NCQA Honors Health Quality Leaders

Four innovators to receive quality group’s highest honor

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Nationally-known surgeon, writer and public health researcher Atul Gawande, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Helen Darling, President and CEO of the National Business Group on Health; Patricia Gabow, MD, CEO of Denver Health and Hospital Authority; and Paul Grundy, MD, Global Director of Health Care Transformation at IBM, are being honored by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) with Health Quality Awards.

The awards will be presented at a ceremony in Washington, DC, on March 27.

“These champions of health care quality are making health care better for all Americans,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “They are among the most energetic and imaginative leaders in health care today, and we applaud their invaluable service.”

NCQA presents Health Quality Awards to individuals and organizations that highlight the need for—and drive—health care improvement. Past recipients include former Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton, former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, actress and advocate Mary Tyler Moore and The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

NCQA’s 2012 Health Quality Award honorees are:

  • Atul Gawande, MD, MPH—As an author, Dr. Gawande has contributed enormously to public understanding of the paradoxes and complexities affecting health care quality. His thoughtful essays and books have introduced millions of non-medical readers to critical issues such as overuse and medical errors. Dr. Gawande is the author of numerous New Yorker articles and the books Complications, Better and The Checklist Manifesto.
  • Helen Darling—NCQA is honoring Ms. Darling for her sustained leadership promoting health care quality as an issue of commercial competitiveness. She has helped American businesses become discerning purchasers of health care and has helped government and industry leaders understand the economic importance of health care quality.
  • Patricia Gabow, MD—As CEO of Denver Health and Hospital Authority, Dr. Gabow’s pioneering use of “lean” management techniques has assured high-quality care for some of Denver’s most vulnerable and at-risk residents. Her unique combination of compassion and ingenuity has reduced wasteful care and confirmed that high quality and low cost can go hand-in-hand.
  • Paul Grundy, MD, MPH—NCQA honors Dr. Grundy as an early and enthusiastic champion of one of health care’s most important innovations, the patient-centered medical home. Dr. Grundy’s advocacy on behalf of the medical home concept—including his leadership as president of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative—has helped medical homes spread and improve quality nationwide.

Health economist and NCQA Board member Len Nichols, PhD, of George Mason University, will serve as the master of ceremonies for the March 27 event. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

About NCQA

NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations, and recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA is committed to providing health care quality information for consumers, purchasers, health care providers and researchers.


National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)
Andy Reynolds, (202) 955-3518

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  District of Columbia

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Practice Management  Health  Hospitals  Other Health  Professional Services  Insurance  General Health  Managed Care