CAP Speakers Bureau
Medical Practice Management, Risk Management, and Patient Safety
CAP Speakers Bureau is a compilation of CAP experts and thought leaders in medical risk management, practice management, legal, and public affairs. Our speakers are the preeminent resource that medical societies, medical practices, and other organizations turn to for in-depth presentations, conference appearances, and special events.
If you need a speaker for any of these topics, please contact us. Interested in a topic not on this list? Let us know and we will connect you with an appropriate speaker.
What Lessons Can I Learn from Real Litigated Cases?
CAP's General Counsel Gordon Ownby provides unique and meaningful insights into the experience of physicians who have been involved in legal disputes with patients over their care. Based on his popular book "Medicine on Trial – Risk Management Lessons from Litigated Cases, Second Edition," topics include:
- Communicating with your patients
- Communications among physicians
- Problem patients
- Self-inflicted wounds
- Hospital-based risks
- And more!
How Can I Reduce Liability and Increase Patient Safety in My Practice?
Our risk management experts can speak about the following topics:
- Fundamentals of risk management
- Latest news in risk management
- Informed consent
- Medication management
- Recall and tracking
- Risks associated with EHRs
- Patient portals
- Terminating the physician/patient relationship
- Adverse outcomes
What Does My Office Need to Do to Remain HIPAA Compliant? What are the Benefits and Risks of Changing Technology?
Our risk management experts can speak about the following topics:
- Fundamentals of HIPAA compliance
- Documents to ensure compliance
- Meaningful Use
- Privacy and the HIPAA Security Rule
- Risk management strategies for EHRs
- Communicating with patients via telephone and email
- Electronic prescribing and other medication issues
- Negative online reviews and online reputation management
- Social media in the modern medical practice
- Data breach: causes, trends, and tips to mitigate risk
What Can My Specialty Do to Reduce Risk?
CAP Speakers Bureau currently offers presentations for the following specialties:
- Elder Care
- Hospital Medicine
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Pain Management
- Primary Care
How Can I Avoid a Lawsuit? And What Happens If I Get Sued?
Our panel of in-house attorneys can speak about the following topics:
- Confidentiality and the physician/patient privilege
- Informed consent vs. informed refusal
- Electronic medical records and lawsuits
- Medical charting: what to say and what not to say
- Communicating with patients and other physicians
- Anatomy of a lawsuit
- Depositions and effective testimony
- How to be a medical expert witness
What is Enterprise Risk Management?
Our risk management experts can speak about the following topics:
- Creating the extraordinary patient experience
- High reliability organization (HRO)
- How physician leadership impacts quality and safety
- Transition of care
- Future of patient-centered care
What Do I Need to Learn About Professional Development?
Our panel of experts can speak about the following topics:
- Professionalism as risk management strategy
- Dealing with difficult people
- Meeting the challenge of the disruptive clinician
- Apology and disclosure
- Understanding contract elements
- Your money and your life
- Resilience: a new take on wellness
How Do I Turn My Practice Into a Successful Business?
Our practice management experts can speak about numerous topics including:
- Successful practice administration
- The extraordinary patient experience
- Billing, coding, and reimbursement
- Starting your own medical practice
- Human resources principles to protect your practice
- Hiring the right people
- Business insurance options for your medical practice
- Financial advice for physicians
CAP’s highly qualified speakers have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with members, medical societies, and practices to help reduce risk and increase the quality of patient care. Our risk management program is facilitated by specialists whose backgrounds encompass a cross-section of the healthcare and legal professions. CAP also has a range of ancillary practice management programs to help you optimize the business side of practicing medicine. This comprehensive approach enables you keep up with the ever-changing practice management rules and regulations.
As general counsel for the Cooperative of American Physicians, Inc., (CAP) since 1992, Mr. Ownby directs a legal staff and outside counsel to deliver legal solutions to this industry-leading medical professional liability company.
Working with industry coalitions and company-retained lobbyists, Mr. Ownby provides analysis and key communications for CAP’s health care liability legislative program. He also represents the interests of health care on the board of the Civil Justice Association of California and advances the development of case law affecting the rights of physicians and patients through the Amicus Curiae Committee of the California Medical Association.
Other duties at CAP include management of regulatory compliance, board governance, and liability coverage matters. Mr. Ownby also promotes patient safety through his regular column for physicians, “Case of the Month.” In 2010, CAP published Mr. Ownby’s columns in the book: “Medicine on Trial: Risk Management Lessons from Litigated Cases.”
From 1987 to 1992, Mr. Ownby was a litigation attorney with Schmid & Voiles, a law firm dedicated to the defense of CAP members. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mr. Ownby was a news editor at the Los Angeles Daily Journal, California’s largest legal newspaper.
Mr. Ownby earned his law degree from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and was admitted to the California State Bar in 1987. He is a cum laude graduate of California State University, Northridge, where he earned a BA degree in Political Science.
With more than 30 years of experience as a human resources professional, Nancy Brusegaard Johnson is senior vice president of Human Resources and Operations at the Cooperative of American Physicians, Inc. (CAP).
Since joining CAP in 1995, Ms. Brusegaard Johnson oversees CAP’s hiring, benefits, employee relations, compensation, and payroll. She also develops the organization’s ongoing employee and management training programs in addition to consulting with CAP member physicians to assist them with human resource-related issues.
Ms. Brusegaard Johnson is active with several charitable organizations within the greater Los Angeles region. She has earned awards and recognition for her work with the Ketchum-Downtown YMCA and City of Hope in Duarte, of which she also served as president of the Women’s Board. In addition, she is involved with the Physician Insurers Association of America, serving as co-chair of its Technical, Human Resources and Finance Committee.
Before joining CAP, Ms. Brusegaard Johnson held management and specialist positions with Home Insurance Company for 10 years, and the Grand Forks North Dakota Air Force Base for five years. Ms. Brusegaard attended the University of North Dakota, where she majored in personnel management and earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
Deidri (Dee) Hoppe is President and CEO of the CAP Physicians Insurance Agency, Inc. (CAP Agency), a wholly owned subsidiary of the organization. Ms. Hoppe joined CAP in 2011 and previously held the position of vice president, overseeing the property casualty insurance division for CAP Agency. Since joining CAP Agency, Ms. Hoppe’s primary focus has been helping physicians determine and understand their insurance needs for their medical practice as well as for their personal lives.
Ms. Hoppe has over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry, with a vast amount of knowledge on both the carrier side and the broker side, allowing her to assist clients in all aspects of their insurance coverage. Prior to joining CAP, Ms. Hoppe served as Vice President of Property Casualty for AIG insurance company, and Director of Consulting at Aon Risk Management. In her role as director at Aon Risk Management, Ms. Hoppe was responsible for 20 consultants in five different Aon offices and worked with high visibility clients to improve their insurance programs.
Ms. Hoppe is a graduate of Southern Illinois University, where she earned Bachelor of Science degrees in both Psychology and French. She is also a licensed California property casualty and life health and accident insurance broker, as well as a certified trainer of leadership programs such as “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People." and “First Things First.”
Gwen C. Spence, MBA, is CAP’s Assistant Vice President of Membership Services. She works with independent physicians and medical groups on coverage inquiries, practice and employee issues, and financial questions. She also oversees CAP’s Residents Program and The Successful Physician Program to educate residents and physicians about topics including patient safety, quality care, and patient experience.
Ms. Spence worked in the insurance industry for a great deal of her career before joining CAP in 2010 as an underwriter. She began working with the Membership Services department in 2017. Ms. Spence received a BA in Anthropology and a BA in Ethnic Studies from California State University, Fullerton, and then went on to earn an MBA from Pepperdine University.
A registered nurse and a licensed attorney, Ann Whitehead is Vice President of Risk Management and Patient Safety for the Cooperative of American Physicians, Inc. (CAP). She has over thirty years combined experience in nursing, risk management and law.
Ms. Whitehead joined the Cooperative of American Physicians, Inc. in 2006 as a Senior Risk Management & Patient Safety Specialist. In her current position as Vice President of Risk Management & Patient Safety, Ms. Whitehead is responsible for operational management and strategic planning for large physician practices and healthcare facilities, CAP’s Early Intervention Program, CME program, data analysis and most educational materials and program development.
Prior to joining CAP., Ms. Whitehead worked as a hospital Clinical Risk Manager, large medical group Director of Risk Management, nurse manager of a Cardiac Care Unit and a practicing medical malpractice defense attorney.
Ms. Whitehead is a member of the American Society of Healthcare Risk Managers. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Health Administration from the University of La Verne and a Juris Doctor degree from Southwestern Law School.
Amy McLain has more than 20 years of experience in nursing, risk management, and medical liability early intervention. At CAP, Ms. McLain works with members to help preemptively minimize their liability risk and increase patient safety through education presentations, office visits, and assessments. She is a key asset in the CAP Cares program, helping members manage adverse events when they arise. She is a contributing author for CAPsules and Risk E-Notes.
Ms. McLain began her career as a clinical nurse and has worked in the surgical, telemetry, home health, and pediatrics fields. She first entered the field of quality improvement and risk management in 2001 at Carle Foundation Hospital in Illinois. Ms. McLain served on the telemetry unit quality improvement committee and reviewed emergency room physician medical record documentation.
Ms. McLain earned a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing from William Carey University, Hattiesburg, MS, and is a registered nurse who has practiced in four states. She is a current member of the Southern California Association for Healthcare Risk Management (SCAHRM).
Prior to joining CAP’s Risk Management & Patient Safety team, Dona Constantine served in various positions throughout her career including Certified Emergency Nurse, Case Management Advisor, and Quality Manager. She was also the Director of Health Projects for the Foundation for Independence in Nicotine Dependence and the Executive Director of the National Alliance of Mental Illness Orange County.
Ms. Constantine is a graduate of Paradise Valley School of Nursing and she obtained a Legal Assistantship Certificate from University of California, Irvine. She earned her Bachelor of Health Science from Chapman University.
Joseph Wager has been in the health care field for the past 30 years, having worked in several physician practices implementing various electronic health records. Prior to joining CAP, he had oversight over five clinics associated with the Motion Picture and Television Fund.
For more than a decade, he was employed with Kaiser Permanente where he held several positions, including Assistant Medical Group Administrator; Department Administrator of Family Practice, Urgent Care, and Pediatrics After Hours; and Department Administrator for Respiratory Care. He began his health care career as a respiratory care practitioner at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center.
Mr. Wager earned his master's degree in Health Care Administration from California State University, Long Beach and Bachelor of Science from California State University, Dominquez Hills.
Kimberly Danebrock has 30 years of combined experience in nursing, medical-legal, and risk management and patient safety. She is a contributing writer for CAP’s Risk E-Notes and the risk management and patient safety section of CAPsules. Ms. Danebrock develops and conducts risk management and patient safety educational presentations for physicians, residents, and office staff.
Prior to joining CAP, Ms. Danebrock was a medical-legal specialist for a law firm specializing in medical malpractice defense. She possesses a diverse background in health care, which includes being an emergency room technician in the United States Air Force, as well as an EMT-paramedic, medical assistant, and licensed vocational nurse in a variety of medical offices. After becoming a registered nurse, she worked in emergency room, post-anesthesia care unit, one-day surgery, and gastrointestinal endoscopy suites.
Ms. Danebrock received her undergraduate nursing degree from Ventura College and earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from California State University, Dominguez Hills. She attended Ventura College of Law and earned her Juris Doctorate. She is a member of both the American Society of Healthcare Risk Managers and the Southern California Association of HealthCare Risk Management.
A Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management with more than 25 years of experience in claims and risk management, Lee McMullin originally joined the organization 15 years ago to provide claims and risk management consultation for CAP’s 24-hour Hotline. After working closely with the Risk Management and Patient Safety Department, in 2009 he transitioned to his current position with the CAP Cares, an early intervention program designed to assist CAP members in managing adverse outcomes arising from patient care. Before joining the staff at CAP, Mr. McMullin gained extensive experience in both risk management and litigation-management services.
Mr. McMullin is a graduate of the Litigation Program from the UCLA Post Graduate School of Law and holds a certificate in Administration of Justice from Los Angeles Valley College. In addition to his studies in biology and genetics at California State University, Northridge, he holds a number of certificates from the Pierce College School of Nursing, including the Nursing Critical Care Core Curriculum. In addition, Mr. McMullin was a nationally registered Emergency Medical Technician and Instructor.
Mr. McMullin is the president-elect of the Southern California Association of Healthcare Risk Management (SCAHRM).
Since its inception in 1984, Schmid &Voiles has been dedicated to the defense of CAP members. The firm’s attorneys in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Jose, and San Diego have a single-minded goal of obtaining the best result for their physician clients. The profiles of the Schmid & Voiles attorneys shown below illustrate the depth and diversity of experience of attorneys who are dedicated to dedicated to the defense of medical professionals in California.
Jerry Martin is a frequent lecturer on trial practice subjects for local bar associations, continuing legal education providers, and in-service training for physicians and hospitals. He began the practice of law in Mississippi, where he gained both civil and criminal trial expertise. In 1984, he joined the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office where — as chief counsel -- he directed the Civil Litigation Division. Mr. Martin worked in both State and Federal courts defending medical malpractice claims brought against state-operated hospitals.
Mr. Martin was admitted to the California State Bar in 1989. He received his bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University in 1968 and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Mississippi in 1975, where he served on the staff of the Mississippi Law Journal. From 1968 to 1972, Mr. Martin served on active duty as an officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He was decorated for his work as a Shipboard Engineering Officer and served on a special advisory panel to the Chief of Naval Operations.
Since 1991, Robert Fessinger has devoted his practice to the defense of doctors and hospitals throughout California. He has handled every aspect of medical malpractice defense litigation, from case inception through discovery and trial. He has successfully defended physicians in trials and binding arbitrations as well as handling class-action matters against healthcare providers.
In 2005, Mr. Fessinger relocated his practice to the San Diego office of Schmid & Voiles. Sharing his knowledge and insight, he frequently is asked to lecture to claims specialists, doctors, and attorneys. Mr. Fessinger is a 1991 graduate of the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. As part of his legal training, Robert attended London’s Regents College, Inns of Court, where he studied under Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Specializing in arbitration agreement enforcement and appellate advocacy, Denise H. Greer is an accomplished trial attorney that has successfully tried and arbitrated cases on behalf of CAP members.
Before her admission to the State Bar, Ms. Greer served as an operating room nurse in various units at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. For nearly eight years, she was instrumental in initiating and operating the Outpatient Surgery Center at Cedars and was the Lead Operating Room Nurse of the Gynecologic/Oncology Service. While at Cedars, Greer served as a member, and later as Head of the Operating Room Quality Assurance Committee.
A graduate of the University of the State of New York in Albany with a bachelor’s degree in Nursing, Ms. Greer attended Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, earning her law degree in 1988. While at Southwestern, she gained recognition as a candidate for the Paul Wildman Scholarship, was a Dean’s Merit Scholarship recipient, and received the American Jurisprudence Award for Excellence in Sales.
Since 1982, Michael V. Lamb has specialized in the defense of physicians and hospitals. After working as an associate with Rushfeldt, Shelley & McCurdy for seven years, in 1989 he became a founding partner in Elliot, Lamb, Leibl & Snyder, a 17-attorney firm specializing in medical malpractice defense. As a trial attorney, Lamb has successfully defended physicians on numerous occasions in both the Superior Court and arbitration. Immediately prior to joining Schmid & Voiles in 1997, he gained insight into the plaintiff’s bar, working at Grassini & Wrinkle, where he prevailed at trial in a legal malpractice case.
Following his graduation from Pepperdine University School of Law, Malibu and his admission to the California State Bar in 1979. Mr. Lamb worked as a claims representative and supervisor for The Travelers Insurance Co., handling legal malpractice claims for nearly three years. Mr. Lamb received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he graduated with distinction.
With a dual background in nursing and law, Margaret Cahill joined CAP as a claims specialist in 2003 and joined Schmid & Voiles in early 2009. Prior to CAP, her law practice from 1988 through 1993 included medical malpractice defense of hospitals and other personal-injury claims while employed by Madory, Booth, Zell & Pleiss. This was followed by 10 years in private practice at the Law Offices of Hardiman & Cahill, where she and her physician partner handled all aspects of medical malpractice and healthcare litigation, including defense of medical and nursing administrative actions. Ms. Cahill’s career includes federal court practice which resulted in several published and unpublished opinions after successful argument to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal and the state appellate courts.
Ms. Cahill earned her law degree in 1988 from Western State University’s College of Law, where she graduated in the top 20 percent of her class and earned several honors, including American Jurisprudence Awards in Criminal Law and Contract Law, as well as academic recognition on the Dean’s List. She received a bachelor’s degree in Laws from Western State University and had earlier received an associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing from Youngstown State University in 1979. She received National Honor Scores on her State Board exams. While attending law school, Ms. Cahill was employed as a registered nurse at the UC Irvine Medical Center and also was employed on a part-time basis handling medical malpractice claims for a private company.
Since 1986, Patrick W. Mayer focused his practice of law on the representation and defense of healthcare professionals. From 1993 until joining Schmid & Voiles in 2002, he was a partner in a Century City law firm where he defended claims on behalf of physicians, medical groups, and institutional providers. His experience includes the successful resolution and trial to verdict in the Superior Court of numerous medical malpractice cases.
Mr. Mayer attained his Juris Doctorate in 1984 from Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, where he received the American Jurisprudence Award for Excellence in Real Property. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland.
Since joining Schmid & Voiles in 1990, Deborah Taggart has become one of the firm’s most accomplished trial attorneys and has served as an arbitrator in binding arbitrations involving medical malpractice litigation. She joined the staff with 10 years of broad-based litigation expertise in both trials and arbitrations. From 1984 to 1990, Ms. Taggart represented healthcare providers while serving as a litigation associate with the law firm of Thelen, Marrin, Johnson & Bridges. She gained expertise in defending medical malpractice actions in both binding arbitrations and at jury trials.
Ms. Taggart received her Juris Doctorate with academic honors from Loyola University School of Law in Los Angeles. While attending Loyola, she participated in the Honor Society Speakers Program and Tutorial Project. Taggart’s undergraduate studies were completed at UCLA, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Cum Laude, with a French minor. Before receiving her undergraduate degree, Ms. Taggart attended the Sorbonne at the University of Paris, where she studied French literature and art history.
With a strong background in all areas of trial and arbitration, Rodney Tomlinson has specialized in the defense of healthcare providers since 1984, having tried and arbitrated to conclusion more than 50 cases involving complex medical and legal issues. A frequent speaker and lecturer, he shares his knowledge and insights with claims specialists, medical groups, residency programs, hospitals, and attorneys. Mr. Tomlinson’s presentation topics include effective risk management, efficient case handling, trial preparation, and successful arbitration practices.
Mr. Tomlinson earned his law degree in 1984 from the University of San Diego. While attending law school, he studied in England at the London Institute of International Comparative Law. He received his undergraduate degree at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.
Lawrence Wong has been engaged in professional liability matters related to healthcare professionals since 1992. He began his legal career and gained specialized knowledge and proficiency in the defense of medical malpractice actions as an Associate Attorney in the Long Beach office of O’Flaherty & Belgum. In addition to his experience as a defense attorney, Mr. Wong also practiced on the plaintiff’s bar while working with a physician/lawyer specializing in catastrophic birth injury and products liability litigation and secured multi-million dollar awards.
Mr. Wong joined Schmid & Voiles in 1997 and devoted his practice exclusively to the defense of physicians throughout California. He is admitted to practice before the State and United States District Courts throughout California. He has been lead trial counsel in Superior Court trials and binding arbitrations since early 2000. Mr. Wong is a member of the prestigious American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), a national, by-invitation-only association of accomplished trial lawyers. He is also a frequent lecturer on the issue of navigating medical malpractice cases before physicians at numerous Southern California Hospitals and was a keynote presenter at the annual Convention of Osteopathic Family Physicians in 2018.
Mr. Wong is a 1992 graduate of California Western School of Law in San Diego, where he was a dean’s scholarship recipient. While an undergraduate student at University of California, Irvine, he participated in the Economics Honors Program and earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics. Mr. Wong is a Southern California native having gone to St. John’s Lutheran School and Lutheran High School of Orange County.