SIDM Staff



Paul L. Epner MBA, MEd, Executive Vice President

Paul L. Epner is the Executive Vice President and co-founder of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine.  He is also the Chair of the Coalition to Improve Diagnosis, a multi-organization collaboration.  Paul serves as Immediate Past President of the Clinical Laboratory Management Association (CLMA) where he developed the Increasing Clinical Effectiveness (ICE) initiative.  He is a member of the CDC’s “Clinical Laboratory Integration into Healthcare Collaborative,” a consultant to their Laboratory Medicine Best Practices program (an evidence-based practice initiative), and Chair of the Coordinating Council on the Clinical Laboratory Workforce’s (CCCLW) Taskforce on Measuring Testing-Related Value.

Diana Rusz, Research Associate

Diana received her Master of Public Health degree in health policy and administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago and received a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and international studies (global health) from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining SIDM, Diana worked as a consultant for Health Management Associates (HMA), a national research and consulting healthcare firm. Before HMA, she worked as a graduate assistant at the Center for Research on Women and Gender as well as the Chicago Colorectal Cancer Consortium, while attending the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research experience comes as a result of various academic appointments held throughout her undergraduate and graduate career. They include research assistant with the Cancer Center at the University of Michigan Health System; research assistant with the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan; and she served as a wellness and risk reduction specialist for underserved youth in Detroit. She also has worked at the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Illinois Public Health Institute, and Project Healthy Schools in Ann Arbor, MI. As a result of her academic and professional appointments, Diana has gained experience developing and implementing health programs and honed her research and data analysis skills in the public health arena.

Sean Smith

Sean is an experienced external affairs and development professional. He has done fundraising, relationship management, and government & community affairs for a variety of non-profit organizations in Chicago, including Center on Halsted, Edgewater Chamber of Commerce, Museum of Science and Industry, and Howard Brown Health. While at Howard Brown Health, he participated in a disease prevention program in partnership with the Zhejiang Province of the People's Republic of China. Prior to his over 15 years in the non-profit sector, Sean worked in Irish imports. 

  Daniel Persky, Project Manager
  Susan Carr, Newsletter Editor

Susan Carr has been writing and producing ImproveDx, SIDM’s bimonthly newsletter, since January 2013. She works on publications for a number of other clients, all of which are involved in healthcare. She currently curates a blog at and has been producing a newsletter and journal for the Association of Educators in Imaging and Radiologic Sciences for the past 12 years. Susan was the founding editor of Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare in 2004 and continues to write and edit articles for organizations, such as SIDM, that focus on safety and quality improvement. She lives and works outside of Boston, in Lunenburg, Massachusetts. When not working on publications or her very old house, you’re likely to find Susan folk dancing or enjoying the company of friends and family.

  Steve McFralane, Social Media Coordinator

Cori Smith, Administrator

Cori Smith has been with SIDM since November of 2016. Prior to coming to SIDM, she worked for more than 15 years in a corporate office, headquartered in Chicago, of a major Marketing Research company. She oversaw the daily work progress of over 30 managers working in satellite offices around the country. She then decided to pursue her passion for exercise and become a Personal Trainer. After that brief 2-year time, she realized it was more of a hobby of hers than a career, which is when she came across the great opportunity to become a part of the SIDM Team.