Nimit Agarwal, MD, FACP

Dr. Nimit Agarwal is a geriatrics and internal medicine physician leading the Division of Geriatric Medicine at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix and the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. He leads the Center for Healthy Aging at Banner – UMC Phoenix and is the associate program director of the Internal Medicine Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program.
Under his leadership, Banner – UMC Phoenix became the first hospital in Arizona to receive the Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation from the American College of Emergency Physicians. Banner – UMC Phoenix is also a member of NICHE: Nurses Improving Care of Healthsytem Elders, an international nursing and consultation program designed to improve geriatric care in health care organizations. Banner – UMC Phoenix has ranked in the Top-50 programs per U.S. News and World Report for geriatric medicine annually. Dr. Nimit Agarwal was awarded the 2020 Arizona Falls Prevention Award for Research and Science by the Arizona Falls Prevention Coalition.

Sumit Agarwal, MD, MBA

Dr. Sumit Agarwal is the Director of Analytics at Banner Health. He completed his medical school from India, completed his MBA in healthcare administration, and since then has been a leading member of Quality improvement initiatives at Banner Health. Often called the Unicorn and wizard of Data analysis, Sumit has played pivotal roles in ensuring successful completion of quality improvement and operations projects by providing timely and accurate information and data analysis. Through his work, project leaders have been able to focus their energy on areas of attention. Sumit is also affiliated with University of Arizona-College of Medicine Phoenix as a Research Assistant Professor, where he has mentored numerous medical students in their scholarly projects. He has over 50 manuscripts and abstracts published in major peer reviewed international medical journals.

Margaret Arnold, PT, CEES, CSPHP

Moderator: Margaret Arnold is the CEO of EarlyMobility.com, with over twenty-five years of experience as a Pysical Therapist and expert in early mobility. She initiated and managed a successful SPHM program; reducing injuries, merging SPHM and early mobility, and bringing research on patient outcomes to the field. Margaret has published extensively, presented at conferences, and is a pioneer in integrating early mobility programs with safe patient handling programs. She also presented a TED talk on early mobility and safe patient handling. Margaret sits on the Board of Directors of the ASPHP and is a Certified Safe Patient Handling Professional.

Erin DiCandia, DPT

Erin DiCandia is a Program Manager for Workforce Safety, Northwell Health, and has been a Physical Therapist (PT) since 2014. She is responsible for education, program development, implementation and sustainability for Safe Patient Handling & Mobility (SPHM) programs within Northwell Health System. She is the SPHM site coordinator at Mather Hospital where she manages the SPH team of workforce safety educators and oversees the SPH committee. Erin works very closely with the combined SPH/Falls committee co-chairs and leadership to minimize risk of injury to patients and employees during a patient handing and mobility tasks. Additionally, she assists with Northwell Health SPH operations and compliance for additional facilities within the Northwell Health System. Erin has contributed to the creation of the didactic curriculum for Northwell Health SPHM champion training, as well as, new hire and annual education for the health system and additional site-specific education. Erin is part of the faculty of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Touro College where she is a teacher assistant for Physical Therapy interventions course and has provided adjunct lectures and training on SPHM practices for future rehab clinicians. Erin is passionate about creating and maintaining an environment of safety for all patients and health care team members. Erin values the strong multidisciplinary partnerships that are necessary to create and sustain successful SPHM programs and she strives to create education that is specific and valuable to the learner within their specific healthcare role.

Susan Gallagher, PhD, RN, CSPHP

Susan Gallagher earned a Masters’ Degree in Nursing: Advanced Practice WOC Nursing from University of Southern California in 1995. She holds a Masters’ Degree in Religion and Social Ethics, and a PhD in Policy Ethics from University of Southern California. Dr Gallagher is certified in Bariatric Nursing and is a Certified Safe Patient Handling Professional. She is currently President of the Association for Safe Patient Handling Professionals, Associate Editor for Workplace Health and Safety (AAOHN), has served on a number of international boards and is a recognized speaker on skin and wound care, outcomes, bariatrics, ethics, risk and loss control across the globe. Susan is the author of more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, books and book chapters, including the 2013 ANA Implementation Guide to SPHM Standards, Bariatric SPHM and more.

Edward Hall, MS, CSP, CSPHP

Ed Hall - Edward "Ed" Hall to Keck Medicine of USC where he will serve as the new senior executive administrator for Integrated Risk Management. A nationally-recognized leader with over 25 years of diverse risk and insurance management experience, Ed brings tremendous knowledge and skill to the position.
Ed is responsible for designing and executing the Integrated Risk Management department’s business strategy, and will evaluate and monitor our medical enterprise’s operational risk. Ed has oversite of the identification of risk management trends across various entities, and is directly responsible for the data management required to build an integrated picture of organizational-wide risk. Ed provides subject matter expertise support across Keck Medicine to establish safety best practices, and align Risk Management and Risk Financing strategies with the organization’s mission, values, and goals.
Prior to joining Keck Medicine, Ed served as an officer and executive director for strategic risk management at Stanford University Medical Center. There, he leveraged evidence-based solutions for a variety of patient and employee safety initiatives. His experience included various oversite functions for the Medical Center's risk finance, clinical risk, claims, safety, and workers’ compensation program covering over 190 locations in multiple states. Also, Ed co-founded Stanford Medical Center’s risk management for profit division known as The Risk Authority, and served as the chairman for the Medical Center's Executive Safety Committee, resulting in over $20 million in savings on workers' compensation efforts. Ed holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Risk and Safety Management and a Master of Science degree in Loss Prevention and Safety from Eastern Kentucky University.

Lauren E. Hoerchner, BSN, RN, CMSRN

Lauren E. Hoerchner has a passion for patient safety and employee engagement, Lauren is currently employed at Keck Medicine of USC as Senior Director of the Office of Integrated Risk Management. Lauren received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing with Minors in Leadership and Art from the University of Minnesota: Twin Cities. She started her career as an inpatient bedside nurse and after working and transferring to other departments within the hospital, she pursued a position in Risk Management. While working as the Risk Manager for a hospital in Wisconsin and being promoted to the Risk Manager of one of the largest hospitals in the state, she started working on her Doctorate of Nurse Practitioning: Administration – Executive Track. She moved to California for the opportunity to work as the Ambulatory Risk Manager for USC Care in December 2017. During her time as Ambulatory Risk Manager, she has increased incident reporting by 79.7% and has worked on several important patient safety initiatives. A sample of some of these initiatives include: Opioid Prescribing Guidelines (Acute and Chronic), Safety Ambassador Program, and Medication History/Reconciliation Workgroup, and continued the important efforts of the Culture of Safety Initiative at Keck Medicine of USC.

Nicole Hopewell, PT, MHA, CSPHP, Caritas Coach

Nicole Hopewell is a SPHM Clinical Consultant for Hillrom. Prior to Hillrom, she was the manager of a Physical & Medicine department and SPHM leader for a Level 2 trauma and stroke center for twelve years. Nicole has also worked in a variety of other clinical settings. She has extensive experience in the development of successful SPHM programs from the ground up. Nicole is a Certified Safe Patient Handling Professional.

Renée Kielich, RN, BA, CSPHP

Renée Kielich is a SPHM Clinical Consultant with Liko/Hill-Rom. She has a variety of Healthcare experience in many areas. Her experience includes direct patient care and Leadership roles in Critical Care, Occupational Health, Workers Compensation and Loss Prevention. Her accomplishments include implementing a Safe Patient Handling program from “design through implementation” during a major Hospital construction project. In her role as a consultant, she assists facilities with program & policy development, program implementation and education plans. Renée is a Certified Safe Patient Handling Professional and has a special interest in Culture Change relating to SPHM programming and integrating this programming into patient care quality initiatives. Renée served as the President of the Association of Safe Patient Handling Professionals (2017-2018).

Edie Kubicek, BSN, RN, CSPHA

I have been a Professional Development Nurse/Educator at Gundersen Health System since 2010. I have worked at Gundersen for 31 years. I am a passionate, energetic person who believes in staff education. I believe in the essence to train support staff in all aspects of nursing/patient safety and electronic medical records (EPIC) computer skills. I assist to coordinate services and education for our 380 Medical Assistants in our institution and am their system wide coordinator. I work across multiple setting and clinics cover three border states. I coordinate CEUs and education for MAs and assist the Iowa nurses and LaCrosse specialty departments with their educational needs. I am also a certified EPIC trainer and have done system wide training. I am a Certified Associate Safe Patient Handling and Movement (SPHM) trainer since 2013 and orient all direct care staff of SPM safety. I recently launched a virtual training for all direct care staff in 2021. I cover 16 ambulatory clinics as an educator and do hands on direct staff training. I have trained over 1000 staff yearly in SPHM and seen a decrease in jury rates of 70%. I am a member of the ASPHP Marketing committee and have presented at the National ASPHP conference three times. Our organization won best poster award in 2015.

Sasha M. Latvala, BS, CSPHP

Sasha M. Latvala is a Safe Patient Handling and Mobility Clinical Consultant with almost 18 years of experience in acute, rehab, and long-term care settings and SPHM technology companies. She provides a broad array of SPHM services including education and training, risk assessments, program development and implementation, and expertise on the installation and procurement of SPHM technology for renovation and new construction. She has also lectured nationally on competency within SPHM education and training programs. Amid the current pandemic, Ms. Latvala has taken a greater interest in public health. She has published research on the impact of COVID-19 on SPHM. She is currently the Primary Co-Principal Investigator of a research study being conducted in New York State that is examining the effects of SPHM coordinators and the associations between musculoskeletal injuries, mental health outcomes and ICU nurses during COVID-19. Most recently, Ms. Latvala has also taken on a position as a Contact Tracer Team Supervisor as a part of the New York State COVID-19 Contact Tracing Initiative.
In 2016, Ms. Latvala was a part of the URMC-Highland Hospital’s Safe Handling Task Force, which received an Excellence Award for Quality & Safety for her role as a Co-Principal Investigator of a Pilot Program on SPHM program development and implementation. The results of her work were later published in the International Journal of SPHM. Earlier this year, she was a contributing author to an AOHP-OSHA Alliance document on SPHM program development and implementation in the acute care setting. Ms. Latvala received her Bachelor of Science from Drexel University and holds a Certification as a Safe Patient Handling Professional. As an active member of the ASPHP, she is a previous member of the Board of Directors and the current Chair of the Certified Safe Patient Handling Professionals™ Certification and Renewal Committee.


Timothy Lee is a doctor of physical therapy graduate of Stony Brook University. He began his healthcare career working in the inpatient and outpatient orthopedic setting. He then transitioned to his current position as a injury management and ergonomics specialist and works to support safe patient handling and injury prevention initiatives at hospitals throughout Northwell Health system.

Patti Wawzyniecki, MS, CSPHP

Moderator: Patti Wawzyniecki retired after working as an Ergonomist and Industrial Hygienist for over 35 years. She is a Certified Safe Patient Handling Professional. Patti initiated and supervised the SPHM program at an academic health center for 13 years and then conducted ergonomic risk assessments of SPHM programs at healthcare institutions around the country for HoverTech International. Patti also was employed by OSHA and the aerospace industry. She has spoken on SPHM at national conferences; presented webinars; and has published on this topic. She is the past president of the board of directors for ASPHP and is currently serving on several committees.

Kent Wilson, CIE, CSPHP

Kent Wilson has been involved with safety and health promotion for over 30 years. He has performed ergonomic & safety evaluations for over a hundred healthcare facilities around the world and assisted them with the writing and implementation of their Safe Patient Handling policies and programs. He is a Certified Industrial Ergonomist and a Certified Safe Patient Handling Professional. Mr. Wilson also takes an active role in the development of regulatory standards and has been a member of several ANSI (American National Standards Institute) committees. He has testified before OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration) in the area of ergonomics for the development of national standards and helped write the position statement for the American Industrial Hygiene Association on patient handling to Congress. He also co-authored several publications and the whitepaper from the ANA (American Nurses Association) & ASPHP (Association of Safe Patient Handling Professionals) titled, “Advancing the Science and Technology of Progressive Mobility”. Mr. Wilson is often an invited speaker for national conferences to lecture on the subject of Patient Handling management and the Bariatric patient. Mr. Wilson is a past Chair of the Ergonomics Standing Committee for the National Safety Council and the founder and Past President of the Association of Safe Patient Handling Professionals.