NQF Elects New Member Council Leadership

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Chairs, Vice-Chairs to Serve Across Four NQF Member Councils

The National Quality Forum (NQF) has elected new leadership across four of the organization’s Member Councils, including the Consumers Council, the Health Plan Council, the Purchaser Council, and the Supplier-Industry Council.

NQF Member Councils – organized by stakeholder group – afford members a strong voice to help advance efforts to improve healthcare quality through collaboration with industry peers. Member Council chairs work with NQF leadership on the organization’s overall strategy and direction, help facilitate communication with and between NQF members, and devise strategies for keeping NQF members within their respective councils engaged in health care quality initiatives.

“Our volunteer council leaders give generously of their time and insight as we seek shared solutions to making health care of the highest value,” said Gerry Shea, interim CEO of NQF. “We look forward to working with our new council leaders to ensure our broader member community has the resources and connections they need to work effectively with NQF and each other.”

The elected leaders, by Member Council, are:

Consumer Council: Represents consumer advocacy organizations at the national, state, regional and local level by providing information, experience and perspectives of those receiving healthcare.

Chair: Tanya Alteras, National Partnership for Women & Families

Tanya Alteras, MPP is deputy director for the Consumer-Purchaser Disclosure Project at the National Partnership for Women & Families, where she supports leading consumer, employer, and labor organizations who are working to improve access for all Americans to publicly reported health care performance information. Previously, Ms. Alteras was a Senior Consultant at Health Management Associates; and has also conducted research as a Senior Policy Analyst at the Economic and Social Research Institute, and worked on a national evaluation of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program as an analyst in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Vice-Chair: Mary Lehman MacDonald, American Federation of Teachers Healthcare

Mary Lehman MacDonald is director of AFT Healthcare, the health care division of the American Federation of Teachers, representing nearly 70,000 nurses and health professionals and 1.5 million teachers, educational support staff, state and municipal employees and other consumers of health care. She is involved in the development of organizational policy related to health care. Prior to joining the AFT, Ms. MacDonald worked for the national AFL-CIO as Assistant Director of the AFL-CIO Community Services Department and as staff for the AFL-CIO Labor Law Task Force. She also served on the faculty of the labor extension division of Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Health Plan Council: Represents health care plans and organizations involved in the administration of health insurance programs. Members of this Council have an important role in population-based improvement programs as well as incenting provider efforts to improve healthcare performance.

Chair: Tom James, AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies

Thomas James III, MD, is corporate medical director at AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies, where he is responsible for developing medical and health policies for the AmeriHealth system. Previously, he was Humana’s chief medical officer for Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee, and the Medical Advisor to the Strategic Advisory Group of Humana Sales. He has nearly thirty years of experience in health benefits having served as medical director for such health companies as HealthAmerica, Maxicare, Sentara, Traveler’s Health Network, and Anthem, in the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and South.

Vice-Chair: Deborah Donovan, Highmark, Inc.

Deborah J. Donovan, MLLS, RHIA, CPHQ, is director, Provider Performance Strategy and Innovations at Highmark Inc. where she is responsible for the development and implementation of innovative provider care delivery models and quality improvement strategies. Her areas of focus include Patient Centered Medical Homes, Accountable Care Organizations, pay for performance for hospital and physician, provider profiling, and provider transparency. Previously, she was the Chief Quality Officer for a multi- hospital health system in Southwestern Pennsylvania. She has over 25 years of healthcare experience with a focus on health care quality improvement, patient safety and health information management.

Purchaser Council: Represents purchasers of healthcare, including public purchasers, regional purchasing coalitions, corporations, and business groups. This Council provides a venue for public and private purchasers to build demand and capacity for quality improvement.

Chair: David Hopkins, Pacific Business Group on Health

David S. P. Hopkins is senior advisor at the Pacific Business Group on Health (PBGH), a business coalition of 50 large purchasers dedicated to improving the quality and availability of health care. Hopkins is also affiliated with the Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research and the Center for Health Policy at Stanford University Medical School. Prior to joining PBGH, he was vice president with International Severity Information Systems, Inc., a medical severity indexing software and consulting firm. Hopkins has also held a number of senior management positions at Stanford University and Stanford University Medical Center.

Vice-Chair: Louise Probst, St. Louis Area Business Health

Louise Probst is executive director of the St. Louis Area Business Health Coalition (BHC), which represents St. Louis employers in their efforts to improve the health of their employees and the quality and affordability of health care. Ms. Probst began her career in health care as a critical care nurse. She has experience as a clinician, an educator, a hospital administrator, and a purchaser advocate.

Supplier-Industry Council: Includes but is not limited to consultants, manufacturers, service providers, and distributors that support the healthcare field with device and diagnostic products, medications, tools and other information and resources.

Chair: Deborah Fritz, GlaxoSmithKline

Deborah L. Fritz, Ph.D., MPH is responsible for Quality and Performance Standards in the Public Policy Department Division of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Dr. Fritz leads the company’s effort to address healthcare quality through her work with public and private entities. She also leads clinical, scientific and methodology expert reviews of performance measures and writes evidence-based recommendations submitted as public comments. Previously, Dr. Fritz was assistant vice president for Health Care Systems for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and executive director for the Center for Prepaid Health Care Research.

Vice-Chair: Alicia DeStefano, Merck

Alicia De Stefano, MS, RN, CPHQ, is an Associate Director of the US Strategy and Planning team at Merck and Company, with a focus on engaging cross-functionally across the U.S. organization to translate national quality initiatives into actions in collaboration with leading external quality organizations and Merck's focus on quality and health care reform. Previously, she served as a senior director at a regional Managed Care plan and has also worked in hospital and outpatient hospital settings, including clinical and management roles in hospitals in the Boston, Maryland, and DC areas.

The National Quality Forum operates under a three-part mission to improve the quality of American healthcare by:

  •     Building consensus on national priorities and goals for performance improvement and working in partnership to achieve them;
  •     Endorsing national consensus standards for measuring and publicly reporting on performance; and
  •     Promoting the attainment of national goals through education and outreach programs.

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Erin Reese