2015 Risk All Star: Angeli Mancuso

On a Mission to Revitalize

Angeli Mancuso is a vital cog in the management team at the three hospital, one laboratory Cottage Health system based in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Angeli Mancuso, Manager, Employee Health & Safety, Cottage Health System

Angeli Mancuso, Manager, Employee Health & Safety, Cottage Health System

As manager of the eight-member employee health and safety department, Mancuso has been involved in many major initiatives for the hospital system, but none more important than being a key member of a group that rode to the rescue of a safe patient handling initiative that had begun to stagnate.

Launched with much fanfare in 2009 to reduce serious injuries to employees — especially nurses — involved in the manual lifting, transferring and handling of acutely ill patients, the hospital system was coming off 41 such injuries in 2008.

In the $6 million program’s first year alone, the 41 injuries were reduced to 28 injuries, and then to 17 in 2010. “In 2010, 2011 and 2012, we were in the teens so we weren’t moving,” said Mancuso, who joined the organization in 2011.

“So in 2013, based on recommendations from employee health, including myself, we went to the board of directors and said, ‘This should be on the radar for an organizational goal,’ ” said Mancuso.


“In 2013, the first year the revitalized program was a top goal of the organization, it was suggested we set our goal at no more than nine preventable injuries, and that year we had only three preventable injuries,” Mancuso said.

So in 2014 the goal was renewed to no more than three preventable injuries. “Unfortunately we had four,” said Mancuso. “This year we’re shooting for no more than four, and we’re at only one so far.”

An important duty for Mancuso is serving as the coordinator of communications throughout the 583-bed organization.

“On a monthly basis I go in front of all of our critical management staff,” said Mancuso. “I give them an update on how we are tracking to our goals, what things we have seen go wrong, what things we have seen going well. I outline where we are struggling with compliance, how we are using equipment or training or things like that.”

“In 2013, the first year the revitalized program was a top goal of the organization, it was suggested we set our goal at no more than nine preventable injuries, and that year we had only three preventable injuries.” — Angeli Mancuso, Manager, Employee Health & Safety, Cottage Health System

Mancuso coordinates all the visits  when Prevent, a consulting group that was instrumental in establishing the safe patient handling program, comes to the hospital group on a quarterly basis.

“I set up all the meetings to make sure Prevent gets in front of the right leadership teams to keep this program in the forefront of people’s vision, to say that this is still a significant issue, that we still have work to do,” said Mancuso.

Prior to joining Cottage Health, Mancuso was the staff nurse in the occupational medicine department at Sansum Clinic, a Santa Barbara-based multidisciplinary, non-hospital based group. In all, Mancuso has been in the occupational safety industry for 10 years.

Encino, Calif.-based Karla Hacker, director of claims for Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc., who works closely with Mancuso, said of her: “I have the opportunity to see the impact Angeli has on the overall Cottage Health program. She took the lead in tackling one of the industry’s most challenging exposures, patient handling injuries. She’s made a profound impact on the quality of life of Cottage Health employees while reducing claims costs.

“While her attention to detail allows her to deliver on day-to-day objectives, she brings a big-picture approach to her role.”

Responsibility Leader

Angeli is also being recognized as a 2015 Responsibility Leader®.

Taking It to the Streets

After a hard week at work making the Cottage Health hospital in Santa Barbara, Calif., safer, Angeli Mancuso takes it to the streets, literally.

As a nurse with the nonprofit Doctors Without Walls, which also goes by the name Santa Barbara Street Medicine, Mancuso visits the public parks in Santa Barbara to offer medical services to the homeless. There are multi-pronged benefits to the work that Mancuso and Doctors Without Walls perform.

One, seeing the disenfranchised in public cuts down on emergency room visits, freeing that service for those who in many cases are in much more urgent need of care.


Doctors Without Walls does manage chronic wounds in the homeless population, but many times the doctors and nurses in the program are needed to just lend a sympathetic ear. Or to refer someone to another service.

“It’s a lot of talking,” Mancuso said.

The group also brings along students who are interested in a career in medicine to work as scribes and on outreach.

Mancuso also serves with Aeromedicos of Santa Barbara, a nonprofit formed in Santa Barbara decades ago that flies professionals to Baja California in Mexico once a month to staff free medical and dental clinics. The hard-working Mancuso made three trips with that group this year.


R9-15-15p26_Intro_Allstar4-2.inddRisk All Stars stand out from their peers by overcoming challenges through exceptional problem solving, creativity, perseverance and passion.

See the complete list of 2015 Risk All Stars.


Responsibility Leader 2015Responsibility Leaders overcome obstacles by doing the right thing over the easy thing to find practical solutions that benefit their co-workers and community.

Read more about the 2015 Responsibility Leaders.

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

Risk Management

The Profession

After 20 years in the business, Navy Pier’s Director of Risk Management values her relationships in the industry more than ever.
By: | June 1, 2017 • 4 min read

R&I: What was your first job?

Working at Dominick’s Finer Foods bagging groceries. Shortly after I was hired, I was promoted to [cashier] and then to a management position. It taught me great responsibility and it helped me develop the leadership skills I still carry today.

R&I: How did you come to work in risk management?

While working for Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Hotel, one of my responsibilities was to oversee the administration of claims. This led to a business relationship with the director of risk management of the organization who actually owned the property. Ultimately, a position became available in her department and the rest is history.

R&I: What is the risk management community doing right?


The risk management community is doing a phenomenal job in professional development and creating great opportunities for risk managers to network. The development of relationships in this industry is vitally important and by providing opportunities for risk managers to come together and speak about their experiences and challenges is what enables many of us to be able to do our jobs even more effectively.

R&I: What could the risk management community be doing a better job of?

Attracting, educating and retaining young talent. There is this preconceived notion that the insurance industry and risk management are boring and there could be nothing further from the truth.

R&I: What’s been the biggest change in the risk management and insurance industry since you’ve been in it?

In my 20 years in the industry, the biggest change in risk management and the insurance industry are the various types of risk we look to insure against. Many risks that exist today were not even on our radar 20 years ago.

Gina Kirchner, director of risk management, Navy Pier Inc.

R&I: What insurance carrier do you have the highest opinion of?

FM Global. They have been our property carrier for a great number of years and in my opinion are the best in the business.

R&I: Are you optimistic about the US economy or pessimistic and why?

I am optimistic that policies will be put in place with the new administration that will be good for the economy and business.

R&I: What emerging commercial risk most concerns you?


The commercial risks that are of most concern to me are cyber risks, business interruption, and any form of a health epidemic on a global scale. We are dealing with new exposures and new risks that we are truly not ready for.

R&I: Who is your mentor and why?

My mother has played a significant role in shaping my ideals and values. She truly instilled a very strong work ethic in me. However, there are many men and women in business who have mentored me and have had a significant impact on me and my career as well.

R&I: What have you accomplished that you are proudest of?

I am most proud of making the decision a couple of years ago to return to school and obtain my [MBA]. It took a lot of prayer, dedication and determination to accomplish this while still working a full time job, being involved in my church, studying abroad and maintaining a household.

R&I: What is your favorite book or movie?

“Heaven Is For Real” by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent. I loved the book and the movie.

R&I: What’s the best restaurant you’ve ever eaten at?


A French restaurant in Paris, France named Les Noces de Jeannette Restaurant à Paris. It was the most amazing food and brings back such great memories.

R&I: What is the most unusual/interesting place you have ever visited?

Israel. My husband and I just returned a few days ago and spent time in Jerusalem, Nazareth, Jericho and Jordan. It was an absolutely amazing experience. We did everything from riding camels to taking boat rides on the Sea of Galilee to attending concerts sitting on the Temple steps. The trip was absolutely life changing.

R&I: What is the riskiest activity you ever engaged in?

Many, many years ago … I went parasailing in the Caribbean. I had a great experience and didn’t think about the risk at the time because I was young, single and free. Looking back, I don’t know that I would make the same decision today.

R&I: What about this work do you find the most fulfilling or rewarding?

I would have to say the relationships and partnerships I have developed with insurance carriers, brokers and other professionals in the industry. To have wonderful working relationships with such a vast array of talented individuals who are so knowledgeable and to have some of those relationships develop into true friendships is very rewarding.

R&I: What do your friends and family think you do?

My friends and family have a general idea that my position involves claims and insurance. However, I don’t think they fully understand the magnitude of my responsibilities and the direct impact it has on my organization, which experiences more than 9 million visitors a year.

Katie Siegel is an associate editor at Risk & Insurance®. She can be reached at [email protected]