OPHIX 2019 Presenters and Agenda


Complete Agenda can be found here.


Opening Plenary

Laurie Ann Wagner, LCSW, Performance Improvement Manager, Connecticut  Department of Public Health

Using the skills honed as a licensed clinical social worker, Laurie Ann has been engaged in continuous improvement efforts in myriad professional settings including hospitals, nursing homes, community mental health & state agencies in both NY & CT for over 20 years.  For more than 9 years, Laurie Ann worked in the CT Department of Social Services where she served as the Lean Coordinator.  She has also served on the CT Statewide Process Improvement Steering Committee.  She is now working in the Connecticut Department of Public Health to fully inculcate the agency with the culture of quality improvement.

How did I get here? To kick off the conference, Laurie Ann Wagner will share how a career in behavioral health and social services was the best preparation ever for the task of creating a culture of quality improvement at a public health agency.  Have you ever wondered why the best laid plans for implementing infrastructure around quality improvement repeatedly seems to stall? Laurie Ann will challenge you to consider what might be going on for the people within that infrastructure.


More than a Buzzword: Innovation in Public Health

Reena Chudgar, MPH, Director of Innovation, Public Health National Center for Innovations at the Public Health Accreditation Board

Reena is PHNCI’s Director of Innovation, where she supports planning and implementation of PHNCI’s portfolio of work. Reena has over 13 years of direct experience in public health, having most recently served as Director for Performance Improvement at the National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO). Her work at NACCHO included strategic and operational development and management of the Performance Improvement Portfolio by fostering partnerships and providing support to local health departments (LHDs) and their public health system partners in community health assessments and community health improvement plans, quality improvement, performance management, strategic planning, addressing social and structural determinants of health, fostering multisector partnerships, and in their efforts to prepare for national accreditation through PHAB. Prior to joining NACCHO, Reena worked with the Millennium Water Alliance at CARE USA, interned with the DeKalb County Board of Health in Georgia, and conducted research in Ghana, all of which focused on water, sanitation, and hygiene initiatives. Earlier, Reena served as a Health and Community Development Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of Kiribati, where she designed and implemented several grassroots health and education programs, assessed and prioritized community needs with community stakeholders, and strengthened local economic and social capacity. Reena received a Master of Public Health degree and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Emory University.

This session will discuss how Quality Improvement (QI) and innovation are both important to public health practice: QI focuses on developing ideas to make things better while innovation focuses on reimagining the way we  address problems to make better things. Recognizing that our traditional ways of addressing complex, wicked challenges are not sufficient, health departments can broaden their ability to create meaningful change through innovation. Innovation in health departments and communities generates a mindset shift that creates space for nimbleness, actively involves the user/community in problem-solving, and opens up creativity when addressing problems. The Public Health National Center for Innovations (PHNCI) will discuss what innovation in public health is, describe alignment and differences between innovation processes and quality improvement/performance improvement, and share an overview of the design thinking process, a common and powerful method for innovating.


Closing Keynote 

Osagie Ebekozien, MD, MPH, CPHQ, CPHRM, Boston Public Health Commission

Osagie Ebekozien is the former Director, Office of Accreditation and Quality Improvement at Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), in this role he works with a team of dedicated professionals to advance an organization-wide culture of quality improvement, performance management and other strategic initiatives. He led BPHC to achieve Public Health Accreditation in 2017 and was awarded the 2019 NACCHO National model practice award for building an innovative QI program.

He also served as Faculty and Improvement Advisors for numerous national collaboratives. In this role, he coaches and provides technical assistance to hospital networks, clinics

and community-based organizations.

Osagie previously directed performance improvement, accreditation, risk management and patient safety at a Federally Qualified Health Center in Boston that serves over 30,000 patients. In this role, he led the organization to achieve NCQA Patient Centered Medical Home level 3 recognition (highest level), Joint Commission Gold standard (highest level) and managed numerous operational improvement and community based improvement grants.

He is in frequent speaker at numerous national conferences, webinars and has authored several peer review publications. He has received other awards and recognition for his work including the City of Boston HHS Service Excellence Award and the Tufts Innovation Award.

He received his Medical Degree from University of Ibadan, Nigeria and Master of Public Health (M.P.H) degree from Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health, Boston. He is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ), Healthcare Risk Management (CPHRM) and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.

This session will explore simple yet effective strategies that have been explored by the speaker through coaching and engaging various national improvement teams over the past 15 years. This interactive session will build on the concept of “PDSA personalities” and how understanding your and your team’s personalities will help improve the quality of your improvement cycles.


Poster presentations will take place during the Welcome Reception on Tuesday, November 19th from 5:30-6:30 pm. 


Breakout Sessions

Breakout sessions will take place over the day and a half conference. Times and dates for each session have yet to be determined. All breakout sessions are 60 minutes.

Seven Key Drivers to QI Culture Change: Lessons learned and challenges to building a National Model Practice: Boston Public Health Commission QI Program was awarded the 2019 NACCHO National Model Practice for building an Innovative QI Program. This interactive breakout session will explore the different innovative components of the program and ongoing challenges.

Practical ways to introduce and engage staff to QI: During this session, facilitators from the Boston Public Health Commission will discuss the concepts of “gamification” and lead participants through three innovative, fun and simple games. Participants will learn other ways to customize the games, receive templates and facilitation guides. The Presenters will also share additional ideas for engaging external agencies in quality improvement work.

Just Do It!: Sometimes Quality Improvement efforts reflect two to five days of intense work using the Lean model of process improvement, others the PDSA model, while still other changes are simply instinctual to the staff who implement them.  These simple improvements (called “Just Do Its” or “JDI”) are often not recognized as the creative solutions they are.  This workshop will walk participants through an actual “JDI” and show how to document it using a simple web-based tool.

Should It Stay, or Should It Go? Implementation of a Standardized Tool for Service and Program Evaluation: The presenters will discuss and demonstrate how the Standardized Tool for Service and Program Evaluation incorporates consideration of population health and impact, with the agency’s mission and viability in decision making for new and/or existing programs and services.

Improving Response to Phase 1 Environmental Assessment Requests:  This session describes a successful QI project conducted by the Environmental Health (EH) program at Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County. A diverse team from the EH and Regional Air Pollution Control Agency (RAPCA) departments used the Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control (DMAIC) model to significantly improve their process for responding to these requests. The improvements resulted in a 64% reduction in the number of days to respond and a 50% reduction in the number of employees that reviewed the request.

Finding and Keeping Your Workforce: The presentation will focus on three quality improvement projects aimed at strengthening the workforce- Recruiting and Hiring, New Employee Orientation, and Staff Retention. The presentation will discuss the tools used in each project and overall outcomes related to increasing efficiencies in the hiring process to get new employees faster; improving employee orientation to ensure consistency, proper training and overall satisfaction; and reducing staff turnover not related to retirements or terminations.

Using QI Principles to Build and Improve a New Employee Orientation Program: This session will outline how one accredited local health department created a robust competency-based workforce development program by highlighting a quality improvement project to improve the new employee onboarding program. This presentation will explain the process used to improve the new employee orientation program, share resources, templates, and trainings that were developed, how quality improvement processes were utilized, and overall lessons learned from the project.

Is it really a project?: Utilizing basic CQI tools, CPH will walk the group thru how to identify when a perceived issue or opportunity is an actual project. Building on that, basic tools will be described and utilized to demonstrate how to narrow down and prioritize opportunities for the PSDA cycle.

Customer Satisfaction Surveys & CQI: What makes a customer satisfaction survey successful? Why should we solicit feedback from entities we regulate? Program evaluation must include a customer service component to effectively evaluate levels of satisfaction and to determine areas of improvement.

Make a Difference with Performance Management: This session is designed to walk participants through an example of the steps involved in establishing a department wide performance management “system” that meets PHAB requirements for both accreditation and reaccreditation.

Collaborating for Community Health Improvement: Improving How Health Care and Public Health Work Together: This session will present how Holzer Health Systems of Gallipolis, OH, embraced the collaborative intent of a CHIP and in 2018, convened a group of four local health departments for the purposes of conducting a regional assessment. By committing Holzer resources to the process, health departments were better able to dedicate resources to collecting higher quality primary qualitative data. The result has been an extremely community focused CHNA implementation plan planning process and improved collaboration between health care and public health.

Strategic Plan – Not just a document! Strategic Planning is a cornerstone for QI and Performance Management in a public health department.  This session will describe one health department’s approach to strategic planning from preparation through implementation, and how this process has enabled them to plan for and adapt to change.