Over 40 years of healthcare experience, 20 of which have been dedicated to improving healthcare quality and safety.
I am a nurse by profession and hold a doctorate degree. I did it the long, hard way: began in a 3 year diploma (hospital) school of nursing and then, as I worked, over the years, went back to school first for my bachelor’s degree, then my masters and ultimately my PhD. I spent the first half of my career as an emergency nurse providing direct care, and worked in administrative and educational roles. I worked in major university affiliated medical centers, city hospitals, and local community hospitals. I’ve seen great care, good care, and some awful care. I watched as patients were injured from incompetent providers, seen the effect of poverty and lack of access to health care and been frustrated by a system that too often failed to see the person beyond the patient. These experiences left me with a passion for improving quality and I moved into Quality Management for what has now been the second half of my career. I joined a Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System in 1990 as a Quality Management Specialist and became the Director of Quality Management in 1999, which is the position I hold today. I joined the VA just as it started to evolve from an antiquated system to what is now one of the most progressive healthcare systems in the US. I bring these 40 years in healthcare, half of which have been devoted to improving quality in the hope that my experience and knowledge contributes positively to the development of future healthcare leaders and in turn, on the quality of healthcare for individuals for many years to come.