Four Earn Top Honors for Their Contributions to the Profession

CHICAGO (November 23, 2020) — Four healthcare quality professionals earned top honors from the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ) for their contributions to the profession. NAHQ President Carole Guinane, RN BSBA MBA BBSS CPHQ, presented the annual awards, during Healthcare Quality Week, a week dedicated to acknowledging the efforts and contributions of thousands of healthcare and quality professionals working across the continuum of care, around the nation and world.

“NAHQ enthusiastically serves as the professional home to healthcare and quality workers who advance the discipline daily while making a deep impact on the future of healthcare quality. NAHQ is home to outstanding healthcare quality professionals who serve their communities and NAHQ every day through their research, mentorship and volunteerism,” Guinane said.

NAHQ CEO and Executive Director Stephanie Mercado, CAE CPHQ, added, “Amid a global pandemic, this year’s winners have provided true inspiration for their colleagues and peers and are worth emulating. Each award winner demonstrated their commitment to excellence and a focus on strengthening their healthcare quality competencies, which we know results in improved quality, patient safety and overall delivery of care.”

Claire Glover Distinguished Member Award — This award recognizes a dynamic and passionate member who has made significant contributions to the healthcare quality profession. Jacqueline Cole, RN-BSN MS CNOR CPHQ CMCN CHC CHPC FNAHQ FAHM FHIAS, received NAHQ’s highest honor bestowed on an individual member. “Claire Glover inspired many of us who had the honor to have met such a dynamic mentor, colleague and friend,” said Cole. “I encourage all, both seasoned and new, to strive to mentor, educate, publish and present to each other. Passing on knowledge and experiences to others is the greatest gift we can give to each other and to the profession.”

Cole is described as representing NAHQ’s overarching principles to provide education and support for healthcare quality professionals. In addition, she is committed to working collaboratively with multiple organizations at the state and national levels, ensuring views and opinions that impact the profession are widely heard and recognized.

Rising Quality Star Award — 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 2020 recipient, Sheranda Fesler, PhD RNC-NIC NE-BC CPHQ CPPS, said, “Working in quality and doing what I do is not just a job … it is a passion. Knowing that any action, whether insignificant or grand, positively impacts the patients, families and teams we serve, makes receiving this award that much greater.”

Fesler is assistant director of clinical practice, Cancer and Hematology Centers, Acute Care and Nursing Quality at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. Her commitment to performance improvement is evident in all her professional and academic roles, including her dissertation, which focused on performance improvement and patient safety with providing quality care to infusion patients in her clinical setting. In addition, Fesler shares her expertise through numerous presentations, publications and with student nurses as an adjunct faculty member at Texas Women’s University in Houston.

Journal for Healthcare Quality (JHQ) Impact Article of the Year Award — This award recognizes the lead author of an article that highlights research and ideas promoting excellence in healthcare and significantly impacts the healthcare quality profession. Michael Skaret, MD, was recognized for the article, “Automation of the I-PASS Tool to Improve Transitions of Care,” published in the JHQ’s September/October 2019 issue. This article stated the thoughtful application of technology during patient handoff can yield benefits in decreasing documentation errors and streamlining workflow. “In a healthcare system as complex as ours, it takes tireless dedication to small incremental improvements to effect positive changes for patient care,” said Dr. Skaret. “I’m happy to see our humble efforts toward improving transitions of care being recognized, and hope this will encourage others to pursue similar projects.”

Dr. Skaret is a lieutenant in the medical corps of the U.S. Navy and in the process of completing his gastroenterology fellowship at the Naval Medical Center San Diego.

Fellowship — 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 Tricia Elliott, MBA CPHQ, as a fellow. “I am honored to be recognized as a fellow of the National Association for Healthcare Quality. NAHQ’s values of increasing the body of healthcare quality knowledge, lifelong learning and mentorship are those I similarly strive to live out as a quality professional,” said Elliott.

Elliott is the director, quality measurement at The Joint Commission in Oakbrook Terrace, IL. She directs activities related to development, testing, implementation and maintenance of quality measures. In addition, she manages activities related to statistical analysis, database management, and data quality monitoring and reconciliation. She is described as a mentor who provides opportunities for career growth and professional development along with greater understanding of a quality department and its various roles.

About NAHQ
NAHQ is the leader in healthcare quality workforce competencies and creator of the twice-validated, industry-standard Healthcare Quality Competency Framework. NAHQ provides a strategic advantage to healthcare professionals and the organizations they serve by developing and evolving workforce competencies in healthcare quality that result in better patient and financial outcomes to support the goals of healthcare value. NAHQ offers the only accredited certification in healthcare quality, the Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality® (CPHQ), now held by more than 12,000 individuals worldwide; extensive educational programming; networking opportunities and career resources to more than 8,000 members. Learn more about NAHQ at

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