Leadership Summit


Collaborative Leadership

The Key Ingredient to Becoming a Pro-active and Outcomes-Driven Organization 

June 7, 2023
9:00 am - 4:00 pm

As healthcare organizations continue to face challenges from their competition, rising cost of labor, supplies, pharmaceuticals, services, and future needs to stay viable, it is becoming harder to address solely within the walls of their organizations.

A collaborative leader who recognizes the value and strength of bringing together a synergistic network is more likely to be more effective and solution driven to not only meet many of their organization’s current challenges but supports their organization to be more proactive and outcomes driven.    

The focus of the day will not only be on the characteristics of an effective collaborative and outcomes focused leader, but also offer an industry expert perspective, and colleagues who have experienced benefits of collaboration in both their roles as a customer and vendor.

In addition, how an IT Leader can not only be an “enabler” to their organization but be part of the overall business/clinical solution.

Learning objectives:

  • Characteristics of an effective collaborative and solution driven leader
  • How to gain support and engagement from your leadership team 
  • How to create an effective synergistic network

Register for Leadership Summit

*Free for facility members registered for conference.  $100 for commercial members.

: Eric Gasser, Vice President/CIO, Information Systems, Wooster Community Hospital, Wooster, OH

9:00 am
Welcome                                                                                                             Willow Lake 1
9:15 am 
Mentoring Future Leaders

Sam Fielding, CIO, Southlake Regional Health Centre, Newmarket, ON

10:15 am


10:30 am

Collaborating with Hospital Leaders in Lower Middle-Income Countries: Empowering EHR Implementation in a Context of Limited Experience

Dr. K. Nadeem Ahmed, CMIO, The Aga Khan University & Hospitals

11:15 am

How to Foster an Environment of Collaboration in Your Organization

  • What are the skills necessary to be a collaborative and solution-driven leader?
  • How to break down/walls and barriers in your organization?
  • How to build consensus and gain support from leadership?


  • Eric Carey, Vice President/CIO    The Valley Hospital, Ridgewood, NJ
  • Shelley Buttry, IT Director    Southwest Medical Center, Liberal, KS
  • Jim Merlin, Chief Business Development Officer, MEDITECH
12:15 pm Lunch                                                                                                              Willow Lake 3
1:30 pm

Driving Solutions Through Your Collaborative Networks                         Willow Lake 1

Margaret Ptacek, Experis Health Solutions
Greg D'Abate, Acmeware

2:15 pm


2:30 pm Collaborative Networks
Panelist will share their experience leveraging their expertise and relationship both in their customer role and vendor role and provide key learnings.


  • Terri Hughes, Acmeware
  • Anne Marie Herrera, MEDITECH Experis Health Solutions
  • Audrey Brislin, Forward Advantage, Inc.
  • Shane Coleman, COO, Palo Pinto General Hospital, Mineral Wells, TX
3:45 pm


4:00 pm

MUSE Executive Advisory Group (by invitation)                                        Willow Lake 5



Mentoring Future Leaders 
Presenter: Sam Fielding
Organization: Southlake Regional Health Centre, Newmarket, ON

A health care leader is responsible for both moving an organization forward and preparing future leaders. The effective mentorship of our future leaders takes a commitment to continually reassess, adapt, and learn.

Sam Fielding is a Chief Information Officer and like other leaders, he can look back on his career and reflect of those individuals that have provided guidance to help him get this point in his career. He has experienced different organization structures, changing landscapes, and he has been fortunate to experience some rewarding coaches and mentors.

This presentation will provide insights into how current leaders can support the next generation.

Sam Fielding is the Chief Information Officer at Southlake Regional Health Centre. His scope of responsibilities includes Information Technology, Patient Registration and Scheduling, Health Information Services, Telecommunications and Switchboard.

Prior to joining Southlake, Sam was the Chief Technology Officer at Horizon Health Network for over 10 years when the New Brunswick health system underwent significant transformation with the merging of health authorities and the creation of a healthcare shared services agency. He has held several other roles in both the public and private sectors including Business Transformation, Project Management and Consulting. He has his Project Management Professional (PMP) designation and has experience in both change management and process redesign. His formal education background includes a Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours) degree from Acadia University, an Applied Information Technology diploma, and his Master of Business of Administration from the Université de Moncton. Sam is currently a Director of MUSE International organization.

Collaborating with Hospital Leaders in Lower Middle-Income Countries: Empowering EHR Implementation in a Context of Limited Experience
Presenter: Dr. K. Nadeem Ahmed
Organization: The Aga Khan University & Hospitals

Implementing an electronic health record (EHR) in a lower middle-income country, such as Kenya, requires strong collaboration and support from experienced professionals. This presentation explores strategies from a small team of experienced informatics professionals to collaborate effectively with hospital leaders who have limited experience in EHR implementation. The focus is on fostering a culturally sensitive approach that respects the local context and addresses the unique challenges faced by these leaders. Key strategies include building relationships, sharing knowledge and best practices, capacity building through training and mentorship, tailoring solutions to local needs and constraints, collaborative problem-solving, identifying local champions, and providing continuous support. By employing these strategies, the informatics team empowered hospital leaders at the AKU Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya to successfully implement their OneHealth EHR system, improving healthcare delivery and outcomes-centered goals.

Dr. K. Nadeem Ahmed is the Chief Medical Information Officer for The Aga Khan University (AKU) and its global network of hospitals. He directs AKU’s leadership in planning, implementation, and optimization of all technology systems that support the delivery of high-quality patient care, medical education, research, and to support AKU’s overall strategic outlook. Recently, the AKU Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya went live with MEDITECH's fully integrated and web-enabled electronic health record (EHR) with profound clinical success. Along with establishing AKU’s multinational Health Informatics department, Dr. Ahmed is actively planning their next EHR roll-out at a 1,000-bed teaching hospital in Karachi, Pakistan.

Prior to joining AKU, he served as the executive physician advisor to MEDITECH for implementation of their EHR products at numerous healthcare systems across the United States and internationally. Having closely worked with dozens of hospital systems over the past two decades, Dr. Ahmed has keenly observed that “we all seem to do the same work, but differently”.

Appreciating the impact that technology has on people’s lives, Dr. Ahmed has always been strong proponent of pushing technology to its limits to help improve healthcare. He believes that although health systems may “do the same work differently”, the ultimate goals for better outcomes, increased efficiencies, and well-being of patients, healthcare providers, and educators are the shared values that unite us.

Driving Solutions Through Your Collaborative Networks

Presenters: Margaret Ptacek and Greg D'Abate
Organizations: Experis Health Solutions; Acmeware

Healthcare organizations throughout the country are continuing to be challenged with balancing all the needs and demands within and outside their organizations.  In addition, staying fiscally viable is becoming the number one challenge facing many healthcare organizations.

Leaders who effectively collaborate and leverage their relationships with peers, customers and vendor networks are better equipped to bring forward creative solutions for their organizations.
This session will bring forward both a customer and vendor perspective and sharing of actual experiences of how customers and vendors working together can bring forward “value add” solutions that results into win/win outcomes.

Learning objectives:

  • Benefits of building and leveraging your collaborative relationships (both customers and vendors)
  • Understanding the key points in time to involve others with needed expertise and guidance
  • How to be an effective collaborative partner

Margaret Ptacek MSN, APRN, FNP-BC has over 20 years of hands-on clinical provider, healthcare management, and business development experience. With a Master of Science in Nursing and as a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner, she has worked with healthcare organizations of all sizes across the United States and Canada to ensure the voice of the provider and patient needs are incorporated into complex IT systems. With experience in acute care and ambulatory settings she ensures that systems function like an ecosystem so that providers can focus on patient centric care with the help of a well-integrated, well optimized EHR. Margaret currently is the VP of Client Solutions at Experis Health Solutions. This team secures a customized approach to fit the uniqueness of each organization. In addition, Margaret still practices prn as a mid-level provider at her local emergency room ensuring she maintains a constant pulse check into real life healthcare. 

Greg D'Abate, VP Sales & Marketing, started with Acmeware in 2013 and is responsible for the company’s branding, lead generation and new revenue generation. Prior to Acmeware, he spent three years working for a marketing agency in Atlanta, GA developing its digital marketing strategy and implementation. The first 22 years of Greg’s professional career were sales and marketing roles within the mortgage industry. Greg holds a bachelor’s degree with a double major in Economics and Political Science from Fairfield University.

Leadership Summit Panelists

Audrey Brislin, Forward Advantage

Audrey Brislin is Vice President of Marketing & Product at Forward Advantage and has worked in software & technology for most of her career, spending the past 10+ years in healthcare marketing. Audrey is working alongside Forward Advantage development teams and customers to bring a solution to market that integrates a health system’s patient engagement initiatives with the EHR to provide a consistent experience for patients in their health journeys.

Shelley Buttry, Southwest Medical Center

Shelley Buttry, IT Director at Southwest Medical Center in Liberal, Kansas, has 27 years’ experience as a proven leader in the health care industry. She has led multiple system conversions and MEDITECH module installations including a recent conversion to MEDITECH Expanse. Shelley started out her career in IT as a data entry clerk as she continued her education, advanced to MEDITECH Financial Systems Analyst, Interim Director, and ultimately Director. This experience helped her to learn the complete build of the MEDITECH Financial Systems and how they interact with the Clinical Systems. Shelley’s specialties include Healthcare Management, Project Management, Budgeting, Process Improvement, MEDITECH, and Leadership development.

Eric Carey, Valley Health System

Eric Carey has been at Valley for over 29 years, and is Vice President and CIO (VP/CIO) for Valley Health System, located in Northern New Jersey and services both Northern New Jersey and Southern New York. The health system includes The Valley Hospital, Valley Medical Group, Valley Home Care, and ColigoCare, providing in approximately 60 locations. Valley is currently finishing its new hospital in Paramus, NJ – it will be opening in April of 2024. The current hospital in Ridgewood, NJ will be repurposed to provide a myriad of services, including same day surgical services, outpatient Diagnostic Imaging, Lab, Community Care clinics, and much more. Valley is welcoming its first class into our new Graduate Medical Education (GME) program in July of 2024. As VP/CIO, Eric is active as a member of the Executive Staff Team overseeing both Information Systems and Telecommunications. The two departments combined have about 160 team members and provide 24/7 services for the entire Valley Health System. The health system uses MEDITECH Expanse and have been a MEDITECH customer since 1995.

Shane Coleman, Palo Pinto General Hospital

Shane Coleman is the COO at Palo Pinto General Hospital in Mineral Wells, TX. He has over 28 years in the hospital industry, most of which have been focused on IT operations and security. As the COO of the hospital, he oversees all ancillary service departments and utilizes his extensive knowledge of health IT to enhance operational efficiencies, streamline processes, and integrate technology for improved patient care. Shane has a proven track record of successfully managing complex IT and facility improvement projects, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements, and leading interdisciplinary teams to achieve organizational objectives. Working closely with clinical and administrative staff, he fosters collaboration to enhance patient outcomes, increase revenue, and elevate the overall quality of care. Shane's commitment lies in leveraging his wealth of knowledge and experience to drive success for the hospital. Shane has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration/Information Systems from Louisiana Tech University and a Master of Health Administration from Louisiana State University.

Anne Marie Herrera, MEDITECH Experis Health Solutions

Anne Marie Herrera has been an IT health care professional for over 30 years with 10+ years as a senior health care consulting leader and 20 years as a senior IT leader for two very prominent and large California-based health systems. She has provided these organizations expertise and delivery in the areas of IT Strategy, Governance, PMO, IT Quality Performance Management, IT Facility Management, IT Customer Help Desk, and IT Outsourcing/Insourcing. She was the SJHS Enterprise Program Leader for the health system wide MEDITECH financial, administrative, and clinical implementations. She also initiated an IT Lean program at one health system and re-engineered IT prioritization investments at both health systems.
In her current role, she is a Solution Senior Leader and focuses primarily within the MEDITECH EHR market and works closely with customers, MEDITECH vendor and third-party vendors. Her main responsibility is to provide program oversight, develop “value added” innovative solutions for customers and bring forward the market strategy, methodology and tools for customer delivery. She has worked with prominent organizations in supporting their efforts in aligning organizational vision/goals with IT investments and priorities.

Anne Marie is a member of HIMSS, MUSE, and the Project Management Institute (PMI). She has spoken at several HIMSS and MUSE events - facilitated the MUSE 2007 and MUSE 2008 CIO Institute Programs on “Got Strategy” as well as the Keynote Speaker for the 2014 MUSE Executive Institute and selected to present at the 2005 UK Conference- on the successful deployment of the SJHS Care Redesign initiative. She was also a member of the MUSE CMC committee.

Terri Hughes, Acmeware

Terri Hughes has over 35 years’ experience and leadership in the healthcare information technology (IT) field. With a Bachelor of Science in Management and Economics from Russell Sage College, she began her career at Blue Cross of Northeastern NY, then moved to a Director of Marketing role at a start-up company specializing in online physician billing. After relocating to the Boston area, Terri rose to the position of CIO at Cambridge Health Alliance, where she led IT for 12 years, including expansion of the electronic health record throughout the organization, conversion of MEDITECH from MIIS to Magic to Client Server, and implementation of MEDITECH at a hospital acquired through merger. She then spent 15 years in Vice President and Partner roles at two national healthcare consulting companies, before becoming regional CIO with Tenet Healthcare. Terri joined Acmeware six years ago and is currently the VP of Business Development. Throughout her career, Terri has focused on growing and leading IT teams, working collaboratively to support other business lines and departments, running MEDITECH consulting verticals, managing engagements to optimize outcomes, striving to enhance client satisfaction, and growing business development opportunities. When Terri is not working, she enjoys traveling, sailing, cycling, and spending time with family and friends.

Jim Merlin, MEDITECH

As Chief Business Development Officer, Jim Merlin is responsible for assisting Executive Vice President & COO Helen Waters in evolving our Business Development and Sales Operations team. Combining his sales, implementation, client services, and accounting skills, Jim provides guidance on how to grow MEDITECH's business through new market segments, product lines, and assessments of third-party collaborative vendors.

Leveraging his firm understanding of financial analysis and forecasting, Mr. Merlin also works in tandem with MEDITECH's sales and product management teams on detailed financial analyses of new products, platforms, and pricing.

Mr. Merlin began his career with MEDITECH in 1986 as a financial product demonstrator, gaining experience in a variety of divisions before transferring to the Accounting group in 2004. He graduated from Babson College with a Bachelor of Science degree. He and his wife Patti have two children, Emily and Sean.

Leadership Summit Sponsors
Experis logo


Eric Gasser
Eric Gasser


Sam Fielding
Sam Fielding
Dr. K. Nadeem Ahmed
Dr. K. Nadeem Ahmed
Greg D'Abate
Greg D'Abate
Margaret Ptacek
Margaret Ptacek


Audrey Brislin
Audrey Brislin
Shelley Buttry
Shelley Buttry
Eric Carey
Eric Carey
Shane Coleman
Shane Coleman
Anne Marie Herrera
Anne Marie Herrera
Terri Hughes
Terri Hughes
Jim Merlin
Jim Merlin