Irene Z. Chan, Pharm.D., received a B.S. in pharmacy and doctor of pharmacy degree from Rutgers University Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy. After graduation she was called to active duty by the U.S. Public Health Service and assigned to the Gallup Indian Medical Center in Gallup, New Mexico, an Indian Health Service (IHS) facility, where she completed a postgraduate year 1 pharmacy practice residency. After completing her residency, she worked with the IHS for more than 5 years in Gallup and Santa Fe, in both inpatient and outpatient pharmacy settings. During her time with IHS, her responsibilities included chairing a multidisciplinary medication safety task force, serving as supervisor of inpatient pharmacy services, and serving as the pharmacy residency program director. While stationed in New Mexico, Commander (CDR) Chan also worked closely with the New Mexico Pharmacists Association, serving in various leadership positions within the state association. In 2009, CDR Chan transferred to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, where she serves as deputy director in the Division of Medication Error Prevention and Analysis, responsible for leveraging her knowledge of regulatory science, human factors, and risk management to provide oversight of safety recommendations regarding drug nomenclature, labels, labeling, packaging, and product design.
Donna Horn, R.Ph., D.Ph., directs the Institute for Safe Medication Practices’ (ISMP’s) patient safety activities in community/ambulatory practice. Dr. Horn serves as an author and editor of ISMP’s four newsletters for acute care providers, nurses, ambulatory/community care providers, and consumers. She has more than 25 years of experience in the retail/chain community
pharmacy practice setting, as the privacy officer and manager of regulatory affairs for Brooks/Eckerd Pharmacy, where she wrote numerous policies and procedures to govern pharmacists working in chain pharmacy and as a pharmacist and regional pharmacy manager for Osco Drug. Prior to joining ISMP, she served as president and chair of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, where her focus was on patient safety, primarily on reducing medication errors in community pharmacy. Dr. Horn also served 11 years on the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy as both a member and as president. Her work has focused on continuous quality improvement, policies on promoting ease of access to appropriate reference materials, monitoring prescription usage in chronic disease state patients, drug recall procedures, proper staffing guidelines, and incorporating strategies to optimize therapeutic outcomes. Most recently Dr. Horn was elected as board director and subsequently elected as president of the American Society for Pharmacy Law. Dr. Horn received a B.S. in pharmacy from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University and is currently a master’s degree candidate at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy’s Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy Program, focusing on patient safety and medication risk management.
Ed Israelski, Ph.D., CHFP, is a consultant and the recently retired director of Human Factors at AbbVie Inc., a biopharmaceutical company. After he joined the company in 2001, he led a cross-company team to imbed best practice human factors engineering (HFE) design methods into all of AbbVie’s products, to ensure safety and usability. He did this through hands-on design and evaluation of key new products, managing a group of human factors (HF) professionals; training and mentoring internal resources; writing corporate policy and guidelines; and facilitating the use of outside professional HFE resources. He is the co-convener for International Electrotechnical Commission and International Organization for Standardization Ergonomic and Usability Engineering groups in developing international HF/Usability medical devices standards. Dr. Israelski is also past co-chair of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation’s Human Factors Engineering Committee, which develops HF standards for medical devices. He is a certified human factors professional (CHFP). He has authored 14 book chapters and numerous articles in the area of HF. He holds 30 patents. He is a Fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Human-System Integration. He is on the editorial board for the journal Human Factors and serves as a regular reviewer for several other scientific journals.
Dr. Israelski has worked as a systems engineer, product manager, market researcher, industrial/organizational psychologist as well as a human
factors engineer at various companies, including Lucent Technologies-Bell Labs, formerly AT&T, Ameritech/SBC, and Human Factors International. He is an adjunct instructor at Northwestern University. He received a B.S. in electrical engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, an M.S. in operations research from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in industrial and engineering psychology from the Stevens Institute of Technology.
Brian Jack, M.D., is professor and chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the Boston University (BU) School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center. Dr. Jack graduated from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and completed his residency training at Brown University. He completed a fellowship at the University of Washington. Dr. Jack came to BU in 1997 as the founding vice chair of the Department of Family Medicine. He has authored more than 130 peer-reviewed articles or book chapters, reviewed papers for major medical journals, and served on health-related grant review panels. He is currently principal investigator on a number of other grants.
His research team has developed the Reengineered Discharge Program (Project RED), adapted by the National Quality Forum as a national safe practice. RED is being used in all states and in more than 10 countries. He has completed projects with funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), including Reengineering the Hospital Discharge for Patient Safety, which provided an in-depth analysis of the hospital discharge process. RED was then tested in Testing the Re-Engineered Hospital Discharge, a randomized controlled trial funded by AHRQ in the Partners in Patient Safety grants.
He received the 2013 Peter F. Drucker Award for Non-Profit Innovation, the Patient Care Award for Excellence in Patent Education Innovation award, the AHRQ Patient Safety Investigator award, and the Best Research Paper of the Year award of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. He was selected to HealthLeaders magazine’s annual “People Who Make Healthcare Better” list and one of Boston’s “Best Doctors” each year from 2010-2015. His Annals of Internal Medicine article describing RED is listed in the book 50 Studies Every Physician Should Know. In 2013 he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Jack has also been active in the worldwide development of family medicine. He is director of the Lesotho Boston Health Alliance, a Kellogg Foundation–funded program that aims to improve the quality of district health services in Lesotho. He is a founding member of the American Academy of Family Physicians Center for International Initiatives. He spent a sabbatical year in Budapest, Hungary, in 1995 where he received a special citation from the mayor of Budapest. He taught in Jordan and Pakistan and has worked on the development of family medicine in Albania, Jordan, Lesotho, Romania, and Vietnam.
Charles Lee, M.D., has been a leading national advocate for simplifying and making medical information more understandable for patients. Dr. Lee is founder and president of Polyglot Systems (Morrisville, North Carolina), built with a mission to develop practical, affordable multilanguage technology solutions to improve health care access and reduce disparities for underserved and limited English-proficient patient populations. He is an internal medicine physician and past National Library of Medicine fellow in medical informatics at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill/Duke University. He has extensive experience in patient-centered health care communication, language barriers, health literacy, health care software user experience, and instructional design. He is also an adjunct assistant professor at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, where he is working on several projects to improve medication adherence. Dr. Lee is also a member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Risk Communication Advisory Committee and the Duke Clinical Research Institute’s Medication Adherence Alliance, and co-chair of Workgroup for Electronic Date Interchange’s Care Coordination Workgroup.
Joan Guthrie Medlen, M.Ed., RDN, LN, is a registered dietitian with an advanced certificate in Adult Weight Management from the American Dietetic Association. She has a master’s in education with a focus on instruction design and an interest in universal design for learning, especially for people with intellectual disabilities who are nonverbal and who have trouble writing. Ms. Medlen is the author of The Down Syndrome Nutrition Handbook: A Guide to Promoting Healthy Lifestyles (2002, 2006), the first, and only, text dedicated to promoting healthy living for people with Down syndrome of any age. Ms. Medlen focuses her wide array of activities on nutrition and wellness coaching for people of all ages and stages.
Darvece A. Monson is the CEO and founder of More Than Your Kidneys. In 2015, at 34 years old, Ms. Monson founded More Than Your Kidneys at her hospital bedside table with $50 and a refurbished computer. A lifelong “health nut,” the nurse of 18 years had been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, followed by heart failure, severe anemia, end-stage renal disease, and hemodialysis over the years. Ms. Monson is now a kidney transplant candidate. She is well known for her tireless dedication to the aforementioned causes via her personal testimonies and vigor for life. Her innovative work in transforming the world’s understanding of kidney survivorship continues to pave the way for survivors across the country. Her education, professional development, and life experience spans a variety of interests. It includes various acclaimed credentials from Lewis University, Moraine Valley Community College, University of Illinois, and BLUE1647.
Ms. Monson has solidified partnerships with the National Kidney Foundation, and participated in clinician forums as well as patient advocacy panels and informational sessions. She has also solidified partnerships with American Funds, and participated in community health promotion, screening, and education efforts as a Certified Kidney Educator through the American Kidney Fund. Her most recent endeavors include being appointed as a member and patient liaison of the National Kidney Foundation Kidney Advocacy Committee, as well as the National Kidney Foundation Associate Board. Her organization has received several awards for helping others obtain funding, grants, and training; eradicate student loans; and advocate for tenant and employer disability rights. Ms. Monson was the September 2016 “Elevate” Feature in Ebony Magazine, in which she discussed dialysis, kidney survivorship, three-dimensional kidney transplantation, and making an impact by encouraging awareness, education, and participation.
Dan Morrow, Ph.D., is a professor and chair of the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with appointments in the Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology and the Departments of Psychology and Industrial and Enterprise Engineering. His research on the impact of aging on cognition, communication, and decision making in the health care domain (health literacy and comprehension of self-care information) and in the aviation domain (air–ground communication; pilot decision making) has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Federal Aviation Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He is past president of Division 21 of the American Psychological Association (Applied Experimental and Engineering Psychology) and is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. He has served on advisory committees for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention. He is also an incoming editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied. He received a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University.
Laurie Myers, M.B.A., has led health literacy strategy for Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. (Merck) since 2011, recently expanding her role to have both U.S. and global responsibility. She focuses on the integration of health literacy externally and across divisions at Merck. Key projects include patient labeling, packaging, clinical trials, and patient education. She has regularly engaged with payers, integrated health systems, and large medical groups to discuss health literacy. Besides serving on the Health Literacy Roundtable, Ms. Myers actively participates on several external projects, including as co-chair of the Harvard Multi-Regional Clinical Trials Center
Return of Results Group; European Medicines Agency lay summaries working group; and as part of the Walgreens/Northwestern/Alliance of Chicago partnership, measuring the impact of the Universal Medication Schedule on patient adherence and health. She is passionate about creating health literacy champions outside of the field and hence speaks at conferences focused in other areas, including adherence, patient engagement and advocacy, market research, Drug Information Association, and lay summaries, in both the United States and Europe. Ms. Myers joined Merck in 1999 and has worked in several therapeutic areas in market research, marketing communications, and pharmacy and distribution. She received her M.B.A. in health care management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated magna cum laude with her B.A. in psychology from Yale University.
Terri Ann Parnell, D.N.P., M.A., RN, FAAN, is a nurse, a nationally recognized health literacy expert, and an award-winning author. She is principal and founder of Health Literacy Partners, a corporation that specializes in providing a tapestry of solutions to promote health equity by enhancing person-centered care, effective communication, and the patient experience. Her recent experience includes providing health literacy education and consultation to several New York State Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program Performing Provider Systems. Previously, Dr. Parnell was vice president for Health Literacy and Patient Education for the Northwell Health System, where she was responsible for the health literacy strategic plan and integrating concepts of health literacy, language access services, and cultural awareness into core activities across the system.
Dr. Parnell is a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Health Literacy and has served as a committee member on the American Nurses Association Care Coordination Quality Measures Panel. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and The New York Academy of Medicine and has been selected for the 2016/17 The New York Academy of Medicine Fellow Ambassadors Program. In 2016, Dr. Parnell joined TVR Communications Advisory Board as its chief nursing officer. Her second book, Health Literacy in Nursing: Providing Person-Centered Care, received an American Journal of Nursing 2015 Book of the Year Award in the category of Nursing Management and Leadership. Dr. Parnell is a graduate of St. Vincent’s Hospital School of Nursing in New York City. She earned a B.S. in nursing from Adelphi University, a master’s degree in health care administration from Hofstra University, and a doctor of nursing practice degree from Case Western Reserve University.
Bobbie Reed is the concerned mother of an adult child who has experienced end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and, in November 2015, a kidney trans-
plant. She has worked as a customer service representative in commercial accounts for Bell of Pennsylvania. Later she worked at AT&T, where she remained for more than 20 years. Her life changed radically when, in May 2013, her son Alex became extremely ill. He was diagnosed with ESRD that October; by December, he began dialysis as a home hemodialysis patient. In November 2015, Alex received a kidney transplant from a non-relative living donor. Along with reaching out to multiple business and professional affiliates, Ms. Reed has become active with the Kidney Health Initiative (KHI). While attending a KHI meeting, she told her family’s story of kidney disease in a taped interview for the American Society of Nephrology, which presented the tape at its national meeting. She is also a member of the American Association of Kidney Patients and has attended its national meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, for the past 2 years. Ms. Reed has successfully reached out to Pennsylvania state legislators to request their support in raising awareness about the importance of organ donation, specifically drawing attention to her son’s need for a transplant. She has also traveled with the National Kidney Foundation as its Pennsylvania Kidney Advocacy Committee Liaison and called on her legislators to lobby for better laws for the protection and improvement of care of transplant patients and donors. She attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania and obtained a B.S. from the School of Home Economics, studying consumer services with a concentration in business and economics.
Heather Rennie, J.D., is a managing counsel in the regulatory legal group of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc. Ms. Rennie joined Merck in 2005. During her tenure at Merck, she has provided regulatory legal support for a variety of prescription products and vaccines. She currently supports Merck’s diabetes franchise, and serves as the regulatory legal point for product labeling. Prior to joining Merck, Ms. Rennie was a litigation partner with Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC, where she handled a broad range of litigation matters. She earned a B.A. from the College of William and Mary, and graduated cum laude from the Dickinson School of Law at Pennsylvania State University, where she was a member of the Dickinson Law Review.
Caleb Sexton has 9 years of experience as a designer, researcher, and strategist. He has worked with large and small teams on strategic innovation for technology start-ups, communities, universities, large government agencies, and Fortune 500 corporations. Throughout this time, his work has included product and service design, management, market and organizational strategy, new market development, and deep-dive contextual research. He has an extensive background in project management, design research, and ethnographic practices that have investigated consumer behavior and habits
and translated them into the design of new product and service offerings for organizations and institutions. As a project manager, Mr. Sexton has led design, strategy, and research teams from discovery to development to implementation of new offerings, findings, or strategies that leverage the human-centered design (HCD) process. Over the past 2 years, his efforts have focused on health care technology research and how HCD can bring innovative opportunities to early-stage discovery and development. As a psoriatic patient himself, he has a deeply vested interest in empowering and enabling better care management for others with psoriatic disease. This has led to his interest into exploring ways that design, technology, and strategy can be aligned to help facilitate better care and communication between patients and their care providers while supporting the psoriatic disease research community.
William Shrank, M.D., M.S., joined the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s (UPMC’s) Health Plan Division in June 2016 as the company’s new chief medical officer. In this role, Dr. Shrank will focus on the design and implementation of new payment and delivery models to promote improved population health and further advance UPMC’s integrated clinical business strategies.
Prior to joining UPMC, Dr. Shrank served as senior vice president, chief scientific officer, and chief medical officer of provider innovation for CVS Health, where he led the development of solutions to support providers to manage risk and deliver better care for the populations they serve. Prior to joining CVS, Dr. Shrank served as the inaugural director, Research and Rapid-Cycle Evaluation for the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), where he helped design and led the evaluation of new payment reform models tested by the center such as pioneer accountable care organizations, bundled payments, and progressive primary care models. Dr. Shrank began his career as a practicing physician with Brigham Internal Medicine Associates at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, as well as an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. His research at Harvard focused on improving the quality of prescribing and the use of chronic medications, and he published nearly 200 papers on these topics.
Dr. Shrank has served on various national committees and advisory boards related to health. Among the many achievement awards Dr. Shrank received is the 2015 Healthcare Executive Transformation Award from the Los Angeles County Medical Association. He also was the recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Pioneer Award to evaluate the effect of innovative prescription label design on adherence to chronic medication and health outcomes. Dr. Shrank received his M.D. from Cornell University Medical College, served his residency in internal medicine at Georgetown
University, and was a Fellow in Health Policy Research at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), RAND. He earned his M.S. in health services from UCLA and his bachelor’s degree from Brown University.
Steve Sparks, M.A., provides leadership for Wisconsin Health Literacy, a division of Wisconsin Literacy, Inc., a statewide nonprofit organization. He provides consultation and coordination for statewide health literacy strategies and programs for health and social service organizations and for the public. Mr. Sparks has spent his career in health and health care communication. Before joining Wisconsin Health Literacy, he held marketing, communications, and fundraising positions in four hospitals and health systems in Iowa, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. Most recently he was regional director of marketing and public relations for SSM Health Care of Wisconsin. He has taught communications courses at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison College, and the University of Nebraska. He is a certified Toastmaster and the first recipient of the local Public Relations Society of America Communicator of the Year award. Mr. Sparks has conducted numerous health literacy training sessions with health care and health insurance professionals and led several health literacy interventions on public health issues. He currently leads a project funded through the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment of the Medical College of Wisconsin. The goal of the project is to implement easier-to-understand prescription medication labels in Wisconsin. He has been a presenter at several national health literacy conferences, including the Wisconsin Health Literacy Summit, which he coordinates. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English education and a master’s degree in journalism and mass communication.
Elisabeth Walther, Pharm.D., J.D., is a health scientist policy analyst at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, where she currently leads regulatory policy development related to patient prescription drug product information. She also continues to practice as a community pharmacist. She holds a Pharm.D. and a J.D. from Drake University.
Michael Wolf, Ph.D., M.A., M.P.H., is a professor of medicine, associate division chief (Internal Medicine and Geriatrics), and director of the Health Literacy & Learning Program (HeLP) within the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. He also holds appointments in the Departments of Cognitive Sciences, Communication Studies, Medical Social Sciences, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Surgery. As a health services researcher and cognitive-behavioral scientist, Dr. Wolf has extensively studied cognitive, psychosocial, and health system determinants of health, specifically in the areas of health literacy and health communications research. His work has focused primarily on understanding health care
complexity. Dr. Wolf has led several large-scale, pragmatic trials to evaluate multifaceted interventions to promote patient engagement in health, targeting chronic disease self-management, medication safety, and adherence.
H. Shonna Yin, M.D., M.Sc., is a general pediatrician and an assistant professor of pediatrics and population health at the New York University School of Medicine/Bellevue Hospital Center. She is a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded researcher whose work centers on the issue of health literacy and its implications for child health. A large focus of her work involves examining the intersection between health literacy and medication safety, including the development and evaluation of low-literacy strategies to improve parent understanding of medication instructions. Dr. Yin is principal investigator of a multisite R01 funded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to develop and evaluate a low-literacy medication labeling and dosing strategy for pediatric prescription liquid medications. Some of her work in medication safety is featured in the Joint Commission book Addressing Patients’ Health Literacy Needs. Dr. Yin is a key member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) PROTECT (Prevention of Overdoses and Treatment Errors in Children Taskforce) initiative, and served as co-chair of the subcommittee focused on the standardization of pediatric medication dosing instructions. She also serves as a member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Risk Communication Advisory Committee. Other areas of research focus include examining low-literacy strategies to address obesity prevention as well as chronic disease management (e.g., asthma). Dr. Yin serves as co-principal investigator of a multisite NIH/NICHD-funded R01 to develop and test a low-literacy and numeracy-focused intervention for early childhood obesity prevention (Greenlight). She is also working on a Clinical Translational Science Institute–funded project to improve health provider and parent management of child asthma through a health literacy, information technology–based approach. Dr. Yin has provided health literacy expertise to many groups, including CDC; FDA; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and the American Academy of Pediatrics. She was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Physician Faculty Scholar (2009-2012), and recipient of the Pfizer Fellowship in Health Literacy/Clear Health Communication (2007-2009).