WASHINGTON—OMB Director Peter Orszag, U.S. Representative Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), Dr. Robert J. Master, President and CEO of Commonwealth Care Alliance, and The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation have been honored by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) with the organization’s Health Quality Awards. The awards will be presented at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on March 18.

“Our four honorees’ dedication to the pursuit of their beliefs, and their willingness to take risks in the process, has led to better care for all of us,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “Our honorees all had a vision for improving health care--often at odds with the prevailing wisdom. Their tireless efforts to realize that vision are what we honor with our Health Quality Awards.”

Each year, NCQA presents Health Quality Awards to individuals and organizations that highlight the need for—and drive—health care improvement.  Past recipients include California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and actress and advocate Mary Tyler Moore.
NCQA’s 2009 Health Quality Award honorees are:

  • Peter Orszag, Ph.D. – Dr. Peter Orszag, Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Barack Obama, is being honored for his work as the Director of the Congressional Budget Office. Under Dr. Orszag’s leadership, the Congressional Budget Office significantly expanded its focus on rising health care expenditures and their relationship to our nation’s long-term fiscal outlook. Much of his work during his tenure at CBO laid the groundwork for the current conversation about health care reform in Congress.
  • The Honorable Diana DeGette (D-Co.) – Representative DeGette is serving her seventh term in Congress as the representative for the First District of Colorado. She is one of the leading voices in the health care debate in the United States and played a vital role in the reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. As co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Diabetes Caucus, DeGette has been a long-time advocate for the expansion of diabetes care and research, particularly for lower-income and minority communities.
  • Robert J. Master, M.D. – Dr. Robert Master is a practicing physician, board-certified in internal medicine with more than 25 years of experience in the clinical management of patients with advanced chronic illness and disability. Currently the President and CEO of the Commonwealth Care Alliance. Dr. Master has served as the Medical Director of the Massachusetts Medicaid program in the Dukakis administration. Dr. Master has been a pioneer in developing models of health care that extend the system beyond the walls of the doctor’s office and into the homes of patients who need it most.
  • The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation – The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the leading organization in the United States devoted to curing and controlling cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening genetic disease. When the Foundation was established in 1955, children with CF were not expected to live long enough to attend elementary school. Today, as a result of dramatic improvements in research and care programs, fueled by the Foundation, the predicted median age of survival for those with CF is now more than 37 years.

NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality.  NCQA is the nation’s leading developer of health care evaluation tools including health plan accreditation, physician recognition and organization certification. NCQA also is responsible for the evolution of HEDIS®, the most widely used set of health care performance measures.  NCQA is committed to providing health care quality information through the Web, media and data licensing agreements in order to help consumers, employers and others make more informed health choices. For more information, visit