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Annual Meeting Speakers

Take a look at the thought leaders joining us in Chicago in May. Keep checking back as more speakers will be added soon!

Donna Bailer PhotoDonna Bailer, JD, LLM
Executive Administrator - Department of Neurosurgery
University of Alabama at Birmingham (“UAB”) School of Medicine
Using the NERVES Socio-Economic Survey to Revamp Compensation
Thursday, May 2 | 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Donna has been the Executive Administrator of the Department of Neurosurgery since its inception in 2013 (11 years). The Department has 20 neurosurgeons, 1 interventional radiologist, 16 advanced practice providers, several fellows and 21 residents. Four of the 20 neurosurgeons specialize in pediatric neurosurgery at Children’s of Alabama. The Department has substantial NIH funding and has an extensive clinical trials program as well.

Donna graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington with an AS in Audio Technology and a BA in Telecommunications (with Distinction) and worked in the recording studio & music business for several years. Donna then earned her J.D. from the University of Alabama (summa cum laude) and her LL.M. in Taxation from University of Florida in Gainesville. Prior to joining UAB, Donna spent 10 years as a business attorney-shareholder in Birmingham at Dominick Feld Hyde, PC with a concentration in mergers and acquisitions, as well as tax law.


Amanda Hammett PhotoAmanda Hammett
Core Elevation, Inc.
Millennials: What You Don't Know is Tanking Your Bottom Line
Thursday, May 2 | 10:15 AM - 11:15 AM
Conversations that Make You Sweat
Thursday, May 2 | 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Amanda Hammett is the co-founder and CEO at Core Elevation, Inc., a leadership development strategy and consulting firm focused on leveraging the development of leaders throughout all levels of leadership. Amanda is a globally recognized thought leader on developing, leveraging, and retaining next-generation talent. She is the go-to expert (or as she is often called the Millennial Translator®) for Fortune 500 executives and Inc. 5000 founders and CEOs who recognize that in order to win the war on talent, organizations must transform from the inside out in very practical and tactical ways that increase both employee retention and revenues.

Amanda co-created a leadership development program, Leadership On-Ramp©, specifically for her Inc. 5000 clients which has been credited with helping them navigate COVID as well other external business pressures all while continuing to experience hypergrowth.


Nicola HawkinsNicola Hawkinson, DNP, RN, RNFA
SpineSearch
2024 Coding Updates
Thursday, May 2 | 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Nicola Hawkinson, DNP, RN, RNFA received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Delaware. Upon graduation Nicola began her career as a Registered Nurse by being accepted into Lenox Hill Hospital's first operating room nurse intern program. After successful completion, she continued as an operating room nurse specializing in orthopedics and general surgery for approximately three years.

Since 2008, Nicola has served as the CEO/ Founder of SpineSearch, a full-service recruitment, education and consulting company dedicated to orthopedic spine surgeons, neurosurgeons and pain management physicians. SpineSearch is based in New York City and services hospitals, ambulatory centers and practices nationwide.


Amber Moore PhotoAmber Moore CPA
Katz, Sapper & Miller
NERVES 2023 Socio-Economic Survey Results
Friday, May 3 | 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Amber Moore is a director in Katz, Sapper & Miller’s Healthcare Resources Group. Amber advises healthcare clients on a wide variety of accounting, tax, and business matters, helping them find innovative solutions to complex issues. She has extensive experience in tax planning and preparation, financial statement analysis, and personal financial/ retirement planning. Additionally, Amber has been involved in numerous transactional projects for medical practices and ambulatory surgery centers.


Cindy Nava PhotoCindy Nava
Cindy Nava, White House Presidential Appointee | Senior Policy Advisor | U.S. Dept of Housing & Urban Development | Public Policy & Political Strategist
Tim Roberts Annual Keynote Address
Thursday, May 2 | 8:30 AM - 9:45 AM

Upon arriving to the U.S. as child from Chihuahua, Mexico, Cindy was raised in the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico and is proud to call herself a “Mexican-New Mexican.” Growing up undocumented, she managed to surpass many political barriers, became a first-generation high school and College graduate and went on to take unprecedented positions within education, immigration policy, and politics at a state and national level.

Marking a historical precedent after becoming the first undocumented person to intern for a national political party in Washington, DC, and the first DACA recipient to work for the New Mexico House of Representatives, she was rated as one of the "40 under 40s: Latinos in US Politics“ by the Huffington Post.

As a former policy analyst, a non-profit executive and a political operative, Cindy is known as an influencer and as a positive interrupter. She is a policy advocate who believes in strengthening voices through civic engagement, education and holistic methods rooted in innovative and transformational leadership practices that guide the creation of conscious policy initiatives that support marginalized communities across the country. As a former DACA recipient, Cindy has focused on opening access for immigrants interested in policy and politics to begin a pathway of leadership development and training that creates opportunities for them to serve within those sectors.


Emily PennEmily Penn CPA
Katz, Sapper & Miller
NERVES 2023 Socio-Economic Survey Results
Friday, May 3 | 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Emily Penn is a manager in Katz, Sapper & Miller’s Healthcare Resources Group. Emily works with her clients to help them navigate complex tax matters to optimize their tax position and comply with reporting requirements. She serves a variety of clients, including businesses, individuals, foundations, and trusts. Additionally, Emily provides federal and state tax planning, compliance, and consulting services, as well as advising on matters such as business entity formation issues, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, financial management, and personal financial planning.


Gregory PrzybylskiGregory J. Przybylski, MD
Chairman, Department of Neuroscience, JFK University Medical Center
Professor of Neurosurgery, Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine

Bridging Clinical and Insurance Perspectives: Neurosurgery Insights Through the Lens of a Payer Medical Director
Friday, May 3 | 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Gregory J. Przybylski, MD, MBA, is a board-certified neurosurgeon with both orthopedic and neurosurgical spine fellowship training who specializes in the comprehensive management and treatment of spinal and peripheral nerve conditions. For more than two decades, he has applied minimally invasive techniques for the treatment of an array of spinal conditions, including cervical and lumbar stenosis, degenerative disc disease, disc herniation, sciatica, scoliosis, spinal tumors, spinal fractures, and spinal fractures.

Dr. Przybylski serves as chair of the Hackensack Meridian Neuroscience Institute at JFK University Medical Center in Edison, New Jersey, where he leads a multidisciplinary team of neurosurgeons, neurologists, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists and radiologists utilizing innovative new treatments to provide comprehensive patient and family-centered care.


Kirsten H. Yelvington PhotoKirsten H. Yelvington
Operations Manager - Department of Neurosurgery
University of Alabama at Birmingham (“UAB”) School of Medicine
Using the NERVES Socio-Economic Survey to Revamp Compensation
Thursday, May 2 | 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Kirsten H. Yelvington is a seasoned healthcare professional with over twenty years of experience, currently serving as the Operations Manager for the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Medicine. In this role, Kirsten oversees the clinical operations supporting a team of 20 neurosurgeons, 1 interventional radiologist, 16 advanced practice providers, several fellows, and 21 residents. Her responsibilities extend to the supervision of the Administrative Staff for the entire department.

Before joining UAB, Kirsten spent a decade at Mayo Clinic Florida, where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Her tenure included an appointment as Instructor of Neurology and active involvement in research focused on epilepsy and awake craniotomies. Managing the neurodiagnostics lab and Level IV Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, Kirsten spearheaded improvement projects that earned national accreditation, enhanced patient access, and increased service volumes.


Kate ZentnerKate Zentner
Sg2
Neurosciences Landscape Update: The Convergence of Strategy & Digital Health
Friday, May 3 | 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

As part of the Intelligence team, Kate leads the development and delivery of Sg2’s neurosciences, spine and orthopedics offerings, working closely with clients to provide comprehensive research- and analytics-driven strategic intelligence. In her current role, she has contributed to projects including the annual development of Sg2’s Impact of Change® forecast, numerous white papers and service line–focused consulting engagements. She has been an invited speaker at national meetings for organizations such as the Neurosurgery Executives’ Resource Value and Education Society and the Society of Vascular and Interventional Neurology as well as at Medtronic’s Neuroscience Healthcare Executive Summit. She regularly speaks at planning retreats, web seminars and other events on trends related to the neurosciences and spine landscape, evolution of stroke care, and more. Previously, Kate supported Sg2’s behavioral health intelligence projects and publications on a range of enterprise strategy topics.