NAHQ Recognizes Outstanding Healthcare Quality Professionals with 2017 Awards

NAHQ Recognizes Outstanding Healthcare Quality Professionals with 2017 Awards

Ten Individuals Earn Top Honors for Their Contributions to the Field

Cincinnati, OH, September 20, 2017 - Ten individuals earned top honors Wednesday, September 20, 2017, from the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ) during NAHQ Next, its annual conference. President Nancy Curdy, MSN MS-HQPS RN CPHQ CPPS, presented the awards, acknowledging the time and effort these individuals have invested in the healthcare quality profession.

Compass Award — This inaugural award is bestowed by the NAHQ Board of Directors and recognizes an individual who has gone above and beyond for NAHQ and the profession by contributing to an activity that advances healthcare quality. Recipient Lenard L. Parisi, RN MA CPHQ FNAHQ, embodies the enduring commitment to the profession and always strives for more even if it is undefined. Parisi has been a NAHQ member for more than 20 years and has served on many NAHQ committees and on the board: first as a director-at-large, then as president.

Last year, NAHQ and a QIN-QIO launched an online certificate pilot program for nursing home staff in Illinois and Iowa to help them build and sustain quality improvement programs within their facilities.

Parisi has been a real champion for the project and spent a countless number of hours on this program: from planning and participating in focus group calls, to the travel time he’s logged to Illinois and Iowa to teach the live courses, the two days spent in Chicago to record the entire online program, and the eights calls he hosted with the QIN-QIO to support and mentor the participants; his commitment to the program’s success has been incredible. Its success led NAHQ to launch HQ Principles for Nursing Home Professionals in the summer of 2017.

Claire Glover Distinguished Member Award — Recipient Terry Lynn Stafford, PhD EJD RN CPHQ PCC, received NAHQ’s highest honor bestowed on an individual member. “I am very surprised, honored, and humbled to accept this award in Claire Glover’s name,” said Stafford. “This award means a lot to me since the award comes from an organization of my peers that supports my work and career.”

This award recognizes a dynamic and passionate member. Stafford is the executive director of quality and outcomes at Baptist Health Lexington in Lexington, KY. Most recently, she has developed a Developed Community Based Care Transitions Program with her organization. She has been a NAHQ member for 12 years. As current Competencies Commission Member, Stafford gives back to NAHQ and the profession through her numerous volunteer positions. She continuously demonstrates her passion for NAHQ and the profession in her work as a volunteer and a healthcare quality professional.

Luc R. Pelletier Healthcare Quality Award — As a recipient of this prestigious award, Glenda Stewart, RN MSN CPHQ, was commended for developing a performance improvement initiative that has directly impacted the quality of healthcare for a defined group of patients. In her role as the director of quality assurance & compliance with NextStep Care (transitional care service line for CHSGa, a healthcare delivery system in Georgia), she is masterful in the application of key quality tools and process management/redesign. The initiative was focused on one dimension of the Triple Aim – improving the patient experience of care, including quality, and satisfaction. The project was undertaken by a cross functional team including case managers, nurses, administrators, and organizational leaders led by Stewart. The team leveraged internal and external data to identify and address opportunities, and applied simple yet effective tools such as the PDSA methodology to create a plan. As a result, internal benchmark goals were met and maintained at 90% and greater for global satisfaction and domain summary scores. In addition, an increase was noted for Quality of Care from the previous survey year according to reports issued by NRC Health My InnerView. 

 “I am honored to receive this recognition and thankful to NAHQ for the platform and precedence that it gives to the tedious yet rewarding work of quality and performance improvement,” said Stewart. “I am proud of the niche known as quality and feel blessed to be named among leaders in this industry who have an extraordinary gift to guide organizations as they navigate the ever changing landscape of healthcare.”

Journal for Healthcare Quality Impact Article of the Year Award  — Lead author Suzanne Mitchell, MD MS, was recognized for her article, “How Hospitals Reengineer Their Discharge Processes to Reduce Readmissions,” published in the March/April 2016 issue of NAHQ’s peer-reviewed Journal for Healthcare Quality. The award recognizes an article that highlights research and ideas promoting excellence in healthcare and significantly impacts the profession of healthcare quality.

The award-winning article outlined the development of the Re-Engineered Discharge Toolkit used for implementing the Re-Engineered Discharge program (the RED protocol) in 10 hospitals. The team’s work also identified best practices and challenges that organizations may follow and overcome in order for successful implementation of the RED protocol. Mitchell and her team found common features among hospitals that successfully implemented the RED protocol, which included: highly visible commitment from senior leadership and an empowered interprofessional implementation team. The project was commissioned by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Mitchell is a practicing, board certified palliative care and family physician, health services researcher, and assistant professor at Boston University School of Medicine/Boston Medical Center. She earned her MD degree from Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University and her MS degree in Clinical Research from the University of California, Los Angeles. She completed her family medicine residency at Adventist Health/White Memorial in Los Angeles and an Academic Research Fellowship at Boston University School of Medicine.

Dr. Heller Memorial Scholarship —The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), Midas Health Analytics Solutions from Conduent, and NAHQ are pleased to announce that the 2017 Dr. Heller Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to Jennifer Johnson, APRN.

Johnson is a NAHQ member and works as a Clinical Outcomes Leader for Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, CT. Based on the IHI Open School course, “How to Improve with the Model for Improvement,” Johnson’s submission focused on developing a safe framework for the number of preventable readmissions and number of adverse events after transfer from ICU. Since initiation of the tool, Yale New Haven Hospital has seen over a 50% reduction in preventable readmissions. The hospital has also seen time from bed assignment to transfer out of the ICU decrease 19% from 1 hour, 58 minutes to 1 hour, 39 minutes.

Fellowship — NAHQ Fellows demonstrate excellence and commitment to leadership and provide a blueprint for the ideal career path for those in working in healthcare quality. NAHQ Fellowship recognizes professionals in four areas: leadership/service, published works, lectures/presentations, and mentorship. The following five people have been accepted into NAHQ Fellowship:


A current member of the Recognition of the Profession Commission, Graham-Clark’s dedication to the profession and NAHQ is remarkable. She is a valued mentor to many and is an excellent role model to healthcare quality professionals. Upon receiving the fellowship, Graham-Clark shared, “It is an absolute honor to be recognized for my professional contributions. The journey as a healthcare quality professional has provided me a myriad of sentiments which includes first and foremost, satisfaction of doing purposeful work that makes a difference. Others include, the relentless leveraging of skills and tireless hard work to implement something new, delight when an intraprofessional team can celebrate their work of a complex improvement that finally shows results for patient care, hope when teaching and coaching others on how to lead and improve their work to make an impact; and finally, the contentment that each day I have done my best to lead, advise, coach, create change, and foster improvement for my colleagues, members, patients, and the community have been truly rewarding.”


“NAHQ defines the standard for the healthcare quality profession and equips its members to meet these standards,” said Hendrickson. “In hindsight, when I entered the profession as a young nurse, I really had no idea what I was getting into. NAHQ, through its educational offerings, certification process, and networking opportunities in state and local chapters, provided me valuable insight and opportunity that allowed me to achieve this designation. I am honored to be recognized by my peers and accepted as a Fellow in this organization.” Hendrickson has been described as a lifelong learner and has received numerous awards and recognition from NAHQ and other organizations for her dedication to quality improvement. 


Having served on the NAHQ board as director-at-large, Langdon’s tenacity and fierce dedication to serving NAHQ was evident from the start. She has been a valued mentor and role model to those she has worked with. “Receiving this award is an honor,” said Langdon. “I feel so blessed to be counted among NAHQ’s leaders in healthcare quality and am committed to give back to the profession that has meant so much to me over the years.”


A long-time NAHQ volunteer and dedicated professional serving in leadership positions at the local and national level, Nance is a published author and known for her commitment to advancing the profession of healthcare quality by giving back her time and sharing her expertise in her volunteer roles. Many healthcare quality professionals have learned from Nance as she has presented at NAHQ conferences numerous times. “I'm honored to be recognized for healthcare quality contributions made to mental health and post-acute care settings” said Nance about her acceptance to NAHQ Fellowship.

Nidia Williams, PhD MBB CPHQ FNAHQ

“To be awarded fellowship from NAHQ, an organization I respect and admire, makes me very happy, grateful and proud,” said Williams. A member of NAHQ’s Competencies Commission, she exudes innovation and dedication to the healthcare quality profession. Williams was instrumental in creating the competencies for the Performance and Process Improvement HQ Essentials area. As a co-leader of this area, she brought her expertise and willingness to share lessons learned. Also, she served on the leadership team that oversaw the development of the Quality Review & Accountability and Patient Safety competency areas.

Access the official press release