You will soon see some new faces on the Great Plains Quality Innovation Network (GPQIN) team. Natasha Green, MBA, BSN, and Lisa Thorp, BSN, CDCES have joined the Great Plains Quality Care Coalition team to provide expertise and support to coalition members. Employed by Quality Health Association of North Dakota (QHA), a subcontractor for the Great Plains Quality Innovation Network (QIN), both have been actively engaged in current and previous quality improvement initiatives and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid contract work.

Natasha GreenGreen joined QHA in 2016 and has over 10 years of healthcare experience working in a variety of settings, including the hospital, emergency department, nursing facility and performance improvement. She has a passion for improving the health of Native Americans and Alaskan Natives. Currently, she serves as the Great Plains Partnership to Advance Tribal Health Regional Lead. In this role, she assists the North Dakota and South Dakota Indian Health Service hospitals with leadership and staff development, quality and safety improvement, data analytics and CMS certification and accreditation.

Green received her BSN and Masters in Business Administration from Grand Canyon University. Prior to her work with Great Plains QIN, Green worked for Sanford Health as a Quality Improvement Advisor.

“I am looking forward to continuing the excellent collaboration with our partners and to see how our support can help the stakeholders and communities we work in flourish,” Green added.

Thorp has been a registered nurse for over 25 years, with experience in a critical access hospital in which she was cross trained to work in several departments. She was a clinic nursing supervisor for a rural health clinic for several years. While in this position, she developed a passion for diabetes education and later earned a CDCES credential. Thorp also holds a BA in Business Administration and a BS in nursing. 

Thorp has a desire to grow a network of resources for diabetes educators and foster mentorship. She would ultimately like to see growth in the number of certified diabetes care and education specialists to bring much-needed diabetes education to the rural areas of the region.

“I am really looking forward to doing whatever I can to improve health and healthcare for the community members in our region. I feel like I have a special talent to consider care from a patient’s perspective, so I can help individuals better understand their healthcare options. I recognize that many people are very dependent of health care staff to provide the ‘right’ care, but it is impactful to have the patient engaged in their own care and to be involved in decision-making,” added Thorp.

“We welcome Natasha and Lisa to our team. They are both extremely talented, hard-working, integrated into their communities and passionate about the work we do. They also have demonstrated a commitment to improving care for all individuals in our region, especially those most vulnerable. Their diverse skill sets and experiences will be a complement to our team and we look forward to working with them,” stated Keri McDermott; Great Plains QIN Communications Director.

This change comes as a result of current GPQIN Quality Improvement Advisor, Jayme Steig, PharmD, RPh, pursuing a career dream. Steig will be joining the North Dakota State University faculty in the pharmacy program. In this new role, Steig will be helping develop clinical programs that can be spread to other pharmacies throughout the state.

Krystal Hays“We wish Jayme the best and thank him for the many contributions he has made to Great Plains QIN and the healthcare community at large. He has been an incredible asset and we have been fortunate to work alongside him. We will continue to partner with Jayme, along with the entire NDSU team, as we align goals and work to improve care throughout the state and region,” added Krystal Hays, DNP, RN, RAC-CT; GPQIN Regional Project Manager.