Ascension Seton’s Dr. Prathibha Varkey Named President of Top US Medical Quality Organization

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AUSTIN, Texas – (April 1. 2015) – The new president of the American College of Medical Quality (ACMQ) is Ascension Ascension Seton’s Dr. Prathibha Varkey, MPH, MPHE, MBA, president and chief executive officer of Clinical Enterprise for Ascension Seton. Ascension Seton is a member of Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic and non-profit health care system.

Varkey assumed the ACMQ’s top post during “Medical Quality 2015: Together, We Will,” the organization’s annual conference held last week in Virginia. She previously served as president-elect.

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“This ACMQ appointment is a great honor for Dr. Varkey and a testament to her commitment to quality care, safety and serving patients as persons,” said Dr. Samson Jesudass, senior vice president and clinical leader of Ascension Physician Services. “Dr. Varkey will be instrumental in advancing ACMQ’s mission of medical quality management, as she is working with our clinically-integrated teams to redesign healthcare around the person with the intent to improve safety and outcomes.”

The ACMQ provides leadership and education in healthcare quality management designed to improve patient care and safety. It publishes the American Journal of Medical Quality six times annually; Varkey is a member of the journal’s editorial board and the editor of the textbook “Medical Quality Management: Theory and Practice.”

The ACMQ seeks to:

  • Educate and provide a forum for healthcare professionals, government agencies, and other regulatory bodies involved in medical quality management.
  • Provide a body of knowledge to healthcare professionals in the field of medical quality management.
  • Elevate the standards of medical schools and post-graduate education in medical quality management.
  • Conduct and sponsor on-going research and evaluation in various fields of medical quality.

“Through dialogue, education, innovation and collaboration with key national stakeholders, I am humbled and honored to lead the ACMQ and my colleagues towards a thoughtful approach in enhancing quality and safe care for every patient that interacts with a healthcare system,” Varkey said.

Headquartered in Bethesda , Md., the ACMQ was founded by five physicians in central Pennsylvania in 1973 as the American College of Utilization Review Physicians. In 1991, the name was changed to to reflect the evolving changes in the specialty.

Ascension Seton Clinical Enterprise is comprised of nonprofit healthcare organizations and physician practices affiliated with Ascension Seton, including more than 1,600 employed providers and staff. Among them are more than 400 physicians and about 250 medical residents providing more than 40 medical specialties to patients at more than 90 locations.

Varkey also is a member of the ACMQ Board of Trustees. She is the editor of two books: “Medical Quality Management” and “Preventive Medicine and Public Health.”

Before joining Ascension Seton, Varkey was a professor of Preventive Medicine and professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. She served as associate chair of the Department of Medicine, with 640 faculty, and medical director of Ask Mayo Clinic, a national nurse triage line with 1.5 million covered lives.

Varkey previously served as vice chair for the Outpatient Practice Committee for Mayo Clinic Rochester; program director for the Preventive Medicine Fellowship; and director of the Quality Improvement Curriculum at Mayo Medical School, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education and Mayo School of Continuing Medical Education.

She is a recipient of the 2010 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s Parker J. Palmer “Courage to Teach” award; the 2009 American College of Medical Quality Service Award; the 2009 American College of Preventive Medicine Rising Star Award; the 2009 Minnesota Medical Association Physician Leadership in Quality Award; and the 2004 American Medical Association Foundation Leadership Award. Dr. Varkey also is a deputy section editor of BMC Medical Education.

Varkey received her medical degree from the Christian Medical College in Vellore, India; a Master’s of Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health; and a Master’s of Health Professions Education from the University of Illinois in Chicago. She completed her Internal Medicine residency at the Hospital of St. Raphael in New Haven, Conn.; Preventive Medicine fellowship at the Mayo Clinic; and Master of Business Administration at Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.