Center for Quality and Safety

Transforming the Healthcare Delivery of Tomorrow, Today. 

The Center for Quality and Safety (CQS) transforms care delivery at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago - from the family's first phone call to our institution to every interaction across the care cycle. We utilize improvement science and apply the right skill sets, at the right time, to solve the right problems.  

We are committed to becoming a high reliability organization (HRO). As we continuously promote a culture of safety for our patients and employees, we are guided by our six quality principles adapted from the 2001 Institute of Medicine’s Crossing the Quality Chasm report’s aims for improvement. We partner with leaders, divisions, and departments to strengthen our culture of safety and improvement. 

Our six quality principles aim to provide: 

  1. A Safe health care setting and avoid injuries to patients and staff from the care that is intended to help them. 
  2. Effective services based on scientific knowledge to all who could benefit and refrain from providing services to those not likely to benefit (avoiding underuse and overuse, respectively). 
  3. Patient and family-centered care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient and family preferences, needs, and values. 
  4. Timely care by reducing waits and delays for both those who receive and those who give care. 
  5. Efficient care and avoid waste, including waste of equipment, supplies, ideas, time, and energy.
  6. Equitable care to all patients we serve. 

Meet Our CQS Leadership Team

Marcelo Malakooti, MD, MBA, CPE, FAAP

Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Hospital Operations and Medical Innovation; Medical Director of Lefkofsky Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU); Crown Family Professorship in Pediatrics
Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Critical Care), Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Abbey Studer, MBA, CNMT, CPPS

Senior Director, Quality and Safety


Rebecca Stephen, MD

Medical Director, Center for Quality and Safety; Attending Physician, Hospital-Based Medicine; Quality Education Faculty, Telemedicine
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Hospital-Based Medicine), Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Hannah Alkema, BBA

Director, Improvement Science

Julia Martorana, MS, RN, CPN, CPPS

Manager, Improvement Consulting

Michael Natarus, DPT, MBA, PCS

Manager, Improvement Consulting

Naomi Sullivan, MEd, MS, MBA, RN

Manager, Improvement Consulting

Lauren Weisert, PMP, MSW, LCSW

Senior Portfolio Manager

Kristen Williams, MBA, CPC

Manager, Improvement Consulting

CQS - Job Openings

View open CQS improvement consultant roles. 

Publications & Presentations from CQS Staff & Faculty

Balbale SN, Schäfer WLA, Davis TL, Blake SC, Close S, Sullivan GA, Reiter AJ, Hu AJ, Smith CJ, Wilberding MJ, Johnson JK, Holl JL, Raval MV. A mixed-method approach to generate and deliver rapid-cycle evaluation feedback: lessons learned from a multicenter implementation trial in pediatric surgery. Implement Sci Commun. 2023 Jul 18;4(1):82. [PubMed]  

Chaudhury AS, Hu A, Mathur R, McMahon M, Ingram MC, Studer A, Goldstein SD, Raval MV. Novel Quality Improvement Targets to Address Healthcare Encounters After Pediatric Appendectomy. J Surg Res. 2022 Nov;279:511-517. [PubMed 

Cheon EC, Ballard HA, Burjek NE, Phillips M, Robles A, Raval MV.  Identifying a Pediatric Cohort to Prospectively Evaluate Ventilation Strategies to Mitigate Postoperative Pulmonary Complications. Paediatr Anaesth. 2022 Dec;32(12):1368-1369. [PubMed]  

Close S, Blake SC, Davis TT, Balbale SN, Perry JE, Weingard R, Ingram MC, Schäfer W, Strople J, Raval MV. Implementation of Enhanced Recovery Protocols for Gastrointestinal Surgery in Children: Practical Tools From Key Stakeholders. J Surg Res. 2023 Apr;284:204-212. [PubMed]  

Davis TL, Schäfer WLA, Blake SC, Close S, Balbale SN, Perry JE, Zarate RP, Ingram M, Strople J, Johnson JK, Holl JL, Raval MV.  A qualitative examination of barriers and facilitators of pediatric enhanced recovery protocol implementation among 18 pediatric surgery services. Implement Sci Commun. 2022 Aug 18;3(1):91. [PubMed]  

Hegde B, Garcia E, Hu A, Raval MV, et al. Management of pediatric appendicitis during the COVID-19 pandemic: A nationwide multicenter cohort study. J Pediatr Surg. 2022 Aug 13:S0022-3468(22)00512-7. Online ahead of print. [PubMed]  

Heneghan JA, Raval MV, Ramgopal S.  Neighborhood opportunity and pediatric trauma. J Pediatr Surg. 2023 Jan;58(1):182-184.  [PubMed] 

Hu A, et al, Raval MV.  Association between COVID-19 related elective surgery cancellations and pediatric inguinal hernia complications: A nationwide multicenter cohort study. Surgery. 2022 Sep;172(3):989-996. [PubMed]  

Ingram MC, Becker S, Olson SL, Tsai S, Sarkar A, Rothstein DH, Skarsgard ED, Raval MV. Disparities in surgical health service delivery and outcomes for indigenous children. J Pediatr Surg. 2023 Mar;58(3):375-383. [PubMed]  

Lewit RA, Harmon CM, Ricca R, Rich BS, Raval MV, Weatherall YZ.  Bariatric surgery practice patterns among pediatric surgeons in the United States.  J Pediatr Surg. 2022 Dec;57(12):887-891. PMID: [PubMed]  

Mann EA, Rompicherla S, Gallagher MP, Alonso GT, Fogel NR, Simmons J, Wood JR, Wong JC, Noor N, Gomez P, Daniels M, Ebekozien O.  Comorbidities increase COVID-19 hospitalization in young people with type 1 diabetes. Pediatric Diabetes 2022;1-8. DOI:10.1111/pedi.13402  

McCarthy IM, Raval MV. Price spillovers and specialization in health care: The case of children's hospitals. Health Econ. 2023 Jul 8. Online ahead of print. [PubMed]  

McMullin JL, Hu QL, Merkow RP, Bilimoria KY, Hu YY, Ko CY, Abdullah F, Raval MV.  Are Kids More Than Just Little Adults? A Comparison of Surgical Outcomes. J Surg Res. 2022 Nov;279:586-591. [PubMed]  

Mehl SC, Portuondo JI, Tian Y, Raval MV, Shah SR, Vogel AM, Wesson D, Massarweh NN.  Hospital Variation in Mortality after Inpatient Pediatric Surgery.  Ann Surg. 2022 Oct 19. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000005729. Online ahead of print. [PubMed]  

Naureckas Li C, Bonebrake A, Schroeder S, Lam SK, Raskin JS. Challenges in defining surgical-site infections following hydrocephalus surgeries. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2023 Jun; 1-3.  

Naureckas Li C, Heald-Sargent T, Mithal LB. Understanding the State of Quality Improvement Education for Pediatric Infectious Diseases Trainees. J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2023 Apr; 12(4): 252-253.  

Naureckas Li C, Parzen-Johnson S, Jhaveri R. Biliary Complications of Prolonged Ceftriaxone Use in Patients With Intracranial Infections. J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2023 Jun; 12(6): 379-380.  

Ott KC, McMahon MA, Vacek JC, Zeineddin S, Hu YY, Raval MV, Goldstein SD.  The costs and benefits of emergent surgical workflow for acute appendicitis in children. J Pediatr Surg. 2022 Dec;57(12):896-901. [PubMed]  

Ott KC, Vacek JC, McMahon MA, Moeckel CM, Hu YY, Raval MV, Goldstein SD.  Expedited Surgical Care of Appendicitis is Associated With Improved Resource Utilization.  J Surg Res. 2023 Feb;282:93-100. [PubMed]  

Portuondo JI, Mehl SC, Shah SR, Raval MV, Zhu H, Fallon SC, Wesson DE, Massarweh NN.  Association between index complication and outcomes after inpatient pediatric surgery.  J Pediatr Surg. 2022 Sep;57(9):1-8. [PubMed] 

Raval MV, Brockel MA, Kolaček S, Simpson KE, Spoede E, Starr KNP, Wulf KL.  Key Strategies for Optimizing Pediatric Perioperative Nutrition-Insight from a Multidisciplinary Expert Panel. Nutrients. 2023 Mar 3;15(5):1270. [PubMed]  

Reiter AJ, Hu A, Sullivan GA, Stein E, Samis JH, Josefson JL, Rastatter JC, Raval MV.  Short-Term Complications After Total Thyroidectomy in Children. J Surg Res. 2023 Mar;283:758-763. [PubMed]  

Reiter AJ, Ingram ME, Raval MV, Garcia E, Hill M, Aranda A, Chandler NM, Gonzalez R, Born K, Mack S, Lamoshi A, Lipskar AM, Han XY, Fialkowski E, Spencer B, Kulaylat AN, Barde A, Shah AN, Adoumie M, Gross E, Mehl SC, Lopez ME, Polcz V, Mustafa MM, Gander JW, Sullivan TM, Sulkowski JP, Ghani O, Huang EY, Rothstein D, Muenks EP, St Peter SD, Fisher JC, Levy-Lambert D, Reichl A, Ignacio RC, Slater BJ, Tsao K, Berman L.  Postoperative respiratory complications in SARS-CoV-2 positive pediatric patients across 20 United States hospitals: A Cohort Study.  J Pediatr Surg. 2022. Online ahead of print. [PubMed]  

Reiter AJ, Sullivan GA, Hu A, Tian Y, Ingram ME, Balbale SN, Johnson JK, Schäfer W, Holl JL, Raval MV.  Pediatric Patient and Caregiver Agreement on Perioperative Expectations and Self-Reported Outcomes. J Surg Res. 2023 Feb;282:47-52.  [PubMed]  

Roberts B, Cooke-Barber J, Ingram MC, Danko M, Trudeau M, Glick RD, Short SS, Robertson DJ, Raval MV, Dasgupta R, Rich BS; American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Surgery Delivery of Surgical Care Committee.  Disparities in care of pediatric, adolescent, and young adult patients with solid tumors: A systematic review. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2023 Apr 17:e30355. Online ahead of print. [PubMed]   

Schafer, M, Paul, R, Gruhler De Souza H, Ruggs, R, Richardson, T, Conlon P, Duffy S, Foster L, Gunderson, J, Hahn D, Hall D, Hatcher L, Hess L, Kirkpatrick L, Kunar J, Lockwood J, Lowerre T, McFadden V, Raghavan A, Rizzi J, Stephen RJ, Stokes S, Workman J, Kandil S.  Characteristics and Outcomes of Sepsis in Pediatric General Care Setting. Hosp Pediatr (2022) 12 (12): 1048-1059.  

Skarda DE, Danko ME, Glick RD, Guner YS, Le HD, Rich BS, Robertson DJ, Short SS, Weiss RG, Van Arendonk KJ, Raval MV. Dollars and Sense: The Business of Pediatric Surgery. J Surg Res. 2023 Jan 25;285:220-228. Online ahead of print. [PubMed]  

Stein E, Raval MV, Hazkani I, Reiter A, Josefson JL, Samis JH, Rastatter JC.  The 2015 American Thyroid Association guidelines and trends in hemithyroidectomy utilization for pediatric thyroid cancer. Head Neck. 2022 Aug;44(8):1833-1841. [PubMed]  

Stephen RJ, Lucey K, Carroll MS, Hoge J, Maciorowski K, Jones RC, O'Connell M, Schwab C, Rojas J, Sanchez Pinto LN. Sepsis Prediction in Hospitalized Children: Clinical Decision Support Design and Deployment. Hosp Pediatr. 2023 Aug 21:e2023007218. Epub ahead of print.  

Stephen RJ, Carroll MS, Hoge J, Maciorowski K, Jones RC, Lucey K, O'Connell M, Schwab C, Rojas J, Sanchez-Pinto LN. Sepsis Prediction in Hospitalized Children: Model Development and Validation. Hosp Pediatr. 2023 Aug 21:e2022006964.  Epub ahead of print. 

Studer A, Fleming B, Jones RC, Rosenblatt A, Sohn L, Ivey M, Reynolds M, Falciglia GH. Reducing Intraoperative Hypothermia in Infants from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Pediatr Qual Saf. 2023 Jul 10;8(4):e655. doi: 10.1097/pq9.0000000000000665. PMID: 37434591; PMCID: PMC10332830. 

Sullivan GA, Huang LW, Schäfer WLA, Tian Y, Reiter AJ, Essner B, Hu A, Ingram MC, Balbale S, Johnson JK, Holl JL, Raval MV. Association of Multimodal Pain Control with Patient-Reported Outcomes in Children Undergoing Surgery.  J Pediatr Surg. 2023 Feb 18:S0022-3468(23)00149-5. Online ahead of print. [PubMed]  

Sullivan GA, Petit HJ, Reiter AJ, Westrick JC, Hu A, Dunn JB, Gulack BC, Shah AN, Dsida R, Raval MV.  Environmental Impact and Cost Savings of Operating Room Quality Improvement Initiatives: A Scoping Review.  J Am Coll Surg. 2023 Feb 1;236(2):411-423.  [PubMed]  

Sullivan GA, Reddy S, Reiter AJ, Zeineddin S, Visenio M, Hu A, Mackersie R, Kabre R, Raval MV, Stey AM. Does Trauma Center Volume Account for the Association between Trauma Center Verification Level and In-hospital Mortality Among Children Injured by Firearms in California? J Am Coll Surg. 2023 Aug 15. Online ahead of print. [PubMed  

Sullivan GA, Reiter AJ, Hu A, Smith C, Storton K, Gulack BC, Shah AN, Dsida R, Raval MV. Operating Room Recycling: Opportunities to Reduce Carbon Emissions Without Increases in Cost. J Pediatr Surg. 2023 Apr 23:S0022-3468(23)00253-1. Online ahead of print. [PubMed]  

Sullivan GA, Reiter AJ, Smith C, Glick RD, Skarda DE, Le HD, Gow KW, Rich BS, Raval MV, American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Surgery Delivery of Surgical Care Committee. Pediatric Surgeon Perceptions on Operating Room Environmental Stewardship and Current Institutional Climate-Smart Actions. J Pediatr Surg. 2023 Jun 27:S0022-3468(23)00396-2. Online ahead of print. [PubMed]  

Sullivan GA, Sincavage J, Reiter AJ, Hu AJ, Rangel M, Smith CJ, Ritz EM, Shah AN, Gulack BC, Raval MV. Disparities in Utilization of Same-Day Discharge Following Appendectomy in Children. J Surg Res. 2023 Mar 17;288:1-9. Online ahead of print. [PubMed]   

Tian Y, Allen LD, Ingram ME, Raval MV. Disparities in Delivery of Ambulatory Surgical Care for Children. JAMA Netw Open. 2023 Jun 1;6(6):e2317018. [PubMed]  

Zeineddin S, Hu A, Linton S, Zhang V, De Boer C, Raval MV, Abdullah F, Goldstein SD. Association between appendiceal stump closure method and post-operative bowel obstruction after laparoscopic appendectomy. J Pediatr Surg. 2023 Apr;58(4):643-647. [PubMed]  

Zeineddin S, Pitt JB, Linton S, De Boer C, Hu A, Carter M, Alayleh A, Abdullah F, Raval MV, Goldstein SD. Postoperative Antibiotics for Complicated Appendicitis in Children: Piperacillin/Tazobactam versus Ceftriaxone with Metronidazole. J Pediatr Surg. 2023 Feb 17:S0022-3468(23)00148-3. Online ahead of print. [PubMed]