CSAC Bios 


Consensus Standards Approval Committee Bios

Roster and Bios (PDF)


Linda Schwimmer, JD (Chair), is the President and CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute. Ms. Schwimmer is also a member of the board of the Leapfrog Group, a national hospital safety advocacy group that issues the Hospital Safety Score. Prior to joining the Quality Institute, Ms. Schwimmer was Director of Strategic Relations & External Affairs at Horizon Healthcare Innovations, a subsidiary of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. There, Schwimmer was on the leadership team that brought Accountable Care Organizations and the largest Patient Centered Medical Home program to New Jersey. Ms. Schwimmer also served in State Government as Director of Legislation and Policy for the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, where she represented the Department’s position before the State Legislature and worked with State and federal officials on priority legislative initiatives impacting the Insurance, Banking and Real Estate industries. Ms. Schwimmer’s experience in State government also includes policy and counsel positions with the Senate Majority Office, where she staffed the Judiciary and Commerce Committees. Schwimmer also has experience in the federal government, having clerked for a U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge and worked as an attorney at the U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. For over a decade, she was a lawyer in private practice, specializing in bankruptcy and commercial law. She serves on the New Jersey Department of Health, Quality Improvement Advisory Committee and on the Princeton Board of Health. Ms. Schwimmer received a B.A. with honors from the University of California, Berkeley and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.


Thomas Kottke, MD, MSPH (Vice-Chair) Medical Director for Population Health at HealthPartners, is also a clinical cardiologist in HealthPartners Medical Group, and a researcher at the HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research. He holds an MD degree from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine. Dr. Kottke also has an MSPH in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill where he was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar. He is board certified in internal medicine and the treatment of cardiovascular diseases and holds the academic rank of Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota.


John B. Bulger, is the chief medical officer of Geisinger Health Plan located in Danville, Pennsylvania. He has been with the Geisinger Health System since completing his internal medicine residency at PCOM in 1998. He has led clinical, operational and education programs at Geisinger. These include director of hospital medicine, program director of the osteopathic internal medicine residency, associate chief academic officer and chief quality officer. Dr. Bulger is a recognized leader in quality and patient safety and serves on regional and national groups aimed at improving the quality of medical care.


William Conway, MD, implemented consistent processes that improved outcomes in critical care and post-operative settings and reduced hospital acquired infections in the hospitals of the Henry Ford Health System. He is leading an initiative to eliminate harm in the continuum of services. He received the 2006 Michigan Health and Hospital Association (MHA) Keystone Center Safety and Quality Leadership Award. He is a former president of the American Medical Group Association and the chair of its Foundation. Dr. Conway is the co-founder of the Group Practice Improvement Network and a board member of the MHA Patient Safety.


Melissa Danforth, is the Vice President of Hospital Ratings at The Leapfrog Group, a Washington, DC based, not-for-profit organization representing the nation’s largest employers and purchasers of health benefits working to make great leaps forward in the safety, quality, and value of healthcare.

At Leapfrog, Ms. Danforth serves as member of Leapfrog’s senior leadership team informing Leapfrog’s strategic direction, engaging experts and stakeholders, and analyzing program results to engage purchasers and consumers and drive safety and quality improvements. Ms. Danforth manages Leapfrog’s various measurement and public reporting activities including the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, the Hospital Safety Score, and emerging ratings programs.


Lisa Freeman, is the Executive Director of the Connecticut Center for Patient Safety, where she represents the patient voice, ensuring that the patient perspective is part of all health care conversations in her work with all stakeholders to improve the safety and quality of healthcare. She is an active member in a number of organizations including NQF, the Connecticut Board of Nursing, the New England QIN-QIO Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) and several other PFACs, as well as belonging to a number of state and national patient advocacy organizations. She contributes to work on advanced illness care and shared decision making, and is particularly interested in patient and provider education, patient engagement and person-centered care. Her work focuses on raising current awareness about patient safety issues, patient engagement and the need for transparency.


Paul Kallaur, is Vice President for Surveys and Research at the nonprofit Center for the Study of Services (dba Consumers' CHECKBOOK) where his responsibilities include the analysis and report generation of measures we publicly report on risk-adjusted hospital death rates, patient experience survey measures, analysis of results of physician peer surveys, patient experience at the individual doctor level, etc. He was formerly a consultant with Peat Marwick, LLP. He has a broad perspective on health policy and has a BA in mathematics economics from the Univ. of Michigan and an MA in economics from Univ. of Toronto.


Kevin Kavanagh, MD, MS, FACS, is currently Board Chairman of Health Watch USASM, a Kentucky based patient advocacy and research organization. Health Watch USASM is a member of the National Quality Forum and has been designated as a “Community Leader” for Value-Driven Healthcare by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Kavanagh is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Patient Safety. On Aug. 20, 2014 Dr. Kavanagh became a CDC & ATSDR Honor Award Nominee. He has served on the 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018 Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services’ Hospital-Acquired Condition (HAC) Reduction Program Technical Expert Panel (TEP) along with the AHRQ Standing Working Group for Quality Indicators for 2016 to 2017. He also service on the AHRQ for Health Care Effectiveness and Outcomes Research (HEOR) Study Section. He has published over 20 peer reviewed manuscripts on healthcare policy and/or healthcare associated infections. In addition, he has published letters in peer reviewed journals including the Journal of the American Medical Association and New England of Medicine. Dr. Kavanagh is also a frequent contributor to the Lexington Herald Leader on Healthcare Issues and was a monthly guest on the Jack Pattie Radio Show on health policy issues for almost 6 years.


Barbara Levy, MD, Vice President, Health Policy, has over 25 years of experience with direct surgical and primary care, research, and training. She oversees ACOG’s Office of Global Women’s Health programs, the Voluntary Review of Quality of Care, Safety Certification for Outpatient Practice Excellence for Women’s Health, American Indian/Alaska Native Health Program, Health Economics, Strategic Health Care Initiatives department programs for Maternal Mortality and Fetal & Infant Mortality. Prior to ACOG, Dr. Levy was in private practice and medical director of Women’s Health and Breast Center and Women’s and Children’s Services for the Franciscan Health System in Tacoma, WA.


Amy Moyer, MS, PMP, joined The Alliance in 2011 as manager of value measurement. She manages and executes performance measurement and reporting strategies. Ms. Moyer played a critical role in developing the QualityPath® initiative. She also participates in state and federal measurement initiatives. Previous work includes serving as project manager for NCQA accreditation efforts at a regional HMO. Her resume also includes work at an academic medical center where she served as a clinical content facilitator. Amy received her MS in project management from University of Wisconsin-Platteville and her BA in music, neuroscience and biomedical ethics from Lawrence University.


Shelley Fuld Nasso, MPP, has served as CEO of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship since 2013. She is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s National Council of Research Advisors, the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Cancer Survivorship Committee, and the National Quality Forum’s Measures Application Partnership. Prior to joining NCCS, Shelley served in leadership roles at Susan G. Komen, where she leveraged Komen’s grassroots network to strengthen the organization’s reputation and visibility in Washington, D.C., and in state capitals. She graduated from Rice University and earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School.


Leslie Schultz, RN, BSN, PhD, is the Director of clinical quality and patient safety with Premier’s Safety Institute®. Dr. Schultz is a nationally recognized expert in documenting and sharing reliable, evidence-based best practices among hospitals in the areas of clinical quality, mortality reduction, harm avoidance and patient safety. Schultz holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Alfred University, a Master of Science in Nursing Administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and was granted her Ph.D. in Hospital and Health Administration from The University of Iowa College of Medicine. She is board certified in healthcare quality (CPHQ) and as a Nurse-Executive, Advanced (NEA-BC) and currently serves on the National Quality Forum’s (NQF) Patient Safety Measures Standing Committee.


Dr. Edward Septimus received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and his postgraduate training in internal medicine and infectious diseases at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Dr. Septimus is board certified in both internal medicine and infectious diseases. His current position is VP for Research and Infectious Diseases Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). He was the first recipient of the IDSA Annual Clinician Award. Co-chairs of the NQF Patient Safety Committee and on the NQF Leadership Consortium. He holds a faculty position as Clinical Professor at Texas A&M. He has published over 100 articles and chapters.


Jeffrey Susman, MD, is on sabbatical from the Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Medicine, where he served as Dean and Vice President from 2010 through 2017. Dr. Susman graduated from Dartmouth, served in Nebraska as Associate Dean for Primary Care and was Chair, Department of Family Medicine, University of Cincinnati. He was on the steering committee of the Cincinnati RWJ Aligning Forces for Quality and Akron Community Health Initiatives. Dr. Susman has had funding from NIMH and AHRQ investigating primary care mental health issues. He has served as Chair of the AAFP Commission on Quality and Practice. He currently serves on the NQF Standing Committees on Pediatrics (Co-chair) and Behavioral Health and CMS Technical Expert Panel for Pain Management.


Lina Walker, PhD, is Vice President of Health Security in AARP’s Public Policy Institute. She leads the Institute’s health research to improve care and choices for consumers. She has spent nearly 20 years working on health and aging issues, most recently evaluating the impact of Medicare reform and cost containment initiatives on consumers. Dr. Walker’s experience spans both federal and state issues, having previously worked at the Congressional Budget office and the policy office of the Maryland General Assembly. She is a member of NQF’s Cost and Resource Use standing committee. She has an economics PhD from the University of Michigan.