Samuel L. Ross, MD, MS

Samuel Ross, M.D., M.S., is the President of Bon Secours Baltimore Health System and Chief Community Health Officer, Bon Secours Mercy Health. Bon Secours Mercy Health (BSMH) is one of the largest health care systems in the nation. BSMH owns and operates health care facilities in Ohio, Maryland, Kentucky, New York, South Carolina, Virginia and Florida. Along with managing an acute care hospital in the heart of West Baltimore, Dr. Ross is also responsible for a vast network of community outreach divisions that focus on positively impacting outcomes that influence the social determinants of health, i.e. affordable housing, education, job skills, behavioral health, substance abuse and rehabilitation. He is a tireless and passionate advocate for improving health disparities, inequities and access to care in the communities Bon Secours Mercy Health serves.

He is a past member of the Maryland Hospital Association Executive Committee, where he served as Vice-Chair, and previously chaired the Women/Minority Business Initiative for the Maryland Hospital Association (MHA). He currently is a member of the MHA Nominating Committee. In 2018 he was appointed to the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism. He also currently serves on Catholic Health Association Health Equity and Disparities Committee and Maryland Catholic Charities Risk Oversight Committee.

Ross is one of Baltimore’s most dynamic health care executives. He served as Board Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Baltimore branch, and is the immediate past Board Chair for 340B Health. Dr. Ross is a former Board member for Americas Essential Hospitals and chaired the membership committee. In the March 2018 issue of Becker’s Hospital Review, Dr. Ross was named one of 50 great African American leaders in healthcare to know.

He was recognized by The Daily Record in 2013 as one of the Top 20 Most Admired CEOs in Maryland. Dr. Ross has received recognitions by: the National Association of Health Services Executive – Washington Metropolitan Area Chapter Healthcare Leader honoree; Greater Baltimore Committee Leadership Program, a finalist for the 2013 Sondheim Exemplary Leadership Award; Smart CEO, 2013 Circle of Excellence Awards finalist (Healthcare), and he was named in the May 2012 issue of Modern Healthcare Magazine as one of the nation’s Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare.

He served on the former Baltimore City Police Commissioner’s African –American Advisory Council, the board of Behavioral Health System Baltimore, and in 2015 he co-chaired the Mayor’s Heroin Treatment and Prevention Task Force.

In 2014, Bon Secours and sixteen (16) other west Baltimore partners (West Baltimore Primary Care Access Collaborative) were awarded one of five Health Enterprise Zone designations by state of Maryland. Their focus was on reduction of health disparities in low income populations and population health management through impacts on the social determinants of health. He is a frequently requested presenter at local and national meetings such as Congressional hearing, Catholic Health Association annual assembly, Meeting of the Minds annual gathering, Neighbor Works annual meeting, NAHSE regional meeting, Anchor Institution Task Force annual meeting.

Prior to his arrival to Baltimore and Bon Secours, Dr. Ross was a member of the staff of Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas, Texas where he served in varied positions for over 14 years including: Executive Vice President & Chief Medical Officer of the Medical Staff/House Staff Division.

Bio posted September 2020
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      It Takes a Community to Deliver Whole Person Care at Providence

      Aura M. Silva, BSN PHN ACM-RN, Manager, Care Management, CARE Network, Community Outreach, Queen of the Valley Medical Center, Providence Health, Dana Codron, RN, MPH, Regional Director, Community Health Investment, St. Joseph Health, Providence Health, and David S. Fanara, MBA, Chief Revenue Officer, Activate Care.

      Aura M. Silva, BSN PHN ACM-RN
      Dana Codron, RN, MPH
      David Fanara, MBA

      The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected the vulnerable populations in our communities, requiring the creation of engaged networks of healthcare and community services organizations to adequately identify, respond and deliver whole-person care.  Aura and David provide examples of such engaged networks of national and regional healthcare and social services organizations across the United States and how they are seamlessly facilitating real-time, cross-sector collaboration around patients with complex health, behavioral, and social needs.

      COVID | vulnerable populations | social services | complex health | behavioral | social

          Jamie Nelson

          Jamie Nelson is a health care information technology executive, with extensive experience in leading information technology strategy and operations in the provider setting.  She has deep domain expertise in health information technology systems including clinical, business, analytics, digital, technical infrastructure and cybersecurity. Her unique background which includes hospital administration, hospital operations, outsourcing and management consulting allows her to approach information technology challenges from multiple perspectives. Unique to Jamie’s background, she also built the Lean Operations Improvement function for all hospital operations, in addition to her CIO function in a prior role This allows her to drive value from information technology, improving the patient experience, clinical care, hospital operations and financial management

          Jamie currently serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, New York. HSS and academic medical center, specializing in orthopedic surgery and musculoskeletal medicine, and is seen as the world leader on musculoskeletal care. Jamie has held this position for eight years and is a member of the Chief Executive’s senior Executive Leadership Council. Her accomplishments at HSS include developing and implementing an IT Strategy in support of the HSS strategic roadmap, and most notably led the Hospital’s decision and implementation process to install Epic across impatient and ambulatory settings for all clinical and revenue cycle applications. Based on these efforts, HSS has been recognized by Epic as in the top six percent of successful EMR implementation. Under her leadership, HSS has been awarded at HIMSS level 7, a recognition achieved by five percent of hospitals in the U.S. and the prestigious HIMSS Davies Award.

          In her 8-year tenure at HSS, Jamie completely rebuilt the IT function, doubling the number of staff and creating key leadership positions including CMIO, CTO, CISO and VP Applications and VP Data Science and Analytics. Another major area of her focus and accomplishment was the complete re-architecting of HSS’s technical and security infrastructure, including a new data and voice network, establishing a network operations center, moving to an off-site data center, and implementing a world class cybersecurity program. Most recently, Jamie’s achievements include also building a strong HSS-wide analytics team; developing the Digital Transformation plan and upskilling the IT department to build and support digital and cloud computing initiatives. Jamie is a nationally recognized healthcare IT leader including the following distinctions: Becker’s Top IT Healthcare Female Leaders 2020, Crains New York Notable Women in Healthcare 2019, 2020, Women to Know in Health IT – 2019, Becker’s Hospital Review, Female Health IT Leaders to Know – 2018 Becker’s Hospital Review, 2018 Most Powerful Women in HIT-Health Data Management.

          Jamie has a Master’s in business administration from Cornell University, with a concentration in health administration.  She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania and spent her junior year at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

          An active member in her community, Ms. Nelson was recently appointed to the NYC Advisory Board of The Devereux Foundation, a nonprofit behavioral health organization that operates programs and services in 11 U.S. states, working with children and adults with developmental disabilities, emotional and behavioral disorders, and mental illnesses.  She is a major donor to the New York City Ballet and supports WiTNY (Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship in New York), by offering internships to CUNY undergraduate students during their winter breaks at HSS.

          Posted April 2020

          Tales from New York: HSS Shifts Mission to Respond to COVID-19

          Jamie Nelson, CIO, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) shares the unique response of the Hospital for Special Surgery to the ...
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              Digital Health Response to COVID-19 at Providence

              Sara Vaezy MHA, MPHSara Vaezy, MHA, MPH, Chief Digital Strategy & Business Development Officer, Providence St. Joseph Health, presents on Providence’s digital response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Coming at it from multiple angles, including leveraging the chatbot for assessment, triaging to virtual visits for further screening, identifying appropriate testing locations, and serving as a partner on the pathway with home monitoring, Providence continues to evolve its approach to battle the virus and ultimately transform healthcare.  Sara shares updates on their Consumer Hub and their E2E COVID patient journey, as well as utilization of other technologies such as computerized cognitive behavioral therapy to ease the mental health burden of the pandemic. She also touches on other ways to care for patients requiring non-COVID care in a constrained environment.

              COVID | chatbot | virtual visits | home monitoring

                  Atrium Health – The COVID-19 Effect: How the Coronavirus Pandemic is Reframing Healthcare

                  We are very excited to have a special guest host for the next HCLDR Tweetchat – Dr. Zeev Neuwirth! Dr. Neuwirth is an amazing speaker and podcast host. His book Reframing Healthcare – A Roadmap for Creating Disruptive Change is a phenomenal read – full of interesting ways to change your perspective on healthcare. Below is the blog he wrote especially for HCLDR to…ahem…frame the chat.

                  Dr. Zeev Neuwirth – Please join me for the next HCLDR tweetchat happening Tuesday March 31st at 8:30pm ET (for your local time click here). Together we will be discussing the following questions:

                  • T1 How can we ensure that the patient/consumer voice isn’t lost during this #COVID19 crisis? How do we protect the gains made over the past decade?
                  • T2 How is #COVID19 impacting the Social Determinants of Health – impacting issues such as food insecurity, income, education, safe housing, transportation, behavioral health, social isolation?
                  • T3 #COVID19 is impacting healthcare staff – especially those on the frontline – what can be done to better support them as they care for patients?
                  • T4 How will #COVID19 irreversibly reframe healthcare delivery over the next few years (i.e. home-based care, tele-health, policies & payment, etc…)?
                      Alisahah Cole MD

                      Alisahah Cole, MD

                      System Vice President, Population Health Innovation and Policy, CommonSpirit Health

                      Personal Background

                      A musician, a physician, a wife and mother, a volunteer, a leader, are just a few descriptions to use during introductions. Above all, Dr. Cole is highly passionate about health equity, advocating that everyone should have the ability to achieve great health, no matter what they look like, how much money they make, or where they come from.

                      Dr. Cole was born in Dayton, Ohio, where she lived with her mother.  She started playing classical piano at the age of 5, and always knew she wanted to be a doctor.  Her grandmother played an integral role in her life, instilling in her that everyone deserved grace and kindness.

                      Education and Professional Development

                      Dr. Cole received her undergraduate degrees in Music and Biology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.  She graduated with her medical degree from Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, OH, where she was a National Health Service Corp Scholar.  Since serving the underserved had always been a priority, she completed her residency in Family Medicine at Carolinas Medical Center, where she was part of the Urban Track program.  During that time, she received the Bryant L. Galusha Intern of the Year Award and served as Co-Chief Resident her final year.

                      After completing residency, she worked in Union, SC for 4 years, where under her leadership as Medical Director, designated her office as a rural health clinic.  She also served as the Medical Director for Interim Healthcare, a home health/hospice company during this time.  She returned to Charlotte in 2011, becoming the faculty and Site Director of the Urban Track, where she trained. She completed a Faculty Development Fellowship at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Medicine in 2012, after which she was quickly promoted to Residency Director in 2013. Under her leadership as Residency Director, she expanded the Urban Track Program, successfully merged another Family Medicine Residency program to prevent it from closing in Monroe, NC, and transformed the curriculum to focus on population health.   In 2015, she became Vice Chair of the Department of Family Medicine, responsible for the daily operations of the department, as well as the academic and research components.  In 2016, she became the first Vice President, System Medical Director of Community Health for Carolinas HealthCare System/Atrium Health, with responsibilities to develop and implement a community health strategy over multiple counties in NC, SC, and GA.  In 2018, She was promoted to Chief Community Impact Officer of Atrium Health, with expanding responsibilities over Health Equity, Community Health, Environmental Sustainability, Mobile Medicine, and Faith Community Health Ministry. She was named as Interim Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at Atrium Health in 2019.  Most recently, she joined CommonSpirit Health as the first System Vice President of Population Health Innovation and Policy.

                      Community Involvement

                      Dr. Cole grew up in a family that believed in giving back to the community and that has been a tremendous part of her life’s work.  She is a practicing physician and has served in multiple volunteer roles including Medical Director at Bethesda Clinic, a low-cost care option serving primarily immigrants and the Team Physician for multiple high school teams over the years.   She has been a consistent volunteer, along with her family, with numerous non-profit agencies, including her church.  She also has a passion about inter-disciplinary medical education, teaching a wide range of learners from residents, medical and pharmacy students, ACP’s, and behavioral health interns, to name a few.


                      Dr. Cole has received numerous awards for her commitment to clinical excellence, medical education, community health, and health equity.  Among these honors are:

                      ·       Care Ring-Maribelle Connerat Award

                      ·       Greater Charlotte Healthcare Executives Group Inaugural Equity of Care Physician Award

                      ·       Society of Teachers of Family Medicine President’s Award

                      ·       University of Chapel Hill Statewide Dept. of Family Medicine David S. Citron Award

                      ·       Wallace Thomson Hospital Excellence in Patient Care Award

                      ·       National Health Service Corp Scholar



                      In addition to her various professional and philanthropic positions, she has served or is currently affiliated with the following organizations:

                      ·       Board of Directors of Public Health Foundation

                      ·       Board of Directors American Hospital Association Center for Innovation

                      ·       Board of Directors American Hospital Association Health, Research, and Education Trust

                      ·       Diversity Leadership Committee, American Heart Association

                      ·       Board of Directors-Chair, One Charlotte Health Alliance

                      ·       Board of Directors Mecklenburg County Medic

                      ·       Board of Directors Care Ring

                      ·       Board of Directors Charlotte Regional Business Alliance Foundation

                      ·       Charlotte Executive Leadership Council, Housing Committee

                      ·       Charlotte 250 Executive Leadership Council

                      ·       Healthy North Carolina 2030 Task Force

                      ·       North Carolina Healthy Opportunities Task Force

                      ·       Family Medicine for America’s Health, Young Leaders Insight Group

                      ·       University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Kenan Scholar’s Program

                      ·       American Academy of Family Physicians

                      ·       North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians

                      ·       American Medical Association

                      ·       Association of Community Health Improvement

                      ·       Society of Teachers in Family Medicine, Nominating and GME Committees

                      ·       Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Family Medicine Leadership Committee

                      Articles and Publications 


















                      Bio updated September 2020

                      2020 Executive Outlook: Chief Community Health Officers

                      Hospitals are forming innovative partnerships with local communities, social service agencies, neighborhood groups and public health agencies – are you? ...
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                          Melissa Stalets

                          Melissa Stalets FACHE

                          Melissa Stalets serves as Manager for Memorial Innovation in Memorial Health System’s newly formed Division of Quality and Safety.  In this role, Melissa is responsible for leading development of the infrastructure necessary to enable and accelerate innovation, both internally and with partners, and across a broad range of innovation approaches.

                          Prior to this role, Melissa held leadership positions in ambulatory networks and behavioral health divisions of Memorial Health System.  In these positions, her primary areas of focus were the development and execution of new services and models for service delivery, performance improvement, and program evaluation.

                          Melissa holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology and maintains a license as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.  She is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.


                          Posted December 2019
                              Thomas August

                              Thomas August

                              Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer | John Muir Health

                              Tom August (CISSP, CPHIMS) is an award-winning CISO and respected industry leader with over 25 years of experience in Information Security, IT Auditing and Risk Management.   Tom has made a career of developing, implementing and managing financially-responsible cyber programs that effectively balance risk, regulatory requirements and strategic business goals.

                              Tom currently serves as Vice President & Chief Information Security Officer for John Muir Health, a nationally-recognized healthcare leader comprised of two acute care hospitals, a behavioral health center and community health practices located throughout the east San Francisco bay area.  As CISO, Tom has overall responsibility for assessing, measuring, addressing and reporting on technology risk and compliance matters across the entire health system.

                              Prior to joining John Muir, Tom served in leadership roles at Sharp Healthcare, Sony Corporation, Pacific Life Insurance Company, Deloitte and Ernst & Young.  Tom is a co-author of “The CISO Handbook”, an alumnus of the FBI CISO Academy, and a frequent presenter at healthcare and information security industry events.  Tom is widely-recognized for publishing a popular Information Security Buzzword Bingo Scorecard each year to highlight the need for more meaningful dialogue between information security professionals, vendors and business leaders.


                              Posted December 2019


                                  Photo of Katie Korte

                                  Katie Korte

                                  Katie Korte, Community Health Advocate, has been in Healthcare for the last 12 years.  She has held various leadership and innovative positions.  She was the Team Lead, for over 7 years, in Mercy Regional Medical Center’s Clinical Nutrition Department, which over saw the Dieticians, Inpatient Services and the Hospital Coffee Shop.  For the last 5 years she has demonstrated proficiency in several areas at Mercy Family Medicine.  She began helping as business support and then became the clinical assistant to the Integrated Behavioral Health Provider.  In that new role she developed the process for Tele psych calls between the providers and a clinical psychiatrist for consultative services.  Katie personally sought out every possible community resource for our patients and kept an updated inventory for staff to utilize.  Katie holds certifications as a Patient Navigator; and in Care Coordination for Patient Navigators.  In her current role as a Community Health Advocate she works in Mercy Family Medicine.  There, every patient is screened for needs relating to social determinants of health.  When a patient has a positive screen, Katie provides assistance compassionately and professionally.  She is currently obtaining her degree in Hospital Administration from Purdue University.  In her spare time, she is the President of the Cristian Korte Memorial Swim Fund, a non-profit she set up in honor of her late son.

                                  Posted October 2019

                                  Utilizing Social Determinants of Health at Centura

                                  Tamra Lavengood RN, BSN, MSN, CPC+/SIM Coordinator Mercy Primary Care, Katie Korte, Community Health Advocate, and Rodney Gardner, RN, Care ...
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                                      Improving Depression Screening in Primary Care with Health IT at UCLA

                                      Jessica Jeffrey, MD, MPH, Associate Director, Clara Lin, MD, Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Specialist and Physician Informaticist, and Rachel Linonis, MS, Director Digital Solutions, UCLA Division of Population Behavioral Health at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.  The high prevalence of under-recognized and costly behavioral health conditions, coupled with the rise of accountable care organizations and population health-based reimbursement models, has led many health systems – including UCLA Health – to adopt innovative ways to identify and treat behavioral health conditions. Our team implemented a universal depression screening program in UCLA Primary Care Clinics and achieved a four-fold increase in depression screening in one year by: 1) building customized and integrated information-technology tools, 2) implementing robust operational workflows for screening, 3) increasing physician and staff awareness through both online- and live- trainings to the clinics, and 4) ensuring that incentives are aligned for scalability.

                                      Behavioral Health | accountable care organizations | population health | depression screening