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NICHQ Reinforces its Quality Improvement Services With Additions to Senior Staffing

September 2009


The National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality Reinforces its Quality Improvement Services With Additions to Senior Staffing

New Chief Operating Officer, Development Officer and Program Staff Poise Children’s Health Non-Profit for Growth


Boston, MA, Sept. 22, 2009 –The National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality (NICHQ) today announced the appointment of four new hires in a move to further strengthen its ability to deliver exceptional quality improvement services and to foster the nonprofit’s growth.

Joining NICHQ are Rachel Sachs Steele M.Ed., who has been appointed chief operating officer and program director. Steele comes to NICHQ with over ten years of management, healthcare and business strategy experience.  For the past several years she worked as an independent consultant for non-profits and as a member of the Bard Group –a boutique firm working with physicians and hospitals to strengthen strategy, organizational development, and executive and management capabilities.  At NICHQ, Steele’s new responsibilities include guiding NICHQ’s operations, offering programmatic leadership, and providing guidance on strategy and organizational development.

Melanie Hayden comes to NICHQ from Children’s Hospital Boston, where she worked with the corporate development and marketing team to secure event and program sponsorship, corporate foundation grants, and cause-related marketing programs.  As NICHQ’s new development officer, Hayden will focus on grant writing and business development to support NICHQ’s project areas, including the prevention and reduction of childhood obesity, support for children with special healthcare needs and improvements in patient safety and peri-and-neonatal programs. She will research, write and track grant applications as well as pursue corporate sponsorship and philanthropic funding to supplement new and existing programs.

Priya Nair Heatherley MS has over six years of experience in project management, healthcare operations and consulting. She previously worked as a managing consultant with the Healthcare Strategy Division of the Bard Group and was responsible for managing and co-leading multiple strategy projects with physicians, academic medical centers, and community-based hospitals. Prior to that, she worked as the director of women’s health service line and community education where she implemented quality improvement projects, coordinated expansion projects and was successful in surpassing revenue goals. Joining the NICHQ team as a senior project manager, Heatherley will take on senior project management of NICHQ’s obesity program.

Karthika (Karthi) Parithivel Streb also joins NICHQ from the Bard Group’s Healthcare practice where she worked as a managing consultant, focusing her time on physician-hospital integration strategies and clinical program development. Prior to the Bard Group, Streb worked for Partners HealthCare where she designed and evaluated system-level quality reports and analyses including management of Partners’ comprehensive quarterly quality report. Before that, Streb spent several years at Massachusetts Health Quality Partners where she managed facets of statewide collaborative physician quality measurement reporting projects, including organizing the statewide public release of a primary care physician experience survey. As a senior project manager at NICHQ, Streb will work on a variety of quality improvement projects drawing her experience with oversight and management of quality performance reporting tools and metrics. She will also help develop and measure effective quality improvement programs.

“We are thrilled to have Rachel, Melanie, Priya and Karthy join the NICHQ team. Their knowledge of the healthcare industry is essential in supporting NICHQ as we expand and improve our organization and quality services,” said Charles Homer MD, MPH and president CEO of NICHQ. “Each of them bring tremendous talent to our organization, and as we work to make a bigger impact, we will rely on their leadership and expertise to improve healthcare for children across the country.”


Founded in 1999, the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality (NICHQ) is an action-oriented organization dedicated to achieving a world in which all children receive the healthcare they need. Led by experienced pediatric healthcare professionals, NICHQ’s mission is to improve children’s health by improving the systems responsible for the delivery of children’s healthcare. For more information, visit

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