Physician Leadership Academy Staff and Faculty

Our dedicated staff and faculty are the backbone to the Physician Leadership Academy program. 



Rachel Hardin, MHSA
Director, Provider Services
UnityPoint Clinic
Contact Rachel:
Phone: (515) 471-9221
E-Mail Rachel


Select a member of our faculty from the list below to read more about them.

Rebekah Apple, MA, DHSc nullRebekah Apple has designed and delivered educational programs for the American College of Cardiology, the American College of Physicians, Texas Health Resources and the Pennsylvania Medical Society, among others. She was responsible for customizing the world-recognized CPI 260 assessment to address leadership competencies specific to physicians, which she uses with other assessments to help physicians develop cultures of trust, maintain resiliency and lead through change. She also has customized a self-awareness assessment for medical students preparing for residency.

With a special interest in health care organizational ethics, Apple is a voting member of the University of South Florida Division of Research Integrity and Compliance Conflict of Interest Committee and serves on the Florida Hospital Ethics Committee, Suncoast Hospice Ethics Committee and as bioethics peer reviewer for Advances in Skin & Wound Care. She serves on the Culture of Integrity Task Force for the American Medical Women's Association, and regularly provides in-service training on ethical responses to shooting events in hospitals. Apple is also a member of the board of directors for Choice for Care, a certified facilitator for Advance Directives, and teaches undergraduate health care ethics at St. Petersburg College.

Stephen Beeson, MD nullDr. Stephen Beeson is a nationally recognized author, physician and speaker who has provided approaches for developing clinicians and leadership for hundreds of medical groups and hospitals across the country to transform care for patients and those providing care.

A board-certified family medicine physician, Dr. Beeson practiced with the Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group in San Diego County for 18 years. During his tenure with the medical group, Dr. Beeson was selected by Sharp HealthCare leadership to serve as the Physician Director for the "Sharp Experience," an organizational commitment to service and operational excellence. Dr. Beeson's patient satisfaction ranked him in the 99th percentile nationwide, and the San Diego County Medical Society voted Dr. Beeson as one San Diego's best physicians for eight consecutive years. During this time, the medical group improved their patient satisfaction from the bottom to the top decile, won three AMGA Acclaim Honoree awards for clinical performance, and with Sharp Healthcare was the recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige Award.

Dr. Beeson's first book, "Practicing Excellence: A Physician's Manual to Exceptional Health Care," became a national best seller that articulates a prescriptive "how-to" approach to improve physician performance to drive organizational success. In 2009, he released his second book, "Engaging Physicians: A Manual to Physician Partnership." This critically acclaimed book takes system leaders on a staged journey to physician enrollment in organizational change efforts.

Most recently, Dr. Beeson founded The Clinician Experience Project. The Clinician Experience Project is a web-based learning community with thousands of clinicians and leaders focused on restoring the clinician experience through reconnecting to patients in the exam room, collaborating as teams to build community and leading in a way to bring the very best from our care teams.

Dan Diamond, MD
null Dr. Diamond founded and serves as the Director of the Nation's first state-affiliated medical disaster response team. He has responded to a variety of international disasters and most recently he served as the Medical Director for Medical Teams International's First Response Team to Haiti. Following Hurricane Katrina, he played a strategic role as Director of the Mass Casualty Triage Unit at the New Orleans Convention Center. He has been interviewed on CNN, Larry King Live and Anderson Cooper.

He is a member of the National Speakers Association and served as President of NSA Northwest from 2011-2012. As an experienced family physician and an award-winning educator, Dr. Diamond delivers practical information with creativity and skill. Participants experience learning through a variety of effective strategies that foster rapid mastery of new information. After earning his medical degree from University of Washington, Dr. Diamond completed his residency in Family Medicine in Milwaukee, WI. The American Academy of Family Physicians awarded Dr. Diamond the degree of Fellow and he is Board Certified with the American Board of Family Physicians. He is a member of the Editorial Board for the Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. Dr. Diamond is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine. In 2010, the American Red Cross gave him the "Real Hero" award and he also received the Washington State Governor's Award of Excellence for his work in Haiti. In 2014, Dr. Diamond received the Presidents Volunteer Service Award from President Obama and he also received the Quality of Care Lifetime Achievement Award, Healthcare Heroes.

William "Marty" Martin, MA, MS, MPH, PsyD, CHES nullMarty Martin is a highly sought-after presenter, trainer and facilitator in the United States and abroad. His topics range from managing physician performance to elements of teamwork. Martin currently serves as director and associate professor of the health sector management MBA program at DePaul University in Chicago. In this role, he launched three innovative programs: dual MBA/MS degree with Rush University; health care concentration in the MS in predictive analytics, and MS in health informatics.

Martin has authored more than 100 refereed articles in journals ranging from the Journal of Health Care Finance to the International Journal of Computer Science and Technology. His scholarly and consulting work has been featured in stories in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and USA Today. He has also written two books: The Inner World of Money: Taking control of your financial decisions and behaviors (2012) and Taming Disruptive Behavior, published by ACPE, in 2012.

Before DePaul, Martin practiced clinical psychology in primary health care settings. He continues to practice behavioral sleep medicine as a licensed clinical psychologist. He also has served in key leadership positions at DePaul, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Tulane University Hospital and Clinics. He serves on boards, such as Aurora Health Care, as a member of the social responsibility and executive compensation committees. He is actively involved in the innovation/entrepreneurship community in Chicago, working with health care organizations to design processes and collaborating with health-focused business incubators, such as Healthbox. He was recently selected as a Coleman Entrepreneurship faculty fellow to continue his work on health care innovation and entrepreneurship. Martin is seeking a postgraduate diploma in global eHealth at the University of Edinburgh School of Medicine.

Kevin O'Connor, MA, CSP, LMFT, LCPC nullKevin O'Connor specializes in working with physicians called to the next step in their careers . to help them present, influence and lead better, so their teams can focus on innovating, communicating and growing. O'Connor demonstrates safe, easy-to-learn strategies that will bring physicians together for greater influence, patient safety and improved quality.

After more than 25 years of teaching and interviewing successful physicians around the globe, O'Connor knows what physicians must consider to transition from peer to leader and achieve their goals in today's dynamic health care environment.

O'Connor has authored and co-authored several books, including Fearless Facilitation: The ultimate guide to engaging (and involving!) your audience (2013), Speak Up: A Woman's Guide to Presenting Like A Pro (2008, co-authored with Cyndi Maxey, CSP) and Present Like A Pro: A Field Guide to Mastering the Art of Business, Professional and Public Speaking (2006, co-authored with Cyndi Maxey, CSP).

Marty Scott , MD nullDr. Scott is currently the SVP and Chief Quality and Patient Safety Officer for Grady Health System, one of the largest safety net hospitals in the country. He is responsible for using high reliability principles to create an an outstanding patient experience to ensure safety, anticipate needs, and exceed expectations.

He is also the VP of HRO Consulting for J3 Personica. In the past 15 years he has had leadership positions in several organizations where he has been successful in creating safety and quality improvement cultures that reduced hospital acquired conditions and improved mortality rates. He has led over 20 hospitals in successful high reliability transformations.

He is a regularly invited speaker to many organizations interested in high reliability transformation. He is often asked to work with medical staff members and other hospital leaders to strengthen their high reliability leadership skills.

Laura Synnott, MHSA, FACHE nullLaura Synnott is associate teaching professor of health care policy and management at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. She previously served as executive director of health care programs for the H. John Heinz III College, her responsibilities included the master of medical management (MMM) and MS in health care policy and management (MSHCPM) degree programs.

Synnott teaches project and health care management courses to physicians, health care executives, IT professionals and graduate students from a variety of disciplines and industries. In addition to her position on the Carnegie Mellon faculty, she provides consulting services to health care providers in the areas of operations, project management and strategy development. She frequently works with organizations interested in improving their project performance through education, coaching and establishing a formal program management function.

Synnott previously spent several years as a hospital operations vice president overseeing ancillary and support departments as well as construction management activities. She was also responsible for managing the hospital medical services office for a 600-physician medical staff organization. She has overseen numerous projects, including an outpatient surgery addition, emergency department expansion, credentials verification organization and dozens of consulting engagements.

Char Wenc, PCPC, M.Ed. nullChar Wenc is a communication and relationship specialist working with leaders to equip, enhance, and encourage their skills in working with colleagues, staff and clients.

She teaches doctoral level students at the Adler University, Chicago's oldest professional psychology graduate school, and teaches undergraduate students at Loyola University of Chicago.

Char is a board certified professional counselor, holds a masters degree from DePaul University and is the author of three books.

Char works with physicians, pharmacists, scientists, educators and corporate executives from McDonalds to Takeda International in the Unites States, England and Switzerland.
Char believes the brand of a leader is known by their behavior and that is what she teaches best.