Transparent Health Consulting

Welcome to Transparent Health Consulting

Meet The Team

Timothy B. McDonald, MD JD


Timothy B. McDonald, MD JD Is Director, Center for Open and Honest Communication at the MedStar Institute for Quality & Safety.  Dr. McDonald is a pediatric anesthesiologist, and also holds a degree in law. He is an internationally recognized expert on patient safety, communication and the delivery of high quality patient care who served as the lead architect for the CANDOR (Communication and Optimal Resolution) toolkit.    

Dr. McDonald is the President and Founder of Transparent Health Consulting and has been involved in the implementation and spread of Communication and Resolution Programs [CRPs] for the past 12 years. He also on the Executive Committee and the Advisory Board of the Collaborative for Accountability and Improvement – a group affiliated with the University of Washington in Seattle and dedicated to the spread of CRPs.

    Prior to joining MIQS, Dr. McDonald was the inaugural Service Chief for Anesthesiology at Sidra Medical and Research Center in Doha, Qatar, where he also served as Medical Director of Quality and Safety as well as Chair of Anesthesiology at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. Prior to his work in Qatar, Dr. McDonald was Chief Safety and Risk Officer for Health Affairs at the University of Illinois and professor of anesthesiology and pediatrics at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago. He is also an adjunct professor of law at Loyola University School of Law.   

Dr. McDonald gained his medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine and his law degree from Loyola University School of Law. After completing an internship and junior residency in pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital, Dr. McDonald was a registrar in pediatrics at St Mary’s Hospital, London, UK. He then returned to complete a senior residency in pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital before undertaking a residency in anesthesia at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. From 1988 – 1989 he was a fellow in pediatric anesthesia and ICU at Boston Children’s Hospital. He attended Loyola University – Chicago School of Law and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1997 and has been a licensed attorney in Illinois since.

   Dr. McDonald’s research, in part, funded by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), has been published and presented widely. His research interests span his expertise in communication and resolution programs, patient safety and pediatric anesthesiology. He is a member of and has held positions within a number of professional organizations and is a licensed attorney and counselor at law in the State of Illinois.  

Bruce Lambert


Bruce Lambert is Director of the Center for Communication and Health at Northwestern University. He also has an appointment as a professor in the Department of Communication Studies. His research focuses on health communication, drug name confusion, patient and medication safety, health literacy, health information technology, prescribing behavior, pharmacoepidemiology, pharmaceutical promotion, medical liability reform, and health outcomes associated with provider-patient communication. He is currently the principal investigator on a five-year center grant funded by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to study techniques for optimizing medication safety. 

Lambert’s publications have appeared in JAMA, The Archives of Internal Medicine, Journal of General Internal Medicine, Medical Care, The American Journal of Epidemiology, Drug Safety, The Journal of Medical Systems, Health Communication, Social Science & Medicine, The American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, The Drug Information Journal and many others. For his work on predicting and preventing drug name confusion errors, Dr. Lambert received the Best Published Paper Award from the American Pharmaceutical Association in 1997, a Cheers Award from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, and a Center Director’s Special Citation award from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. A faculty member at the University of Illinois at Chicago for twenty-two years, Lambert is a founding member of the UIC Institute for Patient Safety Excellence. He is also president of BLL Consulting, Inc. and Pharm I.R., Inc., firms that specialize in problems that involve health, communication, and technology.

Dr. Lambert has a PhD in Speech Communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degrees from the same University.  

David Mayer, MD


David Mayer, MD is Vice President, Quality and Safety for MedStar Health. He is responsible for overseeing the infrastructure for clinical quality and its operational efficiency for MedStar and each of its entities. Dr. Mayer also designs and directs systemwide activity for patient safety and risk reduction programs.

 Dr. Mayer joined MedStar from the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago, Ill. Over the course of 10 years, he held numerous roles including co-executive director of the UIC Institute for Patient Safety Excellence, director of UIC Master’s of Science Patient Safety Leadership Program, associate dean for Education, and associate chief medical officer for Quality and Safety Graduate Medical Education. Concurrent with his other roles, he served as vice chair for Quality and Safety for the Department of Anesthesiology, where he was an associate professor of Anesthesiology and director of Cardiac Anesthesiology. Dr. Mayer also founded and has led the Annual Telluride International Patient Safety Roundtable and Patient Safety Medical Student Summer Camp for the last eight years. In addition, he has significant experience in the private sector as director of Medical Affairs of the Hospital Products Division of Abbott Laboratories and was president and founder of Esurg Corporation.

Dr. Mayer attended the University of Illinois at Chicago for both his undergraduate and medical degrees. He completed his internship and residency at Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center, followed by a fellowship in cardiac anesthesia. Additionally, he co-produced the patient safety educational film series titled "The Faces of Medical Error…From Tears to Transparency," which won numerous awards including the prestigious Aegis Film Society Top Short Documentary Award. Most recently, Dr. Mayer was presented with the 2013 Founders’ Award from the American College of Medical Quality for his outstanding contributions to quality management and improvement. Based on his commitment to teaching, service and patient advocacy, Mayer received the University of Illinois/American Association of Medical Colleges Humanism in Medicine Award. He also was recognized by the Institute of Medicine in Chicago in 2010 with the Sprague Patient Safety Award.

He regularly presents and writes on topics related to quality and patient safety, and has received grant funding from the United States Department of Education, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation.  

Kelly Smith, PhD


Kelly Smith, PhD is Research Director at the MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety. Previously Dr. Smith held several positions at the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago, IL, including Faculty, Master of Science in Patient Safety Leadership; Director, Office of Continuing Medical Education; and Research Assistant Professor, Medicine and Medical Education, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago. She received an MSc in Physiology and a PhD in Medical Sciences (Physiology and Pharmacology) from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Smith enjoys mentoring young investigators and is excited about working on a world-class safety/quality research arm for MedStar Health and MIQS. Her work and training at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario (Canada), has given her a strong background in research methodologies. She is passionate about patient safety and quality healthcare, and she has experience as the senior research fellow and founding member for the Institute for Patient Safety Excellence. Her accomplishments include being named one of the top ten doctoral students in Canada and winning the Margaret McWilliams Predoctoral Fellowship, an honor awarded to the top female doctoral student in Canada. During her career, she has mentored more than 30 students in patient safety research.

Dr. Smith serves as a reviewer for the British Medical Journal, Annals of Internal Medicine and Heart. She also has served as a peer reviewer for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; and the American Heart Association. She has published more than 25 articles in peer-reviewed journals, such as Simulation in Healthcare, Heart and the Journal of Quality and Safety in Health Care. She frequently presents her research at professional meetings, speaking on topics ranging from "Resident Comfort and Skills in Telehealth Communication" to "Changes in Quality of Life and Social Support After Cardiac Rehabilitation." She is certified in Online Instruction by the University of Illinois.   

She holds memberships in several professional associations, including the Alliance on Continuing Education in the Health Professions, the American Heart Association, the Canadian Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation and the Institutes for Healthcare Improvement. She is a member of the State of Illinois Health Information Exchange Task Force on Telehealth and the University of Illinois Vice Chancellor's Committee for Biomedical and Health Informatics Research.  

Martin J. Hatlie, JD


Martin J. Hatlie, JD is Director of the MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety. Mr. Hatlie is active in healthcare transformation work, serving as a technical expert and coach to healthcare provider organizations, physician practices and Quality Improvement Organizations participating in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Partnership for Patients Campaign, Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative and QIO Quality Improvement Network.

In 2003 he co-founded Consumers Advancing Patient Safety, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering the role of consumer as proactive partner, where he currently serves as a Board of Trustees member. He also serves on the Patients for Patient Safety Advisory Group, part of the World Health Organization’s Patient Safety Programme, as well as on The Joint Commission’s Patient Safety Advisory Group, the Leapfrog Group Board of Directors, the Alliance for Integrated Medication Management Board of Directors, and the National Quality Forum’s Measure Applications Partnership Hospital Workgroup. He also serves as President and CEO of Project Patient Care, a non-profit organization dedicated to integrating patient and family engagement in healthcare improvement work.

Previously, Mr. Hatlie was a lobbyist for the American Medical Association focusing on civil justice reform.  He coordinated the AMA’s launch of the National Patient Safety Foundation in 1997 and served as its founding executive director from 1997 to 1999. He was a member of the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Session on Medical Error from 1998 to 2000 and the expert advisory board of Parents of Infants and Children with Kernicterus from 2001 to 2011.

Mr. Hatlie is a lawyer, licensed in the states of Illinois and Massachusetts. He is a graduate of Carleton College and Boston College Law School.