A Two-Day Virtual Event Taking Place April 28 - 29, 2021

2021 Educator Summit

In 2020, educators and learners alike adapted to a whole new system of learning. As we press on for the future, TrueLearn welcomes expert hosts to speak during a two-day summit as we explore innovation in education and academic success in an unpredictable future. 

Can’t make it live? Don’t worry, registrants will be able to watch recordings of the sessions up to 90 days after the event concludes.


Day One: April 28, 2021

11:00 - 11:15 AM ET

Educator Summit Welcome + Kickoff 

Joshua Courtney, DO, TrueLearn

11:30 AM - 12:15 PM ET

The SMILE Scale: Live Healthier, Feel Happier

Laura Vater, MD, MPH

To be healthier, we don't need more information. We need a system. This keynote provides a simple strategy to prioritize our physical and mental health. 

  • Discuss the science behind five key components of healthy living, including sleep, exercise, meditation, connection, and nutrition
  • Introduce a simple tool to prioritize physical and mental health, and highlight how living healthier improves energy, mood, and productivity
  • Encourage audience self-assessment of their health in each category and provide tangible strategies to improve each area

1:00 - 1:45 PM ET

Competency-Based Medical Education: What Is CBME, Why It Matters and How to Start Implementing
Mary Bouchard, M.Ed., Elentra and Queens University

Competency-based frameworks have emerged over the last decade as the new paradigm of medical education, especially within graduate training programs. This shift includes an increased emphasis on performance assessment, introducing the challenge of accessing, manipulating, and interpreting large volumes of performance data. In this talk, Mary will review the key aspects of Competency-Based Medical Education (CBME) models and speak to her experience in addressing these challenges while implementing CBME in Canada, including tips and recommendations.

2:00 - 2:45 PM ET

Teaching Strategies To Encourage Independent Strategic Learning
Angela Hairrell, Ph.D., M.Ed., Texas A&M University College of Medicine + 
Sherry Smith, Ph.D., TrueLearn

As an educator, we strive to maximize our time with our learners to ensure their success. The challenge is how to best achieve this. Join us in an engaging session that will guide you through effective strategies to help learners become independent, strategic learners.

3:00 - 3:45 PM ET

Coalitions Recommendation Discussion

Moderated by Kate Campbell, MSN, FNP-C, TrueLearn

Join Dr. Sherry Smith and Kate Campbell, FNP-C for an interactive discussion focused on the 42 Preliminary Recommendations of the Undergraduate Medical Education to Graduate Medical Education Review Committee, known as the UGRC. View the recommendations here.


Day Two: April 29, 2021

11:00 - 11:30 AM ET

TrueLearn Product Announcements 

Rob Simora, TrueLearn
Josh Courtney, DO, TrueLearn

There are exciting changes to the TrueLearn platform planned for this year. Gain insight into these changes and the future features to look forward to.  

11:45 AM - 12:45 PM ET

Focus Groups 

Rob Simora, TrueLearn

Join Rob Simora and the TrueLearn product team to help shape the future of our platform. Invitations will be sent separately to join a Zoom link for this discussion.

1:00 - 1:45 PM ET

Know Exactly Where, When and How You Teach and Assess Your Learners. What Do You Need to Consider?

Andrew Dos-Santos, Elentra

Tracking and reporting on learner experiences can be an overwhelming task, whether it is for accreditation or program delivery. Speaking from years of experience in delivering digital solutions for health sciences education, Andrew will discuss considerations for selecting a digital platform that truly meets your needs.

2:00 - 2:45 PM ET

Item Writing for the Classroom, Board Prep, and Beyond: Tips and Tricks 

Brian Belval, TrueLearn

This session will reveal the process that TrueLearn uses to write high-quality items, and how an instructor may use these tips and tricks to write items that mimic certification exams and provide great value for students.

3:00 - 3:45 PM ET

Diversity + Inclusion (DNI) Trends in Education Panel

Moderated by Sherry Smith, Ph.D., TrueLearn

Join Dr. Sherry Smith and Kate Campbell, FNP-C for an interactive discussion focused on diversity, equity and inclusion in education for health care professionals.

The 2021 Educator Summit Begins In....



Who You'll Hear From

Angela (Angie) Hairrell, Ph.D., M.Ed.Director of Academic Support Services, Texas A&M University College of Medicine

Angie Hairrell is a lifetime educator, serving all levels (PreK to professional school) for over 25 years. She earned her Ph.D in Curriculum & Instruction from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Her research interests include reading comprehension and vocabulary development, as well as active learning strategies and learning differences. Before entering the field of medical education, Dr. Hairrell spent many years teaching in the public school system and then working in higher education research. She is currently the Director of Academic Support Services at the Texas A&M University College of Medicine. She is passionate about helping all students achieve success through data- and performance-driven assessment. This is especially important to help medical students become effective and efficient learners.

Laura Vater, MD, MPH
Hematology Oncology Fellow
Writer, Speaker, & SMILE Scale creator

Laura Vater is a Board Certified Internal Medicine Physician and a Hematology Oncology Fellow. She is also a mother, published writer, and advocate for humanism in medicine for patients and clinicians. In 2017, she developed a tool to help patients and clinicians prioritize their health (the SMILE Scale). This tool is being used in schools and clinics throughout the US and UK. 

Dr. Vater earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Notre Dame, a Master of Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Doctor of Medicine from Indiana University School of Medicine. She completed her residency training in Internal Medicine at Indiana University. 


She was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society in 2018 and is a member of the Indiana University School of Medicine Honor Roll. She was awarded the Walter J. Daly award for Outstanding Resident in 2020. 

Mary Bouchard, M.Ed.CBME Implementation Lead, Elentra
Faculty of Health Sciences, Queen's University

Mary has a background in education and psychology and has contributed to research in cognitive studies, medical education, rehabilitation therapy, and social business.

Over the past six years, she has focused primarily on the development and implementation of Competency Based Medical Education (CBME), first as an Educational Consultant for the Queen’s Pediatrics and Public Health & Preventive Medicine programs, and then as an Implementation Lead for the Elentra platform. As CBME Implementation Lead, Mary works closely with training program leaders, trainees, and hospital administrative staff to identify needs and develop strategies to support their transition to CBME. She is an active member of multiple groups (both at Queen’s and nationally) working collaboratively to identify and address curricular and programmatic assessment needs across training programs.

Leveraging her expertise in education, Mary also supports ongoing development of the Elentra platform by analyzing use cases to determine feasibility and educational rationale of potential feature enhancements. She also provides consultations for institutions implementing CBME using Elentra, offering recommendations for best practices based on the unique needs of each program.

Andrew Dos-Santos
President and Chief Executive Officer, Elentra

Andrew is a co-founder, President and CEO of Elentra Corp. With a background in software development for health sciences, he has been delivering purpose-built digital solutions for universities, hospitals, and local health authorities, for more than 17 years. An outstanding communicator with a collaborative leadership style, Andrew has successfully led complex, high-profile initiatives such as supporting Competency Based Medical Education (CBME) and managing Hospital Credentialing. His pragmatic approach paired with a genuine interest in and ability to fully explore and leverage clients’ needs in an iterative, collaborative design process keep his high-performing team at the cutting edge of digital innovation.  

Joshua Courtney, DOFounder and Chief Executive Officer, TrueLearn

Dr. Courtney is an Anesthesiologist, Educator, and Entrepreneur. He founded COMBANK (2008) and Test Weapon Technologies (2010), and led these companies to remarkable success prior to their merger into TrueLearn in 2013. Dr. Courtney is passionate about leveraging innovative technologies to help people learn faster, smarter, and with greater retention. He rigorously advocates for young physicians in all aspects of their professional careers in medicine and speaks to thousands of medical students throughout the nation on topics related to medical education, testing, and The Match. He believes that every young physician can reach their professional goals in medicine.

Dr. Courtney received his undergraduate diploma from Washington and Jefferson College, in Molecular Biology and English. Upon graduation from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) in 2006, Dr. Courtney completed his Anesthesiology residency at the Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh, PA.

Sherry Smith, Ph.D.Vice President of Academic Success, TrueLearn

Sherry Smith, Ph.D. serves as the Vice President of Academic Success at TrueLearn. She is responsible for ensuring that institutions and their learners are fully leveraging TrueLearn’s data analytics to achieve their performance goals. Prior to joining the TrueLearn team, Dr. Smith served as Assistant Director of Medical Education at Texas A&M University, College of Medicine. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Palo Alto University and has extensive experience working with faculty and medical students, both inside and outside of the classroom. Dr. Smith is well-versed in applied statistics, assessment, program evaluation, curriculum mapping/alignment, and curriculum development.   

Kate Campbell, MSN, FNP-CChief Sales Officer, TrueLearn

Kate Campbell, MSN, FNP-C, leads the Commercial Division at TrueLearn. Prior to joining TrueLearn, Kate draws from over twenty years of experience leading teams across various healthcare industries. Her background in healthcare education is coupled with years of clinical practice as a Registered Nurse and Family Nurse Practitioner. Kate leverages her experience and deep-seated passion for healthcare education to support institutions, faculty and learners in translating principles into practice. Kate received her undergraduate degree from University of Florida in Nutritional Science, followed by a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing from University Of South Alabama College Of Medicine.

Rob Simora
Chief Product Officer, TrueLearn

Rob Simora has over 20 years’ experience leading product and technology teams for respected companies in many different industries. He is currently Chief Product Officer at TrueLearn and has responsibility for the strategic product and technical direction and delivery for all TrueLearn products. 

Prior to joining TrueLearn, Rob was CTO and Vice President for Cengage, CTO and Vice President, Product Management for WebAssign, CIO and Vice President, Product Development for Railinc, and Director of IT at Tekelec. He cut his technology leadership teeth with General Electric where he graduated from GE’s Information Management Leadership Program and then held multiple IT management roles around the globe, including in Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

Brian BelvalVice President of Editorial, TrueLearn

Brian leads the content and item writing team at TrueLearn. His background is in medical editing and publishing, and the development of content that can improve student outcomes. 

At TrueLearn, he and a team of over 150 authors, editors, artists, and copy editors have fine-tuned a process that reliably produces items that are well written, psychometrically advanced, and mirror the items seen in certification exams. 

Brian looks forward to sharing TrueLearn’s item writing tips and tricks during his session.

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