Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research


Susie Dade, MPA

Susie Dade, MPA, has worked in health care in Washington state for 37 years. Currently, as Deputy Director of the Washington Health Alliance, Ms. Dade is involved in virtually all aspects of the Alliance’s work but has a particular focus on strategic planning, performance measurement and reporting, purchaser engagement in value-based purchasing, and provider performance improvement. Ms. Dade also served as the Project Director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Aligning Forces for Quality program in the Puget Sound area until it concluded in April 2015. From 1980 to 2005, Ms. Dade held several delivery system leadership and planning positions, including 16 years with Group Health Cooperative. Ms. Dade has a Bachelors Degree in Health Administration and a Masters in Public Administration.


Eve A. Kerr, MD, MPH

Eve A. Kerr, MD, MPH, is the Louis Newburgh Research Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, Director of the Ann Arbor VA Center for Clinical Management Research (a VA Health Services Research and Development Center of Innovation), Director of the Michigan Program on Value Enhancement, and a member of the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation. Dr. Kerr received her medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco and completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at University of California, Los Angeles. She subsequently completed the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar’s Program and received a Masters of Public Health from UCLA. Dr. Kerr studies ways to develop and implement innovative methods to assess and improve quality, appropriateness and patient-centered care and to decrease low-value care. In particular, she studies ways to develop more clinically meaningful and valid way to assess and motivate quality improvement for patients at high risk for poor outcomes while minimizing potential for unintended consequences. Dr. Kerr has spoken nationally and internationally on performance measurement and has published over 100 books, book chapters, manuscripts, and editorials in many high impact journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, JAMA Internal Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine, BMJ, Health Affairs, and Harvard Business Review, among others. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the Association of American Physicians, and the American Society of Clinical Investigation and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.


Bridgette Hempstead

Bridgette Hempstead is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Cierra Sisters, Inc., an African American breast cancer organization that uniquely provides support, education and advocacy about women’s breast and health issues. Bridgette’s personal, hands-on approach has and is changing the lives of women all across the country. Her determination to educate and empower others comes out of her own experience with breast cancer. A two-time, 20-year survivor, Bridgette received her diagnosis on her 35th birthday. At that time, she found no resources for African American women. Therefore, she became the solution, and Cierra Sisters, Inc. was born. She found that women’s fear of breast cancer was due largely to the lack of knowledge. As the late author and entertainer, Earl Nightingale once stated, “Whenever we’re afraid, it’s because we don’t know enough. If we understood enough, we would never be afraid.” Inspired by Ms. Nightingale’s words, Bridgette chose the African word cierra which means “knowing” to identify the community resource and educational organization which she began in 1996. Cierra Sisters has proudly served our community for over twenty years. Cierra Sisters is helping to change the way members of our community thinks about cancer by taking the fear out of the word cancer and replacing it with knowledge which ultimately leads to personal empowerment. Bridgette has taken a larger step as she has moved her message with a global approach. Her recent trip to Uganda has brought the message to Africa, and she continues to step strong in the direction to reach men and women globally. As her reputation grew in the health community, more and more patients were being referred to her by doctors, family members, LGBT and religious institutions for her assistance in navigating individuals through the health care system. Her efforts helped many to connect with the proper resources and support networks. Bridgette has developed breast cancer evidence-based curriculum that community members can understand and share within their network. Over the years, Bridgette has been featured in The Seattle Times, A National Health Care forum along with Teresa Heinz Kerry, Everyday Health News , and more. An engaging and effective speaker, Bridgette is also a songwriter and a soul-piercing singer. Her single, “Sista Don’t You Know,” has had a positive impact on the women and men who have had the opportunity to hear this moving song. Written to honor and encourage survivors of breast cancer, “Sista Don’t You Know” has become so much more.   


Diane Mapes is a health and humor writer who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 and has been writing and speaking about her experiences - and advocating for other cancer patients - ever since. In January 2014, she joined Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's communications team, writing about public health research, prevention, survivorship and more for Fred Hutch News Service. During her 20+ years as an award-winning journalist, lifestyle writer and humor columnist, she's published hundreds of feature stories and essays for local and national news sites, including NBCnews.com, TODAY.com, MSN.com, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The author/editor of two books, she also writes the breast cancer blog, www.doublewhammied.com and tweets/advocates at @double_whammied.


Veena Shankaran, MD, treats patients with gastrointestinal cancers and is a part of the Esophageal Cancer Specialty Clinic, a clinic designed to bring providers together to design and deliver a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to each individual patient. Her research interests focus on the out-of-pocket costs that patients with gastrointestinal cancers experience as well as the cost-effectiveness of cancer therapy—studying how great care can be delivered without wasting resources. She is a faculty member of the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research (HICOR) in the Public Health Sciences Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She is currently leading a pilot study of a comprehensive financial navigation program in patients with newly diagnosed cancer, which is a collaborative project between HICOR and three community-based patient advocacy organizations: Consumer Education and Training Services (CENTS), Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF), and Family Reach Foundation.


Bryan J. Weiner, PhD

Bryan J. Weiner, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Global Health and Department of Health Services at the University of Washington. Dr. Weiner's research focuses on the adoption, implementation and sustainability of innovations and evidence-based practices in health care delivery and other organizational settings. He has studied a wide range of innovations including quality improvement practices, care management practices, patient safety practices, clinical information systems, collaborative service delivery models, cancer prevention and control in communities, and evidence-based diabetes practices. His research has advanced implementation science by creating new knowledge about the organizational determinants of effective implementation, introducing and developing new theories, and improving the state of measurement in the field.


Marilyn Birchman, RN, MSN, AOCNS, is a certified oncology advanced practice nurse and serves as the Regional Director of Cancer Services and Research at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. She has been in the field of oncology since 1997 and has experience caring for patients and their families in the hospital and in the clinic. Marilyn has been with the Cancer Partnership since 2006 and has served as the Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist and the Clinical Research Manager. As the Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Marilyn was responsible for oncology nursing care throughout the cancer program, outpatient infusion, radiation oncology, and inpatient oncology. In addition, she led the clinical focus of quality improvement activities related to cancer care and chemotherapy administration, as well as the coordination of early detection screening events and community outreach to support cancer care. As Clinical Research Manager, she oversaw all clinical research studies at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett and Providence Regional Cancer Partnership.


Renee Curtis, PharmD, BCOP, is an oncology pharmacist at The Everett Clinic. Renee is dedicated to ensuring the safety of the medications provided to patients in the infusion suite at the Providence Regional Cancer Partnership. Renee has over 10 years of experience working with oncology patients. She has a passion for oncology care, patient education, anticoagulation, and anemia management.




Kelly Mardesich, RN, OCN, is the clinical practice manager for medical oncology at the Providence Regional Cancer Partnership. Kelly has been a registered nurse for over 30 years with 25 of those years being in the Specialty of Oncology. Prior to joining The Everett Clinic in 2006, Kelly worked as an inpatient registered nurse in oncology. Kelly now works closely with the leadership team of the Providence Regional Cancer Partnership and is in charge of the Infusion Center and managing the physician practice. She has been fortunate to have had the privilege of caring for many oncology patients in the past. Kelly now has the opportunity to optimize the patient experience and to make the oncology journey the best it can be through quality, clinical care and expertise.


Sibel Blau, MD

Sibel Blau, MD, is a medical oncologist who has been in clinical practice since 2001 after completion of her Stem Cell fellowship at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. In addition to her work as a breast oncologist, Dr. Blau has taken leadership roles in developing breast cancer program of excellence in her region. She is very involved with clinical research programs as a PI and sub PI on many clinical trials at Northwest Medical Specialties where she is the Medical Director for Hematology-Oncology division and is the head of the Precision Medicine program. 



Bre Holt, MPH

Bre Holt, MPH, has more than 12 years of experience in healthcare program management and coordination. She currently serves as the director for two Practice Transformation Support Hub contracts held by Qualis Health, assisting providers to provide integrated care, prepare for value-based payment, and strengthen community-clinical linkages. Previously, Ms. Holt managed a diverse portfolio of practice transformation projects, including those related to oral health and behavioral health integration in primary care settings. 



Jeffrey Hummel, MD, MPH

Jeffrey Hummel, MD, MPH, is the Medical Director for Health Informatics at Qualis Health and a general internist with more than 30 years of medical experience, including rural practice, staff model HMOs and fee-for-service academic clinics. He has done extensive work integrating a population medicine approach to quality improvement with modern health information technology in medical home settings. He specializes in meaningful use, specifically helping practices develop workflows to support the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Model of Care. He currently helps practices adapt their electronic medical records to workflow processes that improve clinical outcomes and prepare these practices to thrive in a value-based reimbursement environment. 


Ron Walters, MD

Ronald S. Walters, MD, MBA, MHA, has been at M.D. Anderson since 1979 as a physician in both the leukemia service and the breast medical oncology service. He is currently the Associate Vice President for Medical Operations and Informatics with direct oversight over the Tumor Registry. He also provides input and medical oversight to many departments in hospital operations including health information management, case management, social work, quality improvement, and managed care contracting at M.D. Anderson. He has authored or co-authored over 200 articles on the treatment of malignancies. His work in the quality field dates back to 2000, when as the medical director for the MD Anderson Physicians Network, he developed an electronic tool to assess adherence to standardized NCCN guidelines and automated reports for pertinent measures to drive performance improvement. He has been the medical director of the physician training course in performance improvement methodology for fifteen years, modeled on the work done by Brent James at Intermountain Healthcare. Over 500 physicians across the UT System and over 1500 healthcare workers have now completed this training and incorporated it into daily workflow and process improvement. He serves on the Best Practices Committee, the Guideline Steering Committee, and the Board of Directors for the NCCN, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, which are the cancer centers responsible for the development and maintenance of practice guidelines in oncology. For the last eight years, he has worked on the implementation of the value proposition in oncology. This involves not only the development and reporting of relevant outcomes metrics but also a true methodology to capture the costs involved in the achievement of those outcomes. These concepts were embedded in a pilot project of a bundled payment program with a major payer. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the equivalent of core measure reporting is now being developed for oncology, as already exists for diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and asthma. He has been a key representative for the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers in this developmental work. He is the chair of the Measures Application Partnership Hospital Workgroup and most recently, several task forces convened by the National Quality Partners around Shared Decision Making and Advanced Illness Care. He currently is the co-chair of the NQP Steering Committee. 


Jennie Crews, MD, MMM, FACP

Jennie Crews, MD, MMM, FACP, has over 20 years of experience in oncology in academic, private practice and hospital-based settings. She is the Medical Director for the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Network, Community Sites and Research Integration and is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington. Previously, she was the Medical Director for Cancer Services at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Cancer Center and for the PeaceHealth Northwest Network and the Medical Director of the Marion L. Shepard Cancer Center in Washington, NC. Dr. Crews received her B.S. in Biology with highest honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She earned her MD from Duke University and completed training in internal medicine and oncology at Duke, where she served as Assistant Chief Resident.  In 2016, Dr. Crews completed a Master in Medical Management from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. She is a Fellow in the American College of Physicians and is board certified in medical oncology. Dr. Crews was President of the Association of Community Cancer Centers from 2016-2017. She is the President-elect of the Washington State Medical Oncology Society. She is a reviewer for the ASCO-SEP and Co-Chair of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Practice Guidelines Implementation Network.


Ted Conklin, MD

Ted Conklin, MD, is the Vice President of Collaborative Healthcare Solutions, a key leadership role at Premera Blue Cross leading the way to improving customer experience and reducing cost trends by improving quality and the use of evidence-based care at the point of service. A primary focus in his role is supporting the development of value-based products and provider partnerships to achieve distinctive, competitive programs to help Premera's employer customers meet their business objectives related to health care. Dr. Conklin joined Premera in 2011 as a medical director, leading the development of a number of successful utilization management initiatives. He then served as medical director for Clinical Innovation, working with Premera's Health Care Incubation Lab to explore and pilot new approaches for promoting high-value care. Before transitioning to his current role, Dr. Conklin served as the Vice President of Quality and Medical Management with accountability for Premera's quality program, utilization management, medical policy development and clinical provider engagement activities. Prior to coming to Premera, Dr. Conklin taught at Swedish Hospital's Family Medicine residency program, served as Chief of Family Medicine and was a member of Swedish Hospital's Medical Executive Committee. In 2000, Dr. Conklin founded Carena, a company that provides medical house calls, telephonic and web-based care. At Carena, he served in a series of leadership roles including CEO, Chairman and Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Conklin is certified by the American Board of Family Practice. He completed his residency in family medicine at Oregon Health Sciences University and earned his bachelor of science and doctor of medicine degrees at Tufts University.


Tim Lieb

Tim Lieb has spent the last two decades immersed in the health care industry. From his start as a senior underwriter and account executive, to the front lines as the vice president of sales, up through his current role as president of Regence BlueShield in Washington, Tim's desire is to create more affordable and accountable health care solutions for Washingtonians. As the Washington market president, Tim is responsible for directing and guiding the overall performance of Regence, including sales, provider contracting, government affairs, and community relations. He takes an inside-out approach to working with employers that starts with understanding their unique needs and then creating solutions that help drive growth and support company culture. Tim has actively served in his community with a focus on improving health care for Washingtonians and serves on the board of the Washington Health Alliance. Tim earned his bachelor's degree in Mathematics with a minor in Business from Ohio University.