News and Updates

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Members of the Massachusetts Delegation (& dinner guests) at the NAHQ Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ in September, 2003

1rst row: Ginnie Teed, Regina Purinton, Maureen Schnider

2nd row: Joanne Labelle, Eileen Rafferty, Jeanne Gibree, Penny Hollander Feldman, Jan Ellsworth

3rd row: Chris Cameron, Cathy Nelson, Anna Marie Butrie, Lori Blades, Peggy McDonough, Jane Bonvini

After the meeting at the Marriott Resort in Phoenix (left), many of the state members went north to see the Grand Canyon and relax in Sedona (right).

MAHQ Membership by Employer Type – 2003

General/Acute Care55
Managed Care/ Payers8
Rehab/Long Term Care/SNF5
Long Term/Chronic Care5
Psych/Substance Abuse4
Ambulatory Setting2
Home Health2

Preliminary Results Indicate Statewide Home Health Quality Initiative Generating Strong Support, Participation from Home Health Agencies

WALTHAM (Nov. 4) – A home health quality improvement program piloted in Massachusetts and designed to improve care provided by home health agencies and give consumers access to objective, comparative information about the quality of those agencies, is generating strong support. The Home Health Quality Initiative (HHQI) was launched in Massachusetts and seven other states six months ago by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and goes nationwide with publication of comparative date in newspapers all across the country today.

“The voluntary participation of home health agency professionals has been considerably greater than we anticipated,” according to Patrick O’Reilly, Ph.D., project director at MassPRO, the healthcare quality improvement organization heading HHQI in Massachusetts. Of the 121 Medicare-certified home health agencies in the state, 104 have already participated in MassPRO’s on-going quality training programs.

Another key part of the initiative is to encourage consumers to access comparative data about home health care agencies. These quality measures should be used as an additional resource when making decisions about a home health agency or assessing the quality of care that a loved one is receiving. The data is available by going on-line at and clicking on Home Health Compare or by calling toll-free at 1-800-MEDICARE. The website also includes downloadable brochures and fact sheets on how to select an agency, as well as detailed clinical information.

There are 121 home health care agencies and 961,409 Medicare eligible beneficiaries in Massachusetts. Last year, more than 125,000 citizens received care at home health agencies – more than double the number of people who were in nursing homes. Professional staff from home health agencies provide personal care in the homes of patients and, whenever possible, teach them to care for themselves.

HHQI is part of an-going, national effort by CMS, a federal agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to improve healthcare quality through community-based efforts. A similar initiative to enhance nursing home quality began last year and a program to provide objective information on hospitals is planned for 2004.


The proposed changes to the MAHQ Bylaws are being prepared for mailing to the membership for the week of August 4, 2003. Responses are due August 15, 2003. Once received, and changes noted, the revised bylaws will be included in the 2003-2004 Membership Guide and Directory, and the completed Guide will be printed and mailed to the membership. We apologize for the delay.


The Membership Committee proposed, and the Board endorsed, a change in membership categories at the March 27, 2003 Board Meeting. The recommendation is to add two categories of membership for MAHQ. The first is for a Retired Member, and the second is for an Organizational Member.

The retired member would be eligible for additional discounts for dues and educational programs. The organizational membership would create one dues for the organization that would provide a free attendance at one MAHQ educational program during the fiscal year, and attendance at membership rates for all other organizational members during the fiscal year. The proposal was presented at the Annual Meeting on May 16, 2003. Those in attendance endorsed the changes and accepted the proposal for a mail vote on the Bylaws revisions that would institute the changes.

Once the language for the Bylaws change is completed, the proposal will be sent to the membership for vote.


We’re off to Arizona !! This year NAHQ is holding their 28th Annual Educational Conference and Exhibit in Phoenix, AZ September 6-9, 2003. The meeting is always informative and a great opportunity to network with colleagues. The annual Leadership Council will be held during the week this year – a wonderful opportunity to see the business of the Association in action – and MAHQ is seeking members of both the state and national associations who would like to participate in the Leadership Council over the coming year. If you are interested in serving on the Leadership Council, please contact Chris Cameron, MAHQ President, at (781) 979-3008.

November 2, 2002 Winner

Congratulations to Donna Cliff, Clinical Manager at the Home Health VNA in Lawrence. Donna won the Door Prize Raffle at the November 2, 2002 MAHQ program. Actually, Donna won both !! With successive ticket numbers !!!

The prizes were 2 holiday groupings with Yankee candles, table runners, napkins and other goodies. One was for Thanksgiving, the other for Veteran’s Day. Donna was gracious in donating the Veteran’s Day prize to a Disabled Veteran who was attending the DVA meeting across the hall from our meeting who had also purchased tickets. Thanks, Donna.

NAHQ Annual Meeting Report

This year’s conference was entitled “Creating a New Vision for Healthcare Quality” and was held September 22-25, 2002 in Nashville, TN at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.
Once our planes landed on Saturday, we were off and running. The Grand Old Opry on Saturday night, pre-conferences on “Membership from the Inside Out” and “Award for Association Excellence” Sunday, and then on to Leadership Council. Once there we learned this would not be “business as usual”. Each State Representative was assigned a seat at table in order to achieve a random disbursement of the Council members. Following the business meeting there were roundtable discussions. This provided a great opportunity to interact with NAHQ members from other states. The NAHQ leadership is very invested in finding ways to enhance the membership numbers. Each table was charged with answering the following questions:
         What is the current role of the healthcare quality professional? What should that role be in the next 5 years?
         What services, products or other features of NAHQ membership attract people to join in the first place, and then to renew their membership later?
         How do healthcare quality professionals currently get what they need in order to improve their everyday performance on the job?
         What attributes of NAHQ products or service delivery matter most?- What is delivered, Who delivers it, When-how quickly, How it is delivered- on-line, paper, etc., Where it is delivered- locally, regionally,                                          .        nationally, Cost of the product or service, Quality of the product or service
         What do members, potential members and non-members of NAHQ need to improve their everyday performance that is currently unavailable from any source?
         Clearly, members or potential members of NAHQ have a need to associate with others who do the same kind of healthcare quality work. This need has been expressed several times in several ways.
                  What are those needs, in terms of what members expect to get from associating with one another?
                  How would those needs get fulfilled most efficiently and effectively?
It will also be interesting to watch what initiatives develop from that brainstorming session.
Now on to the conference………. Monday morning’s general session was entitled “The Art of Vision in Healthcare Quality”. The presenter was Erik Wahl from the Wahl Group in San Diego. He is a very dynamic speaker who truly thinks out of the box and encouraged us to tap into and unleash our creativity. What an excellent start to the conference.
Tuesday morning’s general session, “Evidence-Based Practice: The Next Frontier” was presented by Carolyn Clancy MD, Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, formally of U Mass Medical Center. Dr. Clancy reviewed research that supports improvement in patient outcomes and introduced us to “TRIP” Translating Research into Practice.
The general session speaker on the final day was Leonard Aubrey who is the president and chief executive officer of the New York University Downtown Hospital. He spoke on “September 11, 2001: Lessons Learned at New York University Downtown Hospital”. His lecture reviewed the hour-by-hour decision making that occurred at his institution once the planes struck the World Trade Center. His hospital is located three blocks from Ground Zero. The question and answer session allowed time for NAHQ members who attended last year’s conference to thank everyone for their support. The breakout sessions had the following tracks: Regulatory Challenges, Data, Patient Safety, and Healthcare Continuum.
We did find time between sessions to explore the hotel (which is massive), view Andrew Jackson’s home and attend the barn dance (including hayride) that was sponsored by NAHQ. In closing, this was a GREAT experience. We would highly recommend attending next year’s conference, which, will be September 7-9, 2003 at the new Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Phoenix, Arizona. See you there…………..
Regina Purinton, RN, BSN, CPHQ
SPARC (Sickness Prevention Achieved through Regional Collaboration)
MAHQ State Representative
Cathy Nelson RN, MSN, CPHQ
St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center
MAHQ State Representative
1st Time Attendee

MAHQ Members In Action

9/24/02 – NAHQ Annual Meeting, Nashville, TN
Lori Blades, Cathy Nelson, Regina Purinton.

Retired Quality Professionals Group?

Anita Hume, CPHQ, would like to know if there are any members who have retired, or are about to retire interested in starting a “Retired” QA/RM professionals group. If you are interested, please contact us at, or call Anita at 617-484-0838