Meet Our Quality and Safety Leader

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.

Directors

Jennifer Beloff, RN, MSN, APN
Jennifer Beloff is the Executive Director of Quality in the Department of Quality and Safety at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She is an advanced practice nurse with 17 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 New York City) as a nurse, nurse practitioner, and clinical quality specialist.

Sonali Desai, MD, MPH
Dr. Sonali Desai 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 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, PharmD, BCPS, CPPS
Karen Fiumara is the Executive 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, MD
Dr. Mallika Mendu 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, MD
Dr. Peter Najjar 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 Pimentel, MD
Dr. Marc Pimentel 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 
Dr. Hojjat Salmasian 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, MD, MPH
Dr. Paige Wickner 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.

Catherine (Kate) Ulbricht, PharmD, MBA, CPPS
Kate Ulbright is the Director of Clinical and Academic Programs.  She 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.

Casey McGrath, RN, MSN
Casey McGrath is the Director of Clinical Quality Programs.  She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master 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 (BWH). 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 has led quality reporting and improvement efforts in surgery, heart failure, the emergency department, the NICU, nursing, and catheter associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) prevention. In the spring of 2015, Casey successfully launched the Brigham Surgical Quality Redesign (BSQUARED) effort, a program that enabled multidisciplinary provider-led teams from the departments of surgery, anesthesia, and nursing to develop and implement projects that transformed front-line clinical expertise into hospital-level improvements in surgical quality and safety. Through this program Casey facilitated the expansion of the hospital’s Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocol to multiple service lines.  Currently, Casey oversees the growth and development of the Clinical Pathways Program and the Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI) Prevention Task Force. Casey is also responsible for providing vision and direction of many clinical quality initiatives throughout BWH.

Safety Team

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, Senior Safety Program Manager, 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 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.

Roaa M. Khinkar, PharmD, PGY2 Quality and Safety Resident, earned her Doctor of Pharmacy from King Abdulaziz University (KAU) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Prior to joining BWH Department of Quality and Safety, she was a PGY1 resident at Hallmark Health System in Medford, Massachusetts where she conducted Emergency Department Medication Reconciliation and Critical Care Services. Additionally, she successfully implemented a phenobarbital protocol for acute alcohol withdrawal syndromes. Roaa also serves as an adjunct professor for Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences (MCPHS) where she facilitated pharmacotherapeutic seminar classes. Currently, Roaa helps mentor our clinical and academic rotation interns while participating in multiple projects involving quality, safety, compliance, and risk management initiatives across the healthcare system.

Quality Team

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 Peters, 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 Master's clinical internship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital Department of Cardiology/Radiology. Prior to joining the Department of Quality and Safety, she worked as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in the Department of Cardiology. As a member of the BWH Quality Team, Kelly previously focused on quality and reporting initiatives, including Emergency Department throughput, Get with the Guidelines Heart Failure, tobacco cessation, pain management, care coordination, and endoscopy. Currently, Kelly co-chairs the Brigham Health Sepsis Taskforce and focuses on reporting and quality improvement initiatives related to sepsis.

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

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 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 October 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.

Jodi Dalto, RN, MSN, Senior Program Manager, earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing Administration from Northeastern University. For the past seven years, she has worked as a clinical instructor in Adult Health II for Northeastern University. Prior to joining the Department of Quality, Jodi started at Brigham and Women’s Hospital as a staff nurse in 2000, working in the Thoracic ICU, the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CCU), Angiography, and Cross-Sectional Interventional Radiology (CSIR). She has consistently demonstrated a passionate commitment to quality improvement initiatives. She led a project in the CCU to develop a comprehensive bedside reference tool for nurses. She also assisted in a quality improvement project in CSIR to improve first case on-time start times. She continues to work in collaboration on a research project for an Advanced Care Planning Toolkit for patients and families. In her role on the Quality team, Jodi focuses on quality measures related to ED throughput and the American Heart Association’s Program entitled Get With The Guidelines for Heart Failure.

Kasey Ryan, RN, BSN, Senior Program Manager, earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus on Healthcare Management from the University of Connecticut. She worked as a Business Analyst at Children’s Hospital prior to earning her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Simmons College. She worked as a staff nurse at Brigham and Women’s Hospital on the Neuroscience Intermediate Care Unit since 2014, where she was involved with quality initiatives related to fall prevention and served as a member of the Nursing Informatics committee and her unit-based practice council. In her role on the BWH Quality team, Kasey focuses on quality improvement initiatives related to inpatient venous thromoboembolism (VTE) and inpatient influenza immunization.

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