Physician Leadership Development Program Faculty

Debra Levinthal, DPM
IPMA / Ascent Physician Leadership
Dr. Debra Levinthal is a board-certified podiatrist, having graduated from the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine in Chicago (now at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago). After residency, she began her clinical career founding a podiatric medical and surgical practice, and subsequently completed a fellowship in podiatric musculoskeletal MRI.
Dr. Levinthal has a passion for education and a rich background in accredited continuing medical education (CME/ACE) as well as graduate medical education (GME). She has more than two decades of experience in senior medical education leadership and program development. In past roles, Dr. Levinthal directed educational strategies for live, enduring, virtual, and blended programs; all in accordance with requisite accreditation standards. She spent over 10 years as an Associate Professor and Assistant Chairman of the Department of Medicine and Radiology at her alma mater.
Currently, Dr. Levinthal is the Executive Director of Interstate Postgraduate Medical Association (IPMA), a physician-led 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1916. IPMA works in the space of medical education, with a particular focus on physician leadership, quality improvement, and accreditation.
Prior to joining IPMA, Dr. Levinthal most recently served as Vice President of Physician Education and Continuing Medical Education at the American Osteopathic Association, overseeing strategic development, the ACCME and AOA accreditation systems, expansion of offerings and platforms, and integrating physician education with osteopathic continuous certification.
In addition to medicine and education, Dr. Levinthal also has a great love for art. For years, she co-owned an art gallery and interior design studio. These experiences were quite different to her medical roots, while being deeply enriching and energizing!
Doug McKinley, Psy.D., MCC
Lumina Health Partners
Doug McKinley specializes in working with business leaders, helping them grow, become more effective, and reach their full potential. An experienced clinician, Doug discovered his career passion in 1999, zeroing in on the field of executive coaching, where he guided Fortune 500 executives, small business leaders, nonprofit leaders, and churches.
In the healthcare field, Doug is a highly sought-after facilitator for executive leadership teams at hospitals, Academic Medical Centers, and Universities. His skills in coaching have been integral to the development of both existing and emerging physician and nursing leaders. By identifying the specific psychological markers and drivers that define how each person is motivated and how they can accelerate their growth, Doug helps leaders break out of stagnation and find the drive and direction they need to be the best versions of themselves.
Doug is best known for his design and implementation of cultural transformation initiatives and physician engagement and resiliency initiatives. He has a passion for building bridges between people, whether he’s working carefully past impasses as a conflict mediator in high-stakes leadership situations, or mapping out employee motivators to improve coaching, performance, and engagement.
He joins Lumina Health Partners from his role as co-founder and Managing Director of Xcellero Leadership, where clients knew him as a trusted partner in creating noticeable change and positive growth in individual leaders as well as more cohesive and productive teams, resetting their growth trajectories for increased organizational health.

Kamran Mirza, MD PhD
Loyola University Health System
Kamran Mirza, MD PhD is an Associate Professor of Pathology and Medical Education and the Vice-Chair of Education in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Loyola University Health System. An award-winning educator and mentor, his practice is at the intersection of clinical diagnosis; medical education; interprofessional education; diversity, inclusion, and health equity; novel pedagogical techniques; and using social media for brand building and advocacy.

Cheri Olson, MD
IPMA / Ascent Physician Leadership
Dr. Cheri Olson is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Medical School and completed her residency in Family Medicine at the Mayo Clinic. She has spent 30 years teaching family medicine residents at the La Crosse-Mayo Family Medicine Residency Program where she is the Associate Director. Special interests include global health and geriatric medicine. Olson has held various leadership positions in her system including chief of staff, Opioid Stewardship Medical Director, Medical Director of Hospital Quality Outcomes and Medical Director of Patient Safety, where she developed the first patient/family advisory committee at her health system. She is a recognized system expert in quality improvement and has initiated and developed a robust QI program at the residency. A sought-after speaker, Olson has developed KSA lectures for the ABFM modules, is an Advisory Faculty for the Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics course, teaches QI essentials for Mayo Clinic and is known for her common sense and practical style of presenting. Olson also believes in the value of community and population health and served on the La Crosse County Health Board, sees patients at the St. Clare Health Mission, and founded and leads the Seven Rivers Chapter of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association. Dr. Olson was the first female member of the board of directors at Interstate Postgraduate Medical Association and served on the board from 2000-2009. She has been Medical Director of IPMA for the past 10 years and loves the creativity and innovation of this mighty, small, but powerful organization.

Sandria J. Simmons
SJS Management Consulting
Sandria J. Simmons is President of SJS Management Consulting, Inc. specializing in Executive Coaching Services to clients in Healthcare, Banking and small and large business entities.
Sandria was an accomplished career banker with Executive level positions in both Retail and Business Banking.
Sandria holds a BA degree from DePaul University and has studied Organizational Behavior at the graduate level. She has been designated a Registered Corporate Coach from the World Wide Coaching Association and a Registered Leadership Coach designation from the International Federation of Coaches.

Christina Wells, MD MPH
Illinois Academy of Family Physicians
University of Illinois at Chicago School of Family Medicine
Dr. Wells is a Family Medicine physician with a strong interest in the health and education of vulnerable populations. She has worked at a Federally Qualified Health Center for the past 12 years where she provides care to vulnerable communities. She also volunteers her time to provide health seminars and health fairs (providing health and dental services) to communities in need. She has a passion for medical student education and serves in various academic roles including as the current director of the Medical Colloquia course at the University of Illinois College of Medicine and as an Assistant Director for the Patient Centered Medicine Scholars Program in the Family Medicine Department.

Lucy Zielinski
Lumina Health Partners
Lucy Zielinski specializes in helping health systems and medical groups achieve top financial and operational performance. She achieves this optimization through physician-hospital alignment, which includes clinically integrated networks, strategic planning, medical practice transformation, coding and revenue cycle improvement, and physician leadership training. With more than 25 years of experience, Lucy believes that employee development is a company’s greatest investment.
Prior to co-founding Lumina Health Partners, Lucy held positions as vice president for GE Healthcare Partners and founder/president of a practice management consultancy.
Lucy is an industry-renowned thought leader who has been featured in numerous healthcare industry publications. Her expertise is in physician-hospital strategies, population health management, revenue cycle and benchmarking, Quality Payment Programs, and leadership programs. She is a frequent presenter at regional and national healthcare conferences for physicians, practice administrators, and finance executives.