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Hail and Farewell

Emily Sedgwick and Nana Coleman

With the 2019 6th annual Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Conference, Nana Ekua Coleman, M.D., Ed.M. (photo above right), takes over as the Activity Director from Emily Sedgwick, M.D. (photo above left). Until this past Fall, Dr. Sedgwick had been the Chief Quality Officer of Faculty Group Practice and Medical Director of Breast Imaging at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM).

When BCM recruited Dr. Sedgwick in 2007 to lead its breast imaging program, she wanted to improve how the Program’s patients were treated. Not being certain about what that meant in terms of processes and outcomes, she began to learn about performance improvement, quality improvement, management skills, compliance, IT, CPT codes, and billing. She received formal training in the Intermountain Program, completed quality improvement courses at Harvard Business School, and was awarded the designation of Certified Physician Executive in the American Association of Physician Leadership. In 2011, while on the BCM Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Committee, Dr. Sedgwick began a collaboration with the BCM Institute for Healthcare Improvement Open School Chapter to develop a quality improvement conference for trainees. Since the conference’s inception in 2012, attendance has grown to more than 200 from around Texas. Each year the conference relies on findings from attendee surveys to improve. Most recently these findings have been used to emphasize the team-based approach to quality improvement and patient safety and to offer topics that are relevant to non-physicians. With that in mind, nursing continuing education credit is now available for nurse attendees. As Dr. Sedgwick departs her role in this conference, she wishes to encourage individuals who have ideas about how to improve care, to pursue those kind of dreams as she had done, because “we all should and could do better.”

Dr. Coleman is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics-Critical Care at Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine and also Assistant Dean for Graduate Medical Education at Baylor College of Medicine, where she is the Team Launch Education Director.

Dr. Coleman views the opportunity to lead this conference as an important unifying step of her professional work in quality in safety. Prior to moving to BCM nearly five years ago, Dr. Coleman served as a divisional director for quality and safety at a large academic institution and was later promoted to lead the departmental work in this area. Dr. Coleman is a practicing pediatric critical care physician at Texas Children’s Hospital. Through her work as a clinician, with the conference and other institutional initiatives, she has been able to consider quality and safety from three perspectives: how to optimize the delivery of patient care; how to engage leaders from an organizational management paradigm to advance work in this field; and how to make meaningful differences in educational processes and outcomes to improve the preparedness of clinicians to integrate quality and safety in their work. Dr. Coleman was one of the first to be trained as a Master Trainer in Team STEPPS, a nationally recognized program to improve patient safety within a healthcare organization.  She was appointed as Assistant Dean in Graduate Medical Education at BCM, with focus on healthcare quality and patient safety in 2015. Dr. Coleman serves as the institutional lead for the ACGME Clinical Learning Environment Review (CLER) program at BCM and its affiliate hospitals, through which she has developed administrative and educational programs for faculty and house staff across the six core program focus areas, including quality and patient safety.

Dr. Coleman has previously participated in the annual Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Conference as both a speaker and an attendee over the past several years. Under her leadership, she hopes for this conference to be viewed as the premiere quality and safety academic event at BCM, the Texas Medical Center, and beyond, where each year, individuals are able to share ideas, learn more about where the field is going, and leave the conference prepared to innovate for the future.

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