Patient Safety, Quality, and Equity Symposium

colocated with

HAP's Emergency Management Conference

October 10 and 11, 2023, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Hilton Harrisburg


October 10, 2023

7:15 a.m. Registration, Networking, and Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. Racial Health Equity Learning Action Day

Facilitators: Adam Kohlrus, BA, MS, CPHQ, CPPS, Partner & Business Designer, DoTank Health, and Alex Spiroff, Business Designer, DoTank Health

HAP's Racial Health Equity Action Day is a pivotal part of the symposium—dedicated to addressing the imperative connection between health equity, patient harm, and patient safety.

We’ll introduce attendees to the powerful role human-centered design can play to advance health equity improvement efforts. During the session, attendees will:

    • Describe human design thinking concepts through the lens of health equity
    • Identify hospital-oriented solutions to address health-related social needs and advance your health equity efforts
    • Evaluate health assessment data from Pennsylvania and identify related barriers
    • Develop individualized health equity action plans that can be implemented in your hospital or health system

4:00 p.m. Applying an Equity-Informed Framework to Patient Experience, Safety and Quality

Nadia Huancahuari, MD, Medical Director, Quality, Safety, and Equity, Brigham Health (invited)

Dr. Huancahuari will discuss how patient experience can lead the way to a truly equitable approach to health care. She’ll share practical ways to build organizational structure and processes for embedding equity in quality and safety using real examples from her work at Brigham Health. You’ll learn strategies for leveraging health care experience, quality and safety systems, and QI science to measure and eliminate health care inequities.

5:00 p.m. Welcome Reception with Sponsor Exhibits and Poster Presentations

6:30 p.m. Dinner (On Your Own)

October 11, 2023

7:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast, Registration, and Networking

8:00 a.m. Health Care Workforce Optimization: Building Engagement and High Reliability

Vikki Choate, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, CCM, CPHQ, Senior Director, Quality, Safety, and High Reliability Organization Delivery Leader, Huron

High-quality care can’t happen without talented teams of health care professionals. To meet Pennsylvanians’ health care needs now and into the future, we must make a persistent and sustained effort to grow and support the health care workforce. This session focuses on the current challenges experienced across the health care industry and how to apply leading practice strategies to improve the heart, health, and vitality of the health care workforce. Impactful talent strategies including workforce planning, recruitment, engagement and development, total rewards, and performance management will be discussed. Health care leaders use of specific care and compassion actions to revitalize the organization’s nurses will be explored, and you will learn how to effectively lever the tenets of high reliability to deepen the impact of your leadership skills.

8:40 a.m. Leadership Panel: Redefining Traditional Ways of Caring for Patients

Moderator: Vikki Choate, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, CCM, CPHQ, Senior Director, Quality, Safety, and High Reliability Organization Delivery Leader, Huron

Panelists: Darla Frack, MSN, RN, NE-BC, Vice President, Patient Care Services, St. Luke’s Anderson Campus, and Janet Tomcavage, MSN, RN, Executive Vice President, Chief Nurse Executive, Geisinger Health System

Join this session of Pennsylvania health care leaders to explore innovative approaches in improving clinical quality and safety, particularly in the face of staffing challenges. Discover how various interventions, such as team nursing, virtual nursing platforms, virtual remote monitoring, and other non-traditional ways of care can enhance the care experience for both caregivers and patients.

9:20 a.m. Policy and Legislative Update: Hot Topics Impacting Hospitals

HAP Leadership: Laura Stevens Kent, Senior Vice President, Advocacy and External Affairs, Jennifer Jordan, Vice President, Regulatory, Behavioral Health and Equity Strategy, and Kate McCale, HAP Senior Director, Compliance Support

HAP leaders will host an interactive discussion that aims to cover all the hot topics of the moment, like legislative and policy advocacy, to address the health care workforce crisis, expand access to behavioral health care, safeguard hospitals in the face of financial instability, and promote regulatory innovation.

9:50 a.m. Networking Break and Move to Breakout Sessions

10:05 a.m. Breakout Sessions

A. Using Just Culture to Improve Non-Punitive Responses to Error

Kristin Neiswender, RN, MSN, CPPS, Senior Patient Safety Process Manager, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Haley Hlela, MSN, RN, ACCNS-P, CPHQ, Manager, Nursing Safety and Quality, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

B. Improving Patient Satisfaction with Outpatient Providers through Real-time Peer Feedback

Elisabeth Kunkel, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Vincent Kennedy, DO, MPH, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, and Meenal Pathak, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine

10:55 a.m. Breakout Sessions

A. Better Together: Journey to Patient and Employee Zero Harm System

Travis Mitchell, MSHS, CPHQ, CPPS, Director, Patient Safety, WellSpan Health, and Aaron Gustkey, CSP, Director, Employee Health & Safety Organization, WellSpan Health

B. Non-pharmacological Delirium Prevention Strategies for Geriatric Patients

Maria Cerminara, MBA, BSN, BSW, RN, CCRN-K, Operations Manager Nursing, Geisinger, Brittany Bouloubasis, MS, Improvement Optimization Advisor Intermediate, Geisinger, and John Jurosky, MBA, MHA, CPXP, Patient Experience Consultant, Geisinger

C. Launching Digital Transformation with Innovative Virtual First Care Model

Laura Wagner, MBA, Chief Operating Officer Medical Group, UPMC, and Phil Witkowski, Telehealth Director, UPMC

11:45 a.m. Workplace Violence Prevention: Implementing Strategies for Safer Health Care Organizations

James Kendig, MS, CHSP, HEM, Field Director, The Joint Commission

The health care profession has become a most dangerous environment with regard to workplace violence, with 75 percent of all workplace violence occurring in the health care setting. During this session, participants will learn from Joint Commission Field Director James Kendig learn about the current state of workplace violence in the hospital setting and gain a better understanding of The Joint Commission’s workplace violence standards, and gain tangible next steps for implementing new safety strategies in their own facilities.

12:30 p.m. Group Luncheon with Excellence in Patient Safety Award Recognition and HAP PFAC Volunteer Recognition

1:55 p.m. Breakout Sessions

A. Streamlining The Process for Behavioral Health Patients in the Emergency Department

Misty Knapp, MA, MFT Lead ED Psychiatric Case Manager, Mount Nittany Medical Center

B. Culture of Safety: Resetting Expectations, A Combined Interactive and Virtual Simulation Experience

Anne Marie Browne, System Director Patient Safety and Quality, Main Line Health System

C. Health Equity at the Intersection of Health Care and Criminal Justice

Michele Crosson, LSW, MBA, Project Director, START, WellSpan Health, Katie Wilt, MBA, Director, Special Programs & Healthy Community Network, WellSpan Health, and Amy S. Evans, AICP, Assistant Director, Forensic Cross System Programs, York County Human Services

2:35 p.m. New CMS QAPI Requirement—Engaging Your Leadership and Board

Mark Howell, Director, Policy and Patient Safety, American Hospital Association (invited)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on March 9 released changes to its interpretive guidance for the Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI) program. This revised guidance emphasizes CMS’ expectation of governing boards in overseeing the quality of care provided. CMS' QAPI program is intended to ensure that hospitals have in place active and effective systems to examine the care provided, identify health care delivery issues, and make improvements to those processes. This session will highlight ways to improve care and remain compliant with the new standards.

3:10 p.m. Closing Remarks


Racial Health Equity Action Day Registration: Complimentary for HAP member hospitals and health systems. Includes continental breakfast, lunch, and networking reception.

Symposium Registration
Includes Racial Health Equity Action Day, breaks, and networking reception on Tuesday, October 10, and breakfast, lunch and breaks on Wednesday, October 11.

$99 per person—HAP member hospitals and health systems
$398 per person—HAP associate member 
$598 per person—Non-member rate

Hotel Information

Hilton Harrisburg
One North Second Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101
(717) 233-6000

HAP has reserved a limited block of rooms for the evening of October 9 and October 10. The rate is $189, plus tax (single/double). For reservations, call (717-233-6000 option 0) and provide the code: 92T to access the special rate of $189. Individual reservations not canceled 48 hours before arrival will be subject to a cancellation fee equal to one night’s room and tax. For online reservations, attendees may reserve rooms at the group rate using HAP’s dedicated group reservations page.

Hotel check-in time is 4:00 p.m. Check-out time is 11:00 a.m. For directions, more information about the hotel, or area attractions, please visit the Hilton Harrisburg’s website.

Who Should Attend

Anyone working in patient safety, quality, and health equity within their organization; hospital executives; physician and nurse leaders and managers responsible for patient care, safety, equity, and performance improvement; patient safety officers; quality improvement professionals; DEI leaders; patient and family advocates; physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, and other care team members; infection preventionists; risk managers; pharmacist managers; and hospital counsel.

Sponsorship Opportunities

As one of HAP's signature events, the symposium ensures direct access to anyone working in patient safety activities and health care quality within their organization; hospital executives; physician and nurse leaders and managers responsible for patient care, safety, and performance improvement; patient safety officers; quality improvement professionals; patient and family advocates; physicians, nurses, allied health professionals and other care team members; infection preventionists; risk managers; pharmacist managers; and hospital counsel. Limited space is available, and it is important to act quickly to reserve your space at this important event. Requests will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Full sponsorship details.

If your organization is interested in sponsoring the Symposium, please contact Daneen Schroder or Marty Kenyon.

Continuing Education

Credit Designation for Physicians
This program is pending approval for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Credit Designation for Nursing
This program is pending approval for credits. Learners are advised that accredited status does not imply endorsement by the provider or ANCC of any commercial products displayed in conjunction with an activity.

Quality Professionals
This program is pending approval by the National Association for Healthcare Quality for continuing education credits for this event.

American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE)
The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania is pending approval for ACHE Qualified Education credit (non-ACHE) for this program toward advancement or recertification in the American College of Healthcare Executives. Participants in this program wishing to have the continuing education hours applied toward ACHE Qualified Education credit should indicate their attendance when submitting their application to the American College of Healthcare Executives for advancement and recertification.