Meet the Risk Management Team

The ProAssurance Risk Management department is here to help your clients promote patient safety, minimize risk, and improve defensibility of claims by providing comprehensive assessment and training resources that are relevant and easy to share.

Physicians, administrators, and healthcare staff have access to a team of risk consultants with a wide range of backgrounds, including prior experience as healthcare administrators, attorneys, nurses, and quality professionals. Risk managers assist insureds with their liability concerns and questions using specialized knowledge of healthcare risk management issues and the Company’s experience defending claims.

Leadership

Lisa Van Duyn, RN, BSN
Vice President, Risk Management

Lisa started her nursing career at an Indianapolis faith-based hospital where she was quickly promoted to night shift Asst. Head Nurse on a 44-bed orthopedic unit. A year later, she was promoted to Unit Manager and also managed the orthopedic tech division for the hospital. Following this position, Lisa joined a small county hospital outside of Indianapolis as the Assistant Director of Nursing. In a matter of months, she was promoted to the Director of Nursing—and within a year she was given the title Vice President of Professional Services and Chief Nursing Officer, which she held for 13 years.

Lisa was responsible for all professional inpatient and outpatient services (except lab and radiology), and Quality, Accreditation, and the Patient Ombudsman. She joined PHICO Insurance Company as a Risk and Safety Management Consultant in February 2001, because PHICO provided coverage to the hospital, and transitioned to a Senior Risk Management Consultant role with ProAssurance. Four years later, Lisa was promoted to Director of Risk Resource, then promoted to Vice President, Patient Safety, and now serves as Risk Management Vice President.

Lisa leads the Risk Management department in developing and executing a strategy to reduce or limit insureds’ exposure to claims in accordance with corporate goals and creates a competitive advantage in services provided. The department collaborates with leadership and team members in the development and implementation of sound, timely risk reduction principles that support insureds, underwriting, claims, business development, agents, medical societies, and other stakeholders to promote “ease of doing business." As the leader of the department, Lisa ensures high-performance risk management results within the department and HCPL line of business. She also coaches and mentors team members, and is responsible for all areas of Risk Management operations.

Dustin Shaver
Assistant Vice President, Risk Management

Dustin Shaver joined NORCAL in 1994. Previously he was working as a pharmacy tech. He became intrigued with the job opportunities at NORCAL Mutual as the role available was a firsthand view of where medicine, law and insurance intersect.

Once at NORCAL, Dustin progressed through every level of representative and claims management below Claims department head before transitioning to the Risk Management department in 2008.

In his current role, Dustin works directly with Lisa on the integration of the two Risk Management teams. He provides leadership and guidance with our organization’s continuing medical education (CME) program and risk management publications, benefiting thousands of insureds who are interested in reducing their medical professional liability risks and practicing safer care.

Regional Teams

West

Katie Theodorakis, JD
Regional Manager

Katie Theodorakis obtained her law degree from the University of San Francisco in 1994 and practiced civil litigation before beginning her risk management career working for the University of California managing the professional liability program at San Francisco General Hospital. She began working at NORCAL in San Francisco in 2002.

In her current role, Katie manages the team of Risk Management Consultants who provide valued risk management services to our policyholders. She also works with our internal customers such as Business Development and Underwriting, as well as our agent partners.

Christina Cassady, CPHQ, RN, BSN
Senior Risk Management Consultant

Before joining the company, Christina worked as an RN with a non-profit, managing services and processes for breast and cervical cancer screening programs. Establishing risk management best practices and doing legal nurse consulting led her to working with NORCAL; she has been with the company for over 16 years.

In her current role, Christina helps mitigate risk for physicians and patients by providing guidance to improve patient care through patient safety and quality improvement efforts and education.

Katherine Salois, RN, BSN, CPHRM, CPHQ
Senior Risk Management Consultant

Katherine graduated with honors from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1980. She began her career as a Medical-Surgical and ICU nurse, a position she held for ten years. Katherine now has over 30 years of experience in healthcare risk management—including over 22 years in radiology quality and risk management. Katherine is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management and a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality. She has been with the company for five years.

In her current role, Katherine enjoys opportunities to assist policyholders through phone consultation, presentations, resource development, and on-site practice assessments.

Southwest

Mallory Earley, JD
Regional Risk Manager

Mallory graduated law school in 2010, after which she worked in a variety of legal settings—from working federal cases in a rural warehouse for a coal company to preforming contract and indemnity work for an insurance broker in the Energy & Marine division. She then explored the world of litigation, from general civil work, med mal defense, and ultimately family law. She joined the ProAssurance Risk Management department in 2015.

Mallory’s main areas of focus for the Risk Management department are overseeing the services provided in the Southwest region, particularly those in Texas and Missouri. Primarily, Mallory contributes to publications and educational activities, and is also increasingly provides physician assessments and risk mapping for hospital clients.

Bradley Byrne, JD
Senior Risk Management Consultant

Prior to joining ProAssurance, Bradley was a practicing attorney. He began his legal career working for a non-profit law firm where he focused on consumer rights, housing, probate, and estate planning matters. From there, Bradley transitioned into private practice where his practice focused on Title VII civil rights claims, criminal defense, business development, and athlete representation. While in private practice, Bradley was recognized as a "Top Lawyer" by Birmingham Magazine, a Super Lawyers "Rising Star," and maintained an "AV Preeminent" rating. Bradley is a member of the Alabama Bar Association, the Birmingham Bar Association, the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management, and the Alabama Society for Healthcare Risk Management.

In his current role, Bradley answers questions on the risk management helpline, develops educational content for insureds, writes and records for the “Two Minutes: What’s the Risk?” series, presents live seminars.

Wendy Alderman, RN, MBA, CPHQ, CPHRM
Risk Management Consultant

After working as a critical care nurse for twenty plus years, Wendy started working in healthcare quality. Her experience in quality soon led to a risk management position at a large multi-state-multi-specialty provider group. Wendy gained experience in risk management, claims, insurance, and patient safety. She has been with the company for nearly two years.

In her current role, Wendy answers calls from providers, assists the team in audit projects, and serves on the content management team.

Midwest

Tina Santos, RN, MBA, JD, CPHRM, CCM 
Regional Risk Manager 

Tina worked as a nurse for over 30 years, which provided the opportunity to work for insurance companies, home healthcare, and as a travel nurse in Washington and Alaska. She also spent 10 years as a case manager at Elliot Hospital in New Hampshire; while attending law school at night. 

As a regional risk manager, Tina leads a small yet very strong team with the breadth and depth of experience to serve our insureds. Currently the team is reaching out to new and renewed insureds to offer our virtual baseline self-assessment. 

Eric Cleckler, MSN, RN
Senior Risk Management Consultant

Prior to joining the company, Eric worked as a Registered Nurse (RN) on a Cardiac Step-Down Unit, worked in nursing administration focusing on patient safety and patient satisfaction, and served as Corporate RN for a correctional healthcare company.

In his current role, Eric conducts on-site and virtual assessments, focusing on risk identification and implementation of risk reduction strategies; acts as a consultant for numerous hospitals and large accounts; presents seminars to educate insureds on risk reduction techniques; authors risk management articles for marketing publications; answers calls on the Risk Management helpline; and collaborates with Underwriting, Claims, Business Development, Marketing, and various other internal departments to develop a comprehensive assessment of an insured’s risk exposure.

Laurette Salzman, MBA, CPHRM
Senior Risk Resource Consultant

Laurette has worked in hospital and clinic operations, training and education, and healthcare risk management. Laurette provides consultation on professional liability issues via the helpline, writes articles, develops education courses, and speaks at ProAssurance seminars for physicians, other healthcare providers, and practice administration professionals. She is a member of the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management and the Wisconsin Society for Healthcare Risk Management. 

Brenda Tuck, RN, MSN, CPHRM
Senior Risk Management Consultant

Brenda was an Air Force Nurse for over 20 years and has held executive management positions both in and out of the military. Brenda was a VP of Nursing in two civilian hospitals, Chief Nurse in two military treatment facilities, and was a leader in Quality/Risk Management in the Department of Veteran's Affairs in Washington, D.C.

In her current role, Brenda does consultation/risk assessments for both hospitals and physician practices.

Northeast

Nichole Pieters, MS, RN, CEN, CPHQ, CPPS
Regional Risk Manager

Nichole has over 30 years of healthcare experience. She has a nursing background, with the majority of her clinical experience in emergency nursing. Prior to joining the company, Nichole served as the director of quality and risk management in both a smaller community hospital and within a large health system in the Metro D.C. area.

As a regional manager, it is Nichole’s privilege and responsibility to work with our dynamic leadership team to ensure our entire staff are supported and empowered to create and deliver superior services and products to our insureds, as well as our internal customers. Much like our colleagues in the other regions, the Northeast team supports insureds through phone consultations, written and recorded resources on a variety of topics, virtual and in-person risk assessments, quality program assessments, and other tailored activities intended to reduce liability risk and prevent claims. Additionally, the team collaborates with colleagues in other departments to create and develop CME and non-CME activities, as well as up-to-date content on our website, to support all insureds.

Joanne Simmons, RN, BSN, Lean Healthcare Certification, Patient Safety Certification
Senior Risk Management Consultant

Joanne began her career caring for patients in a number of settings, with the majority of her clinical expertise in pediatric nursing; including bedside, home care, clinical supervisor work, and case management at a large hospital in the Birmingham area. Joanne has always had a strong interest in process improvement, patient safety, and quality.

Joanne considers herself fortunate to bring her expertise to ProAssurance to assist our policyholders with identifying and mitigating their risk. She does this through on-site practice assessments, telephone consultations, presentations, and resource development.

Southeast

Ginger Kelley, MHA, ARM, CMPE, CPHRM, FASHRM
Regional Manager

Ginger earned a degree in healthcare administration from the Medical College of Virginia in 1991; as well as an Associate in Risk Management from the Insurance Institutes. She has been a National MGMA member since 1998 and is board certified by the American College of Medical Practice Executives. Ginger has active memberships in state and local MGMA chapters, including past board of directors roles. She has 15+ years practice management experience including ob-gyn, primary care, and anesthesiology—as well as 20+ years of claims, underwriting, and risk management experience for multiple MPL carriers—including a self-insured and an off-shore captive for an academic faculty practice. Ginger gained clinical experience as a paramedic for 14 years and ACLS instructor in 50+ courses, including didactic lectures and skills assessments of physicians, nurses, and paramedics.

As a regional manager, Ginger’s current role is to coordinate the efforts of her team to provide services to our regional clients, as well as contributing relevant content to the broader insured audience through publications and presentations.

Alex Ealy, JD
Senior Risk Management Consultant

Alex earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama and Juris Doctorate from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. In his law practice, he litigated civil cases with a focus on workers’ compensation claims. He is a member of the Alabama Bar Association, the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management, and the Alabama Society for Healthcare Risk Specialties, including orthopaedics, pain management, and radiology. Alex was also the past chair of the workers’ compensation section of the Birmingham Bar association.

In his current role, Alex develops risk management materials, including live presentations and the What’s the Risk? video series.

Kelly Riedl, PA-C
Senior Risk Management Consultant

Kelly worked as a PA in a busy gastroenterology practice, seeing patients in outpatient clinic and inpatient hospital settings, for three years. She then worked as a PA in a thriving orthopedic spine surgery practice in an ASC setting for six years. Kelly moved away from direct patient care and became the enterprise risk manager and patient safety officer for two years in this practice just prior to joining the company.

In her current role, Kelly develops risk management materials and resources to support the healthcare community. This includes COVID-19 pandemic resource research and development, CME materials, Claims Rx publications, document development, and Vital Signs. She participates in regional risk management and interdepartmental activities, lending clinical expertise and experience when applicable. Kelly shares on-call responsibilities for insured support, assists underwriting with account-specific risk management inquiries, as well as participating in claims roundtable meetings.

Cyndi Nation, MBA, HCA
Senior Risk Management Consultant

Cyndi’s background is in practice management and clinical risk management within various specialties and multi-state locations. These include internal medicine, endocrinology, pain management, neurology, orthopedic spine surgery, and radiology. Cyndi has over 29 years of healthcare experience, which includes clinical operations, executive leadership, and risk management workmanship. Her expertise consists of operational design for multi-state ambulatory surgical centers, development of corporate healthcare risk management and compliance programs—including state and national regulatory requirements and patient safety organization integration, staff and provider education, and operational oversight.

Cyndi’s top responsibilities include servicing clients through risk planning, virtual and on site risk assessments, as well as risk management content development and educational product delivery.

Publications Team

Biz Niesuma, JD
Data Analyst

Biz joined ProAssurance directly out of college. She simultaneously earned a law degree from Michigan State University during her 10 years with the company.

In her current role, Biz oversees the assessment program, departmental training, and budgeting for the department. She also assists in reviewing losses to create individualized risk management plans.

Mary Jo Capuano
Risk Resource Data Analyst I

Mary Jo has been with the company 36 years. Previously, she was employed as a medical records coder abstractor at a hospital.

In her current role, Mary Jo provides the Risk Management department with closed claims cause of loss data and trends to assist in development of their educational offerings.

Mary-Lynn Ryan, JD
Senior Risk Management Consultant

Prior to joining the company, Mary-Lynn was a medical malpractice defense litigator with Bonne Bridges Mueller O'Keefe & Nichols, and in-house counsel with the California Medical Association. She also owned a website content development search engine optimization company, and worked as an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.

In her current role, Mary-Lynn’s primary responsibility is working as an editor and content developer for Claims Rx.

Shirley Armenta
CME Manager

Shirley has over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry providing educational services to both internal and external customers.

In her current role, Shirley is responsible for administering the accredited continuing medical education program (CME) and for providing risk management CME education to ProAssurance and NORCAL insureds. She ensures that the Company's CME program meets the accreditation requirements of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).