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Dr. Frankel is an internationally recognized high reliability expert with a deep focus on leadership and culture change. Over the last three decades, Dr. Frankel has assessed more than 1000 organizations and trained and certified more than 3000 healthcare leaders and managers in safety and reliability. As Senior Faculty for the IHI and the Intermountain Advanced Training Program [ATP], Dr. Frankel has designed and led well-published efforts to transform national health systems, large health plans with millions of members, and integrated care delivery systems in North America, the NHS UK and Scotland, Hong Kong, and the Gulf Region.

Dr. Frankel serves as a longtime co-editor of the Joint Commission’s Essential Guide for Patient Safety Officers along with his business partner, Dr. Michael Leonard. Key tenets of the central framework for high reliability that Safe & Reliable Healthcare co-developed and co-published with the Institute of Healthcare Improvement. Dr. Frankel continues to develop and share field-defining insights on high reliability and is the author of three books and numerous peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. Sheila Kempf is Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) of Penn Medicine Princeton Health. She is responsible for the strategic management of the departments of Nursing, Education, Acute Rehabilitation, and Pulmonary Services at Princeton Medical Center. This includes recruitment and retention initiatives, initiatives to promote clinical excellence and support of new hospital-based programs.

Kempf has served in several hospital-based nursing leadership positions, including as Senior Vice President, Chief Nursing Officer at the 515-bed Mount Sinai West, formerly Roosevelt Hospital, in New York City, and Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services/CNO Bristol Hospital and Healthcare Group, Bristol, CT.

Ms. Kempf serves as an adjunct faculty member for the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program at Quinnipiac University School of Nursing, teaching courses in nursing leadership and quality improvement.

Dr. Jonathan Gleason serves as Executive Vice President and James D. and Mary Jo Danella Chief Quality Officer for Jefferson Health. Dr. Gleason is the inaugural chief quality executive of the 14-hospital system, with responsibilities for quality, patient safety, clinical risk management, patient experience, value-based care, and population health management. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Gleason served as the clinical lead of the Jefferson Health incident command system.

Dr. Gleason previously served as Chief Quality Officer at Carilion Clinic, where he founded and led the Department of Clinical Advancement and Patient Safety. Under his leadership, Carilion Clinic achieved sustained reductions in serious safety events, patient harm, and achieved overall improved clinical performance.

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In January 2016, Dr. Mary Cooper joined the faculty of the Jefferson College of Population Health (JCPH) at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA, where she is Associate Professor. Dr. Cooper serves as Program Director of the Healthcare Quality & Safety (HQS) degree programs where she is responsible for all Capstone Projects in HQS, and oversight of the HQS curriculum. She teaches in numerous continuing medical education curricula, including the JCPH Population Health Academies. She is also Program Director for the Operational Excellence program at JCPH. For four years, Dr. Cooper was the inaugural co-lead for the Health Systems Science curriculum in Sidney Kimmel Medical College, and she continues to teach selected courses to medical students.

In addition to her work at Thomas Jefferson University, Dr. Cooper is Chief Quality Officer and Senior Vice President of Clinical Services for the Connecticut Hospital Association, a position she has held since 2012. In 2014 the Connecticut Hospital Association was awarded the American Heart Association’s Dick Davidson Quality Milestone Award for Allied Association Leadership, the highest honor for quality in the association sphere. Dr. Cooper oversees Healthcare Quality and Safety and Population Health. Dr. Cooper came to Connecticut from Rhode Island, where she was Senior Vice President and Chief Quality Officer for Lifespan Corporation, in Providence, RI, where she was an Assistant Professor in Medicine (Research) at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and a member on the Rhode Island State Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline. She also served 12 years at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where she served as Chief Quality Officer.


Healthcare organizations and systems are united by a shared goal of continual improvement in the quality and safety of care. Despite widespread efforts and interventions, improvement rarely occurs with the pace, scale or sustainability that healthcare leaders and providers desire and that patients need. The extreme challenges of managing a global pandemic emphasize the critical need to adapt and apply the skills, tools and behaviors of high-reliability science to healthcare settings.

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