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Summer 2024 Newsletter

Summer 2024 Newsletter


President’s Message

Introducing the New Board of Directors

Program Committee Update

Treasurer’s Report

Board Member Spotlight – Rutwa Naik

Join NEAHQ Today

PI Corner – SWOT Analysis

News from the Net

President's Message

Dear NEAHQ Members,

I hope this message finds you well as we enjoy the warmth of summer and these bright days. I'm excited to send my first email to you all as the President for NEAHQ for this current year.  We also welcomed many new Board members this year and continue to be grateful for the members who continue to serve on the Board. The board started the year with a productive meeting, brainstorming many new ideas for enhancing value add to our members and the community.

As we develop a roadmap of program offerings for the year, I encourage each of you to consider contributing articles for our newsletter as a way to foster dialogue among our members and community. Your articles will help share perspectives on how healthcare quality is enhanced, reflecting our collective commitment to innovation and excellence.

In addition, there are several upcoming events occurring with our engagement with the Healthcare Quality Collective over the next two months.  Webinar details can be found on our Events calendar.

Lastly, if you are not a member, you are missing out- Join NEAHQ today! If you would like to learn more about NEAHQ or volunteer, please reach out. Thank you all for everything that you do. Enjoy the remainder of summer!

Aliysa Rajwani

NEAHQ President


Introducing the 2024 – 2025 NEAHQ Board of Directors!

President – Aliysa Rajwani, BDS, MPH, Director of Quality and Patient Safety, Mount Auburn Hospital

Past-President – Leigh Roche, RN, BSN, MBA, CPHQ, CPPS, Senior Clinical Quality Specialist, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center

President-Elect – Sabrina Zerzouri, MPH, Senior Medicare Advantage Stars Associate, Devoted Health, Inc. 

Treasurer – Lynn Keeley, CHES, Director of Performance Improvement, Whittier Rehabilitation Hospital


  • Lauren Hartwell, MPH, Senior Program Manager, Population Health Management, Point32Health
  • Lynn Myers, RN, MBA, CPHQ
  • Daniel Okyere, Sc.D, RN, CPPS, CPHQ, Systems Redesign Coordinator, Dept of Veteran Affairs
  • Alana Plumb, MPH, Performance Improvement Consultant, Cambridge Health Alliance
  • Maria Theresa Mercado, RN, MAN, MAEd, MPH, MD
  • Juanita Prescod, MS, CIC, CPHQ, Health Science Specialist (Infection Preventionist), Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital
  • Christine Smith, BS, Quality Improvement Specialist Supervisor, Lowell General Hospital
  • Rutwa Naik, MHA, MBA, CPHQ, Director, Regulatory Affairs, Lahey Hospital and Medical Center
  • Rita Morin, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, CPHQ, Senior Director Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham


Program Committee

NEAHQ and our affiliated partner associations, as part of the multi-state Healthcare Quality Association Collective, have several great programs scheduled this summer. Some programs are free for NEAHQ members, while others are discounted. Visit our Events Calendar to connect to registration information for each of these programs or navigate through the links below. Thank you for your continued support and participation!


Treasurer’s Report

NEAHQ currently has $39,201.08 in total assets as of the end of May 2024.  Total revenue generated in 2024 YTD (Jan-May) is $2649.54.  NEAHQ generated $2019.54 in revenue from membership dues while $630.00 came from program.  Total expenditures for 2024 YTD (Jan-May) are $6,604.89.  Total expenditures were made up of administrative and operating expenses.

As always, please feel free to reach out to with any questions.


Board Member Spotlight –    Rutwa Naik 

Would you please share a brief overview of your career? 

I am driven by the constant drive to improve things around me. This personality trait was a natural fit for quality improvement, patient safety and regulatory field. I started my career as a Performance Improvement Coordinator. From there, I took on roles with progressively more responsibilities and bigger impact.  I am currently serving as the Director of Regulatory Affairs at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center. 

I have worked in smaller community hospitals, a for-profit hospital, and an academic medical center. Each setting is different from the other, but the single common thread I find everywhere is the staff and caregivers trying to do their best for their patients - some of them at the lowest moment of their lives. 

Which aspect of your current position is especially rewarding? 

I love working with people. Working in the regulatory field allows me to engage with staff from the entire hospital and every position level. I get to work with the executive team and the imaging technicians, providers and the patient registration staff. 

Has any one individual greatly influenced to your career? 

I took a career break after my daughter was born. After a couple of years, when I felt ready to come back to the field, I found it very difficult to break in. 

After several rejections and months of applying, I got a direct call (not the generic HR email!!) from the Director of Quality at a 300- bed hospital. She scheduled an interview right away, and got me hired within weeks. She not only took a chance on me, but showed me what a good leader is like. To this day, I still practice some of the techniques I have learned from her as a leader. I had a commute of an hour and a half each way, but it never felt like that because of the positive environment of the department.  

 What led to your involvement with NEAHQ? 

I was at a point in my career where I felt the need to give back to the field of healthcare quality. I have learned and grown immensely in my decade-long career and I want to continue to do so; but at the same time, I want to meet fellow professionals, share ideas and build a collaborative community of healthcare quality enthusiasts. 

What are your goals as a NEAHQ Board Member? 

I want to help recruit new members, and help make NEAHQ a place where fellow minded professionals share ideas, learn from each other, find social support and have fun! 

How do you balance your demanding professional life with your personal life? 

It is a constant struggle. At times I feel like I am not giving sufficient time to either - my personal or professional life. Other times I feel like I am in good control. 

Over the years, I have learned that being active and working out helps me feel more grounded and balanced, so I try to incorporate some sort of physical activity at least 2-3 times a week. 


Join NEAHQ Now!

The New England Association for Healthcare Quality (NEAHQ) is the regional association for healthcare quality professionals. Since 1975, NEAHQ has provided a forum where healthcare quality professionals across the healthcare continuum can join together to advance this specialty. Our vision is to empower healthcare quality professionals across New England to improve health. We aim to serve as the resource of choice for healthcare quality professionals across the continuum for networking, education, and information, as a collaborative, member-oriented, inclusive, and continuously improving organization.

Benefits of a membership to NEAHQ include:

  • Free educational webinars:  Access to over 25 free webinars a year through an education collective with other state associations.
  • Membership Rates: Pay discounted rates to all NEAHQ events, including the annual conference.
  • Healthcare Quality Job Board: Browse healthcare quality job opportunities to further your career or post an opportunity at your organization for other members to see. 
  • Member Forums: Use these virtual platforms to exchange information with other NEAHQ members about healthcare quality trends and issues. Member forums allow you to ask a question of your professional peers or share a best practice from your work to move healthcare quality forward. 
  • Archived Events: Did you miss an in-person event or webinar? As a NEAHQ member you can access archived events so you will never miss an opportunity to stay up to date with the healthcare quality knowledge. 
  • Member-to-Member Networking: Interested in connecting with your fellow healthcare quality professionals? Attend one of NEAHQ’s in-person networking events or create a profile on the website and connect with other members through the NEAHQ Website Membership Directory.

Membership annual dues are $75.  To join, go to the NEAHQ website at and complete the form online or download it and mail it in with your payment.


PI Corner – SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis is a high-level strategic planning model that helps organizations identify where they’re doing well and where they can improve, both from an internal and an external perspective. SWOT is an acronym for “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.”

SWOT works because it helps you evaluate your business by considering multiple factors. 

Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors (things you can control), like team members, software, and geographic location. Opportunities and threats represent external factors (things you can’t control), such as competitors, regulations, and economic trends.

Organizations use SWOT to plot out a future course that plays on their strengths and minimizes risks.




















News from the Net

AHRQ patient safety chartbook highlights strengths and weaknesses in healthcare system

This Patient Safety chartbook is part of a family of documents and tools that support the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report (QDR). This chartbook includes a summary of trends across measures of patient safety from the QDR and figures illustrating select measures of patient safety.  The report provides a comprehensive overview of the quality of healthcare received by the general U.S. population and disparities in care experienced by different racial and socioeconomic groups.


AHRQ Releases A Practical Guide for Implementing the Digital Healthcare Equity Framework, April 2024.

Use of digital healthcare technologies – for clinicians and patients – is growing. To ensure these solutions benefit all patient groups, creators and users must be intentional about equity. To address this, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) developed evidence- and consensus-based resources to help organizations intentionally consider equity in the development and use of digital healthcare technologies and solutions.

The Practical Implementation Guide provides digital healthcare developers and vendors, healthcare systems, clinical providers, and payers an interactive checklist of steps and real-world examples for how to advance equity across all phases of the Digital Healthcare Lifecycle.

Visit the AHRQ Digital Healthcare Equity Framework project profile at Creating a Digital Healthcare Equity Framework With an Accompanying Guide for Its Use | Digital Healthcare Research (

 To view the guide, visit A Practical Guide for Implementing the Digital Healthcare Equity Framework | Digital Healthcare Research (


AHRQ’s Making Healthcare Safer IV report expanded with new evidence reviews

Patient safety research is growing, spanning across more healthcare settings, and considers a wide array of contextual factors. The combination of emerging patient safety threats and the growing amount of published patient safety research, patient safety resources, and accrediting body standards makes it increasingly difficult to prioritize adoption and implementation of evidence-based practices. AHRQ’s fourth iteration of Making Healthcare Safer intends to address this issue by publishing evidence-based reviews of patient safety practices and topics as they are completed. 


We Want to Hear From You

Do you have a quality event happening that you would like your fellow NEAHQ members to know about?  We are interested in original content about a successful project, recent promotion and any other quality news you would like to share.  Please submit articles for approval and posting to