Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine Staff



SIDM Staff, 2017 Diagnostic Error in Medicine Conference


Paul L. Epner MBA, MEd, Executive Vice President

Paul L. Epner is the Executive Vice President and co-founder of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM). He is also the Chair of the Coalition to Improve Diagnosis, a multi-organization collaboration. Paul is a Past President of the Clinical Laboratory Management Association (CLMA) where he also created the Increasing Clinical Effectiveness (ICE) initiative. He is a member of the CDC’s “Clinical Laboratory Integration into Healthcare Collaborative,” a consultant to their Laboratory Medicine Best Practices program (an evidence-based practice initiative), and Chair of the Coordinating Council on the Clinical Laboratory Workforce’s (CCCLW) Taskforce on Measuring Testing-Related Value.



Elizabeth Cohen, Operations Manager

Elizabeth received her Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in Community Health Sciences, with a focus on Global Health, from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Prior to joining SIDM, Elizabeth has worked in both the corporate and in the not-for-profit arenas, including Marriott International, Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, Institute for Health Research & Policy, UIC School of Public Health, FHI 360, and Emanuel Congregation. Elizabeth was a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Lesotho, Africa as a Community Health & Economic Development advisor, 2005-2007. Her diverse background encompasses fundraising, project management, finance/budgeting, program development, human resources, and communications.




Cathy Peterson, Global Head of Innovations

Cathy A. Peterson has more than 25 years of executive experience in healthcare focusing on business development, managed care, marketing, and strategy. She has worked in a wide variety of healthcare settings including hospitals (academic, community and health systems), large physician groups, physician-hospital organizations, nursing homes, major healthcare associations, and insurers. She is recognized as a dynamic and passionate leader who consistently increases income. Cathy has served on more than 7 boards. Cathy lives in Chicago and when she is not working, she is taking ballroom dance lessons, playing with her dogs, gardening, reading, or spending time with her friends and family.



Lorie Slass, Director of Marketing and Communications

Lorie Slass has more than 25 years of experience in communications and public affairs. For nine years Lorie served first as Vice President, then Senior Vice President for Communications at the American Board of Internal Medicine and the ABIM Foundation. She was instrumental in the creation and implementation of the highly successful Choosing Wisely Campaign. Over the course of her career she has served as Deputy Campaign Manager for Cover the Uninsured Week at The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; she was Director of the Washington Office of the Annenberg Public Policy Center; and served as Communications Director for Families USA, a non-partisan and non-profit organization working to improve health care quality. She worked in communications consulting in Washington DC directing public relations strategies for a range of health, education and children's issue accounts first at Podesta Associates and then at GMMB.



Leslie Tucker, Senior Policy Advisor

Leslie Tucker is an independent health policy consultant with three decades experience serving the nation's leading public, private, academic and philanthropic organizations working to improve health care. From 2009-2016 she was Vice President, Policy for the American Board of Internal Medicine and ABIM Foundation, where she worked to advance medical professionalism as a force for improving quality, and has been closely involved with the Choosing Wisely© Campaign since its inception. Prior to ABIM/F, she became Senior Program Officer in The Pew Charitable Trusts HHS program after serving as Director of the Washington Office for a large and successful Pew-funded public health infrastructure funding initiative. At the state level, Leslie led Strategic Planning, Policy and Outreach at the Rhode Island Department of Human Services during welfare reform and SCHIP expansions. She provided government relations and rural practice support for the American Academy of Family Physicians, and served as senior Legislative Assistant to U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY) and as a health policy analyst to the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Aging.


Diana Rusz, Research Associate

Diana received her Master of Public Health degree in health policy and administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to joining SIDM, Diana worked as a consultant for Health Management Associates (HMA), a national research and consulting healthcare firm. Before HMA, she worked as a graduate assistant at the Center for Research on Women and Gender as well as the Chicago Colorectal Cancer Consortium, while attending the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research experience comes as a result of various academic appointments. They include research assistant with the Cancer Center at the University of Michigan Health System; research assistant with the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan; and she served as a wellness and risk reduction specialist for underserved youth in Detroit.



Daniel Persky, Project Manager

Daniel Persky, Town Square Consultancy, is a contractor who provides grant writing and project management assistance to SIDM and the Coalition to Improve Diagnosis. He works with governments and non-profits to conceive, plan and fund projects that improve community health. He has secured more than $14 million in funding from federal agencies, state government and major foundations. Daniel holds a MS in Urban and Regional Planning and a JD, both from University of Iowa.





Susan Carr, Newsletter Editor

Susan Carr has been writing and producing ImproveDx, SIDM’s bimonthly newsletter, since January 2013. She works on publications for a number of other clients, all of which are involved in healthcare. She currently curates a blog at and has been producing a newsletter and journal for the Association of Educators in Imaging and Radiologic Sciences for the past 12 years. Susan was the founding editor of Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare in 2004 and continues to write and edit articles for organizations, such as SIDM, that focus on safety and quality improvement. She lives and works outside of Boston, in Lunenburg, Massachusetts. When not working on publications or her very old house, you’re likely to find Susan folk dancing or enjoying the company of friends and family.



Cori Smith, Administrator

Cori Smith has been with SIDM since November of 2016. Prior to coming to SIDM, she worked for more than 15 years in a corporate office, headquartered in Chicago, of a major Marketing Research company. She oversaw the daily work progress of over 30 managers working in satellite offices around the country. She then decided to pursue her passion for exercise and become a Personal Trainer. After that brief 2-year time, she realized it was more of a hobby of hers than a career, which is when she came across the great opportunity to become a part of the SIDM Team.