11th Class of CQFP Fellows Celebrate with Virtual Event

Reflecting the unique challenges created by COVID-19, the 11th class of the Clinical Quality Fellowship Program (CQFP) finished 15 months of training with a virtual event on July 15 rather than the traditional culminating dinner. Nevertheless, the 29 Fellows of the 2019-2020 class were still able to celebrate their achievements and learn about three colleagues’ capstone projects that form the centerpiece of the health care quality improvement program.

Sponsored jointly by UHF and Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA), CQFP was created in 2009 to expand the number of clinicians with the skills needed to lead quality improvement and patient safety efforts in their hospitals and other health care settings. The program has enrolled more than 260 Fellows since its launch, drawing from more than 50 health care institutions across the metropolitan area. Many of the program’s graduates have gone on to assume leadership positions in their health care organizations, while several alumni serve as mentors to new classes of Fellows.

“We congratulate the members of Class 11 for completing the CQFP program and their contributions to quality improvement in their organizations,” said Joan Guzik, director of Quality Improvement for UHF’s Quality Institute and co-director of CQFP. “We also want to sincerely thank the fellows and faculty for the extraordinary work they have done over the last few months battling COVID-19 and caring for our community.”
The online event was viewed by fellows, alumni, and faculty, including Rohit Bhalla, MD, vice president for quality and chief quality officer of Stamford Health and CQFP chair. Dr. Bhalla presented the graduating certificates, and Zeynep Sumer King, vice president, Regulatory and Professional Affairs at GNYHA, led a discussion period. 

Each fellowship cycle typically includes two off-site learning retreats, monthly webinars, dinner meetings, mentoring by expert faculty, and the development by each Fellow of a capstone project that involves planning and implementing a quality improvement initiative at their institution.  This year, the 2019-2020 class completed their capstone projects just as COVID-19 was emerging in their organizations. The culminating webinar featured three capstone projects: 

•    Sepsis Care: Antibiotic Second Dose by J. Reed Caldwell, MD, Emergency Medicine & EMS at NYU Langone Health. Dr. Caldwell examined sepsis cases at NYU Langone and the timing of the second dose of antibiotic. After discovering that, in more than half of cases, the second dose is delayed, he was able to improve the timeliness of this treatment.

•    Reducing Operating Room-Related Pressure Injury on High-Risk Transplant Patients by Maura Fran Carpo, RN, MSN, CNOR, of the Mount Sinai Health System. Ms. Carpo examined ways to reduce pressure injuries on transplant patients, and through training and interventions was able to reduce the incidence of such injuries from 13 percent to 8 percent after six months. 

•    Improving the Utilization of Low-Dose CT Scan (LDCT) for Lung Cancer Screening by Mohamed Rami Nakeshbandi, MD, Interim Chief Medical Officer and Chief Quality Officer, SUNY Downstate Health Science University. Dr. Nakeshbandi implemented an enhancement to the electronic medical record to identify patients eligible for LDCT screening and facilitate the ordering of LDCT for eligible patients. 

The CQFP class of 2020-2021 started the program in January 2020 but had to pause due the pandemic. Plans are underway for the 12th class to resume virtually in September. 

The full presentations from the event can be linked to here.


Aug. 27, 2020
Focus Area
Quality and Efficiency
Quality Institute