Dr. David Gifford to Head AHCA/NCAL's Enhanced Quality & Regulatory Department

Mar 01, 2011, 14:02 ET from American Health Care Association

-  An expert in the field of quality, Gifford will work to further the profession's efforts on quality improvement -

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) today announced that David R. Gifford, MD, MPH will be joining the Association as Senior Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs to lead its internal quality department while pioneering initiatives on quality improvement in long term care.

"Dr. Gifford will be a valuable asset to both our Association and profession as a whole," stated Governor Mark Parkinson, President & CEO of AHCA/NCAL. "We are making remarkable strides in quality – unquestionably the most important focus of long term care. Dr. Gifford will help us further those strides and brings with him decades of experience and a commitment to the future of quality care that cannot be matched."

"I am very excited to join Mark Parkinson and the AHCA/NCAL team to help make sure that the elderly, who are our parents or grandparents, receive the highest quality of care when they need care in a nursing home or assisted living facility," said Dr. Gifford. "AHCA/NCAL is a leader in advocating for quality, which was one of the reasons I wanted to join this organization and work with its members."

Dr. Gifford will head a new, enhanced department that oversees current quality initiatives, such as Quality First, Keeping the Promise and the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Awards Program – a pathway for our members to achieve performance excellence. He also will develop new programs to help Association members provide high quality, person-centered care.  He will work closely with the Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes Campaign and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to implement quality initiatives for members.

Prior to joining AHCA, Dr. Gifford served as the Director of the Rhode Island State Department of Health since March 2005, where he led efforts to revamp the nursing home survey process to promote resident centered models of care. Dr. Gifford previously served as Chief Medical Officer for Quality Partners of Rhode Island where he directed CMS' national nursing home-based quality improvement effort. He is a board certified geriatrician who has devoted most of his career to nursing home quality and understands the needs of nursing home residents, having worked as a geriatrician and medical director in a number of nursing facilities.

Dr. Gifford currently serves as council chair for the National Quality Forum's Public & Community Health Council and is a member of the National Commission on Prevention Priorities as well as numerous other health related committees. He also is a clinical Associate Professor of Medicine and Community Health at the Brown University's Warren Alpert School of Medicine. As a national leader in health quality, Dr. Gifford is well-respected and admired by government entities, peers, and colleagues alike.

Upon the announcement of his new position, colleagues and experts in quality and the long term care profession offered the following:  

"I worked with Dr. Gifford ten years ago when the Quality Measures first went public.  I can't wait to work with him again! His technical and people skills will help all of us move to the next level of nursing home quality and person-centered care."

- Carol Benner

Former state regulator and National Director of the Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes Campaign

"As the Director of Health for Rhode Island, Dr. Gifford brings with him a unique set of skills including an exemplary record in the field of quality improvement, a highly regarded reputation with CMS, and a strong understanding of other health care providers in the continuum of care. In addition – and most importantly – he is a great guy."

- Orlando (Lonnie) Bisbano, Jr.

AHCA Board of Directors, Administrator of Orchard View Manor, Rhode Island

"David Gifford is a remarkable individual; his dedication to both the individuals who receive services in our nation's nursing and assisted living facilities and those who provide that care is unprecedented. David understands quality, but far more importantly, he knows how to assist others to implement and measure quality programs. David is a motivator and his leadership will enable the long-term care profession to go to new heights in meeting the expectations of quality performance."

- Mary K. Ousley

President, Ousley and Associates; Past Chair, AHCA Board of Governors

"AMDA sees this as a positive step towards our shared mission of improving care. We look forward to working closely with Dr. Gifford, who has been an AMDA member, presenter, and contributor to AMDA projects.  The experience and knowledge he brings to the table will benefit all of us, most importantly those who live and work in nursing homes."

- Lorraine Tarnove

Executive Director, American Medical Directors Association (AMDA) Co-Chair, Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes

"Dr. David Gifford has the ideal combination of experience and abilities to lead the quality efforts for AHCA. During his tenure as chief medical officer of Quality Partners of Rhode Island, Dr. Gifford led a successful nation-wide collaboration among skilled nursing providers, CMS and 2 QIOs to achieve improvements in pain management care systems for SNF patients and residents. The newly created position of Senior Vice President for Quality & Regulatory Affairs at AHCA provides Dr. Gifford the opportunity to continue to use his skills and training as a geriatrician and quality improvement specialist to improve the quality of care and life for older adults and those with disabilities."

- Irene Fleshner, RN, MHSA

Senior Vice President, Strategic Nursing Initiatives, Genesis HealthCare

Dr. Gifford is expected to start his new post in May 2011.

SOURCE American Health Care Association