Prior to becoming president of ICSI in late 2016, Dr. Abelson was the Senior Executive Vice President of HealthPartners and the CEO of Park Nicollet Health Services. In these roles, he led the combined integration of care delivery with over 1,700 physicians and clinical professionalsat Park Nicollet (including Methodist Hospital, TRIA and Park Nicollet Clinic), Regions Hospital and HealthPartners Clinics.
Before that, Abelson was a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Medical Education for the State of Minnesota, and has held many other health care leadership positions, including Medical Director of Information Management and Care Improvement and Vice President of Strategic Improvement Park Nicollet Health Services, where he led a three-year integration project of hospital, clinic and home care electronic medical record information.
Abelson has served on the boards of VigiLanz Corporation; HealthPartners, including Quality and Transformation committees, Regions Hospital, HealthPartners Institute of Research and Education; Park Nicollet Health Services; and the Minnesota Hospital Association. He was in private practice at Internal Medicine Physicians PA and received his M.D. degree from the University of Minnesota. Read Dr. Abelson's blog.
Craig Acomb, MS
Prior to being named CEO of ICSI in late 2016, Acomb served as Interim President and CEO following the retirement of Sanne Magnan, MD, PhD. He previously served as its Chief Operating Officer and prior to coming to ICSI served for three years as the Assistant Commissioner and COO for the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), where he oversaw the operations and administration of a broad portfolio of the state’s public health programs and the agency’s 1,500 employees. His duties included organizational leadership, business direction, financial management and oversight, policy development, strategic and operational planning, workforce development, information technology, corporate communications and government relations.
Before that, Acomb was MDH’s Chief Financial Officer and oversaw the agency’s $500 million budget, which included leading budget negotiations during the passage of Minnesota’s 2008 landmark health reform legislation that created the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP).
Acomb serves on the boards of MN Community Measurement, NRHI and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society He holds a master’s degree in biology from the University of Minnesota.
Senior Manager for Core Programs
Lisa Carlson is the Senior Manager for Core Programs at the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI). She has over 25 years of experience working in health care, including the dental industry and at Group Health. In her time at ICSI, Carlson has held several other positions, including Executive Assistant to Dr. Gordon Mosser, ICSI’s first President, and Operations Manager. Lisa is responsible for ICSI’s annual Colloquium and also oversees the Guideline Enhancement and Member Engagement teams.
Karla Dross, MA, is Chief Financial Officer at the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI). Karla has over 20 years of nonprofit financial and federal grant management experience. Prior to joining ICSI, she worked at the Center for Victims of Torture for 13 years, first as its Administrative Services Director and then as its Chief Financial Officer. Dross has also worked at College Possible as its first Director of Finance and Operations, and at the Neighborhood Health Care Network.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Health Care Administration from Wichita State
University and a master’s degree from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.
Jodie Dvorkin, MD, MPH is an Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI) Project Manager/Health Care Consultant working on guideline development. Prior to joining ICSI, Dr. Dvorkin worked at the American Medical Association-convened Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement, where she focused on measure development and strategic initiatives. Before that, she helped establish a colon cancer screening program at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County. Dr. Dvorkin holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University. She received her medical degree from Emory University and a master of public health from the University of Illinois. Dr. Dvorkin completed an internal medicine and pediatrics residency at the University of Chicago and a preventive medicine residency at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County.
Joann Foreman, RN, BAN, is a Team Director at the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI). In this capacity, she is engaged in work related to evidence-based care, including health care guidelines, measurement and clinical decision support; and practice facilitation, mental health, community-focused and disparities initiatives, among others. Before joining ICSI, she worked at Stratis Health as a case review manager. Foreman has more than 25 years of experience in health care including clinical care, program development, patient safety, and quality improvement. She has held leadership positions in acute care, provider relations, and subspecialty ambulatory care. Foreman holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul.
Audrey Hansen is an Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI) Project Manager/Health Care Consultant. Her projects include health care guidelines, clinical decision support, and member relations. Hansen’s previous experience includes practice facilitation in the ambulatory clinic settings of primary care, cardiology and oncology, where she led quality improvement, culture change, EMR implementation, and clinical program development. This experience across the health care spectrum enables her to facilitate the development of chronic condition management programs in various clinic settings. Hansen holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a Public Health Nurse certification from The College of St. Teresa in Winona, MN; a Project Management Professional certification; and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Bethel University in St. Paul.
Senka Hadzicis an Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI) Clinical Systems Improvement Facilitator. In this role, she facilitates the revision of health care guidelines, and provides measurement and data analysis education and support for various other projects. Senka holds a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Minnesota and bachelors of arts and science degrees in statistics and economics, respectively, from the University of Minnesota.
Cindy Harper is a Systems Improvement Coordinator at the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI). In this role she is responsible for editing, formatting and designing ICSI’s health care guidelines, most recently the Pain, Depression and Healthy Lifestyles documents. Prior to joining ICSI 15 years ago, Harper did typesetting and desktop publishing work at Moore Data Management in Minneapolis, and website user interface design and HTML coding at Camworks in St. Paul. Harper attended Rasmussen Business College in Minnetonka, MN.
Rochelle Hayes is a Systems Improvement Coordinator at the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI). Her projects include the Patient Advisory Council, member engagement and staff continuing education teams, where she utilizes her event planning, organization and process improvement talents. Hayes was the project coordinator for the RARE (Reducing Avoidable Readmissions Effectively) Campaign and subsequent RARE Mental Health Collaborative. She has also assisted with ICSI’s Mental Health and Tobacco Cessation projects.
Hayes is also passionate about working with diverse communities. In 2016, she became a fellow of the Josie R. Johnson Leadership Academy, a year-long training program designed to meet the personal, cultural, civic and professional development needs of intergenerational African American leaders, while fostering their lifelong commitment to improving outcomes in the community. Prior to joining ICSI nearly five years ago, Hayes worked as a recruiter at HealthPartners. She holds a bachelor’s degree in human resources from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul.
Carla Heim is an Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI) Project Manager/Health Care Consultant, and currently works on the Minnesota State Innovation Model (SIM) Practice Facilitation grant project She recently worked on COMPASS, a collaborative care management model for improving depression and diabetes/cardiovascular disease treatment in primary care. Heim has also worked on projects related to health care home, member relations, health care affordability, and Choosing Wisely MN.
Her previous health care experience includes positions at the HealthPartners member services call center and human resources department. Heim holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of Minnesota in Mankato.
Tani Hemmila is an Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI) Project Manager/Health Care Consultant working to advance initiatives in behavioral health integration, health care/community connections, learning communities and training workshops. Her projects include COMPASS, a collaborative care management model for improving depression and diabetes/cardiovascular disease treatment in primary care; Screening, Brief intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) for addressing risky substance use in primary care; SBIRT for first-time DWI offenders, and multiple learning initiatives.
Hemmila is an ambassador for the HealthDoers Collaborative Health Network through the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement. She is also a motivational interviewing trainer and coach. She has a background in management, entrepreneurship, and training, and prior to joining ICSI, worked as a facilitator and consultant with various community collaborative mental health initiatives.
Hemmila holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in health care administration and inter-professional leadership from the University of California-San Francisco.
Sarah Horst Evans is an Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI) Project Manager/Health Care Consultant. Prior to joining ICSI, she was a performance improvement consultant at Optum working with local community health centers participating in the Federally Qualified Health Center Urban Health Network (FUHN) ACO pilot program. Before that Horst Evans was at HealthPartners Medical Group, where she served in a variety of roles. Her more than 10 years of health care experience includes process improvement and workflow redesign, measurement, total cost of care, patient experience and creating healthy workplace dynamics. Horst Evans holds a bachelor's degree in English from Carthage College in Kenosha, WI and a master’s degree in management from the College of St. Scholastica.
Elizabeth Melby (known as Liz) is the Executive Assistant at the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI), supporting the President & CEO, and other staff. She also supports the Board of Directors and is responsible for planning and execution of those meetings. Melby has been with ICSI for 13 years, and previously worked at HealthPartners for three years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in library and information systems from Dominican University in River Forest, IL.
Jeyn Monkman is an Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI) Project Manager/Health Care Consultant with expertise in quality improvement implementation and measurement. She is currently working on the Minnesota State Innovation Model (SIM) Practice Facilitation grant project. Monkman is also a motivational interviewing trainer and coach, and leads ICSI’s Patient Advisory Council. She also worked on COMPASS, a collaborative care management model for improving depression and diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease treatment in primary care. Before joining ICSI, Monkman held various leadership positions in large integrated health systems and critical access hospitals.
Monkman holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in management from the College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN. She is nationally certified as a nurse executive by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Claire S. Neely, MD, is the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement’s (ICSI) Chief Medical Officer, responsible for leading ICSI’s evidence-based medicine work, including guidelines, and dissemination and implementation of projects. She served as the operations director for COMPASS (Care of Mental, Physical and Substance-use Syndromes), a $17 million innovation award from CMMI, which focused on disseminating evidence-based practices to improve the care of people with depression, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
As a Bush Medical Fellow, Dr. Neely studied team structures and interactions, and is skilled in applying adult learning tools to spread the knowledge, skills and attitudes that enhance team performance. She has a long-standing interest in effective communication and has led numerous workshops on motivational interviewing and shared decision-making.
Dr. Neely practiced pediatrics at HealthPartners for more than 27 years, and held a number of leadership positions during that time. Dr. Neely earned her MD from Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, is board certified in pediatrics, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Roberta Russette is a Systems Improvement Coordinator at the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI). Her responsibilities include operations plan reporting and coordination of the annual Colloquium and Reinertsen Lecture events. Russette has financial responsibilities that include vendor invoicing, member dues, and sponsor contributions. Russette is also the coordinator for ICSI’s State Innovation Model-Practice Facilitation project. She has more 20 years experience working in health care and is passionate about patient care. Prior to joining ICSI, Russette worked at the University of Minnesota-Fairview as an Administrative Secretary. She holds certifications in both Medical Administrative Secretary and Medical Reception from Minneapolis Community and Technical College.
Jan Schuerman, MBA, is a Senior Director at the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI). Her area of focus is developing partnerships between clinicians and patients/families in making health decisions. Her work includes shared decision-making in areas ranging from palliative care to colorectal cancer screening choices, the development of the ICSI Collaborative Conversation™ Shared Decision-Making Model, and most recently as a co-investigator in the SHARE EBM project with Mayo Clinic. Schuerman oversees the ICSI teams working in the areas of Affordability, Shared Decision-Making, Patient Engagement, Choosing Wisely, and SBIRT, as well as the Patient Advisory Council, and Member Relations.
Mary Beth Schwartz, M.A., is communications manager at the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI). In this role, she safeguards and promotes ICSI’s reputation as a trusted source for resources and concepts in health care delivery quality; a leader, convener and facilitator of strategic change in health care; and an innovator in value improvement. She is responsible for all communications efforts related to ICSI's work, including the website, branding, media relations, public affairs, special events and social media. Previous experience prior to joining ICSI in 2012 includes various internal communications, public relations and marketing positions at OptumHealth, GE Consumer Finance, and Conseco Finance. Schwartz received a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul.
Patty Staack is a Senior Administrative Assistant at the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI) where she helps staff with projects, and plans and schedules workshops and meetings. She has been at ICSI for 10 years, previously in the role of Technical Administrative Assistant. Before coming to ICSI, Staack worked at Cenex and First Bank Systems. She received a certificate in Data Entry from St. Paul Technical College and a certificate in Medical Billing and Coding from Inver Hills Community College.
Georgette Susla is a Senior Administrative Assistant at the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI), where she supports ICSI’s Vice President, Chief Medical Officer, and other ICSI staff. Susla also provides support for ICSI’s Scientific Documents program. Susla has been with ICSI for 13 years. Prior to joining ICSI she worked at Minnesota Life Insurance Company for 24 years. She has a secretarial degree from St. Paul Technical College.
Mark Teats is the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement’s (ICSI’s) Technology Manager, and is in charge of all information technology for the organization. He has 20 years of experience managing Macintosh and Windows computing environments and is proficient in MS Office, Adobe Creative Suite, Google Apps for Business, FileMaker and many other software applications. Prior to joining ICSI, Teats worked for various organizations as a technical trainer, computer instructor and desktop publishing manager. He holds bachelor’s degrees in business administration/marketing and art/design from Winona State University. He is working toward an MFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University in St. Paul.
Cally Vinz, Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI) Vice President, oversees business development, member relations, and strategic initiatives. She leads the exploration of innovative practices and serves as a consultant to ICSI members, partners and customers. Vinz has over 40 years of experience in clinical, administrative, educational and leadership roles with several Minnesota health care organizations.
She has worked in large, integrated systems as a psychiatric nurse, educator and leader, and in mid-sized settings where she was responsible for quality, patient relations, infection control, employee health, emergency preparedness, safety and JCAHO/MDH accreditation. Vinz also has worked as a nurse in an industrial setting. She holds a nursing degree from Rochester Community College in Minnesota and has extensive training in leadership and quality improvement.