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Our Coaches

LeanSTEPPS Patient Safety & Quality Improvement Coaches


Korky von Kessel

Executive Safety Coach, TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer

Korky von Kessel is the Senior Vice President for LifeWings and brings 25 years of experience in aviation leadership and safety processes to his ten years of experience as a TeamSTEPPS™ Master Trainer in healthcare. A dedicated facilitator with a vast amount of experience in teamwork-based patient safety programs, Korky has led CRM/TeamSTEPPS program implementations at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, University of New Mexico Hospitals, Westchester Medical Center, Miami Children’s Hospital, Vassar Brothers, and University of Texas Medical Branch, just to name a few.


A retired Colonel and former Air Force Command Pilot, Mr. von Kessel has logged over 3000 flight hours in fighter aircraft. Mr. von Kessel has flown the F-4, A-7, F-16 and F-15E. Additionally, he was one of the very first pilots to ever fly the top secret F-117 stealth fighter. A Desert Storm veteran with over 300 combat sorties, Mr. von Kessel has commanded at all levels in the United States Air Force. He served as the Director of Operations for NORAD’s Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center and is a founding member of US Northern Command staff. Mr. von Kessel was also a Senior Fellow in the National Defense Fellowship program.


Mr. von Kessel graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. He also has a Masters of Business Administration from Embry Riddle University. Additionally, Mr. von Kessel is a certified Colorado Master Gardener and an award-winning amateur wine maker.


Steve Montague

Executive Safety Coach, TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer

Steve Montague serves as the Executive Vice President for LifeWings and merges over 30 years experience in aviation with 10 years of training experience in healthcare. Captain Montague is an engaging facilitator and TeamSTEPPSTM Master Trainer with deep expertise in the design and implementation of teamwork-based patient safety programs. He has provided program implementation for over 45 institutions including Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Rush University Health Center, Vassar Brothers Medical Center, Ohio State University Medical Center, and UCLA.


Prior to joining LifeWings, Mr. Montague was a Naval Aviator and served as a fighter pilot, flight instructor, course developer, procurement consultant, and Program Model Manager at the U.S. Navy’s Landing Signal Officer School. He has over 15,000 flight hours and more than 350 carrier landings. Mr. Montague currently serves as a Captain and First Officer for a major international airline.  He has an Airline Transport Pilot rating and is qualified in the MD80, B757, B767, DC10, and MD11.


Captain Montague is an internationally sought after keynote speaker whose most recent engagements include the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, the International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare, the Karolinska Institute, and the Western Graduate Education Association.


Mr. Montague graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering, and has earned a Master of Science degree in Human Factors and System Safety.

Pete Caulk

Executive Safety Coach, TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer

Alan Price

Executive Safety Coach, TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer

Pete Caulk has provided TeamSTEPPS and CRM-based training to physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals throughout the United States.  He has had the opportunity to facilitate at health care institutions such as BayCare Health System, The University of California—San Diego, and Mount Carmel Health System, just to name a few.

Mr. Caulk has over 29 years of civilian and military aviation experience, including 18 years in the Navy as a fleet F-14 and instructor pilot. He was selected to be an instructor at the Navy’s elite Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN), and was the top ranked department head while heading the Tactics Development and Evaluation Department. While at TOPGUN, he was a MIG pilot in the Paramount movie. He has over 400 carrier arrested landings, 14,000 flight hours and holds an Airline Transport Pilot rating and Type ratings in the B-737, MD-88, MD-90, B-757, and B-767 aircraft.

Mr. Caulk graduated magna cum laude from the United States Naval Academy, played four years of varsity football and won the Operations Research Society of America award as the Outstanding Graduate in Operations Research.

Alan Price has presented teamwork, communication, and crisis leadership programs for a variety of clients in team-based settings. His coursework and presentations have focused on leadership and human factor skills in a large hospital group in the Northeast, simulation with the College of Thoracic Surgeons, and leadership and change management with several airline clients. He continues to work extensively with many physicians, nurses, and healthcare personnel, at hospitals such as The University of California–Fresno and University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston.

Mr. Price has over thirty-nine years experience in a variety of military and civilian aircraft. He is a U.S. Air Force Command pilot and retired Lt. Colonel, and was a senior captain with his former airline. Additionally, he has a background in aviation human factors, having served as the Human Factors Coordinator of a major US-based airline. He has also written numerous safety articles for several publications focusing on both aviation and patient safety.

Mr. Price holds a Bachelor of Engineering Science from the USAF Academy, a Masters of Decision Science from Georgia State University, and has done post-graduate work in Man-Machine Systems Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Linda Wightman

Executive Safety Coach, TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer

Linda Wightman is the primary TeamSTEPPS program developer for LifeWings, specializing in the customization of the TeamSTEPPS curriculum to different medical specialties. In addition to her extensive courseware development experience, Linda is a Master Trainer and has been the Senior Project Lead for TeamSTEPPS program implementation at many healthcare organizations, including The University of Texas Medical Branch Hospital, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, and Vassar Brothers Medical Center. She also frequently conducts Risk Management seminars for physicians.

Under Linda’s leadership and coaching, her clients have produced successful TeamSTEPPS-driven patient safety transformations in labor & delivery, surgical services, ICUs, emergency departments, and cath labs. Her clients have eliminated sentinel events and avoided patient harm.

Ms. Wightman spent 10 years as an Air Force officer, flew as an E-3 AWACS Senior Weapons Director, was a ground-based weapons director and instructor, and served as Unit Training Officer. Prior to joining the LifeWings team Ms. Wightman worked for a major aviation Crew Resource Management (the pre-cursor to TeamSTEPPS) training company where she both developed and instructed several CRM programs for the U.S. Air Force.

Ms. Wightman is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Sciences, with a concentration in Human Factors Engineering.

Lynda Smirz, MD, MBA

Executive Safety Coach, TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer

Lynda Smirz, MD, MBA is the LifeWings TeamSTEPPS Executive Safety Coach with the most experience leading TeamSTEPPS implementations in large healthcare systems with multiple hospitals. Prior to LifeWings, Dr. Smirz was the corporate Chief Medical Officer and VP of Quality for Universal Health Services with responsibility for 26 acute care facilities across the United States. Her duties included physician engagement and corporate oversight of all quality initiatives for the Fortune 500 company. In this position she led the implementation of the LifeWings patient safety system throughout the company’s acute care division. In 2016, she was named to Becker’s Hospital Review Top 100 CMOs in the country. Previously Dr. Smirz was the CMO and VP of Surgical Services at IU Health North Hospital in Indianapolis, IN.

An OB/Gyn by training, she was in private practice in Indianapolis with Women’s Health Alliance for twenty-five years and the managing partner of that twelve-physician group for eight years. Dr. Smirz has a master’s degree in organic chemistry from Purdue University and worked at Eli Lilly and Company in process research and development before returning to school to earn her medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine. She completed her OB/Gyn residency at Indiana University Medical Center. She completed her MBA at Butler University College of Business Administration with highest honors in 2001.


Physician and Executive Leadership Coaches


Carl Sirio, MD

Physician and Executive Leadership Coach

Dr. Carl Sirio is a Senior Physician Liaison with LifeWings and provides strategic, operational and clinical coaching to our partners. Dr. Siro builds on decades of healthcare leadership experience and a vision for strategically and practically improving clinical care across settings, quality and safety, patient and professional engagement, and professional education–all with demonstrable outcomes.

Previously, Dr. Siro was CMO and COO at University of Toledo Medical Center. His responsibilities at UT included accountability for operations and strategic planning for all clinical services within University of Toledo Medical Center. Budgetary control in excess of $230M. Span of responsibility included inpatient and outpatient clinical operations, medical/faculty staff affairs, nursing, ancillary support services, emergency department, cancer center, operative services; quality, safety and patient experience; clinical health information technology integration; health information management, ICD-10 transition, clinical growth and ongoing transformation in the face of an executed academic affiliation agreement with the Promedica health system; and clinical effectiveness and efficiency for 230+ full time faculty in fully owned faculty practice plan; 1000+ volunteer faculty; over 2600 employees.


Albert Black, Jr.

Physician and Executive Leadership Coach

Al Black, Jr. is a LifeWings senior advisor and executive coach with over 35 years of comprehensive executive experience in Healthcare and Operations Management. In his current role assist our partners with on going decisions regarding service line operations, cost management, and capital needs. Al is a seasoned Philadelphia market operator having managed budgets exceeding 500 million, led staff of professional, clinical and support services. Provided internal and external leadership in management, program planning and development, construction, contract negotiation and oversight,

regulatory and accreditation compliance and financial operations. Prior to joining LifeWings, Al was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Hospital of University of Pennsylvania (HUP). Al was responsible for daily operations for this 720 bed, Academic Medical Center. Al had direct management responsibility for all non-nursing areas of hospital operations. The hospital has an operating budget of 900 million and serves as the flagship hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. Responsibilities included establishing goals and implementing strategies to support corporate strategic initiatives i.e. Streamlining operations and administrative systems, Strengthening technology and information systems, Developing and implementing customer service initiatives, and Implementing programs for workforce re- engineering, The Health System includes the Clinical Practices of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and three hospitals including HUP with a combined budget of nearly 2 billion.


Mark Migliori, MD

Physician and Executive Leadership Coach

Dr. Mark Migliori is a plastic surgeon in private practice who has been intimately involved in all facets of patient safety, culture change, and human performance improvement in the operating rooms at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

Dr. Migliori leads physicians through the change process at a large academic/private hospital, with both employed and independent physicians. Dr. Migliori has progressed through the ranks of OR Committee Chair, Chief of Surgery, Chief of Staff and Chair of Credentials. He currently is the Chair of the Perioperative Safety Committee.


Dr. Migliori was instrumental in the development, deployment, modification and acceptance of the surgical safety checklist and time out and the Universal Protocol that was ultimately adopted throughout the large network of Allina Health Hospitals. Dr. Migliori instituted the Perioperative Safety Steering Committee with participation from surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, CRNA's, and hospital staff.

Dr. Migliori also led the implementation of universal protocol including the introduction of fire safety standards and fire safety checklist for the operating rooms at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.


R. Scott Altman, MD, MPH, MBA

Physician and Executive Leadership Coach

Dr. Altman is a Physician Liaison with LifeWings, providing strategic, operational and clinical coaching to our partners. A forward-thinking international physician executive with extensive management leadership experience in all phases of the healthcare delivery continuum. An effective ambassador who enjoys working with people – demonstrating an unusual ability to distill and integrate multi-cultural and diverse socio-economic environments. toward the future of global healthcare.

Dr. Altman has been an active international medical management consultant and speaker for over twenty-five years (including seven years of intermittent work with Joint Commission International). He has traveled extensively, having visited sixty countries; performing healthcare consulting, teaching, and/or surveying in over twenty.


Dr. Altman spent 27 years as an Emergency Physician at Christ Hospital and Medical Center; a 750 bed, quaternary care teaching hospital serving Chicago’s diverse Southside & suburbs, with a 120,000 visit Emergency Department, Level 1 Trauma, Cardiac, Stroke, and Transplant Centers and the past five years with Midwest Medical Center in Galena, IL.


Dr. Altman was an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore; an Honorary Professor at the University of Costa Rica, Central America; and is current faculty at Northwestern University in Chicago.


Dr. Altman has served as:

  • Consulting (Interim) Medical Director for a 185-bed safety net hospital straddling underserved and rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods in Chicago.

  • Vice-President of 152-member multi-specialty medical group with a ten physician Hospitalist program.

  • Chairman of a 45,000 visit Emergency Department – with four Urgent Care Centers, Occupational Medicine program, Employee Health, and medical transport.

  • CMO, Midwest Medical Center, an 18-bed critical access hospital in rural Galena, IL.


Michael K. Jhin

Physician and Executive Leadership Coach

Michael Jhin, FACHE, is a LifeWings senior advisor and executive coach for leadership teams and physician groups as they navigate the difficult waters of cultural, process, and leadership transformation. Michael has over 30 years of experience leading healthcare systems, and providing leadership to The Joint Commission and State Hospital Associations.

After fourteen successful years with St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System (Houston, Texas), Michael Jhin retired in 2004 as its President & CEO, and was then named as its CEO Emeritus. The system is an enterprise of $1 Billion in annual operations with over 7400 employees and 1500 affiliated physicians. In 2003, Fortune Magazine recognized the health system for the second time as one of the nation’s 100 best companies for which to work - one of only four health organizations so recognized.

At age 33, Mr. Jhin was the youngest CEO ever, of an academic medical center in the United States. An industry leader in advocating fuller community stewardship, Michael believes in mission performance and corporate performance. Hospitals must do well in order to do the most good. He established the first-of-its-kind St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities for the sole purpose of significantly expanding investments in the health of all Houstonians.

Mr. Jhin has returned to his professional roots as an engineer in search of practical approaches to the challenges in healthcare. His consulting efforts include expanding the adoption in healthcare of LifeWings’ Crew Resource Management as well as spearheading the launch of Greater Houston Health Connect [GHHC] to provide an electronic health record [EHR] for every citizen in the Houston region through a health information exchange.


Susan Bennett, MD

Physician and Executive Leadership Coach

Dr. Bennett is a Senior Physician Coach with LifeWings. In her role she helps Physician and Executive leaders navigate today’s challenging landscape toward Triple AIM.

After 22 years of clinical practice in academia (3years) and then community based practice, Dr. Bennett made a hard decision and left to pursue a position more aligned with her longstanding interest in quality of care.

Since the late 1990s Dr. Bennett has been involved with the women and heart disease movement including alignment with George Washington University Hospital to build and run their Women’s Heart Program. Among several innovations in care, they embedded a nutritionist and exercise physiologist in the clinic, which increased patient engagement and more effectively led patients towards prevention.

Dr. Bennett also sat on Medstar’s committee for Innovation in Health Care Delivery, interacting with leaders on patient safety and envisioning better ways to achieve the Triple Aim. With several other key cardiologists, she formed and obtained outside funding and then led a non- profit that helped increase the knowledge of providers on gender difference in heart disease. Dr. Bennett’s team surveyed leading thinkers in the national healthcare arena and convened a conference with an array of care providers to gain a better understanding of needs and solutions to close the gender gap.

Process Improvement Coaches


Tom Johnson

Lean Transformation Coach

Tom Johnson is a results oriented Lean professional with 22 years of Lean implementation experience; his Lean knowledge was derived from working directly with a Toyota Trained Sensei at Mondelez International. Mr. Johnson has assisted clients in both Greenfield start-ups and implementation at existing sites. Tom has extensive experience with labor planning, labor tracking, managing multiple teams and matching staffing to demand in both union and non-union environments. He has assisted

clients with the initial planning of a lean rollout, the development and delivery of training material to employees at all levels, as well as mentoring and working alongside clients to implement lean improvement methods, using all necessary lean tools.

Tom has many client success stories that include knowledge transfer, product or process launch, performance improvement, and positive financial gains. He has hands on experience with all lean tools including: Kaizen, Kaikaku, Quick Change over, Andon signaling, TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) Kanban/JIT, Continuous Flow Value Stream Mapping, Root Cause Problem Solving and Lean Layout.

Kelly Rinehart

Lean Transformation Coach

Kelly specializes in providing customized services for health care providers and organizations, with a focus on clinical risk management, culture training, lean health care coaching, disclosure of adverse event training, root cause analysis, and the evaluation and design of risk management and patient safety programs. She has consistently worked directly with physicians, nurses, administrators and other medical staff, in both the acute care and ambulatory setting, to improve patient safety and increase efficiency. Her work has consisted of comprehensive risk assessments to determine process improvement opportunities, coaching and team building, and developing and implementing safety tools into the workplace.

Kelly created and implements the Lean Transformations program to hospitals and clinics for process improvement, patient safety, efficiency, cost savings and patient and staff satisfaction. As the Quality Project Coordinator for the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, Kelly designed and piloted the Lean Transformation Collaborative for 5 rural and critical access hospitals in Oregon. She is continuing the program with a new cohort of hospitals every year.



Todd Hensley

Lean Transformation Coach

Mr. Todd Hensley brings fourteen years of first hand experience in application and consulting in the adoption, training, and implementation of the Toyota Production System. He supports clients by providing coaching and mentoring in lean principles through training and hands-on assistance during implementation of lean operating systems at their facilities.


During his consulting experiences, Mr. Hensley has proudly served clients in designing, training and implementing high performance operating systems and cultural transformations based on the Toyota Production System. He has managed teams at organizations such as Daimler-Chrysler St. Louis North Carrier Corporation, MainLine Health System, Charleston Area Medical Center, CSM International, Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance, Ford Motor Company, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, Houston Hill Country Medical Center, St. Luke’s Health System, Boise Pinnacle Food and Amazon.

Mr. Hensley has brought proven leadership in the design and implementation of lean to achieve systemic transformation and unprecedented results for all clients.

His deep understanding of the Toyota Production System, and the many phases necessary for sustainable implementation of Lean, were built through his six years experience at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky. His training and experience have allowed him to implement, manage, and transfer knowledge to clients in healthcare environments. Mr. Hensley has led and or been directly involved in transformational applications in the following healthcare service lines: Central Sterile Supply, Operating Room, Core Measures, Emergency Department, Laboratory Services, Ultrasound, MRI, CVOP, Heart and Lung Transplant Clinic, Food Services, Radiology, Angio, CT, Nuclear Medicine, Nuero-Vascular Radiology, Patient Admissions Testing, Preoperative/Recovery, Cath Lab, Transportation and Environmental Services.

Revenue Cycle Coaches


Eric Logue

Revenue Cycle Coach

Mr. Logue specializes in strategic planning, managed care negotiations and process improvement. With over 20 years of experience, Mr. Logue has a proven track record of successfully working within hospitals and, externally, as a strategic/operations consultant for academic medical centers, multi-hospital systems, and payers.

His experience includes using and developing models and presentations for market assessment, process redesign, managed care negotiations and payment redesign, i.e. ACO’s. Consistent success negotiating managed care contracts in multiple states in a fee-for service environment as well as a value-based environment. Before returning to consulting, Mr. Logue led managed care negotiations and operations for a large not-for-profit system across a four-state region.


Michael Hickey

Revenue Cycle Coach

Michael is a LifeWings Senior Advisor and Strategic coach with over 15 years’ experience and extensive background specializing in strategy, operations and analytics. His work as both a consultant and within health systems has provided him with the ability to stimulate and guide client’s thinking when addressing the challenges organizations are faced with in today’s transforming healthcare environment. Michael is both self- motivated and a team player with a unique ability to bring together varying organizational stakeholders towards a collective

strategic vision. He has successfully assisted a variety of organizations to prepare to execute as they transition from traditional fee-for-service operations to the new value-based model of care delivery. Michael has led successful Clinical Integration, Care Delivery, Payer Negotiations and Revenue Cycle projects over his career including developing the reporting capabilities for a multi-system CIN. Michael also has extensive experience with initiatives to manage value / risk-based contract performance for Medicare and Commercial lives.

Key project experience: Revenue Cycle/Analytics

  • ​Developed complete analytics/reporting team for 10 hospital revenue cycle with over $3 billion in revenue and $450 million in A/R.

  • Responsible for operational improvements resulting in a decrease of 10 days A/R and an increase in $5M in monthly cash collections.

  • Built detailed cash projection model, utilizing historical trends and recent revenue generation, resulting in projection accuracy within a 2%.


Key project experience: Clinical Integration, Care Delivery, Payer Negotiations

  • ​​Led the assessment of a leading health system’s CIN with ~500k in managed lives, including identifying opportunity for both cost reductions and revenue enhancements.

  • Led the development of a preferred SNF network for a successful Medicare Pioneer ACO.

  • Managed the successful performance and provider operations of a Medicare Advantage plan with over 20,000 lives in shared savings / risk arrangement over the course of 2+ years.

Chief Data Scientist


Tony Gross

Chief Data Scientist

Anthony has engaged with organizations across 50-100 hospitals and thousands of employed physicians to formulate managed care contract negotiation strategies, identify quality improvement/cost reduction opportunities, and design and implement value-based programs.

Before LifeWings, Anthony worked at Catholic Healthcare Initiatives where he designed the tools and process to perform and manage negotiations across $14B in managed care contracts. These tools allowed CHI to negotiate hundreds of millions of dollars in increases

each year, audit payments, and track the drivers of revenue across volume, case mix, contract increases, and revenue cycle.

Anthony has significant experience in value-based programs. He has identified opportunities for dozens of organizations across the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) and Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI). He developed an Affordable Care Organization through a joint venture between a hospital system and an independent physician organization leading to the improved care of 25,000 Medicare patients.

Clinical Advisory Board


Drew Gaffney, MD

Dr. Gaffney, a former astronaut, has been instrumental in helping many LifeWings clients improve patient safety with his insight into current medical research and the effective use of team training in high-stress settings. 


Jeffrey Katzman, MD

Dr Katzman supports LifeWings engagements in the behavioral health space. Since 2007 Dr Katzman Vice-Chair for Education and Academic Affairs, Department of Psychiatry, University of New Mexico School of Medicine. In 2012, Dr Katzman received the Victor Teichner Award for UNM Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Program, from the American Association of Directors of Residency Training.

Previously, Dr Katzman was the Director, Behavioral Health Care Line, New Mexico VA Health Care System.



  • Psychiatric consultation and ongoing treatment, University Psychiatric Consultants, particularly for faculty and family of faculty members, trainees, and hospital/SOM employees

  • Specialized consultation service in Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy for community

  • Attending faculty, START clinic

  • Attending supervision in PES during select evenings



  • Psychiatric consultant to Santa Fe VA clinic

  • Outpatient psychiatric consultation to VA medical clinics

  • Long term and short term psychodynamic psychotherapy for veterans

  • Psychodynamic psychotherapy groups for veterans with post- traumatic stress disorder

  • Pharmacotherapy for veterans with refractory depression and anxiety disorders

  • Consultation with suicidal veterans


Andrew Grose, MD

Andrew Grose, MD is Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at New York Medical College, specializing in Orthopaedic Trauma and Adult Reconstruction. He received fellowship training in both those areas at Hospital for Special Surgery after completing his residency at New York Medical College. Dr. Grose has practiced in Orthopaedic Trauma at SUNY Upstate in Syracuse (2006-8) and Westchester Medical Center since 2008.

Dr Grose has published clinical or biomechanical research in every major orthopaedic journal. He has extensive experience in performing arts and arts education, having previously worked

professionally and as assistant professor within Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. He was named a VPA Scholar in 1999 and was invited give the Convocation Address to the College that year.

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