Thomas K. Bauer is the Senior Director of Patient and Family Education at the Johns Hopkins Health System. Mr. Bauer has led the research development and implementation of health literacy initiatives in two health systems encompassing more than 40,000 health professionals in both the academic and community health setting. Throughout his career, his primary focus has been equipping patients with the knowledge necessary to become active partners in their own care.
Mr. Bauer’s work has been recognized by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for the successful deployment of health literacy tactics addressing the 10 attributes of a health literate organization. He has also been featured in two published case studies by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Mr. Bauer is the Moderator Emeritus of the World Health Organization course Population Health Community on Global Health Delivery–Online.
Chris Carlson is the Senior Vice President, Consumer & Customer Experience at UnitedHealthcare Shared Service Operations. Mr. Carlson’s primary responsibilities include developing and deploying strategic initiatives that enable the consumer strategy and an improved experience for members. These initiatives include consumer services and consumer communications improvements, measurement and reporting tools that support consumer vision, and collaboration across UnitedHealth Group.
Jennifer Dillaha, M.D., is the Medical Advisor for Health Literacy at the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). Under her leadership, low health
literacy has been recognized as an important public health problem in Arkansas, and the ADH has integrated health literacy into its strategic plan. Until recently, Dr. Dillaha served as the Chair of the Partnership for Health Literacy in Arkansas, which is the Health Literacy Section of the Arkansas Public Health Association.
Dr. Dillaha has been with the ADH since 2001, where she has played a variety of additional leadership roles. In November 2013, Dr. Dillaha became the Medical Director for Immunizations. Her charge in that role is to improve Arkansas’s immunization rates, particularly among adults. She is uniquely prepared for that role as a physician with specialty training in internal medicine and subspecialty training in infectious diseases and in geriatric medicine. She has faculty appointments as an assistant professor in the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She is currently serving as the Chair of the Arkansas Cervical Cancer Task Force and Chair of the Arkansas Immunization Action Coalition’s Board of Directors.
Laurie Francis, M.P.H., RN, has been working in health care for the past 20 years, constantly learning ways to reach deeper (or broader) to improve health and well-being in individuals and communities. After working in critical care and beginning a number of prevention-type programs, she founded a community health center (medical, dental, behavioral health, education) more than 17 years ago. Related to this work and more recent exposures, she has given numerous talks concerning patient-centeredness, staff engagement, organizational alignment, health literacy, and measurement systems that drive improvement. Her publications are in the areas of health literacy, outcomes, and self-efficacy.
During the summer of 2017, Ms. Francis returned to health center leadership after 6 years at Oregon’s Primary Care Association as Senior Director of Innovations. There she led an incredible team of talented individuals while advancing the understanding and implementation of advanced and emergent models of care, services, and partnerships to move upstream in order to dramatically improve population health and well-being. Now, Ms. Francis resides in Missoula, Montana, and serves as Executive Director of Partnership Health Center and continues to experiment with programs that attend to drivers of health while focusing significantly on staff engagement and joy at work. She serves on a number of boards as well as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Health Literacy. Her educational background includes a bachelor’s in human biology from Stanford, a bachelor’s in nursing, and an M.P.H. from the University of Washington.
Cathryn Gunther started her career with Merck in sales, health sciences, and management in support of the commercial business. She was recruited
into the AstraMerck joint venture to design and launch the marketing and sales organization. She co-led the steering committee and project teams that reengineered traditional methods of marketing prescription drugs resulting in rapid revenue growth from $600 million to more than $5 billion in 6 years.
In 1999, she founded and served as Managing Director of Graham Group Consulting, providing executive consulting services to a diverse set of health care clients, including Fortune 50 payers, life sciences, and consumer products companies, as well as provider systems and policy organizations in the United States and globally. She served as Senior Vice President of Market Development for a start-up mobile health care technology firm developing end-to-end solutions designed to improve patient adherence to chronic care management plans.
Ms. Gunther rejoined Merck in 2012 after working as an executive health care strategist, innovator, and collaborator. She developed a new U.S. market commercial strategy for Merck’s pharmaceutical business, helped shape the corporate strategy, and led the execution of a transformational business-to-business strategic engagement model with Merck’s top costumers. Ms. Gunther is recognized for respectfully challenging the status quo, championing an externally informed perspective, and advancing the organization’s competencies to increase sustainable shared value and business performance. As a health care consumer advocate, she led a cross-functional team to design, develop, and pilot technology solutions to improve medication adherence—a problem that costs the United States $290 billion annually. She developed a U.S. Center of Excellence and a global Community of Excellence in adherence.
Most recently, Ms. Gunther was appointed to launch Merck’s Global Population Health platform to establish the corporate framework and leadership for innovative population health approaches that create sustained social and business value. Areas of focus include antimicrobial stewardship, prevention through immunization, women’s health, noncommunicable diseases, and Merck’s own employee health and well-being.
She serves on the Board of the National Business Group on Health and its Institute on Health, Productivity, and Human Capital. She also serves on the Board of Directors at Grand View Health Foundation and is a member of the Global Chief Medical Officer’s Network. Ms. Gunther earned a B.S. in biology, minor in chemistry, from the University of Connecticut.
Lori K. Hall, B.S.N., is the Director of Health Literacy at Eli Lilly and Company. Ms. Hall brings to this role more than 30 years of health care experience in the clinical setting as well as in the diagnostics and pharmaceutical industries. Throughout her career, her focus has been in the areas of patient education, adult learning, effective communication, project management, training, and leadership development.
Ms. Hall serves as the source of health literacy expertise at Lilly to support the creation of industry-leading patient experiences throughout the drug development and commercialization continuum. Her scope of work and responsibility are centered on providing visibility and guidance as well as helping to set organizational expectations and accountability for all aspects of communications with patients as it plays a direct role in supporting Lilly’s corporate priorities around medication adherence, patient safety, clinical innovation, launch preparedness, real-world evidence, corporate responsibility, value-based contracting, and informed patient engagement.
Stanton Hudson, M.A., is the Associate Director of the Center for Health Policy at the University of Missouri. Mr. Hudson is a health literacy expert and health policy analyst with 20 years of experience in health services research and 13 years of experience in health literacy with a focus on curriculum development. He earned an M.A. in sociology from the University of Missouri and a B.A. in history, political science, and sociology from Columbia College. Over the past decade he has led the development and implementation of health literacy education programs and curricula for consumers, health professionals, public health agents, consumer advocates, and health educators. In 2014, he became a National Conference for Community and Justice of Metropolitan St. Louis-Certified Diversity Facilitrainer and has been developing and implementing innovative inclusion and diversity workshops for education, health, public health professionals, and students that bridge cultural competency and health literacy.
Laura K. Noonan, M.D., joined the Department of Pediatrics at Carolinas Medical Center (CMC) in 1994. She is a founding organizer and current Director of the Center for Advancing Pediatric Excellence (CAPE) at Levine Children’s Hospital at CMC. CAPE was established in 2007 to implement a Quality Improvement (QI) curriculum for pediatric residents and provide QI project and data management for the department. CAPE’s innovative curriculum has been recognized at the national level with peer-reviewed publications, national presentations, and it won the 2015 Children’s Hospital Association Pediatric Quality Award in the Delivery System Transformation category. For more than 20 years her focus has been on health care QI, teaching courses at the local, regional, and national levels. She is currently involved in QI teaching or coaching roles for a variety of state and national collaboratives. In addition to being a QI consultant for PARTNERS Patient Powered Research Network, she is a QI consultant and Parent Advisor for Pediatric Rheumatology Care and Outcomes Improvement Network.
Dr. Noonan also has extensive experience teaching and advising about health literacy. She was the Collaborative Director for Carolinas HealthCare System’s QI-based health literacy initiative for 24 facilities across
the second largest nonprofit health care system in the United States. She is currently co-chair of the system’s Health Literacy Governance Council, and has been an advisor for subsequent phases of the original initiative. She frequently lectures on this topic locally and nationally, including at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Health Literacy; the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s National Forum; the American Academy of Pediatrics’ National Convention; and Boston University’s Health Literacy Annual Research Conference. From 2015 to 2016, she was included in an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality grant as part of a Technical Expert Panel for Organizational Health Literacy. She continually works on a national level to integrate health literacy into broader health care discussions; for example, through her recent participation in a roundtable hosted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services and a think tank sponsored by RTI International.
Jennifer Pearce, M.P.A., is the founder of Plain Language Health, a consultancy specializing in coproducing content and care experiences that patients can easily understand and act on.
A passionate advocate for patient engagement through understanding, she brings 18 years of experience collaborating with researchers, providers, and patients to advance health literacy. Ms. Pearce pioneered and led Sutter Health’s award-winning health literacy initiatives, in addition to directing patient experience research within the 24-hospital system’s digital health department. Prior to joining Sutter, she led national patient engagement efforts for five National Institutes of Health–funded genetic studies of autoimmune disease at the University of California, San Francisco. Ms. Pearce’s work earned ClearMark Awards of Distinction in 2012 and 2013 from the Center for Plain Language in Washington, DC. Today she serves on the center’s board of directors and consults on health literacy initiatives for clients in the public, private, nonprofit, and academic and government sectors.
Martin Ratermann is a craftsman from central Missouri with roots in St. Louis. He started in the carpentry trade in 1973 and started Ratermann Woodworking in 1981. Mr. Ratermann has done residential cabinetry, high-end architectural woodwork¸ and numerous liturgical commissions. He has also built fine handcrafted furniture.
He represented Missouri in Phyllis George’s 1994 book: Celebrating the Creative Work of the Hand. In 2009, his furniture was selected as one of the top 100 sustainable products in the United States by Ogden Press and Natural Home magazine. His work is in private homes and public spaces in 22 states throughout the country. Mr. Ratermann is a survivor of cancer that was the result of medical errors. He speaks publicly to medical schools, health care providers, and advocates for patient safety.
Audrey Riffenburgh, Ph.D., has more than 20 years of experience in health literacy work. She holds a Ph.D. in health communication. Her dissertation topic was the implementation of health literacy initiatives in health care organizations. Dr. Riffenburgh is the President of Health Literacy Connections (formerly Plain Language Works). The firm specializes in helping health care systems and providers, public health departments, academic researchers, tribal communities, and others effectively communicate health information to patients, families, and the public. Its services also include helping organizations align health literacy strategies to support their major organizational goals. For several years, Dr. Riffenburgh was the Senior Health Literacy Specialist for an academic health system, where she led efforts to improve communication and access for patients and families and to become a more “health literate organization.” She managed organizational change efforts and consulted with leaders at all levels on using health literacy strategies to strengthen outcomes and meet organizational goals. She was on the faculty of the Health Literacy Summer Institute (nationally recognized as the premier learning opportunity in health literacy and plain language) for more than a decade. Dr. Riffenburgh is a founding member of the Clear Language Group, a national consortium of health literacy, plain language, and intercultural communications specialists established in 2000. She is co-author of Building Health Literate Organizations: A Guidebook to Achieving Organizational Change (2014). Dr. Riffenburgh’s recent contributions to the field include serving on the Technical Expert Panel for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Translation Center, 2016–2018; the Health Literacy Job Task Analysis Task Force, 2016; and the Technical Expert Panel for the research project “Making Patient Navigation and Understanding Easier: Developing Quality Improvement Measures,” 2015–2016.
R. V. Rikard, Ph.D., is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Media and Information at Michigan State University. Dr. Rikard’s research focuses on how the social determinates of health affect health literacy, the intersection of health literacy and health disparities, and the social effect of information and technology on health.
Dr. Rikard is a founding member of the International Health Literacy Association, a member of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education Global Working Group on Health Literacy, and the Health Equity Initiative. Dr. Rikard is also an Honorary Fellow in the School of Health and Social Development at Deakin University in Victoria, Australia.
Bernard M. Rosof, M.D., MACP (Roundtable Chair), is at the forefront of national initiatives in the areas of quality and performance improvement. Following completion of a fellowship in gastroenterology at the Yale
University School of Medicine, Dr. Rosof practiced internal medicine and gastroenterology for 29 years. He is a Past Chair of the Board of Directors of Huntington Hospital (Northwell Health) and is a current member of the Board of Overseers of the Health System. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the National Quality Forum (NQF), and the Co-Chair of the National Quality Partnership (NQP) convened by the NQF to set national priorities and goals to transform America’s health care. The NQP was advisory to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services former-Secretary Sebelius in the development of the National Quality Strategy.
Dr. Rosof is a Past Chair of the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement convened by the American Medical Association that continues to lead efforts in developing, testing, and implementing evidence-based performance measures for use at the point of care. He was a member of the Clinical Performance Measurement Committee of the National Committee for Quality Assurance and the Chair of the Physician Advisory Committee for UnitedHealth Group. He has chaired committees for the New York State Department of Health and the Institute of Medicine, and is currently the chair of the Roundtable on Health Literacy of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and Chair of the New York State Department of Health Committee on Quality in Office-Based Surgery. Dr. Rosof is CEO of the Quality in HealthCare Advisory Group, which provides strategic consultative services to the community of health care providers interested in improving the quality and safety of health care delivery in the United States. Dr. Rosof is a professor of medicine at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell in New York. He is a Master of the American College of Physicians (ACP) and Chair Emeritus of the Board of Regents of the ACP. Dr. Rosof is the recipient of the Laureate Award from the ACP and the Theodore Roosevelt Award for Distinguished Community Service. He has also received the 2011 Founders Award presented by the American College of Medical Quality in recognition of his long-standing national leadership and exceptional ability to foster and support health care quality improvement. Dr. Rosof is also the recipient of the 2012 Stengel Award from the ACP for outstanding service as well as his influence in maintaining and advancing the best standards of medical education, medical practice, and clinical research, and received the New York University Alumni Leadership Award in 2016.
Lawrence G. Smith, M.D., MACP, is the Executive Vice President and Physician-in-Chief of Northwell Health. As Physician-in-Chief, Dr. Smith is Northwell Health’s senior physician on all clinical issues. He previously served as Northwell’s Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Smith is the founding Dean of the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell,
which received full accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education and whose first class graduated in May 2015.
Dr. Smith earned a bachelor of science degree in physics from Fordham University and a medical degree from the New York University School of Medicine. His residency in internal medicine at Strong Memorial Hospital was followed by military service as a captain in the Army Medical Corps at Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center in Denver.
Dr. Smith has held senior leadership positions in national societies for medical education and residency training, authored numerous peer-reviewed publications in the area of medical education, and he has received many awards and honors from national and international organizations. He is a member-at-large of the National Board of Medical Examiners and a member of the Board of Visitors of Fordham College. He is also a former Regent of the American College of Physicians and a former member of the board of directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine. In April 2011, he was elected to Mastership of the American College of Physicians. The Arnold P. Gold Foundation invited Dr. Smith to join its board in early 2017.
Christopher R. Trudeau, J.D., is an associate professor in the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ Center for Health Literacy, and he holds a dual appointment with the Faculty of Law at the University of Arkansas Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. He is an internationally recognized expert on health literacy, plain language, and informed consent. He has spoken for the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and many health systems. He specializes in developing clear, health literate communication that both engages patients and complies with health care regulations.