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CRICO-Funded Fellowship Recipients for Class of 2015 Announced

  • July 16, 2013

Media/Press Release: The CRICO-funded HMS fellowship announces six recipients of its class of 2015. The program's primary goal is to train a select group of individuals to lead operational improvement initiatives within the Harvard medical system and across the nation.


Cambridge, MA, July 10, 2013—Established by the academic teaching institutions and Harvard Medical School (HMS), the HMS Fellowship in Patient Safety and Quality is proud to present its six recipients representing the class of 2015.

The CRICO-funded two-year postgraduate program is offered to physicians who are in, or have completed, a residency or fellowship program. The primary goal of the HMS Fellowship in Patient Safety and Quality is to train a select group of individuals to lead operational improvement initiatives within the Harvard medical system and across the nation.

The HMS Fellowship represents a collaboration of quality and safety leaders across the Harvard medical institutions. Tejal Gandhi, MD, President of the National Patient Safety Foundation will serve as Fellowship Director, with Susan Abookire, MD of Mount Auburn Hospital serving as Curriculum Director. Fellows will be paired with at least one mentor at their assigned site, and will receive oversight and assistance from the organization’s Director/VP of Quality and Safety along with guidance from CRICO faculty. During the course of the program, Fellows will rotate to affiliated community-hospitals, office practices, and clinics.

Yael Kushner, MD, a member of the HMS Fellowship class of 2014 explains: 

While on-the-job training of physician quality leaders has always been the norm, the changing health care landscape, with a focus on patient safety, demands new and better education. Under the guidance of the quality and safety leadership at the Harvard medical institutions and CRICO, the formative, cutting edge HMS Fellowship in Patient Safety and Quality was initiated in 2011. This unique fellowship, the first of its kind in the country, provides one-of-a-kind exposure to all aspects of health care quality and patient safety, including refinement of leadership skills for success as an effective leader and change agent.

Promoted nationally in the Spring/Summer of 2012, HMS Fellowship applications were screened and finalized in December. Six fellowships were offered and accepted for this class beginning July 1, 2013. The recipients include:

  • Jeffrey Bruckel, MD is currently a Resident Physician in Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor.  He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received his MD from SUNY Downstate.  Dr. Bruckel first became involved with QI projects while completing his undergraduate degree in health policy and health administration, when he worked on rapid response systems at UNC Hospitals.  Prior to receiving his MD, he spent several months at Duke University Center for Human Simulation and Patient Safety conducting a FAER Research Fellowship.  His ultimate career goal is to improve systems of care for patients with cardiovascular and other critical illnesses, especially patients requiring intensive care support.  The site for his HMS Fellowship in Patient Safety and Quality will be Massachusetts General Hospital.
  • Kiran Gupta, MD is currently a Medical Resident, PGY-3, in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  She graduated from Harvard College and spent a year at the Institute of Medicine, National Academies of Sciences as a Research Assistant, and ultimately received her MD from Harvard Medical School.  During her residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dr. Gupta has become acutely aware of the impact of system-level challenges on individual patient care.  She has written about her residency experiences in a monthly column as a correspondent for the Boston Globe.  Her areas of interest include physician-patient communication, end-of-life care and transitions in care.  Her aim is to be a healthcare administrator focusing on QI to ensure that high-risk high-cost patient care is efficient and effective. The site for her HMS Fellowship in Patient Safety and Quality will be Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
  • Kate Humphrey, MD is currently an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.  She graduated from Bates College and received her MD from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.  She completed her pediatric internship and residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  Dr. Humphrey’s interests lie in transitions of care and preventing emergencies on the general pediatric wards, and hopes to become a leader in creating and instituting change in patient care at the level of the individual, the institution, and for the greater good of all hospitalized patients.  The site for her HMS Fellowship in Patient Safety and Quality will be Boston Children’s Hospital.
  • Mary LaSalvia, MD is currently a Clinical Fellow in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC).  She graduated from Baldwin – Wallace College in Ohio and received her MD from The University of Toledo College of Medicine.  She was an Intern and Resident at BIDMC, and currently completing her Fellowship there.  During her chief residency at BIDMC, she was able to gain exposure to the inner workings of the hospital.  She also had the opportunity to gain invaluable experience in education and leadership through the service of being a spokesperson for her residency program. Dr. LaSalvia hopes to build the foundation of skills necessary to work as a leader in the field of patient safety and quality improvement in the future.  The site for her HMS Fellowship in Patient Safety and Quality will be Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
  • Merranda Logan, MD is currently a Nephrology Fellow at Brigham and Women’s/Massachusetts General Hospital Combined Nephrology Program.  She graduated from Barnard College of Columbia University and received her MD from Howard University College of Medicine.  She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Temple University Hospital.  During her chief residency at Temple, she was faced with the task of safely transitioning the training program from a traditional system to a shift-work system, and was able to do so with few complications.  Dr. Logan hopes to devote her career to developing new strategies to ensure the safety and well-being of both patients and the physicians that care for them.  The site for her HMS Fellowship in Patient Safety and Quality will be Mount Auburn Hospital.
  • Peter Najjar, MD is currently a Resident in General Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  He graduated from the University of California, Davis, and received his MD from the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine.  During his medical school years, a controversial operational redesign was in the midst of being implemented at the University of Chicago Medical Center.  This early operational exposure and clinical experience in residency led him to look for opportunities to learn how to impact the care delivered on a larger scale by teams, hospitals, and hospital systems.  Dr. Najjar hopes to gain the skills and experience needed to position himself as a future leader in operationalizing the outcomes data that the medical and surgical communities continue to generate in a way that is consistent, replicable, and cost effective.  The site for his HMS Fellowship in Patient Safety and Quality will be Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

These individuals will be expected to achieve the following primary objectives during the tenure of their HMS Fellowship in Patient Safety and Quality:

  • Understand the scientific basis of quality improvement and patient safety, including the epidemiology and nature of medical error, quality measurement and data analysis, research and evaluation design, improvement tools and techniques, as well as best practices.
  • Develop competence in designing and conducting QI projects using rigorous methods, the results of which can be communicated through publication.
  • Learn to facilitate/lead healthcare professionals in multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Navigate and understand the complex dynamics of hospitals/clinical operations.

To maintain their clinical skills and have insight into practical health care operations, fellows will maintain a small clinical practice. However, at least 80% of their time is to be dedicated to HMS Fellowship activities.

ABOUT CRICO

CRICO, a recognized leader in evidence-based risk management, is a group of companies owned by and serving the Harvard medical community. For more than 30 years, the CRICO companies have provided industry-leading medical professional liability coverage, claims management and patient safety resources to its members, proudly serving more than 12,000 physicians (including residents and fellows), 22 hospitals and more than 209 other healthcare organizations.

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