Leadership drove award-winning innovations improving care for western Colorado through collaboration
Quality Health Network (QHN) announced today that long-time Executive Director and CEO, Dick Thompson, is stepping down from his role. Thompson has led the organization for more than 17 years and was at the helm when Quality Health Network launched one of the nation’s first and most successful Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) in 2004.
“Dick’s contributions to QHN, our community, and the health information exchange landscape across the nation are innumerable. He’s a true innovator, collaborator, and advocate for improving quality and access to healthcare for all,” says Greg Reicks, DO, QHN Board Chair.
QHN helps medical, behavioral, and human service providers in western Colorado securely share health data that enhances care coordination, reduces duplication of services, and identifies individuals at risk so efforts can be focused where they are needed most.
Thompson joined QHN in early 2005. Under his leadership, the organization has achieved many significant milestones. Thompson was able to get the HIE off the ground in less than 8 months and attained positive cash flow within two years. The significant progress made by QHN has been highlighted in publications across the nation and used as a model for numerous start-up HIEs. Today, 100-percent of hospitals and more than 90-percent of healthcare providers in the service area participate in the network.
“Dick has helped build and guide this organization from the ground up. There was no playbook, there was no model before us; it was a community health vision founded by numerous organizations and flawlessly developed and grown with Dick at the helm. We definitely have big shoes to fill,” says Mike Stahl, QHN board member.
As QHN’s healthcare information exchange grew in popularity across western Colorado, Thompson and the QHN team began work on an adjunct community information exchange (CIE) that would elevate and take into consideration not only a person’s medical needs but also a person’s social determinants of health (SDoH) needs. In 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, the CIE was realized with the launch of Community Resource Network (CRN), connecting medical care providers, behavioral health providers, and social service organizations. CRN quickly became recognized across the nation and was the silver medal winner of more than 114 entries in the 2019 Robert Wood Johnson SDoH Innovation award.
“It has been an honor to serve as Executive Director and CEO of QHN during this time of incredible growth and accomplishment. I am still in awe of the fact that I got to play a part in one of the most innovative and collaborative health communities in our nation. It has been incredibly fun and rewarding. When we dream in western Colorado, our dreams become reality through hard work, motivation, collaboration, and determination. We have accomplished so much, and I’m extremely grateful to have been able to work with this team and our network partners, communities, colleagues, stakeholders, and the Board of Directors. I look forward to watching QHN continue to grow and innovate,” says Thompson.
Thompson’s last day at QHN will be April 1, 2022. A search committee has been formed to find his successor. If you or someone you know might be interested in applying for the CEO position, please follow this link: https://qualityhealthnetwork.org/ceo-search/