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Editorial Team

Patrick Romano, MD, MPH, Co-Editor in Chief

Dr. Romano, Professor of General Medicine and Pediatrics, is a physician-epidemiologist and health services researcher in the  Divisions of General Medicine and General Pediatrics, the Center for Healthcare Policy and Research, and the Graduate Groups  in Epidemiology, Clinical Research, and Nursing Science and Healthcare Leadership at the University of California, Davis. Dr.  Romano's research and teaching interests focus on developing, testing, and validating health care quality measures, using  outcomes data to improve the quality and effectiveness of health care, and studying the role of physicians and nurses in  optimizing quality and safety across the health care industry. His research has been almost continuously supported by the  Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) since 1994, with additional support from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and several California state agencies, and he has published over 220 peer-reviewed papers on a variety of topics related to health care safety and quality. Dr. Romano is an international leader in evaluating and comparing the quality and outcomes of inpatient care, particularly in developing, testing, refining, validating, and adapting measures that can be used to provide a rigorous evidence base for various research and policy purposes.

Dr. Romano is a graduate of Princeton University, Georgetown University School of Medicine, and the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health. He completed training in internal medicine and pediatrics at University Hospitals of Cleveland, followed by fellowship training in health services research at University of California, San Francisco.

Deb Bakerjian, PhD, APRN, FAAN, FAANP, FGSA, Co-Editor in Chief

Dr. Bakerjian is a Clinical Professor and Vice-Chair of the Nursing Science and Health Care Leadership at the Betty Irene Moore  School of Nursing at the University of California, Davis, where she teaches patient safety, quality improvement, and geriatrics to  graduate students. She has been funded by the John A Hartford Foundation, Health Resources and Services Administration,  and Civil Monetary Penalty Funds through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. Her research and academic interests focus  on patient safety and quality improvement practices in the post-acute, long-term and ambulatory care environments, workforce  development, and the role of advanced practice nurses and she has published extensively on these topics. Dr. Bakerjian is  currently leading a large effort focused on training nurse practitioner, physician assistant, and medical students in team-based,  primary care for underserved populations, and another on developing and implementing a 12-month primary care nurse  practitioner residency program. She is the Vice Chair of HealthImpact, a California workforce development organization, immediate past-president of the California Association of Long Term Care Medicine and is active in several other state and national organizations focused on patient safety, quality improvement and aging populations.

Dr. Bakerjian earned her master’s degree in Family Health Care Nursing and PhD in Health Policy and Gerontology from the University of California, San Francisco and her Family Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant certificates from the University of California, Davis. She was a Claire M. Fagin Postdoctoral Fellow at UCSF and a Gordon & Betty Moore Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Davis.She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and the Gerontological Society of America.

Patricia Poole, PharmD, BCPS, AAHIVP, Associate Editor

Dr. Poole is a Pharmacist Specialist at UC Davis Health, Department of Pharmacy, Ambulatory Care Division. She holds academic appointments as Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, UC Davis as well as Associate Clinical Professor, School of Pharmacy, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, UC San Francisco. Her clinical practice is in the specialized pharmacotherapy of people living with HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, and cystic fibrosis. Dr. Poole is Board Certified as a Pharmacotherapy Specialist with Added Qualifications in Infectious Diseases through the American College of Clinical Pharmacists and is also a Certified HIV Pharmacist through the American Academy of HIV Medicine. She manages the UC Davis Pharmacy Residency training programs, collaborating with other training sites across the University of California Health System to conduct clinical research in pharmacotherapy, and also serves on the California Society of Health System Pharmacists Opioid Task Force.

Dr. Poole earned her Doctor of Pharmacy, summa cum laude, at the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy and completed a post-graduate pharmacy residency at the UC Davis Medical Center.

Ulfat Shaikh, MD, MPH, MS, FAAP, Associate Editor

Dr. Shaikh is the Clinical Quality Officer of the Medicine Practice Management Group, a Professor of Pediatrics and a practicing pediatrician at the University of California Davis School of Medicine. The focus of Dr. Shaikh’s work is on designing, implementing and evaluating health systems improvement methods across a broad range of health care settings to improve health care delivery and outcomes. She served as Clinical Quality Officer at the California Department of Health Care Services from 2012-2015. At UC Davis, she has led over 500 clinicians in quality improvement and patient safety initiatives across multiple departments, linking initiatives to trainee education and managing improvement teams through a learning health system model.

Dr. Shaikh completed her medical education at Goa Medical College, India and pediatric residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York. She earned an MPH from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and a master’s degree in Clinical Research from the University of California Davis. She trained in quality improvement at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Intermountain Healthcare, and Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Amy A. Nichols, EdD, RN, CNS, CHSE, ANEF, Associate Editor

Dr. Nichols is a Clinical Professor and Interim Associate Dean for Academics at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at the University of California Davis, where she teaches maternal child health and evidence-based practice. Her academic interests include preparing new nurses as leaders in quality and safety, advocates for diverse patient populations, and change agents for healthier families and communities. As a perinatal clinical nurse specialist and an expert in simulation-based learning, Dr. Nichols collaborated with the Center for Advanced Pediatric and Perinatal Education (CAPE) to establish patient safety perinatal simulation programs. Dr. Nichols earned a BSN and a Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instructional Design from the University of San Francisco. She also earned a Master of Science in Perinatal Nursing from UCSF and completed a 2-year post-doctoral research fellowship in women’s health at SFVA/UCSF. She currently serves on the editorial board of Nursing Administration Quarterly and is a Fellow of the Academy of Nursing Education of the National League for Nursing.

David K. Barnes, MD, FACEP, Consulting Editor

Dr. Barnes is Health Sciences Clinical Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the UC Davis School of Medicine. He is the Emergency Medicine Residency Program Director and an attending physician in the UC Davis Medical Center’s Emergency Department, inland northern California’s only level-1 trauma center. Dr. Barnes’ academic interests include education, quality and safety, resuscitation, and simulation. He chairs the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine’s Education Committee, leads the Emergency Medicine residency program’s quality and safety curriculum, and mentors residents and students conducting quality improvement projects.

Dr. Barnes is the physician lead for a bold initiative to bring AHRQ's TeamSTEPPS program to all physicians, nurses, and staff in the Department of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Barnes earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Oregon Health & Sciences University in Portland, OR and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine at UC Davis Medical Center.

Garth H. Utter, MD MSc, Consulting Editor

Dr. Garth Utter is a Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of California, Davis. He joined the U.C. Davis faculty in 2005 and has remained clinically active as a trauma and acute care surgeon and surgical intensivist. Dr. Utter has research interests in a variety of clinical and health services topics. He has helped evaluate and refine the function of several of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Patient Safety Indicators through AHRQ and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services-funded contracts. He also has focused on the application of the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification and Procedure Coding System in surgical outcomes research. He has an interest in single-center randomized trials, of which he has completed five on such topics as motivational interviewing as a means to reduce injury risk, chest tube management, and type of fluid resuscitation for acutely injured patients.

Dr. Utter completed his medical education at the University of California, San Francisco, residency in general surgery at the University of California, Davis, and fellowship in trauma and surgical critical care at the University of Washington/Harborview Medical Center. During fellowship, Dr. Utter earned a Master of Science degree in Epidemiology.

JoAnne Natale, MD, PhD, Consulting Editor

Dr. Natale is a Professor of Pediatric Critical Care and is the Chief of Staff of UC Davis Health, Vice Chair for Quality and Safety, Dept of Pediatrics UCD SOM, and Director of Quality and Safety, UC Davis Children’s Hospital. Dr. Natale’s research interests include patient safety, health equity, and patient safety processes. Dr. Natale’s academic interests includes interprofessional education focusing on patient safety, family engagement in safety, communication related to clinical errors, relationship between health care provider well-being and patient safety. She is also a graduate faculty in the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing where she serves on the Graduate Group and co-teaches a course in patient safety to an interprofessional group of students.

Dr. Natale earned an MD from Michigan State University and PhD in physiology from University of Michigan. She completed residency training in pediatrics at Albert Einstein School of Medicine and completed her fellowship training in pediatric critical care medicine from Johns Hopkins. She also completed a UC Health Fellow, UC Center for Healthcare policy and Innovation and is also UC Davis/ UC Irvine Physician Health and Wellbeing Fellow. Dr. Natale is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric critical care medicine.

Glen L. Xiong, MD, Consulting Editor

Dr. Xiong is a Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UC Davis. He has previously served as Medical Director of Inpatient Psychiatry and Skilled Nursing Facilities and as Associate Director of the Education Core of the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center (ADC). His academic research focuses on psychiatric medication safety, dementia care, and preventive medicine in people with serious mental illness. He has published over 100 journal articles and book chapters in these areas and recently co-edited the 2nd edition of Primary Care Psychiatry. In his clinical practice, Dr. Xiong sees patients at the UC Davis ADC; he also conducts rounds with students and residents as part of their geriatrics and geropsychiatry rotation in skilled nursing facilities. He is currently conducting research into use of telepsychiatry in skilled nursing facilities, supported by NIH and AHRQ.

Dr. Xiong earned his MD from UC Davis and completed his post-graduate residency training, in both psychiatry and internal medicine, at Duke University Medical Center. He is board-certified by the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry, the American Board of Internal Medicine, and the American Medical Directors Association of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.

Meghan Weyrich, MPH, Project Director/Managing Editor

Meghan Weyrich is a health policy research associate with the University of California, Davis Center for Healthcare Policy and Research. She has extensive experience managing research projects of varying scales and complexities, particularly in the areas of patient safety and evidence-based practice. She currently supports work involving the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and their respective quality indicator and patient safety programs. Ms. Weyrich works with the Kaiser Permanente Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) to produce systematic evidence reviews for AHRQ that are used by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force to update their clinical preventive service recommendations in primary care. She is also a contributor to the California Health Benefits Review Program (CHBRP), providing medical effectiveness analyses of proposed California legislation impacting health insurance benefit mandates. Ms. Weyrich earned her MPH from Boston University.

Kristin Bettega
Kristen Bettega, Assistant Managing Editor

Kristen Bettega is a policy analyst with the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. Since joining the school in 2011 as a research project manager, she has supported multiple research projects focusing on improving quality in nursing homes. She currently supports the Family Caregiving Institute which aims to improve systems of support for the millions of family caregivers in the US. Prior to joining the school of nursing, she was a research specialist for a California non-profit organization that helps children in crisis and their families.  Bettega earned her BA from UC Davis.

Lorri Zipperer
Lorri Zipperer, Cybrarian

Lorri Zipperer is a Digital Projects and Systematic Review Librarian at the Blaisdell Medical Library with the University of California Davis. Lorri was a founding staff member of the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF).  She has been monitoring the published output of the patient safety movement since 1997 and has been with AHRQ Patient Safety Network since the site launched in 2005. Her editorial work has produced books and articles on topics including knowledge management, patient safety, innovation, and systems thinking. Lorri is an American Hospital Association/NPSF Patient Safety Leadership Fellowship alumnus and an Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) Cheers award winner.  She develops content to engage multidisciplinary teams in creative thinking and innovation around knowledge sharing to support high quality, safe patient care.

Belinda Martineau
Belinda Martineau, PhD, Development Editor

Belinda Martineau is a science writer/editor with the Center for Healthcare Policy and Research at the University of California, Davis. She has authored two books and dozens of articles for scientific and lay audiences, and has been helping natural, social and medical scientists write papers, theses and grants for more than 20 years. Dr. Martineau received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Harvard University and her PhD in genetics from UC Berkeley; she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology at the University of Chicago.

Tennille Daniels
Tennille Daniels, MPH, PMP, Content Editor

Tennille Daniels is a Senior Researcher in the Health Division at American Institutes of Research (AIR). She has extensive experience managing and implementing large scale federal health care quality and patient safety projects, most recently supporting CMS in providing technical assistance to small, underserved and rural clinicians participating in the Quality Payment Program. She also led the Strategic Innovation Engine for CMS to identify innovations that would significantly improve quality and safety if spread and implemented at large scale. Prior to joining AIR, Ms. Daniels served as the Senior Program Manager for the American Hospital Association/Health Research and Educational Trust Hospital Engagement Network as part of the Partnership for Patients (PfP) initiative to reduce all-cause patient harm and hospital readmissions. She has served as a contributing author for several health care quality and patient safety annual reports. Ms. Daniels earned her Master of Public Health degree from Emory University with a concentration in health policy and management.

Bryan Gale
Bryan Gale, MA, Content Editor

Mr. Gale is a Researcher in the Health Division at American Institutes for Research (AIR). He has conducted research and analysis in patient safety and healthcare quality for over eight years, most recently writing several chapters of the AHRQ Making Healthcare Safer III report. Mr. Gale has experience in quantitative and qualitative data management and analysis, literature reviews, qualitative data collection, and coordinating with academic journals. Mr. Gale holds a M.A. in Economic Policy Analysis from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Elizabeth Schoyer
Elizabeth Schoyer, MPH, Content Editor

Ms. Schoyer is a Researcher in the Health Division at American Institutes for Research (AIR). She has worked on state and federal policy analysis and program implementation as well as systematic reviews of patient safety and other healthcare and public health topics. Ms. Schoyer was the lead writer for the C. difficile and Cultural Competency sections of the AHRQ Making Healthcare Safer III report. Ms. Schoyer is an experienced addictions treatment counselor and earned her Master of Public Health degree at San Francisco State University where she was awarded the John Blake West Scholarship for research in LGBTQ health.

Kate Hough
Kate Hough, MA, Technical Editor

Kate Hough is a senior editor and writer with the American Institutes for Research (AIR), where she works on projects with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and other federal and state agencies related to health and healthcare, mental health, and public health. She has nearly 15 years of editorial experience involving multiple levels and phases of review, as well as editing for audience appropriateness and plain language. Before joining AIR, she wrote and edited materials for trade associations, courses for adult learners, software documentation, and news releases. She holds a master of arts in professional writing from Carnegie Mellon University.

Courtney Klopfenstein
Courtney Klopfenstein, MPH, Content Editor

Courtney Klopfenstein is a Research Associate in the Health Division at American Institutes for Research (AIR). Courtney graduated from The University of Iowa with her Master of Public Health Policy in May of 2020. She has experience in policy research and advocacy at the state and federal level. Some of her areas of interest include healthcare quality and payment reform, patient safety, provider wellbeing, rural health, and maternal health.

Anita Makkenchery
Anita Makkenchery, MPH, PMP, Content Editor

Anita Makkenchery is a Researcher in the Health Division at American Institutes for Research (AIR). Her nearly 20 years of experience includes technical assistance in the areas of population health, quality improvement, qualitative research and analysis. Additionally, she has developed digital communications highlighting performance measurement improvements, best practices in patient safety, and outlining emergency preparedness plans for multiple government agencies including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). She earned her Master of Public Health from Yale University and her medical degree from Sri Ramachandra Medical College, India and is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

Paul Dowell
Paul Dowell, PharmD, PhD, Content Editor

Paul Dowell is a Senior Researcher in the Health Division at American Institutes for Research (AIR). His primary responsibilities include his role as a project manager, task leader and clinical subject matter expert across a diverse array of federal and state government clients with experience in policy analysis, evaluation and enforcement. Dr. Dowell has more than 10 years of experience as a licensed pharmacist and brings valuable real-world insights to pharmacy related issues with a focus on substance abuse treatment. He has more than 15 years of scientific research experience studying the molecular mechanisms of drug action and novel methods for drug delivery. Overall, Dr. Dowell has more than 20 years of experience in research and clinical practice involving some facet of drug development or clinical drug application. He holds a PharmD from the University of Maryland, Baltimore and a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Oregon State University.

Sarah Mossburg
Sarah Mossburg, BSN, MS, PhD, Co-Editor in Chief

Sarah Mossburg is a Researcher in the Learning, Translation, and Quality Measurement program at American Institutes for Research (AIR). She has over 20 years’ experience in working in healthcare delivery and research. In her work in hospital-settings, Dr. Mossburg has been part of leadership teams implementing patient safety initiatives into practice at the bedside including deployment of rapid response teams, implementing the 100,000 and 5 Million Lives campaigns, and numerous projects aimed at reducing hospital-acquired infections, improving hand-off communication, and other patient-safety initiatives. Dr. Mossburg has a MS in healthcare administration from Georgetown University and PhD in nursing from Johns Hopkins University.