As summer days give way to the renewed energy of fall, I am excited to share some changes here at the Quality Institute, as well as many new opportunities for our members and partners to work with us between now and the end of the year.
First, Shereef Elnahal, M.D., M.B.A., has joined our board. Dr. Elnahal, New Jersey’s former health commissioner, and a dynamic leader, is now President and CEO of University Hospital, New Jersey’s only public hospital. He has shown through his work on both the state and federal level that he is committed to our vision to create a world where everyone receives safe, equitable, and affordable health care to live their healthiest lives. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Elnahal to the Quality Institute.
Also, other significant news is that we have two new staff members, both of whom have a background in social work: Brittany Lee, who comes to us with deep Medicaid policy experience; and Julie DeSimone, who has worked in county human services and community-based social services. You’ll hear more about them and their roles at the Quality Institute in future Take Five Interviews and I hope you get the chance to meet them at one of our many upcoming events, starting with our Open House tonight (9/12) at our office beginning at 5:30 pm. We look forward to seeing many of you there.
We also have two regional engagement events this fall (October 15 at VNA Health Group in Holmdel and October 24 at Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck), where our staff members will share updates and engage with our members and with local Mayors from our Mayors Wellness Campaign and COYL committees.
We are also hosting more educational opportunities for you, including a CME/CNE webinar September 18 on how providers can maximize access for their patients. It features Quality Institute member CityLife Clinics. This is the last Garden Practice Transformation webinar for 2019, but we plan to continue webinars in 2020 and welcome your ideas for what educational topics would be most meaningful to your organizations.
We responded after hearing from many of you that the state’s expansion of its Medical Marijuana program was of great interest — and you wanted more information and education on the topic. On November 14, we are hosting a Quality Breakfast for our membership on how to prepare for the expansion of medical marijuana in New Jersey. We also are working with MM411, the very first medical marijuana education provider to offer online, enduring CME, CPE and CNE courses to Physicians, Pharmacists and Nurses anywhere in the world. As more of your patients, members, or employees use medical marijuana, it’s critical to prepare yourself and your organization for both the regulatory requirements and to address patient safety. Our panels at the breakfast and the MM411 course are two beneficial resources for you.
Finally, I want to share some of our collective successes in advancing our mission to improve the safety, quality, and affordability of health care for everyone. For the first time ever, 100 percent of the eligible hospitals in New Jersey report their safety and quality to Leapfrog. We thank the hospital leadership in New Jersey for making safety and transparency a priority. We also had 31 Ambulatory Surgery Centers report quality to Leapfrog for the first time. As more surgeries move to these settings, Leapfrog reports will be an important source of information for consumers, purchasers, and regulators.
And our COYL work continues to expand; we are now in 14 counties — changing the culture on communicating end-of-life care wishes.
And please join me for a warm shout out to Mayor Michael Francis of Hopatcong Borough, the 408th community to join the Mayors Wellness Campaign. We will be at the New Jersey State League of Municipalities conference from November 19–21 (Booth 105) and hosting a panel on Tuesday, Nov 19, at 2 pm on Bringing Wellness to Your Community. To quote (slightly incorrectly) The Boss, “Meet me in Atlantic City” — and at our other events between now and then.