2015 Leape Ahead Award honors Northwestern Medicine’s Academy for Quality and Safety Improvement

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The American Association for Physician Leadership® has named Northwestern Medicine’s Academy for Quality and Safety Improvement as the 2015 winner of the Leape Ahead Award. The award was presented at the association’s Annual Meeting, April 18, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

When health care professionals work as a team, patient safety can be dramatically improved, Northwestern Medicine.. . should be commended for recognizing this need and... help(ing) shape the physician leaders of tomorrow.

The American Association for Physician Leadership® has named Northwestern Medicine’s Academy for Quality and Safety Improvement as the 2015 winner of the Leape Ahead Award. The award was presented at the association’s Annual Meeting, April 18, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“When health care professionals work as a team, patient safety can be dramatically improved,” said Peter Angood, MD, FRCS(C), FACS, FCCM, the association's president and CEO. “Northwestern Medicine and its Academy for Quality and Safety should be commended for recognizing this need and for their role in taking the initiative to help shape the physician leaders of tomorrow.”

Northwestern Medicine’s Chicago-based AQSI is a seven-month professional development program created to give health care professionals the knowledge and skills to lead quality improvement. The program began in 2012 as a collaboration among the department of medicine, the master’s program in health care quality and patient safety and the Northwestern Memorial Hospital process improvement department. It now also includes the emergency medicine, internal medicine, neurology and surgery departments.

“The original objective, and still the objective of AQSI, is to train leaders in quality improvement,” said Kevin O’Leary, MD, MS, program director and associate chair for quality in the department of medicine. “All of us need some basic foundational knowledge and skill with regard to quality improvement, but really the target learner for AQSI are people who want to have a meaningful part of their career leading quality improvement.”

The AQSI program combines classroom training with team-based experiential learning. Participants are accepted into the program as teams and complete a quality improvement project to apply the concepts and methods learned. Teams have included not only physicians at various professional levels, but also nurses, pharmacists, a social worker and administrative professionals. In the first two years of the program, six fellows and 11 residents participated; in the current class, seven fellows and 18 residents are participating.

Judges were impressed with the broad reach and inclusiveness of the program and strong representation of residents and fellows within the training cohort.

Now in its fourth year, the award named for Lucien Leape, MD, recognizes organizations devoted to patient safety and overall health care improvement and to developing the skills of the next generation of physician leaders. Previous winners include Christiana Care Health System, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

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About the American Association for Physician Leadership®
The American Association for Physician Leadership® is the preeminent U.S.-based organization for physician leaders worldwide. The association, formerly known as the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE), serves physicians at all stages of their careers through leadership education, career support and policy advocacy. Since its founding in 1975, it has grown to more than 11,000 members, including CEOs, chief medical officers and other top leaders. They hail from 46 nations worldwide. The association is known for its award-winning bi-monthly magazine, PLJ, and its other publications as well as for world-class leadership education, available to member and nonmember physicians. Its continuing medical education (CME) courses, offered online and at live conferences, can be applied to advanced degrees and certifications and are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). Learn more online at physicianleaders.org, by email at info(at)physicianleaders.org, on Twitter at @physicianslead or call 800-562-8088.

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