Patient Safety Speakers Bureau

The Center for Patient Safety’s healthcare Speaker’s Bureau was formed as a resource for patient safety related conferences, seminars or meetings sponsored or hosted by your agency, association or organization. Our veteran speakers offer their expertise on Patient Safety, Just Culture, Transparency, Disclosure, Healthcare Acquired Infections, Reimbursement, Health Care Reform and more. Full list of Speaker Topics

The Center is a noted leader in the burgeoning Patient Safety sector of the Healthcare industry. One of the first ten Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs), in the nation, the Center’s mission is “to be a leader in providing solutions and resources to improve patient safety and the quality of healthcare delivery by conducting activities in collaboration with healthcare providers, physicians, purchasers, consumers and government.”

Whether local, regional or national, plan on a CPS Patient Safety representative to address your next health care conference or meeting.

Contact the Center for Patient Safety if you are interested in reserving one of our speakers for your event.  Email us or call 888.935.8272


Kathy Wire, JD, MBA, CPHRM, CPPS

As a speaker, Kathryn provides a learning experience that combines research and current trends with her vast experience and examples critical to risk management learning.

Effective risk management and good clinical care require each staff member and manager to engage in productive conversations about disappointment and concern.  These skills supplement patient safety efforts.  Read more

Michael Handler, MD, MMM, FACHE

Dr. Handler is the medical director/chief medical officer for SSM St. Joseph Hospital West in Lake Saint Louis.  As medical director/chief medical officer, Dr. Handler serves as liaison between the organized medical staff and administration, which advances the clinical practice of medicine for the campus. He also serves as the physician advisor to case management.

Dr. Handler has been a physician in the state of Missouri since 1985. He operated a private Obstetrics and Gynecology practice in Kirkwood and Wildwood from 1989 through 2007. Dr. Handler also served as house obstetric physician for SSM St. Joseph Hospital of Kirkwood (SJHK) since 2001. Additionally, he spent two years serving as SJHK’s medical director for quality improvement, during which time he implemented many successful quality improvement initiatives.  Read more


Eunice Halverson, MA, CPPS

Eunice Halverson maintains a passion for improving patient safety.  As such, in her role as Patient Safety Specialist for the Center, she enthusiastically leads the Patient Safety Organization program by providing participants with education, data analysis, and sharing trends and practices to improve patient safety across the continuum of health care.  She brings 35 years  of leadership and “hands-on” experience working for a large health care system, focusing on patient safety, quality, risk management, performance improvement and regulatory and accreditation compliance.  The last 11 years of her full-time career were spent as Corporate Vice President for Patient Safety and Quality.  As a member of the first healthcare Baldrige recipient, she presented at numerous national, state and local conferences and meetings. Read more



Lee Varner, MS EMS, EMT-P, CPPS

Lee is passionate about EMS and safety.  He believes that patient and crew safety are core values in the industry. His work includes analysis, planning, and coordination for EMS projects as well as the redesign and implementation of patient safety strategies. Lee leads the effort to bring patient safety training and education to EMS providers. This education and training gives EMS professionals the opportunity to learn from adverse events, near misses, and unsafe conditions in the hopes of developing the best practices for the industry. Read more


Tina Hilmas, RN BSN, MS, CPPS

Ms. Hilmas is the Assistant Director at The Center for Patient Safety and brings a diverse nursing background to the Center. She received her BSN from The Ohio State University and her MS in Health Informatics from the University of Missouri.  She has spent over 20 years in the nursing profession both within hospital walls and outside in the home care arena. She spent the first decade of her career working in the Neonatal ICU at places such as Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the University of Michigan. She has spent time as a school nurse, and also adjunct faculty in an AD nursing program before turning her attention to the home care arena where she spent more than 10 years in leadership, operations and quality improvement.

She first developed a passion for patient safety when working in the NICU. This passion continued as she transitioned into home care and was able to see first-hand how patient safety was affected by the transition of the patient from the hospital to the home environment. Her current work includes collaborating on quality improvement projects that include incorporating a strong patient safety culture.  She also reviews patient safety events reported to the Center to analyze for trends and causal factors to assist organizations with changing their culture and improving patient safety.

Ms. Hilmas is a certified Just Culture trainer, a master TeamSTEPPS trainer and is also a Certified Professional in Patient Safety.  Her master’s degree focused on evaluating patient safety in home care and developed a road-map for the development and implementation of a patient safety program/culture in home care


Richard A. Royer

Mr. Royer has served as the chief executive officer of Primaris since 2001.  He has extensive administrative healthcare experience and is actively involved in several statewide healthcare initiatives.  In 2006, he was appointed by the Missouri governor to the Missouri Healthcare Information Technology Task Force and chaired the resources workgroup.  He also serves on the board of directors for the Excellence in Missouri Foundation.

In over his 35 years of medical business experience, he has held positions as chief executive officer at Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, General Hospital; executive director of Columbia Regional Hospital in Missouri; and founder and president of Avalon Enterprises, a medical financial consulting firm.  He graduated from the University of Akron, Ohio, with a BS in Accounting, from Cleveland State University with an MBA, and from the Advanced Management Program of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.


Debby A. Vossenkemper

Deborah (Debby) A. Vossenkemper, MBA, RHIA, CPHQ, is a consultant for the Center for Patient Safety.  She served as the SSM Health System Vice President Patient Safety and Quality (18 hospitals) from 2013 till her retirement in 2018. She was responsible for oversight and alignment of patient safety and quality (PSQ) functions and outcomes across SSM Health and provided PSQ consultative support for the SSM Health hospitals.  During her forty-two year career with SSM Health she held various leadership roles in the areas/departments of patient safety, clinical quality, performance improvement, regulatory, risk management, care management, infection prevention, information management, and health information management.  Ms. Vossenkemper was an assistant professor for ten years at St. Charles Community College in the School of Allied Health and served as a guest lecturer in the Health Information Management program at St. Louis University.  She earned her Bachelor of Health Information degree from St. Louis University and MBA from Fontbonne University.  Ms. Vossenkemper is accredited as a Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA).  In 1996, she earned her certification as a Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ).  In 2005, she achieved Six Sigma Green Belt certification.  Ms. Vossenkemper also served with the Excellence in Missouri Foundation, Missouri Quality Award program (MBNQA) for over thirteen years in varying roles as an Examiner, Senior Examiner, Team Leader, Judge and the Chair of the Panel of Judges.

Debby’s topics of speaking include:

  • Patient Safety Culture Assessment – any phase of the process
  • Tools to Build and Support a Patient Safety Culture — we can discuss what this might look like.  I did not see it outlined in the Strategic Plan so perhaps a future type of activity
  • Root Cause Analysis – Process and Follow-up.   I did not see it outlined in the Strategic Plan so perhaps also a future activity
  • Just Culture – anyway that Kathy needs help I am happy to do so



Contact the Center for Patient Safety if you are interested in reserving one of our speakers for your event.  Email us or call 888.935.8272


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The Center for Patient Safety believes that collaboration and sharing are the best ways to drive improvement. We strive to provide the right solutions and resources to improve healthcare safety and quality.