2024 Under Construction

2023 Speakers

Jennifer Ceseña, BSN, RN is a graduate of Azusa Pacific University School of Nursing. She received a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership prior to studying to become a nurse. Over the course of 7 years, Jennifer has worked in both outpatient and inpatient environments, including primary care at a community clinic, bedside nursing in the Outpatient Observation Unit, and currently as a Registered Nurse Navigator in an outpatient bariatric surgery clinic. Supporting patients on their bariatric surgery journey, helping them overcome obstacles to healthcare, is the driving force behind the purpose and passion in her career.
Karen Kennedy-Evans

Veteran Nurse

Karen Kennedy-Evans has been a nurse for 53 years and in 1983 started one of the first Skin and Wound Care teams in a long term care facility. Two of Karen's areas of interest are the Kennedy Lesion and Bariatrics.
Shannon Gallagher

Innovator in Healthcare Safety

Shannon Gallagher is a recognized innovator in healthcare safety. In 2012 he contributed a chapter titled "Technology and Medical Errors" in William Charney's book "Epidemic of Medical Errors and Hospital-Acquired Infections." Shannon has published nearly a dozen manuscripts pertaining to communication, SPHM models for care, gender inequity during the COVID-19 pandemic and more. His most recent contribution is to the ANA SPHM National Standards publication, 2022.
Susan Gallagher


Susan Gallagher, is a trained wound ostomy continence nurse, certified bariatric nurse, health care risk manager and certified safe patient handling professional. She has certificates in Six Sigma-Health Care and Six Sigma LEAN. Susan holds a masters degree in nursing, a masters degree in religion and social ethics, and a PhD in policy ethics. She is a recognized expert in safety and outcomes with emphasis on bariatrics, skin/wound care, safe patient handling and mobility, and loss control. She lectures internationally and has authored over 200 articles, books or book chapters. Her professional objective is to assist organizations capture quality and sustainability through customer sensitive initiatives, supported by quantitative performance improvement outcomes.
Judy Gates

Director, Registered Nurse Clinical Education

Judy Gates is a Director, Registered Nurse Clinical Education at Banner Health based in Phoenix, Arizona. Judy received a Bachelor of Science of Nursing degree from Grand Canyon University and a Master of Science from Walden University. Ms. Gates is author of several articles pertaining to care of the patient who is obese.
Lesley Gray


Dr Lesley Gray PhD MPH MSc has been an academic at the University of Otago School Of Medicine, Wellington, New Zealand since 2008. Lesley has a background in primary health care in rural and remote British Islands. She specialised in public health and was a Fellow of the UK Faculty of Public Health before emigrating to Aotearoa New Zealand. Lesley has one adult son and lives with her husband on a small farm about 2 hours from Wellington the capital of New Zealand. Lesley's research and teaching concerns risk communication and action with a particular focus on social justice for marginalised populations such as fat and/or big bodied people.

Lesley's PhD researched disaster risk reduction considerations for fat and/or big bodied people and her thesis was recognised on the Dean's List of Exceptional Theses. She visited a number of locations in the USA to inform her research including Hawai'i, Florida, New York, California and Colorado and was fortunate to meet with the likes of Sheri Fink (5 days at Memorial), Marilyn Wann (Fat!SO?) and Lynn McAfee (NAAFA). Lesley works to debunk health myths with health professionals, such as injustices to fat people and the harms of stigma, discrimination and bias e.g. in the COVID-19 pandemic. Her research strives to ensure equity for fat people in health care and this includes the built environment and health equipment for fat patients.
Ed Hall


Ed Hall is a veteran healthcare risk and insurance executive with 19 years' experience in both academic medicine and community healthcare environments. He is nationally recognized and published, and he has received multiple awards for his innovative loss prevention and loss control programs that consistently lead to increased patient and employee safety and proven financial savings. He co-founded the Risk Authority (TRA) Stanford, a consulting firm and eventual training platform, and now works as the Executive Administrator for Risk Management at Keck Medicine of USC. In his free time, Hall enjoys college football, horse racing, and spending time with his family and dog.
Karen L. Herbst

MD, PhD in Cell Physiology

Karen L. Herbst, MD, PhD, graduated from the University of Iowa with a PhD in Cell Physiology and went on to complete a Howard Hughes Fellowship at the University of Utah. She then graduated with a medical degree from Rush Medical College in Chicago and did her residency and chief residency at the University of Washington. Dr. Herbst completed a combined research and clinical fellowship in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of Washington and is board-certified in endocrinology.

She has held faculty positions at Martin Luther King Drew Medical Center/UCLA, the VA San Diego Health Care System/UCSD, and the University of Arizona. She won the Lifetime Achievement Award from Tucson Business in 2019 and was named one of America's top physicians. Since 2000, her work has focused on those with fat (connective tissue) disease. In 2019, Dr. Herbst headed up a NIH-sponsored conference to establish the standard of care for lipedema and in 2020 she presented new ICD-10 codes for lipedema and Dercum's disease to the CDC. She won the Lifetime Achievement Award from Tucson Business in 2019 and was named one of America's top physicians.
Tony Hilton


Tony Hilton has been the SPHM National Program Manager for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) in Washington, DC since 2016 after her role as SPHM Coordinator at Loma Linda VA Health Care System for eight years. She has been a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Nurse Leader for over 20 years, Family Practice Nurse Practitioner, Public Health Consultant, and program manager at a number of healthcare facilities for 15 years. She has a passion for caring for medically-underserved populations in community clinics. Dr. Hilton's research findings in Emergency Preparedness in VHA Community-Based Clinics in California was published in the Federal Practitioner Journal.

She has extensive experience in leadership development, palliative care, end of life care planning and ethics, medical case management, long term mechanical ventilation in the community care setting, and home health care for high risk and technology dependent patients. She speaks at national and international conferences on a number of topics and has published extensively over her career. Dr. Hilton was interviewed by National Public Radio "Injured Nurses" reporting best practices in SPHM at Loma Linda VA Health Care System. She continues to be actively involved in multiple research and cutting edge innovative projects in SPHM to support a culture of safety within health care systems. She is dedicated to caring for our veterans and their families in appreciation for their honorable services.
Sharon Lucich

Physical Therapist, Adjunct Professor

Sharon Lucich is a Physical Therapist with over 30 years of experience in acute, outpatient, and extended care settings, spending over 20 years in wound management. She was Adjunct Professor for 12 years, teaching the wound management curriculum in a doctorate Physical Therapy program. Concurrently, Sharon spent 9 years as a Clinical Consultant, expanding her reach in the clinical and industrial setting, focusing on wound education, pressure injury prevention, and product development. Currently, Sharon is a Senior Clinician with EHOB, Inc, focusing on pressure injury prevention education, product development and strategizing ways to improve clinical outcomes. She is an active member of the Academy of Clinical Electrophysiology and Wound Management within the American Physical Therapy Association and is a Certified Wound Specialist and Certified Safe Patient Handling Associate. Sharon earned her BS degree in Physical Therapy from Indiana University Purdue University in Indianapolis (IUPUI), IN in 1986, and became a Certified Wound Specialist in 2006.
Nancy McGann


Nancy McGann has worked as a physical therapist and ergonomic consultant in industry and healthcare for 33 years. For the past 15 years, she has worked for SCL Health (now Intermountain Healthcare / Peaks Region) in ergonomics and SPHM. She is currently the Regional Manager of Caregiver Safety in the Quality and Safety Department which includes eight hospitals and hundreds of ambulatory centers. Prior to her current role, she was the System Manager for Ergonomics and SPHM for 5 years. She has spoken extensively in the areas of ergonomics and SPHM on state and national levels and has several peer reviewed publications. Prior to working for SCL Health based in Colorado, she worked for a critical access hospital in Idaho, and for Braintree Rehab and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. She is passionate about patient safety through safe mobility and has certifications in both patient handling and patient safety. Her passion is to prevent harm by creating an environment that promotes safe mobilization throughout the continuum of care.
Vicki J. Missar

B.A., M.S. (Occupational Biomechanics & Ergonomics)

Vicki J. Missar leads a dedicated, cross-functional healthcare and life sciences team designed to help clients resolve complex problems and achieve year over year improvements. Vicki has spent the last 15 years working in the healthcare and life sciences industry supporting clients while building world class solutions that are distinctive, innovative and results orientated. Vicki has extensive experience across the continuum of healthcare and life sciences and has worked with some of the nation's largest organizations driving process improvements, system integrations, culture change and adverse event risk mitigation. She is a keynote speaker, published thought leader and devotes time to research new and emerging trends impacting clients to bring fresh ideations to problem solving.

Prior to her joining WTW, she was responsible for aligning healthcare and life sciences industry strategy, collateral and thought leadership for North America, Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa. This included working with captive, actuarial, and risk control service lines globally to improve client outcomes. Vicki is a Guest Lecturer at the Harvard School of Public Health and has a B.A. degree in Psychology and Communications from La Salle University and a M.S. degree in Occupational Biomechanics and Ergonomics from the University of Miami. She has numerous certifications including Six Sigma Black Belt, Lean Six Sigma, Safe Patient Handling, Professional Ergonomist and Healthcare Safety Professional. She is on the board of directors for the Association of Safe Patient Handling and past board member for the Human Factors/Ergonomics Society North Texas Chapter.
Amber Perez


Amber Perez is a licensed nurse with 19 years' bedside experience and holds a Master of Healthcare Administration. She has 12 years of safe patient handling industry experience. She joined Banner Health in 2011, helping to establish their SPHM program, and co-authoring and co-investigating the validated Bedside Mobility Assessment Tool (BMAT). She then joined various SPHM equipment and program vendors in helping healthcare facilities across North America and Europe to improve success in SPHM. Amber left the SPHM industry as a vendor in 2021 but continued as an independent consultant and now works in Healthcare Technology for Philips North America as a Strategic Partnership Program Manager. She accepted a part-time teaching position in 2022 as an SPHM Instructor at Gateway Community College, partnering to teach students from four other local colleges and universities. Additionally, she participates on an advisory board for an NIH research project focused on unique SPHM emerging solutions. Her involvement in SPHM is rooted in her own injury, sustained early in her nursing career, and she is passionate about promoting SPHM benefits for caregivers and patients.
Chelsea Price


Chelsea is a highly accomplished professional in the field of nutrition and dietetics, currently serving as the Director of Operations and Patient Experience at Pivot Weight Loss Center. Pivot Weight Loss is a renowned provider of surgical and non-surgical weight loss solutions, with offices located in Phoenix, Mesa, and Tempe, Arizona. With a wealth of experience, Chelsea has held key positions as a bariatric Registered Dietitian (RD) and program coordinator at reputable health systems in Illinois and Arizona since 2016. Her commitment to the field is also reflected in her elected position on the Executive Committee for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Weight Management Practice Group.

In her current role as the Director of Operations and Patient Experience at Pivot Weight Loss, Chelsea plays a crucial role in overseeing the center's operations and ensuring an exceptional experience for patients. Pivot Weight Loss is known for its comprehensive weight loss solutions, and Chelsea's expertise contributes significantly to the success of the organization. Chelsea's educational background, extensive experience in bariatrics, and her leadership position at Pivot Weight Loss highlight her exceptional skills and dedication in providing effective weight loss solutions and optimizing patient experiences.
Terry Probst


Terry Probst earned his Ed. D. from Grand Canyon University. He holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Phoenix, and a Master of Human Relations (MHR) from the University of Oklahoma, and an Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Certificate from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide. He is currently the Health System Specialist (HSS) to the Director/CEO at the Veterans Affairs Eastern Kansas Health Care System. Dr. Probst is a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer with over 27 years professional experience. Terry is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), The Association of Safe Patient Handling Professionals (ASPHP), and the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).
Asha Roy


Asha is an Occupational Therapist by trade with an extensive background in injury prevention and absence management. She has a doctorate in OT with a specialization in Administration and Practice Management and a PhD in Organizational Leadership that has allowed her to successfully navigate the organizational barriers associated with change management initiatives in large organizations. Asha has worked on safe patient handling program development in 20+ hospitals and two sub-acute rehabilitation & skilled nursing facilities with over 6,600 hospital and long-term care beds in New York. She works closely with the risk management division to analyze each injury towards identifying opportunities and vulnerabilities. Using her analytical skills and working with the finance team, her team successfully developed a plan to procure the required equipment for all sites while using the large size of Northwell Health System as leverage to negotiate pricing with various equipment vendors. Her engagement efforts have led to successful statewide education events (conferences and webinars) to promote current evidence-based safe patient handling and mobility practices. Additionally, she has served as Board Member and was the President in 2022 for the Association of Safe Patient Handling Professionals.
Rhonda Sullivan


Dr. Rhonda Sullivan is a Registered Nurse with nearly 30 years’ experience. Of those years, 21 have been dedicated to the wound and ostomy specialties. She is Board Certified as a Nurse Executive, Wound- Ostomy Nurse, Legal Nurse, and Safe Patient Handling Associate. Dr. Sullivan is the Executive Director of Legal Nurse Partners & iWOC Nursing Foundation. She serves as clinical consultant to healthcare organizations to catalyze high quality care and the alleviation of avoidable harm. She is a published author, award-winning researcher, med-legal expert, approved continuing education provider for the Florida Board of Nursing, and an international speaker on pressure injury prevention and deep tissue pressure injury.
Rhonda Turner

DNP Candidate

Rhonda has been in healthcare for 37 years, acquiring her BSN in 2014 and her MSN-Leadership in 2018. Her current role is a Sr. RN Clinical Stroke Program Manager. In addition, she leads a large healthcare system for fall prevention, SPHM, caring for patients of size, and early mobility by identifying methods to increase awareness and how a focused program can positively impact patient outcomes while reducing injuries to the patients and frontline staff. Rhonda is a national and international speaker since 2015, a published author, has been a board member of ASPHP since 2019, and is the current Secretary/Treasurer. She is also in progress of acquiring her DNP with plans to graduate in December 2023. Her mantra is "Empowering others to lead the future".
Ronnie Turner

Patient Care Assistant

Ronnie Turner has been in healthcare for 34 years in various roles. His current primary role is a Patient Care Assistant on the Critical Care Service Line, and his secondary passion is leading and engaging his peers for best practice with SPHM. Ronnie Turner is a national and international speaker since 2015 and loves sharing the wins and his "why" behind the importance of the use of SPHM technology. He has been a CSPHA since 2015 and has helped design and implement region wide SPHM classes and clinical practices setting the stage for best practice at system level. His mantra is "Can't stop and won't stop".

Rhonda Turner has been in healthcare for 34 years in various roles. She acquired her BSN in 2014 and was inspired to go after her MSN-Leadership to be a stronger voice for the frontline, graduating in 2018. She currently works as an RN Operations Support Specialist, and her primary role includes supporting onboarding, education, quality metrics, and strategic initiatives, through partnering with leadership and the bedside staff. She continues to empower her colleagues, bedside to leadership, by identifying methods to increase awareness around SPHM and fall prevention, and to demonstrate how a comprehensive program can positively impact patient outcomes while reducing injuries to the patients and frontline staff. She is a visionary leader, has been on the national speaking platform since 2015, became a CSPHA in 2015, joined the Board of ASPHP in 2019, has traveled internationally presenting on how to build sustainable SPHM programs and caring for patients of size, and is now stretching her wings as a published author.