Gail Armstrong, dnp, PhD(c), acns-bc, cne



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IHQSE Certificate Training Program

Faculty & Staff Bios


Gail Armstrong, DNP, PhD(c), ACNS-BC, CNE

Gail Armstrong is an Associate Professor in the College of Nursing (CON) where she has been on faculty for 14 years.   Gail has a BA and MA in literature, an MS in Nursing (with a Clinical Nurse Specialist focus), a Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree and is finishing a PhD in Nursing Science at Vanderbilt University.  In her PhD research, Gail’s focus is patient safety and unit level medication error rates.  More than 12 years of Gail’s nursing practice was on a Med/Surg unit at St. Anthony North Hospital.  Gail’s teaching in the CON has always included courses on adult Med/Surg nursing, and more recently on quality and safety. Gail’s early work in quality and safety was in her Med/Surg practice and focused on tracking and working to improve patient outcomes on her Med/Surg unit (e.g. falls and decubitus ulcers).  Since 2007 Gail has been involved with the national initiative, Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN).  QSEN is an RWJ-funded, nurse-led initiative that provides resources for schools of nursing to implement the five IOM competencies recommended for all healthcare professions students.  The University of Colorado CON was an original pilot school in the QSEN initiative.  Gail works on the CU CON leadership team to update CU’s pre-licensure clinical courses to reflect updated quality and safety trends .  Gail’s curricular work has grown into extensive national consulting with nursing schools and faculty across the country.  On the Anschutz Medical Campus, Gail was the lead nursing faculty for the IHI/Macy Foundation collaborative project between the CON and SOM, Retooling for Quality and Safety.  This project brought CON and SOM students together to work on QI projects at CHCO and UCH.  Gail has received several university-level teaching awards for teaching excellence.  Gail’s scholarship has focused on the integration of updated quality and safety content in nursing curricula.


Heather Bennett, MS, MBA

Heather Bennett is a Clinical Data Analyst at University of Colorado Hospital assigned to the IHQSE. After graduating from the University of Denver, Heather began her career at Children’s Hospital Colorado, initially as a Process Improvement intern followed by several years as a Financial Analyst. In this role she performed managed care contract modeling and analysis, hospital chargemaster maintenance, and created standardized hospital financial reports for executive leadership. She then went on to complete a Masters of Clinical Psychology at Palo Alto University, where she worked as a mental health clinician and research assistant in several community mental health centers around the San Francisco area. As a clinician, she received specialized training in LGBTQ psychology, treated a variety of mental health diagnoses, developed and conducted psychological assessments, and performed community outreach. She also performed research and peer reviews in the field of LGBTQ psychology. After graduating, Heather worked as a Practice Management Data Analyst at Mental Health Partners in Boulder, CO. In this role she developed queries and reports to inform quality improvement and program evaluation decisions. She conducted reporting on clinical outcomes, corporate compliance measures, and federal grant funding outcomes. As an analyst, she received specialized training in program evaluation as well as state specific psychological assessments. During this time, she remained active in local and national professional psychological associations, where she worked as a member of mental health legislation committees, fulfilled a leadership role in a local diversity committee, and performed mental health related volunteer work in the community. In the spring of 2013, Heather joined the IHQSE as a Clinical Data Analyst, where she has been developing analytical evaluation of CTP related projects. This analysis has involved gathering baseline data to inform project implementation, as well as follow up analysis to evaluate project outcomes. In this role, she has enjoyed opportunities to collaborate with IHQSE teams, Finance, Epic, Service Excellence, and University of Colorado medical students.



Sarah J. Caffrey, MBA

Sarah Caffrey first became passionate about process improvement as a paramedic struggling to provide great patient care in a system that was not always supportive. Her quest to learn more about how to improve business processes led her to attend a 4-day seminar with W. Edwards Deming. Within the next few years Sarah went on to graduate from the Deming Scholars MBA Program at Fordham University where she earned formal education in Dr. Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge as well as experience improving processes at Boeing’s Rocketdyne Division, American Express and the General Electric Corporation. After graduating she joined GE where she earned her Six Sigma Master Black Belt certification and progressed through roles of increasing responsibility, culminating in the role of Global Quality Leader for a small division of the company with operations in both the US and Amsterdam. While at GE, Sarah identified and led quality improvement projects that produced over $53 million in combined savings for the company. She also taught and mentored both LEAN and Six Sigma to employees, built a high performing international team from the ground up, and led improvement teams in a variety of areas including lease/loan originations, large scale IT implementations, distribution, and cash flow. After leaving GE in 2007, she successfully launched her own process improvement consulting business where she continued to hone her process improvement skills and help companies realize the full potential of their business processes. After assisting a large national ambulance service achieve reductions in days sales outstanding resulting in $52 million in cash carrying cost savings, Sarah was engaged by Children’s Hospital Colorado to improve patient access with the Neurosciences Institute. This led to the role of CHCO Quality and Process Improvement Director where she spend 3 years working with the hospital to improve processes. Sarah is currently a Process Improvement Director for the UC Health System where she brings her 20 years of process improvement experience and education to assist this Top 10 hospital system realize their continuous improvement goals.



Ethan Cumbler, MD, FACP

Ethan Cumbler is an Internal Medicine and Pediatric trained Hospitalist at the University of Colorado Hospital (UCH). He is a pioneer in the study and practice of inter-professional team-based hospital quality improvement. He created the Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) Service at UCH and is the Medical Director for UCH’s Medicine unit. This serves as a crucible for testing QI methods for reducing iatrogenic events such as falls or hospital acquired infections using teams of professionals across disciplines. He spearheaded a series of initiatives reducing treatment time for stroke patients recognized by the American Stroke Association. His QI programs for in-hospital stroke and hospital care for the elderly service serve as national models. He heads the National Stroke Association’s In-hospital Stroke QI initiative and speaks nationally on how to improve systems of hospital care for stroke patients. He also serves as faculty for the UCLA Leadership and Management in Geriatrics course and his invited lectures on improving care for the hospitalized elderly have been presented at the National American College of Physicians and Society of Hospital Medicine conferences. Within UCH, he chairs the Geriatric Hospital Leadership Committee and has served in many capacities for the Hospital Medicine Group over the years, including work on patient safety and medical error. His educational approach to teaching patient safety is published by the Association of American Medical Colleges and has been utilized by academic medical centers around the world. Ethan has been a recipient of awards at UCH for excellence in leadership, humanism, education, and quality improvement. He received the annual 2012 National Society of Hospital Medicine Award for Team-Based Quality Improvement for his work over 6 years improving response to in-hospital stroke. Ethan seeks to bring a collaborative approach to system change such that physicians are partners with other disciplines, and the hospital, to create a culture which fosters continuous quality improvement.




Jeffrey J. Glasheen, MD, SFHM

Jeff Glasheen is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado Denver (UCD) where he is the Director of the University of Colorado Hospital Medicine Group, the Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs for the Department of Medicine, and the Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs—Quality and Safety Education. He was an Alpha Omega Alpha graduate of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and completed his residency training, including a chief residency year, at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He serves as an Assistant Program Director in the Internal Medicine Residency Training Program and has developed the residency’s Hospitalist Training Program, which has offered comprehensive hospitalist training to internal medicine residents since 2004. In 2012 he was named the Director of the University of Colorado’s Institute for Healthcare Quality Safety and Efficiency (IHQSE). This pioneering program is charged with enhancing the quality and safety of the care provided at the University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) and the Children’s Hospital Colorado (CHCO). Jeff is a member of the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) Board of Directors and past chair of the SHM Academic and Annual Meeting Committees. He is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) task force charged with overseeing the recognition of Focused Practice in Hospital Medicine (FPHM) board certification for hospitalists. He was the course director for the 2010 Academic Hospitalist Leadership Summit and is the director of the Academic Hospitalist Academy, an annual 4-day meeting aimed at developing early academic hospitalists’ career skills. He served as the Assistant Course Director for the SHM Annual Meeting (2011) and the Course Director the 2012 Meeting in San Diego. He is a past winner of the SHM Award for Excellence in Teaching, former editor of The Hospitalist newsmagazine and currently serves as a Senior Deputy Editor of the Journal of Hospital Medicine


Bryan Gomez, BA, SSBB

Bryan Gomez is a Process Improvement Consultant at University of Colorado Hospital assigned to the IHQSE. He is a graduate of Bowling Green State University, where he received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration with a Supply Chain Management specialization. Upon graduation, Bryan completed an internship at The Cleveland Clinic, and was subsequently hired on full-time to the supply chain management department. During his time with The Cleveland Clinic, he worked on a wide range of projects including standardizing shipping and receiving processes across 8 regional hospitals; creation and negotiation of domestic and international shipping RFPs; optimization of internal staffing models to reduce overtime costs; and decreasing on-hand inventory in the Cath Lab, CVC, and OR surgical supply areas. Bryan joined University of Colorado Hospital in 2013, and has worked with numerous inpatient and outpatient teams to help drive their efficiency through guided process improvement projects. He received his Six Sigma Black Belt certification from University of Michigan’s Engineering program in 2014.


Daniel Hyman, MD

Dr. Daniel Hyman currently serves as the Chief Quality Officer at Children’s Hospital Colorado. He was previously the Chief Children’s Quality Officer and the Chief Medical Officer for Ambulatory Care at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Prior to that, he spent 13 years in general pediatric practice in the Philadelphia area and during that time also served as Medical Director for a Physician/Hospital Organization at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. He received his MD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, completed a Pediatric residency at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and received a Masters Degree in Medical Management from Tulane University. Dr. Hyman has served on numerous national leadership committees including the Child Health Quality Council for NACHRI, the Strategic Policy and Advisory Committee for NICHQ, CHA Quality and Performance Committee and he currently serves on the Steering Committee for the Quality and Safety Leaders Forum for Children’s Hospital Association (formerly CHCA/NACHRI). He serves also on the Steering Committee and co-chairs the Measurement Sub-Committee for the Ohio Children’s Hospital Solutions for Patient Safety (Hospital Engagement) Network.



Patrick P. Kneeland, MD

Patrick Kneeland currently serves as the Director of Safety and Patient Experience within the hospital medicine group at the University of Colorado-Denver Anschutz Medical Campus where he is also a founding faculty member of the Certificate Training Program for the Institute for Healthcare Quality, Safety, and Efficiency.  After completing residency in internal medicine at the University of California - San Francisco, Patrick completed a fellowship in Academic Hospital Medicine where he focused on transformation of clinical delivery systems and the role of culture in improving patient safety.  Prior to arriving in Colorado in 2013, Patrick led patient safety initiatives while practicing hospital medicine at The Everett Clinic - a forward thinking multi-specialty group near Seattle, WA whose innovations have included collaborating with Boeing to lower healthcare costs. He simultaneously completed a year-long health systems leadership fellowship through the Institute for Physician Leadership at the Center for the Health Professions in San Francisco, CA.  He serves as the chair of the Hospital Medicine Collaborative Safety and Quality Review Committee and directs the Hospital Medicine Preceptorship where he led the design of a curriculum focused on creating value in healthcare delivery. Patrick teaches locally and nationally on a variety of leadership and change management topics across wide-ranging disciplines to inspire the next wave of healthcare leaders to drive transformative change within their professional environments. 



Molly Lane, BS

Molly Lane is a Clinical Data Analyst at University of Colorado Hospital. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri. She has a high level experience with data management in research and hospital environments and performs evaluation and analysis to communicate progress, quality or performance. Her previous work includes conducting technical, clinical and retrospective analyses and reporting regarding quality and performance patient outcomes for a tele-ICU company. Additionally, Molly served as subject matter expert on data and systems entry, project lead for database enhancement, and as a member of the Founding Research Committee. Molly started her position as Clinical Data Analyst for UCH and the IHQSE in April 2013. Her current role is to provide clinical teams with the analysis and insight into clinical workflows and patient care they need to deliver the highest quality of care for their patients.



Read G. Pierce, MD

Read Pierce is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at University of Colorado Denver (UCD) where he is a hospitalist, clinician-educator, and physician leader. Read has broad interests in medical education, health care systems improvement, health care financing, and policy, and is a graduate of UCSF’s Teaching Scholars Program, UCSF’s Institute for Physician Leadership, and Intermountain Healthcare’s Advanced Training Program. He attended medical school at UCSF, where he completed an Area of Concentration in Health Systems/Health Leadership, and then did his internship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston before returning to UCSF for residency and chief residency in internal medicine. He subsequently founded the Section of Hospital Medicine at San Francisco VA Medical Center, where he led rapid expansion of the group to include more than a dozen hospitalists covering surgical co-management, medical consultation, and traditional inpatient medicine services. He simultaneously directed an intensive, 2-year training program for UCSF residents seeking advanced skills in quality, safety, health policy, and leadership. In 2012, he moved to UCD, where he directs the first dedicated physician leadership residency program in the country. He oversees quality improvement and clinical innovation for UCD’s Hospital Medicine Group, and currently is designing and implementing an advanced systems improvement training program for faculty and staff through the Institute for Healthcare Quality, Safety, and Efficiency. He is an active member of the Society of Hospital Medicine, Society of General Internal Medicine, and the American College of Physicians.


Zach Robison, MBA

Zach Robison is a Process Improvement Manager at University of Colorado Hospital. He received his Masters in Business Administration – Health Administration concentration from the University of Colorado Denver Business School in 2008. His training includes certification as a Lean Healthcare Practitioner, and he is currently completing his Black Belt in DMAIC and Lean 6 Sigma. Zach began his process improvement work while reporting to the executive team as the Administrative Fellow for UCH in 2010, and completed several projects including patient transitions in outpatient psychiatry, environmental services staffing models, and nursing roles in inpatient capacity management. He joined the process improvement team at UCH in 2011 and has helped drive numerous improvement efforts, including Epic optimization projects in the Emergency Department and Radiology and the process redesign of the Emergency Department. Zach’s additional professional experience includes health science graduate school program administration, non-profit management, and teaching, both stateside and overseas. Zach’s scholarship has focused on practical applications of operations research and process improvement in healthcare, and he has co-authored and presented two posters, Decreasing Environmental Services Response Times and Enhancing Patient Flow with Unit Based Capacity Nurses and Workload Leveling at various national healthcare conferences. His most recent work, co-authored with his IHQSE colleagues, Beyond HCAHPS: Exploring the Patient Experience to Inform Improvement Initiatives, was accepted for presentation at the 2014 Society of Hospital Medicine Annual Meeting. He is a board member of the Colorado Health Administration Alumni Association and an active member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.




Michelle Rove, BS

Michelle Rove is a Clinical Data Analyst at University of Colorado Hospital. She received her Bachelors of Science in Mathematics from the University of Colorado Denver in 2010. She is currently working on her Masters in Public Health at the University of Colorado Denver. Michelle’s previous work includes creating models to budget the number of FTEs for new medical office buildings, setting yearly budgets, and streamlining dashboard creation for medical and surgical specialties at Kaiser Permanente. She has also done two summer research programs in Biostatistics; one in Berlin, Germany at the Freie University and the other at the Harvard School of Public Health. Michelle started her position at the University of Colorado Hospital in February 2014. Her role as a Clinical Data Analyst is to support IHQSE Certificate Training Program (CTP) teams with relevant and accurate data aligned with their projects, to lead data support for the Nexus grant, and to create and maintain dashboards for current and past CTP teams.



Jennifer L. Wiler, MD, MBA, FACEP

Jennifer Wiler is Vice Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine (SOM). She is a graduate of the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and completed a residency in Emergency Medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. She is the former Assistant Medical Director at Hahnemann University Hospital and Assistant Clinical Service Chief and Medical Director of Observation Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. She has served in numerous state and national leadership positions and is currently an Alternate of the American Medical Association RBRVS Updates Committee (RUC), Immediate Past-Chair of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) EM Practice Committee, Alternate Delegate to the AMA House of Delegates for Emergency Medicine, a former Chair of the American Medical Association's Women Physicians Congress, a member of the ACEP Quality and Performance and Reimbursement Committees, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Colorado Medical Society. She has been nationally recognized for her expertise in professional reimbursement, operations, quality, patient safety and health policy and has published widely on the topics.

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