Meet CHCM's Consultants
For more than 30 years, the consultants at Creative Health Care Management have provided leadership and staff development world-wide to organizations that are involved in transformational change. Our experts have broad clinical and administrative expertise as well as a deep commitment to improving the health care environment. This experience allows them to inspire, direct, and implement care models that help organizations provide safe, compassionate, world-class care for patients and their families
For a listing of books and other resources authored by CHCM consultants, click here.
For videos featuring CHCM consultants, click here.
As a co-creator, author, and editor of the Relationship-Based Care series of books and seminars, Mary helps health care organizations create a framework for delivering world-class care with strong underlying values and principles, and then works with them to implement that framework. Her most recent book, See Me as a Person: Creating Therapeutic Relationships with Patients and their Families, co-authored with Michael Trout, helps clinicians in all disciplines to connect authentically with the patients and families in their care no matter how chaotic their care environments may be. Learn more about Mary.
Jayne Felgen, MPA, RN, President Emeritus and Consultant
Though she claims her enthusiasm for bringing transformational change to health care organizations "borders on obnoxiousness," Jayne doesn't deny it when someone accuses her of being CHCM's Chief Exuberance Officer. Who can blame her? She thrills in seeing organizations change when they embrace Relationship-Based Care. She watches as caregivers realize that they have the power to change their immediate reality: they accept responsibility, plan the change, implement the change, and refine and revise the change so as to always keep progressing in ways that focus on what's best for patients, families, care providers, and the organizations in which they serve. Learn more about Jayne.
Marie Manthey, PhD (hon), MNA, FAAN, FRCN, President Emeritus and Consultant
Saying Marie has seen it all is either literally true and an understatement. The founder and president emeritus of CHCM, Marie has been a nurse since, she says, "practically age five." And through that time, she's been motivated by the same burning passion: focus on the nurse-patient relationship and its potential for healing. She makes it sound simple when she explains just how critical that relationship is: "You have to see what supports that relationship and what interferes with that relationship, then enhance what helps, minimize what hurts." Learn more about Marie.
Gen Guanci, MEd, RN-BC, CCRN-K, Consultant
Gen wears many hats at CHCM, but her roles are all focused on advancing nursing as a profession and nursing professional development. Whether it's educating on Relationship-Based Care, helping education departments with structure and competency metrics, or guiding organizations as they establish a culture of excellence, including the journey to Magnet® designation, Gen sees the possibilities in all of her clients. She takes them as they are, meets them where they are in their development, and helps them reach their personal, staff and organizational goals. Learn more about Gen.
Donna Wright, MS, RN, Consultant
A staff development specialist known for her irreverent wit, Donna brings a global perspective to her work—literally. She's worked on every continent but Antarctica, and she has her eyes set on that, too: "There's an infirmary there!" she says.
In this country and in the over two dozen others, Donna's best known for the work she does based on two of her books, The Ultimate Guide to Competency Assessment and Relationship-Based Care (co-authored with several CHCM colleagues). The Ultimate Guide has been translated into Japanese and has become the industry standard for HR departments in establishing and assessing competency, and Donna specializes in setting up systems for organizations to ensure accountability and measure competency. Learn more about Donna.
Susan Wessel, MBA, MS, RN, NEA-BC, Consultant
Susan partners with hospitals to improve patient care through the design and implementation of Relationship-Based Care. She develops leadership teams to build trust, collaboration, and personal accountability. She also specializes in creating an engaged workforce and building professional practice environments consistent with Magnet® Recognition criteria. Learn more about Susan.
Susan Edstrom, MS, RN, Consultant
Susan says of her role at Creative Health Care Management, "It's a privilege and honor to be part of this life-changing work." When she facilitates a Re-Igniting the Spirit of Caring program with a group of multidisciplinary health care providers, she observes two important outcomes: personal transformation and a deeper sense of community. People are re-energized around the importance of their work and the impact they have on patients and their families. "I'm reconnected to my purpose by getting other people reconnected with theirs," she says. Learn more about Susan.
Janet Weaver, MSN, RN, NE-BC, Consultant
As a clinical nurse, Janet connected with her patients and felt great compassion for them. As her career evolved and she moved into leadership roles, something she’s done for nearly 30 years, Janet brought that same sensitivity to her teams. She’s always been able to recognize potential in other people, and helping them recognize it themselves and develop it is a joy of hers. Learn more about Janet.
Dan Kopp, MD, Consultant
Dr. Dan Kopp joined CHCM in 2012. He is working with the medical staffs of CHCM's clients to learn how they can best engage in Relationship-Based Care. Dan recently retired as Chief Medical Officer at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica, NY, well-known to the CHCM family for the success of their RBC journey. He believes most physicians still have an internal flame fueled by the passion that brought them to health care originally, and our challenge is to find unique ways to fan or reignite that flame. Lean more about Dan.
Mary Griffin Strom, MSN, RN, Consultant
Mary Griffin Strom seldom uses the word "patient" without the word "family" following right along behind it. It's something she's seen constantly throughout her career, both as a nurse at the point of care and as an administrator. "Almost every patient comes as a unit," she says. "As caregivers, we are servants to family, not just the patient. The patient defines the family, of course, but family is crucial." Learn more about Mary.
Traci Hanlon, MN, RN, Consultant
A staff development specialist with a background in nursing education and management in various clinical specialties, Traci is best known for her work in helping organizations develop transformative orientation, preceptor, leadership, and healthy work environment programs.Traci’s work is always informed by the latest cutting edge research available on adult learning theory, critical thinking, clinical decision making, and the science of wellbeing and resiliency, which looks at how positive emotions impact an individual’s ability to engage in pro-social behaviors. Learn more about Traci.
Kathleen Van Wagoner, MSN, RN, Consultant
Kathleen is an innovative and passionate visionary. She is an experienced health care leader who has held executive level positions in clinical administration, program design, project planning and management. She possesses in-depth experience with Relationship-Based Care, continuous quality improvement concepts, benchmarking, productivity analysis, improved program efficiencies, and deployment of an electronic health record. Kathleen has taught nursing leadership and fundamentals of nursing at the baccalaureate level. She brings in-depth knowledge of academics, research, clinical operations, and health care finance. Learn more about Kathleen.
Kristen Lombard, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, Consultant
Kristen Lombard identifies herself as a nurse of nurses and the health care system. Her interests are in guiding individuals and systems towards authentic leadership, Relationship-Based Care, and a new sense of excitement about caring science, complexity science, and innovation. She sees the big picture, has expertise in critical thinking, embodies reflective practice and Relationship-Based Care, and is inspired by innovative models of collaboration and consensus decision-making. Dr. Lombard is a qualitative researcher with interests which span the connections between circle process, authentic presence, relationship-based care, complexity science, and caring-healing processes. Learn more about Kristen.
Marky Medeiros, MSN, RNC-OB, Consultant
Marky’s passion for her work is matched by her expertise. She has experience with successful Magnet® designation and redesignation, document writing and review, mock site visit facilitation, mission and vision development, shared governance development, and implementation. She has a Master of Science in Nursing from Nebraska Methodist College. Marky’s specialties include: Magnet®, labor and delivery, shared governance, and mentoring programs. Learn more about Marky.
Joan Campanaro, MSN, MS
Joan joined CHCM as an adjunct faculty member in 2008. She is currently facilitating the Leading an Empowered Organization (LEO) course which she believes is an outstanding program for all levels of management and an extremely effective tool for nurturing the leader in every individual. Prior to joining CHCM, Joan was a career Army Nurse serving 30 years on active duty. She brings with her a wealth of experience in leadership within the health care environment serving in positions of middle management, director, Chief Nursing Officer, and the military equivalent of CEO. Her passion lies in the realm of group and interpersonal dynamics, workplace behaviors, leadership development, and coaching of health care executives. Learn more about Joan.
Suzanne Cleere, DNP, MSN, MSBA, CENP, RN, Consultant
Suzanne Cleere is amazed by the connections between her personal and professional lives. As a bedside nurse she knew the value of connecting with her patients and their families and kept them as the lodestone of her work. "It's so important to focus on the patient and family, not just the tasks," she says, "the people are what it's all about." As a hospital executive, she recognized the value in drawing connections across the health care system. She strove to keep all departments working together, eliminating silos. This applied to both big and small hospitals; she doesn't think the size of the organization matters, but creating a team mentality does. Her ability to connect with the staff is vital—even just being familiar with how people work makes a leader more effective. Learn more about Suzanne.
Michael Henry Cohen, MA
Based in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Illinois, Michael H. Cohen is a nationally recognized author, workshop leader, and consultant specializing in leadership and team development, organizational communications, employee relations, conflict management, and customer service. Mike is committed to the belief that employees are responsible for their own intrinsic motivation, work ethic, service orientation, positive attitude, and constructive behaviors. He has developed a reputation for providing practical and motivational presentations, and tailor made consultation services that exceed participants' expectations. Learn more about Michael.
Martin C. Helldorfer
Dr. Helldorfer brings a unique set of competencies and experiences to his work with Creative Health Care Management. He is a psychologist with decades of experience as a consultant and psychotherapist. For twelve years he served as a senior vice president of HR and Mission within regional and national health care systems. Having been a monk for thirty years, he is particularly sensitive to the role that spirituality plays in our work as providers of care.
Marty co-facilitates two of CHCM's programs: Reigniting the Spirit of Caring and See Me as a Person.
Mary Jo Kreitzer, PhD, RN
As founder of the University of Minnesota's Center for Spirituality and Healing, Dr. Mary Jo Kreitzer brings more than 15 years of leadership and expertise in the field of complementary therapies and healing practices. Mary Jo has worked with both individuals and institutions on optimal healing environments, complementary therapies and healing practices, healthy work environments, and the design of integrated care systems. In addition, she has extensive experience in nursing leadership and administration.
Mary Jo earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing and her doctoral degree in health services research. She served as Director of Nursing Practice and Research at the University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinic for ten years. Currently, she is a tenured associate professor in the School of Nursing. She teaches in the graduate minor in complementary therapies and healing practices and is the program lead for the complementary and integrative medicine program within the Lillehei Heart Institute. Mary Jo Kreitzer is the co-author of the 2013 book, Integrative Nursing. Email
Jim Linder, MS
Jim brings warmth, intelligence, and lots of experience to the work he does for Creative Health Care Management. As a facilitator of the Therapeutic Relationship workshops, he creates the space for participants to examine their own practice from the inside-out, often leading to startling insights and deep transformation.
A native of Central Illinois, Jim graduated from the University of Illinois (Bachelor of Science in Education), Bronze Tablet Highest Honors, and also holds an M.S. Ed degree from UIUC. Learn more about Jim.
Ruthie Rogers, MS, RN
As a CHCM adjunct faculty member, Ruthie is a Re-Igniting the Spirit of Caring (RSC) facilitator and coach. She sees every interaction as an opportunity to demonstrate caring, and that comes through in her work with patients and families as well as with the caregivers she helps educate to serve them better.
Ruthie has over 20 years of nursing experience, serving in many capacities from staff nurse to department director. She currently serves as the Relationship-Based Care Coordinator for the Cone Health Network, a multi-campus Magnet® designated organization. Learn more about Ruthie.
Shirley Ruch, MEd, RN, C-LNC
Among her colleagues, Shirley is consistently described as wise. They gush over her knowledge and more than 45 years of experience, noting that "there's not too much that's brand-new to her." And yet she'll tell you herself that there are plenty of things she doesn't know, and she makes a point of never pretending to know what she doesn't. She combines that humility with the authenticity that comes from having worked—digging in, up-to-her-elbows worked—in a wide variety of health care organizations all over the world. Together those qualities help her make meaningful, lasting connections with everyone at an organization, from the CEO to the medical staff to the managers and front-line staff. "You have to resonate with people if you're going to help guide them through major events like redesigning roles and processes, remodeling care delivery systems, focusing on collaborative practice, improving teamwork, and driving cultural change," says Shirley. Learn more about Shirley.
Susan Santana, MBA, RN
Susan joined CHCM as an Adjunct Faculty member in June of 2012. She partners with Gen Guanci in helping organizations to be successful on their Journey to Excellence. Susan brings 30 years of clinical expertise and passion to the nursing profession. She is best known for her love of data and using the knowledge behind the numbers to drive nursing practice. Susan believes in the power of the bedside nurse and knows first-hand that anything is possible once they are empowered to have a voice in their practice.
Michael Trout, MA
Michael partners with Mary Koloroutis, CHCM President and consultant, to teach See Me as a Person: Four Practices to Improve Quality, Safety, and the Patient Experience, a workshop focused on cultivating emotional safety for patients and their families which facilitates the patient's capacity to heal. This workshop, created for clinicians in all disciplines, deepens understanding about how to create and nurture authentic relationships with patients and their families, even in the context of a highly technical, fast-paced, time-constrained, and frequently chaotic health care environment. Learn more about Michael. | Email