Visit the contact us page to reach the staff members below.

BIO: Barbara Fain

Barbara Fain

Executive Director

Barbara Fain was appointed Executive Director of the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety in December 2013. Barbara’s career has been devoted to health policy development and analysis, public engagement, and strategic planning for government agencies, academic institutions, policy think tanks, and healthcare organizations. Her work for the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies focused on developing standards for allocating scarce medical resources in disasters.

Before then, Barbara was executive director of a health policy research center at Harvard Law School. For over a decade she served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office where she spearheaded the state’s Community Benefit Guidelines for hospitals and health plans.

Barbara served on the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and was adjunct faculty at the Tufts University School of Medicine where she taught public health law. She received her BA from Brown University, a JD from UC Berkeley, and an MPP from Harvard Kennedy School.
BIO: Alexa Belliardi

Alexa Belliardi

Senior Operations Manager

Alexa is responsible for managing the Betsy Lehman Center’s annual budget, overseeing contracts and grants, and implementing operational improvement projects. She is the primary liaison to the Center’s sister agency, the Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA).

Previously, Alexa worked for the Boston Children’s Hospital Trust, most recently as the philanthropic funds reporting officer. During her time at the Trust, she was responsible for analyzing and reporting on philanthropic funds to support Boston Children’s Hospital’s mission.

Alexa holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature and studio art from Simmons University, and a master’s degree in finance from Northeastern University.
BIO: Meaghan Carey

Meaghan Carey

Program Manager

Meaghan joined the Betsy Lehman Center in September 2020. She has been involved in several initiatives aimed at improving patient safety in Massachusetts, including coordinating the Massachusetts Healthcare Safety and Quality Consortium.

Prior to the Betsy Lehman Center, Meaghan worked in various roles in the fields of neuroscience and genetics. She spent time as a senior neurophysiologist in consumer neuroscience and a research assistant in labs at Boston Children’s Hospital and Emmanuel College. Meaghan holds a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience with a minor in Management from Emmanuel College.
BIO: Megan Carney

Megan Carney

Maternal Health Research and Project Manager

Megan joined the Betsy Lehman Center in June 2023. Her work focuses on enhancing maternal health safety and quality in Massachusetts through collaborations with researchers, hospitals, and community members across the state.

Prior to joining the Center, Megan worked as a research analyst at Child Trends, a nonprofit based in Bethesda, Maryland. She conducted mixed-methods research centering children and youth development, particularly in the fields of education, juvenile justice, and mental and reproductive health care access. She was also one of the organization’s IRB coordinators and helped streamline research procedures across the organization.

Megan holds a bachelor’s degree in geography from Colgate University and a Master of Public Health in Health and Social Behavior, with a concentration in Women, Gender, and Health from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
BIO: Susan Carr

Susan Carr

Editor, Patient Safety Beat

Susan has worked as a writer and editor in health care for the past 20 years and concentrated on patient safety and quality improvement since 2004. Having worked with a wide range of professionals, advocates, and engaged consumers across the United States and overseas, Susan is delighted to join the Betsy Lehman Center and focus on Massachusetts, where she has lived for most of her adult life.

Achieving meaningful safety and quality improvement requires individuals and organizations with different kinds of expertise to work together, which is what Susan loves about this work. As founding editor of Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare, Susan had an unusual opportunity to solicit guidance, writing and feedback from experts across many domains of healthcare. In addition to her work for the Betsy Lehman Center, Susan currently works with the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, the Engaging Patients blog and an association of radiology educators.
BIO: Charlie Carter

Charlie Carter

Senior Program Manager

Charlie joined the Betsy Lehman Center in December 2019. His work focuses on convening statewide partner organizations and working with research collaborators to develop practice and policy recommendations.

Prior to the Betsy Lehman Center, Charlie worked in public health and public policy in the U.S. and Canada. Most recently he led multi-year national policy research initiatives at the Public Policy Forum, a leading Canadian think tank. His work included initiatives to advance policy related to immigration, the changing nature of work, access to innovative medicines and improving opioid addiction treatment.

Charlie’s ability to bridge practice and policy was developed in consulting and management roles at the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health. There he worked with family engagement experts, clinicians, and organizational and government leaders to transform the provincial children’s behavioral health system.

Charlie received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from McGill University and master’s degree in public policy from the Muskie School of Public Service.
BIO: Jackie Afranie

Jackie Afranie

Senior Program Manager

Jackie Afranie manages the Betsy Lehman Center’s peer support programs and other patient safety initiatives. She has several years of experience in community health addressing social determinants of health and working in chronic disease prevention.

Before coming to the Betsy Lehman Center, Jackie was a public health prevention specialist at the Worcester Division of Public Health and the Central Massachusetts Public Health Alliance. In this position, she managed community health grants aimed at addressing chronic diseases by increasing access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity. She coordinated projects and initiatives focused on policy, systems and environmental change as a way to increase healthy eating and active living in the city of Worcester and six surrounding towns.

Jackie holds a Master of Public Health from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
BIO: Nairi Kalpakian

Nairi Kalpakian

Maternal Health Research Assistant

Nairi Kalpakian joined the Betsy Lehman Center as a Maternal Health Research Assistant in January of 2023. She works with the research team to identify cases of severe maternal morbidity (SMM) in hospitals across the state, and helps coordinate discussions with key stakeholders to address the rate of SMM in Massachusetts.

Previously, Nairi explored the possibility of medical school by pursing an internship with the Monterey County Coroner’s Office as an Autopsy Technician. Upon seeing how many deaths occurred because of inequity or preventable causes, she decided to pivot and pursue a career as a public health professional. She has found purpose in advocating for systems-level changes that allow for all people to liver healthier and fuller lives.

Nairi holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, with a focus on maternal and child health, from Boston University.
BIO: Linda Kenney

Linda Kenney

Director of Peer Support Programs

As a result of a personal experience with a near fatal medical event many years ago, Linda identified the need for support services in cases of adverse medical events and outlined an agenda for change. For more than twenty years, she has been encouraging organizations to tackle the challenges that impair effective communication, apology, and support programs for patients, families, and clinicians following medical errors and unanticipated outcomes.

Linda serves as a patient representative on numerous task forces and is on the board of the Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors.
BIO: Kim Le

Kim Le

Senior Communications and Content Manager

Kim joined the Betsy Lehman Center in March 2019 as communications and content manager after a decade of experience and graduate studies in corporate business and finance. After overcoming her own life-changing medical events, she has emerged a passionate survivor and advocate, consequently redirecting her career aspirations toward the field of public health. She considers this transformative chapter a “spiritual awakening” and not an “existential crisis.” Kim’s health activism work comprises writing features, blogging, serving as board member, organizing support events and public speaking, including a TEDx talk.

Kim studied economics and political science at Tufts University and business administration and finance at Northeastern University, with plans to pursue graduate studies in public health and policy.
BIO: M.E. Malone

M.E. Malone

Deputy Director

M.E. Malone joined the Betsy Lehman Center in 2014. She works with state agencies, the provider community, consumers and other stakeholders to research and develop policy approaches to ensuring that patients in Massachusetts receive high-quality, safe care in all settings. Together with the executive director, she sets strategic goals and priorities to advance the Center’s vital public health mission.

Prior to joining the Betsy Lehman Center, she spent 25 years as a news journalist, including more than 10 as a staff reporter and assistant editor at the Boston Globe. She was a researcher for the newspaper’s investigative unit, the Spotlight Team, and a daily beat reporter covering government affairs at Boston City Hall and the Massachusetts State House.

In 2014, M.E. earned a master’s degree in public health from Tufts University's School of Medicine and a master's in science from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts. She also holds a B.A. in English from Boston College.
BIO: John McInerney

John McInerney

Policy Director

John McInerney joined the Betsy Lehman Center as its policy director in November 2022. John manages the organization’s patient safety policy portfolio, including legislative, regulatory, and stakeholder engagement to help improve the quality and safety of health care across the Commonwealth.

Prior to joining the Betsy Lehman Center, John worked as a specialist leader at Deloitte, primarily advising state clients on issues related to Medicaid policy and ACA implementation. He has over 20 years of Medicaid, CHIP, managed care, and health financing experience at both the state and federal level, including as a legislative director in the Massachusetts State Senate, a health economics research lead with the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, and children’s health program manager with the National Academy for State Health Policy. He holds a B.A. from Boston College and a Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University.
BIO: Godwin Osei-Poku

Godwin Osei-Poku

Associate Research Director

Godwin leads research for the Betsy Lehman Center’s maternal health projects, which aim to reduce inequities in birth outcomes statewide. His work is focused on developing tools and systems to better track safety outcomes among pregnant women.

Previously, Godwin worked with the Ministry of Health in Ghana, where he provided direct patient care to pregnant women and collaborated with policy leaders to design quality improvement initiatives for mothers and newborns. As a physician-researcher, his career has been devoted to improving health care for vulnerable populations including those affected by mental health issues, HIV/AIDS and mothers and newborns.

Godwin obtained his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Ghana Medical School and holds a Doctor of Public Health in leadership, management, and policy from Boston University School of Public health.
BIO: Julia Prentice

Julia Prentice

Director of Research and Analysis

Julia leads the research portfolio at the Betsy Lehman Center. Her projects focus on measuring the prevalence of adverse events, understanding the long-term impacts of medical error and the health system response, and evaluating the effectiveness of key quality improvement initiatives.

Her previous work in the Department of Veterans Affairs focused on advancing the ability of health care systems to enact evidence based policy and clinical practice. She was the first to find a consistent relationship between longer appointment wait times for VA health care services and poorer patient-level satisfaction and health outcomes. In 2013, this work provided the evidence base for a change in access metrics used by the VA and helped to address the access crisis in 2014. Julia’s other research has focused on using quasi-experimental analyses of retrospective observational data to identify causal relationships between treatment and outcomes in chronic diseases, such as diabetes and atrial fibrillation.

Julia received her Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health from UCLA, where she also earned her Master of Science in Public Health. As an undergraduate, she studied biology and sociology at Grinnell College.
BIO: Ola Szczerepa

Ola Szczerepa

Research Analytics Manager

Ola joined the Betsy Lehman Center’s research team as a qualitative researcher, working to understand the perspectives and experiences of a variety of stakeholders. Ola brings a commitment to health equity, inclusivity, and anti-racism to her work, and views herself as a lifelong student on these topics.

In her previous role as a project manager at Massachusetts Health Quality Partners, Ola managed the stakeholder engagement component of a measure development project. She previously worked on a team at the Education Development Center to both understand the impact of expanded gambling in Massachusetts, and design problem gambling prevention initiatives for priority populations. In addition to her public health research and prevention work, Ola also has a background in disability, having engaged in direct service and international research on disability.

Ola holds a master’s degree in applied developmental and educational psychology and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Boston College.
BIO: Melinda Van Niel

Melinda Van Niel

Program Director – Communication, Apology and Resolution (CARe)

Melinda has been working to help resolve adverse events through Communication and Resolution programs in the Commonwealth for almost ten years. She previously managed the Massachusetts Alliance for Communication and Resolution following Medical Injury (MACRMI) and led its implementation team.

She also worked as the Manager of Patient Safety at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in the department Healthcare Quality where she built one of the first Communication, Apology, and Resolution (CARe) programs in the state, and was a contributor and advisor to the AHRQ’s CANDOR Toolkit.

Melinda received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University and her Master’s in Business Administration from Villanova University with a concentration in health care management. She is thrilled to be able to continue the important work of helping health care facilities resolve adverse medical events with compassion and transparency through the Betsy Lehman Center.
BIO: Michelle Woodward

Michelle Woodward

Senior Communications and Outreach Manager

Michelle joined the Betsy Lehman Center in March 2019. In her role as communications and outreach manager, she works to promote conversations about how to improve patient safety in Massachusetts, through partnerships with health care providers, legislators, advocates and others.

Before working in patient safety, Michelle worked in communications at a nonprofit affordable housing developer that builds and rehabilitates homes for moderate- and low-income people. She also worked as a web content specialist at the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, where she helped design, build and manage websites for the Office of Student Financial Assistance and the MassTransfer program.

Michelle has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.