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The Beryl Institute Announces Breakout Sessions for Patient Experience Conference 2013

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The increase in sessions allows the conference to cover the increasing range of issues impacting patient experience.

The Beryl Institute announces breakout sessions for its annual Patient Experience Conference to be held April 17-19, 2013 in Dallas, Texas. The sessions join the previously announced keynote speakers and pre-conference workshops in shaping the agenda for the annual event for professionals passionate about improving the patient experience in healthcare.

A call for submissions was held through late July 2012, and finalists were selected by the Institute and its advisory board of patient experience leaders. Due to the increasing popularity of the conference, the 2013 program will be extended to include 28 breakout sessions over the 3-day event. “The increase in sessions allows the conference to cover the increasing range of issues impacting patient experience. It will also provide participants the ability to customize their conference experience and walk away with the information necessary to positively impact the patient experience in their own healthcare settings,” said Jason Wolf, executive director of The Beryl Institute.

Session titles and presenters by theme include:


  • Sustaining a Patient Experience Culture

Andrea Herbert, Manager, Service Excellence and Virgie Mosley, Manager, Patient Liaisons, UCLA Health System

  • Standardizing the Approach to the Patient Experience in a Large Healthcare System

Kristin Hoefling, Director, Cultural Excellence, Vic Buzachero, Corporate Senior VP for Innovation, Human Resources and Performance Management and Robert Salus, Project Manager, Performance Improvement, Scripps Health

  • Advancing Patient & Family Centered Care through Executive and Advisor Leadership

Sue Collier, Vice President, Patient-Family Experience, Vidant Health

  • A Roadmap for Improving Healthcare Service Quality - Lessons and Tools from Mayo Clinic

Denise Kennedy, Service Coordinator, Mayo Clinic

  • The Power of Patient Stories in Cultivating a Culture that Cares

John McKeever, Executive Vice President, Gelb, An Endeavor Management Company and Cara Zorzi, Associate Director Marketing, MD Anderson

  • Topic Session: Patient Experience Roadmaps

     The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with One Step – A Road Map to a Patient-Centered Culture of Care
Carmela Valentino, Patient Experience Officer and Bonnie Haupt, Acute Care Clinical Nurse Leader, VA Connecticut Healthcare System

     Is Your Organization "All In!”?: How to Develop and Enhance Your Organization's Service Model
Juan Luna, Director, Guest and Volunteer Services, Medical Center Arlington


  • Improving the Patient Experience through Hospitalist and Nursing Engagement

Cathy Utne, Director of Patient and Guest Services, Fairview Southdale Hospital and Nancy Dezellar Walsh, Consultant, Dezellar Walsh Consulting

  • Peer Mentoring as a Means to Support Learning, Influence Action and Prompt Change

Maggie Shreve, Sr. Organization Development Consultant, Rush University Medical Center and Mary Malone, President, Malone Advisory Services

  • Reinforcing Care Competence and Commitment: Using a Skills Lab to Shape Practice and Influence Culture

CJ Merrill, AVP Service Excellence and Jason Yediares, Clinical Educator, St. David's South Austin Medical Center

  • Stop, Look, Listen! Proven Methods for Understanding the Patient Experience

Kristin Baird, President, Baird Group and Jean Hitchcock, VP Public Affairs & Marketing, Medstar Health

  • Topic Session: Employee Recognition

     Celebrating Associates: The Power of Recognition
Donna Stauber, Director of Service Excellence, Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center

     The Words "Thank You" Need Standards Too
Melissa Minkow, VP, Recognition Professionals International/Patient Experience Leader, TVR Communications and Amy Hurley, Program Director, Faculty and Staff Recognition, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

  • Topic Session: Employee Engagement

     Outcomes from a Truly Engaged Communications Team
Paula Nelson, Lead Performance Improvement Project Manager and Dianne O'Konski, Performance Improvement Project Manager, Regions Hospital

     The Magic of Engagement: Inspired Leadership at All Levels
Brian Lee, Chief Executive Officer, Custom Learning Systems


  • Enhancing the Patient Experience through Shadow Coaching

Linda Sparks, Manager, Patient Relations, Betty, Schwarz, Service Excellence Specialist and Heather Allen, Service Excellence Specialist, Dean Clinic

  • Developing the Burning Platform to Engage your Physicians

Michael Oleksyk, Vice President of Medical Affairs; CMO, Baptist Health Care

  • Helping Physicians Learn from Each Other: A Patient Experience Case Study on the Experiential Learning Process and Its Benefits

Diane Rogers, Founder, Principal Consultant, Contagious Change, LLC, Dr. Ronald Cohen, Department Chair, Emergency Services, Banner Desert Medical Center - Progressive Medical Associates and Dr. Robert Baron, Director, Quality and Risk Reduction, Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center - Emergency Professional Services


  • Just Because They Say They Understand Doesn't Mean They Do: A System Wide Approach to Improving Medication Communication and Discharge Information

Sandy Rush, Director of Patient and Family Centered Care, Dignity Health

  • Driving System Change through a Patient and Family Advisory Council

Laura MacDougall, Director, Patient Experience and Joanne MacPhail, Co-chair, Patient and Family Advisory Council, Cancer Care Ontario

  • Partners in Care: Improving the Family Experience in Adult Acute Care

Kathy Finn, Director Professional Practice Research & Develop and Carole Billington, Vice President for Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Officer, Saint Anne's Hospital

  • Social Media: New Opportunities for Engaging Patients across the Continuum of Care

Christina Thielst, Vice President, Tower

  • Patient Navigation: A Program to Enhance the Patient Experience and Impact the Bottom Line

Carol Santalucia, President, Santalucia Group

  • Topic Session: Patient & Family Centered Care

     Shadowing and Care Experience Flow Mapping: View all Care through the Eyes of Patients and Families
Patricia Embree, Sr. Director, PFCC Innovation Center of UPMC

     Engaging Faculty and Staff in the PFCC Philosophy Using Patient Satisfaction Surveying Instruments
Erica Steed, Manager, Family Services Development and Nettie Engels, Patient Advisor, Georgia Health Sciences


  • Patient & Family Experience Mapping: The View though their Eyes

Lolma Olson, President, Sage Consulting and Jane Gulley, Manager, Exceptional Patient/Family Experience, Presbyterian Healthcare Services

  • Care Cards: The Impact of Meaningful Conversation and Understanding Patient Preference

Mandy Wearne and Janet Butterworth, Inspiration NW

  • Optimizing the Patient Experience: Music and Nature at the Bedside

Susan Mazer, Ph.D., President/CEO, Healing HealthCare Systems, Inc.

  • Improving the Patient Experience across the Continuum of Care: Connecting Hospitals and Patients with Interactive Technology

Kevin Meek, Chief Nursing Officer, OASIS Hospital and Carla Hilts, Chief Clinical Officer, Skylight Healthcare Systems

  • Topic Session: Patient Experience Grant Research Panel

Presenters to be announced

Learn more about The Beryl Institute Patient Experience Conference and view a video featuring attendee feedback from the sold out 2012 event at

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About The Beryl Institute:

The Beryl Institute is the global community of practice and premier thought leader on improving the patient experience. The Institute serves as a reliable resource for shared information and proven practices, a dynamic incubator of leading research and new ideas and an interactive connector of effective leaders and dedicated practitioners. The Institute is uniquely positioned to develop and publicize cutting-edge concepts focused on improving the patient experience, touching thousands of healthcare executives and patients.

The Beryl Institute defines the patient experience as the sum of all interactions, shaped by an organization’s culture, that influence patient perceptions across the continuum of care.

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Stacy Palmer
The Beryl Institute
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