Events

Upcoming Events & Podcasts

AO² Summit on Healthcare Access & Orchestration

Date: September 15, 2020 - 3:30pm to 4:45pm ET


Baldrige Foundation Director of Community Initiatives, KaiLonnie Dunsmore, PhD, will team up with SOAR Vision Group CEO, Ben Sawyer MBA, LBB, and COO, Jennifer Strahan, DSc, MBB, FACHE, to discuss the topic of creating a “community health system without walls” in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. They’ll break down several public/private partnership initiatives that are showing real promise — and explain how to apply them in your service areas.

Learn More about the Summit and REgister

Past Events & Podcasts

INNOVATION Shared Learning Labs

Dates: Three separate sessions on August 4, August 11, and August 13, 2020

The INNOVATION Shared Learning Lab sessions are designed to highlight public-private solutions that are working to provide actionable data and effective, targeted strategies. We want to give you the opportunity to dialogue with other leaders to rethink public health during the COVID-19 crisis to create an effective Community Health without walls model.


This is an invitation-only event facilitated as small, interactive, working sessions. Common themes identified through this series of INNOVATION Shared Learning Labs will be aggregated for best practice learnings and shared in a white paper format by the Baldrige Institute for Performance Excellence.

This exclusive Leader Dialogue event is facilitated by KaiLonnie Dunsmore, PhD, Director of Community Initiatives, Baldrige Foundation and Jennifer Strahan, DSc, MS, FACHE, COO at SOAR Vision Group.

Click on the desired date to register:

For additional information contact KaiLonnie Dunsmore at kdunsmore@baldrigefoundation.org


National Virtual Executive Rountable: Community Health System Without Walls

Date: Sessions on July 22, 2020 and August 5, 2020 at 1:00pm ET

This virtual discussion will feature discussion and case studies on how to turn disruption and change into opportunity and advantage.


You are invited to join in, along with Health System CEO’s to participate in a timely Executive Roundtable on the topic of creating a Community Health System Without Walls in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The purpose of this executive roundtable is to explore together the innovative public/private partnership case studies that are showing real promise.

Dr. Roger Spoelman, a long-time Trinity Health executive who is now actively engaged in his Community supporting their response to the COVID-19 crisis will be the event moderator.

Panelists include: Angie Franks, CEO, Central Logic; Ellen Gerstein, CEO, Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services; Eric Epley, Exec. Director of the SW Texas Regional Advisory Council for Trauma (STRAC); Charles Larsen, RN Senior Director at Banner Health; and Jennifer Strahan, COO, SOAR Vision Group.

This exclusive Leader Dialogue event is hosted by the Baldrige Foundation in collaboration with SOAR Vision Group and Central Logic. There is no cost to attend.

Watch the Session Video

Leader Dialogue Podcast

Topic: Physician Engagement Post Covid-19 (Part 2)

Available: June 26, 2020

Episode Guest – M. Michael Shabot, MD, FACS, FCCM, FACMI


Dr. Shabot is a Founding Partner of Relia Healthcare Advisors, which provides services in the areas of high reliability safety and quality, executive leadership development, organizational culture assessment, medical staff governance and implementation of the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Framework.

Dr. Shabot formerly served as Executive Vice President and System Chief Clinical Officer of the Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston, Texas, which includes 17 hospitals, 20 ambulatory surgical centers and 300 other Ambulatory sites. Memorial Hermann has private, employed and academic medical groups totaling 6,500 physicians and an Accountable Care Organization (ACO). In 2013, 2014 and 2015, Memorial Hermann’s ACO generated the highest annual savings the CMS Medicare Shared Savings Program has ever recorded, totaling $200 million. Dr. Shabot served as chairman of Memorial Hermann’s ACO Board.

Under his leadership, Memorial Hermann embarked on a journey to high reliability safety. In 2013, Memorial Hermann received the John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality, presented by the Joint Commission and National Quality Forum. In 2009, Memorial Hermann received both the National Quality Healthcare Award from the National Quality Forum and the National Patient Safety Leadership Award from the VHA Foundation and National Business Group on Health. In 2016, the Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital received the Baldrige National Quality Award, and in 2017 and 2018 respectively, the Memorial Hermann’s Katy Hospital and Memorial City Medical Center received the Texas Award for Performance Excellence (TAPE), based on the Baldrige Award criteria. In 2019, Memorial Hermann received the International Hospital Federation’s Dr Kwang Tae Kim Grand Award, presented to Dr. Shabot at the IHF Congress in Muskat, Oman.

Listen to the Podcast: Physician Engagement During Covid-19

Virtual Executive Rountable: Community Health System Without Walls

Date: June 17, 2020 at 1:00pm EST

This virtual discussion will feature discussion and cast studies on how to turn disruption and change into opportunity and advantage


You are invited to join in, along with State of Arizona executives, Arizona Health System CEO’s, and Community Foundation Executives to participate in a timely Arizona Executive Roundtable on the topic of creating a Community Health System Without Walls in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The purpose of this executive roundtable is to explore together the innovative public/private partnership case studies that are showing real promise.

Daniel Burrus, futurist and author of The Anticipatory Organization will be the discussion moderator along with Dr. Roger Spoelman, a long-time Trinity Health executive who is now actively engaged in his Community supporting their response to the COVID-19 crisis.

This exclusive Leader Dialogue event is hosted by the Baldrige Foundation in collaboration with SOAR Vision Group and Central Logic. There is no cost to attend.

Listen to the Roundtable HEre

Leader Dialogue Podcast

Available: May 22, 2020

Episode Guest – Chuck Stokes


Charles (Chuck) D. Stokes, Former President and CEO of Memorial Hermann Health System, joined the system in 2008 as Chief Operating Officer (COO). In June 2017, he was named President and CEO of the System. In his role, Chuck was responsible for leading and overseeing the $5.6B System’s network of more than 17 hospitals and 300 delivery sites, with more than 27,000 employees and 6,400 affiliated physicians in the Greater Houston area. Chuck retired from Memorial Hermann effective December 2019.

During his tenure with Memorial Hermann, Chuck worked tirelessly to establish a culture of high reliability, innovation, and clinical transformation throughout the organization. Under his visionary leadership Memorial Hermann attained unprecedented national accolades in patient safety, high-quality care, and operational excellence all while serving as Houston’s “safety net” health system.

Chuck models servant leadership with an emphasis on coaching and team building while using Malcolm Baldrige criteria as a platform for driving operational excellence. His leadership was instrumental in helping Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital secure the 2016 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award - the nation’s highest Presidential honor for performance excellence. In 2019, Chuck was named one of Modern Healthcare’s 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare.

As part of his commitment to developing the next generation of healthcare leaders, Chuck has taught numerous leadership development programs for the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), an organization of more than 48,000 healthcare executives working together to improve care delivery and population health. In 2017, Chuck was named Chairman of the ACHE Board of Governors.

Listen to the Podcast: Workforce Engagement in Healthcare during the COVID-19 Crisis

National Webinar Presented by The Baldrige Foundation

COVID-19 CRISIS MANAGEMENT: SWIFT COORDINATED ACTION, DATA, & COMMUNICATIONS

Date: March 31, 2020 at 1:00 PM EDT

This webinar will share valuable resources and practices from a panel of experts managing and supporting the COVID-19 response.

Join executives from CHIME, Guidehouse, Muskegon County, University of Colorado, and SOAR Vision Group for an interactive dialogue targeted toward hospital C-suites. Learn how recommended guidelines (e.g., from CDC and FEMA) can be smoothly orchestrated with a tool like PuLSE and swiftly implemented into operational practice. Furthermore, explore how hospitals can effectively partner with local and county officials for a more comprehensive response to COVID-19 with a current case study from Muskegon County.

Listen to the WEbinar Recording

The 32nd Annual Quest for Excellence Conference

Date: March 24 to March 27, 2020

Gaylord National Harbor, National Harbor, MD


SOAR is proud to be a sponsor of the 32nd Annual Quest for Excellence Conference. This is the leading conference to learn best performance management practices from current and former Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipients.


Baldrige Foundation Quarterly Webinar

Date: March 12, 2020 1:00 to 2:00 pm ET


Presentation: Synergies between the Baldrige Framework and HRO

Presenters: Craig Clapper, Partner, Healthcare Performance Improvement at Press Ganey and Kathleen Goonan, M.D., Managing Director, Healthcare at Navigant

This quarter’s webinar will provide a detailed comparison of Press Ganey’s High Reliability Model compared with the Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework.

The presentation will be moderated by Al Faber, CEO/President of the Baldrige Foundation and Ben Sawyer, CEO of SOAR Vision Group.

Listen to the WEbinar Recording

2020 Rural Health and Hospitals Conference

Date: March 4-6, 2020

Address: 1717 Denver West Marriott Blvd., Golden, CO


Al Faber (CEO, The Baldrige Foundation) and Ben Sawyer (CEO, SOAR Vision Group) will present on March 5, 2020

Session Title: Accelerate and Sustain Performance: What are the Essential Ingredients?

In this interactive session, we will discuss the essential ingredients for becoming a sustainably high performing organization. Based upon the Baldrige Framework and extensive strategy execution experience, this session is indispensable for any Rural Healthcare system/hospital desiring to remain agile in today’s rapidly changing environment.

Conference Registration and Additional Information

Leader Dialogue Podcast

Available: March 6, 2020

Episode Guest – Lindel Fields, Superintendent and CEO, Tri County Tech


Lindel Fields is an education thought leader with more than three decades of experience instilling a love of learning in students and transforming cultures at public institutions to unshackle them from assumptions limiting student and faculty potential.

As a speaker and coach, Lindel Fields helps leaders and organizations become Great Places to Work with World-Class results.

As the Superintendent at Tri County Tech, he led the organization to earn a spot on Fortune's Great Places to Work list four years in a row, and in 2018, Tri County Tech earned the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige award.

Listen to the Podcast: The Importance of and Engaged Workforce

Leader Dialogue Podcast

Available: February 21, 2020

Episode Guest – Kay Kendall, CEO, BaldrigeCoach


Kay Kendall is the CEO and principal in BaldrigeCoach, a consulting firm that has worked with 23 Baldrige Award recipients, 38 top-level State Award recipients, and 18 Gold Award recipients for the AHCA/NCAL Quality Award.

Kay spent more than 20 years as a quality executive leading large-scale change initiatives across diverse industries – aerospace, semiconductor automation equipment, computers and storage devices, and pharmaceuticals. She completed a five-year assignment as a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt.

From 2002 through 2005, Kay served on the Panel of Judges for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Program after serving as an Examiner and Senior Examiner for the Program for six years. She continues to serve as a Master Examiner for the program.

Listen to the POdcast: The Value of the Quest for Excellence Conference

Leader Dialogue Podcast

Available: February 7, 2020

Episode Guest – KaiLonnie Dunsmore, PhD


We discuss the importance of literacy rates in pre-kindergarten stages along with opportunities to improve education in collaboration with community partners.

Dr. Dunsmore is an educator, researcher, literacy expert, professor, and program developer. She is doctorally trained and focused on grant development and deployment of Education and Community of Excellence initiatives.

Listen to the Podcast: The Importance of Literacy Rates in Pre-K Stages

Leader Dialogue Podcast

Available: December 6, 2019

Episode Guest – P. George Benson, PhD


Boards of Directors (Current):

-Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award: Chair, Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
-Primerica, Inc: Lead Director, Corporate Governance Committee Chair
-Crawford & Company: Governance Committee Chair
-AGCO, Inc: 2004-present Governance Committee Chair

Listen to the Podcast: The Baldrige Framework - A Systems Approach

Leader Dialogue Podcast

Available: November 15, 2019

Episode Guest – Morten Hansen, PhD


Morten Hansen is an acclaimed author, professor, and management theorist, with award-winning work on social networks, collaboration, knowledge management, and corporate innovation.

Listen to the Podcast: LD#50 Author, Professor, and Management Theorist, Morten Hansen

Leader Dialogue Rural Healthcare CEO Innovation Council

Sheraton Birmingham | 2101 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd., Birmingham, AL

Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019 at 12:30 PM – Friday, Nov. 8, 2019 at 12:00 PM


The Baldrige Foundation and SOAR Vision Group are partnering with The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) Department of Health Services Administration on this year’s National Symposium for Healthcare Executives event. The Rural Healthcare CEO Innovation Council will participate in the Symposium’s Keynote Presentation (Chuck Stokes), Top Golf Dinner / Networking event and Friday C-Suite Panel in addition to our own rural healthcare-focused programming.

Registration Closed

Leader Dialogue Podcast

Available: November 1, 2019

Episode Guest – David Gifford, SVP, Quality and Regulatory Affairs, AHCA


David Gifford, MD, MPH, is the Senior Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs at the American Health Care Association, the largest association in the country representing long term and post-acute care facilities.

Listen to the Podcast: Looking at Healthcare through the Long-term Post Acute Care Lens

Leader Dialogue Podcast

Available: October 18, 2019

Episode Guest – Leigh S. Hamby, Chief Medical Officer, Piedmont Healthcare


Leigh S. Hamby, M.D., MHA, is the Chief Medical Officer at Piedmont Healthcare, the largest healthcare provider in Georgia. His responsibilities include oversight and coordination of medical staff issues at and between Piedmont hospitals. He is responsible for clinical quality initiatives, with a focus on key clinical drivers to improve patient safety.

Listen to the Podcast: Using Performance Improvement and Innovation to OverCome Challenges

Leader Dialogue Podcast

Available: October 4, 2019

Episode Guest – Scott McIntyre, CEO, Guidehouse


As the Chief Executive Officer of Guidehouse, Scott McIntyre brings to his role years of experience in mergers and acquisitions, debt and cost restructuring and financial modeling. Prior to PwC, he served as a partner at KPMG serving defense and aerospace, government and industrial manufacturing customers.

Listen to the Podcast: Leveraging the Baldrige Framework in Today's Competitive Environment

Leader Dialogue Podcast

Available: September 20, 2019

Episode Guest – Alan Nalle, Chief Strategy Officer, Patientco


Alan Nalle is Chief Strategy Officer at Patientco, developing strategies and supporting plans for Patientco to deliver unique value to its clients. Prior to Patientco, Alan served as a Managing Director in Accenture Strategy’s Healthcare practice where he led projects addressing many of his client’s most pressing issues related to growth and innovation for leading Providers and Payers.

Listen to the Podcast: Transforming Healthcare Financial Billing

Leader Dialogue Podcast

Available: September 6, 2019

Episode Guest – Craig Clapper, Partner, Transformational Advisory Services, Press Ganey


Craig Clapper is a founding partner of Healthcare Performance Improvement (HPI) and a partner in Press Ganey Transformational Advisory Services. HPI is a group that specializes in improving human performance in complex systems using evidence-based methods from high-reliability organizations. Craig has 30 years experience improving reliability in nuclear power, transportation, manufacturing, and healthcare. He specializes in cause analysis, system reliability, and safety culture transformation.

Listen to the Podcast: Strategies to High Reliability (HRO)

Leader Dialogue Podcast

Available: August 16, 2019

Episode Guest – Geoff Duncan, Lieutenant Governor, GA


A former professional baseball player and successful entrepreneur, Geoff Duncan was elected Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor in 2018. Geoff’s faith inspired him to a life of leadership and prompted his upstart run for political office. He was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2012. During his time in office he authored several important pieces of legislation. These include HB 749 – The Cargo Theft Act, HB152 – Michael’s Law, and most recently SB258 – the Rural Hospital Tax Credit.

Listen to the Podcast: Leadership, Healthcare and Education

Leader Dialogue Podcast

Available: August 2, 2019

Episode Guest – Rulon Stacey, Managing Director, Healthcare Strategy Unit, Navigant


Dr. Rulon Stacey is a managing director and leader of Navigant’s Healthcare Strategy business unit. As a nationally recognized healthcare leader, Dr. Stacey brings a future-focused, leadership-driven approach to clients, as well as a unique understanding of provider issues, leadership and governance challenges, and strategy alternatives. He provides expertise in the design and development of initiatives that support cultural and organizational changes needed for ongoing success as health systems evolve from fee-for-service to a value-based environment.

Listen to the Podcast: Leveraging the Baldrige Framework to Transform a Health System

Leader Dialogue Podcast

Available: July 19, 2019

Episode Guest – Niki Buchanan, Venture Leader, Population Insights & Care, Philips Wellcentive


Niki Buchanan serves as Philips Venture Leader, Population Insights & Care. A dynamic, strategic, mission-driven and compassionate healthcare executive, Niki uses her distinctive customer-focused methodology to align solutions organizations towards strategic products, solutions and services that meet healthcare’s business transformation needs. As the General Manager of three global businesses she directs the strategic planning initiatives for her leadership teams and supports the global strategy for Philips Health Technology.

Listen to the Podcast: Performance Excellence Challenges in the Age of Consumerism


Leader Dialogue Podcast

Available: June 21, 2019

Episode Guest – Lowell C. Kruse, Co-founder & Chair, Communities of Excellence


Lowell C. Kruse is the former CEO of Heartland Health in St. Joseph, Missouri. He retired in July 2009 after serving Heartland for 25 years as their CEO. Lowell currently serves as Co-Founder and Chair of Communities of Excellence 2026, the Board of Directors for the Baldrige Foundation and the Missouri Family and Community Trust.

Listen to the Podcast: The Power of the Baldrige Framework

Leader Dialogue Podcast

Available: May 17, 2020

Episode Guest – Sherry Farrugia, Chief Operating & Strategy Officer, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Pediatric Technology Center


As the COO and CSO of the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) Pediatric Technology Center, Ms. Farrugia manages the multimillion-dollar pediatric research portfolio and the public-private partnership between Georgia Tech and CHOA. In this dual role, she is responsible for the execution of key business initiatives to improve efficiency, effectiveness and reduce administrative costs. She provides executive-level leadership for business and operational functions such as budget planning and organization of team process around a function.

Sherry is the Vice-President for the International Society for Pediatric Innovation and represents both Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Georgia Tech with the Global Health ATL: Innovation Hub.

Listen to the Podcast: Lessons Learned Leading a Private-Public Partnership