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Tuesday, Jan 16, 2024

Clinical leader and nurse, Mary Breslin-Rodriguez, appointed as chief quality officer at Ballad Health

Mary Breslin-Rodriguez portraitMary Breslin-Rodriguez, an established Ballad Health leader and former nurse with a wealth of experience promoting patient safety and quality of care, has been selected to serve as the health system’s chief quality officer.

Breslin-Rodriguez will be responsible for formulating and executing strategies to drive world-class performance in critical areas of Ballad Health, including clinical effectiveness, patient safety, accreditation, data management, validation, clinical data intelligence, policy and procedure development, process management and medical staff quality. Furthermore, Breslin-Rodriguez will oversee the management of Certificate of Public Advantage (COPA) efforts related to quality and safety metrics, and she will be instrumental in developing the annual Quality Plan and ensuring compliance with external reporting requirements.

“I am honored to lead the patient safety and quality efforts at Ballad Health in this critical role,” Breslin-Rodriguez said. “I am excited about this opportunity to contribute to the advancement of quality standards for the health system, and I look forward to collaborating with the exceptional team at Ballad Health to drive innovation, elevate quality initiatives and make a positive impact on the lives of our patients and the community we serve. Having worked with our chief clinical officer, Dr. Amit Vashist, for several years in various capacities, I share his vision and enormous passion for Ballad Health being a high-reliability organization."

Breslin-Rodriguez’s journey at Ballad Health began in June 2002, serving as the director of performance improvement, corporate director of patient resource management and corporate director of medical services during her tenure, where she excelled as a regulatory expert for chief medical officers and medical staff services. She actively participated in quality improvement activities, holding operational oversight for Central Verification Services.

Breslin-Rodriguez’s leadership in that area was particularly relevant through the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which had adverse and far-reaching effects on nearly every corner of healthcare. However, Ballad Health’s publicly reported data demonstrates the rate of improvement the health system has experienced coming out of COVID-19 is not only remarkable; it is the best in the nation’s largest Government Publishing Office, which aggregates data from thousands of member hospitals.

Additionally, during Breslin-Rodriguez’s tenure after the merger creating Ballad Health, but before COVID-19, Ballad Health’s infection measures, when adjusted based upon the CDC adjustment guidelines, indicated the system was performing at or better than expected on every measure. Comparing CMS-posted metrics with Ballad Health’s current metrics, which were influenced by Breslin-Rodriguez’s leadership as well, demonstrates substantial improvement, even from the last submission from data, and Ballad Health is projected to be among the best-performing systems in the nation. Already, half of its harm measures are performing better than 90% of the hospitals in the nation, and on seven of its 11 Patient Safety Indicators, Ballad Health is now performing among the top decile in the nation – a very compelling recovery after two years of COVID-19 ravages to the industry, which saw quality drop across the nation.

"I am extremely pleased to welcome Mary to this new role and could not have asked for a better partner," said Dr. Amit Vashist, who serves as the chief clinical officer for Ballad Health. “Her tenure at Ballad Health demonstrates a strong commitment to the organization's mission and the healthcare industry's continuous improvement. She brings with her an exceptional background in quality improvement, regulatory compliance and infection control, and I am confident that she will play a key role in elevating our efforts to become a data-driven top-performing, zero-harm health system. We look forward to the significant advancements she will bring to clinical and quality initiatives at Ballad Health.”

Breslin-Rodriguez’s healthcare career began at St. Frances Hospital in Miami Beach, Florida, where she worked as a charge nurse in the progressive care unit and emergency room. She holds a bachelor's degree in nursing from Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida, and she earned her Certified Professional in Health Care Quality credential in December 2001.

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