Team Bios

by dawnconrey

Team Bios

Jennifer Cowel, Kurt Patton, John Rosing and Mary Cesare-Murphy are joined by 20 independent consultant associates. They represent the industry’s best healthcare consultants and content experts. And, they are experienced in getting the help you need, when you need it.

Jennifer Cowel

Jennifer Cowel, RN, MHSA

630.664.8401
JenCowel@PattonHC.com

Jennifer Cowel is CEO of Patton Healthcare Consulting, Inc and a patient safety, accreditation and regulatory compliance consultant. Jennifer joined Patton Healthcare Consulting as Vice President and Principal in 2007. Previously, she held a variety of leadership and management roles during more than 17 years with The Joint Commission including the Director of Service Operations. Prior to her departure in early 2007, Jennifer was the hospital surveyor representative on the Standards Improvement Initiative (SII). Jennifer was also a nurse surveyor certified to survey the standards in the Hospital Accreditation Manual.

Jennifer is the author of two reference books for both domestic and international hospital managers on practical application and use of statistics. She has authored numerous articles on accreditation and regulatory compliance issues. She is also a frequent lecturer on patient safety, Joint Commission compliance, and the use of data to improve performance.

Prior to the Joint Commission she was a Senior Consultant with Anderson Consulting in Chicago. Jennifer received her Bachelor of Science Nursing degree from Indiana University and her master’s degree in Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI.


Kurt Patton

Kurt Patton, MS, RPH

708.288.3765
Kurt@PattonHC.com

Kurt served as Executive Director of Accreditation Services at the Joint Commission for almost eight years until December 2005. In this role, he worked with all types of accredited organizations seeking to be re surveyed, merging, evolving, acquiring new services, as well as new organizations seeking to become accredited. He managed the post survey process for all accreditation programs, which includes issuance of accreditation decisions and reports as well as monitoring the organizational database for intra-cycle monitoring events.

He also supervised the staff involved in pre-survey support and analysis of organizational data to design survey duration and complement, as well as the logistics and routing of surveyors throughout the nation. Mr. Patton was responsible for business development in the Hospital Accreditation Program, and the development of the Critical Access Hospital program. He also was a frequent presenter at Joint Commission educational programs including Executive Briefings.

Before joining the Joint Commission, Mr. Patton was the deputy director for the Division of Strategic Initiatives and Managed Care in the New York State Office of Mental Health. In that position, he was responsible for analyzing national health care reform trends and planning managed Medicaid, Medicare and community support initiatives designed to serve individuals with serious mental illness. Previously, he served as the administrator for a state operated behavioral health managed care program and director of the Bureau of Health Services.

In January 2006 Mr. Patton founded an independent consulting practice to assist organizations in developing a systems approach to accreditation, regulatory compliance, and patient safety initiatives.

Mr. Patton earned his bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy and his master’s degree in Institutional Administration from St. John’s University, Jamaica, NY.


John Rosing

John Rosing, MHA, FACHE

262.242.3631
JohnRosing@PattonHC.com

John R. Rosing has joined Patton Healthcare Consulting, Inc, as Vice President and Principal in 2008. Previously, he was Practice Director of Accreditation and Regulatory Services and Senior Consultant for 11 years at The Greeley Company, a consulting firm and subsidiary of HCPro, Inc.

In his career John has consulted, presented, and authored on a wide range of healthcare management issues and topics including sustaining compliance with Joint Commission accreditation standards, meeting CMS Conditions of Participation, improving patient safety and quality, improving clinical documentation design and function (both electronic and paper,) medical staff structure and function redesign, medical staff credentialing and privileging, medical staff leadership development, bylaws development, medication management processes, staff competency assessment, and allied health practitioner credentialing and privileging.Prior to his work with The Greeley Company, he served for over 17 years in hospital management including holding positions as vice president at St. Michael Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; vice president of medical affairs for Delnor Community Hospital in Geneva, Illinois; and associate administrator for St. Francis Medical Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. John holds a masters degree in hospital and healthcare administration from Xavier University. He is a fellow at the American College of Healthcare Executives.


Mary Cesare

Mary Cesare-Murphy, PHD

630.290.7982
MCM@PattonHC.com

Mary Cesare-Murphy, Ph.D. served as the Executive Director of Behavioral Health Accreditation at the Joint Commission from 1990 until the beginning of June 2013. In this role she was the behavioral health product line leader responsible for tactical operations including product develop and strategic planning. Dr. Cesare-Murphy served as the Joint Commission liaison to national behavioral health professional and provider associations.

Throughout her career she has served on numerous national task forces and work groups including: The American College of Mental Health Administration policy white paper From Policy to Service: A Quality Vision for Behavioral Health; The National Suicide Prevention Resource Center steering committee; a reviewer for the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration Science and Service Awards honoring Opioid Treatment Programs and Office-Based Opioid Treatment Providers; and as an elected member of the American Psychological Association Task Force on Serious Mental Illness/Serious Emotional Disturbance.

Immediately prior to joining the Joint Commission, Dr. Cesare-Murphy was Associate Professor of Psychology at St. Xavier University and served as a Joint Commission surveyor for the Behavioral Healthcare program. She also provided consultation, technical assistance and staff training services in array of Behavioral Health settings including hospitals, community mental health centers, residential treatment centers for children and youth, and substance abuse treatment programs.

Dr. Cesare-Murphy is a licensed clinical psychologist and a member of the American Psychological Association and National Register of Heath Service Providers in Psychology and the American Collage of Mental Health Administration. She received her Ph.D. in psychology from Texas Tech University.

Debra Zak

Debra Zak, Ph.D., RN, L. Ac.

Dr. Zak has more than 35 years of extensive experience in the health care industry with a successful record of increasing responsibility in various healthcare settings. Her experience spans from clinical and consultant experience in hospitals and home care organizations to progressive leadership experience at The Joint Commission related to accreditation products, programs, standards and survey processes.

Before joining Patton Healthcare Consulting, Dr. Zak served at The Joint Commission since 1992. Throughout her comprehensive career, she held key positions as Surveyor for the Hospital and Home Care Accreditation Programs, Associate Director for Standards Interpretation, Field Director for Surveyor Management and Development in the department of Accreditation Operations, Associate Director in the Department of Standards Interpretation Group, and Executive Director in Business Development. Dr. Zak has consulted internationally in China.

Prior to joining The Joint Commission, she was President of ZAK Cost Containment Services, a successful rehabilitation case management and healthcare consulting firm.

Dr. Zak has authored several articles on healthcare issues and complementary care in integrated healthcare systems, as well as lectured on The Joint Commission hospital and home care standards for patient safety and organization wide performance improvement.

In addition, Dr. Zak continues to serve the community through her private practice in Oriental Medicine.

She is nationally board certified in Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture, licensed in the state of Illinois as a registered nurse and acupuncturist, holds a Medical Legal Consultant certification as well as Yellow Belt certification in Lean and Six Sigma performance improvement methodologies for healthcare.

Dr. Zak is recognized by Marquis Who’s Who in American Nursing for service and commitment to the nursing profession, is an active member of the Alabama State Acupuncture Association, and as a Doctoral Program Consultant for the Midwest College of Oriental Medicine. Dr. Zak currently resides in Fairhope, Alabama.


Elise Gropper

Elise I. Gropper, PhD, RN, CPHQ, NEA-BC

Elise Gropper specializes in the areas of Joint Commission accreditation, CMS regulatory compliance, ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®, CARF accreditation, staff development, performance improvement, and patient care redesign. Elise Gropper has served as a consultant to hospitals, behavioral health organizations, home health agencies, long-term care facilities, ambulatory care centers, surgi-centers and physician offices since 1995.

Prior to consulting, she was the Associate Executive Director of Nursing at Elmhurst (NY) Hospital and Vice President of Patient Care Services at Miami Heart Institute in Miami Beach, FL. Dr. Gropper has served as an appointed member of the Test Development Committee for Nursing Administration Advance by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) from 1995-2004. She is a board certified Nurse Executive, Advanced. She is also a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality through the National Association for Healthcare Quality.

Originally trained as a diploma nurse, Dr. Gropper holds a bachelor’s in nursing, a master’s in nursing administration, and a doctorate in health and human services. She has authored more than 25 articles related to management and patient care issues. Dr. Gropper has held positions of assistant and associate professor of nursing at several universities. Her most recent appointment was adjunct associate professor at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL, where she taught Nursing Leadership and Management and Nursing Research for more than 10 years.


Gloria Legere

Gloria M. Legere, RN, MS, JD, CPHQ

Gloria Legere is a hospital accreditation and patient safety consultant. Gloria has been a member of the Patton Healthcare Consulting team since 2012. Her focus is assisting clients to develop practical, long term strategies for continuous readiness for Joint Commission and CMS compliance. Previously, she was a consultant with the Greeley Company where she also provided accreditation and patient safety expertise.

Gloria has worked in the healthcare field since 1983 with special focus on the peri-operative setting.

Gloria has authored or been featured in several articles on the practical application of The Joint Commission standards and risk management principles and was a contributing author on a book focusing on The National Patient Safety Goals. She has also been a principle speaker on several Audio Conferences where the focus was surgical safety and Universal Protocol.

Gloria received her Bachelor of Science Nursing degree from Saint Joseph’s College, her Masters of Health Care Administration degree from Simmons College and her Juris Doctor, Cum Laude, from New England Law. She also maintains her RN license in several states and is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ).

John Milazzo

John “Jack” Milazzo, MD

Prior to Joining Patton Healthcare Consulting, Inc. Dr. Milazzo was a Joint Commission Surveyor for 12 years, leaving in 2016. Dr. Milazzo was trained under the Accreditation Manual for Hospitals, Office Based Surgery, and Critical Access Hospital programs. He was also a member of the Special Survey Unit and the Department of Defense Survey Team during his tenure at TJC.

Dr. Milazzo served as team leader for the Standards Improvement pilot surveys at TJC and is a Yellow Belt trained in the Joint Commission Rapid Process Improvement methodology. He served on the Surveyor Advisory Committee, as a faculty member for the New Field Surveyor Orientation Program and has participated as Preceptor to Joint Commission Physician new hires.

Prior to joining the Joint Commission in 2004, Dr. Milazzo was a practicing General Surgeon with the Pinnacle Medical Group in Bradenton, FL. Dr. Milazzo was Board Certified in General Surgery and successfully completed recertifications in 1991 and 2002. He completed a Vascular Surgery Fellowship at Temple University and Oncology Surgery Fellowships at UMDNJ- New Jersey Medical School. In addition to general surgery, Dr. Milazzo specialized in Vascular and Non-Cardiac Thoracic surgery.

Dr. Milazzo has had administrative responsibilities as Chief of Staff, Chairman of the Medical Executive Committee and Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Quakertown Community Hospital in Quakertown, PA.

He is a member of the American College of Surgeons and was President of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the American College of Surgeons.


Kathleen Good

Kathleen Good, MSN, RN

Prior to joining Patton Healthcare Consulting, Inc. Ms. Good worked at The Joint Commission for over 17 years. Throughout her career at The Joint Commission, she held such key positions as Surveyor for the Hospital and Home Care Accreditation Programs, Field Director for Surveyor Management and Development, and was a surveyor designee on the Surveyor Advisory Committee. In addition, Ms. Good has served as a content expert reviewer for Joint Commissions Publications and is trained as a Yellow Belt. Ms. Good is a certified nurse surveyor and served as a nurse surveyor representative on the Standards Improvement Initiative.

Prior to her tenure at The Joint Commission, Ms. Good held a variety of leadership and management roles that include Director of Clinical Services, Regional Director of High Risk Pregnancy Management Program, and National Director of Infusion Therapy Operations. Her expertise also includes Pediatric Services.

Ms. Good is a professional nurse with more than 38 years of diverse experience in the health care industry. Her passion for excellence in health care resulted in a successful record of increasing responsibility in a variety of healthcare settings. Ms. Good received her Bachelor of Science Nursing degree and her Master’s Degree in Nursing Administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo.


Mary Litvin, RN, BA, MS

Mary T. Litvin, RN, BA, MS is a consultant with Patton Healthcare. She consults nationwide providing services to Medical Surgical Hospitals, Psychiatric Hospitals, Critical Access Hospitals, Ambulatory Care Settings and Long-Term Care to support them in achieving and maintaining Joint Commission accreditation and compliance with CMS Conditions of Participation. As a consultant, Ms. Litvin conducts mock surveys, training, and assistance with post survey corrective action plans.

Prior to joining Patton Healthcare Ms. Litvin was a surveyor with the Joint Commission for 15 years and has extensive executive management experience having served in the roles of CEO, COO and CNO at St. Luke’s Quakertown Hospital in Quakertown, PA.

Mary Litvin is currently a resident of Florida. She received her R.N. from Philadelphia Hospital School of Nursing in Philadelphia, PA, her Bachelor of Arts degree in Healthcare and Administration from Ottawa University, Overland Park, KS and her Masters of Science degree in Human Resource Administration from the University of Scranton, Scranton, PA.


Suzanne Feld

Suzanne F. Feld, MHR, RN, CJCP

Suzanne Feld is a professional nurse with over thirty years of diverse experience in many acute healthcare organizations. Her passion for improving healthcare quality and patient safety led to her employment with The Joint Commission (TJC) as a nurse surveyor in the hospital program for more than seven years. Additionally, Suzanne spent a 10-month professional fellowship working in The Joint Commission central office dedicated to the redesign of the accreditation survey process, Shared Visions New Pathways.

Prior to joining The Joint Commission, Ms. Feld held a multitude of diverse positions in the field of healthcare quality and safety. She served as the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Peri-Operative Services at both small and large and small acute care hospitals; Director of Accreditation, Patient Safety, and Performance Improvement; and served as a member of the Office of the Air Force Inspector General (IG) where she developed performance measurement standards for hospitals and ambulatory clinics and surveyed numerous medical treatment facilities throughout the country. Additionally, Ms. Feld served as a consultant to the United States Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs.

Suzanne has lived, worked, and consulted domestically and internationally in Turkey, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Asia. She has worked as a Baldrige Examiner for the not-for-profit organization, Quality New Mexico, and is a long-standing member of the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ). Ms. Feld currently provides comprehensive accreditation consulting services in acute care hospitals, ambulatory clinics, and surgery centers.


Mark Halal

Mark Halal, LCSW

Mark Halal, LCSW has provided behavioral healthcare consulting support nationwide to psychiatric hospitals, addictions and behavioral health organizations seeking to achieve and maintain Joint Commission accreditation and CMS compliance. As a consultant, Mr. Halal conducts training, gap analysis, and mock surveys for his clients and provides them with hands-on direction and technical assistance pertaining to Joint Commission survey processes, compliance, and standards on quality and safety.

Mr. Halal worked with The Joint Commission as a surveyor in its behavioral healthcare cadre. During that time, he surveyed hundreds of psychiatric hospitals, community mental health centers, residential and outpatient behavioral health programs, and substance abuse organizations throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Mr. Halal has extensive behavioral healthcare management experience, as well. He has held leadership roles in various organizations serving both behavioral health and substance abuse populations. Over the course of a thirty-five year career, spanning the government, private, and public non-profit sectors, Mr. Halal has seen behavioral healthcare through the eyes of the clinician, supervisor, educator and executive. He understands the importance of processes for quality and safety from each of these unique perspectives.

Immediately preceding his work with the Joint Commission, Mr. Halal worked with Devereaux Florida. He served as Administrator of the organization’s Viera Campus — a 148 bed hospital and secure residential facility for children and adolescents experiencing a wide range of psychiatric and developmental disabilities.

Mr. Halal received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Clark University, a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Science degree in Health from the University of North Florida.


Libby Chinnes

Elizabeth (Libby) F. Chinnes, RN, BSN, CIC, FAPIC

Ms. Chinnes is an infection prevention and control consultant with over 30 years of experience in all healthcare settings. She has had her own consulting company, IC Solutions, LLC, for 19 years and has been Board Certified in infection prevention and control since 1983. Prior to that, Libby worked in the healthcare industry as an Infection Control specialist and before that was coordinator of Roper Healthcare System Infection Prevention program for 15 years. She has also worked in the university setting as an Infection Preventionist.

Ms. Chinnes co-authored a chapter on “Meeting Infection Prevention Challenges in Ambulatory Care Settings” in The APIC/Joint Commission Resources (JCR) Workbook, 3rd. Ed. 2017. Libby has published several books on infection prevention programs, numerous articles, and lectured extensively throughout the country to APIC chapters, AORN, state ambulatory surgery societies, nursing home associations, and numerous others.

She has served The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) in many capacities, including at the state and the national level. She is a frequent faculty member of APIC courses (EPI 101, EPI 102, and Ambulatory Surgery) as well as serving as a faculty member for AHRQ’s Safety Program for Ambulatory Surgery. Ms. Chinnes has assisted APIC Consulting and numerous healthcare industry corporations with various projects including evaluation of infection prevention programs, investigation of infection outbreaks, and assessment of surgical settings including sterilization and high level disinfection practices among others. Ms. Chinnes received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC. Her passion and singular goal is making a difference in safer patient care in all healthcare settings and engaging others to do so as well.


Andrew P. Morley, Jr., MD,FAAFP

Before joining Patton Healthcare Consulting, Inc., Dr. Morley was a Joint Commission Physician Surveyor for 9 years, leaving TJC in 2019. Dr. Morley has expertise in surveying hospitals, critical access, DoD, VA, and Primary Care medical facilities. During his tenure at TJC, he participated in the development of and teaching in the new training program for new surveyors as well as serving on the editorial board for the Leading Practice Library. Dr, Morley served as Team leader for many large healthcare systems including Mayo Clinic and HCA.

Prior to joining the Joint Commission, Dr. Morley held a variety of health care management roles in his home state of Georgia. Those include Director of Primary Care Development for the DeKalb Regional Healthcare System; Vice President of Medical Operations for PROMINA Managed Care Organization; Senior Vice President of Clinical Operations for PROMINA Health system; and Chief Medical Officer of Columbus Regional Healthcare System. Dr. Morley’s responsibilities with PROMINA included oversight of the Quality Initiative along with direct responsibility for all system-wide disease management and clinical pharmacy programs.
As CMO of the Columbus Regional Healthcare System in Columbus, GA, Dr. Morley’s responsibilities included Quality, Patient Safety, Medical Staff Services, and Regulatory Services including accrediation. He was responsible for the overall quality of the health system as well as the achievement of best practices related to the Joint Commission “core measures”.

Dr. Morley has presented key-note addresses and seminars to major healthcare organizations such as the American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Association of Dermatology, and the American Urology Association. Many of his articles have been published in industry journals and he is the author of three healthcare related books. He has been seen on Georgia Public Television as a medical commentator for “Georgia PBS” and has served as a preceptor for students and residents from Emory University School of Medicine, Medical College of Georgia and Morehouse School of Medicine.

Dr. Morley currently resides in Gainesville, GA.


Lauren Donaldson, Manager of Marketing and Operations

Lauren Donaldson joined Patton Healthcare Consulting in 2016 as the Marketing and Operations Manager. Receiving a Bachelor’s Degree from DePaul University in Chicago, Lauren graduated with a double major in Communication Studies and Public Relations and Advertising. Lauren continued her education and received a certificate in Healthcare Management from Loyola University in Chicago. Lauren has worked in the health care industry since 2007, filling various roles from Administration, to Managerial, to Clinical as a Licensed Massage Therapist.

“Hi! My name is Lauren, and my husband and I live in Yorkville, IL with our son and two dogs. I love the healthcare industry, no matter which role I was in. With having most of my immediate family as nurses and doctors, I think the medical field is just in my DNA. It’s really neat to hold a position in this industry, as it is ever-evolving and there is always something new to learn; it keeps you on your toes!

I am the Marketing and Operations Manager here at Patton Healthcare Consulting. You might not work with me directly, but you may recognize some of my work, as I play a role in the planning of the mock survey agendas, creating and publishing the monthly newsletter, and producing the final report of findings.


James Cernilia, MD, Independent PHC Consultant

Dr. Cernilia surveyed nationally for The Joint Commission for six years previous to his affiliation with Patton Healthcare Consulting in 2012. In his role at The Joint Commission, Dr. Cernilia was certified under the hospital accreditation program. He functioned as team leader for on-site triennial surveys, performed innumerable on-site periodic performance reviews (PPRs) for hospitals, and was part of the corporate team leader cadre at The Joint Commission. He also worked extensively under the Office of Quality Monitoring (OQM) conducting for-cause surveys and providing clinical expertise in surgical matters. In addition, he functioned as surveyor faculty and contributed to various pilot programs during his tenure. Previous to joining The Joint Commission, Dr. Cernilia held leadership roles in medical administration and hospital-based performance improvement in the community hospital setting in addition to daily clinical practice.

Dr. Cernilia currently practices cardiothoracic surgery in Los Angeles and holds board certifications from the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. He is a graduate of Tulane Medical School and completed general surgery residency training at the University of California Irvine. Cardiothoracic surgery fellowship training and additional advanced-fellowship training in beating heart surgery were completed at Tulane and Rush-Presbyterian medical centers respectively.

He completed endovascular fellowship training at the University of California Davis. He currently holds medical licenses in California, Louisiana, and Illinois.


Kenneth G. Busch, MD, Independent PHC Consultant

Kenneth G. Busch, MD, is a board-certified Chicago psychiatrist. He is a graduate of Indiana University School of Medicine, and completed his internship at Evanston Hospital and his residency at the Northwestern Institute of Psychiatry.

Dr. Busch worked as a Federal Surveyor for CMS in hospitals for 20 years from 1987 to 2007. He surveyed about 500 hospitals coast to coast during that time.

For the last 8 years Dr. Busch has been a private consultant to hospitals with different health care agencies. He has been in private practice since 1975, and is currently on staff at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge. With a special interest in public policy, Dr. Busch has consulted nationally with the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Busch is a distinguished life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He has served in many capacities nationally with APA. as well as the Illinois Psychiatric Society including Past President.

Dr. Busch has also served in many capacities in organized medicine in the Chicago Medical Society, Illinois State Medical Society and American Medical Association. He has served as President of the Chicago Medical Society and in multiple positions with the Illinois State Medical Society as well as involvement with AMA. Dr. Busch also served in community leadership roles. Dr. Busch served previously to US Rep Mike Quigley as Chair of the Health Care Advisory Council and US Rep Danny Davis as Chair of the Mental Health Advisory Committee.