NEW: RI Health Care Pros Named to National Advisory Program

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


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Four Rhode Island healthcare professionals were among 73 individuals nationwide selected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to its Innovation Advisors program.

The professionals selected from Rhode Island are:

Mr. Gary Christensen, Rhode Island Quality Institute, Providence
Ms. Nancy Roberts, Kent County Visiting Nurse Association, Warwick
Ms. Jean Sanders, Aquidneck Medical Associates, Inc., Newport
Dr. Betty Vohr, Women & Infants Hospital, Providence

The initiative, launched by the CMS Innovation Center in October 2011, will help health professionals deepen skills that will drive improvements to patient care and reduce costs.  After an initial orientation phase, Innovation Advisors will work with the CMS Innovation Center to test new models of care delivery in their own organizations and communities.  They will also create partnerships to find new ideas that work and share them regionally and across the United States.
Funding for this initiative was made possible by the Affordable Care Act.

Enthusiasm for the Affordable Care Act

“There has been an incredible groundswell of interest in becoming an Innovation Advisor.  It’s clear that doctors, hospitals and health care providers are enthusiastic about implementing the Affordable Care Act and strengthening our health care system,” said CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.
The 73 individuals were selected from 920 applications through a competitive process, and include clinicians, allied health professionals, health administrators and others.  By attending in-person meetings as well as remote sessions to expand their skills and applying what they learn, the Advisors will be able to deepen their knowledge in health care economics and finance, population health, systems analysis, and operations research. 

Looking for partners

“We’re looking to these Innovation Advisors to be our partners—we want them to discover and generate new ideas that will work and help us bring them to every corner of the United States,” said CMS Innovation Center Director Rick Gilfillan, M.D.
Among other duties, the Advisors will be expected to support the Innovation Center in testing new models of care delivery, to form partnerships with local organizations to drive delivery system reform, and to improve their own health systems so their communities will have better health and better care at a lower cost.
Each Innovation Advisor’s home organization will receive a stipend of up to $20,000.  The stipend will support an individual’s activities while serving as an Innovation Advisor.
More information about the Innovation Advisors Program, including a fact sheet and list of participants and their home organization, can be found here.


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