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Our Experts

We are health care professionals who face the same everyday challenges in improving care that you face at your organization. The Center’s more than 20 staff members have backgrounds as physicians, nurses, administrators, social workers and public health professionals, and many of us continue to work in those capacities while also advancing to the Center for Innovation. Several of our experts are also Master Black Belts in Lean Sigma who apply their experience from different industries—including manufacturing and banking—to the delivery of health care. We understand the realities of working in health care, and we use this knowledge to help our colleagues across the world to craft solutions that actually work.


Richard "Chip" Davis, PhD

Executive Director
Richard Davis is Johns Hopkins Medicine’s (JHM) Vice President for Innovation and Patient Safety, directing JHM’s system-wide effort to improve the quality, efficiency and safety of patient care. Dr. Davis also serves as Executive Director, for the JHM Center for Innovation in Quality Patient Care, for JHM Access Services and for Johns Hopkins Hospital System’s East Baltimore Ambulatory Operations. As Executive Director of the Center for Innovation in Quality Patient Care, Dr. Davis oversees a multidisciplinary staff leading initiatives to facilitate innovative, patient-centered approaches to make Hopkins the safest place to receive patient care. The Center works to improve the quality and safety of patient care by providing faculty and staff with the means to identify measure and correct system flaws and direct organizational change.

A faculty member of both The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health’s division of Health Policy and Management, and the University’s Business of Medicine program, Dr. Davis has taught graduate level courses on leadership, organizational behavior and quality in medical settings for more than a decade. He regularly consults on leadership, quality, efficiency, cost control, patient safety and other related issues for public and private health systems nationally and internationally. Dr. Davis has a Ph.D. in Health Policy and Management from The Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, a Master’s degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan.

Peter J. Pronovost, MD, PhD, FCCM

Medical Director, Center for Innovation in Quality Patient Care
Dr. Peter J. Pronovost is a practicing anesthesiologist and critical care physician, teacher, researcher, and international patient safety leader. Dr. Pronovost is a Professor in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Departments of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, and Surgery); in the Bloomberg School of Public Health (Department of Health Policy and Management) and in the School of Nursing. He is also Medical Director for the Center for Innovation in Quality Patient Care, which supports quality and safety efforts at the Johns Hopkins Hospitals. In 2003 Dr. Pronovost established the Quality and Safety Research Group to advance the science of safety. Dr. Pronovost and his research team are dedicated to improving health care through methods that are scientifically rigorous, but feasible at the bedside. Dr. Pronovost holds a doctorate in clinical investigation from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The author of more than 200 articles and chapters in the fields of patient safety, ICU care, quality health care, evidence-based medicine, and the measurement and evaluation of safety efforts, Dr Pronovost is also a frequent speaker on the topics of quality and safety leadership and implementation of large scale change. He chairs the JCAHO ICU Advisory Panel for Quality Measures, the ICU Physician Staffing Committee for the Leapfrog Group, and serves on the Quality Measures Work Group of the National Quality Forum. He also serves in an advisory capacity to the World Health Organizations’ World Alliance for Patient Safety, and is leading WHO efforts to improve patient safety measurement, evaluation, and leadership capacity globally. He has won several national awards for his research, including the 2004 John Eisenberg Patient Safety Research Award.

Dr. Pronovost has been chosen by the editors of Time Magazine as one of their 100 most influential people for 2008. His work in innovating ways to improve patient safety and care are changing the way that the world thinks about medical care. Dr. Pronovost is currently leading several large national and international safety projects. To learn more about his work visit the Quality and Safety Research Group website.

Hanan Aboumatar, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
As a physician who trained and practiced in Family Medicine and General Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Dr. Aboumatar uses her background and experience to improve patient safety and health care quality via system-based interventions, health communications interventions, multidisciplinary education and training of health professionals, as well as by “hardwiring” behaviors into practice. Dr. Aboumatar is designing innovative, longitudinal patient safety curriculum for Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine and School of Nursing; as well as Teamwork and Communication training for multidisciplinary care teams throughout the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Aboumatar’s innovations in health professions education include multidisciplinary teaching, a variety of learning formats including online learning, incorporating patient safety throughout the formal curriculum, using traditional hospital structures in non-traditional ways (e.g.,. M&M rounds), and applying new communication behaviors and norms into clinical practice.

Dr. Aboumatar holds her MD from the American University of Beirut, and both her MPH and Health Finance and Management Certificate from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She received her postgraduate training in Family Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals of Cleveland, in Cleveland, OH and her General Preventive Medicine and Public Health training at Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD.

Julie Cady-Reh, MS, MBA

Certified Lean Sigma Black Belt, Johns Hopkins Medicine
Julie recently joined the Hopkins team after working 12 years in the information management and information technology industries. At Xerox Corporation, Julie was a member of the inaugural Lean Sigma Black Belt group, and went on to lead many cross-organizational and cross-functional projects in sales and marketing operations. She also served as a Master Black Belt mentor on field service and call center initiatives. Julie holds a BS in chemical engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park. She continued her education at the University of Rochester, where she earned both an MS in Material Science and a Masters in Business Administration.

Renee Demski, MSW, MBA

Senior Director
Renee Demski currently serves as the Senior Director of Johns Hopkins Medicine's Center for Innovation in Quality Patient Care as well as the Senior Director of Quality Improvement and Operations Integration for the Johns Hopkins Health System. In these roles, she is working on the effective integration of services across the health care continuum for The Johns Hopkins Health System with the goal of maximizing organizational improvement, efficiencies and the value of clinical services. Specifically, amongst other projects, Ms. Demski led the strategic design and implementation of the Johns Hopkins Medicine Revenue Recovery Initiative which applied Lean Sigma methodology to the front-end registration process. This initiative continues to be successful in driving outcomes with over $50 million return over a 5-year period.

Ms. Demski has been a Johns Hopkins employee for 20 years. She has an MSW from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and an MBA from the Johns Hopkins University Business of Medicine Program.

Eston Harden, BS

Quality and Innovation Data Specialist

Richard Hill, BS

Sr. Quality and Innovation Coach and Lean Sigma Master Black Belt for Johns Hopkins Medicine
Richard Hill has led Lean Sigma classes and coached Green Belts at Johns Hopkins since 2005. With 15 years of experience in the aerospace industry, Rich has achieved significant depth in the areas of Lean, Six Sigma, team dynamics and facilitation, and has led many cross functional process improvement teams over the years. Leveraging this experience, he has served as a mentor to numerous Green Belts. Rich received a BS in Business Administration/Management from Bryant College in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

Deborah Baugher Hobson, BSN

Quality Improvement Chairperson and a Staff Nurse, Johns Hopkins Hospital; and Patient Safety Clinical Specialist, Center for Innovation in Quality Patient Care
Deborah Hobson is co-leader of several Johns Hopkins Medicine or Johns Hopkins Hospital and affiliates collaboratives including: Intensive Care Unit, deep-vein thrombosis prevention and anticoagulation, medication reconciliation, and surgical site infection prevention. Ms. Hobson has worked with several hospitals in the U.S. and overseas on patient safety and quality initiatives. She also works with the Johns Hopkins Quality and Patient Safety Research Group conducting research on quality and safety in critical care, palliative care, eliminating blood stream infections, eliminating surgical site infections, and sepsis care. Ms. Hobson has been with Johns Hopkins since 1980. Ms. Hobson earned her BSN (honors) in Nursing from the University of Maryland.

Robert Hody, BS, MS

Robert Hody is the Lean Kaizen Internal Consultant for Johns Hopkins Medicine. Beginning in 1995, as one of GE's first group of Master Black Belts, Bob led projects in engineering, operations, finance and IT. He has also mentored projects in supply chain, sales, and marketing as a Master Black Belt and Six Sigma Director with Black and Decker. His involvement with Lean began in 1999 leading to a Lean Site Leader role in GE Healthcare. Bob earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Virginia, and MS degrees from Virginia Tech in both Engineering and Computer Science.

Jo Leslie, MBA

Sr. Quality and Innovation Coach

Lori Paine, RN, MS

Director, Patient Safety, The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Center for Innovation in Quality Patient Care
Ms. Paine serves as the Director of Patient Safety for The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Center for Innovation in Quality Patient Care. In this role, she is responsible for the strategic and tactical oversight of the Patient Safety program. She was responsible for implementing the health system’s on-line event reporting system and now manages the operations, surveillance and data analysis from this system. Since 2004, Ms. Paine has organized the annual patient safety culture assessment, which has demonstrated a significant improvement over time. An integral component of the Hopkins Patient Safety program is the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP), which Ms. Paine has brought to more than thirty units across the hospital. Recently, she served on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the National Quality Forum’s Expert Panel for Common Formats in event reporting.

She has spoken to audiences and consulted with hospitals nationally and internationally on Patient Safety Strategic Planning, CUSP, Science of Patient Safety, event reporting, safety culture measurement and improvement as well as patient and family involvement in safety. She has held the position of Quality and Innovation Coach in the Johns Hopkins Center for Innovation in Quality Patient Care. She is an adjunct faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Nazareth College and a Master’s degree in Applied Behavioral Science and Change Management from the Johns Hopkins University. She came to Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1988 as a Labor & Delivery nurse. In addition to clinical and patient care management experience, she has held positions in hospital administration, product line development, and work process redesign.

Stephanie Peditto, MHS

Director of Innovation
Stephanie Peditto is charged with developing strategies for the Center. Ms. Peditto’s role includes identification of opportunities for innovation, improvement, and external collaborations on quality and safety topics. In addition, she develops curriculum in leadership and organizational behavior as it relates to quality and safety. She has worked in clinical quality and patient safety collaborations in the U.S., Latin America, Europe and Middle East. In addition, Ms. Peditto is a Faculty Associate for the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. Ms. Peditto’s previous role was as Director of Inpatient Services for the Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Ms. Peditto has worked with the National Quality Forum (and the former National Committee for Quality Health Care) to provide consultative, analytical, and writing services in support of its Executive Institute and National Quality Healthcare Award. In that role, Stephanie has been the project lead on the CEO Survival Guides to Performance Measurement, Pay for Performance, Electronic Health Records, and Patient Safety. She has a MHS from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and her BS from Juniata College.

Richard Powers, BS, MBA

Sr. Quality and Innovation Coach and Lean Sigma Master Black Belt, Johns Hopkins Medicine
Rick Powers brings over 30 years of industry experience to Hopkins. Since 1997, Rick has been leading and coaching Lean Sigma teams in a variety of industries including manufacturing, aerospace, several military branches, banking and commercial services. He has taught over 500 Green Belts and Black Belts in engineering, manufacturing, office transactions, supply chain and various service functions. Rick received Six Sigma Black Belt and Master Black Belt certifications from the Six Sigma Academy and Lean Expert training from Honeywell Aerospace. He holds a BS in Electronics Engineering Technology from DeVry University in Phoenix, AZ, and an MBA from Pepperdine University in Irvine, CA.

Steven Ragsdale

Quality and Innovation Coach
Steven Ragsdale has more 18 years of health care experience with proven results in aligning strategy with business goals, enhancing business processes and implementing solution oriented strategies. His experience is a result of managing central operations, implementing key strategies and developing quality health care initiatives at both the Johns Hopkins Medical Institution and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Steven’s knowledge base is primarily in operations and project management, IT development, process engineering, strategic planning, and policy analysis as it relates to both an integrated health care delivery system and the Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan. Steven has over 20 years experience and training in relationship/customer management, including six years monitoring legislative and regulatory affairs on the federal level. Steven is also currently a member of the Johns Hopkins Diversity Leadership Council where he focuses attention on issues of Disparities in Medicine.

I-Fong Sun, DrPH, MS

I-Fong Sun’s primary role is to provide operational and strategic oversight for the Center. She also helps to guide interdisciplinary teams throughout the hospital and beyond to improve patient safety and quality of patient care, and to increase efficiency by reducing waste and introducing disruptive innovation. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, Dr. Sun was an Implementation Specialist with American Management Systems' Healthcare Practice where she implemented computer-driven solutions to improve services and to increase efficiency. Dr. Sun earned a DrPH in Health Management and Leadership from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, an MS in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard School of Public Health, and a BA in Economics and Healthcare from Brown University.  

Laura Winner, RN, BSN, MBA

Laura Winner is the Lean Sigma Deployment Leader and Master Black Belt for Johns Hopkins Medicine. In this role, she has managed the instruction and coaching for the projects of more than 150 health care Green Belts across eight waves of Lean Sigma classes. Laura earned her BSN from The Johns Hopkins University, followed by an MBA in the Business of Medicine program at The Johns Hopkins University School of Professional Studies. She received her Six Sigma Black Belt Certification from Motorola University and has over ten years of clinical nursing experience at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Emergency Nursing and Cardiology.

Administrative Staff

Connie Hewitt
Executive Assistant

Patty Langan-Raines
Administrative Coordinator, Center Operations

Eldonia Ross
Administrative Coordinator, Lean Sigma


We've Changed Our Name

The Center for Innovation is now part of the new Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. Learn more about the institute.


Please review training opportunities at the Armstrong Institute for a listing of upcoming workshops and online programs.

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