Albuquerque Coalition 4 Healthcare Quality Joins Effort to Dramatically Improve the Quality of Health Care

Initiative puts Albuquerque at forefront of health quality reform movement.

    • April 28, 2009

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today announced that the Albuquerque Coalition 4 Healthcare Quality is joining 14 other community-based programs around the country as part of an initiative to improve the quality of health care through regional cooperation.

Known as Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q), RWJF’s initiative is the largest effort of its kind ever undertaken by a U.S. philanthropy. AF4Q is the signature program in RWJF’s $300 million commitment to improve the quality of U.S. health care. It brings together patients, health care providers and payers to turn proven practices for improving quality into real results. It will lift the overall quality of health care, reduce racial disparities and provide models for national reform.

“Health care is delivered locally, but influenced by national and local factors. We must take action at every level to fix it,” said John Lumpkin M.D., M.P.H., senior vice president and the director of the Health Care Group at RWJF. “Despite having the most expensive health care system in the world, patients are subject to too many mistakes, too much miscommunication and too much inequity. As a result, too many Americans aren’t receiving the care they need and deserve. We want to help change that, and Albuquerque is a good place for us to put our ideas into action.”

The Albuquerque Coalition 4 Healthcare Quality was selected for the initiative in a competitive process to find the states and communities best positioned to make fundamental and cutting-edge changes to rebuild their health care systems. In addition to providing financial support, RWJF will provide the Albuquerque Coalition 4 Healthcare Quality with technical assistance and training from national experts.

“Everyone in the health care system wants to provide high-quality care, but the fragmented nature of our health care system often prevents key players from working together toward that common goal,” said Patricia Montoya, M.P.A., B.S.N., project director of the Albuquerque Coalition 4 Healthcare Quality. “We are excited to be selected for this initiative, so we can bring all the parties together—those who get care, give care and pay for care—to improve health care for everyone in Albuquerque.”

In addition to Albuquerque, RWJF is investing in 14 other states and communities, including: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Humboldt County (Calif.), Kansas City (Mo.), Maine, Memphis, Minnesota, Puget Sound (Wash.), South Central Pennsylvania, West Michigan, Western New York, Willamette Valley (Ore.) and Wisconsin.

“Across America, there are serious gaps between the health care that people should receive and the care they actually receive,” said Bruce Siegel, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Center for Health Care Quality at The George Washington University Medical Center School of Public Health and Health Services, and the director of the AF4Q national program office. “But we are seeing real progress in the AF4Q communities and are confident that Albuquerque will be a great addition to this initiative.”

AF4Q community teams strive to improve care for all patients across all settings by:

  • Helping physicians improve the quality of their care,
  • Encouraging people to use health and comparative performance information to make health care decisions,
  • Improving care inside hospitals, with a special focus on the role nurses play, and
  • Reducing inequality in care for patients of different races and ethnicities.

Aligning Forces for Quality

Aligning Forces for Quality, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) initiative, brings together those who get care, give care and pay for care to improve the quality of health care in entire communities. RWJF’s unprecedented commitment of resources, expertise and training is turning proven practices into real results in 15 communities, including Albuquerque, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Humboldt County (Calif.), Kansas City (Mo.), Maine, Memphis, Minnesota, Puget Sound (Wash.), South Central Pennsylvania, West Michigan, Western New York, Willamette Valley (Ore.) and Wisconsin. For more information, log onto www.rwjf.org/qualityequality/af4q.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years, the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in our lifetime.