The quality of health care in New York remains uneven, despite significant recent investment in infrastructure. UHF’s Quality Institute aligns the work of the many agencies, payers, providers, and other groups engaged in improving health care quality and patient safety. 

Our work is vital to advancing more equitable care and better outcomes for all New Yorkers. In partnership with key stakeholders, we develop new strategies to raise the bar for the quality and effectiveness of New York’s health system. Our work aims to:

  • Broaden understanding of what high-quality care is and how to assess it more effectively
  • Elevate the health system’s response to the needs and priorities of patients, families, and consumers 
  • Train and engage the next generation of clinical quality leaders in continuous performance improvement 
  • Consider the impact of uneven health care quality on New York’s vulnerable populations, and prioritize those populations’ health needs
  • Bridge gaps in quality assessment, quality improvement, and care coordination

Our efforts are focused on three strategic areas: profiling quality, building capacity, and engaging patients. 

Profiling Quality

Quality measurement is at a turning point. Health care providers are overburdened by reporting requirements, and better measures are needed to help stakeholders incentivize the delivery of high-value care. With more of the burden of health care costs falling to consumers, there is increased demand for transparent information that can help them compare provider performance on quality and cost and make the best choices. Our work is helping to advance the use of better information for improving health system transparency and performance in New York State. 

Building Capacity

The Clinical Quality Fellowship Program emphasizes the science of quality improvement, patient safety, mentorship, leadership development, and team-based learning. Before UHF and the Greater New York Hospital Association established this program in 2009, few clinicians in New York had access to such training. The program has now helped hundreds of clinicians bring skills back to their health systems as quality champions; yet many more could still benefit from it. Building a network of quality professionals encourages collaboration among organizations too. This program and related efforts engage quality leaders, identify promising practices, and help spread their adoption. 

Engaging Patients

Listening to patients and families and engaging them is essential to developing plans of care that address their unique concerns and the challenges that they may face given their social circumstances. We amplify the voices of consumers, patients, and families in all aspects of our work on quality. We seek to understand their experience with the health system, to promote quality improvement strategies and stronger consumer-health care partnerships. 

The Quality Institute Team
Anne-Marie J. Audet, MD, MSc, SM
Anne-Marie J. Audet, MD, MSc, SM

Anne-Marie is a licensed primary care physician with over 30 years of experience in quality improvement. She joined UHF in 2015 to spearhead the activities of the newly-created Quality Institute and now serves as UHF’s Senior Medical Officer, providing strategic guidance to execute the Quality Institute’s mission and goals, and identifying funding and collaborative opportunities. Anne-Marie also provides expertise on measurement, performance improvement, system redesign, and patient-centered care to several of the Quality Institute’s initiatives and serves as main lead on its projects.  She is also on the faculty of UHF’s Clinical Quality Fellowship Program.

Before joining UHF Anne-Marie was vice-president, Delivery System Reform at the Commonwealth Fund. She also served as assistant professor of medicine at Harvard University and as the director of the Office for Clinical Effectiveness/Process Improvement at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. In the 1990s she worked as associate medical director at the Massachusetts Quality Improvement Organization. She has been an assistant professor of Medicine and Public Health at Cornell University since 2006.

Anne-Marie is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. She holds a Bachelor of Science, Honors, a Master of Science, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, and a medical degree (MDCM), all from McGill University. She also earned a Master of Science in Health Policy & Management from Harvard School of Public Health. She was a Fellow at New England Medical Center, Tufts, Boston, Clinical Decision Making, from 1988-1989; a Fellow at Institute for the Improvement of Medicine and Health, New England Medical Center, Tufts, Boston Health Services Research, from 1989-1990, and a Fellow at New York Academy of Medicine from 2005-Present.

Anne-Marie is licensed to practice medicine in Massachusetts, the Province of Quebec, and New York State. She is a board member of the Massachusetts Medical Society & Alliance Charitable Foundation, a volunteer member of the NYS Medical Reserve Corp, and a volunteer chaplain at Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Alice joined UHF in late 2021 as Senior Program Manager in the Quality Institute. She is involved in all aspects of the Institute’s quality improvement efforts, including program design, implementation, and evaluation; project management and reporting; and research and data analysis. She also supports UHF’s Quality Leaders Forum. 

Alice came to UHF from Healthfirst, a provider of low and no-cost health insurance in New York State, where she was Population Health Manager, responsible for ensuring that Healthfirst achieved a high rating in the Medicare Stars quality incentive program administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Prior to Healthfirst, Alice was a Public Health Strategist in the local government of two inner-London boroughs, Camden and Islington. There she partnered with the British National Health Service to design and implement public health improvement initiatives, such as the introduction of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, into all Primary Care practices across the boroughs. 

Alice holds a Master of Science in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Manchester, both in the United Kingdom

Joan leads UHF’s Quality Institute team and initiatives, focused on building quality capacity in health care organizations, engaging patients and families in care, and profiling quality. She directs the Clinical Quality Fellowship Program in partnership with Greater New York Hospital Association and develops and leads projects and learning collaboratives focused on implementing best practices and improving delivery of care. 

Before joining UHF in 2017, Joan was director of quality improvement for Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset, a 300-bed community hospital in New Jersey. There she managed the quality services department and was responsible for Joint Commission accreditation, CMS/TJC quality reporting, hospital performance improvement initiatives, the medical peer review process, and reporting of serious adverse events and the root cause analysis process. Earlier in her career she was director of standards for St. Barnabas Medical Center, also in New Jersey, and director of Accreditation and Standards Compliance and director of Program Development and Planning for NYU Langone Medical Center.
Joan holds a Master of Business Administration in Health Care Management from Boston University and a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from Tufts University. She is a Certified Professional in Health Quality and a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.

Kevin Mallon, MSW

Kevin joined UHF in 2018 and supports the Quality Institute’s many initiatives with quantitative and qualitative analysis, literature review, publication development, and program coordination.


Before joining UHF Kevin provided direct social services and program evaluation in community-based organizations. He is on the junior board of advisors for Shatterproof, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the addiction crisis in the United States.  


Kevin holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Kansas and a Bachelor of Arts from Rockhurst University.

  • Feb. 14, 2022 | Pooja Kothari, RN, MPH,  Joan Guzik, MBA 
    Heading Home from a Skilled Nursing Facility: Interventions and Tools for Improving the Transition

    This report and toolkit describes the UHF Skilled Nursing Facility Learning Collaborative's work, profiles several interventions undertaken by the participating facilities, and provides resources for SNFs and other health care organizations as they focus on ensuring successful transitions to home for patients and their caregivers.

  • Nov. 1, 2021 | Pooja Kothari, RN, MPH,  Kevin Mallon, MSW,  Lynn Rogut, MCRP,  Joan Guzik, MBA 
    Pain Points Along the Journey from Skilled Nursing Facility to Home: Patient and Caregiver Perspectives

    Building on a longstanding commitment to improving care transitions, UHF surveyed patients and family caregivers who had recently experienced a discharge to home from a skilled nursing facility. This report presents the responses and the surveys themselves, looking at transition planning and patient preparation, patient education about medication, experience after discharge, and some of the effects of COVID-19.

  • Aug. 24, 2021 | Carol Levine 
    When Improving Patient-Provider Communication, Don’t Forget the Family Caregiver

    In this new commentary, Carol Levine discusses how a tool such as How’s My Health Dashboard can support conversations between patients and their caregivers and, in turn, enhance their interactions with providers about issues of health and well-being.