About Devon Hill Associates Mystery Shopping
Barbara Gerber and the Devon Hill team have a combined experience of more than 30 years working in the medical, healthcare, senior living and long-term care industries.
Barbara Gerber, FACHE
Founder & President
Barbara Gerber is the founder and president of Devon Hill Associates. She has been involved in marketing, planning and management positions since 1979. Prior to forming Devon Hill Associates, Ms. Gerber was a senior level executive at two hospitals. She organized and served as the first marketing department director for Ohio Valley General Hospital and coordinated strategic planning and physician recruitment, and she managed 11 departments for Aliquippa Hospital. Ms. Gerber has won numerous awards for her marketing programs, including a marketing campaign for the Shenango Inn Independent Living and Personal Care Home which captured the Marketing Excellence Award in Health Care and Marketer of the Year Award from the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Marketing Association.
Ms. Gerber is a pioneer in healthcare mystery shopping. Devon Hill Associates’ “Secret Patient” service has been written about in numerous newspapers and magazines, and Ms. Gerber has appeared on the O’Reilly Hour. Devon Hill’s faux patients have been engaged by hospitals, clinics, medical offices and other health-related organizations to undergo testing and treatment, and to evaluate service. Ms. Gerber’s proven mystery shopping methodology has helped clients nationwide to “see,” in detail, how the patient experience is shaped by their systems, processes and the actions of their staff.
In addition to healthcare mystery shopping, Ms. Gerber has consulted with occupational health programs, and retirement and assisted living communities in marketing, sales and mystery shopping. She has co-authored chapters on marketing and communications and has written articles on mystery shopping and customer service that have appeared in the Group Practice Journal, Contemporary Long-Term Care and Assisted Living Today. Ms. Gerber has an MLS and MPH in Health Administration plus a Marketing Certificate from the University of Pittsburgh.
Mary R. Kukovich
Public Relations & Communications Consultant
Mary Kukovich, PR and communications consultant for Devon Hill Associates, is president of Kukovich & Associates, a firm that specializes in the areas of communications, public relations, fund raising, strategic planning, marketing and institutional advancement. Since 1985, Ms. Kukovich has consulted with colleges and universities across the country, as well as non-profit groups, hospitals, long-term care companies, cultural arts organizations and corporate clients such as H.J. Heinz Company, PNC Bank Financial Services and Alcoa. As a consultant for Devon Hill Associates, Ms. Kukovich has helped to develop comprehensive public relations and communications plans for the grand opening and promotion of independent and assisted living communities.
Ms. Kukovich began her career at Duquesne University, where she served for eight years as Director of Communications. She then became a national field staff consultant with Ketchum, Inc. (at the time, the nation’s largest fund-raising firm), where her duties included conducting pre-campaign feasibility and institutional assessment studies, development of short- and long-term public relations programs and on-site campaign coordination with corporate, foundation and civic leadership. Ms. Kukovich later joined Ketchum Public Relations as a public affairs consultant. Ms. Kukovich’s marketing programs and publications have been recognized numerous times by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Admissions Marketing Report, the Healthcare Marketing Report, the National School Public Relations Association, the American Marketing Association and Mercury Awards of the Public Relations Society of America.
Tina San Roman
Founder & President, Coast to Coast Scheduling Services, Inc.
Nearly eight years ago, Devon Hill Associates selected Tina San Roman of Coast to Coast Scheduling Services (CTCSS) as its exclusive partner in recruiting top-level mystery shoppers. Coast to Coast Scheduling Service is the second largest mystery shopping recruitment company in the nation and also provides recruitment and scheduling to Canada, the Caribbean and Puerto Rico. CTCSS has a database of more than 250,000 shoppers nationwide and 40 recruiters, schedulers and editors. Coast to Coast recruiters, schedulers and editors conduct the initial screening of prospective shoppers according to our high standards, assign the mystery shoppers to the client’s project, organize and administer the shoppers’ web pages and assist in editing reports for completeness and accuracy. Through its partnership with Tina San Roman and Coast to Coast, Devon Hill adds depth and resources for its clients.
Laura Darkstar brings over 25 years of experience in front- and back-office administration in a diverse array of companies from non-profit organizations to global technology companies where Laura has served as an assistant to senior executives. Laura is proficient in MS Office Suite, WordPress, email marketing platforms, social media and specialty software. Laura also has extensive experience in Business Operations Management, Project Coordination and Project Management. Laura puts her administrative and organizational skills to work assisting Devon Hill Associates with communication with clients and mystery shoppers and report preparation.