Plenary Speakers

2015 Plenary Chairs


Mr. Faucett is director of policy and education in the Office of the Chief Scientific Officer at Geisinger Health System and Investigator II in the Genomic Medicine Institute and the Autism and Developmental Medicine Institute. He directs community engagement and public education for Geisinger’s biobank, the MyCode® Community Health Initiative. His research focuses on oversight of genetic testing, healthcare provider education, genetic counseling, rare disease test translation, patient registries, and direct-to-consumer genetic testing. Mr. Faucett leads the NIH funded registry for the ClinGen project, GenomeConnect, and the ethical, legal and social issues aspect of the NIH funded Clinically Relevant Variant Resource section of ClinGen. He has a B.S. from the Baptist College at Charleston, M.S. in Human Genetics from Sarah Lawrence College and board certification from the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC).  He has served on the NSGC, ABGC and NCHPEG Board of Directors, and the ASHG Information and Education Committee. He has held positions at Emory; Baylor College of Medicine; Memorial Medical Center, Savannah, GA; and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Dr. Safran is Senior Vice President for Performance Measurement and Improvement at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA). In this role, she leads the company’s initiatives to measure and improve healthcare quality, safety and outcomes. Dr. Safran was among the lead developers of the BCBSMA Alternative Quality Contract (AQC), a provider contract model launched in 2009 with the twin goals of improving quality and outcomes while significantly slowing spending growth. Dr. Safran also retains an active academic practice, as a faculty member in the Department of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, and has authored more than 75 peer-reviewed articles. She is widely recognized as having contributed to the empirical basis for our nation’s push toward a more patient-centered health care system – and for developing measures of patient care experiences that are now used nationwide, accepted as a national standard for this area of measurement, and used by the Medical Boards as part of their recertification process for physicians. Dr. Safran’s advisory roles on national and local quality measurement include work with the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the National Quality Forum (NQF), the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), and the Massachusetts State Quality Advisory Council (SQAC). Dr. Safran earned her Master and Doctor of Science degrees in Health Policy from the Harvard School of Public Health.


Dr. Mehrotra is an associate professor in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Mehrotra’s research focuses on interventions to decrease costs and improve quality of care. Much of his work has focused on innovations in delivery such as retail clinics, telemedicine, and e-visits have on quality, costs, and access to health care. He is also interested in the role of consumerism and whether price transparency and public reporting of quality can impact patient decision making. 


Megan’s daughter, Shannon is a beautiful 15-year-old with Phelan-McDermid Syndrome (PMS), an ultra rare condition. This diagnosis includes autism, intellectual disabilities, epilepsy, ADHD, and other medical conditions. For the past 5 years Megan has volunteered for the PMS Foundation’s Research Support Committee. She is the Principal Investigator for the Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Data Network (PMS_DN, PCORnet) and the Phelan-McDermid Syndrome International Registry (PMSIR). She directed the biosample collection at the 2012 PMSF Family Conference, creating a biorepository of over 30 DNA and fibroblast samples. Megan is passionate about the importance of the patient’s voice in: research, drug development, clinical trial design, development of related legislation, and quality of life decisions. She advocates for data sharing, collaborating with other advocacy groups, sharing resources, a genetics-first approach and streamlining IRB practices and policies.


Dr. Opelka is a physician executive who serves as the medical director of the American College of Surgeons in Washington DC and as the Executive Vice President for LSU. He is a professor of Surgery. He currently serves as the chair of the AMA's Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement, chairs the NQF's Consensus Standards Advisory Committee, and founded and chairs the Surgical Quality Alliance convening over 20 surgical specialties. Dr. Opelka leads an LSU statewide effort using "big data" in a clinical data warehouse which provides rich analytics for quality improvement, real time clinical decision supports, feeds for MOC reporting and outputs for national specialty data registries. Dr. Opelka reviews for five international journals and is a published colorectal surgeon. 


Mr. Salinas was the Kaiser Safety Net Fellow 2013, Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and is the Chief Clinical Officer at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center (RLANRC), as well as the Interim Director of Performance Improvement for Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LA DHS). He has shared a podium at conferences with President Bill Clinton, State Assembly members, City Council members, and other dignitaries. Mr. Salinas was a part of the planning and review committee for the Surgeon General, Department of Health and Human Services,’ “Report on Youth Violence.” He is a Past Chairman of the Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles and was a part of the Transition Team for the Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa. He was appointed to the oversight committee by the Mayor’s office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development Program. Mr. Salinas is a past Program Director for the KnowBarriers Violence Prevention Program, the Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater LA, and YouthAlive’s hospital based intervention program “Caught in the Crossfire.” Mr. Salinas served as the Co-Chair for IHI’s 24th annual National Forum and recently completed the Program for Clinical Effectiveness at the Harvard School of Public Health, as well as his one year fellowship with IHI. 


Dr. Tuckson is the managing director of Tuckson Health Connections, a health and medical care consulting business that brings people and ideas together to promote optimal health outcomes. Previously, he enjoyed a long tenure as executive vice president and chief of medical affairs for UnitedHealth Group. Prior to that, Dr. Tuckson’s career includes leadership positions as senior vice president for professional standards of the American Medical Association, president of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles, senior vice president for programs of the March of Dimes Foundation, and the commissioner of Public Health for the District of Columbia. Dr. Tuckson is an active member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, serving on several boards and committees. He is also active on the advisory committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health; and serves on the boards of Cell Therapeutics, Inc.; Howard University; and the American Telemedicine Association among others. The author of The Doctor in the Mirror, a book and media presentation focused on patient empowerment to overcome everyday health issues for Americans 55 and older, Dr. Tuckson was honored to be included on the list of the “50 Most Powerful Physician Executives” in healthcare by Modern Healthcare Magazine. He is a graduate of Howard University, Georgetown University School of Medicine, and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s General Internal Medicine Residency and Fellowship Programs, where he was also a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar.


Dr. Wallace is Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President for Clinical Translation at Optum Labs, which was launched in early 2013 with the Mayo Clinic as a founding partner. From 2011-13 he was a Senior Vice President and Director of the Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research at the Washington DC based Lewin Group, where he and his colleagues led policy and business development to manage, promote, and support the use of comparative effectiveness research to inform decisions that help achieve the most effective patient outcomes, health care policies, and deployment of health care resources. Dr. Wallace was formerly a Medical Director and clinician with Kaiser Permanente from 1989 to 2011. He was the Executive Director of Kaiser Permanente’s Care Management Institute (CMI) from 2000 – 2005 and led and contributed to several KP national initiatives in evidence based medicine, population health and use of Health IT. Dr. Wallace is Chair of the board of directors for AcademyHealth and a Board member of the eHealth Initiative. He was the Chair for the IOM Committee for Integrating Public Health and Primary Care that produced the report, Primary Care and Public Health: Exploring Integration to Improve Population Health. Dr. Wallace is a graduate of the University Of Iowa School Of Medicine and completed further training in Internal Medicine and Hematology at Strong Memorial Hospital and the University of Rochester.


Mr. Wilbanks is the chief commons officer at Sage Bionetworks. He has spent his career working to advance open content, open data, and open innovation systems. Mr. Wilbanks also serves as a senior fellow at FasterCures and as a senior advisor for big data to the National Coordination Office. Previously, he worked as a legislative aide to Congressman Fortney “Pete” Stark, served as the first assistant director at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, founded and led to acquisition the bioinformatics company Incellico, Inc., and was executive director of the Science Commons project at Creative Commons. In February 2013, in response to a We the People petition that was spearheaded by Mr. Wilbanks and signed by 65,000 people, the U.S. government announced a plan to open up taxpayer-funded research data and make it available for free. He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Tulane University and also studied modern letters at the Sorbonne.