Healthcare Quality Group: Names New CEO Board Member to Lead Collaborative

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Katie Ostrander, (414) 270-3000 ext., 231

MADISON (September 28, 2005) –The Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality announced today that board member Christopher J. Queram will be the organization’s new president and CEO.

Queram will be leaving his post as CEO of the Alliance, an employer-owned and directed healthcare purchasing group, to take the position. While a final start date has not been set, he is expected to begin his new position in November.

“We are pleased to have someone with Chris’ expertise and engagement on the state and national levels in the healthcare quality movement,” said John S. Toussaint, M.D., the Collaborative’s chairman and president/CEO of Appleton-based ThedaCare.

“This position with the Collaborative is an opportunity to share my passion for quality improvement with other, like-minded organizations and people,” said Queram. “I’m committed to healthcare quality performance improvement, and I’m looking forward to working with purchasers and providers to promote transparency and improve healthcare outcomes.”

“Over the last few years, the Collaborative has grown in size and sophistication. At the same time, our management needs also grew from that of an executive director position to that of a president and CEO,” said Jeff Thompson, M.D., president and CEO of La Crosse-based Gundersen Lutheran. “Chris has demonstrated his experience in helping a membership organization like the Collaborative grow, and he is the ideal candidate to help our organization reach the next level.”

Queram’s responsibilities will include expanding the Collaborative’s membership to include more providers, including smaller physician groups; positioning the Collaborative as an innovative model at the forefront of voluntary, market-based reporting initiatives; and expanding the scope of measures to ensure that the Collaborative is meeting the needs of all its stakeholders.

Before joining the Alliance in 1993, Queram was Vice President-Programs at Meriter Hospital in Madison. He also served in administrative roles at Methodist Hospital in Madison and Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee. Queram is a board member of several national quality improvement groups, including The Leapfrog Group and the National Quality Forum. He also is a member of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Redesigning Health Insurance Benefits, Payment and Performance Improvement Programs. Queram has a master’s degree in health services administration and a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from the University of Wisconsin.

In April, the Collaborative published its second full Performance & Progress Report. The Web-based report includes data on 45 measures from 19 hospitals, 14 multi-specialty physician groups and seven health plans from across the state. The measures are based on the Institute of Medicine’s Six Aims for Improvement, including Timeliness, Efficiency, Patient-Centeredness, Effectiveness, Safety and Equity.

Throughout 2005, the Collaborative will be publishing quarterly data updates for some hospital-based measures. In addition, the organization will continue its work to develop and publish data on additional clinic-based measures similar to the new diabetes measures included in the 2005 Report.

The Collaborative’s Performance & Progress Report is the first to:

Engage business and labor partners in developing useful measures
Learn from the quality improvement experience of its business and labor partners
Measure care in the physician clinic and hospital setting

The Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality is a group of multi-specialty physician groups, hospitals, health plans, employers and labor organizations from geographically diverse areas of the state that have come together to develop and share best practices and quality outcomes. The Collaborative was founded in 2003 on the principle that by focusing on improving quality, better care for patients and more rational costs will result.

Collaborative participants are: Advanced Healthcare, Milwaukee; Affinity Medical Group, Oshkosh; All Saints Medical Group, Racine; Agnesian Healthcare, Fond du Lac; Aspirus Wausau Hospital, Wausau; Bellin Health, Green Bay; Columbia St. Mary’s, Milwaukee; Dean Health System, Madison; Franciscan Skemp Healthcare, La Crosse; Froedtert & Community Health, Milwaukee; Gundersen Lutheran, La Crosse; Luther Midelfort, Eau Claire; Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield; Medical Associates Health Centers, Menomonee Falls; Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; Meriter Hospital & Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation, Madison; Prevea Health Services, Green Bay; ProHealthcare, Waukesha; Sacred Heart Hospital; Eau Claire; Saint Joseph’s Hospital, Marshfield; St. Marys Hospital Medical Center, Madison; ThedaCare, Appleton; University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics, Madison; and University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation, Madison.

Business partners include The Alliance, Appleton Ideas, Badger Meter, Inc., DaimlerChrysler Corp., GE Healthcare, Schneider National, Sentry Insurance, Serigraph, Inc., The Trane Company, United Auto Workers and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.