Washington, DC – The Leapfrog Group (Leapfrog), a national nonprofit organization advocating for improvements in patient safety and hospital transparency, has announced the election of Linda Schwimmer, vice president of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute to its Board of Directors. She will join the board effective immediately.
“The Leapfrog Group has done more in the last 14 years to improve patient safety at hospitals than virtually any other organization in the nation,” said Schwimmer. “I am honored to have been elected to the Leapfrog Board and look forward to continuing the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute’s longstanding association with this outstanding and effective purchaser group.”
The Leapfrog Group uses the collective leverage of large purchasers of health care to initiate breakthrough improvements in safety, quality and affordability of health care for Americans. Leapfrog’s flagship Hospital Safety Score, which assigns A, B, C, D and F grades to more than 2,500 general hospitals nationwide based entirely on their ability to prevent errors, injuries and infections, is designed to bring increased transparency to healthcare, allowing both purchasers and patients to reward the highest performing hospitals.
David Hopkins, senior advisor for the Pacific Business Group on Health (PBGH), also was elected to the Leapfrog Group Board of Directors bringing the total number of voting board members to 16.
“We have witnessed how increased transparency, allowing for informed decisions, can truly galvanize change. But, as hospital errors remain the third leading cause of death in the U.S., we also know there is much work to be done. We look forward to the fresh perspectives our new board members will bring to the table, particularly given both of their expertise in performance measurement and health policy,” said Bill Finck, president of WHF Healthcare LLC and chair of Leapfrog’s Board of Directors.
Bill Bonk, director of global benefits at Exelis and chair of Leapfrog’s Governance Committee, which brought forward the slate of nominees, added, “With health care as one of the most pressing issues in America today, the importance of Leapfrog’s role could not be clearer. Our incoming members thoroughly represent the type of forward thinking that can help us make even greater strides in the years ahead. We’re also pleased to continue and strengthen our relationships with the two organizations represented by Ms. Schwimmer and Mr. Hopkins, the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute and the Pacific Business Group on Health.”
Prior to joining the Quality Institute, Linda was Director of Strategic Relations & External Affairs at Horizon Healthcare Innovations, a subsidiary of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. There, Linda was on the leadership team that brought Accountable Care Organizations and the largest Patient Centered Medical Home program to New Jersey. Linda also served in State Government as Director of Legislation and Policy for the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, where she represented the Department’s position before the State Legislature and worked with State and federal officials on priority legislative initiatives including the Affordable Care Act and reforms to the State’s insurance and banking laws. Ms. Schwimmer’s experience in State government also includes senior policy and counsel positions with the Senate Majority Office, Judiciary and Commerce Committees.
About the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute
The New Jersey Health Care Quality is a non-profit foundation founded in 1997. Its purpose is to undertake projects that will ensure that quality, accountability and cost containment are all closely linked to the delivery of health care services in New Jersey. The Quality Institute fosters collaboration amongst all stakeholders in the State’s health care delivery system so that purchasers and health care consumers more fully realize the benefits of the linkage between quality, accountability and cost containment. The Quality Institute seeks to empower health care purchasers and consumers by publishing the results of objective research, comparative data on providers, and other pertinent educational information so that purchasers and consumers may adopt value-based purchasing practices and be able to make informed decisions on the merits of various health care programs, treatments and services. The Quality Institute was designated as the lead agency in New Jersey for the national Leapfrog Group effort in April 2002. For more information please visit www.njhcqi.org.
About The Leapfrog Group
The Leapfrog Group (www.leapfroggroup.org) is a national nonprofit organization using the collective leverage of large purchasers of health care to initiate breakthrough improvements in the safety, quality, and affordability of health care for Americans. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey allows purchasers to structure their contracts and purchasing to reward the highest performing hospitals, and the Hospital Safety Score (www.hospitalsafetyscore.org) publishes letter grades rating hospitals on how safe they are for patients. The Leapfrog Group was founded in November 2000 with support from the Business Roundtable and national funders and is now independently operated with support from its purchasers and other members.