Scientific Committee

Scientific Committee Co-chairs

Dr Graccho Alvim Neto

VP, Associação de Hospitais do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Dr Graccho Alvim Neto works internationally to discover best practices that can be implemented in his native Brazil. As a founding member of STEMS (Society of Tourism Medicinal), this has led him to explore first hand and learn from structural operations in Thailand, Dubai, and Costa Rica while expanding his training in rare diseases in the USA at University of California Los Angeles.

Since 1988, he has directed several private hospitals in Rio de Janeiro and he has been the Vice President of AHERJ (Associação Brasileira de Hospitais do Rio de Janeiro) for the past 15 years. Dr Graccho consults regularly with insurance companies to develop optimal home care programs while directing two infusion clinics treating rare diseases.

As the face of Brazilian hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic, his appearances on the national news led to a recently launched series of public health shows bringing greater awareness to the general public.

Ms Gilvane Lolato

Operational Manager, National Accreditation Organization, Brazil

Ms Gilvane Lolato

Operational Manager, National Accreditation Organization, Brazil

Scientific Committee Members

Prof. Arnon Afek

Associate Director General and Acting Director of General Hospital, Sheba Medical Center, Israel

Prof. Arnon Afek MD, MHA is the Associate Director General of Sheba Medical Center and the Acting Director of Sheba General Hospital. He was also the Former Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Founding Chairman of the Dina Recanati School of Medicine at The Reichman University.

Prof. Arnon Afek has robust experience in healthcare leadership roles, serving as past director general of the Israeli MoH and member of the Bureau of Governors of the OECD Health Committee, taking an active role in designing health policy. Afek is a top authority on Israel’s healthcare system and distinguished leader in improving patient outcomes – he thus served on the National Corona Professional Advisory Board, informing the national health policy response.

Afek possesses a diverse background in managing medical education strategy serving as the Director of the New York State or American MD Program. As founding chairman of the Dina Recanati School of Medicine at The Reichman University, he is leading by example driving change in the way medicine is taught to next generation medical students.

He served as Chairman of the Association of Hospital Directors and currently serve as their Associate Chairman. Afek has received numerous awards, amongst them the Israeli Civil Service Commission Award for reducing bureaucracy in physician licensing and Quality Improvement Award for advancing quality of care in Neonatal Units throughout Israel.

Ms Zulaikha Al Hosani

Chief Nursing Officer, Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City, UAE

Ms Zulaikha Al Hosani

Chief Nursing Officer, Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City, UAE

Dr Noor Al Mheiri

Head of Medical Services Unit, Hospitals Department, Emirates Health Services, UAE

Dr Noor Al Mheiri

Head of Medical Services Unit, Hospitals Department, Emirates Health Services, UAE

Dr Hatem Alameri

Director, Healthcare Workforce Monitoring Division, Department of Health, UAE

Dr Hatem Alameri

Director, Healthcare Workforce Monitoring Division, Department of Health, UAE

Dr Lama Aldakhil

Executive Director of Continuous Professional Development, Saudi Commission for Health Specialties, Saudi Arabia

Dr Lama Aldakhil

Executive Director of Continuous Professional Development, Saudi Commission for Health Specialties, Saudi Arabia

Dr Abdullatif Saad Alokifi

Dr Abdulateef Saad Alokifi

General Director for Organizational Excellence, Ministry of Health, Saudi Arabia

Dr Abdulateef Saad Alokifi is appointed as the General Director for the General Directorate of Organizational Excellence this year 2024. He used to be the Advisor for Assistant Deputy Minister for Hospital Services, General Supervisor for WAZEN Program, the Chairman for Hospital Commissioning Unit and Supervising Filed Visit Unit at the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia.

He also worked as the Assistant of the General Director for General Directorate of Hospital Affairs, building up the Wazen Program and adapting the best practices for Hospital Commissioning – in collaboration with Engineering Deputyship and Cluster Leaders and Regional Directorates in 2022.

He started his Career in the Ministry of Health as the Director of Strategic Planning for Quality and Patient Safety in 2016.

He has different experiences in both governmental and private healthcare institutions and hospitals as junior and senior staff until he reached to an executive leader position for the last 23 years. His career was started in National Guard Hospital, Security Forces Hospital, then moved to King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz University Hospital at Princess Norah University. In addition to that, he has a vast experience in private hospitals and was appointed in different positions like Quality Director, Pharmacy Director, and Hospital CEO. He used to be a CBAHI Surveyor for more than 10 years and currently, he is CHI Surveyor for Healthcare Institutions and Insurance Company.

Since the start of COVID-19, he was appointed to be the Follow-up Officer for Field Hospital until 2023. Lastly, he is the KSA MoH Representative for the International Hospital Federation (IHF).

Dr Abdullatif Saad Alokifi

Dr Ernesto Báscolo

Unit Chief, Primary Health Care and Integrated Service Delivery, Health Systems and Services, Pan American Health Organization, USA

Dr Ernesto Báscolo

Unit Chief, Primary Health Care and Integrated Service Delivery, Health Systems and Services, Pan American Health Organization, USA

Ms Sylvia Basterrechea

Programme Lead, Geneva Sustainability Centre, Switzerland

Ms Sylvia Basterrechea

Programme Lead, Geneva Sustainability Centre, Switzerland

Ms Linda Clark

Ms Linda Clark

Director of Professional Development, International Hospital Federation, UAE

Ms Linda Clark

Ms Linda Clark

Director of Professional Development, International Hospital Federation, UAE

Ms Linda Clark

Dr Hanevi Djasri

Healthcare Quality Management Senior Consultant and Senior Researcher, Centre for Health Policy and Management, Faculty of Medicine, Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia

Dr Hanevi Djasri

Healthcare Quality Management Senior Consultant and Senior Researcher, Centre for Health Policy and Management, Faculty of Medicine, Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia

Mr Alan Dubovsky

VP and Chief Patient Experience Officer, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, USA

Alan Dubovsky is the Vice President and Chief Patient Experience Officer for Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, California. In his role, Alan is responsible for the facilitation of all patient experience strategies and operations for the medical center, clinics, and Marina Del Rey Hospital. Alan is also responsible for Interpretation Services, providing language interpretation and translation needs to all medical center patients. In addition, Alan oversees Patient Advocacy – the department tasked with managing complaints and grievances, as well as the Lobby Services team, handling the main entry points to the campus.

Alan joined Cedars-Sinai in November 2016 and has over 20 years of healthcare patient experience improvement. Prior to joining Cedars-Sinai, Alan was with Emory Healthcare in Atlanta, Georgia. In that role, Alan was responsible for patient experience and physician engagement, international health, and leadership and talent development for the physician group practices.

Alan completed his undergraduate degree in Business Administration at the University of Georgia and his Executive Master in Business Administration at Emory University.

Dr Amir ElTelwany

Executive Director and CEO,
Egypt Healthcare Authority, Egypt

Dr Amir ElTelwany is the pioneering Chief Executive Director (CEO) of the Egypt Healthcare Authority (EHA), blazing a trail as the first individual to hold this esteemed position since its inception in 2019. With an illustrious career path, Dr ElTelwany previously served as the Deputy Director of the Universal Health Insurance Project and distinguished himself as the Project Manager of the Japanese-Egyptian Quality Improvement Project within Egyptian hospitals. His leadership journey encompasses vital roles within Ministry of Health hospitals, where he showcased exemplary vision and unwavering dedication.

In recognition of his exceptional contributions to public service, Dr ElTelwany was bestowed with the prestigious Egypt Award for Government Excellence in its third edition in 2022 – earning accolades as the “Best Sector Head” among recipients of individual excellence awards. His academic endeavors underscore a commitment to excellence: holding a Master’s Degree in Clinical Operations from Harvard University, augmented by the Egyptian Fellowship in Health Facilities Management. Additionally, he possesses a Master’s Degree in Diagnostic Radiology and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Medicine (MD) in Interventional Diagnostic Radiology.

Under Dr ElTelwany’s visionary stewardship, the EHA has experienced unprecedented progress across all facets of the healthcare sector. Harnessing state-of-the-art technological advancements and implementing robust clinical governance systems, he and his team have spearheaded a paradigm shift in healthcare delivery, ensuring the provision of exemplary services. Driven by an unyielding pursuit of excellence, he has led initiatives to optimize operational efficiency, ensure financial sustainability, and institute a comprehensive revenue cycle management system within EHA.

Dr Emad Estemalik

Chair for International Business Development, Cleveland Clinic, USA

Emad Estemalik MD, MBA is the Chair for International Business Development at Cleveland Clinic’s International Operations, Section Head for Headache and Facial Pain at Cleveland Clinic’s Neurological Institute, and Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Lerner School of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University.

Dr Estemalik completed his residency at the Cleveland Clinic in 2012. He also completed a one year fellowship in Headache Medicine following his residency. He received his MD from the Ain – Shams Medical School in Cairo, Egypt in 2005. He is also a graduate of the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University from which he holds an MBA degree.

Dr Estemalik leads the efforts of expanding the Cleveland Clinic’s global outreach to enhance the clinic’s international presence, direct its international resources towards building quality relationships with global healthcare institutions, and identify strategic market opportunities to direct investment strategies.

Dr Estemalik also serves on the Leadership Committee of the Cleveland Clinic’s Neurological Institute. His role includes executing the Cleveland Clinic’s vision and help achieve a high – performing institute while integrating education, research, and medical innovation. His focus is to enhance the capabilities of medical informatics while directing the institute’s programmatic domestic and international growth and further enhance the development of service lines that better serve patients.

Professor Jaroslaw J. Fedorowski

Prof. Jaroslaw J. Fedorowski

President and CEO, Polish Hospital Federation, Poland

Professor Jaroslaw J. Fedorowski

Prof. Jaroslaw J. Fedorowski

President and CEO, Polish Hospital Federation, Poland

Professor Jaroslaw J. Fedorowski

Dr Juan Maria Ferrer

Director of Quality, Education and Research, Fundació Sanitària de Mollet, Mollet del Vallés, Spain

Dr Juan Maria Ferrer

Director of Quality, Education and Research, Fundació Sanitària de Mollet, Mollet del Vallés, Spain

Dr Mohamed Hablas

Dr Mohamed Hablas

Regional Director, Egypt and North Africa, Saudi German Hospitals, Egypt

Dr Mohamed Hablas

Dr Mohamed Hablas

Regional Director, Egypt and North Africa, Saudi German Hospitals, Egypt

Dr Mohamed Hablas
Ms Michelle Hood

Ms Michelle Hood

EVP and COO, American Hospital Association, USA

Ms Michelle Hood

Ms Michelle Hood

EVP and COO, American Hospital Association, USA

Ms Michelle Hood

Dr Sarah Jarmain

Chief of Staff and VP for Medical and Academic Affairs, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Canada

Dr Sarah Jarmain

Chief of Staff and VP for Medical and Academic Affairs, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Canada

Ms Barbara Walczyk Joers

President and CEO, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, USA

Barbara Walczyk Joers has served as President and Chief Executive Officer at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in Minnesota, USA since 2013. As the United States’ first publicly funded hospital dedicated to serving children who have disabilities, Gillette Children’s today is an independent organization that provides subspecialized care to children who have complex, rare or traumatic conditions affecting the performance of an individual’s musculoskeletal and neurological systems.

With more than thirty years of healthcare experience, Ms Joers has a focus on strategic performance and organizational change management as well as health policy and advocacy. She has served in leadership roles in a variety of paediatric and adult healthcare settings, including academic healthcare centres, community health systems and independent children’s hospitals. Earlier in her career she also served at a professional services firm.

A recognized thought leader in healthcare, Ms Joers has been recognized as a transformative healthcare leader, one who appreciates and enjoys the complexities of navigating an ever-changing health care environment, while working to assure individuals’ health and well-being are the focus.

Ms Joers currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. She is also an active participant in other organizations including Health Evolution, Medical Alley, the International Hospital Federation, and the Minnesota Rare Disease Advisory Council.

Ms Joers studied acute care hospital administration at Marymount University (VA) and holds a Master’s in Health Services Management and Policy from George Washington University (W-DC).

Ms Pritindira Kaur

Ms Pritindira Kaur

Regional Quality Head, Apollo Hospitals Group, India

Ms Pritindira Kaur

Ms Pritindira Kaur

Regional Quality Head, Apollo Hospitals Group, India

Ms Pritindira Kaur

Dr Suhail Javed Khan

Physician, Medical Adviser and Health Manager, MEDIKER Healthcare, Kazakhstan

Dr Suhail Javed Khan

Physician, Medical Adviser and Health Manager, MEDIKER Healthcare, Kazakhstan

Dr Gladys Kwan

Chief Manager (Medical Grade), Cluster Services Division, Hospital Authority Head Office, Hong Kong

Dr Gladys Kwan

Chief Manager (Medical Grade), Cluster Services Division, Hospital Authority Head Office, Hong Kong

Mr Ronald Lavater

CEO, International Hospital Federation, Switzerland

Mr Ronald Lavater

CEO, International Hospital Federation, Switzerland

Ms Kyung Eun Lee

Chairman and CEO, Keyo Medical Foundation, South Korea

Ms Kyung Eun Lee

Chairman and CEO, Keyo Medical Foundation, South Korea

Dr Wui-Chiang Lee

Vice Superintendent, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan

Dr Wui-Chiang Lee

Vice Superintendent, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan

Dr Adolfo Llinás

Chief Medical Officer, Fundación Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia

Dr Adolfo Llinás

Chief Medical Officer, Fundación Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia

Professor Alexandre Lourenço

Prof. Alexandre Lourenço

CEO and Chairperson, Unidade Local de Saúde de Coimbra; Professor, Nova School of Public Health, Portugal

Professor Alexandre Lourenço

Prof. Alexandre Lourenço

CEO and Chairperson, Unidade Local de Saúde de Coimbra; Professor, Nova School of Public Health, Portugal

Professor Alexandre Lourenço
Ms Thaira Madi

Ms Thaira Madi

Director of Accreditation Department, Health Care Accreditation Council, Jordan

Ms Thaira Madi

Ms Thaira Madi

Director of Accreditation Department, Health Care Accreditation Council, Jordan

Ms Thaira Madi

Prof. Dr Fadi Abdul Kader Ghazi Mirza

Medical Director and Director of Obstetrics Department, Latifa Women and Children Hospital; Chair of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women's Health, Dubai Health, UAE

Prof. Dr Fadi Abdul Kader Ghazi Mirza

Medical Director and Director of Obstetrics Department, Latifa Women and Children Hospital; Chair of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women's Health, Dubai Health, UAE

Ms Aika Albert Felicia Mongi

Director of Nursing Services, Aga Khan Health Services, Tanzania

Ms Aika Albert Felicia Mongi

Director of Nursing Services, Aga Khan Health Services, Tanzania

Dr Simon Onsongo

Consultant Clinical Pathologist and Head of Department, Aga Khan Hospital Kisumu and Cluster, Kenya

Dr Simon Onsongo

Consultant Clinical Pathologist and Head of Department, Aga Khan Hospital Kisumu and Cluster, Kenya

Ms Giulia Petrarulo

International Relations Coordinator and Communications Project Manager, Unicancer, France

Ms Giulia Petrarulo

International Relations Coordinator and Communications Project Manager, Unicancer, France

Dr Dana Gelb Safran

President and CEO, National Quality Forum; Chief Scientific Officer,
The Joint Commission, USA

Dana Gelb Safran, Sc.D. is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Quality Forum (NQF), and Chief Scientific Officer of the Joint Commission (TJC). While overseeing NQF’s longstanding function as steward of the US portfolio of healthcare quality measures, Dr Safran is leading the expansion of NQF’s portfolio of products and services to advance healthcare quality, outcomes, equity and affordability.

Dr Safran is an internationally-recognized healthcare executive with a unique blend of accomplishment in business and academia. A central feature of her work has been combining the science of quality measurement with the art of its use to drive significant change in healthcare quality, outcomes, equity and affordability. Dr Safran’s prior roles include serving for more than a decade as a senior executive at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA), where she was a lead architect of the BCBSMA Alternative Quality Contract (AQC), widely credited with having catalyzed value-based payment internationally. She was a founding executive of Haven, the joint healthcare venture of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase.

Dr Safran is on the faculty of Tufts University School of Medicine and has held a broad range of advisory roles in the public sector and internationally supporting efforts to improve health and healthcare through effective uses of performance measurement. She served as a Commissioner of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC, 2017-2023). She holds a BA in Biology and Government from Wesleyan University and a ScM and ScD in health policy and management from Harvard School of Public Health.

Mr Richard Stubbs

CEO, Health Innovation Yorkshire and Humber; Chair, Health Innovation Network, UK

Richard Stubbs is Chief Executive of Health Innovation Yorkshire & Humber, and Chair of the national Health Innovation Network.

Through regional, national, and international roles, Richard works with the NHS, academic partners, and health innovators to drive the transformation of health and care delivery through spread and adoption of innovation, and to contribute to economic growth to improve population health and life outcomes.

Richard is the international lead for the Health Innovation Network and an Advisor to Healthcare UK, providing strategic input into the UK Department for Business and Trade’s healthcare export activity, he is a fellow of the Sciana Health Leaders’ Network, and a member of the IHF Scientific Committee which curates the annual World Hospital Congress.

Richard is a long-standing member of the NHS Assembly, board member of NHS England’s Accelerated Access Collaborative and also the Innovation Ecosystem Programme Advisory Group. He is passionate about driving policy level changes which will best enable the NHS to adopt innovation for the benefit of patient care, in addition to developing a clear blueprint for how the NHS can best support, and benefit from, a strong life sciences ecosystem.

Commitment to diversity and inclusion runs through everything Richard does, and he has twice been recognised by the Health Service Journal in their Top 50 BAME Powerlist as “one of the BAME figures exercising the most power and influence in English health policy.” As Co-Chair of the NHS Confederation’s BME Leadership Network, he plays a central role in increasing diversity within NHS leadership.

Mr Artur Vaz

Administrator, Member of the Executive Board and Chief Risk Officer, Luz Saúde, Portugal

Mr Artur Vaz

Administrator, Member of the Executive Board and Chief Risk Officer, Luz Saúde, Portugal

Mr Walt Vernon

Mr Walt Vernon

CEO, Mazzetti; Sextant Foundation, USA

Walt is the CEO of Mazzetti, an Engineering and Climate Change Consulting Company with offices in Rwanda, India, and the United States. He is also the founder and CEO of the Sextant Foundation, a not for profit NGO developing sustainable solutions for health Faciliites in low resourced areas. He is on the Board of Village Health Works Hospital in Burundi. He is the second vice President for the IFHE, and he is the Focal Point for IFHE to the WHO. Walt serves on the Steering Committee for the International Hospital Federation’s Geneva Sustainability Centre.

Walt wrote the background Paper for the US National Academy’s Action Collaborative to Decarbonize the US Healthcare Sector. He recently completed the ASHRAE Design Guide for Decarbonized Hospital Design. He serves on the ASHRAE Standard 189.3, high performance healthcare facilities. He was the primary author for the ASHRAE Infectious Aerosols Position Document. During the Covid Crisis, Walt organized and lead the IFHE Global Volunteer response to help many countries throughout the world, via the IFHE relationship with the WHO.

Walt developed the Sustainability Roadmap for the American Hospital Association, and their Energy to Care program. He developed and manages the IFHE Carbon Awards program.

Mr Walt Vernon

Mrs Vera Vertessen

Director of Patient Care, Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, Belgium

Vera Vertessen graduated in 2004 from the University College Karel de Grote in Antwerp. Her young children did not dampen her inquisitiveness which led to a Master’s Degree in Hospital Sciences at the University of Brussels in 2009 and a Postgraduate Degree in Diabetes Education in 2010. Her career started in 2005 at UZ Brussel as a Registered Nurse – from there, she took several challenges among which is the start of a thriving Diabetes Clinic from scratch.

In 2021, she returned to her home base at UZ Brussel where she started as the Coordinator for the Center of Rare Diseases. In October 2022, she was appointed as the Director of Patient Care and gathered a new management team around her which has been operational since March 2023.

Vera is strongly value-driven and this unconsciously sets her apart from her other colleagues. She thinks very patient-oriented but from a financial reality that transcends the boundaries of her own department. She is a strong believer of equity, apart from everyone’s responsibilities, but expects employees to take ownership in order to grow.

At the macro level, she is an advocate for all nurses. She demands that the nursing profession is portrayed in all media in a positive light rather than nurses as jaded and overworked healthcare professionals with no social life. She is also a member of the Federal Council for Hospital Facilities, which rules on all matters relating to hospital programming and financing, and she chairs the Working Group of Healthcare Directors in Flanders.

Mr Daniel Yaross

President-Elect, International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety, USA

Mr Daniel Yaross

President-Elect, International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety, USA