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Friday Speaker Events

Below are our 2017 speaker presentations. Please check back soon for 2018 information.

Friday, October 13, 2017


Transforming Patient Lives: The Art of Person-Centered Care
Allison Massari
Wellin Hall

In 1998, Massari survived a devastating near head-on car crash where she was trapped and burned, conscious the entire time. Just three years later she was hit again at 60 mph and sustained a closed-head brain injury. Allison has always believed in the miraculous. Her profound journey of overcoming these two life-altering injuries gives her a genuine and direct approach to transcending life’s difficulties.

By sharing her story she motivates change – in people and in the organizations that nurture and inspire them. Incredibly, Massari views her life’s experiences as a tremendous gift, one that helped her find strength, resolve, and ultimately, her life’s work. She says, “I didn’t want to just heal. I wanted to feel peaceful. I became relentless in my pursuit to find the answers to life and to achieve self-mastery.”


High Reliability in Healthcare
Kerry Johnson
Wellin Hall

Kerry Johnson will present on the attributes of a Highly Reliable Organization (HRO) and its application in high-risk, high-consequence environments.

Johnson is a founding Partner and the chief innovation officer of HPI. He has over 25 years of experience improving reliability in nuclear power, transportation, manufacturing, and healthcare. He specializes in designing and implementing human performance reliability programs for large organizations, resulting in dramatically reduced event rates. His healthcare clients have achieved up to a 91percent reduction in preventable serious safety events in just three years. He is now the lead consultant on several safety culture engagements for integrated healthcare systems. 


Safety, Culture, and High Reliability: Making a Difference
Derrick Suehs, EdD

Derrick Suehs, EdD, is the assistant vice president of Quality for MVHS. Suehs earned his Bachelor of Science in Education Curriculum and Instruction at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, his Master of Arts in Business at National University in San Diego California, and his Doctor of Education in Executive Leadership at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York. Prior to joining MVHS, Suehs served as Chief Quality (and Administrative Operations) Officer and as director of Outcomes Management for Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, New York. He also served as quality advisor and director of Quality Management at St. Joseph Medical Center in Houston, Texas, and has held teaching positions at Utica College in Utica, New York, LeMoyne College and Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York and at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York.

Derrick Suehs will discuss high reliability in the workplace. He will describe a High Reliability Organization (HRO) and how it is the responsibility of leaders to embed this concept throughout the organization to ensure success. He will talk about a new way of leading by applying key interventions in order to engineer a culture necessary for HRO. He will also discuss the factors needed within the organization to sustain reliability and safety. 

Neuro Interventional Surgery
Varun V. Reddy MD

Varun Reddy, MD, is a specialist in Interventional Neurology and is affiliated with United Health Services in Johnson City, New York, SUNY Upstate Medical University in Binghamton, New York and is part of the Department of Medicine/Interventional Neurology within MVHS. Dr. Reddy attended Bangalore Medical College in India followed by an internal medicine internship at Staten Island University Hospital and residencies in Neurology at both New York University Medical Center and St. Vincent’s Hospital followed by a clinical and research fellowship in vascular neurology at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Soup to Nuts: Clostridium Difficile Infections
Heather L. Bernard, DNP, RN, CIC, FAPIC

Heather Bernard, BS, RN, CIC, FAPIC, will discuss the epidemiology of Clostridium Difficile Infections (CDI) including a history, increasing rates and various outcomes associated with the disease. She will also discuss the impact of CDI and strategies of prevention and control. She will share the best practices for control strategies as well as antibiotic stewardship.

Bernard is the director of Infection Prevention for MVHS.Bernard is certified in infection prevention and advanced hazmat life support and received her RN/Associate of Applied Science degree from Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, New York and her Bachelor of Science from SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica, New York. She then earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice in Infection Prevention and Environmental Safety at Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois. In 2015, Dr. Bernard was awarded the Excellence in Health Care Award in the category of Innovations in Healthcare in Central New York. Dr. Bernard is a national and local infection prevention leader and has been the local Association for Professionals in Infection Prevention and Control (APIC) Chapter 118 president since 2016. 

Virtual Care: The New Front Door of Healthcare
Keith Algozzine, PA-C

Keith Algozzine is a board-certified physician assistant as well as cofounder and CEO of United Concierge Medicine and Management (UCM). He was recognized by the Albany Business Review as a 40 under 40 award winner and was essential in UCM being awarded the 2017 CEG Lift Off Technology Award. He currently represents UCM on the American Telemedicine Association Accreditation Advisory Board and leads a team of telemedicine experts who are revolutionizing the way healthcare is practiced, understood and delivered.

Keith will discuss virtual care and the market opportunity for success in today’s growing world of healthcare. He will talk about the value of virtual care for patients, healthcare providers and insurers as well as how this new technology will reduce costs, increase satisfaction and improve the overall quality of the healthcare system.

da Vinci Robotics
Chuck Williams MHA, Daniel R. Welchons, MD

Dr. Welchons and Williams will be discussing a brief history of robotic surgery followed by the MVHS journey to the robotic program. They will discuss the differences between robotic procedures versus open procedures and have a daVinci robot available for observation and a demonstration.

Daniel Welchons, MD, is a board-certified urologist with Associated Medical Professionals of NY in the New Hartford, New York, location. Dr. Welchons received his undergraduate degree from SUNY Geneseo and was awarded a full-tuition academic scholarship to attend medical school at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine where he graduated Alpha Omega Alpha. He completed his surgical internship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston followed by his residency at the Harvard Program in Urology. As a senior resident, he was an instructor for the New England Urology Training Course in Robotic Surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston. His specialties include laparoscopic, robotic and prosthetic surgery as well as urologic oncology and he has coauthored several peer reviewed publications.

Chuck Williams, MHA, is the director of Operations for PeriOperative Services for MVHS, and has worked for the organization for more than thirty years. In addition to his other duties, in December of 2016, Chuck assumed the role of da Vinci Robotics coordinator, overseeing all aspects of this new program.


The Culture of High Reliability
John Morley, MD
Wellin Hall

John Morley, MD, the chief physician executive for population health at the Adirondack Health Institue in Glens Falls, New York. He was previously the chief medical officer for the North Bronx Health Network in New York City, New York. Dr. Morley attended Iona College in New Rochelle, New York, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Biology followed by a medical degree from St. George’s University in Grenada, West Indies. He then completed residencies in Anesthesiology at St. Barnabas in Livingston, New Jersey and Internal Medicine at Albany Medical Center.  He completed fellowships in Critical Care at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, New Jersey, and infectious disease and pulmonary/critical care at Albany Medical Center in Albany, NY.