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Morath to oversee quality efforts for California Hospital Association

Mar. 14, 2013, 10:19 AM

Having served since 2009 as Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s chief quality and safety officer, Julie Morath, MSN, is leaving to become senior vice president for the California Hospital Association, where she will have oversight for hospital and health system quality and safety strategy and alignment. She will also be appointed CEO of the new California Hospital Quality Institute.

Julie Morath, MSN, with C. Wright Pinson, MBA, M.D., at last week’s reception honoring her time at VUMC. (photo by Susan Urmy)

“Julie has been the driver of an improved quality and safety vision at this institution as we’ve continued our never-ending pursuit of quality and patient safety improvement,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, M.D., deputy vice chancellor for Health Affairs and CEO of the Vanderbilt Health System, speaking at a reception honoring Morath, held March 6 in the lobby at Langford Auditorium. “She has significantly advanced the culture surrounding quality and patient safety.

“Also, when we survey the individuals who are now knowledgeable and devoted to improvement, it is a far, far greater number than when she arrived. We sincerely appreciate that you are leaving VUMC a better place,” Pinson said.

Manny Benegas has been asked to handle the administrative affairs in the quality and safety organization for VUMC while a search is conducted for the new chief quality and patient safety officer.

During Morath’s tenure VUMC brought new resources, expertise and vigilance to bear on patient care quality improvement, placing great emphasis on practices like hand hygiene, routine prevention of surgical errors and routine prevention of hospital acquired infections.

Morath also represented Vanderbilt on boards and committees nationally, including the Board of Commissioners of the Joint Commission, where she chaired the Nursing Advisory Committee.

She is also a founding member of the Lucian Leape Institute, a patient safety group, a member of the board of governors of the National Patient Safety Foundation and a member of the National Quality Forum Safe Practices Consensus Committee.

The California Hospital Association is composed of seven academic medical centers, six children’s hospitals and 194 hospitals.

Morath will work with regional medical directors and other leaders.

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