Executive Leadership Exchange

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The hard and hidden truths in healthcare: Realities and opportunities for enhancing health equity, reducing diagnostic error and embracing quality frameworks


Ted Donnelly


Quality in Action- The NAHQ Healthcare Quality Competency Framework in the Sepsis Bundle Utilization

Ted Donnelly

Vice President, Client Success

National Association for Healthcare Quality, USA


Ted Donnelly, BSN, MHA, CPHQ is the Vice President, Client Success at the National Association for Healthcare Quality, leading this offering and the NAHQ Navigator team in engagements with our client organizations in their efforts to transform their workforce into a Quality Force.

Ted has worked in the healthcare industry for over 40 years starting as a nursing assistant, then completing his bachelor’s degree in nursing at Hahnemann University, now Drexel University, in Philadelphia; Ted worked as a staff RN in both the operating room and in cardiac care. After serving in leadership roles in both clinical settings, he has worked as a project manager and full-time instructor, while completing his master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Villanova University.  Since then, Ted has worked in Clinical Value Analysis (CVA) and Lean project implementations with Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Systems and Premier Inc.

Prior to joining the NAHQ team, Ted was the Corporate Director of Quality and Patient Safety in the acute care division of Universal Health Services in King of Prussia PA integrating lean into the quality program across twenty-eight acute care facilities. In this role, Ted worked to incorporate the NAHQ Healthcare Quality Competency Framework into quality program of each facility to standardize the quality capabilities and achieve improved outcomes in all facets of patient care.

Ted Donnelly reported no relevant financial disclosures.

Octavia Peck-Palmer


Health is Wealth: Designing Equitable Clinical Laboratories for Thriving Communities

Octavia Peck-Palmer

Division Director, Clinical Chemistry, Associate Professor of Pathology

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, USA


Octavia M. Peck Palmer earned her Ph.D. in Physiology from The Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical chemistry at Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis, MO.

Dr. Peck Palmer is a board-certified clinical chemist, Vice Chair of Health Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion, and Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine with secondary faculty appointments in Critical Care Medicine and Clinical and Translational Science departments. She is also the Division Director of Clinical Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where she directs several CAP-accredited clinical laboratories.

Her research interests include clinical and translational studies of sepsis, laboratory quality assurance, clinical test development, and recognizing laboratory medicine’s role in eliminating health disparities.

Dr. Peck Palmer is the current President of the Association for Diagnostics & Laboratory Medicine (formerly the American Association of Clinical Chemistry).

Octavia Peck-Palmer reported the following relevant financial disclosures:

• Grant/Research Support: Siemens Healthineers

• Consultant Fee: Cytovale

• Board/Committee Membership/Advisory Board: Abbott Diagnostics, Siemens Healthineers

Paul Epner


Improved Outcomes Through Reduced Diagnostic Errors

Paul Epner


Sepsis Alliance, USA


Paul L. Epner, MBA, MEd is a strategic problem-solver focused on improving patient outcomes especially through a focus on the process of diagnosis and on the clinical laboratory.  After a 31-year career at Abbott Diagnostics across three countries that included the creation and directing of Abbott’s Labs are Vital program, he co-founded the nonprofit Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) and led the organization as CEO until stepping down in late 2021 after ten years. During his tenure, he created and chaired the Coalition to Improve Diagnosis, served as a member of the National Steering Committee for Patient Safety, and was a member of the National Quality Forum’s 2021 Leadership Consortium.  Following his retirement from SIDM in 2021, he joined the Board of Directors of Sepsis Alliance and most recently was elected to be Vice-Chair of the Board. Additionally, he is a co-investigator on a four-year AHRQ-funded research effort to study the root causes of delayed cancer diagnosis and to develop strategies for mitigating them. Previously, he served on the Board of the Clinical Laboratory Management Association (CLMA) serving as President for 2 years and on multiple programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Paul Epner reported the following relevant financial disclosures:

• Consultant Fee: Abbott


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