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6:30 pm Reception
7:30 pm Dinner & Awards Program

440 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

The NCQA Health Quality Awards recognize leaders and innovators who have worked to improve health care quality by one or more of the following:

  • Improving the management or delivery of health care to make the system more effective, efficient and compassionate 
  • Advancing health care quality through public policy
  • Conducting research or analysis that improves the health care system 
  • Developing public education campaigns to promote awareness of critical health issues




Helen Darling, President and CEO,
National Business Group on Health

Helen Darling is president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health, a national non-profit, membership organization devoted exclusively to providing practical solutions to its employer-members' most important health care problems, representing large employers' perspective on national health policy issues. Previously, Ms. Darling directed the purchasing of health benefits and disability at Xerox Corporation. Ms. Darling serves on the Committee on Performance Measurement of NCQA and was its co-chair for 10 years. View introduction video.



Patricia A. Gabow, MD, CEO,
Denver Health and Hospital Authority

Dr. Gabow is the CEO of Denver Health, one of the nation’s most highly regarded, extensive and integrated health care systems. During her tenure and as director of Medical Services, she became internationally known for her scientific work in polycystic kidney disease. Her current research relates to health services for the underserved. Author of over 150 articles and book chapters, Dr. Gabow is also professor of medicine in the Division of Renal Disease at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. View introduction video.


Atul Gawande, MD, MPH, FACS,
Surgeon, Writer and Public Health Researcher, Brigham and Women's Hospital

Dr. Gawande’s research work currently focuses on systems innovations to transform safety and performance in surgery, childbirth and care of the terminally ill. Dr. Gawande has been a staff writer for the New Yorker magazine since 1998. He has written three New York Times bestselling books: Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance, Complications and The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things RightView introduction video.


Paul Grundy, MD, MPH, Corporation’s Global Director, IBM Healthcare Transformation

Paul Grundy, is IBM Corporation’s Global Director, IBM Healthcare Transformation. In this role, Dr. Grundy develops and executes strategies that support IBM’s healthcare industry transformation initiatives. Dr. Grundy also serves as the President of the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative and is an Adjunct Professor, University of Utah Department of Family and Preventive Medicine. View introduction video.


With Master of Ceremonies

Len Nichols, PhD, Director,
Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics, George Mason University

With over 17 years of experience in health policy and development, Dr. Nichols provides a unique perspective to health care reform. He frequently testifies before Congress and provides technical expertise to governors, state legislators and other policy officials.  Dr. Nichols currently serves on NCQA Board of Directors.



Past Honorees


Since the Quality Awards began in 2001, NCQA has recognized a variety of individuals and organization for their leadership in improving health care quality in the U.S. Among the recipients are:

Governor Edward G. Rendell (D-Pennsylvania)
Governor James H. Douglas (R-Vermont)
Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Karen Davis, PhD, President, The Commonwealth Fund
The Greater New Orleans Community Organizations, The Louisiana Health Quality Forum, and The Louisiana Public Health Institute

Peter Orszag, PhD, Director, Office of Management and Budget
Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-Colorado)
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Robert J. Master, Commonwealth Care Alliance

Edward Kennedy, United States Senator, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor, State of California
Ron Sims, King County Executive, State of Washington
Joseph Thompson, MD, MPH, Surgeon General, State of Arkansas, Director, Arkansas Center for Health Improvement

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D-KS)
Edward H. Wagner, MD, MPH, Director, The MacColl Institute for Healthcare Innovation, Group Health Cooperative
Let’s Go Play Go Healthy Challenge

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY)
Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the House; Founder, The Center for Health Transformation
Brent James, MD, Intermountain Health Care
Mary Tyler Moore, International Chairman, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH, Professor, New York University 

Senator John Breaux (D-LA)
Congresswoman Nancy Johnson (R-CT)
Paul H. O'Neill, Former Secretary of the Treasury
Harvey Picker, Founder, The Picker Institute
John E. Wennberg, MD, MPH, Dartmouth Medical School 

Senator Nancy Kassebaum Baker (R-KS)
David Satcher, MD, PhD, Surgeon General of the United States
Robert Brook, MD, Vice President, RAND and Director, RAND Health
Gail Warden, President and CEO, Henry Ford Health System





IBM Corporation









American Academy of Family Physicians
American Board of Internal Medicine
American Osteopathic Association
Amylin Pharmaceuticals
BlueCross BlueShield-Michigan
Blue Shield of California
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Centene Corporation
Cigna Healthcare
Independence Blue Cross
Magellan Health Services
Merck & Co.
Mercy Health
National Business Group on Health
Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative
UPMC Health Plan
Walgreen Co.


Academy Health
Alliance of Community Health Plans
American Academy of Ophthalmology
American Academy of Pediatrics
American College of Physicians
American Medical Association
America's Health Insurance Plans
Amerigroup Corporation
Bon Secours Medical Group
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Inc.
Cigna Behavioral Health Inc.
Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare
HealthPartners Inc.
LePercq Lynx Investment Advisory
Molina Healthcare
National Coalition of Cancer Survivorship
National Quality Forum
Russell Reynolds Associates