Quality Champions: Guides for Patient-Centered Care

September 9, 2019 · Matt Brock

Two quality champions CCEs holding their NCQA awards

Thomasene Barnes, PCMH CCE, and Kelsey Kelleher, PCMH CCE


If you missed the PCMH Congress this past weekend, you missed so much. Too much to cover in one blog. Almost every attendee I met told me the Congress informed them, encouraged them and inspired them. It was, they say, not just the perfect opportunity to network, but also to learn from colleagues on the quality journey from all over the country.

There are two particular people who were very popular for sharing success stories.

Quality Champions: CCE Quality Awards

As part of the Congress, NCQA annually honors two Certified Content Experts (CCEs) with the CCE Quality Award. Our president, Peggy O’Kane makes the presentations at the annual Congress luncheon for CCEs. We all know CCEs are teaches, organizers, leaders, planners, educators and so much more. The honorees are really the best of the best in terms of making the pitch for improving quality at the point of care.

Both work with large organizations, with diverse patient populations and diverse quality strengths and challenges.

Quality Champion: Thomasene Barnes

Thomasene Barnes is the Director of the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Program within the Office of Ambulatory Care at New York City Health and Hospitals (NYC H+H), the largest public healthcare system in the nation. She has more than ten years of healthcare experience at NYC H+H, spanning ambulatory care operations and healthcare services transformation.

Over the course of her career at NYC H+H, Thomasene has collaborated with interdisciplinary teams to align recognition efforts, develop patient-centered policies and procedures, manage various ambulatory care practices, and assist with coordinating various initiatives and projects.  The projects include the New York State Department of Health’s Hospital-Medical Home Demonstration Project, part of the state’s Medicaid Redesign program.

Thomasene holds a Bachelor’s degree in Health & Society with a minor in Psychology from the University of Rochester and earned PCMH Content Expert Certification in 2016. She has previously supported NYC H+H practices under all versions of the PCMH standards at the practice level and system wide at the corporate office level.

Currently Thomasene is responsible for coordinating the efforts of over 32 practice sites across the system for the NYS PCMH Recognition program under the 2017 standards. Thomasene’s dedication to providing health care to those in underserved populations continues to propel her work expanding practice transformation efforts that are patient-centered.

Quality Champion: Kelsey Kelleher

Kelsey Kelleher is an NCQA PCMH Certified Content Expert with over 15 years of dedicated nursing experience in acute, community, and ambulatory care settings. In her current role as Transformation Lead at Hackensack Meridian Health, she oversees 55 NCQA PCMH and PCSP recognitions and over 50 NCQA DRP and HSRP provider recognitions throughout the state of New Jersey.

Kelsey is board certified in ambulatory care, and recently completed her Master of Science in Nursing from the Nursing Informatics program at Thomas Edison State University. Her passion for providing health education is the foundation of her work, always ensuring practices understand the reasoning behind how transformation will increase population health, decrease cost, and increase patient and provider experience.

Quality Champions: Certified Content Experts

Stay tuned to our podcast Inside Health Care for interviews with our award honorees. You may subscribe with your favorite podcast source: iTunes | Stitcher | Google Play | Spotify These quality champions are just two of hundreds of certified content experts who are guiding organizations to improve care. You could join their ranks. Check out our education page to learn more about becoming a CCE.

Also, don’t miss next year’s Congress. It’s fuel for the fight. Fuel for improving health care quality.

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