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About the Speakers

Jason Abrams, M.D.


Jason Abrams is the associate medical director and a senior medical consultant at the Medcan Clinic in Toronto, Ontario. He is a graduate of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University in Ontario, and he completed a residency in family medicine at McGill University. Over the years, he has completed locums training in family medicine and emergency medicine in the Greater Toronto area and has maintained clinical practice in walk-in clinics in the community. Additionally, he has been an independent medical examiner for Section 44 assessments under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule, and a low back expert physician examiner for the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) as part of an initiative to focus treatment and implement safe return to work for employees who have injured their backs. His professional interests include preventive medicine and virtual medicine.

Lisa Allen, Ph.D.

Lisa Allen, Ph.D.

Lisa Allen joined Johns Hopkins Medicine in September 2014 as the first chief patient experience officer. In this role she has oversight and responsibility for enhancing and continually improving the overall experience of patients and families through coaching, best practices, transparency, reporting and system collaboration. Allen focuses on person- and family-centered care and engagement. Her position is at the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, and her team consists of coaches, advocates, and volunteer services and patient/guest services staff members. She has a doctorate in medical anthropology and community medicine and a green belt in Lean, and she is a certified executive coach. Allen was on the Becker’s Hospital Review list of “130 women hospital and health system leaders to know” for 2015–2017 and was a Top 30 CXO in 2018.

James Aw

James Aw

James Aw oversees the physician team, clinical protocols and medical programs, and is involved with strategic research and business development at Medcan. His interests are in occupational, preventive and travel medicine.

Aw is a part-time faculty member in the Division of General Internal Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He has over 20 years of experience in corporate health and occupational medicine, including in the areas of disability management, critical incident planning, infectious diseases in the workplace, industrial hygiene, wellness and disease management programs. He is a frequent speaker at global conferences and is interested in clinical trials. Since 2009, he has been a site principle investigator with the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation (HOPE)-3 trial led by McMaster University faculty.

Aw is the medical director for one of North America’s largest international financial institutions and was previously a senior corporate physician for several large cap companies in the mining, manufacturing, aviation, food and distribution, and financial sectors. He is a regular columnist for the National Post and HuffPost, and is a member of the National Corporate Medical Associates of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He is also invested in global health initiatives, including having a key role with Medcan Naweza, which is focused on curtailing the harm of noncommunicable disease through a model of durable, quality, preventive health care with two sister clinics in rural Kenya.

Aw is a graduate of the University of Ottawa School of Medicine (M.D.) and a diplomate in occupational health and safety, certified by McMaster University. He received postgraduate training in international health and travel medicine in the U.K. (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), Uganda (Makerere University), Barbados (University of the West Indies) and the U.S.

Aw is a member of the McLaughlin Oversight Committee, University of Toronto (2016–2019), which provides oversight on research and innovation initiatives at the University of Toronto. He is also certified in the core curriculum in occupational medicine from the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, was previously an American Board Certified Independent Medical Examiner, and is certified in travel health by the International Society of Travel Medicine.

Nellie Boma, M.D. M.P.H., C.P.H.Q., C.M.Q


Nellie Boma is the chief quality officer for Tawam Hospital, which opened in 1979 and is part of the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company network of public hospitals owned by the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi. The 469-bed tertiary care facility is the largest hospital in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and it serves as a regional referral center for specialized medical care and a national referral center for oncology services. Though it covers all specialties, Tawam Hospital is best known for its neonatal care, fertility services, emergency medicine, intensive care, oncology services and state-of-the-art cardiac care.

An extremely knowledgeable and skillful physician, she has a remarkable ability through her advocacy to establish close and productive interpersonal relationships across a wide variety of disciplines and viewpoints, resulting in numerous and significant contributions toward quality of care, access, efficiency and patient centered care. 

She has developed and implemented processes, products and services that transitioned the hospital to be top ranked in Abu Dhabi, and she created several transformational projects, many of which have become standard practices in Abu Dhabi hospitals. Dr. Boma is the founder/chairperson of the annual National Women’s Health Conference and the co-chair of the Abu Dhabi Trauma System Initiative. Under her leadership, the first trauma system registry outside the U.S. was implemented in nine UAE hospitals. In 2014 she led the hospital’s response to the Ebola virus outbreak, which became a model of care. 
Before arriving in the UAE, she was the chief medical officer for ambulatory health services for the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. She also served on the faculty of New York Medical College from 1996–2008.  Dr. Boma was appointed by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as a member of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs in an advisory capacity (2008–2012).
Dr. Boma holds several degrees, including bachelor’s degrees in political science and nursing, a master’s degree in public health and a medical degree. She is U.S. board certified in internal medicine, and she is a CPHQ (Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality). She also has a Patient Safety Certificate from the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, and she recently became CMQ (Certified in Medical Quality).

Antonio Cachafeiro Vilar, M.D.


Antonio Cachafeiro received a medical degree from the University of Panama, and completed training in internal medicine with Arnulfo Arias Madrid at the social security hospital Complejo Hospitalario Metropolitano in Panama and training in rheumatology at Instituto de Nutrición Salvador Zubiran in Mexico City, Mexico. After residency, he returned to Panama to work in both public and private practice.

In 2012, he completed a master’s degree in health care management and became clinical deputy director at Complejo Hospitalario Metropolitano. He then worked as a national project manager for the social security national headquarters before being promoted as the social security national health director. He was named chief medical officer of Pacifica Salud Hospital Punta Pacifica in January 2016. 

Rafael Cohen

Rafael Cohen

Born in Panama, Rafael Cohen graduated from high school at the Albert Einstein Institute in 1985, and got a bachelor’s degree in management in 1990 from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He joined the family business, a Latin America distribution company, in 1990 as director of Grupo Texinsa. During his tenure, the business quickly expanded to include interest in several other Panamanian companies.

Since April 2015, he has served as CEO of Pacifica Salud, a 74-bed, category 4 complexity private hospital that is affiliated with Johns Hopkins Medicine International and accredited by the International Joint Commission.

He has been a member of the board of directors for the Albert Einstein Institute for eight years and is responsible for the construction of a new residency building for 1,000 students. He also sits on the advisory board of the Ernie Sheller School of Management for Georgia Institute of Technology University. He lives in Panama with his wife and five children. 

Katherine DeRuggiero, Ph.D., R.N.

Francisco Feliu, M.B.A.

Katherine DeRuggiero is vice president of patient services for Johns Hopkins Medicine International. In this role, she collaborates across Johns Hopkins Medicine International, Johns Hopkins Medicine and beyond to lead development of the model and resources needed to deliver the promise of medicine to our diverse patient populations in the United States and abroad — a model that considers the entire patient journey and ensures holistic, measurable results that last well beyond the immediate visit.

DeRuggiero is a veteran nurse with 32 years of experience. She has an extensive background in directing emergency medicine, critical care transport nursing and disaster team operations. 

DeRuggiero began her career as a staff nurse at what is now Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in 1982. In 2005, she moved to Johns Hopkins’ East Baltimore campus to become the assistant director of nursing for the Department of Emergency Medicine. She took on the role of interim director of nursing in 2007, and in 2008 she was named the director of nursing for the Department of Emergency Medicine and Johns Hopkins Lifeline. 

In her multiple roles at Johns Hopkins Medicine, DeRuggiero has been actively involved in the areas of operations, education, patient satisfaction, risk management and quality improvement. Her multiple publications are derived from the work she has done to improve the patient experience and quality of care. DeRuggiero has also worked on several grants for leadership, disaster management and staff engagement. 

She holds a doctorate in nursing practice with an emphasis on executive leadership, and a master’s degree in nursing with an emphasis on nursing administration, both from the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Dina Goldberg

Dina Goldberg

Dina Goldberg is the executive director of population health, innovations and transformation for Johns Hopkins HealthCare (JHHC). Previously she worked internationally in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, supporting the managed care operations for Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare. Over the prior 12 years, Goldberg worked in the operations division at JHHC as associate vice president of provider relations and network innovations. In this position, she managed a staff of 50 employees with responsibility for contracting, servicing, and network innovations, management, development and operations for a network of over 50,000 providers in the mid-Atlantic region.

Goldberg has over 27 years of experience in the health insurance industry, including in health plan managed care operations, sales and marketing, provider relations and credentialing. Goldberg also has a vast amount of experience in implementing market based provider reimbursement and network strategies consistent with both government and commercial insurance products.

Over the past 10 years, Goldberg has led various corporate strategic initiatives across Johns Hopkins HealthCare that have focused on provider collaboration, enablement of primary care efficiency and assisting clinically integrated networks with their practice transformation across various populations. This includes the development and implementation of various risk-adjusted provider profile reporting tools along with launching of various provider engagement analytical platforms. Goldberg has also developed National Committee for Quality Assurance Patient Centered Medical Home reimbursement models for primary care physicians, shared savings and risk based models along with quality STARS/value based purchasing incentive programs.

Goldberg holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and lives in the U.S. state of Maryland. She is a member of the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management and is very active in community service through Rotary International. 

Karen Haller, Ph.D., R.N.

Karen Haller, Ph.D., R.N.

As vice president of nursing and clinical affairs, Karen Haller oversees nursing and clinical quality for Johns Hopkins Medicine International (JHI). She is responsible for developing the structure and resources needed to collaborate with health care organizations around the world. Haller shares responsibility with Charles Wiener, JHI’s vice president for academic affairs, and works closely with Katherine DeRuggiero, JHI’s vice president for patient services. She also provides leadership and strategic oversight for JHI’s clinical, consulting and knowledge transfer activities, leveraging the expertise of our clinicians.

In her nearly 30 years at Johns Hopkins, Haller has held a variety of roles. She recently was the vice president for nursing and patient care services and chief nursing officer for The Johns Hopkins Hospital — she was responsible for professional practice and clinical standards in the institution and supervised a nursing staff of more than 3,000. She also oversaw the activities of the offices for social work, regulatory affairs, admitting and patient/visitor services.

A professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Haller has published more than 100 articles and editorials on subjects ranging from leadership and management in patient care delivery systems to end-of-life decision-making and patient safety. 

Haller received a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate in nursing, as well as a master’s degree in public health, from the University of Michigan. Before coming to Johns Hopkins in 1988, she was an associate professor of maternal-child health and a research scientist at Loyola University of Chicago.

Lisa Ishii, M.D., M.H.S.

Lisa Ishii, M.D., M.H.S.

Lisa Ishii, professor of otolaryngology–head and neck surgery, is the senior medical director for clinical integration in the Office of Johns Hopkins Physicians, and the chief quality officer for clinical best practices for the Johns Hopkins Health System. In these dual roles she provides strategy, oversight and support for clinician lead teams that focus on care redesign across Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM). These teams set quality standards and focus on driving value through standardization, cost optimization and sharing of best practices. Ishii also serves as the chief quality officer for ambulatory procedures, and she chairs the JHM Ambulatory Surgery Coordinating Council, which has representation from all eight Hopkins ambulatory surgery centers and convenes to set quality standards for the centers. She is the medical director of the Johns Hopkins White Marsh Surgery Center and chair of the board of the Johns Hopkins Surgery Center Series.

At the national level, Ishii serves as the research and quality coordinator and a board of directors member for the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. She chaired the registry task force that developed the specialty’s first qualified clinical data registry, Reg-ent. She now serves on the Reg-ent executive committee, and focuses on supporting the systematic collection of standard data elements and development of meaningful performance measures.

Ishii is an elected member of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) board of directors, and she chairs the AAFPRS research committee. She is both associate editor and statistical editor for the journal JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

Adolfo Llinás, M.D.


Adolfo Llinás is the chief medical officer at Fundación Santa Fe de Bogotá (FSFB), a staff member in the Adult Reconstructive Surgery Section of the Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology at FSFB University Hospital, and a clinical professor at Universidad de los Andes School of Medicine. He was formerly chairman of the Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology at FSFB University Hospital and director of the joint residency program at Universidad del Rosario (1999–2011). His Fellowship education focused on basic research in biomechanics, adult reconstructive Surgery and musculoskeletal repercussions of coagulopathies, all at University of Southern California.

Presently, his areas of interest are: efficacy, safety and behaviour modification as surrogates of quality, academic medicine, adult reconstructive surgery with emphasis in joint replacement, and coagulopathies in orthopaedic surgery—both thrombotic and hemorrhagic. 

J. Clotilde Jaramillo Wong, R.N.

Clotilde Jaramillo Wong, R.N.

A surgical nurse by training, Jaramillo’s experience includes various leadership roles at the Hospital Santo Tomás, culminating in a position in nursing administration. During her tenure at Hospital Santo Tomás, Jaramillo also temporarily covered the position of director of human resources and was a technical adviser to the medical leadership through 2006. She has also served in various capacities at the national nursing level, assuming responsibility for formal surgical nurse training in 1994. 

Jaramillo joined Pacifica Salud Hospital Punta Pacifica in 2008 as the director of specialized training, and was appointed director of nursing in April 2016. In her current role, she oversees administration and leadership of the nursing team at the hospital, guaranteeing the quality and safety of clinical services provided to patients.

Jaramillo holds a nursing degree from the University of Guanajuato in Mexico in addition to diplomas in higher education, hospital management and conflict management from the University of Panama.  

Mohamed Parrini


Mohamed Parrini leads Hospital Moinhos de Vento in Porto Alegre, Brazil. He has a strong background in strategy, management turnaround, finance, long term planning, operations and commercial relationship. Parrini has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Rio de Janeiro State University. He also completed a postgraduate course in strategy and competitive advantage at the Harvard Business School and received a master’s degree in philosophy from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul. Previous positions include chief of operations of Hospital Moinhos de Vento and Latin America finance director for Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

Stuart Ray, M.D.


Stuart Ray serves as vice chair of medicine for data integrity and analytics and a professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, with a secondary appointment in viral oncology and a joint appointment in health sciences informatics. He directs the virology laboratory, and is a clinical investigator at the Center for Viral Hepatitis Research in the Division of Infectious Diseases and the scientific director of the Laboratory for Integrated NanoDiagnostics. Ray is a faculty member of graduate programs in immunology and pharmacology, and of the Janeway firm of the Osler Medical Service. From 2010–2015 he was the program director for the Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program, and he continues to care for Johns Hopkins inpatients with HIV and other infectious diseases. Ray currently serves as co-chair of the Johns Hopkins Medicine Data Trust Research Subcouncil, he chairs the Epic Research Request Review (Epic R-cubed) committee, and he is the Johns Hopkins Hospital Epic Business Owner for Research.

Ray received his medical degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 1990. After an internship and residency on the Osler Service at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, he continued there as an assistant chief of service and fellow in infectious diseases. During his fellowship, he studied the immunology and sequence variation of HIV; as a faculty member he shifted his focus to the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Software development has also been an important component of Ray’s career—for example, a program he wrote for detection of recombination (SimPlot) has been used in about 2,000 publications by authors in 100 countries.

Ray has served on National Institutes of Health review sections for extramural and intramural research, and on a committee addressing elimination of viral hepatitis for the National Academy of Medicine. He has been elected a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. He is currently an associate editor of The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Lindsay Rothstein

Lindsay Rothstein, M.A.

Lindsay Rothstein leads all integrated marketing, branding and strategic communications programs for Johns Hopkins Medicine International. She has more than 20 years of experience in those areas in the health care and international travel writing industries.

Rothstein joined Johns Hopkins Medicine in 2000 and has served in roles of increasing responsibility, including senior writer, assistant editor, senior editor and international communications manager in the Marketing and Communications Department. She has written dozens of articles on subjects ranging from patient safety to health care informatics to international hospital projects, and in 2004 she won an award of distinction from the Association of American Medical Colleges in the Internal Audience Periodicals category.

Before joining Johns Hopkins, she was a founding editorial director in the Waterford, Ireland, office of Agora, a Baltimore-based publishing company. She has studied and worked in Europe and Latin America, and has traveled to more than 40 countries.

Rothstein has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and Spanish literature from Rutgers University and a master’s degree in international journalism (highest honors) from the University of Westminster in London, where she interned at The Daily Telegraph. She is a member of the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development and is proficient in Spanish.

Melissa Sherry, M.P.H., C.P.H.

Melissa Sherry, M.P.H., C.P.H.

Melissa Sherry is the director of population health innovation and transformation at Johns Hopkins HealthCare, and a doctoral candidate in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Health Policy and Management Department. Sherry’s work has focused on evidence-based development of population health programs that address risk across the spectrum, from prevention to care for the highest risk, highest cost patients.

Sherry specializes in translating available population health data into meaningful and actionable strategies to achieve the Triple Aim of improved cost, health and patient satisfaction, using health data and information as well as patient experiences to drive population health programs and quality improvement initiatives. Sherry has also worked extensively on population health programs that partner with community-based organizations to address social determinants and to engage with patients in more meaningful ways. Sherry has nine years of experience working on population health and public health initiatives both domestically and internationally, including work in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

Sherry has a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University and a master’s in public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she is in her fourth year of a Ph.D. program. Sherry has a certification in public health as well as a certificate in global health from the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Aaron Watkins

Aaron WatkinsAaron Watkins has been leading Johns Hopkins Medicine’s first integrated strategic team of internet and digital professionals since December 2007, when he joined Johns Hopkins Medicine as an information architect. With just two other colleagues on the team then, you might think those were lonely times. The reality is that he encountered an organization with such a pent-up demand for growth and resources that he struggled nightly to give his laptop a little time in sleep mode.

Fast forward a few years and he’s built health care’s strongest internal internet strategy team, and he leads collaborative efforts that today position as the third most visited hospital or academic medical center web property in the world.

Some days he even feels like he knows his way around the place, although he is often reminded that there is always more to discover. Those reminders only underscore the importance of his team’s mission to connect the people of the world with the people of Johns Hopkins Medicine. The team members take a user-focused approach to their strategy to deliver the promise of Johns Hopkins Medicine’s research, education and patient care work.

Watkins leads the internet strategy team in the creation and execution of a comprehensive online approach including content creation and development, user-centered design and development, internet marketing and social engagement, and data-driven performance analysis.

Previously, Watkins led enterprisewide web and application development projects for several medical nonprofits, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and the National Aquarium in Baltimore, where his team's work won a 2005 Webby Award. Additionally, he is a human factors certified web usability analyst and co-creator of Baltimore Parlay, a local networking and knowledge-sharing group for user experience professionals.
Watkins is a frequent speaker on topics related to the web and to health care.

Charles Wiener, M.D.

Charles Wiener, M.D.

Charles Wiener is vice president of academic affairs and vice president of Asia operations for Johns Hopkins Medicine International. He leads multiple global projects, including strategic planning, oversight of educational infrastructure planning and medical training.  

Dr. Wiener is also a professor of medicine and physiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of undergraduate studies for the medicine, science and the humanities major at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. He is focused on more closely integrating Johns Hopkins Medicine International and school of medicine programs, and on coordinating physician involvement in our growing international collaborations.

Throughout Dr. Wiener’s accomplished 24-year career at Johns Hopkins, he has been recognized for his medical and academic leadership, extensive institutional and clinical knowledge, and ability to build productive business relationships across diverse groups.  

He has won numerous awards at Johns Hopkins for medical student teaching and house staff mentorship, is the author of numerous scientific publications, and is an associate editor of the American Journal of Medicine. He serves as an educational consultant for Duke Corporate Education and is on the international advisory board of the new Qatar University College of Medicine.

Dr. Wiener holds a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a medical degree from the University of Miami. He completed specialty training and his chief residency in internal medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle from 1982 to 1986. The following year, he was an American Heart Association research fellow in the Hammersmith Hospital respiratory physiology unit in London. From 1987 to 1991, he was a fellow in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins. He is board certified in internal medicine, pulmonary medicine and critical care medicine.


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