CHICAGO (October 6, 2021) — Six healthcare quality professionals earned top honors from the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ) for their contributions to the profession. NAHQ President Marian Savage, PhD RN NEA-BC CPHQ PMP, presented the annual awards at NAHQ NEXT, acknowledging their passion and dedication to healthcare quality. NAHQ’s annual conference, NAHQ NEXT, provides healthcare quality professionals and leaders a prime opportunity to learn, network and strengthen their healthcare quality competencies to make healthcare quality – and healthcare – better.


“NAHQ is fortunate enough to be home to healthcare quality professionals who give back to the profession every day and make an impact on the future of healthcare quality. It is my honor to recognize a few of those outstanding professionals and their contributions,” Savage said.

NAHQ fellows demonstrate excellence and commitment to leadership and provide a blueprint for the ideal career path for those working in healthcare quality. NAHQ fellowship recognizes professionals in four areas: leadership/service, published works, lectures/presentations and mentorship. This year, NAHQ inducted two fellowships.

The first was, Carole Guinane, MBA BSBA BBSS RN CPHQ FNAHQ. Guinane said, “I am sincerely grateful to NAHQ for honoring me with this fellowship award. It is unquestionably one of the top accomplishments of my professional career. I have learned that passion exhibited through a quality lens contributes to a much stronger and better healthcare system. I pledge my continued support, as quality is so embedded in my soul.”

Guinane has not only dedicated her time and talents to NAHQ, but she has advanced the body of knowledge of the profession throughout her career. Through her leadership, she has developed many programs that have positively impacted thousands of lives. She continues to leave a legacy of excellence and leadership in every position she serves.

The second fellow inducted was Andrew Kopolow, MPA MSW CPHQ PMP CLSSMBB FNAHQ. Kopolow said, “I am honored, and I am humbled to be counted among the small and remarkable group of thought leaders and change agents who have earned NAHQ Fellowship. The CPHQ has done more for my career, and for my way of thinking, than all my other degrees and certifications combined. Now more than ever, we need critical thinkers throughout the continuum of care, and it will be the privilege of my career to help guide the next generation of healthcare quality professionals as a Fellow of the National Association for Healthcare Quality.”

Kopolow has an extensive history of volunteer leadership with NAHQ, and in support of the healthcare quality profession, most notably as NAHQ’s first Competencies Commission Chair.  He is admired for his positive nature, his passion for healthcare quality and his commitment to sharing his knowledge and expertise with others.

Claire Glover Distinguished Member Award 
The Claire Glover Distinguished Member Award recognizes a dynamic and passionate member who has made significant contributions to the healthcare quality profession. The 2021 recipient, Krishnan Sankaranarayanan, MS MBA CPHQ CPHRM CPPS CMQ DFASHRM FISQua FNAHQ, said, “It is indeed a great privilege and honor for me, as an ‘International Member’, to be selected for the 2021 Claire Glover Distinguished Member Award, one of the highest awards of NAHQ recognizing its members. My joy knows no bounds. I would like to dedicate this award to those wonderful mentors and teachers who taught me quality, patient safety and risk management.”

Sankaranarayanan has been described as an articulate seasoned professional who has made a significant impact in leading the culture of safety program in his facility. He is a founding member of the ACHE Middle East and North Africa group and has also been a great resource and supporter of NAHQ over the past few years. Sankaranarayanan adds, “I believe my achievement could serve as an inspiration to those thousands of international members, to pursue the awards and recognition programs of NAHQ. NAHQ is truly a great repository of resources, and it continues to serve as a great knowledge transfer platform for healthcare quality professionals not only in the U.S. but internationally as well.”

Luc R. Pelletier Healthcare Quality Award 
The Luc R. Pelletier Healthcare Quality Award recognizes a NAHQ member who has developed a performance improvement program or initiative for a defined group of patients. The 2021 recipient, Ana Esteban, MPH BSN RN PCCN-K CCRN-K CPHQ, said, “On behalf of my colleagues at ColumbiaDoctors – The Faculty Practice Organization of Columbia University Irving Medical Center, I humbly accept the prestigious honor of being chosen as the recipient of the 2021 Luc R Pelletier Healthcare Quality Award for Improving Organizational Performance. Thank you so much to my Chief Quality Officer Teri Gillette for submitting my nomination and to the National Association for Healthcare Quality for this distinguished recognition.”

Esteban led the ColumbiaDoctors Opioid Initiative; a project that addressed the opioid epidemic from the ambulatory care perspective of a multi-specialty faculty practice. Assisted by a talented Opioid Workgroup composed of clinical experts, data analysts and project managers, she utilized performance improvement tools and solutions. This contributed to the decrease in the total number and strength of opioids prescribed in their practice areas. A prime example of how deference to expertise, evidence-based practice, data collection and collegiality was used to drive positive impact.

Rising Quality Star 
The Rising Quality Star Award is awarded to a NAHQ member who has shown significant participation in local, state, national and/or international healthcare associations. The 2021 recipient, Adam Harris, PharmD MBA BCPS CPHQ CCMSCP, said, “No other field in healthcare touches every aspect of patient care like healthcare quality; the impact opportunities are endless. I was blessed to discover this passion early in my career. Receiving this award is a great honor, but our patients are the true winners for those that invest in healthcare quality. It’s never too late to optimize and improve.”

Harris is a Manager of Accreditation for the Alaska Native Medical Center. He has been an active NAHQ volunteer for the past few years and flourished in a new position under the Hospital Incident Command Structure. Harris instantly became the point of contact representing and facilitating the needs of all Tribal Health Organizations in Alaska.

JHQ Impact Article of the Year 
The Journal for Healthcare Quality (JHQ) Impact Article of the Year Award recognizes the lead author of an article that highlights research and ideas promoting excellence in healthcare and significantly impacts the healthcare quality profession. The 2021 recipient, Jingjing Shang, PhD RN FAAN, was recognized for the article, “A Predictive Risk Model for Infection-Related Hospitalization Among Home Healthcare Patients,” published in the JHQ’s May/June 2020 issue.

The purpose of the study was to develop and test a predictive risk model to identify home healthcare patients at risk of an infection-related hospitalization or emergency department visit. Shang said, “I am honored to receive this award. This is a wonderful achievement and a credit to my research team involved with this project.”

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

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