist Program in the Yale Section of General Internal Medicine. He is active in medical education, particularly at Yale University School of Medicine, where he has roles as the Director(s) of Clinical Reasoning and Remediation. He also has a role in the Teaching and Learning Center as an Associate for Clinical Reasoning Educator Development, where he provides and collaborates on consultations, workshops, and scholarship related to teaching clinical reasoning. Dr. Wijesekera's educational interests include clinical skills, curriculum development, education and mentorship for medical students and residents. His research interests include clinical reasoning, diagnostic error, and interprofessional education with recent publications in Academic Medicine, Medical Teacher, and Journal of General Internal Medicine. He gives faculty development workshops regionally and nationally on teaching clinical reasoning and diagnostic error, on which he completed a fellowship with the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (2018).

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    Ronald Wyatt, MD, MHA

    Ronald Wyatt, MD, MHA

    MCIC Vermont, LLC
    New York City, NY

    Dr. Ronald Wyatt serves as SIDM's Chief Science and Medical Officer. Former roles include Vice-President and Patient Safety Officer at MCIC Vermont and Chief Quality and Patient Safety Officer at Cook County Health, one of the largest public health systems in the United States. Dr. Wyatt is nationally recognized in the United States as an expert in patient safety and was named several times by Becker’s as one of the “Top 50 Patient Safety Experts” in the U.S. In 2010, Ron was appointed as Director of the Patient Safety Analysis Center in the U.S. Department of Defense, now the Defense Health Agency. Dr. Wyatt was the first Patient SafetyOfficer at the Joint Commission and in that role contributed to National Patient Safety Goals, Sentinel Event Alerts, and developed the “Quick Safety” publication.

    Dr. Wyatt is a member of the ACGME Clinical Learning Environment Review Committee (CLER). Ron currently serves as co-chair of the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Equity Advisory Group. He presents nationally and internationally on leadership, safety culture, safety event analysis, human factors in healthcare, patient experience, and health equity. He also serves on several boards, including the IHI Certified Professional in Patient Safety and, formally, the Society to Prevent Diagnosis in Medicine.

    Dr. Wyatt is a credentialed course instructor in the School of Health Professions at the University of Alabama Birmingham. Dr. Wyatt is a graduate of the University of Alabama Birmingham School of Medicine and holds an executive master’s in health administration degree from the University of Alabama Birmingham. He was a 2009-2010 Merck Fellow at IHI.