Jennie Ward-Robinson, PhD

Chief Executive Officer

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Dr. Ward-Robinson is a transformational leader known for engaging diverse interests and stakeholders to produce systemic solutions to human development challenges. She has over 20 years of executive leadership within academic, multilateral, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations. Her expertise includes strategic planning, operations management, brand positioning, fund development, and delivering mission-linked outcomes. Currently, she serves as a Senior Advisor to the Dean of College and Arts and Sciences at Georgia State University, as Co-Director of the Center for Studies on Africa and its Diaspora.

Dr. Ward-Robinson is a frequently invited speaker to national and international audiences. She has been recognized as a Distinguished Alumni Award by the University of Houston at Clear Lake for her work in minority health.

Dr. Ward-Robinson successfully led initiatives in the United States, the Caribbean, Asia, Latin America, and Africa, from which peer-reviewed publications and related policy products have resulted.

Recently appointed as vice-chair of the Caribbean Philanthropic Alliance, Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, and the Smithsonian Science Education Center, Dr. Ward- Robinson has served on various Boards, including the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s National Drinking Water Council, the Institute of Medicine Roundtable, the Alliance for Water Efficiency, and the Illinois Chapter of the Nature Conservancy among others.

Dr. Ward-Robinson holds a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has completed numerous executive and leadership training programs from leading institutions that include the Center for Creative Leadership and the Northwestern Kellogg School of Nonprofit Management.

Paul L. Epner, MBA, MEd


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Paul L. Epner, MBA, MEd is the Co-founder of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM). He is also Chair of the Coalition to Improve Diagnosis, a collaborative with more than 60 of the country’s leading healthcare societies, health systems, patient organizations, and organizations focused on improving quality. He recently was named to the National Steering Committee for Patient Safety. Paul is a Past President of the Clinical Laboratory Management Association (CLMA) where he also created the Increasing Clinical Effectiveness (ICE) initiative. He was recently a member of the CDC’s “Clinical Laboratory Integration into Healthcare Collaborative” and a consultant to their Laboratory Medicine Best Practices program (an evidence-based practice initiative). Paul is an Associate Editor for the peer-reviewed journal, Diagnosis.

Gerard M. Castro, PhD, MPH, PMP

Director of Quality Improvement

Dr. Gerry Castro is Director of Quality Improvement of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM). Prior to joining SIDM he was the Project Director for Patient Safety Initiatives in the Office of Patient Safety at the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (Joint Commission). His professional efforts are focused on improving patient safety through defining and applying evidence-based strategies in health care. Dr. Castro was the Principal Investigator for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT project “Investigations of Health IT-related Deaths, Serious Injuries or Unsafe Conditions.” He was a member of the AAMI Foundation Board of Directors, as well as the NQF Common Formats and HIT Patient Safety and Expert Panels.

Tina HuffTina Huff

Director of Partnerships and Engagement

Tina attended The University of Iowa, where she received a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication and a BA in Communication Studies. To further enhance her nonprofit skills, Tina earned an MS in Public Service Management from DePaul University and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management Executive Education program. Prior to joining SIDM, Tina managed communications, marketing, and partnerships for The Children’s Heart Foundation.

Shannon Bridges

Partnerships Senior Associate

Shannon Bridges is the Partnerships Senior Associate providing support to our Coalition to Improve Diagnosis and other partner relationships.   Shannon has more than 20 years of nonprofit experience including development, marketing, and communications, CRM, and relationship management. Prior to joining SIDM, Shannon worked with organizations including the Association of Energy Engineers, Make A Wish America, CARE USA, Lewy Body Dementia Association, and the American Cancer Society.

Joanne Coley

Marketing and Communications Manager

Joanne Coley is a talented and dedicated public relations professional and has over 5 years of experience in the public and private sectors. She has helped those sectors to communicate more effectively. She has been engaged in community, government, and media relations; events and communications planning; niche and online promotion; social media and website content management. Joanne has held various communications and PR positions in the agency, education, and municipal environments. She also developed communication plans, garnered media coverage, produced marketing materials, coordinated special events, and a host of other communication activities. Her background brings a well-rounded perspective where she has served as communications and public relations professional for elected officials, entertainers, and sports figures. Joanne received a B.A in Public Communications at Kent State University and an M.A from Southern New Hampshire University in Communications and Public Relations.

Morgan ClarkeMorgan Clarke

Marketing and Communications Assistant

Morgan Clarke received her degree in Mass Communications from Kansas State University. Prior to joining SIDM, she worked as a content creator and communications specialist.  Morgan aspires to apply her talents and expertise in communications, writing, and graphic design to works that advocate for philanthropic issues in social justice and human rights. During her time as an undergrad, Morgan found a passion for poetry, photography, and graphic design. She enjoys using her artistic abilities to create a narrative of the ever-changing world around her.

Marie Jaffe

Director of Operations and Program Support

Throughout her 20-year career, Marie has worked in all areas of nonprofit management including most recently, serving as the Healthcare Provider and Community Engagement Director at the Arthritis Foundation. She served as the Executive Director for the Parkinson Association of the Carolinas. Marie finds it rewarding to engage with all types of audiences to improve the overall healthcare system. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. She has a certificate in Community Planning from Penn State Cooperative Extension and certification in Effective Public Participation and Facilitation from the International Association of Public Participation. She completed the Emerging Leaders in Public Affairs Program through the Coro Center of Civic Leadership.

Jeremiah Smith

Program and Database Associate

Jeremiah Smith received his BS in Music Management from the University of Evansville in southern Indiana. He has made a career in nonprofit administration with both big and small organizations alike including Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Chicago Chamber Musicians. Prior to his position as Program Assistant with SIDM, Jeremiah served as Development Associate for Friends of the Chicago River working to increase individual memberships and supporting the organization’s yearly gala.

Emily Welch-SmithEmily Welch-Smith

Project Management & Development Associate

Emily Welch-Smith is the Project Management and Development Associate at SIDM. Her previous professional experience as a Project Assistant and then Business Development Project Manager at Grenzebach Glier and Associates grounds her work in non-profit and philanthropic administration and project management best practices. Emily is a graduate for Butler University, where she received a B.A. in History and Anthropology, and of the SUNY Oneonta Cooperstown Graduate Program where she received a M.A in History Museum Studies.


Leslie TuckerLeslie Tucker

Senior Policy Advisor

Leslie Tucker is an independent health policy consultant with three decades' experience serving the nation's leading public, private, academic and philanthropic organizations working to improve health care. From 2009-2016 she was Vice President, Policy for the American Board of Internal Medicine and ABIM Foundation, where she worked to advance medical professionalism as a force for improving quality, and has been closely involved with the Choosing Wisely© Campaign since its inception. Prior to ABIM/F, she became Senior Program Officer in The Pew Charitable Trusts HHS program after serving as Director of the Washington Office for a large and successful Pew-funded public health infrastructure funding initiative. At the state level, Leslie led Strategic Planning, Policy and Outreach at the Rhode Island Department of Human Services during welfare reform and SCHIP expansions. She provided government relations and rural practice support for the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and served as senior Legislative Assistant to U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY), and as a health policy analyst to the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Aging.

Suz Schrandt, JD

Senior Patient Engagement Advisor

Suz Schrandt is a patient and patient advocate with a health and disability law and policy background.  She is the founder of ExPPect, a patient engagement initiative focused on elevating patients to critical roles in improving health care and medical education. Schrandt’s prior roles include Director of Patient Engagement at the Arthritis Foundation, Deputy Director of Patient Engagement at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), Health Reform Team Lead for the Kansas Health Institute, and over 20 years as a patient instructor in clinical training initiatives aimed at increasing early diagnosis and appropriate, patient-centered management of chronic disease.  She is one of nine voting members on the FDA’s inaugural Patient Engagement Advisory Committee, Chairperson for the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) North American Patient Roundtable, and has been an invited speaker at numerous US and international conferences.  Schrandt received her law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law and has co-authored multiple publications on health policy and the value of patient engagement.

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 health care. 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.