Starting in 2007, several provider organizations began working on child health quality improvement – the Oregon Pediatric Society with their work on the Screening Tools and Referral Training (START) program, and the Children’s Health Foundation (CHF) with quality improvement projects in childhood asthma and immunizations. The CHF additionally partnered with the Child and Adolescent Health Initiative Measurement (CAHMI) in piloting an online version of a patient survey that assesses the quality of the content of well-child visits. Through the collaboration with CAHMI, we were introduced to the idea of Improvement Partnerships, and learned about similar efforts taking place in other states. At the same time, the CAHMI had been working with Oregon Division of Medical Assistance Programs (DMAP) on how they could better leverage and sustain meaningful quality measurement and improvement, and consider building an Improvement Partnership in Oregon.
In early 2009, these local leader organizations (OPS, CHF, CAHMI), along with colleagues from Office of Family Health and the Division of Medical Assistance Programs (DMAP), collaborated on an application to receive technical assistance from the Vermont Child Health Improvment Program (VCHIP) to assess if Oregon was ready to start its own Improvement Partnership.
It was believed, with all the quality improvement initiatives going on, that we would collectively accomplish more by better working together and sharing successful projects, concepts, and resources. An environmental scan was performed, funded by the CHF, which allowed the emerging partnership to identify and highlight the quality improvement efforts that were underway across the public and private sectors. The technical assistance visit from VCHIP happened in February, 2010.
In spring of 2010, Christina Bethell, Director of CAHMI, proposed to the Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, Stacy Nicholson, to incubate OPIP within CAHMI. The Department of Pediatrics was able to offer operational support, which along with the in-kind support from CAHMI gave OPIP an institutional home. Due to his work on quality improvement within the Oregon Pediatric Society and the Children’s Health Foundation, R.J. Gillespie, MD, MHPE was identified as the Medical Director of OPIP; due to her work on meaningful child quality measurement and improvement at the CAHMI and with other Improvement Partnerships nationally, Colleen Reuland, MS was then identified as the Executive Director. These two individuals became the executive leadership for OPIP. In Spring of 2016, Dr. Gillespie retired from his position at OPIP. That Fall of 2016, Lydia Chiang took the role of OPIP’s new Medical Director. In 2022, OPIP welcomed Hayes Bakken to our team as a Physician Improvement Specialist to help support the vision implementation and systems level change for children in Oregon.