Faculty

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Harvard Medical School

  • Saurabha Bhatnagar, MD, Instructor in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School; Deputy, Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health in Quality, Safety and Value, US Department of Veterans Affairs

    Saurabha Bhatnagar is an Instructor at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. He is the Deputy, Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health in Quality, Safety and Value in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Recently, Dr. Bhatnagar also served as an Innovation Specialist at the VA Boston Healthcare System and is involved in the national innovation efforts of the VA. He helps healthcare organizations think about how to ensure strategic and operational excellence through innovation. His work focuses on innovation in healthcare utilizing techniques in human-centered design, Lean/Six Sigma systems improvement, and value-based healthcare. He has consulted for several healthcare organizations in the above methodologies and leads a variety of healthcare teams with these efforts.

    In addition, he serves as the Associate Residency Program Director and Chair of the Clinical Competency Committee in the Department of PM&R at Harvard Medical School / Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, and is Faculty at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Dr. Bhatnagar is currently on the staff at VA Boston Healthcare System, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital. He has a Bachelors degree in Computer Science. He also completed a Neurorehabilitation / Traumatic Brain Injury Fellowship at Harvard Medical School / Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

  • Shelley Carson, PhD, Author; Associate in Psychology, Harvard University

    Dr. Carson is the author of the award-winning books Your Creative Brain (Jossey- Bass) and Almost Depressed (co-authored with Jefferson Prince, MD: Hazelden). She teaches and conducts research at Harvard where she has won teaching awards for her course "Creativity: Madmen, Geniuses and Harvard Students." In addition to numerous publications in peer-reviewed science journals, her work has been featured on CNN, the Discovery Channel, BBC, and NPR. She blogs at Psychology Today and The Huffington Post

  • Elizabeth Rider, MSW, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and narrative writing expert

    Dr. Rider is a pediatrician, the Director of Academic Programs for the Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice at Boston Children’s Hospital, and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She created and directs the faculty education fellowship in medical humanism and professionalism and the faculty fellowship for leaders in interprofessional education, and leads the International Charter for Human Values in Healthcare global initiative. Dr. Rider is an expert on narrative medical writing and senior author of the book A Practical Guide to Teaching and Assessing the ACGME Core Competencies. She is a successful course graduate who has won multiple teaching and writing awards. Dr. Rider is an associate editor for the journals Patient Education and Counseling and Medical Encounter, and serves on the editorial boards of several other journals. Her narratives have appeared in BMJ, Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Academic Emergency Medicine, Medical Encounter, and other publications.

  • Joseph Shrand, MD, Author and Instructor in Psychiatry

    Dr. Shrand is an Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Chief of Adolescent Psychiatry for High Point Treatment Centers on the South Shore of Massachusetts. Among colleagues and staff, he is affectionately called “Doctor Joe,” as he was “Joe” in the original children’s cast of the PBS series ZOOM. Dr.Shrand is President and founder of Drug Story Theater, Inc., a non-profit 501c3 organization that takes teenagers in the early stages of recovery from drugs and alcohol and teaches them improvisational theater techniques.  The teenagers then create their own scripted shows which they perform in middle and high schools, so the treatment of one becomes the prevention of many. He also hosts The Dr Joe Show every week on WATD FM radio, based on his I-M Approach, a way to improve yourself to improve the world. Dr. Shrand is the author of several books, including Outsmarting Anger, which won the 2013 Books for a Better Life Award for psychology. 

  • Julie Silver, MD, Course Director; Associate Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School and Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

    Dr. Silver is the Associate Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School. She is the former Chief Editor of Books at Harvard Health Publications and is an award-winning author. She has spent 20 years teaching and mentoring physicians and other healthcare professionals in writing, publishing, public speaking, and interacting with the media. The focus of her work is on healing, with an emphasis on cancer rehabilitation. Dr. Silver also directs a CME leadership course at Harvard Medical School and is known for her work in diversity inclusion. She has written and edited too many books to list here, and this has led to many important career opportunities. Dr. Silver is also an innovator who founded a start-up company and has a lot of experience with intellectual property and healthcare content. 

    Dr. Silver has received many awards, including The Boston Globe’s Top Innovator in Medicine. The Discovery Channel featured her work on the show Innovations. She has been a guest on the Today Show, the CBS Early Show, and Dr. Oz. Her work has been featured in hundreds of media outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The London Times, and NPR. Dr. Silver is currently affiliated with Spaulding Rehabilitation, Massachusetts General, and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals.

Guest Faculty

  • Susan Aiello, DVM, ELS, Writing instructor, and Past President, Board of Editors in the Life Sciences

    Dr. Aiello is an award-winning writing instructor and professional, BELS-Certified editor who has nearly 30 years of experience in medical publishing. She has extensive teaching experience in training health writers, including ESL authors—those who are writing in English as a second language. She has made multiple appearances on national television and radio. In addition to her medical background, she has studied journalism and publication management and is a board-certified editor in the life sciences. Her editorial and training style encourages collaborative book development. She is a former Editor-in-Chief of The Merck Veterinary Manual and has edited numerous other professional medical reference works and trade nonfiction health books.

  • Regina Brooks, Literary agent, Serendipity Literary Agency

    Regina Brooks is the founder and president of Serendipity Literary Agency, based in New York City and Los Angeles, which Writer's Digest magazine named as one of the top 25 literary agencies. Her agency has represented and established a diverse base of award-winning clients in adult and young adult fiction, nonfiction, and children's literature. She has held senior editorial positions at John Wiley and Sons and McGraw-Hill companies. Brooks is the author of the titles Writing Great Books for Young Adults (Source Books); You Should Really Write a Book: How to Write, Sell and Market Your Memoir (St. Martin’s Press); and the forthcoming title, Three Whispers and a Shout. She has been highlighted in global media and TV outlets including ABC News, CW, Forbes, Poets and Writers, Publishers Weekly, The Writer, Mediabistro, Essence, Ebony, Writers Digest magazine, Uptown magazine, and Rolling Out. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women. She is a pilot, a member of the Association of Writer Representatives, Authors Guild,  and New York Women in Film and Television, and on the board of the National Book Foundation’s Junior Committee.

  • Gustavo Ferrer, MD, Author; Program Director, Aventura/FIU Pulmonary Fellowship, founder of the Cleveland Clinic Florida Cough Center, President of Intensive Care Experts

    Dr. Ferrer was trained in Pulmonary Medicine both in Cuba and the US. In 1999 he was hired by the United Nations University to perform respiratory research in the jungles of the Orinoco River. In 2000 he came to the US and went on to a residency in Texas and a pulmonary and critical care fellowship at George Washington University in DC. He has since received several prestigious awards and has been featured in USA Today, NBC News, Huffington Post, CNN en Español, the Miami Herald, and Radio Caracol Miami. He has also been featured in many Latin American national newspapers. He is the author of Graceful Exit: How to Advocate Effectively, Take Care of Yourself, and Be Present for the Death of a Loved One, to be released May 2018, and the book Cough Cures: The Complete Guide to the Best Natural Remedies and Over-the Counter Drugs for Acute and Chronic Coughs. 

  • Linda Girgis, MD, FAAFP, Author, social media expert

    Dr. Girgis is a dedicated family physician in private practice in South River, New Jersey and its surrounding communities. Holding board certification from the American Board of Family Medicine, Dr. Girgis is affiliated with both St. Peter’s University and Raritan Bay Hospitals and also collaborates closely with several universities and medical schools, where she teaches medical students and residents. She is a clinical assistant professor at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.  Because of her commitment to excellence, Dr. Girgis has earned awards and recognition from her peers and a variety of industry bodies, including: most nominated Health IT Change Agent of 2015 by Health IT Outcomes; named one of the top 10 doctors to follow on Twitter by Compass Healthcare Redefined, October 2015; named one of the top 100 healthcare influencers by HealthJoy, September 2015; named one of the 10 doctors that others follow on twitter by MDigital Life February 2016; named one of the top 5 Women in Healthcare blogs in 2016 by Live Clinic. She is an Advisory Board member for SERMO; a board member of Protect the Pecs Foundation as well as a medical advisory board member for Practicing Physicians for America. Additionally, she is a blogger for Physician’s Weekly, Physicians Practice and MedicalPractice Insider, as well as a guest columnist for Medcity News, PM360 and Health IT Outcomes. She has published articles in several other media outlets. Dr. Girgis has written four books: Inside Our Broken Healthcare System; The War on Doctors; The Healthcare Apocalypse; and Pandemic Rising. She has been interviewed in US News, on NBC Nightly News, and in many other media outlets.

  • Jill Grimes, MD, Author and pitch coach

    Dr. Jill Grimes is a board-certified family physician practicing in Austin, Texas. She is passionate about preventative medicine and patient education. In keeping with that aspiration, Dr. Grimes wrote Seductive Delusions: How Everyday People Catch STDs, hoping a different style of education—stories, not just statistics—might help to lower the shockingly high rate of sexually transmittable diseases in the United States today. Seductive Delusions has been a part of the freshman health literacy curriculum in Texas high schools since 2010.  Dr. Grimes was a National Merit and President's Endowed Scholar at Texas A&M University, graduating in 1987. She received her medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine, and completed her family medicine residency training in Austin, Texas. Dr. Grimes maintained a private practice for twenty years, and is now exclusively seeing patients at the University of Texas in their Urgent Care Department.  Dr. Grimes joined the UMass medical school faculty as a clinical instructor in 2000, through an innovative internet-based ethics course that connected medical students with practicing family doctors across the country. In 2006, Dr. Grimes became a contributing author and member of the editorial board for The 5-Minute Clinical Consult textbook, and then served as an associate editor for the 2010-2015 editions.

  • John Hanc, Author, journalist, educator

    As a writer or co-author, John Hanc has 16 books to his credit, including five memoirs—one of which, Walter’s Way, the rags-to-riches life story of entrepreneur/philanthropist Walter J. Scherr, has won two major book awards in the last two years. Hanc’s books also included the award-winning memoirs The Coolest Race on Earth, about his participation in the Antarctica Marathon; and Not Dead Yet, the story of diabetic cyclist and Team Type 1 founder Phil Southerland; as well as the popular self-help book Organize Your Mind, Organize Your Life, co-written with Margaret Moore and Dr. Paul Hammerness. A long-time journalist, Hanc is a contributing writer to The New York Times, Newsday and Smithsonian.com. He is also an Associate Professor at the New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury, where he teaches journalism and communications.

  • Randy Kamen, EdD, Author and self-publishing expert, Boston University School of Education

    Dr. Randy Kamen is a psychologist, educator, and recent author of the bestseller Behind the Therapy Door: Simple Strategies to Transform Your Life. She pioneered new territory in mind-body medicine at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and later at Boston University’s Schools of Medicine and Dentistry. Dr. Kamen develops and leads global online courses on "Retraining the Brain for Positivity and Success." She designs mind-body workshops and retreats at corporations, universities, conferences and health institutions. Some of these retreats include Kripalu, Omega Institute, Red Mountain, 1440 Multiversity, Open City NYC, Canyon Ranch and Rancho la Puerto. She is a consultant and contributor for The Huffington Post and frequently appears on the radio, television and other media outlets. She runs a retreat facility on Martha’s Vineyard, Blueberry Fields MV.

  • Matthew Katz, MD, Social media expert, Lowell General Hospital

    Dr. Katz is a leading physician voice in social media and the most followed radiation oncologist on Twitter globally. He is the current Chair of Communications Committee for the Massachusetts Medical Society and former national Chair of Communications Committee for the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). He served as an inaugural External Advisor for Mayo Clinic’s Center for Social Media. He has given talks at Massachusetts General Hospital, Mayo Clinic, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Yale-New Haven Hospital as well as academic meetings in the U.S., Spain, and Australia.  Matt has a specific focus on Twitter and developed an international online journal club for radiation oncology. He helped revise Massachusetts Medical Society’s guidelines for professional use of social media and has published multiple peer-reviewed articles on digital communications. Currently, Matt is the medical director of Radiation Medicine at Lowell General Hospital. 

  • E. Connie Mariano, MD, FACP, Author, Former Physician to the President of the United States, and Founder of Center for Executive Medicine

    Dr. Mariano is a board certified internist in private practice in Scottsdale, AZ. She is also a retired Navy Rear Admiral who served as White House Physician for 9 years (1992 – 2001). She is the author of the memoir, The White House Doctor: My Patients Were Presidents, published in 2010 by St. Martin’s Press. Dr. Mariano is a frequent guest on television and print media regarding the health of American presidents and VIP care, and also hosts her own radio talk show, “House Calls with Dr. Connie,” on VoiceAmerica network.

  • Martha Murphy, Book writing coach and author

    Martha Murphy is an award-winning writer, editor, and book coach specializing in health, self-help, how-to, cookbooks, and memoir. In addition to assisting writers with book proposals, book manuscripts, magazine articles, platform, and agent acquisition, she has designed successful promotion campaigns, including landing a new author on Good Morning America. With her help, attendees of this conference have found representation with top agents and been published by major houses including Berkley Books, Doubleday, Page Street, Amacom, Penguin, Hazelden, and Johns Hopkins University Press. Her in-depth knowledge of the publishing world and expertise as a professional writer have helped her clients write books that have won national awards and attracted the attention of The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and National Public Radio.

  • Diane Radford, MD, Author, social media expert, and pitch coach, Cleveland Clinic

    Diane Radford is a staff breast surgical oncologist with the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, and Director of the Breast Program at Cleveland Clinic Hillcrest Hospital. Her peers have recognized her as a Best Doctor for the past 20 consecutive years as well as a Top Doctor nationally. She has authored numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and textbook chapters. In addition to her blogs, her creative writing contributions have been published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, Living Like a Lady When You Have CancerCatch That Look: Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Triple-Negative Breast CancerOn the Wings of Pink Angels, Mother Knows Better, and the New You magazine. Her essay collection, Bless Your Little Cotton Socks: Beyond the Quirky Sayings of my Eccentric Scottish Mum, was published in January 2017. Active on social media since 2011, she has lectured nationally on social media for health care professionals at the Harvard course “Achieving Healthcare Leadership and Outcomes Through Writing, Publishing, and Social Media,” and at the American Society of Breast Surgeons annual meeting. She participates regularly in the tweet chat #bcsm (breast cancer social media) and has been featured as a guest expert. She serves on the Editorial Board of the Annals of Surgical Oncology, Multi-Media section, and co-authored a guide for other members of the board on how to use Twitter. Her Twitter followers number over 13,000.

  • Rusty Shelton, Publicist and social media expert, CEO of Zilker Media

    Rusty Shelton first spoke at this course on the changing world of PR and marketing at the age of 23. He is the co-author (alongside Barbara Cave Henricks) of Mastering the New Media Landscape: Embrace the Micromedia Mindset (Berrett-Koehler, 2016), which debuted at #2 on the Austin American-Statesman bestseller list and is endorsed by David Meerman Scott, Tom Rath, Sally Hogshead and many others. Rusty’s commentary on branding and PR has been featured in Inc. MagazineForbes, the BBC, and many other top media outlets. He is the CEO of Zilker Media, one of the country's most respected marketing & PR agencies. Rusty has led campaigns for more than 30 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers and works with many of the world's leading thought leaders and brands.

  • Lisa Tener, MS, Book writing coach, book proposal coach and author

    Lisa Tener is a published author and award-winning book coach. She blogs on publishing for The Huffington Post. A graduate of MIT’s Sloan School of Management, Lisa specializes in helping doctors, therapists, and other healing professionals write and publish compelling books and successful book proposals in many genres including health, how-to, self-help, and memoir. Her clients are published by a diversity of publishers including Random House, HarperCollins, Scribner, Simon & Schuster, New Harbinger, Beyond Words, New World Library, Johns Hopkins University Press, Yale University Press, and dozens of others. Many of her clients have won prestigious awards including two Nautilus Book Awards in 2014, and her clients have appeared on Oprah, the Discovery Channel, NPR’s Fresh Air, Good Morning America, CBS's Early Show and appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Atlantic, and much more. Her Bring Your Book to Life® program won the Silver Stevie Award in 2012 for Best New Service of the Year—Media.

Agents and Editors

  • Lisa Akoury-Ross, Editor, SDP Publishing Solutions
  • Debbie Carvalko, Senior Acquisitions Editor, ABC-CLIO
  • Leigh Devine, Editorial Director, MedscapeTV/WebMD
  • Dana Dreibelbis, Principal, Stony Point Consulting
  • Don Fehr, Literary agent, Trident Media Group
  • Jeanne Fredericks, Literary agent, Jeanne Fredericks Literary Agency
  • Tracy Hart, LICSW, Editor and writing coach, Editing with Hart
  • Linda Konner, Literary agent, The Linda Konner Literary Agency
  • Albert LaFarge, PhD, Literary agent, Albert LaFarge Literary Agency
  • Sharon McLaughlin-Weber, MD, FACS, CEO and Founder, Health Street Journal
  • Ginger Moran, PhD, Book coach, author; Retired faculty, University of Virginia
  • Deirdre Mullane, Literary Agent, Mullane Literary Associates
  • Liz Neporent, Managing Editor, WebMD/Medscape
  • Joe Rusko, Health & Wellness Editor, Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Jean E. Thomson Black, PhD, Senior Executive Editor, Science & Medicine, Yale University Press
  • Cheryl Woodruff, Publishing consultant, BookMavericks