In the Community
August 20, 2012
Kaiser Permanente Fellow Begins Studies at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement
Santa Clara County’s Margo Maida will focus on the future of safety-net organizations during health care reform
Kaiser Permanente has long been committed to the nation’s safety-net organizations, which play critical roles in cultivating a just, equitable and patient-centered health care system during the challenges of health care reform.
Last year, Kaiser Permanente began searching for an emerging leader from one of the nation’s thousands of safety-net health care organizations to sponsor, as part of a fellowship program offered by the internationally recognized Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
After an extensive search, Kaiser Permanente congratulates Margo Maida, director of Delivery System Reform for Santa Clara Valley Health & Hospital System. Maida began her year fellowship this July at IHI in Cambridge, Mass., joining four other fellows who have been afforded the time and programming to bond as a group and to deepen their understanding of innovative approaches to improving health and health care. The IHI fellows also focus on individualized areas of investigation, and collaborate with the vibrant IHI community.
With a master of arts degree in social work from San Jose State University, Maida has 18 years of experience leading Santa Clara County’s safety-net organizations. Before leaving for her fellowship at IHI, she was responsible for the coordination of SCVHHS reform efforts under California’s Medicaid 1115 Waiver initiatives and a champion for the implementation of the Patient Centered Medical Home model throughout Ambulatory & Community Health Services.
She played an important role in the nationally acclaimed Children’s Health Initiative, a coalition that realized the vision of becoming the first in the nation to provide universal health coverage for all children regardless of immigration status. Her efforts to reduce health care disparities are reflected in a number of projects she has led, including: School-Linked Services, Mobile Health Services, Medicare Part D, Medi-Cal Pending, the Center for Learning and Achievement, and Valley Care outreach and enrollment.
“When it comes to health care, IHI is like the holy grail,” Maida said. “I’ve wanted to attend their trainings, be in the midst of them, ultimately just wanted to study them because I think the essence of what they are doing is so necessary in the United States. When the fellowship opportunity came along I was ecstatic. I really cannot convey enough how excited I am to have the opportunity to both contribute, I hope, but also to learn for a full year from the very best about what’s happening in health care improvement.”
For decades, safety-net institutions have stood at the forefront in maintaining access to quality health care for those who can’t afford it.
“With the onset of profound changes in health insurance coverage and financing, safety-net organizations are facing uncharted waters,” said Winston Wong, MD, medical director, Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit, Disparities Improvement and Quality Initiatives. “These institutions will take on the added challenge of converting historically under-resourced settings to competitive organizations in the new health marketplace, while sustaining a commitment to the underserved. A new set of leaders will be needed to take on this challenge.”
The greatest gains in health care, Maida said, will come not only from cultivating strong leadership, but activating patients and helping them understand the important role they have in their care.
“It’s patients who have the answer, in my opinion, to many of our health care problems,” Maida said. “We just don’t do a very good job of including them in the process.”
IHI has spearheaded quality and performance improvement concepts in health care, helping the U.S and the rest of the world move from a system that tolerates waste and indifference to one that is patient, family and community-centered and values health and esteem for individuals both well and sick.
Kaiser Permanente and IHI have a long-standing relationship. Kaiser Permanente has granted over 1,100 scholarships to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Community Benefit Scholarship, made possible by an endowment established in partnership with the IHI in 2004. As a result of this partnership, hundreds of our safety-net partners have received scholarships for continuing education and quality-improvement training opportunities offered by the IHI, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of health care.
Learn more about the next Kaiser Permanente fellowship opportunity.