Plenary Speakers

christensen_tiffany_websiteTiffany Christensen

Lung Transplant Survivor & Author of Sick Girl Speaks

Tiffany was born with cystic fibrosis and has received two life-saving double lung transplants. Today she is a national public speaker, and the author of Sick Girl Speaks and We Are the Change: Transforming the Healthcare Experience Through Partnership.

Since 2007, Tiffany has opened her heart and shared her story as a vehicle to ushering in a new age of patient empowerment. Our health care culture is shifting and, with this, come opportunities and challenges. Tiffany combines her extensive experience as a patient with her training as a TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer, Certified Respecting Choices Advance Care Planning Instructor, and APPEAL Certified Trainee to captivate her audiences with new and concrete strategies for navigating the healthcare maze.

In 2007, Tiffany combined her efforts with that of Project Compassion to develop and create a curriculum for professionals, students, patients, and families focused on patient advocacy skills, advance care planning conversation strategies, and organ/eye/tissue donation education. In 2010, she launched the Train a Trainer 1.5-day training, which now enables others to share this unique and powerful information within their own communities. She now travels throughout the US presenting her workshops and lectures on patient safety, advocacy, advance care planning, donation, pediatric illness and “life in the deathbed.”

For more information on Tiffany please visit

Lisa Schilling

Vice President, Healthcare Performance Improvement, Kaiser Permanente 

In 2006, Kaiser Permanente, an American health care provider and not-for-profit health plan, set a goal to deliver best-in-class, high-quality performance. To support this, Lisa, along with a team of experts, developed a performance improvement process to reduce variations in quality, safety, service and efficiency across its medical centers.

Only five years later Kaiser Permanente received top rankings in 11 effectiveness-of-care measures – more than any other health plan. Its Medicare health plans received a 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the highest ranking possible, in five of its regions. And, according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance, Kaiser Permanente had the four highest-ranked Medicare health plans in the nation and four of the top 25 Private (Commercial) health plans.

With over 20 years in health care under her belt, Lisa has spent the past 11 years at Kaiser Permanente coaching tens of thousands of leaders, staff, and point-of-care teams how to adopt and apply their Institute for Healthcare Improvement-based model for improvement.

Lisa is a hands-on expert in change management, both large- and small-scale, with a mission to teach and spread improvement in health care. In 2014, the Juran Institute named her an Executive Master Black Belt for her work leading the leaders of quality improvement; in 2012, she was named one of the United States’ top 10 clinical quality leaders alongside names such as Donald Berwick and Maureen Bisognano, who both previously served as president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

She serves on the editorial board of the Joint Commission Journal for Quality and Safety and has authored several publications on related topics. Prior to Kaiser Permanente, she was the national director of critical care services at VHA Inc., focusing on improving delivery system performance.

davidmatear-websiteDavid Matear

Senior Operating Director, Northern Lights Regional Health Centre and Fort McMurray Area, Alberta Health Services

On May 3, 2016, the residents of Fort McMurray were forced to evacuate and leave behind their homes when a wildfire tore through the city. Alberta Health Services staff at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre stayed the course and, despite their own personal circumstances, courageously and selflessly saw to it that every patient at the hospital was safely evacuated and cared for.

David will discuss the day of the evacuation, the staff and patient relocation north to a nearby oil sands company’s base, the subsequent evacuation from that site, as well as the reestablishment and reactivation of all health services in the city as re-entry of staff and residents began almost a month later.

David’s health care education began with a Bachelor of Medical Science and Bachelor of Dentistry from the University of Dundee, Scotland. He went on to achieve a Master of Science in Public Health from the University of London, England, a postgraduate certificate in health care quality management from the University of Wollongong, Dubai, and a PhD in health care administration from Capella University.

When David took up his current post at Alberta Health Services in December 2014, he brought him with a wealth of health care experience. He’s worked in hospitals in Dundee, Scotland, and across England, with a focus on oral and maxillofacial surgery and the general clinical practice side of dentistry.

Moving to Fort McMurray wasn’t his first introduction to northern Canadian living. David spent two years in Hay River and Pine Point in the Northwest Territories, providing clinical care.

Following his time in the NWT, he returned to the UK to work at a large teaching hospital, Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, England. It was during that time that he became familiar with military health care. The experience moved him to join the Armed Forces and he became an officer of the Royal Navy.

He also served as the Assistant Dean for Clinical Affairs at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Dentistry from 2000 to 2004. He went on to spend 10 years in the Middle East, working to commission a Centre of Excellence for dentistry and the framework and standards for the developing health care system in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, before making the move to Fort McMurray and joining AHS.