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National Rural Virtual Quality Improvement Mentor Program

Printable Recipe for a Successful Performance Improvement Experience (PIE)Eight experienced critical access hospital (CAH) quality improvement (QI) staff from across the country are serving as virtual mentors. They share examples and advice on how to address common QI challenges in CAHs through the national rural Virtual Quality Improvement Mentor Program.

This initiative is organized through Rural Quality Improvement Technical Assistance (RQITA), a program of Stratis Health supported by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) to promote quality improvement by CAHs across the country.

Quality Time: Sharing PIE (performance improvement experience)

Learn from the lived experience of the virtual QI mentors. Select mentors come together periodically for quality time to share PIE—their performance improvement experience. They discuss key topics that help drive quality improvement in their rural hospitals. Listen to their lessons learned, strategies, tips, and ideas. Find valued supportive resources for each of their topics.

Resources will be shared starting in 2020. In the meantime, enjoy the Recipe for a Successful PIE above!

Meet the QI mentors

These QI leaders successfully report and use data to support QI activities in their CAH. Each mentor was nominated by their state Flex program in recognition of their outstanding work.

Amy Arnett Amy Arnett, MS, RN, CPHQ, CPPS
Quality/Infection Prevention/Credentialing Manager
20 years QI experience

“I like to have some change and some challenges and I think quality fulfills that for me. Keeping abreast of things and the fact that health care is always changing is a really big part of why I like quality.”
Paris Community Hospital
Paris, IL
Cindy Gilman Cindy Gilman, BSN, RN
Chief Nursing Officer/Quality, Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt
6 years QI experience

“We have a hospital that provides excellent care to our community. To continue that, we have to work every day at it. And come up with solutions to our problems and I enjoy doing that.”
Memorial Hospital
Carrollton, MO
Mariah Hesse Mariah Hesse, BSN, RN, CENP
Director of Patient Care Services
10 years QI experience

“I strive to do better and to improve outcomes, and to prevent harm. Ensuring we have best practices and evidence-based practices has been a strong passion of mine. To motivate and engage others in the processes is a highlight of what I do every day.”
Sparrow Clinton Hospital
St. Johns, MI
Karen Hooker Karen Hooker, MHL, RN, CPHQ
Risk Manager & Quality Director
10 years QI experience

“I fell into quality job and it has been the best experience. I had a CEO tell me that if you’re coasting, you are going downhill. Always be moving. I want to be constantly improving and making a difference.”
Kit Carson County Health Service District
Burlington, CO
Christy Mintah Christy Mintah, RN, BSN
Quality Improvement Supervisor
12 years QI experience

“To be the hospital of choice, we have to make sure our quality, our care and our compassion stand out. We strive to ensure we have the processes in place to provide quality care for our patients every day. Sometimes that can be quite challenging, yet fun.”
Avera Holy Family Hospital
Estherville, IA
Ben Power Ben Power, CPHQ
Certified Lean Instructor, Quality Coordinator/Data Analyst
7 years QI experience

“Love for my community drives me. These are my family, and my friends and my neighbors. I want to make sure they get the best care possible. I want to make sure staff have the best system of care to work in and I want to make sure this facility is financially viable for the future.”
Barrett Hospital & HealthCare
Dillon, MT
ArvaDell Sharp ArvaDell Sharp, RN
Director of Nursing, QA/RM/IP
20 years QI experience

“I don’t think quality is one or two people’s responsibility. It’s everyone that works in our facility. I enjoy trying to teach staff and individuals the importance of setting goals and improving.”
Pembina County Memorial Hospital
Cavalier, ND
Brenda Stevenson Brenda Stevenson, RN
Quality Director
3 years QI experience

“I’m in quality because I want our hospital to be the best. I'm very proud to work here. My motto in life in general is never being satisfied with good enough. I try to instill that in everybody here at the hospital.”
Titusville Area Hospital
Titusville, PA

Rural Quality Improvement Technical Assistance Team

This national rural Virtual Quality Improvement Mentor Program is lead by Stratis Health, Bloomington, MN. Contact us for more information.

Karla Weng Karla Weng, MPH, CPHQ
Senior Program Manager
20 years QI experience

“I have a passion for wanting rural communities to be places that people want to live and can live. One of the things you have to have to make rural communities viable is quality health care services.”
952-853-8570
Sarah Brinkman, MBA, MA, CPHQ
Program Manager
10 years QI experience

“Putting process improvements in place, and seeing the intersection of clinical care and patient experience, is really powerful for me. Family experiences have shown me what happens when care goes well and when it doesn’t.”
952-853-8552