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Koontz, Hartvickson complete fellowship program

NMC Health Medical Center in Newton Ks entrance with yellow bar hospital and glass panel front entrance newton medical center

NEWTON, Kan., (Jan. 12, 2015) – Jennifer Koontz, M.D., of newton Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, and Malea Hartvickson of Newton Medical Center, completed the 2014 Improvement Leader Fellowship program conducted by the Health Research and Educational Trust, an affiliate of the American Hospital Association.

Koontz completed coursework and participated in monthly peer-to-peer learning sessions led by faculty at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a global non-profit organization based in Cambridge, Mass. Participants built robust skills in leading quality and patient safety improvement initiatives.

Throughout the program, quality leaders, nurses, physicians, pharmacists, and other frontline staff learned key concepts related to the Science of Improvement. Conducted live with groups of fellows in a different state each month, the learning sessions also streamed live to fellows nationwide, utilizing an interactive, online format.

The May learning session, conducted in Topeka, focused on strategies to increase patient and family engagement in their care and in hospital patient-safety initiatives.

“We are fortunate that Dr. Koontz and Malea are developing their expertise as improvement leaders for our organization” said Steve Kelly, Newton Medical Center president and CEO. “The training has been invaluable, and we are already benefitting from the skills and knowledge they have gained.”

In Kansas, nearly 70 quality leaders from 64 hospitals participated in the Improvement Leader Fellowship program this year offered through the AHA/HRET Hospital Engagement Network and coordinated statewide by the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative.

HRET offered the fellowship program each year from 2012 to November 2014 in support of the AHA/HRET Hospital Engagement Network and the Partnership for Patients’ campaign. In total, nearly 2,500 hospital improvement leaders of all disciplines in 31 states took part in the HRET Improvement Leader Fellowship program with the aim of making care safer for patients in U.S. hospitals.

“We congratulate Jennifer, Malea, and other Kansas fellows who made the commitment to complete this outstanding training program,” said Kendra Tinsley, Kansas Healthcare Collaborative executive director. “Improvement fellows are truly making an impact within their organizations and are emerging as quality leaders at the state and national levels.”

About Newton Medical Center:
Newton Medical Center is a comprehensive 103-bed hospital in Newton, Kan., offering full-service medical care in Harvey, Butler and northern Sedgwick counties. For more information about, call 316-283-2700 or visit

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