As Chairman and Co-founder, Richard Coren provides critical guidance and insight informed by his lifetime of experiences and achievements in the healthcare industry. Richard began his career in the healthcare arena after obtaining his law degree suma cum laude. In 1983, he built one of the largest healthcare staffing agencies in the state of Florida. In 1994, Richard had a significant health scare due to poor nursing practices during his stay in a hospital. After his miraculous recovery, Richard identified the need for rehabilitation centers to treat patients like himself. He went on to create a successful hospital-based, multi-disciplinary approach known as the Special Care Unit to treat the catastrophically ill. There he served as founder and Chairman of the Board and helped to build Special Care Unit into a multi-state venture.
Cassandra Crowe has over 20 years of leadership experience with the last thirteen beingin service excellence and patient experience. Most recently she served as Senior Director of the Office of Patient Experience for University of Colorado Health – Northern Colorado.
Dedicated to maximizing patient and family experiences, and the ultimate quality and level of their care, she has been the driving force behind multiple hospitals and medical centers being recognized for superior operational and service excellence. An innate visionary, creative problem solver, and hands - on leader, trainer, and agent of change, she has an outstanding track record of accomplishments.
Dr. Fermin Barrueto has been the Chief Medical Officer at University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health (UM UCH) since July 2016. Prior to this appointment, he had served as the regional director and chair for the Department of Emergency Medicine at UM Upper Chesapeake Health since 2008. In this capacity, he oversaw the emergency departments at UM Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air and UM Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace.
Double board certified in emergency medicine and medical toxicology, Dr. Barrueto also served as a clinical associate professor for the University of Maryland School of Medicine Department of Emergency Medicine, where he taught the toxicology curriculum for emergency medicine residents.
Ellen Angelo, DNP, MSN, R.N., CCRN, of Holmdel, N.J., is chief nursing officer of Hackensack Meridian Health Jersey Shore University Medical Center. Ellen previously served as vice president, chief nursing officer at Ocean Medical Center and has held a nursing leadership position with Hackensack Meridian Health for nine years. Prior to serving as VP, chief nursing officer, she served as senior manager, Patient Care at Ocean Medical Center and also as director of Medical Surgical Nursing at two hospitals; Monmouth Medical Center, in Long Branch, N.J., and Union Hospital, in Union, N.J.
A multiple nursing award recipient, Ellen has received the Elizabeth Kellogg Nursing Excellence Award, Monsignor Bradley Nursing Research Award, and Critical Care Nurse of the Year award, among others. She is an adjunct professor for nursing and medical programs at Georgian Court University. Ellen is a member of the Organization of Nurse Leaders and the American Organization of Nurse Executives.
She holds a Nursing Diploma from Elizabeth General Hospital School of Nursing, an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing from Union County College, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Kean University, a Master of Science in Nursing from Monmouth University, a Six Sigma Certificate for green, lean and black belt from Villanova University, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Drexel University.
Elizabeth is a leader with an outstanding record of achievement, who is passionate about quality and patient experience. Her departments have consistently achieved high patient and employee satisfaction. Elizabeth oversees the collection, analysis and translation of consumer qualitative and quantitative intelligence to strategically design deployment programs, policies with standard operating procedures and/or practices that achieve the service excellence strategy of the organization to create exceptional human experiences.
Elizabeth is currently responsible for the research, design and acceleration of adoption of best practices and innovation integrating the science behind the human experience of care across the Network. She oversees a coaching model including the education required to execute and sustain results. Elizabeth oversees the Consumer Services which includes the Advocacy Program, an Experience Call Center, complaint management, service recovery and centralized consumer communication functions.
Donna Ciufo is the Vice President of Nursing Education, Professional Practice, and Leadership Development at Hackensack Meridian Health. Donna excels at professional development and transition of knowledge into practice for frontline team members. She is a proven leader, dedicated nurse, and passionate champion of advancing the role of nursing in an era of health reform. Donna has experience in various clinical and progressive leadership roles, including nurse manager, senior manager, Director of Nursing Education and CNO. She earned a BSN, MSN and MBA from Monmouth University and her DNP at UMDNJ (now Rutgers University).
Sandra Roberts has been with the Permanente Medical Group for over 30 years in a wide variety of roles. Her background is in nursing with experience in med-surg, oncology, minor injury, pediatrics, personal health appraisal coaching and chronic conditions care management.
She led the development and implementation of the Hypertension Care Management Program for the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Region. She has developed and facilitated numerous curricula for physician and staff development and has been a speaker for many conferences and symposia on the topic of effective clinician-patient communication strategies.
Sandra’s current role is Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center. Her portfolio includes Exceptional Care Experience, Communication Consultants, Culturally Responsive Care and Inclusion, Employer Engagement, Schwartz Center Rounds and more. She develops and delivers team building for groups, serves as a consultant for leadership development and conflict resolution and provides 1:1 communication coaching for physicians.
Shane is the Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Advocate Aurora Health, Aurora Medical Center in Oshkosh Wisconsin. He is a leader, compassionate about building and developing personal and meaningful relationships. Shane is committed to high quality and health outcomes while delivering an exceptional patient experience. He strives to connect the patient and families experience directly to the team member by recognizing and rewarding them, while improving engagement.
Shane is currently responsible for nursing practice, quality, and patient experience outcomes at Aurora Medical Center Oshkosh. In doing so, Shane’s focus is on integration, process improvement and innovation to improve human experiences across the care continuum. He oversees a wide variety of hospital operations beyond nursing, which provides an opportunity to focus on overall improvements of consumerism, changes in the healthcare environment and improve collaboration and teamwork.
Shane graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing with a Nurse Practitioner emphasis. He continues to stay involved in nursing practice as an acting board member and member of the Organization of Nurse Leaders.
Advocate Aurora Health (AAH) is a 28-hospital system in Wisconsin and Illinois with over 22,000 nurses and 77,000 team members in which its Purpose is to “help people live well”. Built on the values of Excellence, Compassion and Respect, AAH does by Engaging, Empowering, Executing, and Transforming. To learn more about AAH, go to Advocate Aurora Health.
Ray has been a volunteer for 13 years. His first 6 years were as a patient advocate, where he spoke to many diverse patients about their issues and experiences, then providing input for potential actions to improve patient well-being. For the last 7 years he has worked in our distribution center delivering supplies to all areas of the hospital, exposing him to many policies and procedures throughout the complex. Ray also volunteers at several other non-healthcare activities.
He has 5 children and 8 grandchildren with his wife of 58 years, Sandy. Sandy has been hospitalized many times over the years, giving Ray exposure to procedures and policies good and bad, and what could be done more efficiently.
With a background in project management and construction code enforcement, John currently works in municipal government in Red Bank, NJ, home to Hackensack Meridian Health's, Riverview Medical Center (RMC). “On March 5, 2018 I arrived at RMCs Emergency Department in serious condition with Bacterial Meningitis Type B, Septic and with Pneumonia. Shortly thereafter I was admitted to ICU in Critical Condition and placed on a ventilator for the next 4-5 days. The caregivers worked around the clock to save my life, on the fifth day I was extubated and awoke for the first time and moved to the 5 South Telemetry Unit. There I spent the next six days on my way to recovery. I had lost 30 lbs. in five days, much of it muscle mass. There I would take my first exhaustive few steps, walk ten feet and I could earn my way to 5 North Rehabilitation. Seventh day on my way to 5 North Room 550 Rehab. For the next two weeks, intensive physical and speech therapy, it was painful, but my will was to not only survive but to thrive! 24 days later I would walk out of Riverview Medical Center. They saved my life. But it wasn't over, I still had seven more weeks of outpatient rehab ahead. 2 ½ months later I returned to work with only correctable hearing loss due to the meningitis.” That's his story, it’s a story that centers around the caregivers who worked tirelessly. Wambi inspired him to discover just how important it is to recognize our health care providers.
Dave Thomsen is a semi-retired independent consultant offering clients coaching in the areas of performance excellence, leadership, strategic planning, understanding customers and leveraging data to drive improvement in process design and key results. Dave considers himself an “impact strategist” and founded Third Gate Consulting to leverage his expertise and unique systems perspective to help increase individual and organizational impact. With over four decades of healthcare industry experience, including as a navy medic, he acquired skills in process improvement and served in senior leadership roles in quality, organizational development, and service delivery in Arizona and Texas. His efforts helped the 8-hospital system achieve both Top 100 and Top 15 Health System recognition nationally.
He is a volunteer senior examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and was responsible for leading St. David’s HealthCare’s 12-year effort in achieving the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2014. Dave also enjoys serving on non-profit boards as time allows, lending his perspectives to envision innovative approaches to serve the community.
Dave's keen sense of empathy for individuals needing care to deal with acute or chronic conditions they're facing stems from his own personal and family experience with cancer. He has been married for over 36 years, has four grown children, enjoys time outdoors, and connecting with people on a spiritual level in this journey of life.
Deborah Petrucelli, CPXP has spent the majority of her 20-year career in healthcare in search of the secret sauce for patient experience excellence. As a certified patient experience professional, Deborah has been on a mission to transform healthcare by touching the hearts of many through moments of human connection. Prior to her current role, she was the Manager of Patient Experience at Hackensack Meridian Health Raritan Bay Medical Center Perth Amboy and Old Bridge NJ where she was instrumental in the launch of the Patient and Family Advisory Council and successfully supported leaders and colleagues to improve the overall patient experience as measured through the HCAHPS survey.
Deborah spent the early part of her healthcare career in contract services where she served in various support service roles as a high potential leader within operations. Her background in education enabled her to connect with team members and leaders and she was seen as integral in team building, change management, and creating vision around strategy.
A personal battle with cancer led Deborah to a profound understanding of resilience and the important role healthcare professionals play in creating peaks and valleys in a patient’s healthcare journey. Deborah’s journey as a patient led her to become an active member of the Network Patient and Family Advisory Council where she continues to share her personal story to impact change.
Deborah has been praised by healthcare professionals as “possessing a gift for storytelling” that leaves her audiences “inspired and motivated” in their reconnection to purpose. In her new role as Regional Educator and Coach for the Office of Human Experience for Hackensack Meridian Health, Deborah will support teams in the network’s Central Region to reconnect to purpose and develop a better understanding of what matters most in the world of patient experience.