At our 25th Anniversary celebration last week, David Knowlton, a founder of the Quality Institute, called many of our early leaders, “disrupters.” As he spoke, I nodded my head in agreement. And I thought of how so many of those disrupters today work inside the health care system, some in powerful positions.
They’re bringing much of what they learned through their support and partnership with the Quality Institute to their efforts to strengthen and improve health care for everyone — whether that’s better health care for children, affordable insurance for families, improved patient safety, more equitable maternal care, and other meaningful change.
I was so appreciative of the outpouring of goodwill we heard at our celebration, where we honored five Champions of Quality, all disrupters. I’ll let them speak in their own words. Here’s a few highlights from their comments.
David Knowlton, co-founder and former CEO of the Quality Institute
In 1982, the precursor to the Quality Institute, the Health Care Payors Coalition, released detailed quality data on all New Jersey hospitals … It’s hard to imagine now how disruptive that public data release actually was. It brought about divisiveness, threatened lawsuits, and much political upheaval. … Today, the Quality Institute remains a disruption incubator.
Judith Persichilli, Commissioner of New Jersey Department of Health and former Quality Institute Board Member
In my work with the Quality Institute, I met such wonderful people who helped me bring disruptive ideas to where I am right now. And I can honestly say they were all a big part of any accomplishment that the Department of Health has had during this once-in-a-century pandemic. We could not have done it, I could not have done it, without all of the learnings that I brought with me.
Leah Binder, President and CEO, The Leapfrog Group
The Quality Institute is a longstanding regional leader of Leapfrog, and rose to the top as a national role model, engaging hospitals to participate in the survey and make dramatic improvements in patient safety. As a result, New Jersey consistently outranks most other states. (Binder’s comments were delivered by Jill Berger, Leapfrog’s Director of Employer and Payor Engagement.)
Jennifer Velez, Esq., SVP and General Counsel, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ, Former Commissioner, NJ Department of Human Services
The Quality Institute…shows that if we commit time to a task and have the courage to stomach the reforms — and that’s a long bumpy road — great things are possible. You just have to accept the challenge. That balance has been the distinction of the Quality Institute’s work and its significant impact on New Jersey. Bar none, more than almost any other policy and advocacy thought leader organization, this is really the gold standard in New Jersey, and I dare say nationally.
Senator Joseph Vitale, New Jersey Legislature
We started the (Vitale) Health Care Workgroup with my office and the Quality Institute staff to tackle critical areas of health care. That’s where the institute does its best policy work … in the weeds, researching, thinking, they’re really smart.
And the Quality Institute always has an end game, a goal. They know how to get to that goal. How do you do the work? Who do you engage? The end goal is always to do right by the people of our state. Whether you’re a consumer of health care, whether you’re a payer of health care, the Quality Institute has been nothing short of amazing.
I remain grateful to our early leaders and energized by our current members. Thank you to the nearly 200 people who attended our 25th anniversary event and to those who sent good wishes. Most of all, thank you to all who join us today in our continued mission to advance health care quality, safety, and accessibility.