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Armstrong Institute Leadership

Allen Kachalia

Allen Kachalia, M.D., J.D.

Director, Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality
Senior Vice President for Patient Safety and Quality, Johns Hopkins Medicine

During his nearly 20-year career in medicine, Kachalia has served in a variety of key roles, including leadership positions. As senior vice president, Kachalia oversees patient safety and quality initiatives across Johns Hopkins Medicine aimed at ending preventable harm, improving clinical outcomes and patient experience, and reducing waste in health care delivery. As the director of the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, Kachalia directs academic and scholarly efforts of the institute, which was formed thanks to a $10 million gift from C. Michael Armstrong — former chairman of the Johns Hopkins Medicine board of trustees — as an infrastructure to lead, coordinate and support Johns Hopkins’ patient safety and quality efforts.

Previously, chief quality officer and vice president for quality and safety at Brigham Health in Boston, Kachalia provided oversight for inpatient and ambulatory quality, safety, patient experience, risk management, clinical compliance and biomedical engineering. In this role, Kachalia built a provider-based electronic mortality review system that other health care systems are modeling, and has led several initiatives to further ambulatory safety and transparency in medicine. He has also helped establish a board quality committee that regularly reports on and drives quality performance.

Kachalia first joined Brigham Health in 2003, and was promoted to associate medical director of Brigham and Women’s Physicians Organization in 2004. He became associate chief quality officer for Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2011, before being promoted to chief quality officer and vice president for quality and safety in 2014. Kachalia joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School in 2003, where he currently is an associate professor of medicine. He is also an associate professor of health policy and management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Kachalia is passionate about research on legal issues in medicine, including malpractice system reform and disclosure of medical error, and how these issues relate to the quality and safety of medical care.

Kachalia received a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry and business economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He earned his medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis, and he completed an internal medicine residency, including serving one year as chief resident, at the University of Michigan. He also holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

renee demski

Renee Demski, M.S.W., M.B.A.

Senior Vice President for Patient Safety and Quality, Johns Hopkins Medicine

As vice president for quality for the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Health System, Ms. Demski has been instrumental in developing a robust, disciplined process to improve results in quality and safety of care.

Among other projects, she has led the strategic design and implementation of the National Leader Strategy, a campaign to achieve top performance on publicly reported quality measures. This effort resulted in Johns Hopkins-affiliated hospitals winning multiple recognitions, including the Joint Commission Top Performer and Delmarva Foundation’s Excellence awards.

Ms. Demski also co-leads the institute-organized clinical communities and pathways — about 20 teams of experts working across the Johns Hopkins Health System to improve care and reduce costs in areas such as spine surgery and blood management.

Learn more about Ms. Demski.

robert elliott

Robert Elliott, M.H.A.

Administrator for Armstrong Institute
Program Director for Business and Learning Development

Robert Elliott has been with Johns Hopkins for over 20 years serving in leadership roles in the Department of Surgery, Oncology and now with the Armstrong Institute. In these roles he has developed extensive knowledge in HealthCare finance, operations and leadership. He serves as an executive leader, directing the overall administrative, operational and partnership activities as well as provides strategic direction for the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality.

He also serves as Program Director for the Armstrong Institute Learning and Development team as well as Armstrong Institute’s external consulting arm, Business Development.

lori paine

Lori Paine, DrPH, RN, MS

Senior Director of Patient Safety, Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality and Johns Hopkins Hospital
Faculty, Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality Leadership Academy

Dr. Paine serves as the Senior Director of Patient Safety for The Johns Hopkins Medicine Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality and The Johns Hopkins Hospital.  In this role, she is responsible for the strategic and tactical oversight of the Patient Safety programs, including the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP), culture assessment, Health IT safety, Human Factors, second victim support, event reporting, just culture and workplace violence.  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 CUSP, Science of Patient Safety, event reporting, high reliability, safety culture measurement and improvement as well as patient and family involvement in safety.   Of particular interest in her practice as a Patient Safety Officer is mindful organizing, risk assessment and culture. 

She is an adjunct faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and associate faculty member at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Nazareth College of Rochester, a Master’s degree in Applied Behavioral Science and Change Management from the Johns Hopkins University and a Doctorate of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.   She came to The 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. 

laura winner

Laura Winner, R.N., B.S.N., M.B.A.

Senior Director, Lean Sigma Deployment, Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, Johns Hopkins Medicine

Laura Winner is the Senior Director of Lean Sigma Deployment for the Johns Hopkins Health System and the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, Johns Hopkins Medicine. In addition to overseeing the Lean Sigma team operations for the Johns Hopkins Health System under Laura’s leadership the Lean Sigma Prescription for Healthcare® program was developed and the healthcare specific courses delivered to thousands of healthcare professionals across Johns Hopkins Medicine and around the world. She has participated in Lean Sigma projects with the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare and is an active member of the Catalysis Healthcare Value Network. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, and a Master of Business Administration from Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. Laura worked 13 years clinically as a nurse at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in the Emergency Department (Level 1 Trauma Center) and in the Department of Medicine. Sheholds a Joint Appointment with the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and is currently a doctoral candidate in the Health Policy Management Program at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.