Timothy R. Aksamit, MD
Timothy Aksamit is a consultant and associate professor in the pulmonary disease and critical care medicine division of Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. Dr. Aksamit received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois in Urbana, IL; medical degree from Northwestern University in Chicago, IL, and medical training in internal medicine as well as pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Iowa in Iowa City where he also was a chief resident. Prior to joining the staff at Mayo Clinic in 1998 he was in private practice in Madison, WI. Dr. Aksamit’s research and clinical interests have focused on mycobacterial disease and bronchiectasis. He has co-authored a previous international statement by the American Thoracic Society and Infectious Disease Society of America on the diagnosis and treatment of nontuberculous mycobacterial disease. He currently serves as chair of the U.S. Bronchiectasis Research Registry. Dr. Aksamit has served as medical director of Mayo Clinic Olmsted County Public Health department TB clinic, chair of the State of Minnesota Tuberculous Advisory Committee, and medical director of the Mayo Mycobacterial and Bronchiectasis Clinic. Other interests include work as previous director of the medical intensive care unit, staff consultant in the pulmonary function laboratory as well as medical director of chaplain services.
Brian Billion is a pianist originally from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He began piano lessons at the age of eleven under the tutelage of Julie-Melik Stepanov, with whom he continues to study to this day when home in South Dakota. He has won top prizes at national and international competitions, including 1st prize at the Lancaster International Piano Competition (2015), The 1st Catholic University of America International Piano Competition (2014), The Mu Phi Epsilon Scholarship Competition (2015), the Aberdeen Civic Orchestra Young Artists Concerto Competition (2009), and the 2nd Annual Grant Competition (2012). Mr. Billion has also received awards for his pianism such as the DAR “Nellie Love Butcher Music Scholarship”, the “Luciana Montanari-Mendola Award” from the Italian Cultural Society, and the Mu Phi Epsilon Scholarship for undergraduate performers. Mr. Billion began studying under Dr. Ivo Klatchev (Bulgaria) in 2012 at The Catholic University of America as the recipient of the Archdiocesan Scholarship, a full-tuition scholarship for university based on academic excellence. Upon graduation in 2016 he received a special award from the university for best undergraduate instrumentalist. He has performed at such international venues as the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, Carnegie’s Weill Hall, the Cascais Cultural Center in Lisbon, Portugal, the Teatro Comunale Degli Industri in Grosseto, Italy, Mariahilferkirche in Vienna, Austria, The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, among many others. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras such as the Orquestra de Camara de Cascais e Oeiras, the Aberdeen Symphony, and the Millersville University Orchestra. Mr. Billion is currently is pursuing a Master’s degree in piano performance under Hung-Kuan Chen at the Juilliard School.
Michael J. Brescia, MD
Michael J. Brescia, MD is Executive Medical Director of Calvary Hospital. He received his medical degree from Georgetown University in 1958. He is cofounder and Executive Medical Director of Calvary Hospital, a fully accredited acute care hospital that cares for adult patients who suffer primarily from end stage cancer. He is the co-inventor of the Brescia-Cimino fistula, an internationally renowned methodology for hemodialysis that represents a milestone in the treatment of kidney disease. Dr. Brescia has received many awards acknowledging his professional work.
J. Kevin Croston, MD
J. Kevin Croston, MD, is the chief executive officer (CEO) of North Memorial Health. Dr. Croston has been with the healthcare system since 1993 when he became surgical director of trauma at North Memorial Medical Center which, under Dr. Croston, became a Level I Trauma Center in 1998. He was appointed to the Board of Trustees for the health system in 2007 where he served until becoming the president of physician services and chief medical officer (CMO) in 2010. He is currently a board member for St. Catherine’s University and Maple Grove Hospital, where he is board chairman.
In addition, Dr. Croston served as chairman of the Minnesota State Trauma Advisory Committee from 2005-2010 and was pivotal in developing a formal state-wide trauma system. He has previously served as president of Specialists in General Surgery, Ltd, Minnesota Trauma Consultants, and is currently president of Advanced Surgery Consulting, Ltd.
A board-certified surgeon and fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Croston studied at the University of South Dakota School of Medicine and completed his surgical residency at Hennepin County Medical Center. He continues in his surgical practice at North Memorial Health in collaboration with Specialists in General Surgery, Ltd. and has been named one of the regions’ "Top Doctors" through a survey of doctors and nurses conducted by Minneapolis/St Paul Magazine every year since 2006.
Curt W. Hale, MD
Curt is Quality Director for the Mayo Clinic Health System. He previously served as Operations Manager and Instructor for the Quality Academy in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Quality Advisor and Project Manager in Surgery, and as Senior Principal Health Systems Engineer in numerous areas within Mayo Clinic.
Prior to joining Mayo, Curt was the Quality Manager for Embria Health Sciences as well as a consultant specializing in quality, food safety, food allergens, fumigation, forensics, and entomology.
Curt previously worked for Pearson Education as Director of Process Engineering and Quality and for General Mills in quality, auditing, engineering, manufacturing, supply chain, and management roles.
He has served as a Baldrige National Quality Award Examiner and has successfully led organizations to achieve ISO 9001 and CMM Software Engineering Institute certifications as well as FDA approvals. Curt is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Mayo Clinic Gold Quality Fellow.
Bahram Jam, PT
Dr. Bahram Jam is a Canadian Physiotherapist with 25 years of clinical experience and is the founder / chief instructor at Advanced Physical Therapy Education Institute (www.aptei.ca). He has instructed over one thousand post-graduate orthopaedic and pain science courses and has been a guest presenter at several physiotherapy conferences across Canada and internationally. He has written several controversial, yet evidence-based papers which are all are freely available here
He is the author of the patient education manual The Pain Truth & Nothing But! (English & French), which has sold more than 5000 copies. There are now three short patient education videos that are freely accessible on YouTube based on his book./p>
He is passionate about preventing patients from becoming a VOMIT (Victim of Medical Imaging Technology). His VOMIT posters have helped thousands of patients by reducing fears and anxieties which are often a result of over-medicalization. His VOMIT poster has been translated into six languages and distributed internationally. You may download and print any of the VOMIT posters complimentary.
His primary clinical approach is to identify relevant functional impairments and determine the best self-management strategy to maximize patient independence. His influences include greats such as Robin McKenzie, Brian Mulligan, Peter O’Sullivan, Lorimer Mosely and David Butler.
You may directly contact Bahram Jam at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dennis Manning, MD
Dr. Dennis Manning practices Hospital Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota where he serves as Research Chair and Faculty Development Chair for his Division. He is:
- Associate Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
- Board-certified in Cardiovascular Diseases, and Geriatric Medicine
- Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biomedical Ethics at the Pontifical St. John Paul II Institute, Washington DC
- Mayo Clinic Quality Academy’s 2017 Diamond Lifetime Achievement Awardee for QI leadership
Dr. Manning graduated from College of the Holy Cross and Hahnemann Medical College. He completed Residency in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh, and a Primary Care Fellowship at Mayo Clinic. Before returning to Mayo Clinic in 2001, Dr. Manning was in practice for 16 years at Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh, and twice served as Medical Staff President.
He and his wife, Libby, have been married 19 years and have 8 nieces and 5 nephews.
Heather McGlashan Meyerend, RN, BSN, CHPN
Heather was born in Kingston, Jamaica, where she lived until she was 19 years old. She has been a Registered Nurse since 1980 and a Hospice nurse for over 20 years. She has also worked as an Oncology nurse, a Pediatric Rehab nurse at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, and a Visiting nurse. Heather found her niche as a certified Hospice and Palliative care nurse with MJHS Hospice and Palliative Care in New York. She received her BSN in nursing from Herbert H. Lehman College and is currently a Nurse Team Leader with MJHS. In addition to her degree in Nursing, Heather holds a degree in Cross Cultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. She has always believed that Nursing is a ministry and that Hospice care requires attention to the whole person. Heather was featured in the New Yorker Magazine in an article about Hospice care by Larissa MacFarquhar, "The Threshhold" (July 2016). Her interests include playing and watching tennis, hiking and reading.
Cristina Nagy, RN
My career has evolved over two major periods, having lived and worked in two countries with different approaches and different customs on two very distant continents. My professional training in various schools has stoked my passion for diversity, by questioning the administrative, legal and ethical issues raised by the surgical environment.
After receiving my Certificate in Nursing, I practiced as an Obstetrics-Gynecology registered nurse in a hospital in Romania. There I had fallen in love with the operating room, what would later become my specialty.
In 2005, I moved to Canada where I started a new journey. I started to work for a nursing placement agency, first like nurse’s aide and after licensed practical nurse. In the same time, I had to earn back my registered nurse status. This happened in 2008, when I was given the opportunity to work in the operating room at Jewish General Hospital. But that wasn’t enough for me, so I started a Bachelor of Nursing program that I finished in 2012. And because I can’t stay away from school, last year I started an MBA program.
I don’t know how time passed because I was full time nurse, full time student, full time mom and wife…. on availability.
However, I learned that I have the strength of will and of character to face challenges ahead and overcome them.
Now, as Nursing Coordinator for the Operating Rooms, with over eighteen years’ experience, I can say that I’ve developed skills that promote quality patient-outcomes within a perspective of protection of the public and efficient personnel-management, optimal utilization of resources and operative time, in a financially-responsible manner.
My success would not have been possible without the valued support of the whole OR team. I know that we can achieve anything that we put in our minds because we carry in our hearts a boundless optimism and will to succeed.
Damiano Rondelli, MD
Prof. Damiano Rondelli graduated at the Medical School of the University of Bologna, Italy, where he also completed a fellowship in Hematology. He started his research on hematopoietic stem cell transplant immunology as Research Associate at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. In 1995 he became an Assistant Professor at the University of Bologna and focused his clinical work on blood cancers and transplantation of blood and marrow stem cells. In 2002 he joined the University of Illinois at Chicago as Director of the Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Program and is currently the Michael Reese Professor of Hematology and Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology and Director of BMT. He is the Principal Investigator of clinical studies in stem cell transplantation for adult patients with hematologic malignancies or for sickle cell anemia. His lab research is focused on stem cell transplant immunology and strategies for the induction of immune tolerance.
He authored over 130 articles in peer-reviewed journals, multiple book chapters, and is a member of the Editorial Board of several journals. Is a member of UIC Cancer Center where he serves as Assoc. Director for Clinical Research and of UIC Center of Global Health where he leads the Global Hematology-Oncology Program. His global health interest has focused on supporting the development of Stem Cell Transplant programs at Ramaiah University in Bangalore (India), Civil Service Hospital in Kathmandu (Nepal) and Ibadan University College Hospital (Nigeria), and on collaborating with physicians in other low-middle income countries, such as Cuba and Ukraine.
Rick Sheff, MD
Rick Sheff, MD is a family physician with over thirty years of experience in medicine. Known as a doctor’s doctor, his career has taken him from practicing family medicine to serving as a physician executive, to helping integrate complementary and alternative medicine with conventional medicine.
Dr. Sheff has dedicated his life to healing patients and healing healthcare. He currently serves as chief medical officer for The Greeley Company, a highly respected healthcare solutions company dedicated to helping physicians and hospitals provide outstanding care to the communities they serve.
A prolific author and nationally recognized thought leader. Dr. Sheff has recently turned his cutting edge creative thinking to bridging the gap between science and spirituality. His latest book, Joyfully Shattered: A Physician’s Awakening at the Crossroads of Science and Spirituality, tells the true story of his journey from passionate atheist to tentative seeker, and finally to profound mystic.
Dr. Sheff is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Brown University residency program in family medicine. He was an undergraduate at Cornell University and recipient of the Keasbey Scholarship for the study of politics and philosophy at Oxford University. At the age of 60, Dr. Sheff professed vows as a monk in the Spirit of Peace interfaith monastic community.