RCRC Board

Kathryn McDonald, RCRC Board Chair

Kathryn McDonald, Board Chair

Executive Director, Center for Health Policy, Stanford University

Kathryn McDonald, PhD, has over 25 years of experience in healthcare, working in a variety of settings – industry, hospital, and academia. She is the Executive Director of the Center for Health Policy and the Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research (CHP/PCOR) at Stanford University, a Senior Scholar at the centers, and Associate Director of the Stanford-UCSF Evidence-based Practice Center (with RAND).

She conducts research on healthcare quality and patient safety improvement, with an emphasis on building and assessing the evidence base related to measurement, interventions, and organizational context. Kathy holds a PhD in health policy (organizations and management specialty) from University of California Berkeley, an MM/MBA from Northwestern University, and a BS in chemical engineering from Stanford University.

Member, RCRC Governance Committee
Nancy Whitelaw, RCRC Board Vice Chair

Nancy Whitelaw, Board Vice-Chair

President, Nevans Consulting

Nancy Whitelaw is a Registered Nurse, having received both her baccalaureate and graduate degrees in Nursing Science from Western University, London Ontario Canada. During her nursing career, Nancy has worked in a variety of clinical departments, primarily in the hospital sector, from frontline to program leadership positions. Since 2002, Nancy has been working in the patient safety field, bringing together her knowledge and experience in healthcare management with safety culture concepts to develop effective new approaches to improving performance in the safety and quality of healthcare services. Nancy is now President at Nevans Consulting and prior to that was Director of Research and Development at Salus Global.

Member, RCRC Governance Committee and Chair, Teaching, Training and Certification Committee
Karen Albertsen, RCRC Board Member

Karen Albertsen

Partner, Researcher and Consultant, Team Working Life

Karen Albertsen, PhD, is a partner, researcher and consultant in the Danish company, Team Working Life.  She was educated as a psychologist at the University of Copenhagen and received her degree in 1991. Her PhD thesis was on the topic of motivation and health behaviors. From 1999 to 2011 she was employed as a researcher and later as a senior researcher at the National Centre for Working Environment in Denmark. Within the area of the psychosocial work environment, she has conducted research projects on a range of topics such as work-life balance, working time arrangements, work without boundaries and work in the public sector. She has been the project manager of the research project, "Relational Coordination in Everyday Rehabilitation," conducted between 2012 and 2014, and is at present involved in a couple of projects involving the measurement and development of RC.

Member, Research Advisory Committee
Barbara Belk, RCRC Board Member

Barbara Belk

Regional Director for Learning and Organizational Development, Kaiser Permanente Northwest

Barbara Belk serves as Regional Director for Learning and Organizational Development for KPNW and is on faculty for Kaiser Permanente’s national Advanced Improvement Institute. Additional roles at Kaiser Permanente include Principal Consultant, Health Plan Program Office of the CFO and Chief of Intensive Outpatient Mental Health Services in the Northern California service area. As well, Barbara worked for 8 years as a consultant providing organizational effectiveness and development consulting, corporate strategic planning, executive partnering facilitation, and executive coaching across many industries.

Dr. Belk is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and has a Bachelor’s in Education. She holds certificates as a Human Capital Strategist, advanced OD Certificate (Columbia University), is a certified Baldridge examiner, and a Change Leadership (AIM) instructor. She won multiple awards as a Partnering Facilitator for the state of California and has delivered multiple speaking engagements throughout her career on a variety of topics.

Member, Partnership Committee
Professor Jody Hoffer Gittell

Jody Hoffer Gittell

Executive Director, RCRC, Professor, Brandeis University

Jody Hoffer Gittell, PhD, is a professor of management at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management. She founded the Relational Coordination Research Collaborative, bringing scholars and practitioners together to help organizations build relational coordination for high performance. She co-founded a university spin-off called Relational Coordination Analytics Inc., offering measurement and intervention support to organizations seeking to improve their performance, and serves as its Chief Scientific Officer.

Gittell has developed a theory of relational coordination, proposing that highly interdependent work is most effectively coordinated by frontline workers with each other, their customers and their leaders, through relationships of shared goals, shared knowledge and mutual respect, supported by frequent, timely, accurate, problem-solving communication.

Gittell’s research is published in a wide range of scientific journals, including Organization ScienceManagement ScienceAcademy of Management Review and Journal of Organizational Behavior. She has published five books, starting with The Southwest Airlines Way: Using the Power of Relationships to Achieve High Performance (2003),  and most recently, Transforming Relationships for High Performance: The Power of Relational Coordination (2016). Gittell received her PhD from the MIT Sloan School of Management and taught for six years at the Harvard Business School before joining Brandeis in 2001. She currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Endowment for Health, as Treasurer for Seacoast NAACP, and on the editorial board of the Academy of Management Review.

Member, Governance Committee, Teaching Training and Certification Committee, Partnership Committee and Research Advisory Committee
Claus Jebsen, RCRC Board Member

Claus Jebsen

Managing Partner, IML

Claus Jebsen is a trained psychologist, educated at the University of Bergen, Norway. Working as an organizational psychologist, his main aim is to assist organizations of great complexity to make their strategy work. Very often, this requires cross-sectional collaboration, which puts an extra demand on leadership at the individual, relational, group and system level. Claus enjoys operating in this diverse and complex context. Claus has been the managing partner of the Institutt for Medskapende Ledelse (which translated would be Institute of Co-Creative Leadership) since 2008. This company offers organizational and leadership development to small and large public and private organizations.

Member, Teaching, Training and Certification Committee
Luci Leykum, RCRC Board Member

Luci Leykum

Regional Director for Learning and Organizational Development, Hospital Medicine at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Luci Leykum, MD, is a health services researcher at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System/University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Her work has focused on relationships and sensemaking among inpatient teams and their association with outcomes of hospitalized patients, though her recent work also includes relationships and sensemaking in the primary care context. She serves as Professor of Medicine and Chief, Division of General and Hospital Medicine at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Currently on leave from board Member, Research Advisory Committee
Curt Lindberg, RCRC Board Member

Curt Lindberg

Director, Partnership for Complex Systems and Healthcare Innovation, Billings Clinic

Curt Lindberg, PhD, is Director, Partnership for Complex Systems and Healthcare Innovation at Billings Clinic. Prior to his current role, Curt founded and served as President and Chief Learning and Science Officer of Plexus Institute, an organization devoted to fostering the health of individuals, families, communities, organizations and our natural environment by helping people use concepts emerging from the new science of complexity. Lindberg has played an important role in bringing complexity science concepts into healthcare and management. He has written numerous articles and coauthored several books, including Edgeware: Lessons from Complexity Science for Health Care Leaders and On the Edge: Nursing in the Age of Complexity. In 2004 he helped introduce the social and behavioral change process, Positive Deviance (PD), into healthcare in North and South America and served as principal investigator on the first significant multi-hospital application in the U.S. In recent years he has been active in developing and diffusing relational coordination theory in healthcare.

Member, Partnership Committee
Darren McLean, RCRC Board Member

Darren McLean

Project Manager, Relational Coordination, Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service

Based on the Gold Coast in Australia, Darren McLean, MPH, project manages the implementation of a relational coordination interventional initiative at the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service.  

Darren has over 20 years of experience working in the public health sector in Australia and New Zealand. He has also worked as a Registered Nurse, Nurse Educator and more recently as a Principal Project Officer in the commissioning of a new tertiary paediatric hospital in Brisbane. Darren holds a Master’s degree in Public Health, Post Grad Certificate in Critical Care Nursing and a Bachelor of Nursing Science.

Member, Partnership Committee
Laura Montville, RCRC Board Member

Laura Montville

Organizational Development Consultant, Montville & Company LLC

Laura Montville, MS, is an executive and organization development consultant who works primarily with executives in highly technical arenas including healthcare and bio-tech. Clientele include C-Level Executives – CEOs, CMOs, SVPs, VPMAs, and Medical Directors. Laura brings a unique skill set to organization development given her strong business background as previous owner of a $3M staffing firm.

For the past ten years, Laura has been working with senior leaders and their teams within healthcare (hospitals, private practices and bio-tech), providing leadership development, executive coaching, and team building. Laura is an RC Certified Consultant. Laura is pursuing an Advanced Coaching Certificate through Gestalt International Study Center with a Professional Coaching Certification, and has an MS in Organization Development from Pepperdine University and a BS in Business Administration from University of New Hampshire’s Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics.

Member, Teaching, Training and Certification Committee
Anna Perlmutter, MBA'12, RCRC Board Member

Anna Perlmutter

PhD Candidate, Case Western Reserve University

Anna Perlmutter, MBA, is a researcher and consultant working to effect positive, systemic change in mission-based organizational networks. For over a decade, Anna has worked at the intersections of research and practice to explore the dynamics of inter-organizational collaboration, leveraged technology and infrastructure, shared resources, and work-place coordination and co-production in complex cross-sector systems. As a current PhD candidate in Organizational Behavior at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management, she is focused on improving the capacity of social mission organizations, particularly those engaging in multi-stakeholder, whole-systems change efforts. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, Anna was Research and Development Specialist at the Relational Coordination Research Collaborative (RCRC) at the Heller School and has served on the Research Advisory Board for the RCRC for the past several years. Anna received an MBA in Nonprofit Management at Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management and a BA in Literature at New College of Florida. She lives in Cleveland, OH, with her husband, child, three cats, and a few hundred traveling couch-surfing guests who come through town each year.

Member, Research Advisory Committee
Diane Rawlins, RCRC Board Member

Diane Rawlins

Founder and President, InsideOut Consulting, LLC

Diane B. Rawlins, MA, LMHC, founder and president of InsideOut Consulting, LLC, partners with healthcare leaders and their teams to meet today’s complex challenges and unprecedented opportunities. She strengthens leaders’ capacity to transform organizations by providing them with structured approaches for mindfully achieving outcomes, forging collaborative relationships with diverse stakeholders, developing a mature understanding of self and purpose, and acting with integrity in charged conditions. Diane has been working for over 25 years as a consultant, coach, facilitator and teacher with healthcare leaders and practitioners in the US, UK, and Canada. An early participant in the formation of the positive organizational psychology movement, she collaborated with David Cooperrider as a founding partner of Appreciative Inquiry Consulting, LLC, a global consultancy committed to creating positive transformation in organizations and communities.

In 2001, Diane co-founded Leading Organizations to Health, a nationally acclaimed institute on leading change in healthcare, where she continues to serve as senior faculty. She also works closely with Parker J. Palmer as a national facilitator for the Center for Courage & Renewal, where her focus is on fostering personal and professional renewal, integrity, and leadership skills for serving professionals. In addition, she is an affiliate of Cambridge Leadership Associates, the organization that grew out of the work of Dr. Ron Heifetz and Marty Linsky, and a certified professional partner of the Relational Coordination Research Collaborative, based at Brandeis University. Originally a psychotherapist, Ms. Rawlins holds a BFA from the University of Michigan and an MA (psychology) from the University of Louisville, and has post-graduate training in both psychology and organizational development. She and her family live in Seattle, Wash.

Member, Teaching, Training and Certification Committee
John Paul Stephens, RCRC Board Member

John Paul Stephens

Associate Professor, Case Western Reserve University

John Paul Stephens, PhD, received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Morgan State University and his master’s and doctoral degrees in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan. His research focuses on the roles of perception, knowledge, and relationships in the adaptive coordination of action groups such as musical ensembles. His other research interests fall under the umbrella of positive organizational scholarship and include high-quality connections, strengths-based feedback, and the relationship between character strengths and person-job fit.

As a student of coordination in groups, Dr. Stephens sees relational coordination as a key framework for understanding how groups operate as a unit. Communication, feedback, problem-solving and shared goals are all key mechanisms for how groups adapt to unforeseen, fluctuating circumstances, and to the changing quality of their own coordination. Qualitative, virtuous concerns also come into play in both Dr. Stephens’ work on the role of perceiving beauty in a group’s coordination, and the role of mutual respect and appreciation in relational coordination.

Chair, Research Advisory Committee
Julius Yang, RCRC Board Member

Julius Jong Yang

Hospitalist, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Julius Yang, MD, is a hospitalist in the Division of General Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Yang completed his undergraduate education at Williams College, then went on to earn a PhD in physical chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As a Rabkin Fellow at the Shapiro Institute, Dr. Yang investigated methods for integrating the medical resident's clinical experience across the inpatient and outpatient settings, with a goal to educationally reinforce patient-centered care that spans the continuum of care throughout the course of a patient's experience with disease. 

In his current role as a hospitalist, Dr. Yang actively teaches and mentors residents, interns, and medical students while providing clinical care to patients hospitalized at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He serves as Associate Program Director for the BIDMC Internal Medicine Residency Program, overseeing inpatient aspects of the residency training program. He also serves as chairman of the Resuscitation Committee at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, charged with monitoring and maintaining the quality of critical event responses at the medical center; in this role he has initiated a multidisciplinary program in medical simulation focused on teamwork principles applied to crisis event management. 

Member, Partnership Committee

Board Committees

  • Research Advisory Committee: Chair, John Paul Stephens (Case Western Reserve)
  • Teaching Training and Certification Committee: Chair, Nancy Whitelaw (Nevans Consulting, Inc.)
  • Partnership Committee: Chair position currently open
  • Governance Committee: Chair & Past Board Chair, Dale Collins Vidal (Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital)