Our OB Safety and Risk Management Team
The OB Consult safety and risk management team is comprised of clinical, risk management, legal and organizational experts in the field of obstetrics from both hospital and practice group settings.
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Richard N. Waldman, M.D. »
Dr. Richard N. Waldman, a Diplomat of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, is the past president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a premiere private, not-for-profit organization of 56,000 members dedicated to the advancement of women’s health care through continuing medical education, practice and research.
Dr. Waldman is the President Elect of the Medical Staff at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center in Syracuse, NY, and a member of the Board of Trustees. He previously served as the hospital’s Chairman for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Medical Director of Performance Improvement.
He has been practicing OB-GYN care in the Syracuse area since 1976, and is President of Associates for Women’s Medicine, a nine physician obstetric and gynecological specialty practice.
Dr. Waldman has advocated for improvements in the health and welfare of women throughout his career. Among other things, he established the first hospital-based midwifery practice in central New York. He carried through his passion in this area as president of ACOG from 2010-2011, and as Chairman of the Council of District Chairs of ACOG in Washington, D.C. He was President of the Central New York Obstetrics and Gynecology Society and was a member of the board of the National Perinatal Association.
He has lectured extensively on pregnancy and childbirth across the United States and has also lectured internationally. Most recently he spearheaded a team of obstetrical safety educators in Russia and in 2011 he received an Emeritus Professorship at the Kulakoff Center for Perinatal Research in Moscow.
He has published several articles in peer review journals and recently co-edited an issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America dedicated to collaborative practice.
He has received numerous honors, including a U.S. Air Force Commendation Medal, an ACOG District Service Award, an ACOG Section Service Award and an award for community service from the Onondaga Medical Society.
Dr. Waldman received his medical degree from the New Jersey College of Medicine (1972). He completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, NY.
Paul A. Gluck, M.D. »
Dr. Paul A. Gluck is a nationally recognized patient safety expert. His passion in this area is evident from his significant leadership roles and work to advance patient safety nationally. He is a Founding Member of the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF), whose mission is to improve the safety of care provided to patients through a central voice that includes all stakeholders. He was NPSF's Chairman of the Board of Directors (2005-2008) after serving as a member of its Board of Directors for 13 years. The Board is responsible for operational oversight, organizational efficiency and financial health, and policy and strategic direction of the organization. He was a founding member of the Lucian Leape Institute at NPSF, a think tank of luminaries in the field to significantly advance patient safety. He is currently a member of its Nominating Committee and Board of Governors.
Dr. Gluck is a Fellow of the American College (Congress) of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and has been named the first Chair of ACOG's new Council for Patient Safety in Women's Healthcare. This new council will work with leading industry organizations to advance the efforts of ACOG to enhance patient safety. In addition, Dr. Gluck is a past Assistant Secretary and Member of Executive Board (2008-2009). His involvement in ACOG has spanned more than 30 years and includes additional leadership roles, as well as membership in various committees including:
- Chair of Patient Safety Sub-Committee; Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Committee; Credentials Committtee; President's Task Force on Safety in Resident Education; Professional Liability Committee - Florida Section; and Director of Voluntary Review for Quality of Care.
- Served on District IV Professional Liability Committee; District IV Advisory Council; National Nominating Committee; Presidential Task Force - Patient Safety in the Ambulatory Setting; Making Obstetrical & Maternity Care Safer (MOMS); and the Quality Assurance Committee.
He is a member of the ACOG Florida Section Advisory Council, the Grievance Committee and the District XII Ad Hoc Advisory Committee.
In addition, Dr. Gluck has been involved in nationally significant patient safety initiatives and organizations, including:
- Past member of National Quality Forum's (NQF) Expert Panel developing a standardized taxonomy for medical error reporting in support of Patient Safety Organizations; Premier National Perinatal Safety Initiative Advisory Committee; and Florida International University, Department of Health Policy and Management Advisory Committee, Stempel School of Public Health
- Past member of Florida Medical Association's Patient Safety Committee
- Past consultant to RAND's Department of Defense Patient Safety Teamwork Advisory Panel; U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality grant committees to evaluate patient safety implementation simulation research proposals
- Chair of many regional and state organizations, including the Dade County Medical Association; William A. Little OB-Gyn Society, Florida Section of ACOG; Baptist Health Foundation and Health Council of South Florida.
Dr. Gluck has received many awards for his work in health care, including ACOG President's Community Service Award; Humanitarian of the Year Award from the South Florida Prenatal Network; Distinguished Service Award from the Florida Obstetric and Gynecologic Society; Communicator of the Year Award from the Florida Medical Association; and 2008 Best Doctors in America, National Award.
During Dr. Gluck's active clinical career spanning over 30 years, he held many leadership positions in the Baptist Health System. He is currently an honorary board member of the Baptist Health System of South Florida Foundation. He has presented over 200 lectures including invited presentations in China, Australia, France and Saudi Arabia; written five textbook chapters; produced two video education programs; and published numerous articles primarily in the field of patient safety.
Dr. Gluck holds an M.D. from the New York University School of Medicine and a B.S. in Life Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He completed a rotating internship and residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and a Patient Safety Fellowship in the Department of Anesthesia at the University of Miami Affiliated Hospitals, Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Lisa Eng, D.O. »
Dr. Lisa Eng provides OB-Gyn-specific risk management services. She served as the Residency Educational Coordinator for the OB-GYN residency program at the Lutheran Medical Center for over 10 years and also has been adjunct professor for NYCOM, CUNY/LaGuardia Community College Paramedics Program and Autonomous University of Guadalajara, teaching obstetrics and gynecology. She has helped to develop cultural competency curriculum lectures for ACOG District II and the Medical Society of the State of New York’s (MSSNY) Committee to Eliminate Healthcare Disparities.
Dr. Eng is President of the Medical Society of Kings County and Bay Ridge Medical Society, serves on the Board of NYS Osteopathic Medical Society, is past President of the Association of Chinese American Physicians and past Vice President of the Medical and Dental Staff Medical Executive Committee of the Lutheran Medical Center. She also is past President of the Chinese Community Accountable Care Organization (CCACO). She is a member of the Medical Club of Brooklyn, the Chinese American Medical Society (CAMS) and the Committee to Eliminate Healthcare Disparities of the MSSNY. She is on the Multicultural Advisory Board of Novo Nordisk.
Dr. Eng holds a D.O. from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and a B.A. in Psychology from Queens College, City University of New York. She completed a rotating osteopathic internship and residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY.
David Acker, M.D. »
David Acker, M.D. is an obstetrician with over 35 years of valuable clinical and quality assurance experience. He specializes in obstetrics and gynecology, including high-risk maternal-fetal medicine. His clinical interests include high-risk pregnancies, multiple births and previous reproductive loss.
Dr. Acker is the immediate past Chief of Obstetrics at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, having held that position for 18 years. Prior to that, he was Chair of Ob-Gyn at Boston University School of Medicine. He is currently the Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston where he has been instrumental in the quality assurance initiatives of the Harvard Risk Foundation.
Dr. Acker is a Reviewer for Obstetrics and Gynecology, The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation. He serves on the Advisory Committee of the Massachusetts Section of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He is a member of The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, New England Prenatal Society and Massachusetts Department of Public Health (Maternal Mortality Committee). In addition, Dr. Acker has written nearly 50 reports and published numerous books and chapters on obstetrical and gynecological issues.
Dr. Acker received an M.D. from the New York University School of Medicine and completed residencies in obstetrics and gynecology at Albert Einstein Affiliated Hospitals in Bronx, New York and Vanderbilt University Affiliated Hospitals in Nashville, Tennessee.
James W. Saxton, Esq. »
James W. Saxton, Chair of the Health Care Litigation and Risk Management Group and Co-Chair of the Health Care Department, has sustained an active litigation practice for nearly 30 years. He regularly represents hospitals, physicians and other health care professionals before state and federal courts in complex litigation matters. He also counsels clients, including obstetrical health care professionals, across the nation on safety and quality initiatives and health care captive insurance issues.
Using his extensive experience as a litigator, Mr. Saxton:
- Advises obstetricians and other health care providers both nationally and internationally on safety, quality and professional liability issues, along with a team of Ph.D.s, physicians and risk managers
- Functions as lead trial counsel and supervises trial counsel in professional liability lawsuits nationally
- Creates innovative obstetrical risk reduction tools, including quality dashboards
- Helps create entire loss control programs for captive insurers, many national in scope
- Provided the vision of an OB safety insurance company and executed on its creation, along with the creation of an OB-specific safety and risk management consulting business (OB Protect™ and OB Consult)
A prolific writer on the subject of reducing medical liability risks, Mr. Saxton has published more than 200 articles, seven textbooks and several handbooks. His recent published works include:
- The Satisfied Patient, Second Edition: A Guide to Preventing Malpractice Claims by Providing Excellent Customer Service
- Five-Star Customer Service: A Step-by-Step Guide for Physician Practices
- Fifteen Policies and Procedures to Reduce Liability for Physician Practices
- Sorry Works! Disclosure, Apology and Relationships Prevent Medical Malpractice Claims
- “Healthcare Reform, Mid-Level Providers, and Liability Risk” (co-author)
- “Expectation Management - Versus Event Management: Parts One, Two & Three” (co-author)
- “Maximum Success in Safety, Quality and Liability Exposure” (co-author)
Mr. Saxton presents frequently to nationally prominent health care organizations on industry issues such as liability reduction and risk management and has been presenting risk management programs to obstetrical health care providers for more than 20 years. He recently presented “Taking Obstetrical Patient Safety to the Next Level” at the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management.
Mr. Saxton is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, reserved for less than one-half of 1% of the lawyers in the country, a Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, past board member of the Surgical Review Corporation and a board director of Surgical Excellence, LLC. He is the past chair of the American Health Lawyers Association’s Healthcare Liability and Litigation Practice Group and a member of numerous other professional associations. In addition, Mr. Saxton was recently named to the American Health Lawyers Association's Accountable Care Organization Task Force. As published in Philadelphia magazine, Mr. Saxton was recognized as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer in 2012 by being selected by his peers as among the top 5 percent of lawyers in the Commonwealth.
Mr. Saxton received a J.D. from Duquesne University and a B.A. from Shippensburg State University.
Maggie M. Finkelstein, Esq. »
Maggie M. Finkelstein concentrates her practice in health law with a focus on loss control and event management for physicians, hospitals and staff. She has developed risk reduction opportunities in the health care industry and has evaluated various specialty-specific liability risk issues including the risks associated with obstetrics, gastroenterology and bariatric surgery.
Ms. Finkelstein is the co-author of a study that analyzed 50 obstetrical claims. She creates OB-specific risk reduction tools, including quality dashboards specifically designed for obstetrics. In addition, she provides support to an OB-specific safety and risk management consulting business.
In addition to her loss control and event management work, Ms. Finkelstein works with captive professional liability insurers in controlling risk. She also has been involved in the creation of new insurance vehicles and companies geared to liability risk reduction. Within those insurance vehicles, Ms. Finkelstein works closely with RRG boards and their committees to provide advice and management of their vision, including physician relationships with the RRGs/captives. She provides claims oversight of a national and regional defense panel in collaboration with James W. Saxton, Esq., Chair of Stevens & Lee’s Health Care Litigation Group and Co-Chair of the Health Care Department. She also provides support to the captive reserving philosophies and practices and evaluation of set reserves. Additional work with those captives also includes oversight and implementation of loss control programs and education. She is a member of the Stevens & Lee Litigation Group, litigating in both federal and state courts, defending physicians, hospitals and long-term care communities.
Ms. Finkelstein is a member of the American Health Lawyers Association and regularly publishes on loss control and risk management topics, including disclosure after an adverse event, liability risk reduction, patient accountability and patient satisfaction. Publications have included articles, books, handbooks and book chapters.
Prior to joining Stevens & Lee, Ms. Finkelstein was a law clerk for the Honorable William W. Caldwell, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and worked as a chemistry technician and microbiologist at Johnston Laboratories. She is also a registered patent attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Ms. Finkelstein graduated summa cum laude from Widener University School of Law and received a B.S. in Biology from The Pennsylvania State University.
Stephanie C. Sher, Esq. »
Stephanie C. Sher has more than 25 years of multi-faceted legal experience in the health care industry, including five years as Corporate Counsel and Vice President for Legal Affairs for the American College of Physicians and 13 years as Senior Counsel of a major Pennsylvania academic health system, where she directed the professional and general liability captive insurance program and risk reduction activities.
Ms. Sher also led a successful effort to obtain U.S. certification as a Patient Safety Organization for the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, the nation’s only non-profit organization devoted to medication error prevention and safe medication use. She focuses her current legal practice on advising hospitals, doctors and other health care practitioners on patient safety and risk management, bioethics, corporate governance and medical staff issues.
Ms. Sher is also an active educator, developing and teaching programs on topics such as health care reform, quality and safety implications, liability reduction and risk avoidance strategies, disclosure of medical errors and effective communication skills to national audiences of health care administrators, board members and providers at all levels of training.
Ms. Sher holds a J.D. from Villanova University School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Elizabeth J. Pearsall, RN »
Elizabeth J. Pearsall is a risk advisor with more than 40 years of clinical, management and risk management experience. She has directed the education of nursing staff, completed risk assessments and provided technical and documentation support in litigious situations.
Ms. Pearsall conducts OB-specific risk assessments of national hospitals and physician practices and provides on-going support to them. She has performed over 150 practice assessments. Ms. Pearsall handles OB-specific event management issues and was a leader in the creation of a collaborative OB-specific event management program. In addition, she creates OB-specific safety and risk management tools and strategies.
Ms. Pearsall’s risk management experience also includes the coordination of risk management education, risk assessments and case review for litigations for a system-wide risk management program in a large tertiary care organization. In that position, she also designed and implemented a falls risk program and was the project leader for the implementation of a bar-coding medication administration system that is currently in use both in inpatient and outpatient units, as well as the electronic nursing documentation system.
Ms. Pearsall previously served as the Obstetrical Nursing Director of a health care facility that handled 5,000 deliveries per year. In addition to her work in acute care, she also served as Director of Nursing at a long term care facility, where she directed several successful Department of Health inspections, and as Vice President of Nursing at a community hospital.
Ms. Pearsall has studied Health Care Management and is a trained AU Meds Medication Observer. She holds a Diploma of Nursing from Philadelphia General Hospital.
Margaret “Peggy” M. DeZinno, BSN, RN »
Margaret “Peggy” M. DeZinno provides OB-Gyn-specific risk management services. She has over 35 years of experience in the health care industry, specifically as a coordinator and instructor of women’s health and education programs. She started her career as a labor and delivery nurse at the Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, CT.
Ms. DeZinno has authored numerous articles about childbirth, is a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE), and a breastfeeding specialist. She is a member of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), Lamaze International and currently serves as President of the Yale-New Haven Hospital Auxiliary. She is a TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer.
Ms. DeZinno graduated cum laude from the University of Connecticut with a B.S. in Nursing.
L. Gregory Pawlson, M.D., M.P.H., FACS »
Dr. Gregory Pawlson has over 40 years of clinical, patient safety and insurance benefits and reimbursement experience. He assists physicians, hospitals, post-acute care, long term care and senior living facilities and other health care organizations in developing and implementing changes in care delivery that will enable providers to adapt to changing health information technology, reimbursement and demands for information related to quality of care.
Dr. Pawlson has held high-profile positions in academic medicine, public policy/governmental organizations and the payer community. He was Executive Director for Quality Innovation for Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Washington, DC. Prior to BCBSA, Dr. Pawlson was Executive Vice President of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), where for over a decade he led the development of its research, measurement and contracting activities, overseeing the ongoing development of the widely used HEDIS clinical performance measures. He also worked on the development of assessment programs for the Patient Centered Medical Homes and ACOs, and as liaison for NCQA to physician groups, including the AMA-led Physician Consortium for Practice Improvement, the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Earlier in his career, Dr. Pawlson spent nearly 20 years in Academic Medicine, serving as Senior Associate Vice President for Health Affairs and Medical Director for Quality and Utilization Management for the faculty practice at The George Washington University Medical Center, and prior to that as chairman of the University’s Department of Health Care Sciences (clinical primary care and public health) and as director of the Institute for Health Policy, Outcomes and Human Values.
During his time in academic medicine, he also served as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow, on the staff of the Finance Committee of the U.S. Senate and as a Fellow in the Center for the Study of Change in Academic Medicine at the American Association of Medical Colleges.
Dr. Pawlson is a former President and Chairman of the Board of the American Geriatrics Society, and has served on the Boards of the Society of General Internal Medicine, the American College of Medical Quality, the American Board of Medical Quality, the Bon Scours Health System, the U.S. Soldiers and Airman’s Home and as Chair of the Advisory Group for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) Innovations Exchange. He is the author of over 100 peer-reviewed articles and numerous other publications.
Dr. Pawlson is board certified in both internal medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American Geriatrics Society, The Gerontological Society of America and the American College of Preventive Medicine.
He received a B.A., cum laude, from The Pennsylvania State University, an M.D. with Distinction from the University of Pittsburgh, did his internship and residency at Stanford University and was an endocrine fellow and Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar while obtaining an M.P.H. in Community Medicine at the University of Washington.
Diane C. Pinakiewicz, MBA, CPPS»
Diane Pinakiewicz is a nationally recognized patient safety and patient engagement expert and serves as a strategic consultant to physician practices, hospitals and health systems and other health care providers nationwide. She is a Founding Board member and immediate past President of the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF), where she currently serves as a Distinguished Advisor, and holds multiple appointments with other national patient safety and quality improvement organizations.
Ms. Pinakiewicz’s commitment to patient safety and patient engagement stems from her many years in the health care industry. She has served as an executive at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; a senior hospital-based executive for the Hospital Corporation of America, UMDNJ University Hospital; Chief Administrative and Financial Officer at Corning Franklin Health, Inc., a disease management firm; Senior Consultant at APM, a consulting firm specializing in health care; Senior Director of the Health Care Strategic Leadership Unit at Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals; and Vice President of Managed Care Programs at The Brooklyn Hospital Center.
While with The Brooklyn Hospital Center, Ms. Pinakiewicz was instrumental in the formation and operationalization of HealthFirst, a New York City-based managed care organization owned by 14 teaching hospitals, which was founded to allow for transition from fee for service to full risk assumption for the Medicaid population of the New York City catchment area. She was also responsible for New York State’s largest primary care program grant and worked with the hospital and practices across the borough to create new integrated models of care that were responsive to new payment plans in the market. She is an invited speaker nationally on the topic of physician-hospital integration and the attendant reengineering of risk and care delivery models.
Ms. Pinakiewicz was the founding President of the Lucian Leape Institute at NPSF, a strategic think tank for patient safety. She also conceived of, managed and oversaw numerous other successful patient safety programs at NPSF, including educational programs for hospitals, clinicians and boards, and established the Certification Board for Professionals in Patient Safety, the first board to confer a professional credential in the patient safety discipline, both nationally and internationally.
Ms. Pinakiewicz has been named one of 50 Experts Leading the Field of Patient Safety by Becker’s Hospital Review, and, since 1997, has served on numerous boards, committees and task forces convened to shape the patient safety work at the national level. Select examples of initiatives in which she has been involved include the HHS Partnership for Patients, The National Priorities Partnership, systems and engineering workgroups of the IOM’s Roundtable on Value and Science Driven Health Care, AHRQ’s Consumer Reporting System for Patient Safety, The WHO World Alliance for Patient Safety, the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention, FDA panels on medication safety, and iHealth Alliance, among others. She also serves on the Editorial Advisory Boards of Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare and Doctor’s Digest, Best Practices: Patient Safety.
Ms. Pinakiewicz has been a member of the faculty of multiple programs, including Harvard’s program for Executives in Managed Care, and has lectured nationally and internationally on patient safety, financial and organizational reengineering for risk and delivery model changes, and value-based partnering in health care. She has published on the topics of patient safety, value-based partnering and full-risk assumption financial strategies.
Ms. Pinakiewicz is a Certified Professional in Patient Safety.
Ms. Pinakiewicz received an MBA from Cornell University along with the Sloan Certificate in Hospital and Health Care Administration (Masters level) and received her B.A. from Mount Holyoke.
Judi Olnick, CPHQ »
Judi Olnick has more than 27 years of experience working in health care quality, patient safety and risk management. A Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ), Ms. Olnick supports and educates clients on matters including risk assessments and recommendations, safety programs, quality plans and related performance improvement measures. She has extensive experience assisting clients with risk evaluation and mitigation.
Ms. Olnick is a former Director of Risk & Quality Management and Patient Safety Officer of a hospital, where she developed and maintained the hospital’s risk management, performance improvement and patient safety programs.
Branyan Booth Sensiba, M.D., MBA »
Dr. Branyan Booth Sensiba assists in the development of data-driven quality and safety tools, services and products. She formerly served as an internal consultant at a large hospital where she analyzed workflows and helped reduce physician billing coding, which greatly reduced billing turnaround time for the hospital.
Dr. Sensiba received an MBA from The Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business, an M.D. from The Ohio State University College of Medicine and a B.A. from the University of Colorado.
51 South Duke Street
Lancaster, PA 17602