Each week, the Healthcare Plus Podcast will bring together leaders from across the healthcare industry to share the latest insights, offer solutions to some of healthcare’s greatest challenges, and provide replenishment and well-being tools. Hosted by Quint Studer and Dan Collard, co-founders of Healthcare Plus Solutions Group, you’ll leave each episode with practical tools, techniques, and best-practices to reinforce the great work you’re already doing and address your organization’s unique pain points.

Previously known as The Busy Leader’s Podcast, this weekly series has evolved from a tool to learn from leaders as we navigated the pandemic to now focus in on the changemakers moving healthcare forward. To listen to the latest episode of The Healthcare Plus Podcast, subscribe to the show, or find past episodes of The Busy Leader’s Podcast, click below.

Kelvin Hanger and Maria Ashdown, Good Samaritan Hospital

97_Leading the Way: Best Practices for Improving Patient & Employee Experience with Kelvin Hanger and Maria Ashdown

On this episode of The Healthcare Plus Podcast, Quint Studer welcomes Kelvin Hanger and Maria Ashdown from Good Samaritan Hospital to discuss their approach to leadership, best practices for improving patient and employee experience, and the importance of finding joy and replenishment in your work.

In his role as President and Chief Operating Officer of Good Samaritan Hospital, Kelvin focuses on providing the high-quality care patients have come to expect from TriHealth facilities. Maria Ashdown serves as Chief Nursing Officer of Good Samaritan and has responsibility for all six of their emergency departments.

On this episode, Kelvin and Maria share several key performance improvement initiatives and offer best practices for healthcare leaders facing similar challenges, including:

  • New leader onboarding, mentorship, and how to use peers as resources
  • Service line ambassadors to assess challenges, barriers to success, and opportunities for process improvement
  • Support for “floaters” to reduce anxiety and ensure every employee feels a sense of belonging
  • Holding teams accountable to quality metrics and best practices for improving patient experience

About Kelvin Hanger

Kelvin Hanger is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Good Samaritan Hospital. He previously served in the same role for TriHealth Hospital Inc. He is responsible for the operations, management, strategic planning, quality, safety, and program development for the hospital. He is focused on ensuring Good Samaritan Hospital continues to provide the high-quality care patients have come to expect from TriHealth hospitals. Along with being a Hospital President, he is also the System Executive over Surgical Services.

Kelvin moved to Cincinnati, Ohio from Louisville, Kentucky where he received his degree from the University of Louisville in Business Administration. He has been in healthcare for 33 years beginning in 1984 working for Humana in the actuary department and multiple market offices within the company.

Kelvin is very active in the Evendale Community and has held multiple board positions within professional healthcare organizations throughout his career. He was commissioned a Kentucky Colonel from the Commonwealth of Kentucky by Governor Ernie Fletcher. Kelvin fosters strong physician relationships and empowers his team to deliver exceptional patient experiences.

About Maria Ashdown

Maria Ashdown, MSN, RN, NE-BC, VP, Chief Nursing Officer at Good Samaritan Hospital since 2022 and serves as System Director, Emergency Services at TriHealth, since 2018, with responsibility for all six emergency departments. She has been a part of TriHealth for more than 20 years, starting her career as a staff nurse on the orthopedic/trauma unit at Good Samaritan Hospital in 1991. She served in a number of progressive leadership roles over thirteen years in the Emergency Department at Bethesda North and has served as chair of the Nursing Operations Council and co-chair of the Stroke Committee. Maria maintains Nurse Executive Board Certification (NE-BC).

Chief Nursing Executive Jenny Skinner states, “Maria has been an integral part of our nursing leadership team, proven leader with a passion for leading teams to greatness. She has demonstrated success in building strong teams, pursuing excellence, and collaborating across operations.”

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Dr. Riya Pulicharam, Caret Health

96_Revolutionizing Population Health with Dr. Riya Pulicharam, Co-Founder of Caret Health

On this week’s episode of The Healthcare Plus Podcast, host Quint Studer is joined by special guest Dr. Riya Pulicharam, a pediatrician by training, certified clinical trials investigator, and co-founder of Caret Health. Over her 20+ year career, Dr. Pulicharam has led more than 500 studies and a number of initiatives focused on reducing total healthcare costs for chronic disease management programs. Dr. Pulicharam shares about her experiences in designing clinical care pathways, particularly for high-risk patients with complex chronic conditions, and emphasizes the need for user-friendly platforms and industry-wide innovation.

Dr. Pulicharam also highlights the challenges faced in scaling population health programs to larger organizations and stresses the importance of a centralized approach, advocating for automated data reconciliation and task management. Her ultimate goal is to reduce hospitalizations and emergency room visits while improving patient satisfaction through informed clinical decision-making and by addressing social determinants of health. The discussion underscores the crucial role of data and technology in improving patient care.

To learn more about Dr. Riya Pulicharam’s population health platform, visit

About Dr. Riya Pulicharam

Dr. Riya Pulicharam is the co-founder of Caret Health, a clinical execution platform for value-based population health. For more than 20 years, Dr. Pulicharam has served as the National Medical Director for Population Health at Legacy Healthcare Partners (now Optum Care).

A pediatrician by training, Dr. Pulicharam was a research fellow at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Harbor UCLA Medical Center, and later founded the Clinical Research, HEOR, and population health departments for the Legacy Healthcare Partners. Dr. Pulicharam has led more than 500 research studies and is widely recognized as a certified clinical trials investigator.

Dr. Pulicharam’s primary focus lies in population health, where she addresses social determinants of health and designs clinical care pathways for high-risk patient populations managed within value-based organizations. Notably, her work has been instrumental in various quality improvement initiatives aimed at reducing total healthcare costs for chronic disease management programs, which have been prominently featured in several publications.

Driven by a commitment to improving healthcare outcomes, Dr. Pulicharam is currently dedicated to reducing hospitalizations and ER visits for high-risk patients. Her work emphasizes the integration of healthcare technology, automation, and machine learning. Notably, Dr. Pulicharam has invented and patented a groundbreaking population health platform (Caret Health), which achieved a remarkable 57% reduction in hospitalizations and ER visits for high-risk elderly patients with multiple comorbid conditions.

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Dr. Stephanie Montgomery

95_How Healthcare Systems, Physicians, and Parents Can Support Early Childhood Brain Development with Dr. Stephanie Montgomery

Hosted by Quint Studer with special guest Dr. Stephanie Montgomery

On this episode of the Healthcare Plus Podcast, Quint Studer hosts Dr. Stephanie Montgomery, Partner, Build a Brain, Build a Life, Build a Community, an organization committed to equipping every parent with the knowledge and tools needed to maximize their child’s brain capacity from day one. Stephanie’s career began in the classroom, where she developed a zeal for improving educational outcomes and a passion for literacy and learning. She’s now turned her interest toward early brain development and is leveraging her experience to inform, equip, and support parents and caregivers across the U.S.

Their discussion emphasizes the importance of collaborative efforts between healthcare systems and pediatricians to integrate brain-building practices into routine care settings. This includes nurse training videos, scripting assistance, coaching sessions, and partnership calls to inform healthcare providers about effective brain development strategies for young children. The end goal? To ensure consistent support for parents to nurture their child’s cognitive growth and create lasting positive outcomes for families and communities.

To learn more, interested parties can visit or contact Stephanie Montgomery directly via email.

Additional Resources:
– Video on Childhood Brain Development (5 minutes)
– Website:
– TMW Newborn Implementation Trial

About Stephanie Montgomery, Ed.D.
Stephanie is a native Georgian with over 24 years of experience in education and community partnerships. Stephanie has served Northwest Georgia as a School Improvement Specialist in literacy and academic achievement. She has worked as an ELA Specialist and liaison to help strengthen relationships between state and local school systems. Through this work, she has developed a unique lens for identifying issues related to readiness skills and achievement gaps. She is skilled at working with teams to bridge the gap between knowledge and research, helping put policy into practice. Stephanie has also served as a classroom teacher, district-level curriculum coordinator, and grant writer.

Stephanie serves students and families in her community through various non-profit organizations. She works with the Get Georgia Reading campaign, Ferst Readers, and library task force committees to bolster access to literacy resources. As a Commission on Children and Youth Executive Board member, she assists in strategic planning and developing educational programming. Committed to sharing her passion for literacy and learning, Stephanie continues to tutor students with academic challenges and learning disabilities in her spare time.

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Tracy Jansen and Nick Porter, PALI

94_Rewiring Leadership in Post-Acute Healthcare: Introducing the Post-Acute Leadership Institute (PALI) with Nick Porter and Tracy Jansen

On this episode of The Healthcare Plus Podcast, hosts Quint Studer and Dan Collard are joined by special guests Nick Porter and Tracy Jansen to announce the formation of the Post-Acute Leadership Institute (PALI), a leadership development program designed to help post-acute organizations and leaders succeed.

Tracy and Nick are both founding members and executives of the Post-Acute Executive HR Roundtable, a national network of peers who come together to share best-practices, vendor management solutions, and ideas around leveraging a new digital experience for HR professionals. The Roundtable has joined forces with Healthcare Plus Solutions Group, co-founded by Quint and Dan, to launch this new initiative and bring much needed leader development solutions to both their member organizations and the broader post-acute industry.

In this 30-minute episode, you’ll learn more about:

  • Challenges facing post-acute leaders both pre- and post-pandemic and the critical need for specialized leadership development to tackle staffing shortages
  • The newly published book, “Rewiring Leadership in Post-Acute Healthcare” authored by Quint Studer and Dan Collard with input from post-acute industry leaders
  •  The launch of the Post-Acute Leadership Institute (PALI), kicking off July 2024, to help leaders navigate the complexities of the post-acute care environment and achieve improved outcomes

To learn more about the Post-Acute Leadership Institute or order your copy of “Rewiring Leadership in Post-Acute Healthcare”, visit or contact

About Tracy Jansen

Tracy Jansen, SPHR is the Chief Executive Officer of GIGCS, LLC, an executive search firm specialized in serving the post-acute industry and the Chief Operating Officer of the Post-Acute Executive HR Roundtable. Over the past 20 years, she served in the industry as Chief Human Resources Officer for Signature HealthCare, Consulate Healthcare and Golden Living. She is a purpose driven, faith forward, solution focused HR and operations executive with an expertise in strategic planning, operations management, mergers and acquisitions, leadership development, talent acquisition and culture building.

Tracy strives to fulfill her purpose by using her business acumen, empathy and influence to continually serve our most vulnerable population and bring executives together to forge new pathways to greater quality of life for all.

About Nick Porter

Nick Porter is the President of Premier Workforce Solutions and has been serving the post-acute industry for more than ten years. After a decade of effectively leading hospitals and long-term care organizations through successful large-scale transformations in the benefits, compensation, and employee total rewards space, Mr. Porter formed Premier Workforce Solutions, LLC. Premier Workforce Solutions is an innovative HR Consulting Firm that delivers customized, affordable, integrated HR solutions specializing in the post-acute industry.

In January 2023, Mr. Porter expanded as CEO and Co-Owner of the Executive Roundtable, LLC. The Roundtable’s mission is to expand Executive HR leadership proficiency and value-add throughout the Post-Acute Care Continuum by providing access to a national network of peers, for exploration of best practices, real-time information sharing, and vendor management.

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Mark Slyter, President & CEO, Dignity Health

93_ Strategies for Improving Healthcare Outcomes and Employee Engagement with Mark Slyter, President and CEO, Dignity Health

On this episode of The Healthcare Plus Podcast, Quint Studer is joined by Mark Slyter, a senior healthcare executive who creates and executes breakthrough strategies that revitalize organizations at an accelerated pace. Currently, Mark works for CommonSpirit Health and serves as President and CEO of Dignity Health’s Arizona East Valley Market, where he oversees several large hospitals and urgent care centers.

Mark discusses his approach to improving healthcare outcomes by reinforcing their culture with “Excellence Every Day, Every Way”, which focuses on establishing consistent behaviors, investing in innovation, and enhancing effective communication. Thus far, this has resulted in significant improvements in patient safety, experience, employee engagement, and financial performance.

Mark shares specific strategies he has leveraged, such as using technology to improve patient communication and implementing care coaches on units. He also emphasizes the importance of making investments in these initiatives, rather than viewing them as expenses. Quint highlights the importance of combining technology with personal relationships to improve outcomes and shares solutions for creating consistent messaging throughout hospitals to improve branding and recognition and tie your values to patient experience.

Mark encourages other healthcare leads to reach out to him for more information by connecting with him on LinkedIn.

About Mark Slyter

During Mark Slyter’s 25-year career, he has achieved progressive healthcare experience at leading health systems and hospitals including Dignity Health, Phoenix, AZ, General Health System, Baton Rouge, LA, Mississippi Baptist Health Systems, Jackson, MS, Baptist Health System, Jacksonville, FL, and Greenville Hospital System, Greenville, SC.  Mark has a traditional career progression as the executive operations leader in small (56-bed), medium (146-bed), and large (651 bed) hospitals, including ACS Level I Trauma, and then advancing to serve as the CEO in multi-hospital, tertiary, and academic health systems. Mark has developed and led statewide Integrated Delivery Networks as large as 9,000 physicians, 200 facilities, 72,000 commercial lives, and 270,000 Medicaid lives.

The importance of evidence-based leadership has inspired Mark to achieve his Doctorate in Health Services and position health systems for more complex, comprehensive care through academic programs. Mark has led both start-up academic medical centers (124 residents) and established major teaching hospitals that annually train more than 500 medical students, residents, fellows, nurses, technologists, and other healthcare professionals.

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92_The Human Margin: Building the Foundations of Trust with Katherine Meese, PhD, Assistant Professor & Director of Research, University of Alabama at Birmingham

On this episode of the Healthcare Plus Podcast, Dan Collard talks with Quint Studer and Katherine Meese, PhD about their newly co-authored book, The Human Margin: Building the Foundations of Trust, which will be published in March by Health Administration Press (ACHE). Dr. Meese discusses her research on creating an optimal work environment for healthcare professionals and highlights the importance of trust in senior leadership to foster a positive workplace culture.

Quint and Katherine share new insights and solutions on:

  • Ways to improve well-being in the workforce and create employee flourishing
  • Factors that contribute to trust building from individuals and teams to middle management and senior leadership
  • The relationship between safety, communication, and trust in promoting healthy organizational cultures

Katherine and Quint will be sharing their new research and speaking in more detail on this topic at the upcoming 2024 ACHE Congress on March 26th from 9:00-10:30 am. Attendees can register for their session at

The Human Margin is now available for pre-order at this link.

About Dr. Katherine Meese

With over a decade of experience in healthcare management, leadership and research, Dr. Katherine Meese is a scholar in the field of organizational behavior, leadership and well-being. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Services Administration and the Director of Research at the UAB Medicine Office of Wellness, where she oversees the evaluation of evidence-based interventions to improve the health and well-being of healthcare workers.

She teaches and mentors students in UAB’s many programs, including the MSHA program, which is ranked #1 in the USA by U.S. News and World Report. She has co-authored two textbooks on organizational behavior in healthcare, and over 30 peer reviewed articles and book chapters. Her most recent book, The Human Margin: Building the Foundations of Trust with Quint Studer was released in early 2024.

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David Bartholomew

91_A Look Ahead at the 2024 ACHE Congress with David Bartholomew

On this episode of The Healthcare Plus Podcast, Quint Studer welcomes special guest David Bartholomew to highlight the upcoming 2024 ACHE Congress: Big Ideas. David is the Senior Vice President of Learning at the American College of Healthcare Executives, a professional society for healthcare leaders committed to improving health. This year, the ACHE Congress will welcome more than 5,000 attendees from across the industry to address workforce concerns in healthcare leadership.

Quint and David highlight the diversity of both attendees and speakers at the conference, as well as the enthusiasm and collaboration among participants. Sessions will cover a broad range of topics from AI and innovative technologies to prioritizing patient centered care to private equity investment in healthcare.

Quint will be joining the conference on Tuesday, March 26th to discuss “The Human Margin: What It Means, Why It Matters, and How to Maximize It” with fellow HPSG Co-Founder, Dan Collard, and respected researcher, Katherine A. Meese, PhD.

For additional information on the conference and ACHE’s educational programs, visit

About David Bartholomew

David Bartholomew is a lifelong advocate for health professionals and international education.  David is the Senior Vice President, Learning at the American College of Healthcare Executives in Chicago.  The role encompasses oversight of ACHE’s Professional Development and Publishing activities, including the Congress on Healthcare Leadership.

David Bartholomew assumed the role of Senior Vice President of Learning with the American College of Healthcare Executives in January 2019.  In this capacity David is tasked to drive the strategic direction for ACHE Learning and oversee the design and development of new learning modalities for ACHE including virtual, face-to-face, and hybrid learning approaches across the Learning portfolio.  Prior to ACHE, David worked for more than 20 years in strategic roles related to healthcare licensure education and publishing.

David holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a master’s degree in International Affairs from the University of Kentucky Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce.   David serves as a Board member for CAHME, the Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education.

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90_Empowering the Next Generation of Healthcare Leaders with Dan Gentry, President and CEO, AUPHA

On this episode of The Healthcare Plus Podcast, Quint Studer hosts special guest Dan Gentry, President and CEO of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA). AUPHA is a global network of colleges, universities, faculty, individuals, and organizations dedicated to the improvement of health and healthcare delivery through excellence in healthcare management and policy education.

In their conversation, Dan and Quint emphasize the importance of learning and independent growth for healthcare leaders and discuss the correlation between skill development, engagement, and turnover in organizations. Dan highlights the importance of offering leadership education and resources to train great students to go out and lead in healthcare organizations that provide wonderful care to patients and families. Dan also highlights the benefits of participating in AUPHA’s available programs, including the Art of Teaching Institute, which seeks to enhance teaching skills in healthcare organizations.

For those interested in learning more about AUPHA membership, programs, or awards, please contact Dan Gentry ( or visit

About Dan Gentry

Dan Gentry is President & CEO of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA). Between 1994 and 2020, he served as faculty and in a variety of academic leadership roles at Saint Louis University, Rush University, the University of Memphis, and the University of Iowa.

Dan has taught in the areas of healthcare organization and policy, organizational behavior and management, and leadership. His research has included the financing, organization, and delivery of health services; tobacco, obesity, and HIV policy; the patient experience; and, transitioning healthcare organizations from volume to value.

Dan has served in the leadership of regional ACHE Chapters in Missouri, Tennessee, and Iowa, and as Chair of ACHE’s LGBTQ Forum. He is a current member of ACHE, NAHSE, and NALHE. Dan is a past Fellow, Board Member,and Board Chair of CAHME; and, a past and current AUPHA Board Member.

Dan earned his BA from the College of Charleston, MHA from the Medical University of South Carolina, and PhD in Health Services & Policy Analysis from the University of California, Berkeley.

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89_How MUSC is Leveraging AI to Improve Patient Access and Experience with Crystal Broj, Chief Digital Transformation Officer

Hosted by Quint Studer with special guest Crystal Broj

On this episode of The Healthcare Plus Podcast, Quint Studer welcomes special guest Crystal Broj, Enterprise Chief Digital Transformation Officer at MUSC Health. Since joining the MUSC leadership team in 2022, Crystal has worked to revolutionize MUSC’s healthcare processes and accelerate the delivery of products, solutions, and services to their patient population.

Crystal shares how MUSC is leveraging AI technology to personalize patient care, optimize efficiency through automation, and reduce the burden on healthcare providers. From automated scribes to virtual consultations to fast-pass scheduling, MUSC is finding new ways to transform the patient experience while also prioritizing relationships between doctors and patients.

Quint and Crystal also discuss the importance of operational trials before implementing new technologies enterprise-wide. Crystal believes that collecting user feedback and including physicians in the implementation process is the key to gaining organizational buy-in.

For more information, Crystal invites listeners to connect with her on LinkedIn or send her a direct email at

About Crystal Broj

Crystal Broj is the Enterprise Chief Digital Transformation Officer for MUSC, starting in 2022.  Previously, Crystal served as the AVP for Digital Strategy & Transformation for NorthShore University Health System and Chief Technology & Innovation Officer for American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE).   In her current role, she is responsible for driving and accelerating the Digital Transformation Strategy and overseeing the delivery of products, solutions, and services out of the Transformation Pipeline, delivering optimal value for the MUSC platform ecosystem, healthcare systems and healthcare consumers.  Her time at NorthShore focused on the digital front door including a new mobile wrapper app and at AADE building an award-winning website, which was a one-stop shop for all diabetes devices and education.  Crystal earned her bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University. Originally a native from Chicago, she now enjoys low country living in Charleston.

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88_Data Speaks Volumes: The Power of Lab Diagnostics with Dr. David Grenache, Chief Scientific Officer, TriCore Laboratory

On this episode of The Healthcare Plus Podcast, Quint Studer hosts special guest Dr. David Grenache, Chief Scientific Officer of TriCore Reference Laboratories. Quint and David discuss how to replicate best practices, both in leadership and in medicine. Dr. Grenache shares examples of where he’s driven change through the implementation of best practices and how he guided his team through those transformations.

In their conversation, Dr. Grenache also shares valuable insights on:

  • The critical role laboratory professionals play in predictive and preventative care
  • The role of AI in healthcare
  • And the importance of leveraging tools and insights from laboratory data to impact population health

About David G. Grenache, PhD

Dr. Grenache is the chief scientific officer for TriCore Reference Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In that role, he leads the TriCore Research Institute which helps to innovate healthcare through cutting-edge clinical device trials, advanced central lab services, and a sample biorepository.

He is also the laboratory director of TriCore’s flagship core laboratory, the medical director of immunology and of point-of-care testing, and a clinical professor of pathology at the University of New Mexico. He is a past president of the Association for Diagnostics and Laboratory Medicine, formerly known as the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. His term as president coincided with the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 and, as such, he helped lead the association through a period of turbulence and uncertainty.

Dr. Grenache earned his PhD in biomedical sciences from WPI in Worcester, Massachusetts, and completed postdoctoral training in clinical chemistry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He has published over 100 research articles, abstracts, and book chapters and is frequently invited to speak at scientific meetings.

His research interests are centered on leveraging longitudinal laboratory data to gain insights into individual and population health and the diagnostic tests used to manage the pregnant patient.

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