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"No matter where you are in your career journey, this leadership conference is for you." - Nathan Schlicher, MD, JD, WSMA President

WSMA Leadership Development Conference

This 2021 Leadership Development Conference is more accessible than ever in a new virtual format. Register today.

You’re invited to one of WSMA’s most popular events, with top-quality programming and speakers on May 14 and 15. Don’t miss this opportunity to invest in yourself, build skills in quality improvement and leadership, and be energized through our virtual networking sessions. Rapid-fire didactic sessions will be complemented by highly interactive small-group discussions with your peers. And with this virtual format, you’ll be able to access every session live and on demand.

A Message from the WSMA President

Dear Colleagues,

Nathan Schlicher MD

I hope you plan to join me and your peers at the 2021 WSMA Leadership Development Conference. No matter your organizational role or where you are in your career journey, this leadership conference is for you. We are all leaders, regardless of title, hierarchy, or work situation. Our very roles mandate that we contribute expertise, experience, knowledge, vision—and hopefully, wisdom—to our patients, teams, and communities.

As clinicians, we have an essential leadership role to play in redesigning complex health care delivery. Over the last two decades, our communities and the medical profession have recognized that the U.S. health care system often falls short in meeting patients' and our own expectations for safety, quality, and efficiency. Quality improvement is hard and complex, but essential. The financial viability and success of hospitals and physician practices will depend on their ability to improve quality, safety, and value to patients and payers.

Physicians must lead the transformation of care delivery systems to fulfill the expectations of our patients. Responsibility for care improvements cannot be delegated to administrators and insurers. Unfortunately, many physicians did not receive training in medical school on how to lead quality improvement projects. However, with the right training, physicians can acquire these skills at any career stage and can guide health care organizations with the optimal approach to safe and effective care delivery.

The physician perspective is powerful and grounded in what is best for patients. It’s more important than ever that our voice is heard clearly and that we are influencing the future of health care and health care decisions.

I look forward to seeing you at the conference!

Nathan Schlicher, MD, JD, MBA, FACEP
WSMA President


Friday, May 14

10 a.m.
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Nathan Schlicher, MD, JD, MBA, FACEP

10:15 a.m.
Growth Rings – Becoming Comfortable with Discomfort
Bill Eckstrom

11:30 a.m.
Lunch Break

QI Foundations: Different Names, Same Goal
Russ Migita, MD

1 p.m.
Spreading at Scale: A Practical Leadership Model for Change
Joanne Roberts, MD, MHA

2 p.m.

2:15 p.m.
Applying QI to Just Culture
Mangla Gulati, MD

3:30 p.m.
Are There Cracks in Your Foundation? Critical Cultural Elements for Sustained Quality Improvement
Randal Moseley, MD

4:15 p.m.
Epidemic QI: Crossing Systems to Tackle Opioids
Nathan Schlicher, MD, JD, MBA, FACEP

5 p.m.

Saturday, May 15

8 a.m.
Leveraging Quality Improvement to Improve Health Equity

9 a.m.
Shooting for the Stars: Samaritan Healthcare’s Journey to Building a Healthier Future for the Children of Moses Lake and Grant County
Andrea Carter, MD

9:45 a.m.

10 a.m.
Applying QI to Address Burnout
Aric Coffman, MD

10:45 a.m.
Kaizen from the Ground Up - Building Continuous Improvement into Daily Operations
Kavita Chawla, MD and Richard Furlong, MD

11:30 p.m.
Break for lunch

Applying QI to Shared Decision Making
Cynthia Burdick, MD

12:45 p.m.
Closing Keynote: Managing and Sustaining Change
Kevin Taylor, MD

1:55 p.m.
Closing Remarks
Nathan Schlicher, MD, JD, MBA, FACEP

2 p.m.


BILL ECKSTROM is the founder and CEO of EcSell Institute and EcSell Sports. He is co-author of the best-selling book, "The Coaching Effect," a record-setting TEDx Talker, renowned public speaker, husband, father, outdoorsman, and therapy dog trainer.

ANDREA CARTER, MD has lived and practiced family medicine in Moses Lake since the summer of 2000. She has been the CMO for Samaritan Healthcare since 2015, and has worked to be a champion for improved patient care in Grant County.

KAVITA CHAWLA, MD, FACP, MHA is a practicing internist at Virginia Mason Kirkland Regional Medical Center. She leads Virginia Mason’s education committee for ongoing, evidence-based clinical education for providers in primary care. She has completed her training in the Virginia Mason Production System management method, which aims for a zero-defect rate in health care.

RICHARD FURLONG, MD is a practicing internist and the medical director at the Virginia Mason Kirkland Regional Medical Center, profiled in the National Academy of Medicine’s Case Studies in reducing clinician burnout. He has served on the Bree Collaborative and the Dementia Action Collaborative since 2017. Dr. Furlong holds leadership positions in the company’s efforts around safe opioid prescribing, recognized with the Mary McClinton Safety award for this work in 2019, and is co-director of department of primary care informatics, director of call center operations and access at Virginia Mason, and is an advanced VMPS graduate, and has led many formal and informal Kaizen events.

RUSSELL MIGITA, MD is a pediatric emergency medicine physician at Seattle Children’s Hospital. He is the clinical director of emergency services and is responsible for QI review, implementation, and standardization at the Seattle Children’s emergency department. He is also the co-director for education at the UW Medicine Center for Scholarship in Patient Care, Quality and Safety, which has provided QI and patient safety education to hundreds of front-line clinicians.

RANDAL MOSELEY, MD is medical director of patient safety and risk at Confluence Health. He is board certified in internal medicine and geriatrics, and currently practices part-time as a hospitalist. His engagement at the state level has included work with the Washington Patient Safety Coalition, the Washington Health Alliance, the Washington State Choosing Wisely Taskforce, the Washington State Hospital Association Patient Safety Committee, the Robert Bree Collaborative, and the Washington Communication and Resolution Program Alliance.

JOANNE ROBERTS, MD, MHA is the senior vice president and chief value officer for Providence. In addition to coordinating the efforts of the system’s chief medical officers, she leads physician leadership development for Providence, including the clinical value improvement curriculum to drive daily improvement from leaders to front-line caregivers.

NATHAN SCHLICHER, MD, JD, MBA, FACEP serves as the WSMA president and regional medical director of quality assurance for CHI Franciscan emergency departments, among other roles. He has led multiple statewide quality projects across health systems including the ER is for Emergencies initiative and Better Prescribing Better Treatment.

CME Credit

The Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The WSMA designates this live activity for a maximum of 11.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This activity meets the criteria for up to 11.5 hours of Category I CME credit to satisfy the relicensure requirements of the Washington State Medical Quality Assurance Commission.

Exclusive Premier Partner

Founded in 1981 under the auspices of the WSMA, Physicians Insurance A Mutual Company is the Northwest's leading medical professional liability insurance company, physician-owned and exclusively endorsed to this day by the WSMA. For over 30 years, Physicians Insurance has remained the stable, committed and local insurer for physicians, clinics, facilities and hospitals, providing risk-management consulting, continuing medical education and claims administration services to more than 7,000 members in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Wyoming.


Founded in 1992 by a network of community health centers (CHCs), Community Health Plan of Washington is a community-governed, not-for-profit health plan. CHPW serves approximately 250,000 Medicaid and Medicare members focusing on whole-person health and addressing health disparities. To learn more, visit on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.
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