The National Quality Forum board of directors has unanimously named Christine K. Cassel as its new president and chief executive officer. Cassel will begin her position at NQF effective mid-summer 2013, according to an NQF statement made Dec. 17.
"NQF is deeply fortunate to have Dr. Cassel join us as our new leader," said William Roper, MD, Dean of University of North Carolina School of Medicine, vice chancellor for medical affairs, chief executive officer of UNC Health Care System and chair of the NQF Board of Directors.
"Dr. Cassel has the credentials, leadership skills, public respect, credibility, and vision needed to run an organization as vital as NQF," said Roper. "At this critical juncture, where improved quality is the linchpin to achieving healthcare of the highest value, we believe Dr. Cassel is uniquely qualified to carry NQF's mission forward. We are honored she has chosen to join us in our national quest to improve health and healthcare."
Cassel announced in April this year she was leaving her position as the president and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and the ABIM Foundation. She has led ABIM for ten years, spearheading efforts to promote physician professionalism and certification, quality improvement, and the important role physicians play in stewarding limited resources wisely. An expert in geriatric medicine, medical ethics and quality of care, Cassel is past President of the American Federation for Aging Research and the American College of Physicians.
Cassel also formerly served as Dean of the School of Medicine and vice president for medical affairs at Oregon Health and Science University, Chair of the Department of Geriatrics and Adult Development at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Chief of General Internal Medicine at The University of Chicago. She is board certified in internal medicine and geriatric medicine.
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A pioneering woman in healthcare, Cassel was the first woman chair at ABIM, first woman president at the American College of Physicians, and the first woman dean of Oregon Health and Science University. She is also one of 20 scientists chosen by United States President Barack Obama to serve on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and is Co-Chair and physician leader of a PCAST report to the President on future directions of health information technology. Cassel has been a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) since 1992.
NQF's former president and CEO, Janet Corrigan, stepped down from the post this past June.
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"NQF has been at the forefront of every major effort to improve healthcare quality in the last decade. It is a privilege to build on the excellent leadership of Janet Corrigan and continue NQF's efforts to advance a shared framework for accountability and quality improvement in healthcare," said Cassel.
Cassel served on the landmark IOM committees that wrote the influential reports "To Err is Human" and "Crossing the Quality Chasm." She chaired major IOM reports on public health (2002) and on palliative care (1997). To date, Cassel has authored or co-authored 14 books and more than 200 journal articles on geriatric medicine, aging, bioethics and health policy.
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"Dr. Cassel is widely admired for bringing science and policy together to create meaningful solutions that serve patients and those who care for them," said John Tooker, chair of the NQF CEO Search Committee. "She is one of our nation's leading voices in healthcare quality improvement and physician education."