Speakers

Speakers

Mandy Anderson

Mandy Anderson is the chief executive officer and managing director at Medical Insurance Australia Pty., Ltd. She has an extensive insurance career with technical, underwriting, and risk management experience across professional indemnity and medical professional liability insurance. She also has significant experience in the development and successful implementation of major partner and stakeholder relationships

Ms. Anderson joined MIGA just prior to the medical indemnity crisis in 2000-2001. She has not only successfully guided MIGA and its members through the most difficult and challenging time in its history, but the organization has continued to grow nationally both in membership and reputation.

Mark A. Behrens

Mark A. Behrens, Esq. co-chairs the Washington, D.C.-based Public Policy Group of Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. A substantial part of his practice is working to improve the civil litigation environment through legislation; in the courts through amicus curiae briefs on behalf of business and civil justice organizations; through legal scholarship and judicial education; and in the court of public opinion.

In October 2015, Mr. Behrens received the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform’s Individual Achievement Award. In July 2016, he received the International Association of Defense Counsel’s (IADC) Joan Fullam Irick Award for exceptional leadership as Civil Justice Response Committee chair. He has authored or co-authored more than 150 amicus briefs before federal and state appellate courts. Many of these briefs have dealt with medical liability issues, including the constitutionality of noneconomic damages caps. He has testified before Congress and numerous state legislatures.

Mr. Behrens received his JD from Vanderbilt University Law School and his BA in economics from the University of Wisconsin.

Michael J. Bidart

Michael J. Bidart is the managing partner for the firm Shernoff Bidart Echeverria LLP, and he leads the firm’s HMO Litigation and Property/Casualty Departments. Since bringing his expertise to the firm in 1986, Mr. Bidart has developed the firm’s health insurance practice by successfully prosecuting bad faith disputes against insurers and HMOs.

Mr. Bidart has been named a Super Lawyer by Law & Politics magazine every year since 2004 and has been a Super Lawyer Top 100 Attorney every year since 2004. He has been profiled in the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, and California Lawyer Magazine, which have recognized him as one of California’s most influential lawyers. A well-known lecturer and keynote speaker on HMO litigation and bad faith insurance practices, Mr. Bidart has been a featured speaker for the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Consumer Attorneys of California, American Conference Institute, The Rutter Group, the California Judges Association, and many others.

Mr. Bidart currently serves on the Board of Governors of Consumer Attorneys of California and Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, on the Board of Regents of Loyola Marymount University, and as chairman of the Board of Visitors for the University of La Verne Law School.

Mr. Bidart graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (BS, 1971) and Pepperdine University School of Law (JD, 1974).

Amitabh Chandra

Amitabh Chandra, PhD is professor of Public Policy and director of Health Policy Research at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Dr. Chandra is a member of the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) Panel of Health Advisors, and is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). In addition to innovation and medical liability, his research focuses on cost-growth and racial disparities in healthcare.

Dr. Chandra has testified before the United States Senate and the United States Commission on Civil Rights. His research has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, Newsweek, and on National Public Radio.

Jane Deacon

Jane Deacon, MBBS, GradDipHL is the medico-legal advisor for MDA National Insurance Pty Ltd. After graduating from the University of Western Australia, she worked for many years as a general practitioner (family physician) in a teaching practice with medical students and junior doctors. She joined MDA National 11 years ago. Her position as medico-legal advisor involves advising doctors about medico-legal matters, claims, and complaints. She works closely with MDA National’s in-house lawyers, and assists them with the medical side of claims and complaints. She also assists doctors with health and impairment issues.

Laurie C. Drill-Mellum

Laurie C. Drill-Mellum, MD, MPH is a practicing MD with a master’s degree in public health and more than 25 years as an emergency medicine physician. Dr. Drill-Mellum brings an insured physician’s perspective to the purpose, vision, and values of Constellation and its member companies. She works cross-functionally, leveraging her experience in clinical, allopathic, and integrative medicine and risk and patient safety. Dr. Drill-Mellum speaks nationally and internationally on topics in healthcare that can affect patient safety, including clinician burnout and resilience, team communication, and diagnostic error. Her role as chief medical officer at Constellation provides an opportunity to share what she’s learned about people and medical culture through her studies of anthropology, behavior, public health, emergency medicine, integrative medicine, and leadership.

She also provides guidance and leadership to the claim and risk and patient safety teams, and plays a key role in developing topics for Constellaton’s magazine, Brink. Dr. Drill-Mellum joined Constellation in 2012 after serving four years on the company’s board of directors, while practicing emergency medicine at Ridgeview Medical Center in Minnesota, where she continues to work part-time as medical director of the hospice program. Dr. Drill-Mellum is an active collaborator with industry colleagues as well, constantly thinking about how to serve healthcare clinicians more effectively and efficiently so they are able to best care for their patients.

Bruce Gehle

Bruce Gehle, JD is chief operating officer for Piedmont Liability Trust, which is the professional liability program for the University of Virginia Physicians Group. Prior to joining the Trust, Mr. Gehle spent 11 years as a trial attorney defending healthcare providers in medical professional liability lawsuits and administrative actions in both Virginia and Kentucky. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of Kentucky College of Law.

Gregg L. Hanson

Gregg L. Hanson is the CEO and president of Coverys. He has served in this position since January 2012 and is responsible for the strategic leadership of the organization, recently expanding to an international footprint. Through its subsidiaries, Coverys is a leading provider of medical professional liability insurance.

Mr. Hanson began his career at Coverys as vice president of Underwriting in 2000. He was promoted to senior vice president of Underwriting in 2006 and assumed management responsibility of the Marketing, Risk Management, and Healthcare Provider Education departments. He was named the company’s chief operating officer in 2009 and added oversight of the Claims, Human Resources, and IT departments to his responsibilities.

Mr. Hanson previously served as senior vice president of southern operations and underwriting for ProNational Insurance Company. Past positions include numerous executive roles with the St. Paul Insurance Company encompassing underwriting, marketing, and operational management throughout the Midwest and Florida.

Mr. Hanson is a graduate of the University of North Dakota where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. He is a member of the American Society of Healthcare Risk Management and the Professional Liability Underwriting Society.

Carl Hook

Carl Hook, MD, FACS, a native Oklahoman, obtained all of his education and training in his home state. He received an undergraduate degree at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, an MD degree from the University of Oklahoma, followed by Otorhinolaryngology training at Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center, completed in 1975. He was engaged in his medical/surgical specialty until retiring to work full-time at PLICO (Physician’s Liability Insurance Company). After being elected to the PLICO Board in 2001, he was elected in 2004 as PLICO’s president, CEO, and chairman of the board.

Dr. Hook has been an active participant in PIAA events, having served several years on the Membership & By-laws Committee, and the past two years on the PIAA Activities Committee. He retired as PLICO’s president in 2015, and as CEO 2017. Dr. Hook currently serves as chairman of PLICO’s Advisory Board of Directors, and a board member of The MEDPRO Group.

James D. Hurley

James D. Hurley, ACAS, MAAA is a consulting actuary with Willis Towers Watson in its Atlanta office. He is an associate of the Casualty Actuarial Society and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. He holds a BS in actuarial science from The College of Insurance in New York City, having participated in its five-year work-study program. Mr. Hurley’s approximately 30 years of consulting experience in the insurance industry has been primarily focused on medical professional liability issues. Mr. Hurley is a former chairperson and member of the AAA subcommittee on medical professional liability and has testified in front of committees of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, as well as the state legislative bodies. He has also served as a member of the AAA Property/Casualty Risk Based Capital Working Group.

William W. Large

William W. Large is a passionate advocate for civil justice reform and an experienced attorney who led Governor Jeb Bush’s fight to reform medical professional liability rules to cap damage awards. As president of the Florida Justice Reform Institute (FJRI), Mr. Large is responsible for the daily operations of FJRI. He brings extensive legal and political expertise to FJRI and has worked in the highest levels of Florida government to bring about civil justice reform.

Prior to serving as president, Mr. Large served as Governor Bush’s deputy chief of staff and was responsible for coordinating and advancing Governor Bush’s vision from the governor’s executive office to several state agencies. Before becoming deputy chief of staff, Mr. Large served as the general counsel for the Florida Department of Health (DOH) from March 2000 until June 2004.

As DOH general counsel, Mr. Large became one of Governor Bush’s chief counselors as lawmakers negotiated reforms of the state’s medical liability laws. During his tenure as general counsel at DOH, Mr. Large served as director of the Governor’s Task Force on Professional Liability Insurance, playing a vital role in ensuring the governor’s MPL reform initiatives were approved by the Florida Legislature. Mr. Large lobbied lawmakers and helped author the governor’s MPL legislative proposals—including a cap on non-economic damages—in order to provide much needed MPL premium relief for physicians.

Mr. Large received both his Bachelor’s degree in business administration (BSBA 1989) and his Juris Doctor (JD 1993) from the University of Florida, and holds three master’s degrees from Florida State University: a Master’s Degree in political science; a Master’s Degree in business administration; and a Master’s Degree in risk management and insurance.

Matthew T. Lee

Matthew T. Lee, MD has almost 18 years’ experience in the field of medico-legal medicine having worked in various roles at the MDU since 2000, initially as a medico-legal adviser assisting members facing complaints, disciplinary procedures, and criminal investigations. He also has experience as a clinical risk manager undertaking analysis, and advising members on healthcare litigation risks. He joined the MDU from a background of working as a clinical fellow in pediatric intensive care in Southampton (U.K.), having trained in both anesthetics and pediatric medicine.

Dr. Lee was appointed to the MDU Board in 2009 as professional services director with responsibility for claims handling, underwriting, the in-house legal department, and the medical and dental advisory services provided to MDU members, consisting of more than 200,000 doctors, dentists, and other healthcare professionals working in the U.K. and Ireland.

Jean Martin

Jean Martin, MD, JD is a senior legal counsel currently working in the legal department of COPIC Insurance Company in Denver, Colorado. She addresses legal issues affecting healthcare professionals and healthcare facilities and is actively involved in reviewing legislative and regulatory changes. Prior to pursuing a law degree, Dr. Martin was in clinical practice as an emergency physician for more than twenty years. She was the medical director of a 25,000 visit ED in the Denver area for ten years and served on the medical executive committee of the Medical Center of Aurora in Aurora, Colorado, for seven years.

Benjamin McMichael

Benjamin J. McMichael, JD, PhD is a postdoctoral scholar at the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University with research expertise in the law and economics of healthcare. Prior to joining the Owen School, he served as a law clerk to Judge Carolyn D. King on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Mr. McMichael’s research interests include medical professional liability and tort reform, healthcare workforce regulation, healthcare fraud and abuse, and antitrust issues in healthcare. His research has appeared in such journals as the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Medical Care Research and Review, the Southern Economic Journal, and the Vanderbilt Law Review.

Mary-Lou Misrahy

Mary-Lou Misrahy, ARM has served as president and chief executive officer of Physicians Insurance A Mutual Company, and its subsidiaries Experix, LLC and Alterna, LLC since 2004. She is responsible for the overall leadership and management of the organization. Under her leadership, these companies provide risk- and fee-based solutions to physicians, practices, and systems nationwide, while also maintaining the leading position as the largest provider of medical and hospital professional liability insurance in the Northwest. She serves on the board of directors for the Washington State Medical Association and the Washington Physicians Health Program, and is the vice chair of the Board for PIAA. She holds an Associate of Risk Management designation and is approved as a self-insured administrator by Self Insurance Plans, State of California. She earned a BS degree at the University of California at Davis and completed graduate coursework at the University of California at Berkeley.

John Mize

John Mize, FCAS, MAAA is president and chief executive officer of SVMIC, a medical professional liability insurance company that supports more than 13,000 physicians in Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, and several other neighboring states.

Prior to joining SVMIC in 2013, Mr. Mize spent 23 years with the company that is now Willis Towers Watson, an international actuarial and consulting firm. He was the Office Line of Business leader for property, casualty, and life actuarial practices for the firms’ Atlanta, Dallas, and San Antonio offices, and co-leader of Towers Watson’s professional liability practice. In that capacity he was SVMIC’s consulting actuary for the prior 15 years.

Mr. Mize is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. He is a graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering.

Thomas Nesbitt

Thomas S. Nesbitt, MD, MPH, is the associate vice chancellor for Strategic Technologies and Alliances and is responsible for advancing UC Davis Health’s excellence in clinical outreach and technology-enabled models of care. Dr. Nesbitt works closely with leaders throughout the state in developing partnerships with regional hospitals, clinics, and centers to expand access to quality healthcare and create a statewide broadband telehealth network.

He is internationally known and highly regarded as a pioneer in using telecommunications technology to deliver a broad spectrum of healthcare services and health professional education in rural areas. He established UC Davis’ first telehealth link in 1992, and today the UC Davis Center for Health and Technology is recognized as a global leader in using telehealth and distance learning to meet the needs of populations in remote and underserved regions.

Dr. Nesbitt has led development of UC Davis’ PRIME programs, which prepare physicians to serve in rural and underserved urban areas. A popular teacher and mentor, he is active in bringing excellent education to students at the undergraduate and graduate professional levels. He played a significant role in establishing UC Davis’ Center for Virtual Care, a training resource for students and working professionals throughout the region, and leads UC Davis’ nationally recognized Continuing Medical Education programs.

Dr. Nesbitt received his bachelor’s and medical degrees from UC Davis, completed his residency training through the Spokane Family Medicine Residency Program—an affiliate of the University of Washington School of Medicine—and obtained his master’s degree in public health at the University of Washington. He worked as a primary care physician in the rural Northwest before joining the UC Davis faculty in 1988.

Jeff Noel

Jeff Noel is a 30-year Walt Disney World Leadership veteran, two-time Disney Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, a published author, and business advisor. His career began in 1982 telling a 10-minute spiel of corny jokes in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom as a Jungle Cruise Skipper. Over the years he progressed through the ranks in Hotel and Corporate Operations, Disney University, and also helped to open some of Disney’s most popular attractions and resorts.

Mr. Noel was hand-picked to join Disney Institute, Disney’s external professional training and development arm designed to help the world’s businesses learn how to create their own Magic. He has spent his life deconstructing and reconstructing Disney’s DNA into clear, concise, and compelling business insights. Mr. Noel retired in 2014 to start his own enterprise. He and his family live less than one mile from Walt Disney World and he uses his lifetime Disney pass several times every week—and it’s highly probable he was there yesterday.

Jon Opelt

Jon Opelt is the executive director of Texas Alliance for Patient Access, a statewide coalition of doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, charity care clinics, and physician liability insurers. This advocacy group researched, helped draft, and successfully lobbied for the passage of Texas’ landmark medical lawsuit reforms; considered by many the “gold standard” in medical liability legislation. Passage of these reforms have substantially reduced lawsuits and liability costs, and have increased the number of doctors practicing in the state; especially high-risk specialists.

Since 2004, Mr. Opelt’s organization has filed 41 “friend of the court” briefs; winning a favorable ruling in 37 of those cases. These include the defeat of a cap challenge in federal court and protection of Texas’ “willful and wanton” emergency care standard. Additional court victories include the limitation on damages and evidence regarding phantom medical expenses and upholding of Texas’ one-of-a-kind “futile care” law. Mr. Opelt’s efforts drew national attention when in 2016 the New Mexico Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling and preserved access to care for more than half million New Mexico residents seeking cross-border care in neighboring Texas.

Mr. Opelt was a key player in getting and keeping “standard of care” language in the 2015 federal “doc fix” bill. HR 2 marked the first and only time that both chambers of Congress have passed—and the President signed into law—medical liability protections. Mr. Opelt also was instrumental in getting two amendments into HR 1215, the Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017, adopted by the House last June.

William C. Passolt

William C. Passolt is president and CEO and a director of both OMSNIC and its subsidiary, Fortress Insurance Company. Mr. Passolt joined OMSNIC in 1992 as its vice president, Finance. Prior to joining the company, he was a senior manager with Arthur Andersen LLP. Mr. Passolt is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He is a director of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Foundation and the Eastman Dental Center Foundation. He is past chair of PIAA’s THRF and Leadership Camp Sections, and is currently a member of the CEO Section.

Kristin Schleiter

Kristin Schleiter, JD, LLM is a senior legislative attorney for the American Medical Association’s Advocacy Resource Center. She provides legislative and legal support to state and national medical specialty societies on issues including telemedicine, medical liability reform, scope of practice, truth in advertising, workforce, licensure, and other medical board issues. Before working for organized medicine, she was a litigator concentrating in areas of insurance defense, personal injury, and commercial litigation. Ms. Schleiter received her law degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, a Master of Laws in health law from Loyola, and her undergraduate degree from Illinois Wesleyan University.

Ronni P. Solomon

Ronni P. Solomon, JD serves as executive vice president and general counsel for ECRI Institute, a nonprofit agency dedicated to promoting the highest standards of safety, quality, and cost-effectiveness in healthcare. She guides the development, execution, and evaluation of the Institute’s mission and vision and has overall responsibility for the Institute’s legal matters, for its patient safety, quality and risk programs, and initiatives, and for its education center. Her work spans many of the Institute’s research, consultative, publishing, and educational initiatives for preventing patient injuries and deaths. She serves as ECRI Institute’s executive sponsor for major projects in both the public and private sector, including projects for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and state agencies as well as for programs for hospitals and health systems, insurance carriers, and other healthcare provider organizations.

Ms. Solomon has developed numerous initiatives to improve safe and effective care, such as ECRI Institute PSO, a federally-listed patient safety organization that works with more than 1,000 provider organizations to make care safer. She recently convened the Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety, a multi-stakeholder collaborative seeking to improve health IT safety within a non-punitive learning environment by analyzing adverse events, near misses, and hazards and disseminating best practices. She has authored numerous publications on a variety of healthcare safety issues.

W. Stancil Starnes

W. Stancil Starnes, JD is the chairman, chief executive officer, and president of ProAssurance Corporation. Mr. Starnes, who assumed this position at ProAssurance on July 2, 2007, was first associated with Medical Assurance, the predecessor of ProAssurance, in 1979 when he began defending insured physicians on behalf of the company and was one of the architects of ProAssurance’s policy of passionately defending non-meritorious lawsuits.

Mr. Starnes practiced law for 35 years in Birmingham and was the senior partner with the firm now known as Starnes Davis Florie LLC, a litigation firm with offices in Birmingham and Mobile, Alabama. He was listed in The Best Lawyers in American for more than two decades and served for more than 20 years on the Alabama Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure. Mr. Starnes is a member of the Alabama Bar Association, the Birmingham Bar Association, and the American Bar Association, and is a Fellow of The American College of Trial Lawyers.
He holds a Bachelor of Science from the College of Commerce and Business Administration, University of Alabama and is a 1972 summa cum laude graduate of The Cumberland School of Law, Samford University.

He serves on the Boards of Directors of ProAssurance Corporation, National Commerce Corporation, Ascension, and PIAA, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama System.

Scott Syphax

Scott Syphax is the CEO of Syphax Strategic Inc., a full-service management consulting and business development firm focused on the real estate development and finance sector. For 16 years, Mr. Syphax was chairman and CEO of The Nehemiah Companies, a national financial services and real estate development firm. He serves on the boards of NORCAL Mutual Insurance, the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, and is the Emmy Award winning executive producer, head writer, and host of PBS affiliate KVIE’s, Studio Sacramento, highlighting the issues and newsmakers that shape California and the nation.

Mickey Trockel

Mickey Trockel, MD, PhD is faculty member with the Stanford School of Medicine WellMD Center. He regularly provides consultation to help other program developers and scholars with their physician wellness endeavors. He is particularly interested in supporting research on the relationship between physician wellness and patient care outcomes.

Dr. Trockel and his colleagues aim to shift the field of physician wellness towards achievement of professional fulfillment, which includes but is not limited to prevention of burnout. He led Stanford University’s Physician Wellness Committee and WellMD Center’s development of a Physician Wellness Survey assessment that measures professional fulfillment in addition to burnout, as well as factors that contribute to these outcomes. Results of the study he and his colleagues have completed to validate these measures should be published by December 2017. Survey results to date are consistent with the Stanford WellMD model, which suggests factors driving physician wellness include three domains: Efficiency of Practice, Culture of Wellness, and Personal Resilience. A growing number of academic medical centers have adopted the physician wellness assessment Dr. Trockel and his colleagues have developed, which will offer longitudinal data for benchmarking and natural experiment based program evaluation.

Joseph S. Wilson, Jr.

Joseph S. Wilson, Jr., MD has served as a member of the MagMutual Board since 1999. Dr. Wilson served as CEO and Chairman from July 2011-August 2017, and is now serving as Executive Chairman.

After graduating from Vanderbilt University in 1973 with a degree in economics, he continued his studies at Emory University, where he received his doctorate in medicine in 1977. Further training included an internship at Grady Hospital in Atlanta; a cardiology registrar at Princess Margaret Hospital in New Zealand; and a cardiology fellowship at Vanderbilt University. From 1984 until 2011, he practiced interventional cardiology in Atlanta with privileges at both Saint Joseph’s and Northside Hospitals.

Dr. Wilson is board certified in cardiology and interventional cardiology and is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. He was a clinical cardiology instructor at Vanderbilt University and Emory University.

Dr. Wilson has been selected by Atlanta Magazine as one of the “Top Doctors” in the Atlanta area. He also has held many elected positions, including governor of the American College of Cardiology and president of the Georgia Chapter of the American College of Cardiology.