April 11, 2022
The Health Care Improvement Foundation (HCIF) is proud to have hosted the Delaware Valley Patient Safety and Quality Award for the past 20 years. The Award program is one of the unique ways in which HCIF promotes and disseminates best practices in health care patient safety and quality throughout the region. At HCIF, we are committed to supporting a healthcare system that is just, equitable, and high quality. This year, we are expanding our call for submissions and invite improvement teams to submit their most innovative patient safety and quality improvement initiatives that seek to embed patient and family engagement and/or health equity (e.g., focused on underserved communities; addressed healthcare disparities in our health system; etc). Additionally, we continue to welcome initiatives that pertain to COVID-19 response and workforce wellness.
Organizations that contribute to HCIF’s Partnership for Patient Care (PPC) program — whether freestanding or within a multi-entity system — are eligible to submit up to 4 entries for projects undertaken at each site. In addition, a healthcare system may submit up to 4 entries for system-wide projects that span multiple sites. All entries will be submitted via a web-based platform (linked here) and will be judged on specific criteria, outlined on page two of the linked PDF found below. We are again inviting clinical, quality/safety, and administrative leaders from regional healthcare organizations to serve as judges and participate in the initial review of award entries in Summer 2022. Entries must be submitted online by May 27, 2022.
Please click here for further details. If you have any questions about this year’s award process, please contact Cassidy Tarullo, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Liz Owens, MS
March 29, 2022
The Health Care Improvement Foundation’s (HCIF) Partner Profiles highlight the efforts of valued and innovative health leaders. Our partners’ work supports HCIF’s vision of healthier communities through equitable, accessible, and quality health care.
In celebration of Patient Safety Awareness Week (March 13 – March 19) this month, we’re excited to feature the Chair and Vice Chair of HCIF’s Clinical Advisory Committee to learn more about what patient safety means to them and what they see as the most important priorities in patient safety today.
Jeremy Souder, MD, MBA, serves as the Associate Chief Medical Officer for Clinical Excellence and Patient Safety Officer at Pennsylvania Hospital of Penn Medicine and serves as Chair of HCIF’s Clinical Advisory Committee.
Eileen Jaskuta, MSHA, BSN, RN, serves as the System Vice President Quality and Patient Safety at Main Line Health and currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Clinical Advisory Committee.
HCIF’s Clinical Advisory Committee is the voluntary expert panel of health care providers and partners from organizations across Southeastern Pennsylvania that identifies the region’s quality and patient safety priorities and provides clinical guidance to HCIF and its Board of Directors. Additionally, the Clinical Advisory Committee plays a key role in advising the Partnership for Patient Care (PPC) and its programs, such as the Health Equity Data Strategy Collaborative, Safe Table, Delaware Valley Patient Safety & Quality Awards, and Leadership Summit.
Both of you serve in key roles on HCIF’s Clinical Advisory Committee that oversees the Partnership for Patient Care (PPC), which just celebrated its 15 year anniversary last year. What do you consider to be the greatest benefits and accomplishments of PPC during your tenure on the Committee?
Dr. Souder: The PPC convenes a broad regional community around the shared mission to make patient care more equitable, safe, and effective. In particular, I feel that the Safe Table Program and the Patient Safety and Quality Award Program create learning communities that foster the development of a shared understanding of challenges, opportunities, and solutions identified by leaders in our region’s healthcare organizations.
Eileen: I have served on the Advisory Committee several times throughout my career, but my most recent tenure has been 5 years. I have always found that the greatest benefit of PPC is the sharing of best practices in the region and the opportunity to participate in collaboratives to advance quality of care.
This month, we’re celebrating Patient Safety Awareness Week from March 13-19, 2022. Given the many changes and challenges that have been encountered by healthcare systems over the past two years, what do you see as the most important priorities in patient safety today?
Dr. Souder: I see the ongoing workforce challenges, the care for patients simultaneously coping with behavioral health and other medical conditions, the course of the pandemic, and striving for equity in our care outcomes to be the key priorities.
Eileen: The most important priorities in patient safety today really focus on two things in my mind – getting back to the basics and including equity in the work of patient safety.
What is one key thing you’d like the public, or someone not in healthcare, to understand about patient safety and the role it serves in our communities and the healthcare system as a whole?
Dr. Souder: That it depends on people caring for people—trust, mutual respect, concern, and compassion—in 360 degrees, as much as it depends on process improvement, data, and technical improvements.
Eileen: The role that patient safety provides is to be preoccupied with failure to ensure safety for the patients we serve, and to develop interventions to prevent safety events from occurring.
“The most important priorities in patient safety today really focus on two things in my mind – getting back to the basics and including equity in the work of patient safety.”Eileen Jaskuta
How did you become interested in patient safety? What are your greatest accomplishments within your field so far (in other words, what are you most proud of)?
Dr. Souder: In my junior year of internal medicine residency, I began to feel disenchanted with my chosen profession. I saw how hard everyone was working, smart people were, how closely they paid attention, and how much they cared…and yet people got hurt, or didn’t get what I wanted us to be able to give them.
Then I learned about the field of patient safety, and that there was another way to think about caring for people than the one I’d learned in my textbooks, and it gave me hope. I realized that understanding physiology, anatomy, and pathophysiology and pharmacology were necessary, but not sufficient, to achieve the outcomes we all pursue.
I’m immensely proud that we, as a field, are grappling with challenges of high reliability, continuing with impatient determination to get better at what we do together for patients. I’m also inspired to see that now, when I bring up concepts like systems error, or the “Swiss Cheese Model” on rounds, students always nod their heads in recognition—they understand these core concepts before they get to their clinical training, and I see them engaging more regularly in ways I don’t remember seeing a decade ago. This gives me great hope!
Eileen: I was always interested in providing great care and patient safety was naturally a part of providing great care. I also had family members impacted by patient safety events and knew that we in healthcare could and should do better by our patients. I think much has been accomplished over the years in patient safety. Transparency and disclosure were critical to those accomplishments because we could learn from one another to make lasting improvements.
I learned about the field of patient safety, and that there was another way to think about caring for people than the one I’d learned in my textbooks, and it gave me hope.Dr. Jeremy Souder
You have supported HCIF’s work through numerous PPC programs (including but not limited to the Health Equity Data Strategy Collaborative, Delaware Valley Patient Safety and Quality Award Program, and Safe Community) over the years. What do you think makes HCIF unique? What is something you’ve learned through our partnership?
Dr. Souder: What makes HCIF unique is its ability to convene different regional stakeholders around the shared aim of delivering excellent care to everyone in need.
What is a quote that inspires you in your work?
Dr. Souder: “Every system is perfectly designed to get the results that it gets.”
If you are interested in connecting with our partners on LinkedIn, you can find Jeremy Souder here and Eileen Jaskuta here.
Something that you may not know about Dr. Souder is that his favorite hobbies consist of water sports—whether that’s winter or summer water sports, he enjoys both! Eileen shared that things she likes to do for fun include hiking, learning how to golf, and watching college basketball!
March 14, 2022
The Health Care Improvement Foundation is pleased to announce the election of five new members to its talented Board of Directors. The new Board members are Vanessa Benton, MBA, Michelle Burroughs, Ed.D., Joanne Craig, MS, Allison Hess, MBA, and Norman Weinstein, Esq. These new appointees represent several professional sectors and will bring a breadth of knowledge and experience to HCIF. Together, they will work to advance HCIF’s key initiatives with a focus on, clinical quality, patient safety, and population and community health.
“We are excited to welcome our new board members,” said Wendy Nickel, President, Health Care Improvement Foundation. “Each of them provides our board with a unique background and perspective and we look forward to their expertise and guidance this year, especially as we implement new strategic priorities, with a special emphasis on health equity.”
New Board Members:
Vanessa Benton, MBA is the Deputy Chief of School Planning and Space Management for The School District of Philadelphia, where she manages a strategic process to provide solutions to schools’ facility and utilization challenges.
Michelle Burroughs Ed.D. is the Vice President, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) at WSFS Bank. Dr. Burroughs has almost 20 years of experience in building and leading collaborative environments with a focus on diversity initiatives.
Joanne Craig, MS is the Chief Impact Officer at The Foundation for Delaware County, where she administers their public health programs and grant making services. Her work in public health, nonprofit management, and philanthropy spans several decades and has positively impacted tens of thousands of families in Delaware County.
Allison Hess, MBA is the Vice President of Health Innovations for Geisinger, which is one of biggest health services organizations in the country. Her work includes oversight and implementation of health and wellness programs as well as creating community based strategies that impact food insecurity and related social determinants of health.
Norman Weinstein, Esq. is Of Counsel at Galfand Berger, LLP and he has practiced Workers’ Compensation and Social Security law for over 36 years. The Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania recently appointed Mr. Weinstein to the Pennsylvania Department of Health Equity’s Advisory Committee, as he works towards building a relationship between public health and public interest law.
Additionally, new officers were recently elected to lead the Board for the next two years. Patricia Sullivan, PhD serves as the new Board Chair. She is the Chief Quality Officer at the University of Pennsylvania Health System where she is responsible for clinical effectiveness and quality improvement efforts. Natalie Levkovich, HCIF’s new Board Vice Chair, is Executive Director of the Health Federation of Philadelphia, a position she has held since 1987.
“I am deeply honored to have been elected to lead the HCIF Board of Directors. HCIF is uniquely qualified to support healthcare organizations in achieving better care, improved access, and health equity. I look forward to leveraging our partnerships, along with our talented and capable team, to achieve HCIF’s vision of healthier communities through equitable, accessible, and quality health care,” said Sullivan.
The Health Care Improvement Foundation (HCIF), hcifonline.org, was founded to support a responsive, coordinated health care delivery system that fulfills the needs of patients and consumers, and achieves better health. Through large-scale collaboration HCIF works with health systems, community based organizations, payors and a variety of other stakeholders to find solutions to complex healthcare challenges, which any one stakeholder could not achieve alone. Since its inception, HCIF has worked with numerous organizations to improve quality of care, health equity, patient safety, and population health issues such as, COVID-19, perinatal care, readmissions, cancer, workplace violence, food insecurity, trauma informed care, and health literacy.