Custom Learning Systems

Save the Date

The 2020 Service Excellence Conference will take place January 27-29, 2020 in New Orleans, LA at the Intercontinental New Orleans


For more information about the HealthCare Service Excellence Conference please contact Layne by email or call 1-800-667-7325 ext. 218.


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Summit & Breakthrough Awards

Visit to view the recipients of this year's awards. Come back in July to access Summit nomination forms, Breakthrough forms, and information on the TBV (Team Bragging Video) Awards.arrow

Conference Archives

  • Photo Gallery: check out our Facebook page to view the photos from the St Pete Beach Conferencearrow

  • 2018 Summit Award & Pinnacle Award Recipientsarrow

  • 2018 Breakthrough Awards Achieversarrow

  • 2019 TBV Award Recipientsarrow

  • Watch the TBV Videos from 2019arrow

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Sustainable Patient Driven Culture

Hardwiring a 5 Star Patient Experience

The 5 Star Report

Head iconFebruary 11-13, 2019 in St. Pete Beach, Florida

The HealthCare Service Excellence Conference is one of the most highly rated healthcare conferences in North America. The conference is dedicated to delivering evidence-based solutions to help hospitals and other healthcare facilities improve the overall patient experience. See Conference Video HERE

The 19th Annual HealthCare Service Excellence Conference is officially done! The 19th Annual HealthCare Service Excellence Conference was a huge success. The delegates rated it a 4.87 out of 5, and raved about the quality of the speakers and the presentations. Being on the Florida Gulf Coast was also a highlight for some delegates who had the chance to take in some great sights.

The conference is hosted by Custom Learning Systems, a company that provides Service Excellence training to healthcare organizations throughout the US.


“Great conference! I wish as many people can make it next year because it is eye-opening, encouraging, and heart-touching! A well of knowledge can be found here.”
      – Francisco Muneton, Grand River Health

Table of Contents

And the Winner is…

The 19th Annual Summit Awards were presented at the Night of Excellence on Wednesday, February 13, 2019. It was a dazzling night of celebration and memories as we honored our award recipients.

The Summit Award is the highest award of excellence presented at the conference. It is awarded to qualified, innovative, and progressive individuals, teams, and healthcare facilities who have made outstanding progress towards improving the patient experience and staff engagement. Individuals, teams, or organizations must be nominated to be eligible for a Summit Award. 233 nominations were received from 20 different healthcare organizations spanning 11 states. 55 of the nominations were chosen as Pinnacle Achievers finalists, and 15 of those 55 were presented the Summit Award.


Service Excellence Advisor – 1st Year
Jason McCullough, Adams Memorial Hospital, Decatur, IN

Service Excellence Mentor
Phyllis Zilm, Grand River Health,
Rifle, CO


Exceptional Nurse
Tracy Keating, Providence Medical Center, Wayne, NE

Exceptional Employee
Brigitte Dickey, Rio Grande Hospital,
Del Norte, CO


Empowering Manager
Tami Holle, Community Memorial Healthcare, Inc, Marysville, KS

Customer Focused Physician/Provider
Rachelle Kaspar-Cope, MD, Tri Valley Health System, Cambridge, NE


Service Excellence Advisor Team
Woosah, Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital,
Sioux Falls, SD
Ashley Meyer, Jennifer Martinsen, Lisa VanderZiel

Team “Talk About It”, Providence Medical Center, Wayne, NE
Andrea Blecke, Kris Giese, Abby Wragge, Heather Frank, Alan Nissen, Janelle Fleer, Kathy Jasa, Marcia Spahr, Sandy Bartling, Christina Junck


DO IT Improvement
Heartland Cardiology Clinic Day,
Minneola Healthcare, Minneola, KS
Nichole Capers, Chelsey Crump, Suzie Huggard, Deb Bruner, Chris Lang

Super Coach
Dianne Davidson, Union General Hospital, Farmerville, LA


Service Excellence Program Director
Pamela Greene, Middlesboro ARH Hospital, Middlesboro, KY

Service Excellence Council
CMH Service Excellence Council, Culbertson Memorial Hospital, Rushville, IL
John Kessler, Dan Wise, Rhonda Roberts, Jessica Hendricks, Tammy Gadberry, Leah Wilson, Jim Tomko, Lisa Adams, Amanda Wessel, Molly Sorrell, Mallory Moore


Inspiring Administrator
Elaine Gerson, Aspen Valley Hospital,
Aspen, CO

Medical Clinic of Choice
Good Shepherd Medical Group Rural Pediatrics, Good Shepherd Health Care System, Hermiston, OR


Hospital Provider of Choice
Middlesboro ARH Hospital,
Middlesboro, KY

The 2018 Founder's Award
Jim Coombs, CEO, Grand River Hospital and Medical Center from Rifle, CO


The Annual Breakthrough Awards were presented to hospitals and healthcare facilities who had achieved outstanding and recognizable improvements and achievement on their HCAHPS, patient satisfaction scores, and star ratings. Over 200 awards were given out to hospitals throughout the USA who participated in the Service Excellence Initiative. See the full details here.


Aspen Valley Hospital
Aspen, CO

Community Memorial Healthcare
Marysville, KS


Grand River Health
Rifle, Co

Minneola District Hospital
Minneola, KS


Providence Medical Center
Wayne, NE

Rio Grande Hospital
Del Norte, CO


San Luis Valley Health
Almosa, CO

Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital
Sioux Falls, SD


Union General Hospital
Farmerville, LA

Wilson Medical Center
Neodesha, KS


Team Bragging Videos

We had 10 organizations submit creative, fun, and enlightening team bragging videos this year. To view the videos click the facility name:


1st Place
Community Memorial Healthcare

2nd Place
Adams Memorial Hospital


3rd Place
Good Shepherd Health Care System

See all the Submitted
Videos Here


Inspirational Keynotes

We were amazed, delighted, and inspired by the talented group of presenters that graced our main stage.


David Irvine
Session Title: Authentic Leadership: It's About Presence, Not Position For additional information on David and his presentations:

Andrew Lewis
Session Title: Perfect Chemistry: The Winning Formula for Building Effective Teams For additional information on Andrew and his presentations:


Bronkar Lee
Session Title: Set the Tone for Sustaining a Lifestyle of Compassion For additional information on Bronkar and his presentations:

Marcus Engel
Session Title: The Other End of the Stethoscope For additional information on Marcus and his presentations, please contact:

Vinny Verelli [Jon Schwartz]
Session Title: Motivate This! For additional information on Vinny and his presentations, please contact:

Joe Mull
No More Team Drama: Ending the Gossip, Cliques, and Other Crap That Damage Workplace Teams For additional information on Joe and his presentations; please contact:

Jeff Tobe
Session Title: Coloring Outside the Lines: Creating a Sustainable Patient Experience For additional information on Jeff and his presentations, please contact:

Donna Cardillo
Session Title: The Power of Transformation: Changing the Way We See, Think About, and Deliver Excellence For additional information on Donna and her presentations, please contact:


Innovate Moments

CareSay App Launch

Disrupting the way healthcare listens to improve.
Info:   Dorian 403-270-5806

Everyone's a Caregiver Enhancements

The amazing HCAHPS education app is now even better! Info: Dorian 403-270-5806

Implementation Specialists and Books

Click on the image for many great additional resources from our Implementation Specialists and Speakers


Rural Hospital Renaissance

Achieve a breakthrough in the patient experience, and transform the future from decline and survival to growth and revival with Brian Lee’s new book!
Amanda 403-270-5802


HCAHPS Hospitalist Certification Course

Discover the new role of the Physician/Advanced Care Practitioner.
Dorian 403-270-5806  


Huddle Boards

Discover the Service Excellence Initiative Year II Enhancements For further information ask your Implementation Specialist or contact Chelan at 403-270-5820


I’m Here Experiential Service Excellence Workshop

Discover the Service Excellence Initiative Year II Enhancements For further information ask your Implementation Specialist or contact Chelan at 403-270-5830




Exhibitors & Sponsors

A huge thank you to our exhibitors and sponsors. We so appreciate their support.

The Compliance Team is a nationally recognized accreditation organization that provides industry leading Exemplary Provider® branded accreditation services to healthcare providers based in all fifty states, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands.     215-654-9110

LocumsMart saves you time and money by streamlining and simplifying the locums process. Stop letting such a small part of your job take up so much of your time.


I’m Here Movement has been changing the culture of care through the use of two little words since 2012. The Movement is a global effort to help health care professionals embrace the power they have to comfort patients by simply being present.


Everyone’s a Caregiver® provides education for healthcare workers in all areas with the skills needed to better the overall patient experience. Our customized micro learning video format engages the audience by allowing them to choose how they learn, either individually or through a group setting.

1-800-667-7325 ext. 206

Stop Overpaying For Your Surveys! Survey Solutions operates a fully automated survey process from start to finish. You simply upload your data to our easy to use Data Utility Portal and we take it from there. Offering over 10 patient satisfaction survey lines in multiple modes, Survey Solutions has quickly changed the survey game in rural healthcare.




Here’s what conference attendees had to say about the 2019 event:

“It was an amazing conference! I learned so much and met so many wonderful people! So refreshing and renewing! I know your team put a lot of time and energy in order to make it such a successful event.”
   – Rhonda Theiler, Perkins County Health Services

“What an awesome group of speakers you brought in, everyone was fun and great. Best Conference I have been to yet!!”
   – Darcy Fethkenher, Providence Medical Center

“This conference is the best I’ve ever attended.”
   – Nicole Haglund, Providence Medical Center

“Exceptional conference, I can’t wait to get back to work so I can begin implementing some needed changes!”
   – Kevin Myers, Wilson Medical Center

Overall Conference Rating of 4.87 out of 5.0

“I am grateful to have the opportunity to attend the conference. I now have tools that I can take back home and begin using immediately.”
   – Cynthia Cox, Family Health Centers

“Exceptionally well-organized! So many great breakout sessions- it was difficult to choose which to attend. So glad we brought a team, so everyone could bring back nuggets of information to the rest of the group.”
   – Amber Umbreit, Southwest Healthcare Services

“EVERYTHING. all the speakers. The connecting with other healthcare professionals. I loved it all.”
   – Katelyn Schenker, Wilson Medical Center

“The family like environment felt so comfortable-yet the professional manner in which all of the CLS members conducted themselves exceeded my expectations!”
   – Ronda Reimer, Franklin General Hospital

“It was such a great learning experience and being able to hear from other health care facilities on how they approach things. One of the best experiences. Great organization. I am ready to present what I learned to coworkers.”
   – Kylie Wilkinson, Rio Grande Hospital





"Ignite the Best – Empower the Rest!"

Next year’s HealthCare Service Excellence Conference will be held January 27-29, 2020 at the Intercontinental New Orleans on St. Charles Avenue – only steps away from the iconic streetcar line and Bourbon Street. After the very long winter we’ve all endured, we know this location will book up fast, so reserve your hotel rooms by clicking here.