American Hospital Association
Health Research & Educational Trust

HIIN National Team

The HRET HIIN team is responsible for project administration and management. We work with our partners to provide education, training and support for participating HIIN hospitals. We also coordinate and align objectives at both the state and national level so participating hospitals can focus on improving patient care.


Jay Bhatt

Dr. Jay Bhatt serves as Chief Medical Officer of the American Hospital Association and President/CEO of HRET.

Dr. Jay Bhatt is the American Hospital Association’s Chief Medical Officer and President/CEO of the Health Research & Educational Trust. He also currently practices primary care internal medicine at Erie Family Health Center. Previously, Dr. Bhatt was the Chief Health Officer at the Illinois Hospital Association and the Managing Deputy Commissioner and Chief Innovation Officer at the Chicago Department of Public Health. He has served extensively in organized medicine and written in diverse publications about healthcare delivery and public health analytics. Dr. Bhatt holds an economics degree from the University of Chicago, a medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, an MPH from University of Illinois at Chicago, and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.


Kenneth P. Anderson

Kenneth P. Anderson, DO, MS, CPE - Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Ken Anderson is responsible for management of day-to-day operations and serves as the internal leader of HRET. Dr. Anderson also holds an academic appointment at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and founded the Center for Clinical and Research Informatics that was charged with using medical informatics to enhance quality and research. Dr. Anderson previously served as the Chief Medical Quality Officer for NorthShore University HealthSystem. He completed a family medicine residency through the University of Iowa, an internal medicine residency through Yale University and a nephrology fellowship at the University of Southern California-Los Angeles County Medical Center. Dr. Anderson completed a Master of Science in administrative medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Charisse Coulombe

Charisse Coulombe, MS, MBA, CPHQ - Vice President, Clinical Quality

Charisse serves as the co-project lead for the HIIN project. She provides oversight of data collection and analysis, serves as key liaison for state partners, develops meeting content, works with individual partner hospitals and oversees all other project operations and logistics. Previously Charisse co-led the original AHA/HRET HEN project for three years, which included 1500 hospitals across 32 states, saving over 92,000 patients from harm at a cost savings of almost $1 billion. Charisse also co-led the AHA/HRET HEN 2.0 project for one year, which included 1500 hospitals across 34 states, saving over 34,000 patients from harm at a cost savings of almost $300 million. Prior to joining HRET, Charisse served as the Informatics System Director at Resurrection Health Care in Chicago for 16 years covering acute and non-acute entities and oversaw the development of a system-wide quality scorecard and managed, several large quality improvement databases including Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services core measure data submission. Charisse has a Master of Business Administration from University of Phoenix, a Master of Science in zoology from Western Illinois University and a Bachelor of Science in biology from Northeastern Illinois University. She also holds a Six Sigma Black Belt and is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality.


Marie Cleary-Fishman

Marie Cleary-Fishman, BSN, MS, MBA, CPHQ, CPPS, CHCQM - Vice President, Clinical Quality

Marie has been with HRET since March of 2014 and previously spent four years at the Illinois Hospital Association (IHA) as Vice President of Performance Improvement. In her position at IHA, she led the state/national collaborative focused on decreasing central line-associated bloodstream infections and catheter-associated urinary tract infections. Marie also oversaw IHA's participation in the initial AHA/HRET HEN and jointly led the Midwest Alliance for Patient Safety, a joint venture patient safety organization. Ms. Cleary-Fishman also served as the Senior Vice President for Performance Distinction at Resurrection Health Care, a responsibility that included system-wide performance improvement, patient safety and case management activities for five acute care facilities, a long-term acute care facility, a variety of nursing homes, retirement centers, ambulatory and home care services. Marie received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from North Park College, Chicago in 1983, a Master of Science in nursing education from DePaul University, Chicago in 1988 and a Master of Business Administration from North Park College in 1996. She is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality, a Certified Professional in Patient Safety and Certified in Health Care Quality and Management.


Mariana Lesher

Mariana Lesher, MS - Director, Data

Mariana joined HRET in 2010 and oversees all data management and analytic activities. Prior to HRET, Mariana spent 14 years at Delmarva Foundation, where she directed all data management activities and served as a technical project manager for many systems development and analysis projects. Mariana provided extensive health care dataset and measurement expertise for an innovative U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Value-Driven Healthcare Initiative which tasked six regional health care collaboratives with combining private sector health care data with Medicare fee-for-service claims data to measure the quality of physician services. Mariana holds a Master of Science in management information systems from the Merrick School of Business at the University of Baltimore, and a Bachelor of Arts from Swarthmore College, double majoring in economics and Spanish languages and literatures.


Steve Reinhart

Steve Reinhart, MBA - Director, Clinical Quality

Steve directs the internal HRET team and partners in support of the HIIN project, focusing on operational logistics and support for the state hospital associations. Steve has been working in healthcare for over 20 years in the areas of quality improvement (QI), operations, and outcomes research. Prior to joining HRET, Steve was part of the Performance Improvement team at Northwestern Memorial HealthCare. While at Northwestern, he focused on QI projects in the areas of patient falls, surgical-site infections, and VTE. Steve also led the QI component of the Illinois Surgical Quality Improvement Collaborative (ISQIC). Steve has a Master of Business Administration from Keller Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan. Steve also has a Green Belt certificate in Lean Six Sigma from Purdue University and was a founding member of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR).


Erin Craig

Erin Craig, MPA – Senior Program Manager

Erin supports contract and finance activities for the HRET HIIN team. Prior to joining HIIN, Erin worked at HRET on the AHRQ Safety Program for Ambulatory Surgery and the AHRQ Safety Program for ICUs: CAUTI/CLABSI. In this quality improvement work, she was responsible for developing education and training for participating units. Prior to HRET, Erin worked at Rush University Medical Center and Karmanos Cancer Institute, where she facilitated the contract negotiation and budget development of research proposals. Erin has a Master of Public Administration degree in Health Service Policy and Management from Wayne State University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University.

Natalie Erb Graves

Natalie Graves, MPH – Senior Program Manager

Natalie supports education and partner relationships for the HRET HIIN team. Working with content experts, she leads development of the HIIN team’s educational strategy related to the harm topics and the fellowship programs. Prior to joining HRET in 2012, Natalie worked at the University of Michigan School of Public Health on an evaluation of a state-wide pay-for-performance initiative. She holds a Master of Public Health from the University of Michigan.

Jose Lopez

Jose Lopez, - Senior Program Manager

Jose supports communication, internal processes and QIN-QIO partner relations for the HRET HIIN team. Jose has over 10 years of health care experience in multiple settings including clinical (NovaMed Surgery Center), hospital (La Rabida Children’s Hospital), association (Illinois Hospital Association and American Academy of Pediatrics), and most recently, physician-practice consulting. In addition to his extensive health care experience, Jose served as a squad leader in the US Army with tours in Somalia, Panama and Haiti. He is also active in ACHE, MGMA, HIMSS, and the National Hispanic Medical Association. Jose received his BS in Psychology from Illinois State University.

Mallory Bender

Mallory Bender, MA, LCSW - Program Manager

Mallory assists state partner administrations in their operations and clinical quality improvement. Mallory is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and previously worked as a medical social worker in an acute hospital setting, which entailed extensive experience in patient and family engagement and safe discharge planning. Mallory holds a Master of Arts degree in Social Work from The University of Chicago, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Washington.

Lauren Kaderabek

Lauren Kaderabek, BS – Program Manager

Lauren provides support for several state hospital associations as well as topic support for the HRET HIIN team. Prior to joining HIIN, Lauren worked at Northwestern Medicine and healthcare associations including Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. Within these roles, Lauren focused on industry research, quality improvement, performance management, and education development. Lauren has a Bachelor of Science in Health Administration with a focus on finance and health management from Northern Illinois University.

Marina Levin

Marina Levin, MPH – Program Manager

Marina develops communication strategies and provides state and topic support for the HRET HIIN team. Marina has a background in performance management and quality improvement related to establishing new processes by applying methods and tools for continuous quality improvement. Marina received a Master of Public Health, with a focus on health management, from Loyola University Chicago and is currently pursuing a Master of Health care Administration. She also has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Iowa.

Shereen Shojaat

Shereen Shojaat, MS - Program Manager

Shereen provides educational and program support to the HRET HIIN state partners. Shereen holds a Master of Science in Global Health from the University of Notre Dame. She also has a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Health with a health promotion focus from Iowa State University.

Kimberly King

Kimberly King, MPH - Program Manager

Kimberly provides educational and program support to the HRET HIIN state partners.  Prior to joining the HRET team, Kimberly managed and implemented community and patient programs at the University of Chicago.  Kimberly has over 10 years of experience in health disparities and community based participatory research and is especially passionate about organization capacity building and creating sustainable partnerships.  Kimberly completed her undergraduate studies in Biology and Chemistry at Bennett College for Women and received a Master of Public Health degree with a focus in epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Emily Koebnick

Emily Koebnick, MPH, MPA — Program Manager

Emily Koebnick is a program manager with the Health Research & Educational Trust and works on the HIIN project. In her role with HIIN Emily helps manage state partner operations and clinical topics. Previously, Emily worked at lung health organizations, focusing on policy and health education and at a Federally Qualified Health Center implementing quality improvement initiatives. Emily has a Master of Public Health and a Master of Public Administration from The University of Washington in Seattle.

Paul Cholod

Paul Cholod, MS - Data Analyst

Paul Cholod provides data and operations support for the HRET HIIN team. Prior to working for HRET, he has worked as a data analyst for the Allant Group, a marketing consulting company, and for Northwestern University Medical School, Department of Preventive Medicine. He has also worked for the U.S. Census Bureau as a survey statistician, supervising data collection for various surveys.


Julia Heitzer

Julia Heitzer, MS - Data Analyst

Julia provides data analytics and hospital and state partner education and coaching for the HRET HIIN team. Previously, Julia worked at The Joint Commission (TJC) as a Senior Research Associate in the Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation for nearly 5 years where she managed the research needs of accreditation standard development addressing patient safety and quality of healthcare issues. Prior to that, Julia worked at the American College of Chest Physicians in the Department of Health & Science Policy as a Research Specialist, managing the development of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Julia received a Bachelor’s of Science in Community Health Education from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, and a Master’s of Science in Health Science from Ball State University in Indiana.

Karen Todd

Karen Todd, MBA – Financial Analyst

Karen supports contract and finance activities for the HRET HIIN team. Prior to joining HIIN, Karen worked at the USDA Food Nutrition Services and with the CPA firm Washington, Pittman, and McKeever, LLC. Karen obtained her MBA, concentration Finance from Roosevelt University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, concentration Accounting from Chicago State University.

Julie Eudeikis

Julie Eudeikis, BA - Program Administrative Specialist

Julie provides administrative support to Charisse Coulombe, Vice President, Clinical Quality and the managers of the HIIN team. Prior to joining HRET in 2012, she worked at Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago where she was an administrative assistant in the pediatric plastic surgery department. She obtained her B.A. in Theatre from Brandeis University, Waltham, MA.

Martina Coe

Martina Coe, MPH – Program Administrative Specialist

Martina provides support to Charisse Coulombe, Vice President, Clinical Quality of the HIIN team and Marie Cleary-Fishman, Vice President, Clinic Quality on key research projects. Martina also provides customer service to AHA executive management; coordinate the VPs calendars; manage travel schedule; support office operations; and participate in association-wide activates related to improving structures and operations. Martina holds a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Health Policy and Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Louisiana State University.

Jason Chen

Jason Chen, BS - Financial Analyst

Jason Chen is a financial analyst with the Health Research & Educational Trust and works on the HIIN project. In his role he helps record and prepare financial statements that adhere to regulatory requirements and company policies; reviews monthly income statements; performs monthly reconciliations and reviews controls and mechanisms for HRET financial reporting systems and recommends solutions for improvement. Jason holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration majoring in Finance from the University of Central Florida.

Leo Guerrero

Leo Guerrero, MBA - Web Support Specialist

Leo provides both SharePoint and Website support to the HRET partners. Leo has over eight years’ experience working within the SharePoint framework including working for the American Board of Medical Specialties as well as the American Dental Association. He has experience with various versions of Microsoft SharePoint including version 2007, 2010, 2013, as well as Office 365. Leo has earned his MBA in Project Management from Keller Graduate School and his undergraduate degree in Economics from Loyola University.