GIRL'S & WOMEN'S HEALTH INITIATIVE
OUR WORK || A Great International Honor for GWHI

Dr. Noreen Zafar Receives the Prestigious Eisenberg Award in Patient Safety and Quality!

The Girls and Women Health Initiative's (GWHI) founder and president, Dr. Noreen Zafar, was recently recognized for her hard work in bringing awareness to female health issues by The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum (NQF) in the United States. The John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards are presented each year to highly respected leaders in healthcare quality. This was the first year an international Eisenberg Award was presented and GWHI couldn't be more proud of Dr. Zafar for being the special recipient!

Dr. Zafar was recognized for providing high quality gynecological services while also empowering girls and women to take charge of their health and wellbeing through education. Her diligent work in patient safety in the Pakistani communities has improved the lives of many, especially through the various local campaigns she started under GWHI.

More about Dr. Zafar's recognition and the history of the Eisenberg awards can be found below where a portion of NQF's press release announcing the award winners has been added:

2009 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award Recipients Announced

Oakbrook Terrace, IL (September 21, 2009) - The National Quality Forum (NQF) and The Joint Commission today announced the 2009 recipients of the annual John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards. Honorees were selected in all five award categories. This year’s awards feature a new international category.

INTERNATIONAL
Noreen Zafar, M.D., F.R.C.O.G. – Lahore, Pakistan

Dr. Zafar’s vision is to offer high quality gynecological care and empower women to become good decision makers regarding their own health and their family’s health. Dr. Zafar has worked independently to promote wellness among girls and women, without government or any other support. She has overcome many social taboos in her quest and has established health awareness programs related to pre-cancer screening, teenage gynecological health, and reproductive health. Dr. Zafar has initiated nearly a dozen campaigns under the umbrella of the Women’s Health Initiative such as “Say No to Osteoporosis,” “Beat Menopause,” “Prioritize Pink,” “Folic Acid Campaign,” “Women Matter,” and “The Pakistan Group for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology” to improve girls and women’s health.

“The Eisenberg Award shines a spotlight on the frontline work that is occurring worldwide to improve health care quality by making a difference in patient safety,” says Mark R. Chassin, M.D., M.P.P., M.P.H., president, The Joint Commission. “These innovations and public commitments to safe, reliable care serve as an example for what can be achieved.”

“This year’s winners represent the best of what is possible in improving the safety and quality of health care,” says Janet Corrigan, Ph.D., M.B.A., president and CEO, National Quality Forum. “They are at the forefront of their fields and have taken risks to improve health care by addressing the way care is delivered. They have carried on John Eisenberg’s commitment to safety and quality and have truly improved health care.”

This year’s awards will be presented at NQF’s Annual Policy Conference: Beyond Measure - The Quality Imperative in Healthcare Reform in National Harbor, Maryland, October 14-15. The December 2009 issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety will feature the achievements of each of the award recipients.

The patient safety awards program, launched in 2002 by NQF and The Joint Commission, honors John M. Eisenberg, M.D., M.B.A., former administrator of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).  Dr. Eisenberg was one of the founding leaders of NQF and sat on its Board of Directors. In his roles both as AHRQ administrator and chair of the federal government’s Quality Inter-Agency Coordination Task Force, he was a passionate advocate for patient safety and health care quality and personally led AHRQ’s grant program to support patient safety research.

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 16,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including nearly 9,000 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,200 other health care organizations that provide long term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. In addition, The Joint Commission also provides certification of more than 600 disease-specific care programs, primary stroke centers, and health care staffing services. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.

The mission of the National Quality Forum is to improve the quality of American healthcare by setting national priorities and goals for performance improvement, endorsing national consensus standards for measuring and publicly reporting on performance, and promoting the attainment of national goals through education and outreach programs.  NQF, a non-profit organization (qualityforum.org) with diverse stakeholders across the public and private health sectors, was established in 1999 and is based in Washington, DC.

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