NAHQ CEO Recognized as One of Modern Healthcare’s Top Women Leaders

CHICAGO (February 20, 2023) – The National Association for Healthcare Quality® (NAHQ) announced today that Stephanie Mercado, CAE, CPHQ, NAHQ’s chief executive officer/executive director, has been recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the Top 25 Women Leaders for 2023. This prestigious recognition program acknowledges and honors women executives from all sectors of the healthcare industry for their contributions to care delivery improvement, health equity, policy, and gender equity in healthcare leadership.

At NAHQ, Mercado is leading the charge to reframe and advance the profession of healthcare quality and to enable healthcare executives to reduce costs and improve healthcare outcomes through the power of their workforce. Under Mercado’s leadership, NAHQ is advancing the visibility and credibility of the profession and ensuring people working in quality are recognized and valued for their contributions.

And people are following NAHQ’s lead. During her tenure, NAHQ membership and the number of Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality® (CPHQ) certifications have doubled. Innovations have also been launched, such as Workforce Accelerator®, a solution that helps healthcare organizations create sustainable quality teams.

“NAHQ believes in a future where NAHQ’s validated competency standards are the tie that binds health systems together, so that the workforce can speak a common quality language and activate common quality skills to deliver consistent, high-quality care for all,” Mercado said. “More than 18,000 individuals have joined with NAHQ, supporting the cause to lead and advance healthcare quality.”  

“The women named to our 2023 class of the Top Women Leaders in Healthcare are helping guide their organizations and improve the communities they call home,” said Mary Ellen Podmolik, editor-in-chief of Modern Healthcare. “Internally, they are innovators and team-builders advancing their organizations. They are mentoring co-workers while inspiring others to pursue careers in the industry. And externally, they are forging coalitions to improve access to care for all patients. The women we’ve selected this year, from hundreds of nominations, are leading important advancements in the nation’s healthcare system.”

The profiles of all the honorees are featured in the February 20, 2023, issue of Modern Healthcare magazine and online at Top Women Leaders in Healthcare – 2023 | Modern Healthcare.

About Modern Healthcare

Modern Healthcare is the most trusted business news and information brand in the healthcare industry. Modern Healthcare empowers healthcare leaders and influencers to make timely and informed business decisions. To learn more or subscribe, go to 

About NAHQ

The National Association for Healthcare Quality® (NAHQ) is the only organization dedicated to healthcare quality professionals, defining the standard of excellence for the profession, and equipping professionals and organizations across the continuum of healthcare to meet these standards. NAHQ believes that to reduce variability in healthcare delivery, we must first reduce variability in healthcare quality competencies, so we focus our efforts on healthcare quality competencies and workforce development. NAHQ published the first and only Healthcare Quality Competency Framework and validated it twice in the market. We offer the only accredited certification in healthcare quality, the Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality® (CPHQ), extensive educational programming, networking opportunities and career resources to help healthcare quality professionals enhance their competencies and their value. Learn more at


Media Contact:

Maureen Erin Daugherty, Director, Marketing & Public Relations



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