Barbara Fain was appointed executive director of the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety in December 2013. Barbara’s career has been devoted to health policy development and analysis, public engagement, and strategic planning for government agencies, academic institutions, policy think tanks, and healthcare organizations. Her work for the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies focused on developing standards for allocating scarce medical resources in disasters.
Before then, Barbara was executive director of a health policy research center at Harvard Law School. For over a decade she served as an assistant attorney general in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office where she spearheaded the state’s Community Benefit Guidelines for hospitals and health plans. Since 2010, Barbara has taught public health law at the Tufts University School of Medicine.
Barbara received her Bachelor of Arts from Brown University, Juris Doctor from UC Berkeley, and Master of Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School.
M.E. Malone joined the Betsy Lehman Center in 2014. She works with state agencies, the provider community, consumers and other stakeholders to research and develop policy approaches to ensuring that patients in Massachusetts receive high-quality, safe care in all settings. Together with the executive director, she sets strategic goals and priorities to advance the Center’s vital public health mission.
Prior to joining the Betsy Lehman Center, she spent 25 years as a news journalist, including more than 10 as a staff reporter and assistant editor at the Boston Globe. She was a researcher for the newspaper’s investigative unit, the Spotlight Team, and a daily beat reporter covering government affairs at Boston City Hall and the Massachusetts State House.
In 2014, M.E. earned a master’s degree in public health from Tufts University's School of Medicine and a master's in science from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts. She also holds a B.A. in English from Boston College.
Samantha joined the Betsy Lehman Center in 2018, and provides administrative and professional support to the senior management team. She is responsible for office efficiency and serves as key liaison to the Center for Health Information and Analysis. Samantha also serves as the primary customer representative for the Betsy Lehman Center, and is the person you’ll most often speak with when you first contact the Center.
Prior to working at the Center, Samantha worked in higher education and fundraising, having served as a project manager at Emmanuel College and Mission Grammar School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Master of Science in Management from Emmanuel College. Outside of work, Samantha has dedicated herself to working with local community organizations, including mentoring through Partners for Youth with Disabilities and serving as a volunteer instructor at a correctional facility.
Editor, Patient Safety Beat
Susan has worked as a writer and editor in health care for the past 20 years and concentrated on patient safety and quality improvement since 2004. Having worked with a wide range of professionals, advocates, and engaged consumers across the United States and overseas, Susan is delighted to join the Betsy Lehman Center and focus on Massachusetts, where she has lived for most of her adult life.
Achieving meaningful safety and quality improvement requires individuals and organizations with different kinds of expertise to work together, which is what Susan loves about this work. As founding editor of Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare, Susan had an unusual opportunity to solicit guidance, writing and feedback from experts across many domains of healthcare. In addition to her work for the Betsy Lehman Center, Susan currently works with the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, the Engaging Patients blog and an association of radiology educators.
Director of Policy
Lisa Conley joined the Betsy Lehman Center in March 2018 as the director of policy. With over 10 years of experience in government affairs and health care policy, Lisa’s work at the Center focuses on engaging with stakeholders to identify policy solutions to improve patient safety in the Commonwealth and supporting the Center’s legislative and budget priorities.
Most recently, Lisa worked in government affairs for a large health information technology company, focusing on issues related to value-based payment, state Medicaid policy, and interoperability of health IT systems. In this role, she monitored legislative and regulatory activity across the 50 states and advocated for policies that seek to move the health care payment system from volume to value.
Prior to that, Lisa was the director of intergovernmental affairs and policy development for the Boston Public Health Commission for seven years, where she led cross-agency initiatives, regulatory development activities, and legislative advocacy. At BPHC, she steered policy initiatives for tobacco control, obesity prevention, and addressing the social determinants of health. She also led the city’s Health in All Policies work, which culminated in a health impact assessment of the city’s Living Wage Ordinance. Before joining the city of Boston, Lisa was counsel for the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture and the House Committee on Climate Change, where she worked on legislation to address climate change, clean energy siting, and oceanfront development.
Lisa holds a Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law, a Master of Public Health from Tufts University School of Medicine and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
For over five years, Jackie has worked in the field of community health addressing social determinants of health, specifically in the area of chronic disease prevention.
Before coming to the Betsy Lehman Center, Jackie worked as a public health prevention specialist at the Worcester Division of Public Health and the Central Massachusetts Public Health Alliance (WDPH/CMRPHA). While in this position, she managed community health grants aimed at addressing chronic diseases by increasing access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity. Jackie coordinated projects and initiatives focused on policy, systems and environmental change as a way to increase healthy eating and active living in the city of Worcester and six surrounding towns.
Prior to working with WDPH, Jackie was with the Cambridge Health Alliance, where she worked as part of a research team on a prostate cancer disparities project. While also at CHA, she was involved in community health promotion and outreach.
Jackie holds a Master in Public Health from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Director of Peer Support Programs
Linda is the Director of Peer Support Programs at the Betsy Lehman Center. As a result of a personal experience with a near fatal medical event 17 years ago, Linda identified the need for support services in cases of adverse medical events and outlined an agenda for change. Since that time, she has been encouraging organizations to tackle the challenges that impair effective communication, apology, and support programs for patients, families, and clinicians following medical errors and unanticipated outcomes. Linda serves on the board of the Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors and Collaborative for Accountability and Improvement. She is also a member of Board of Advisors of Mass. Alliance for Communication and Resolution following Medical Errors and Accreditation Council for the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.Email
Communications and Content Manager
Kim joins the Betsy Lehman Center as communications and content manager after a decade of experience and graduate studies in corporate business and finance. After overcoming her own life-changing medical events, she has emerged a passionate survivor and advocate, consequently redirecting her career aspirations toward the field of public health. She considers this transformative chapter a “spiritual awakening” and not an “existential crisis.” Kim’s health activism work comprises writing features, blogging, serving as board member, organizing support events and public speaking, including a TEDx talk.
Kim studied economics and political science at Tufts University and business administration and finance at Northeastern University, with plans to pursue graduate studies in public health and policy.
Director of Research and Analysis
Julia leads the research portfolio at the Betsy Lehman Center. Projects focus on measuring the prevalence of adverse events, understanding the public perception regarding the long-term impacts of medical error and the health system response, and evaluating the effectiveness of key quality improvement initiatives.
Her previous work in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) focused on advancing the ability of healthcare systems to enact evidence based policy and clinical practice. She was the first to find a consistent relationship between longer appointment wait times for VA healthcare services and poorer patient-level satisfaction and health outcomes. In 2013, this work provided the evidence base for a change in access metrics used by the VA and helped to address the access crisis in 2014. Julia’s other research has focused on using quasi-experimental analyses of retrospective observational data to identify causal relationships between treatment and outcomes in chronic diseases, such as diabetes and atrial fibrillation.
Julia received her Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health from UCLA, where she also earned her Master of Science in Public Health. As an undergraduate, she studied biology and sociology at Grinnell College.
Elizabeth is a communications professional with more than 15 years of experience in marketing, public relations and journalism. Most recently, she was a senior writer for Ambassador Swanee Hunt, creating global awareness for the research and ideas generated by the ambassador and her team of social change innovators. At Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, she led the writing and development of healthcare social marketing campaigns for the US Department of Health and Human Services and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She also served as a presidential speechwriter for President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush and reported for the National News Desk at USA TODAY. She is a graduate of Drexel University and The American University.Email
Communications and Outreach Manager
Michelle joined the Betsy Lehman Center in March 2019. In her role as communications and outreach manager, she works to promote conversations about how to improve patient safety in Massachusetts, through partnerships with health care providers, legislators, advocates and others.
Before working in patient safety, Michelle was a communications associate at Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH), a nonprofit affordable housing developer that builds and rehabilitates homes for moderate- and low-income people. She also worked as a web content specialist at the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, where she helped design, build and manage websites for the Office of Student Financial Assistance and the MassTransfer program.
Michelle has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.