Meet Our Quality and Safety Leaders

Allen Kachalia, MD, JD
Dr. Allen Kachalia serves as the Chief Quality Officer and Vice President of Quality and Safety for Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He provides oversight for the hospital’s inpatient and ambulatory quality, safety, and performance improvement activities that are based in the Department of Quality and Safety.

Dr. Kachalia is a general internist and clinically active as an academic hospitalist at BWH. He regularly attends and teaches on the hospital wards with medical students and residents. He also has a law degree and maintains research pursuits in legal issues in medicine, including malpractice system reform and disclosure, and how they relate to the quality and safety of medical care.

Dr. Kachalia holds an appointment at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, where he teaches a course on the Law and Clinical Medicine.

David Bates, MD, MSc
Dr. David Bates is the Chief Innovation Officer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is an internationally renowned expert in patient safety, using information technology to improve care, quality of care, cost effectiveness and outcomes assessment in medical practice, and care redesign and innovation science.

In addition to serving as a practicing general internist and chief of General Internal Medicine, Dr. Bates also is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health, where he co-directs the Program in Clinical Effectiveness.

He also serves as medical director of Clinical and Quality Analysis for Partners Healthcare. He directs the Center for Patient Safety Research and Practice at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and serves as external program lead for research in the World Health Organization’s Global Alliance for Patient Safety. He is the editor of the Journal of Patient Safety.

At a time when patient safety has become a key driver for focusing national attention on health care quality, Dr. Bates’ work has served as a blueprint for improvement. He led a seminal study on the epidemiology of drug-related injuries, demonstrating that the most effective way to prevent serious medication errors is to focus on improving the systems, and has performed many studies on how computerized, evidence-based guidelines can improve quality and efficiency.

Directors

Jennifer Beloff
Jennifer Beloff, RN, MSN, APN is the Director of Quality in the Department of Quality and Safety at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She is an advanced practice nurse with 14 years of experience in healthcare quality improvement and patient safety. She joined Brigham and Women’s Hospital in August 2008 and is responsible for providing comprehensive direction, project management, and oversight for multiple quality measurement and reporting programs. Particular areas of focus include infection control, disease management, surgical management, and outcomes reporting. Prior to joining Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Jennifer worked at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, NJ (just outside of NY City) as a nurse, nurse practitioner, and clinical quality specialist.

Kathryn Britton
Kathryn Britton, MD, MPH is the Medical Director of Care Transitions and is a practicing cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. In her role within the BWH Department of Quality of Safety, Dr. Britton is charged with enhancing the quality of care for patients as they transition through the care continuum. Some specific examples of this work include efforts to improve the quality and coordination of post-acute care and to reduce preventable readmissions. Dr. Britton is a graduate of Harvard College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital followed by training in cardiovascular medicine and vascular medicine during which time she received her Masters in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health. She joined the cardiovascular faculty in 2012.

Christian Dankers
Christian Dankers, MD, MBA grew up in Monroe, WA and attended Williams College where he studied Philosophy and played soccer. After college, he worked for three years at the Advisory Board Company in Washington D.C., which provides business strategy research and consulting services for hospitals. He then attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he obtained his M.D. and M.B.A. He completed internal medicine residency at The Massachusetts General Hospital and remained at the MGH for three years following residency, splitting his time between clinical work as a hospitalist and quality and safety work as a member of the Edward P. Lawrence Center for Quality and Safety. In 2013, Dr. Dankers joined the Department of Quality and Safety at Brigham and Women’s Hospital as the Associate Medical Director for Quality and Safety. He continues to practice as a hospitalist and is particularly interested in Hospital Acquired Condition reduction and in strengthening safety culture through the application of Just Culture principles.

Sonali Desai
Sonali Desai, MD, MPH is a native of Massachusetts and attended both college and medical school at Brown University in Rhode Island. Dr. Desai completed her residency and Chief residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and her rheumatology fellowship at BWH. She completed a three-year Physician Scientist Development Award from the American College of Rheumatology (2009-2012) and has a MPH degree from the Harvard School of Public Health which supports her clinical research in quality of care, with 13 peer-reviewed and 5 other publications, with 7 other manuscripts in progress. Through an executive education course at Harvard Business School (Brigham Leadership Program graduate), she has acquired strong networks and leadership skills. She is the Program Director of a new innovative global education, blended learning course at Harvard Medical School titled “Safety, Quality, Informatics and Leadership”. Dr. Desai serves as the Medical Director of the Department of Medicine’s Quality Program working directly with all 13 divisions within the DOM to select, measure, and improve performance on quality metrics and focus on meeting regulatory requirements (Meaningful Use, maintenance of certification and medication reconciliation). Dr. Desai is the Medical Director for Ambulatory Patient Safety in the Department of Quality and Safety. Her goals are to enhance the patient safety culture, create a robust process of closing the loop on safety reports, to reduce missed and delayed diagnoses and to increase medication safety.

Kelly Doorley, RN, MS
Kelly Doorley, RN, MS is the Director of Clinical Compliance at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  She joined the hospital in November 2010 and is responsible for directing the hospital-wide efforts of all regulatory compliance and surveys including The Joint Commission and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  She works closely with all levels of the organization to ensure Brigham and Women’s Hospital remains in compliance with state and federal rules and regulations including hospital licensure requirements. Prior to joining Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Kelly held varying positions across Partners Healthcare including staff nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital, Compliance Manager at Partners Healthcare Internal Audit, and most recently was the Director of Continual Readiness, Patient Safety, and Infection Prevention and Control at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital.

Karen Fiumara
Karen Fiumara, PharmD, BCPS is the Director of Patient Safety in the Department of Quality and Safety at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
She joined Brigham and Women’s Hospital in August 2002 and is responsible for the strategic planning and direction of the BWH Safety program. Particular areas of focus include enhancing the culture of safety at BWH, proactive and reactive risk assessment, and ensuring compliance with National Patient Safety Goals. Karen graduated from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and completed a pharmacy practice residency at BWH. Prior to joining the Department of Quality and Safety, Karen worked as the Medication Safety Officer and managed the Anticoagulation Management Service at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Mallika Mendu
Mallika Mendu, MD is Assistant Medical Director for Quality and Safety at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. Mendu is also a practicing nephrologist and part of the Partners Population Health Management Team. She received her MD and MBA degrees from the Yale School of Medicine and Yale School of Management. During her internal medicine residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, she was involved in the Medicine Management Leadership Track and developed an interest in addressing system-level deficiencies in quality and care delivery by implementing innovative interventions. She pursued nephrology fellowship at Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospital, and conducted research related to quality improvement. Dr. Mendu’s responsibilities are focused on mortality review and transitions of care.

Peter Najjar
Peter Najjar, MD is a Fellow in the Harvard Medical School Fellowship in Patient Safety and Quality at BWH. In addition to hospital-wide quality and patient safety work, he focuses on improving surgical care through enhanced collaboration between the Department of Quality and Safety and the Department of Surgery. Peter is also clinically active as a Resident in Surgery. He attended the University of California, Davis before completing his MD at the University of Chicago in 2011. He is currently completing an MBA at Harvard Business School.

Marc Pimental
Marc Pimentel, MD is an Assistant Medical Director in Patient Safety and Quality and is working on a variety of projects under the supervision of Allen Kachalia, MD, JD and Luigino Nascimben, MD, PhD. These include hospital-wide projects, such as the Hospital Acquired Conditions Reduction program, as well as more local projects, such as perioperative hand hygiene improvement. Marc completed his residency in anesthesiology at BWH and serves part time clinically in the operating rooms. As part of his fellowship he also attends risk management classes at CRICO, as well as courses at the Harvard School of Public Health towards an MPH.

Hojjat Salmasian, MD, MPH, PhD 
Hojjat Salmasian, MD, MPH, PhD is the Program Director for Data Science and Evaluation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and is also an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS).  Hojjat leads our efforts on using advanced data science and informatics approaches to measure and improve quality, safety, and value of care delivered at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and affiliated hospitals and programs.  In his academic role, Hojjat leads federally funded research projects focused on improving medication safety and reducing wrong-patient order entry.  Hojjat received his medical and public health degrees from Tehran University of Medical Sciences, and his PhD in biomedical informatics from Columbia University.  Prior to joining BWH and HMS, he held a similar role at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University, leading a team of five advanced data scientists.

Paige Wickner
Paige Wickner, MD, MPH is an Assistant Medical Director for Quality and Safety at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She completed her medical school degree at Dartmouth Medical School, and internship at Brown’s Rhode Island Hospital. She then went on to complete her internal medicine training at Yale New Haven Hospital, where she stayed and completed an Allergy and Immunology Fellowship. During her Allergy and Immunology Fellowship she did a Masters in Public Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Wickner participates in research, clinical and quality projects examining drug allergy listings and their implications for patient quality and safety. Dr. Wickner is presently focused on the patient experience at BWH. Efforts include working with both inpatient and outpatient arenas and developing small and large scale projects and endeavors focused on improvement in the patient experience. Dr. Wickner also attends in the BWH inpatient medical service, serves as the Assistant Program Director for the Brigham’s Allergy and Immunology Fellowship Training Program, and sees inpatient and outpatient Allergy and Immunology patients at BWH and BWFH.

Safety Team

Catherine (Kate) Ulbricht, PharmD, MBA, CPPS, Director of Clinical and Academic Programs, received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Connecticut, Doctor of Pharmacy from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University, and Master of Business Administration from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. Kate has served as a Senior Attending Clinical Pharmacist at Massachusetts General Hospital and as an Assistant Professor at multiple universities since 1996. She founded an international research collaboration providing evidence-based decision support tools promoting patient safety. Her publications include hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific articles, book chapters, and texts. Kate helps propel our Joint Commission/National Patient Safety Goals, transparency, and educational efforts forward.

Karen Griswold, RN, MBA, CPPS, Lead Program Manager, Patient Safety, received her Bachelor of Nursing from the University of Vermont in Burlington, VT and Master of Business Administration from Simmons College in Boston, MA. Karen joined the Brigham as a part of the nursing department in 2000, and then the Department of Quality and Safety in December of 2007 as a Senior Consultant for Quality and Safety Programs. In her role, Karen leads Emergency Response and Rapid Response programs coordinating data collection, data reporting, and process improvement efforts, facilitates the Central Venous Catheter insertion safety group, as well as works with various other Patient Safety programs and initiatives.

Andrea Shellman, MHSA, CPPS, Lead Program Manager, Patient Safety, received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Psychology from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and her Master of Health Service Administration from University of Michigan. In her role, she analyzes medical center safety trends, administers the patient safety culture survey, and facilitates other hospital-wide patient safety initiatives. Previously she worked at Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles Medical Center as part of the transition team that facilitated opening a new hospital.

Eunji Michelle Ko, PharmD, Patient Safety Pharmacy Resident, received her Doctor of Pharmacy from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University in Boston, Massachusetts. Michelle served on Brigham and Women’s Hospital Emergency Department Medication Reconciliation Support Team helping to ensure patients were admitted to the hospital with Best Possible Medication Histories (BPMH). Prior to joining the Department of Quality and Safety as a Resident, she was a Clinical Content Consultant for Alosa Foundation in Boston, MA where she contributed to provider and patient educational materials. Michelle helps oversee clinical rotation students while participating on multiple projects involving quality, safety, and performance improvement initiatives across the healthcare system.

Nacim Iranmanesh, MPH, Patient Safety Project Manager, received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Arizona and her Master of Public Health from Boston University concentrating in Healthcare Policy and Management. Nacim collaborates with quality and safety leaders throughout the hospital to provide project management and decision making support for hospital safety initiatives. Prior to joining the Department of Quality and Safety, Nacim worked in operations management and developed process improvement innovations in a variety of healthcare settings sparking her passion for patient safety and data analytics.

Sarah Williams, MPH, Patient Safety Project Manager, began her role as a Project Manager for the Department of Quality and Safety in June of 2017 where she assists and oversees projects associated with patient safety. Prior to joining Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Sarah earned a Master of Public Health degree from Boston University where she concentrated in healthcare management. At Boston University School of Public Health, she pursued opportunities focused on quality and process improvement initiatives. Sarah completed her Bachelor of Art in Biology with a focus in Neuroscience at Assumption College in Worcester, MA.

Nikhil Sangave, PharmD, Patient Safety Pharmacy Resident, received his Doctor of Pharmacy at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University in Boston, MA. He later went on to complete his residency in ambulatory care and acquired his teaching certificate at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles where he also served as chief resident and as adjunct associate professor of pharmacy practice. In addition to chronic disease state management, he also spent time in transitions-of-care settings where he worked to reduce hospital readmission rates and length of stay. Nikhil works on several projects in the patient safety realm along with mentoring clinical rotation students.

Quality Team

 

Amy Bulger, RN, MPH, Senior Program Manager, joined the Department of Quality and Safety in June 2015. She received a Master of Public Health degree from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Northeastern University. Prior to joining the department, she worked as a Staff Nurse in General Surgery/Trauma at Massachusetts General Hospital. At BWH, she is focusing on quality and reporting initiatives.

Jo Ann David-Kasdan, RN, MS, SM, Lead Program Manager, is a Lead Program Manager in the Department of Quality and Safety at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Prior to joining the Department of Quality and Safety in 2012 she most recently worked at Massachusetts General Hospital. She has had extensive clinical experience and has been involved in a wide range of projects including overall quality improvement in the care of patients with diabetes, heart failure and HIV, pediatric weight based dosing, adverse events, and race and gender issues in kidney transplantation. At BWH, she focuses on hospital-wide quality and reporting initiatives and spends a significant amount of time reviewing and improving patient safety indicators.

Kelly Egan, MS, Senior Program Manager, earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Loyola University Chicago and a Master of Science in Exercise Science with a concentration in Public Health from Northeastern University. She completed her Masters’ clinical internship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital Department of Cardiology/Radiology. Prior to joining the Department of Quality and Safety, she worked as an Clinical Exercise Physiologist at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in the Department of Cardiology. As a member of the BWH Quality Team, Kelly focuses on quality and reporting initiatives, including emergency department throughput, heart failure, tobacco cessation, pain management and endoscopy.

Natalie Finn, Student Intern in the BWH Department of Quality and Safety, earning her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Simmons College.

Casey McGrath, RN, MSN, Lead Program Manager, earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Masters of Science in Nursing degrees from Endicott College. Prior to joining the Department of Quality and Safety in 2013, she worked as a Staff Nurse on the Intermediate Neuroscience Unit at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Casey has worked closely with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School as well as Sigma Theta Tau Chi Epsilon members on quality improvement projects. At BWH, Casey oversees the growth and development of the Clinical Pathways Program. In addition, she program manages the Brigham Surgical Quality Redesign (BSQUARED) Program and the Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infection Prevention (CAUTI) Task Force. Casey currently focuses on neonatal bloodstream infection prevention metrics and outpatient cardiac care as well as other quality improvement initiatives.

Caitlin Murphy, MPH, Program Manager, of the newly created Clinical Pathways program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She is responsible for working with surgical specialties to develop, implement, and sustain clinical pathways based on the best known practices in order to reduce length of stay, infection rates, and readmissions. Caitlin first joined BWH as a process improvement consultant in 2015 after completing her Master’s degree in Public Health at Boston University where she concentrated in Healthcare Policy and Management with a focus on management. Caitlin earned her Green Belt in Lean management through an initiative to improve hand washing compliance in an ICU setting and completed the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Practicum Certificate through a quality improvement project focused on reducing length of stay for newborns. Caitlin earned her BS in chemistry at Boston College.

Robert Pierazek, RN, BSN, MBA, Senior Program Manager, joined the Department of Quality and Safety in January 2017. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute for Health Professions and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. Prior to joining the department, he worked for several years in the field of information technology in the banking industry. In 2008, he began working in Care Coordination at BWH, and until recently, he worked as a registered nurse for an IV home infusion provider. Now with the Quality and Safety Department, Robert focuses primarily on maternity metrics.

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