AzAHQ Summer 2022 Newsletter



President’s Message

Upcoming Events

AzAHQ Board

Association News

Articles of Interest



President’s message

Dear AzAHQ members,

Welcome to our first newsletter of 2022.  The intent of this newsletter is to keep you informed about AzAHQ events, highlight key industry topics, and celebrate the successes of our organization through the year.  I hope that this year has brought some relief to you in your workplace and professional career.  For many, we can see the “turning over a new leaf” as organizational leaders are working strategically to hire for future needs, implement evidence-based protocols for Covid-19 care, close under-addressed gaps in care, incorporate more virtual program offerings, and excel in meaningful community partnerships both locally & abroad. 

As healthcare quality professionals, the demand for our talent and skillset remains high.  I do not know if you have noticed, but many of the top universities in our country are offering advanced-level degrees and certificates in the areas of quality and patient safety specifically.  These universities (such as the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Georgetown University, Northwestern University, George Washington University School of Nursing, etc.) are now partnering with various healthcare quality associations (i.e., NAHQ) to make their educational program more accessible to current and future CPHQ-credentialed professionals.  The demand for a board-level competent healthcare workforce continues to grow. This should make each of you proud to be involved in a highly visible career.

The AzAHQ Board of Directors has been working tirelessly this year with a focus on solidifying a strategic and operational plan for AzAHQ’s future.  We have thoroughly reviewed all aspects of our S.W.O.T. assessment and created a plan for AzAHQ’s success.  We have been proud to make each of you aware of 18 quality learning events this year including webinars, CPHQ reviews, and conferences.   This is a direct result of honoring our commitment to the multi-state healthcare quality collective.  By the end of this year, our AzAHQ members would have had opportunities to receive over 40.0 contact hours by attending AzAHQ and collective partnership association events.  We ask that you continue to register for the events that appeal to you and share the announcements with others even if you do not have the opportunity to attend.

AzAHQ’s goal is to support and provide resources for each level of healthcare quality competent workforce in Arizona (from novice to expert).  We will continue to adjust our program offerings in addition to offer new resources as more marketplace themes are identified for additional standardization and process improvement.  We hope that you enjoy the first newsletter of this year and will continue to have this offering as part of our commitment to you.


Ursula Fletcher, MHA, RN, CPHQ
AzAHQ 2022 President

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Association News
  • Elections 2022: Interested in joining the AzAHQ Board of Directors?

AzAHQ is dedicated to serving the healthcare quality professionals in Arizona and advancing healthcare quality across the care continuum.   AzAHQ remains a solid platform for healthcare professionals to serve as a board of directors at a state-level as we know this increases CPHQ visibility and contributions to healthcare.  AzAHQ also is committed to our members' needs for lifelong learning and the development of skills through continuing education, certification, professional experience, and training. 

Board service is an opportunity for AzAHQ members to improve the health of the community.  If you are looking to serve on the AzAHQ Board of Directors,  we invite you to use the self-nomination process via the AzAHQ website.  You would sign into the site using your username and password.  Go to the "Contact" section and then select "Board Nomination" to express interest by completing the form.   Your information will be added to our prospective talent pool that we will consider as board openings develop that match your experience and expertise. We are recruiting for the following 2023 position:

  • President Elect (must have had at least 1 prior year of AzAHQ board service)
  • Secretary Elect
  • Communications Associate
  • Director At Large

To be considered for 2023 board member openings, please complete the "Board Nomination" process prior to 9/16/2022 to express interest in board roles.

  • Member Survey Results:

AzAHQ is emphasizing hearing member voices.  A 14-item survey questionnaire was developed by the Board to gain a better understanding of membership composition and identify potential areas for improvement.  The survey was distributed in May 2022 to 277 individuals, both active (125) and inactive (152).  Sixty-two responses (50 active; 12 inactive) were received, representing a 22.4% response rate.  Respondent survey finding highlights revealed:

  • Membership:
    • 60% (n = 37) with less than 5 years of membership
  • CPHQ Certification:
    • 66% (n = 41) CPHQ certified
    • 18% (n - 11) intend to test within the next year
  • Likelihood of Recommending:
    • 81% (n = 50) strong likelihood of recommending AzAHQ
  • AzAHQ-Sponsored Events:
    • 85% (n = 53) have attended AzAHQ-sponsored events

How does the association know that we are doing the right thing to meet our members’ needs? We listen, and keep listening. Take a look at the Word Cloud illustration reflecting the respondent comments.  

The Board is always interested in members’ thoughts and suggestions. Please use the contact us page on the website to start a conversation.

  • Fall General Membership Meeting: 11/8/2022 at 5:30p - 6:30p AZ/MT. Members are requested to attend the virtual membership meeting to learn about the association activities and future event planning.  The Board looks forward to hearing your input and being able to answer your questions.  Participating in the general membership meeting is your opportunity to provide feedback, share thoughts about how the Association can support your professional journey, and identify activities that may be of interest to you. 

Event registration is now available for this meeting on the AzAHQ website via the "Upcoming AzAHQ Events" section or click here.

  • Organizational/Corporate Membership: The membership value survey included a question about interest in this type of membership by employers. Work is in underway to finalize organizational memberships that would enable employers to assign staff as full, active AzAHQ members.
  • AzAHQ’s Committees: AzAHQ uses several committees that support the Board in its efforts to meet the mission of the Association. Committee participation is an opportunity to expand professional skills and build new network connections. AzAHQ has just added a new committee: the Health Equity and Diversity Committee that will be chaired by Whitney Caraway, RN, MSN, ACM-RN, CPHQ .  The mission is to improve health disparities through partnerships, education, and empowerment of providers across the quality network of Arizona. Whitney has provided more information about healthcare equity in an article later in the newsletter.   Once logged in to the AzAHQ site as a member, visit the "Committees" page from the Member Center for a comprehensive list of AzAHQ’s committees and a link to apply for membership. The AzAHQ Board looks forward to working more closely with its members.
  • Healthcare Quality Collective: AzAHQ currently collaborates with seven other state healthcare quality associations to offer continuing education.  All participating associations offer quarterly webinars free to active members of any participating association.  Check the home page for announcements of upcoming events. 
  • CPHQ Grant: This grant is offered to active members seeking initial CPHQ certification. The 2022 grant application period is currently in process with applications due by 9/30/22. Information about the benefits and application process are on the Grant Page.
  • AzAHQ Conference 2023: Save the Date - Friday, 4/14/2023
    The AzAHQ Quality Conference will be held on 4/14/2023, at Rio Salado Conference Center in Tempe, AZ. The conference will be available for in-person or virtual attendance.  The focus/theme is related to patient safety (post Covid-19) and developing the future of healthcare quality.  Conference details and registration will be updated on the website in early 2023.

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AzAHQ’s Quality Journey – June 2022


The current healthcare climate is changing dramatically, creating an urgent need for healthcare quality professionals to provide leadership and innovation in healthcare quality efforts.  Healthcare quality professionals in Arizona are serving as leaders in navigating these changes and promoting quality.  AzAHQ is assisting its members to promote their quality journeys by achieving the CPHQ® credential which provides healthcare quality professionals with additional methods and tools to help them assist organizations to achieve quality outcomes.   Healthcare quality professionals with the CPHQ® designation work at higher levels of competency compared to non- CPHQ® professionals based on research by the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ).  They also aspire to be thought leaders within the healthcare quality arena and are more likely to hold higher job titles than those who do not have the CPHQ® credential.  On June 3 and 4, a program to assist AzAHQ members in their quality journey preparing for the CPHQ® examination was held at Banner Desert Medical Center and was also available virtually.  The Healthcare Quality Certification Commission (HQCC), part of the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ), developed the Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality® (CPHQ®) credential, with the first examination given in 1984.  NAHQ designed the certification in healthcare quality to promote professionalism and excellence in the healthcare quality field.  Objectives of the certification program include promoting professional standards and improving the practice of quality, giving recognition to professionals demonstrating both knowledge and expertise through an examination, identifying knowledge of healthcare quality practice and principles, supporting continued competence, and maintaining professional standards in healthcare quality through recertification.  The program covered current examination topics, including organizational leadership, health data analytics, performance and process improvement, and patient safety.  There are currently more than 13,000 CPHQ’s nationwide, and AzAHQ continues its efforts to assist AzAHQ members to join that prestigious group.

The next Quality Journey event is scheduled for 1/20 & 1/21, 2023.  This will be a virtual event. Watch the website for more information.

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Health Equity and the Impact on Healthcare Delivery

Whitney Caraway, RN, MSN, ACM-RN, CPHQ  -  AzAHQ Health Equity and Diversity Committee Chairperson

Every few years, we face a shift in the focus of healthcare.  We have seen the push for technology, value-based care, and social determinants of health in the forefront over the last decade. But as healthcare quality professionals, we understand that implementing lasting change means accounting for each individual we serve and being creative with solutions. Equitable care is when quality does not vary based on personal characteristics.  As simple as that may sound, it can often be confused with equality in healthcare.

For example, you may think that establishing an online portal for a vaccine clinic will allow access to vaccinations for anyone.  But for someone with no vehicle or internet access, this can serve as a problem. Giving the same opportunity to every patient may be equal health care, but it is not health equity. The key to successful healthcare delivery looks different for each patient.

Health equity has become a passion of mine due to the community I serve.  Living in rural Arizona, my organization doesn’t see the easy access to COVID testing or endless transport services to select from to get patients to appointments.  Rural Arizona accounts for nearly 20% of the population, but we do not see the same resources as many other communities. Though my struggles may differ from yours, we still see the same end result in our patients. Healthcare across the state suffers from financial strain on government programs and providers as a result of high rates of under or uninsured among lower socioeconomic and minority populations. This is multiplied by high rates of chronic conditions left untreated. This population also sees a greater reliance on emergency services and ultimately higher treatment costs. As professionals, we know that preventive medicine and early interventions save money and lives.  So how do we accomplish this?

We have all seen our share of challenges as healthcare quality professionals, and ultimately providing optimal care while benefiting the bottom line is the goal.  Substantial improvements including patient outcomes, health system function, community engagement, and improving data function and reporting can be made possible with collaboration and education.  By revisiting existing recommendations, re-evaluating current care delivery, and collaborating with other professionals in the workforce, we can champion lasting change.  The goal is to optimize and advance health equity by working together. Those that are disadvantaged or underserved all look different in opposite ends of the state, but by sharing our successes we can eliminate differences and create communities that thrive.

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Upcoming Events
  • AzAHQ’s next webinar, Nursing Transition to Practice: Innovative Partnership to Promote Quality & Safety is planned for 11/18/2022, from 9:00a to 10:00a AZ/MT. Registration will open soon – so keep an eye on the home page calendar.
  • To see a comprehensive list of upcoming webinars, please check out this page or visit the home page to view the list or calendar.

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Articles of Interest

Changing Views of Retirement and Health Post-COVID: Transamerica’s Look At Workers’ Disrupted Futures
from Health Populi June 2022

As more than 1 in 3 U.S. workers were unemployed during the pandemic and another 38% had reductions in hours and pay, Americans’ personal forecasts and expectations for retirement have been disrupted and dislocated.


How clinicians can use AI to improve patient care     [Podcast]

AI can suggest the newest movies for you to watch or navigate you to your destination with a single click — if AI helps people in their everyday lives, why shouldn’t healthcare utilize this technology too? 


What Kind of Quality Department Best Supports Whole System Quality?     By Jeff Rakover | Thursday, June 30, 2022

Quality should be everyone’s job in a health care organization. Yet, as the Juran Handbook points out, supporting quality also requires a dedicated team.


National Action Plan to Advance Patient Safety       from IHI

Despite substantial effort over the past 20 years, preventable harm in health care remains a major concern in the United States. Though many evidence-based, effective best practices related to harm reduction have been identified, they are seldom shared nationally and implemented effectively across multiple organizations.


Tips to Get Gen Z Support for Your Nonprofit        By Lisa Hirst Carnes June 2022 from Arcstone

When planning a marketing campaign for your nonprofit, you must consider generational differences. Either you may need to reach multiple generations, or your audience may belong to one generation. To be successful, you have to understand the difference between talking to Boomers, Gen-Xers, Millennials, and Gen Z. In this article, we'll focus on what it takes to get Gen Z to support your nonprofit.

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2022 AzAHQ Board Members




Ursula Fletcher


Amna Mohammad

Past President



Regina Cameron

Secretary Elect

Emily Bofetta


Karen J. Saewert


Michele Davenport Lambert

Communications Director

Karl Kleinebreil

Communications Associate Director

Rebeca Almanza

Education Director

Mary Hahn

Education Associate Director

Rita Morris

Membership Director

Monica Provencio

Director at Large

Allison Rose

AzAHQ Association Manager

Holly Grems

Check the Board of Directors page for more information about each of the board members.

Interested in expanding your professional skills? The 2023 elections are coming this fall.  Consider applying for board membership by submitting your information here (must be logged in).  Check this page for more information about each of the board positions.

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We Want to Hear From You:  Do you have thoughts and suggestions to share? Please use the contact us page on the website to start a conversation.