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Denise Juliano

Group Vice President, Life Sciences

Denise is responsible for leading the Premier Applied Sciences team and for developing strategic business relationships with life sciences companies.

She also helps to expand the utilization of Premier Applied Sciences® by life sciences clients and Premier members.


  • Numerous executive-level leadership positions at Merck & Co., Inc. over a 30+ year career include sales, sales management, global and US marketing, account management, managed care, and customer enterprise
  • Strategic Account Management Association (SAMA) Board of Directors
  • Healthcare Business Women’s Association (HBA)


  • East Stroudsburg University, MS Exercise Physiology/Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Seton Hall University, BS Health Science


  • Certified Strategic Account Manager — The Strategic Account Management Association

Stella Safo, M.D.

Chief Clinical Transformation Officer, VP Prospective Research

Career Summary

Stella Safo, M.D., MPH, is the Chief Clinical Transformation Officer with Premier’s Applied Sciences team. In this role, Dr. Safo drives the work on how Premier’s innovative implementation research arm generates the care models and analytic tools and technologies necessary to catalyze healthcare transformation for Premier’s more than 4,000 partners.


  • Senior Medical Director for Clinical Transformation: led the design and implementation of primary care redesign for Sinai’s 50+ primary care ambulatory practices.
  • Chief Medical Officer Arnhold Institute for Global Health: founding CMO of Sinai’s global health institute.
  • Program Manager for Health System Design at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health: led the rollout of systems improvements for Sinai’s ambulatory portfolio.
  • Assistant Faculty of Internal Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine, with clinical, research and teaching duties for Mount Sinai’s trainees.
  • Board certified primary care physician with a 200+ patient panel in primary care and HIV medicine in NYC.


  • Harvard Medical School, Doctor of Medicine Degree
  • Harvard School of Public Health, MPH in Global Health
  • Harvard University, B.A. in History of Science/African American Studies

Selected Publications

  • Safo, Stella A., et al. "Pain is Associated with Missed Clinic Visits Among HIV-Positive Women." AIDS and Behavior (2016): 1-9
  • Safo, Stella, et al. "“A place at the table:” a qualitative analysis of community board members’ experiences with academic HIV/AIDS research." BMC Medical Research Methodology 16.1 (2016): 1
  • Safo, S. A., Batchelder, A., Peyser, D., & Litwin, A. (2015). The common sense model applied to hepatitis C: A qualitative analysis of the impact of disease comparison and witnessed death on hepatitis C illness perception. Harm Reduction Journal, 12(1), 20
  • Safo Stella, Dookeran Nameeta and Sackey, Joyce. (2011). Ghana. In Africa: A Practical Guide for Global Health Workers (p. ). Rhode Island: Dartmouth College Press, Print 

Scott Weingarten, M.D.

CEO, Stanson Health, a Premier Inc. Company

Dr. Scott Weingarten is the Chief Executive Officer of Stanson Health, a Premier company, with more than 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Board certified in internal medicine and a fellow of the American College of Physicians, Dr. Weingarten has published approximately 100 articles and editorials on healthcare quality improvement, clinical decision support and other related topics, and has authored numerous chapters on improving the quality of patient care in some of the leading internal medicine textbooks.


  • Clinical Professor of Medicine at Cedars-Sinai and the UCLA School of Medicine.
  • Given more than 300 presentations on clinical decision support and related topics throughout the United States and internationally.
  • Co-founder and former president and chief executive officer of Zynx Health, a leading platform for order sets and care plans for electronic health records.
  • Co-inventor of three software patents granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Held positions on several national committees dedicated to improving patient outcomes, including the Institute for Medical Quality, the American Heart Association’s "Get with the Guidelines" program, and the quality improvement committee of the board of directors of St. Joseph's Health System.
  • Served as a member of the Disease Management Advisory Committee of the National Committee for Quality Assurance and was part of the Certification Process Advisory Group for the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology.


  • University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine, M.D.
  • University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health, M.P.H.
  • University of Southern California, BS Applied Mechanics

Selected Publications:

  • Herzog NS, Bratzler DW, Houck PM, Jiang H, Nsa W, Shook C, Weingarten SR.  The effect of previous influenza vaccination on subsequent readmission and mortality in elderly patients hospitalized with pneumonia.  Am J Med 2003;115:454-461.
  • Badamgarav E, Weingarten SR, Henning JM, Knight K, Hasselblad V, Gano A, Ofman JJ.  The effectiveness of disease management programs in depression:  a systematic review.  Am J Psych 2003;160:2080-2090.
  • Tu GS, Meehan TP, Fine JM, Wang Y, Holmbo E, Mohsenifar Z, Weingarten SR.  Which strategies facilitate improvement in quality of care for elderly hospitalized pneumonia patients? Jt Comm J Qual Saf 2004;30(Vol 1.)25-35.
  • Ofman J, Badamgarav E, Henning J, Knight K, Gano A, Levan R, Gur-Arie S, Richards M, Hasselblad V, Weingarten S.  Does disease management improve clinical and economic outcomes in patients with chronic diseases?  A systematic review. Am J Med 2004;117:182-192.
  • Borenstein J, Badamgarav E, Henning J, Gano A, Weingarten SR.  The association between quality improvement activities performed by managed care organizations and quality of care.  Am J Med 2004;(117)5:297-304.
  • Lee VC, Rhew DC, Dylan M, Badamgarav E, Braunstein GD, Weingarten SR.  Angiotensin Receptor Blockers in Chronic Heart Failure and High-Risk Acute Myocardial Infarction:  A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.  Ann Intern Med 2004;141:693-704.
  • Knight K, Badamgarav E, Henning JM, Hasselblad V, Gano AD, Ofman JJ, Weingarten SR.  A systematic review of diabetes disease management programs.  Am J Managed Care 2005;11(4):242-50.
  • Nathan RV, Rhew DC, Murray C, Bratzler DW, Houck PM, Weingarten SR.  In-hospital observation after switch from intravenous to oral antibiotics for patients with community-acquired pneumonia:  A national evaluation.  Am J Med 2006;119(6):512-518.
  • Wang JK, Herzog NS, Kaushal R, Park C, Mochizuki C, Weingarten SR.  Prevention of pediatric medication errors by hospital pharmacists and the potential benefit of computerized physician order entry.  Pediatrics 2007;119(1):e77-85.
  • Vina ER, Rhew DC, Weingarten SR, Weingarten JB, Chang JT.  Relationship between organizational factors and performance among pay-for-performance hospitals.  Journal of General Internal Medicine 2009;24(7):833-840. 
  • Garth Fuller, MS, Jonas Green, MD, MPH, Cynthia Litt Deculus, MPH, Jeanne Black, PhD, MBA, Scott Weingarten, MD, MPH, Gerardo Ramirez, BS, Brennan Spiegel, MD, MSHS.  Validity of Physician and Administrator Peer Review for Selecting Specialist Narrow Network Participants.  Population Health Management 2018.

Roni Christopher

Vice President, Design and Intervention

Roni serves as the leader of the Learning and Change team and provides oversight of activities intended to transfer knowledge from theory or concept to application. She is responsible for building standards that support evidence review, research interpretation, adult learning methodologies, curriculum design, qualitative analysis, research and quality methods, learning management systems, content management and training for new and existing customers within Premier Applied Sciences. Leveraging knowledge brokerage techniques, she supports:

  • Systematic and applied evidence reviews
  • Data interpretation and application
  • Qualitative analysis and research
  • Quality improvement science
  • Survey design and analysis
  • Patient engagement and decision making strategies
  • System theory and system level design
  • Learning content and management systems
  • Training and organizational development


  • Built and trained quality provider networks within Ohio’s only 5 star insurance plan
  • Contracted value based payment agreements and shared metrics between payers and health systems
  • Developed successful population health management tracking for improved, reported outcomes in chronic, acute and high cost care areas
  • Led clinical teams in meeting or exceeding triple aim objectives: chronic care, wellness and acute outcomes, improved patient experience and reduced utilization
  • Over 20 years’ experience working across the continuum of care to create a seamless patient experience


  • A.T. Still University, DHSc Health Science Administration
    Applied Research Project: Learning Styles and Personality Traits among Corporate Healthcare Workers
  • Xavier University, M.Ed./Occupational Therapy
  • Xavier University, B.S. Communications/Education

Selected Publications:

  • Nash, David B. (Contributing author Chapter 14: Successful Models). Population health: creating a culture of wellness. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning, 2014.
  • Christopher, Ronda, Trudnak, Tara, Hemenway, Regina, Bolton, Sara, Tobias, Barbara, Fairbrother, Gerry. “Healthcare initiatives in diabetes mellitus type II: A qualitative study in the Cincinnati beacon community.” Diabetes Spectrum. Spring, 2015.
  • Christopher, Ronda. “Measuring the integration experience through patient satisfaction.” Prescriptions for Excellence in Healthcare. Spring, 2015.
  • Fairbrother, Gerry, Trudnak, Tara, Christopher, Ronda, Mansour, Mona, Mandel, Keith. “Cincinnati Beacon community program: highlights, challenges and opportunities on the path to care transformation.” Health Affairs 33.5 (2014).

Jill Dreyfus Ph.D.

Principal, Applied Research

Jill supervises a research team and supports business development for Premier Applied Sciences.  She is responsible for providing research leadership, strategic and programmatic development, and scientific and administrative oversight for Premier Life Sciences clients for projects involving the Premier Healthcare Database in areas such as

  • Retrospective Comparative Effectiveness and Outcomes Research
  • Burden of Illness
  • Epidemiology
  • Market analysis
  • Feasibility analyses
  • Advanced analytics
  • Observational Safety Studies/REMS
  • Data/Services Partnerships


  • Over 20 years of research experience in a variety of health services and clinical research settings, including academia and the pharmaceutical, medical device, and hospital industries.
  • Published in peer-reviewed journals and industry publications across a variety of therapeutic areas.
  • Led teams of epidemiologists and analysts in projects involving epidemiologic forecasting models and assessment of unmet clinical needs.
  • Provided statistical and research methodology expertise to investigators, and analyzed data for quality improvement, clinical, and outcomes research studies.


  • University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, School of Public Health, PH.D. Epidemiology
    Dissertation: Early Pubertal Development and Cardiometabolic Risk: A Life Course Approach
  • Boston University, M.P.H. Epidemiology and Biostatistics    
  • University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, B.A. Psychology

Selected Publications:

  • Dreyfus J, Gayle J, Trueman P, Delhougne G, Siddiqui A. Assessment of Risk Factors Associated with Hospital-Acquired Pressure Injuries and Impact on Health Care Utilization and Cost Outcomes in US Hospitals. American Journal of Medical Quality.  2017, Dec 1. doi: 10.1177/1062860617746741.
  • Dreyfus J, Delhougne G, James R, Gayle J, Waycaster C. Clostridial collagenase ointment and medicinal honey utilization for pressure ulcers in US hospitals. Journal of Medical Economics. 2018, Jan 15:1-8. doi: 10.1080/13696998.2017.1423489. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Buckley B, Dreyfus J, Prasad M, Gayle, J, Kendter J, Hall II E. Burden of Illness and Costs among Pediatric Hemophilia Patients with and without Central Venous Access Devices Treated in U.S. Hospitals. Haemophilia. 2018. Accepted for publication.
  • Dreyfus J, Flood A, Cutler G, Ortega H, Kreykes N, Kharbanda A. Comparison of pediatric motor vehicle collision injury outcomes at Level I trauma centers. Journal of Pediatric Surgery. 2016;51:1693-1699.
  • Cutler GJ, Flood A, Dreyfus J, Ortega HW, Kharbanda AB. Emergency Department Visits for Self-Inflicted Injuries in Adolescents. Pediatrics, 2015;136: 2014-3573
  • Ortega HW, Cutler G, Dreyfus J, Flood A, Kharbanda A. Hospital-acquired pneumonia among pediatric trauma patients treated at national trauma centers. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2015 Jun;78(6): 1149-54
  • Friedrichsdorf SJ, Postier A, Dreyfus J, Osenga K, Sencer S, Wolfe J. Improved quality of life at end of life related to home-based palliative care in children with cancer. J Palliat Med. 2015 Feb;18(2): 143-50.
  • Dreyfus J, Jacobs DR Jr, Mueller N, Schreiner PJ, Moran A, Carnethon MR, Demerath EW. Age at Menarche and Cardiometabolic Risk in Adulthood: The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study. J Pediatr. 2015;167: 344-52.
  • Prizment AE, Folsom AR, Dreyfus J, et al. Plasma C-reactive protein, genetic risk score, and risk of common cancers in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study. Cancer Causes & Control. 2013. 2 (12): 2077-87
  • Dreyfus JG, Lutsey PL, Huxley R, Pankow JS, Selvin E, Fernandez-Rhodes L, Franceschini N, Demerath EW. Age at menarche and risk of type 2 diabetes among African-American and white women in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. Diabetologia 2012; 55(9): 2371-80.

Nancy M. Allen LaPointe

Principal, Applied Research

Nancy provides leadership and clinical, research, and human subjects protection expertise for Premier Applied Sciences.  She directly manages, mentors, and leads several teams of researchers and analysts in the development and successful completion of a wide array of research projects. She also works with the Premier Applied Sciences leadership in developing and implementing strategic initiatives to promote a solution based approach.


  • Over 12 years of direct patient care experience in an academic hospital setting as the sole clinical pharmacist embedded within several cardiology and electrophysiology clinical teams including managing a clinical pharmacokinetic service
  • Over 25 years of experience teaching and mentoring students (pharmacy, medical, nursing, physician assistant), residents (pharmacy and medical), and fellows (pharmacy and medical)
  • Over 13 years of IRB service, with almost 10 years spent as a Chair of a large academic IRB
  • 19+ years writing federal research grant proposals, research program leadership and management, and serving as principal investigator or co-investigator on both observational and prospective research studies using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, including the successful completion of an NIH funded comparative effectiveness training program and over 10 years of experience developing/conducting comparative effectiveness research projects.
  • Publication of over 65 peer-reviewed manuscripts


  • Duke University, Masters in Health Sciences
  • Duke University Medical Center, Clinical Pharmacy Fellowship in Cardiology
  • Duke University Medical Center, ASHP Accredited Pharmacy Residency
  • Purdue University, Doctor of Pharmacy
  • Purdue University, Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, Graduation with Highest Distinction


  • Associate of the American College of Cardiology

Selected Publications:

  • Duan-Porter W, Goldstein KM, McDuffie JR, Hughes JM, Clowse MEB, Klap RS, Masilamani V, Allen LaPointe NM, Nagi A, Gierisch JM, Williams JW. Reporting of Sex Effects by Systematic Reviews on Interventions for Depression, Diabetes, and Chronic Pain. Ann Intern Med. 2016;165(3):184-93
  • Allen LaPointe NM, Dai, D, Thomas L, Piccini JP, Peterson ED, Al-Khatib SM. Antiarrhythmic Drug Use in Patients < 65 Years of Age With Atrial Fibrillation and Without Structural Heart Disease. American Journal of Cardiology. 2015;115:316-322. PMC4293335
  • Al-Khatib SM, Allen LaPointe NM, Chatterjee R, Crowley MJ, Dupre ME, Kong DF, Lopes RD, Povsic TJ, Raju SS, Shah B Kosinski AS, McBroom AJ, Sanders GD. Rate- and Rhythm-Control Therapies in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation: A Systematic Review. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2014;160:760-773.
  • Bristol Calvert S, Kramer JM, Anstrom KJ, Kaltenbach L, Stafford J, Allen LaPointe NM. Patient-focused Intervention to Improve Long-term Adherence to Evidence-based Medications: A Randomized Trial. Am Heart J. 2012:163:657-65
  • LaPointe NM, Al-Khatib S, Piccini J, Atwater B, Honeycutt E, Thomas K, Shah B, Zimmer L, Sanders G, Peterson E. Extent of and Reasons for Non-use of Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Devices Among Eligible Patients with Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction in Clinical Practice. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. 2011; 4:146-151.
  • LaPointe NM, Chen AY, Alexander KP, et. al. Enoxaparin Dosing and Associated Risk of In-hospital Bleeding and Death in Patients with Non-ST-segment Elevation Acute Coronary Syndroms. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2007; 167:1539-44.
  • Newby LK, LaPointe NM, Chen AY, Kramer JM, Hammill BG, DeLong ER, Muhlbaier LH, and Califf RM. Long-term Adherence to Evidence-based Secondary Prevention Therapies in Coronary Artery Disease. Circulation. 2006;113:203-12.
  • LaPointe NM, DeLong ER, Chen AY, Hammill BG, Huhlbaier LH, Califf RM, Kramer JM. Multi-faceted Intervention to Promote Beta-blocker Use in Heart Failure. American Heart Journal. 2006;151(5):992-8
  • LaPointe NM, Jollis J. Medication Errors in Hospitalized Cardiovascular Patients, Archives of Internal Medicine. 2003;163:1461-66. Al-Khatib AM, LaPointe NM, Kramer JM, Califf RM, What the Clinician Should Know About the QT Interval, JAMA, 2003;289:2120-27.

Michelle R. Mann

Principal, Business Operations

Michelle manages large-scale quality improvement research initiatives for new and existing Life Sciences clients. She is responsible for resourcing, operations, and client relations for Intervention solution opportunities in various therapeutic areas.


  • Clinical and operational performance improvement
  • Prospective comparative effectiveness and outcomes
  • Large scale clinical trials of improvement interventions
  • Cardiovascular service line improvement
  • Data interpretation and application
  • Data analytic platform design and development


  • University of Colorado, B.S. Accounting


  • Lean Certified
  • Net Promoter Certified Associate
  • Project Management Mastery Certified
  • Certified Professional Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) pending

J. Nikki McKoy

Principal, Research Operations

Nikki provides leadership and oversight for the Implementation team within Premier Applied Sciences. She is responsible for execution of PAS intervention projects from contract signature through final deliverable. She works to ensure successful project execution through active surveillance of milestones and potential barriers. In addition, she oversees site and SME recruitment and management, as well as overall project steering committee management and project budgets.


  • More than 18 years’ experience in research coordination and management, with increasing responsibility in oversight, planning and strategy
  • Meticulous day to day management skills, with in depth understanding and knowledge of research methods, policy implementation and adherence and team leadership
  • Extensive content experience across the clinical and health care spectrum
  • Expertise in high level budget management to match research needs, and a commitment to leading teams to complete research efforts with the highest rigor, on time and on budget


  • UNC Gilings School of Global Public Health, Masters Public Health
  • University of North Carolina, B.A. History


  • Shipley Associates, Managing and Writing Federal Proposals (May 2015)

Selected Publications:

  • McKoy JN and Petersen R. Reducing African-American women's sexual risk: can churches play a role? J Natl Med Assoc. 2006 Jul;98(7):1151-9
  • McKoy JN, Hartmann KE, Jerome RN, Andrews JC, Penson DF. Future Research Needs for Outcomes of Weight Gain in Pregnancy. Future Research Needs Papers No. 6. (Prepared by the Vanderbilt Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. 290-2007-10065-I). AHRQ Publication No.11-EHC004-EF. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. November 2010.
  • Lewis RM, McKoy JN, Andrews JC, Jerome RN, Likis FE, Surawicz TS, Walker SH, Hartmann KE. Future Research Needs for Strategies to Reduce Cesarean Birth in Low-Risk Women. Future Research Needs Paper No. 22. (Prepared by the Vanderbilt Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. 290-2007-10065-I). AHRQ Publication No. 12(13)-EHC131-EF. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. October 2012.

Durran Taylor

Principal, Implementation

Durran provides research experience, business support, and oversight to Premier Applied Science’s projects.  He is responsible for developing and providing; design, content, resources, guidance and management for the development of prospective research opportunities for Life Sciences clients, leveraging partners, resources and analytic tools and the appropriate databases in projects encompassing:

  • Prospective Comparative Effectiveness and Outcomes
  • Prospective registries
  • Protocol modeling
  • Surveys, interviews
  • Clinical trials of improvement interventions
  • Education
  • Quality Improvement
  • Epidemiology
  • Feasibility analyses
  • Observational Safety Studies/REMS


  • Diverse background in pharmacy clinical practice, biopharmaceutical medical affairs and clinical pharmacology, quality improvement and interventional research
  • Medical affairs over three companies over 10 years
  • Clinical research in the pharmaceutical industry
  • Pharmacy practice and clinical coordinator over hospital system directing all pharmacy related clinical and quality improvement activities for a hospital system.


  • University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, Pharm.D. Clinical Pharmacy             
  • University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, B.S. Pharmacy


  • LEAN Certification—North Carolina State University

Greg Ward

Principal, Engagement Operations


Greg has 25 years of experience in performance and process improvement, with nearly 20 years focused largely in healthcare and health research operations. His work with Premier over 15 years has involved in-hospital performance engineering, corporate performance improvement, research recruiting and engagement operations, and the launch of Premier’s research collaborative. Greg’s areas of expertise include:

  • Site recruitment and engagement for research and quality improvement projects
  • Clinical and operational performance improvement
  • Customer relationship and retention management — human and systematic
  • Management of business operations
  • Evaluation of new technologies for business optimization


  • University of South Carolina, M.B.A.
  • Purdue University, B.S. Industrial Engineering


  • Advanced Certificate in Health Informatics — University of Illinois at Chicago
  • LEAN Certification — North Carolina State University
  • Total Quality Management Certification — The Juran Institute

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