Speakers

Anne Cahill, MD

Anne Cahill, MD, a specialist in Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, is part of the MVHS Cardiac and Thoracic Surgical Group. Dr. Cahill specializes in operations on the heart, lungs, esophagus and other organs in the chest and women’s cardiac health. Prior to joining the MVHS Medical Group, Dr. Cahill served as a cardiac and thoracic surgeon at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh, New York. She has also served as associate professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Hospital of... Read More

Brad Bennett, PhD

Brad Bennett, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and the director of Clinton Therapy & Testing Center in Clinton, New York. He has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Colgate University, with master’s and doctorate degrees in Psychology from Virginia Tech. His practice addresses the needs of both adults and children, specializing in family psychotherapy and psychological evaluation. Dr. Bennett also has served, since 2003, as director of Behavioral Medicine for the St. Elizabeth Family... Read More

David Nash, MBA, MD

David Nash, MBA, MD, was named the founding dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health (JCPH) in 2008. This appointment caps a 25-year tenure on the faculty of Thomas Jefferson University. He is also the Dr. Raymond C. and Doris N. Grandon Professor of Health Policy. JCPH provides innovative educational programming designed to develop healthcare leaders for the future. Its offerings include Masters Programs in Public Health, Healthcare Quality and Safety, Health Policy, Applied Health... Read More

George J. Giokas, MD

George J. Giokas, MD, received his undergraduate degree from Tufts University and medical degree from George Washington University’s School of Medicine. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Albany Medical Center. Dr. Giokas is board certified in internal medicine and hospice and palliative medicine. Dr. Giokas was chief of the Section of General Internal Medicine of Ellis Hospital located in Schenectady, New York, and continues to serve on its Ethics Committee. After practicing... Read More

James Desemone, MD, FACP

Dr. Desemone is a practicing Diabetes Specialist and Endocrinologist who has several leadership positions for Quality Improvement at Albany Medical Center. He is an associate professor of Medicine at Albany Medical College. Dr. Desemone attended Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, and Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York, followed by internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the State University of New York at Buffalo Affiliated Hospitals. His clinical and research... Read More

Jamie McAdams

Jamie McAdams is the president of the Northeast Region of Press Ganey Associates, Inc. He manages a team focused on the relationships between Press Ganey and health systems and health care facilities in the Northeast. He is a trusted advisor on providing business solutions that assist in improving the experience for patients, employees, and other constituencies. He works with leadership teams, helping to coordinate quality improvement efforts designed to increase patient loyalty and market... Read More

Joe Gallion

Joe Gallion is a manager of Advisory Services with Press Ganey Associates Inc., the industry’s recognized leader in healthcare improvement for over thirty years. In this role, Joe engages with the team’s client organizations across the Mid-Atlantic region to improve the overall patient experience by impacting outcomes, culture, and caregiver engagement. Joe brings a varied background in healthcare improvement drawing from his work with academic research medical centers, regional health systems... Read More

Kay Frances, MBA

Motivational Humorist, Kay Frances, has shared her message to “lighten up, stress less and take care of ourselves” in 40 states and Canada for more than 30 years. She holds a master’s degree in Business Administration, a degree in Health and Physical Education and a fourth degree black belt in karate. She was also a family caregiver for 7 years. Frances is the author of “The Funny Thing about Stress; A Seriously Humorous Guide to a Happier Life.” When it comes to humor, Frances is the “real... Read More

Laura Franckowiak, MS, RN

Laura Franckowiak, MS, RN, is an advisor with Press Ganey Associates, Inc. which is the leading provider of health care performance improvement solutions. She brings a dynamic approach in partnering with, and educating facilities in the successful implementation of improvement initiatives. Based in Albany, New York, Laura brings nearly 20 years of healthcare experience to Press Ganey. She has a passion for improving the patient experience, quality of care, and employee engagement. Laura has... Read More

Marshall Burkhart

Marshall Burkhart is a regional director with Press Ganey Associates, Inc., the industry’s recognized leader in healthcare performance improvement for over thirty years.  Marshall manages relationships between Press Ganey and health systems and healthcare facilities across the Northeast region. In this role, Marshall engages with client organizations to improve the overall performance and experience for patients, families and employees. Marshall works with leadership teams facilitating... Read More

Miera Yeger-McKeever, MD

Meira Yeger-McKeever, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon at the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) Orthopedic Group. Prior to joining the MVHS Medical Group, Dr. Yeger-McKeever worked as an orthopedic surgeon in multiple New Jersey medical centers including St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston and Morristown Medical Center in Morristown. Procedures offered and injuries treated by Dr. Yeger-McKeever, include but are not limited to: pediatric and adolescent sports medicine injuries, ACL injuries... Read More

Paul Abbass, RT(T), MS, CMD, DABR

Paul Abbass, RT(T), MS, CMD, DABR, is the chief of Medical Physics for the Cancer Center of the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS), as well as radiation safety officer for the Faxton Campus. Abbass received a bachelor’s degree in Fitness and Cardiac Rehabilitation from Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, and a second bachelor’s degree in Radiation Therapy from SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York. He earned his master’s degree in Medical Physics from Illinois Institute of... Read More

Tiffany Christensen

Tiffany Christensen was born with cystic fibrosis; a life limiting genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system. In 1995, at the age of 21, Tiffany was given the bad news that her lung disease had progressed to the point that she needed a lung transplant to survive. Tiffany sadly left the NC School of the Arts where she was studying to be an actress and began to look for ways to cope with illness during the long wait for organs. In 2000, Tiffany got "the call," got her... Read More

Waleed Albert, MD, FACP

Waleed Albert, MD, FACP, is the medical director for Quality and Utilization at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare (FSLH) of the Mohawk Valley Health System. In this role, Dr. Albert serves as a physician advisor to the medical staff, Case Management staff and the Utilization and Review Committee, for which he is chairman. He works closely with attending physicians to ensure their patients are given accurate bed assignments and that their medical and surgical conditions are managed efficiently. Dr.... Read More