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Ellen Crowe, MBA, MS
Director, Clinical Excellence & Care Redesign
Connecticut Hospital Association

Ellen Crowe spent much of her career researching and creating more efficient and effective ways to care for her patients and community. Ellen has been a nurse for 33 years — and 29 of those were spent in key leadership roles in multiple organizations throughout the country. Her experience in building service-lines, managing inpatient areas and building outpatient networks has given her a wide array of expertise, which she calls upon to successfully lead teams in innovative strategies to transform healthcare delivery.

“In this new health care frontier, you certainly can’t be successful without thinking outside the box and challenging current models.” Ellen describes innovation is “an invention that was actually implemented” — and she believes that innovation and creativity are new core competencies for leaders in this new healthcare landscape.

Ellen is currently the Director of Clinical Excellence & Care Redesign at the Connecticut Hospital Association where she is utilizing her background in hospital operations, change management and innovative design to positively influence the healthcare industry from a statewide perspective. Ellen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, a post-graduate certificate in Health Care Management, is certified as a Black Belt Professional, holds a Master’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in System Integration.

Carl J. Schiessl, JD
Senior Director, Regulatory Advocacy
Connecticut Hospital Association

Carl Schiessl, Senior Director, Regulatory Advocacy, Connecticut Hospital Association: An accomplished attorney, advocate, educator, and author, with rich and diverse experience as legal and compliance counselor to healthcare, insurance, financial services, and manufacturing companies, a former elected state official, a volunteer in public service, and a law school instructor. In 2018, Carl was certified as a Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Instructor by the Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI). He is also co-director of CHA’s Safer Hospitals Initiative.

At the Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA), Carl advises hospitals and other healthcare institutions on all regulatory, legislative, and judicial matters, with special emphasis on patient care regulation, worker safety, workplace violence, emergency medicine, children’s health, and mental health and substance use. He has been a principal spokesperson for the hospital industry with state and federal agencies and other oversight entities on an array of healthcare issues.

Carl was elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives for twelve years, serving as Chair of the Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee, as Deputy Majority Leader, and Vice Chair of the Public Health Committee. He was also legal counsel to the Connecticut State Senate for six years. Carl has been a member of the adjunct faculty at the University of Connecticut School of Law since 2013, teaching legislative process and instructing a legislative field placement program.

Carl chairs the Connecticut Children’s Behavioral Health Plan Implementation Advisory Board. He is Director of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, and a Founding Volunteer of the Pro Bono Partnership. In 2017, Carl became a James W. Cooper Fellow, recognizing outstanding Connecticut lawyers, judges, and teachers of law.


Mary Reich Cooper, MD, JD
Program Director, Healthcare Quality & Safety
Program Director, Operational Excellence
Jefferson College of Population Health

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.


Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, increased stress and anxiety has only further exacerbated the problem of violence in hospitals and other healthcare settings. Through the Safer Hospitals Initiative, Connecticut hospitals have united to develop and implement strategies to create a culture of safety for patients and staff within each of the institutions. This initiative applies the power of high reliability principles to standardize approaches to combatting violence in microsystems and macrosystems throughout an organization. We will share the strategies that may be replicated in your organizations to keep individuals working in healthcare organizations safer by stopping violence before it begins.



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