Featured Speakers

All Forum speakers are listed in alphabetical order.

Katherine Bartoletta, MD, MSc
Resident Physician, Mayo Clinic Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine
Michele Battle-Fisher, MPH, MA
Research Manager, Equitas Health Institute
Michele Battle-Fisher is a systems thinking, public health and bioethics scholar. She is currently the Research Manager for Equitas Health Institute (Columbus, OH, U.S.) which is active in education and research in the areas of sexual and gender minority and racial minority health. She is adjunct faculty with Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine. As an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, she published an influential academic text, Application of Systems Thinking to Health Policy and Public Health Ethics - Public Health and Private Illness (Springer). The book is a 2016 Doody's Core Title thereby selected as an influential medical text. She is a standing member of The Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (BCSSS) (Vienna, Austria) and a Research Scholar with the Ronin Institute (Cambridge, MA, U.S.). In 2018, Ms. Battle-Fisher gave a TEDxDartmouth talk on the topic of systems thinking, health systems science and medical education.
Ami L. DeWaters, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Assistant Director of Health Systems Sciences Education, Penn State College of Medicine
Ami DeWaters is currently an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Assistant Director of Health Systems Science Education at Penn State Health. She completed her medical degree at Medical College of Georgia, her internal medicine residency at Penn State, and a general internal medicine fellowship at UT Southwestern. During her fellowship, she obtained an MSc, with a focus on medical education. She is clinically active as a general internist, and her education interests are focused on curriculum development in health systems science and professional development spanning across the continuum of medical education.
Amy Edgar, APRN, CRNP, FNP-C
Founder, Nurse Practitioner for Children's Integrated Center for Success
Amy Edgar, APRN, CRNP, FNP-C, is an inspiring nurse practitioner seeking to change healthcare from the inside and embrace the superpowers of our next generation of humans. Weaving the threads of mom, entrepreneur, teacher, nurse, primary care provider, and science geek, she founded the Children's Integrated Center for Success in 2014. Ignited by her experience raising her now 20-year old daughter, Amy unites systems thinking and integrated care delivery models to create a primary care center focused on children with behavioral health needs. From the latest in genetics research, to nutrition, to occupational therapy and speech, to art and equine therapy, to staffing school advocates and marriage counselors – CICS strives to have the answers their families need to reach every child, every time. In 2017, Amy led CICS to better connect career opportunities for children with autism looking for suitable work to capture their own piece of the American Dream, which has pioneered the Remedy Foundation and CICS Maker Lab. In 2020 Amy converted CICS to a full-service Virtual Care Company providing the same integrated care model in 5 states, with a strategic plan to scale to all 50.
Timothy Ehlinger, PhD
Wm. Collins Kohler Chair
Director, Institute for Systems Change & Peacebuilding, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Tim is the Wm. Collins Kohler Endowed Chair and Director of the Institute for Systems Change & Peacebuilding at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he was founding director of the Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding from 2014-2019. He is an Associate Professor of Systems Ecology for the Center for Global Health Equity in the College of Nursing. Tim received his PhD in Evolutionary Ecology and Behavior from the Kellogg Biological Station of Michigan State University where his research explored the complex ways that individuals, populations and communities respond to disturbance and adapt to changing environments. As a restoration ecologist, he employs the principles of social-ecological resilience and complex systems thinking to engage communities in holistic visioning, strategic planning and design, project implementation, and adaptive management. He has worked on projects across Wisconsin as well as internationally in Costa Rica, Romania, the Balkans/Black Sea region, and with community partners in Kenya, Uganda, Guatemala and Ecuador. His publications span topics including adaptive learning and resilience, risk management, stressor-response relationships, community engagement, environmental governance, and implications of policy interventions on ecosystem services, conflict transformation and environmental health.
Victor Garcia, MD
Pediatric Surgeon, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati School of Medicine
Victor Garcia MD is a full-time Pediatric Surgeon at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics, at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine.
He received a Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy in 1968 and his Doctor of Medicine with honors from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1974. He completed his residency training in pediatric surgery in 1981 at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia under C Everett Koop MD, former Surgeon General of the United States. He served 20 years in the U.S Army, retiring from the military in 1988 as Chief of General Surgery and Pediatric Surgery Services at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
He served on the Board of Cincinnati Public Radio CNET, and served on the Board of the Cincinnati Partnering Center, Cincinnati United Way, and Mount St Joseph College.
Vic authored or co-authored nearly 100 publications focusing on childhood injuries, pediatric obesity, and community-based interventions to prevent childhood and adolescent injury and illness. He founded and until 2010 directed the Southwest Ohio’s only Level I Pediatric Trauma System. He also led the effort to establish the first children’s hospital-based Center for Adolescent Weight Loss Surgery and was the Center’s initial Director. Most recently, he is focused on applying the principles of ‘systems thinking’, ‘learning organizations, and ‘Theory U’ to address the social determinants of increasingly complex, interrelated and self-reinforcing health and social disparities in the disadvantaged neighborhoods.
For his work in the community, Vic has received numerous awards and commendations. He has twice been awarded the Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award and was invited by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges to be the keynote speaker for the 36th National Conference on Juvenile Justice in 2009. He was awarded the National Jefferson Award for Outstanding Community Service for his central role in the development and implementation of the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence. Vic also received an honorary degree from Xavier- Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa for his dedication to his community work. Then in 2019, he received the Distinguished Graduate Award from the West Point Alumni Organization of Graduates. Working directly with an eclectic group of urban sociologists, criminologists, experts in systems dynamics and complex adaptive systems, Vic introduced a new way of thinking about social and health disparities, the ‘ecological context and the content’ of violence, going beyond the individual and addressing the ‘systems’ at work and the social ecology (environment) that drives and enables violence and the related thinking and behaviors. Harvard sociologist Robert J Sampson's main comment about Vic’s thinking and plans was “my main comment is hats off. I agree with almost everything you say and if I was a philanthropist with big bucks, I would fund you tomorrow.” Prominent sociologist William Julius Wilson was quoted as saying, “Dr. Garcia, surgeon, is a visionary dedicated to progressive change, and he reads the works of sociologists and labor economists working on these urban problems.”
Vic has an uncompromising belief in the human spirit and the ability of individuals and communities to solve the seemingly most intractable problems we face as a society through and with the disciplined application of new insights into how ‘systems thinking’ and viewing neighborhoods as complex adaptive systems can offer essential insights on how to bring about profound and sustained change. It is a personal belief that is empirically based and personally witnessed.
Jed Gonzalo, MD, MSc
Professor of Medicine and Public Health Sciences
Associate Dean for Health Systems Education, Penn State College of Medicine
As Associate Dean for Health Systems Education, Jed’s work focuses on: 1) exploring the relationship between education and health systems, and, 2) leading the field of Health Systems Science. Along with the Health Systems team, he has led the implementation of 15+ programs related to health systems education, which have garnered national recognition from the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report, NPR radio, and AMA newswire. Jed has a well-established track record for scholarship, and in particular, multi-institutional collaborations. He is lead author/editor of several textbooks, and has received funding from the AMA, AAMC, HRSA, CTSI, and Josiah Macy Foundation (Faculty Scholar Award). He mentors 25+ students, residents, and faculty per year.
Dr. Jed Gonzalo graduated from the University of Scranton (B.S. biology/philosophy), and received his MD degree from the Penn State College of Medicine. He completed his internal medicine residency and chief residency at the Beth Israel Deaconess in Boston, where he was an instructor at the Harvard Medical School. Following residency, Jed completed a fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh in General Internal Medicine/Medical Education, earning a Master of Science in Medical Education/Clinical Research.
Laura Hermanns, MSP
Assistant Director for the Center for Global Health Equity
Partnerships Coordinator for the Institute for Systems Change and Peacebuilding, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
A graduate of the Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Laura now works at UWM as the Partnerships Coordinator for the Institute for Systems Change and Peacebuilding and the Assistant Director for the Center for Global Health Equity. She is a facilitator, relationship-builder, and connector who is passionate about using dialogue, systems thinking, and storytelling to foster collaboration and build healthy communities.
Nathaniel Johnson, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor
EM & Peds Faculty, College of Medicine, University of Arizona
Nathaniel Johnson graduated from the University of Arizona with undergraduate degrees in Spanish and Philosophy. After completing his medical education at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, he returned to Tucson, AZ for residency training in emergency medicine and pediatrics. Currently, he is a clinical assistant professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics, working at Banner-University Medical Center in Tucson, AZ. Professional interests include child abuse and neglect, pediatric emergency, bioethics, and clinical resident teaching.
Terri L. Lee, MPH
Director, Office of Women’s Health, Indiana State Department of Health
Terri L. Lee serves as the Director of the Office of Women’s Health at the Indiana Department of Health. Terri completed her BA in Science, Technology, and Society and English Literature from Butler University and MPH in public health administration from Indiana University. Terri has over ten years of experience in public health and public service. In addition, Terri has served as an adjunct faculty member at Butler University where she has developed a public health writing course for interdisciplinary students. Through her work, she ultimately hopes to see a state where all Hoosiers* are able to achieve their optimal health.
*Residents of Indiana
Bobby Milstein, PhD, MPH
Director of System Strategy, ReThink Health
Bobby Milstein is Director of System Strategy for ReThink Health and the Rippel Foundation, as well as a Visiting Scientist at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He works with innovators who see themselves -- and others -- as system stewards, often equipping them with practical mindsets, models, and measures to understand their own scenarios for advancing the movement for well-being and justice. In response to the compounding crises of 2020, Bobby was the lead editor of "Thriving Together: A Springboard for Equitable Recovery and Resilience in Communities Across America." Before joining ReThink Health, Bobby spent 20 years planning and evaluating system-oriented initiatives at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he was the principal architect of CDC’s framework for program evaluation. He received CDC’s Honor Award for Excellence in Innovation, the Applications Award from the System Dynamics Society, as well as Article of the Year awards for papers published in Health Affairs and Health Promotion Practice.
Rebecca Niles, MBA
Executive Director, System Dynamics Society
As Senior Strategy Consultant for ReThink Health, Rebecca deployed several tools including the ReThink Health Dynamics Model to support multi-sector collaboratives in developing more systemic strategies for improving population health in their regions. She now serves as the Executive Director of the System Dynamics Society which promotes the use of systems maps and models in all domains. This follows 25 years applying systems mapping and modeling to support corporate and philanthropic clients including Vistaprint, Elizabeth Dole Foundation, AT&T, Ford, Smithkline Beecham, Shell, Amoco, and USDA. Rebecca trained in System Dynamics in Jay Forrester’s Pre-College Education Project while pursuing a BS in Civil Engineering and an MBA from MIT. She has served on the System Dynamics Society Policy Council and been a guest lecturer at MIT, Wharton, Dartmouth, and Brown.
Stephanie Starr, MD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Director for Science of Health Care Delivery Education, Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine
Dr. Starr is a general pediatrician and Quality Chair in the Division of Community Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. She earned her MD degree at St. Louis University School of Medicine, completed pediatric residency and served in the United States Navy before coming to Mayo Clinic in 2000. She previously served as Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Assistant Medical Director of the Quality Academy, and as the pediatric pre-clinical course director and Chair, Student Promotions Committee, at the medical school. She is currently responsible for leading the school’s longitudinal Science of Health Care Delivery course on the Minnesota campus.
Dr. Starr has more than 20 years of teaching, curriculum development and leadership experience in medical education. Nationally, Dr. Starr has served on the Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics Executive Committee. She has been active in the American Medical Association’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education national work on Health Systems Science since its inception, serving as faculty in the AMA’s Health Systems Science Scholars Program. She is an inaugural board member for the Kern National Network (KNN) for Caring and Character in Medicine, and co-principal investigator for her school’s KNN grant. Her scholarship has focused on health systems science, pediatric and quality improvement education.
Kathleen Swanson, DNP, RN
Assistant Professor of Nursing, School of Nursing, College of Health Professions, North Dakota State University
Kathleen Swanson received her doctorate in nursing practice with a specialization in Health Innovation and Leadership from the University of Minnesota and is currently pursuing a PhD in education at North Dakota State University. Kathleen has experience in nursing leadership as well as quality and risk management. She is an assistant professor of practice at North Dakota State University where she teaches in the nursing and honors program. The curriculum she developed incorporates systems thinking as an approach to problem-solving and focuses on the importance of relationships in nursing and healthcare. She is passionate about supporting students in seeing their own potential and in developing strong communication skills that will serve them professionally and personally. Her current research work is in mentorship and vaping.