Meet the Cadence Clinical Services Team

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Clinical Solutions: Client Success Stories

Since 2009, Neosho Memorial has earned more than 125 regional and national awards, including the 2021 National Health Quality Innovation Award: population health runner up for Community of Immunity initiative, multiple 5-star ratings for patient experience by CMS and Becker’s Hospital Review, Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work for 12 consecutive years, and Press Ganey 2021 Guardian of Excellence Awards in patient experience and employee engagement.

As Cadence’s Chief Clinical Officer, I am committed to replicating the Neosho Memorial experience and creating more clinical, quality and patient safety success stories among our clients. At its heart, my focus is clinical excellence and quality outcomes and our collaborations to improve patient safety and improve the patient experience.

The expertise and unparalleled dedication of the Cadence Clinical Services Team gives me – and our client hospitals – great confidence. Together, they have approximately 300 years of hands-on, results-driven, client-first experience. Allow me to introduce you.

Clinical Excellence: Meet the Cadence Clinical Services Team

Leading the team is Dr. Kristine Keefer-Wolff, Senior Vice President, Clinical Solutions. She is a healthcare executive with 25+ years of system and business unit level healthcare experience and a history of creating and improving workplace culture, employee engagement and patient outcomes. She is known as a transformational leader skilled at relationship building with internal and external partners.

Prior to joining Cadence, Kristine spent most of her career at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). In her last role, she was the Vice President, Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at UPMC Somerset, a newly integrated community and rural hospital at UPMC. She was responsible for the overall hospital operations and delivery of clinical care as well as ancillary support departments. She also led the organization through system integration, developed the leadership team and navigated the facility through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kris has a team of highly capable, client-focused and results-oriented professionals, including:

  • Michele Back, BSN, Master of Science Quality Assurance, Senior Director of Quality and Safety, works with clients to develop and advance evidence-based solutions that achieve benchmark clinical outcomes for safety, high quality and cost-effective care.

    “I worked closely with a critical access hospital to remedy the absence of a quality director and a comprehensive quality and patient safety strategy. Knowing how difficult it is to recruit a quality professional, I worked with the organizational leaders to identify an internal resource. I then coached and mentored the internal, informal leader who has blossomed in this new role and am confident this leader will successfully navigate the organization on the journey to high reliability.”

  • Sandy Garcia, BSN, MBA, Associate Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Behavioral Health Services. Sandy has 37 years of healthcare experience and most recently served as the surveyor and lead consultant in the hospital, nursing care center, ambulatory and behavioral health programs for The Joint Commission Enterprise surveying to the Standards and Elements of Performance and the Medicare Conditions of Participation.

    Sandy has written a series of blogs about getting survey-ready in 2022. To read the first one in the series, click here.

  • Darlene Hines, BSHS, MHA, Senior Consultant, Clinical Solutions. During her 30+ year healthcare career, Darlene has focused on operational implementation, administrative and strategic planning.

    “My most rewarding Cadence client experience was working with a small public hospital in one of America’s largest cities to get ready them for a CAP survey. The managers and staff were so happy they received minimum findings that it brought them to tears. I knew at that moment the work we completed together as a team was worth it.”

  • Buck Kaiser, MSN, BSN, RN-CNN, Senior Consultant, Regulatory Affairs and Behavioral Health Services. With more than 24 years as a registered nurse, Buck has honed an expertise in end stage renal disease/dialysis administration, regulatory and compliance.

    “My most rewarding experience was working with a small hospital to abate the organization’s ITL level findings while providing them with tools and guidance for future success.”

  • Michael Miccio, ASN, Senior Consultant, Behavioral Health. Mike brings more than 40 years of nursing experience including 12 years managing an 18-bed acute inpatient psychiatric unit.

    “One of my most rewarding Cadence experiences was, while modifying a medication stabilization program, there were several opportunities to improve communication with staff, create positive revenue through growth and better patient outcomes.”

  • Mayra Pineiro, BSN, MHA, Senior Consultant, Clinical and Operational Improvement. Mayra has nearly three decades of nursing experience in various settings which has provided her with an edge on case management practice, processes and resource utilization management throughout the patient care continuum.

    “One of my most rewarding Cadence experiences has been working with a facility where I mentored and coached their newly hired case management leader. She is now working independently, affecting change, ensuring Medicare Conditions of Participation (CoPs) and requirements are being met and processes are being followed to deliver high quality of care through the healthcare continuum.”

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