Nov 7

to 8

Leader Dialogue Rural Health CEO Innovation Council

Sheraton Birmingham Hotel | 2101 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. N.
Birmingham, AL
Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019 at 12:30 PM – Friday, Nov. 8, 2019 at 12:00 PM (CST)

The Baldrige Foundation and SOAR Vision Group are partnering with The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) Department of Health Services Administration on this year’s National Symposium for Healthcare Executives event. The Rural Healthcare CEO Innovation Council will participate in the Symposium’s Keynote Presentation with Chuck Stokes, Top Golf Dinner / Networking event and Friday C-Suite Panel in addition to our own rural healthcare-focused programming.

Learn More about this event



Dr. Roger Spoelman, Executive Advisor, Strategic and Operational Integration Trinity Health, and
CEO, Cure International

Jennifer Strahan, COO SOAR Vision Group, Strategy Execution System Co-Architect and Accelerated
Baldrige Performance Excellence Pathway Facilitator

Ben Sawyer, President & CEO SOAR Vision Group, Strategy Execution System Co-Architect and
Accelerated Baldrige Performance Excellence Pathway Facilitator


KEYNOTE: Chuck Stokes, President & CEO of the Memorial Hermann Health System, Houston, TX


• Challenges Facing Rural Healthcare Operators
• The Role of Innovation in Strategy Development and System Differentiation
• Integrating Innovation and Performance Excellence Into Your Operating Model

NETWORKING EVENT (6:00 PM to 8:30 PM) Top Golf Outing


• Panel: High-Performance Case Studies
• Joint Session with Baldrige Foundation CEO Roundtable discussion


Oct 24

to 25

Annual Fall Baldrige Conference-“Tune Into Excellence”

Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
Nashville, TN
Oct 24-25

We are proud to be a sponsor for the 2019 Baldrige Fall Conference. Come learn from and share with some of the top thought-leaders of the Baldrige community!

Our CEO, Ben Sawyer, will speak regarding Accelerating the Performance Excellence Journey in the Age of Consumerism on Friday, Oct. 25 at 12:45pm (Breakout Session 4)

Sept 20

Leader Dialogue Radio Show – 1:00 pm ET

Episode Guest – Alan Nalle

Chief Strategy Officer, Patientco

About AlAn Nalle

Alan Nalle is Chief Strategy Officer at Patientco, developing strategies and supporting plans for Patientco to deliver unique value to its clients. Prior to Patientco, Alan served as a Managing Director in Accenture Strategy’s Healthcare practice where he led projects addressing many of his client’s most pressing issues related to growth and innovation for leading Providers and Payers.

Sept 6

Leader Dialogue Radio Show – 1:00 pm ET

Episode Guest – Craig Clapper

Partner, Transformational Advisory Services, Press Ganey

About Craig Clapper

Craig Clapper was a founding Partner of HPI. Mr. Clapper has over 25 years of experience improving reliability in nuclear power, transportation, manufacturing and health care. He specializes in cause analysis (including nuclear power events and component failures, commercial aviation components, and the Texas A&M bonfire structure collapse), reliability improvement (including Feed Water & Main Turbine systems in nuclear power, manufacturing at Baker Hughes, and chemotherapy processes at St Jude’s Children’s Hospital), and safety culture improvements (for Duke Energy, U.S. Department of Energy, ABB, Westinghouse, Framatome ANP, Sentara Healthcare, and others). He now is the lead ​partner on several safety culture engagements for health care systems. 

Prior to forming HPI, Mr. Clapper was the Chief Operating Officer of Performance Improvement International, Chief Engineer for Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Station, and Systems Engineering Manager for Palo Verde Nuclear Generation Station. He is a registered professional engineer in Ariz., has a Master in Business Administration, and is a Certified Manager of Quality and Organizational Excellence by the American Society for Quality (ASQ).

Aug 16

Leader Dialogue Radio Show – 1:00 pm ET

Episode Guest – Geoff Duncan

Lieutenant Governor, Georgia 

About Geoff Duncan

A former professional baseball player and successful entrepreneur, Geoff Duncan was elected Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor in November of 2018.

Geoff graduated from Chattahoochee High School in Alpharetta where he met his wife, Brooke. Geoff and Brooke both attended the Georgia Institute of Technology where Geoff was a scholarship pitcher. After a successful career at Georgia Tech, Geoff was drafted by the Florida Marlins’ organization. Geoff spent six seasons playing baseball in the minor leagues, advancing as high as AAA before a shoulder injury forced his retirement in the early 2000s.

After retiring from baseball, Geoff and his wife Brooke started a small marketing firm in their living room. The company experienced tremendous success which allowed Geoff and Brooke to sell the business and move on to multiple other entrepreneurial ventures. Geoff most recently served as the CEO of a health technology startup.

Geoff’s faith inspired him to a life of leadership and prompted his upstart run for political office. He was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2012. During his time in office he authored several important pieces of legislation. These include HB 749-The Cargo Theft Act, HB152-Michael’s Law and most recently SB258- the Rural Hospital Tax Credit.

Geoff and Brooke are married and have three sons: Parker, Bayler, and Ryder. Geoff has coached youth sports for 23 years and also leads a weekly bible study with his wife Brooke. The Duncans attend Browns Bridge Community Church, an affiliate of North Point Community Church.

Aug 2

Leader Dialogue Radio Show – 1:00 pm ET

Episode Guest – Dr. Rulon Stacey

Managing Director,  Healthcare Strategy business unit at Navigant

About Rulon Stacey

Dr. Rulon Stacey is a managing director and leader of Navigant’s Healthcare Strategy business unit. As a nationally recognized healthcare leader, Dr. Stacey brings a future-focused, leadership-driven approach to clients, as well as a unique understanding of provider issues, leadership and governance challenges, and strategy alternatives. He provides expertise in the design and development of initiatives that support cultural and organizational changes needed for ongoing success as health systems evolve from fee-for-service to a value-based environment.

A nationally recognized governance speaker and leader, Dr. Stacey helps governing boards strategize, understand board organization and performance measures, and develop leadership and board succession plans.

In June 2015, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker appointed Dr. Stacey to a second three-year term as the chair of the board of overseers of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. He is a former chair of the board of directors of the American College of Healthcare Executives and was twice named by Modern Healthcare as among the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare.

Jul 19

Jul 19

Leader Dialogue Radio Show – 1:00 pm ET

Episode Guest – Niki Buchanan

Venture Leader, Population Insights & Care, Philips Wellcentive 

About Niki Buchanan

Jun 21

Leader Dialogue Radio Show – 1:00 pm ET

Episode Guest – Lowell C. Kruse

Co-founder and Chair, Communities of Excellence 2026 

Board Member, Baldrige Foundation

About Lowell Kruse

Lowell C. Kruse is the former CEO of Heartland Health in St. Joseph, Missouri. He retired in July 2009 after serving Heartland for 25 years as their CEO. Kruse came to St. Joseph in 1984 when the two existing community hospital boards had decided to come together and form Heartland Health to better serve the needs of the community and the broader region surrounding St. Joseph. He describes the vision of the organization as, “Heartland Health and its service area will be the best and safest place in America to receive healthcare and live a healthy and productive life.” As evidence of the organization’s progress toward that vision, they were the 2009 recipient of both the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service. During his 45 year career, Lowell served on numerous boards, committees, commissions and in leadership capacities in professional and civic organizations including State and National Jaycee Organizations, state hospital associations, American Hospital Association, Chamber of Commerce, United Way, State Commissions, health planning agencies, and similar organizations. He has been the recipient of a variety of personal and professional awards and recognitions during his career. Lowell currently serves as Co-Founder and Chair of Communities of Excellence 2026, the Board of Directors for the Baldrige Foundation and the Missouri Family and Community Trust.

May 17

Leader Dialogue Radio Show – 1:00 pm ET

Episode Guest – Sherry Farrugia

Chief Operating and Strategy Officer, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Pediatric Technology Center

About Sherry Farrugia

As the COO and CSO of the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) Pediatric Technology Center, Ms. Farrugia manages the multimillion-dollar pediatric research portfolio and the public-private partnership between Georgia Tech and CHOA.  In this dual role, she is responsible for the execution of key business initiatives to improve efficiency, effectiveness and reduce administrative costs.  She provides executive-level leadership for business and operational functions such as budget planning and organization of team process around a function.  This includes providing insight into the innovations, new technologies and startups developed as a result of this partnership.

Sherry is the Vice-President for the International Society for Pediatric Innovation and represents both Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Georgia Tech with the Global Health ATL: Innovation Hub.

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Contact Info

SOAR Vision Group LLC
P.O. Box 402 Dacula, GA, 30019

Phone: (888) 294-3303 x 711

Email: Send us an email

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