Posted on July 10th, 2017

Q2 - Summer Newsletter

What’s inside this edition…?

In the previous quarter the VAHQ board announced the theme of the annual conference, The Quality Continuum.  Since then, throughout the second quarter the association leaders have identified the need for membership growth, and planning future education opportunities.  Read more for insight on actions initiated to strengthen the professional voice and potential of the organization.


Notes from the President – Becky Gallo

Hi everyone. I hope summer is treating you well. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for a fantastic conference. Please contact me if you have a desire to help with the conference this year. Additionally we would like to have some poster presenters. Folks don’t have to be a member to present a poster. It is great for their professional development. We would love to see what all the facilities are doing from a quality perspective.


WANTED:  New Members

Earn conference dollars:  Any current member of the VAHQ referring a new member, or returning member who has been inactive for more than one year will receive a $15 credit toward the registration fee for the 2017 annual conference.

Referring a new member:  Prospective members go to; scroll down to the Want To Become A Member? Slide near the bottom of the page; click Register and get started.  When registering the new member will have a chance to enter the referring member’s name.

Follow us on Facebook:

Members and prospective members alike, Follow the VAHQ Facebook page.


Member survey: Education topics and event ideas for 2018

Coming soon, a link to poll our members on topics and education events we would like to see for 2018.  Watch the VAHQ home page, the VAHQ Facebook page, and you member linked email address for notification that the survey is open.  Be sure to add you ideas.  Share topics of interest to support your career and your CPHQ certification if you have one.  Provide ideas on meeting location preferences.  Your responses will guide the plan for 2018, supporting professional development and membership value.


2017 Annual Conference News

The agenda and speaker slots are filling fast with excellent speakers and timely topics.  Conference dates an location are confirmed and will be posted soon to the VAHQ home page and Facebook page. 

Dates:  October 26 and 27 Embassy Suites/2925 Emerywood Pkwy/ RVA 23294

Pricing:  Coming soon!  Watch the VAHQ home page for pricing information, member, and early bird registration benefits.

Quality Professional of the Year, 2017:  Know an outstanding Quality Professional?  A role model for others?  Prepare to nominate someone you feel representing vision and action.  Winner to be announced at the conference.  Nominations will open later in Q3, and selection criteria will be shared at that time.

The Virginia Neal Scholarship:  VAHQ Supports professional development:  The through this scholarship.  It offers financial support for one CPHQ certification each year.  Do you know of anyone deserving this scholarship?  Prepare to submit a nomination.  Winner to be announced at the conference.  Scholarship benefits cover the cost of the CPHQ certification exam.

Raffle for the Virginia Neal Scholarship Fund:  During the conference, raffle donations will be accepted for future scholarship awards.  This raffle is a 50/50.  What that means?  The lucky winner will split the raffle proceeds with the scholarship fund!  Donate $$$ and win $$$$ 

Sponsors:  Know of an organization or individual who may be willing to be a sponsor this year?  We are looking for sponsors at all levels.  Sponsors may join the conference both days and will have the option to set up a vendor display and discuss their product or service with professionals at the conference.  Break time for networking and sponsor rounding is built into the conference agenda.  Sponsor level detail and payment information will be posted when all conference detail is posted.  Any member can solicit a sponsor donation.

Call for Poster Abstracts:  Poster abstract submission will open later in Q3 for poster submissions.  The abstract format will be available on the VAHQ home page later in Q3 with other detail promised in this section.  If needed early, plan to use the format noted below.  Prizes will be awarded.


Abstract Format

Elements of Research Abstracts
Size Limit (characters) Section Heading: Description
300 Purpose: State the intent or goal of the study (i.e., what you wanted to learn)
500 Background / Significance: Describe the knowledge base you are building on, and the importance of the study goal
700 Methods: Identify the study design, sample, instruments, data collection procedures, and anclytic approach used
700 Results: Describe analytic findings
300 Conclustions & Implications for Practice: Describe the meaning of your findings and specific practice implications
Elements of Innovative Strategies Abstracts
Size Limit (characters) Section Heading: Description
300 Purpose: Identify the issue addressed and goal of strategy
300 Significance: Describe the importance of the issue addressed
1000 Strategy and implementation: Describe the innovation, and the process of implementation
300 Evaluation: Describe the effectiveness of the innovation, and how success was measured
300 Implications for Practice: Identify specific practice implications


Meet the Board - Introductions

Bonnie Barbini, RN, Vice President of Quality and Risk Management, John Randolph Medical Center. Bonnie has been in the Quality Arena for the past 31 years. Her career began at VHQC during the forefront of Core Measures. She was part of the team in determining the parameters for the current AMI and CHF standards. She has been the Director and then VP of Quality and Risk Management for the past 8 years. During her first year in the department, she led the team resulting in the pneumonia core measure becoming compliant for the first time in the history of the organization. All Core Measures have since been maintained in 100% compliance for the past 8 years.

Under her guidance, JRMC has been recognized by the Joint Commission as a Top Performer and by the Leapfrog Patient Safety Organization as a Top Rural Hospital. Bonnie has published in the VAHQ newsletter in the past. She is passionate about helping the underserved population in the community and as a result she is President of the Hopewell/Prince George Healthcare Center Advisory. She was instrumental in working with the Lions club to get free eye exams and glasses for the patients at the center this year. In her spare time, Bonnie is the Lay Leader of Wesley United Methodist Church in Hopewell where she is active. She sings in the Praise and Worship Band there. Bonnie also spends her free time with her four grandchildren ages 18 months to 16 years of age.

Elizabeth (Betsi) Hurd I have been a nurse for 40 years working in Acute Care and Home Health. My experience in acute care has been in surgical, medical, critical care, management and most recently Quality Improvement. I am currently the Administrator of 6 offices across Virginia offering Personal Care in the home. I have been a member of VAHQ and NAHQ for over 14 years. I have been a CPHQ for 12 years. I have served VAHQ as Treasurer and currently as Membership Chair.

Elizabeth B. Mikula, MSN, RN, CPN, CPHQ is the Vice President of Quality and Compliance at HCA’s CJW Johnston-Willis Hospital in Richmond, Virginia. In this role Elizabeth is responsible for overseeing activities surrounding quality management, risk management and patient safety, infection prevention and regulatory compliance. Prior to joining the CJW team, Elizabeth served as Quality Director & ECO/FPO at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital. Elizabeth is considered an expert in the field of newborn screening for critical congenital heart disease and has conducted clinical research since 2008 and authored over 12 publications including manuscripts, review papers and continuing education activities. She has lectured nationally and internationally on CCHD screening and has served on the advisory councils of multiple national and state CCHD screening committees. She has created evidence-based educational materials that have been disseminated to over 1200 organizations internationally. Elizabeth was awarded the 2013 ANCC Magnet Nurse of the Year for Empirical Outcomes for work done surrounding CCHD screening.

Elizabeth has served on the board of VAHQ since 2014 and was Education Chair for 2014 and 2015. In addition, she has served as a preceptor to students interested in quality management. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from the University of Virginia and a Master's of Science in Nursing from The George Washington University.

Susan Johnson RN, CPHQ I am a 1987 graduate of Lynchburg College with a BA in speech communications and BS in nursing and have been a licensed nurse in Virginia since 1987. I am a CPHQ and member of VAHQ. After graduation I worked in a community hospital on a surgical unit and assumed the role of assistant head nurse for 2 1/2 years. I decided to leave that facility and moved to a large hematology/oncology unit in an inner city hospital. I switched to pediatrics and worked as a travel nurse all over the country performing primary care nursing on the surgical floors, ICU and transplant units for three years. I visited all the National Parks that were within driving distance of my assignments for 3 years. I returned to the Northern Virginia area and worked on a surgical floor and short stay unit with rotation to the burn unit for 2 1/2 years at a pediatric hospital. I worked 2 years as a pediatric home care and PRN in local hospitals on the pediatric floor. I changed gears and went to work for a national insurance company in the construction division. I was a return to work and catastrophic injury nurse case manager. My focus was coordinating treatment for these work related injuries and in some cases customizing a return to work position with their employer once released by their physician. Some of my patients were never able to return to work so I assisted them through job retraining or educational resources and monitored their progress. For the past 12 years, I have been working as a civilian for a military contractor in the managed care division. Initially I worked as a case manager but then discovered risk management and quality improvement. So I transferred to the Clinical Quality Management Department and work as a Clinical Quality Specialist. I evaluate the medical care active duty military members, active duty family members, retired service members and their families receive in the civilian community. This review includes reading medical records, research, discussion and correspondence with providers and facilities both behavioral health and physical health. If a deviation from the standard of care is identified, I inquire as to what the facility and or provider have implemented to preclude a recurrence and establish whether or not the standards of care are met. The case is summarized and presented to a medical director for review. If a quality issue was identified, the facility or provider is notified about the finding.

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