2019 All 4 States Staff

As you may know, the Great Plains Quality Innovation Network is part of the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) program, funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). At this time, CMS is working to identify priority areas for the QIO program going forward. Therefore, we are entering a transition period.

We will continue to work as the Quality Innovation Network – Quality Improvement Organization in a limited capacity during the transition period. We anticipate the next contract cycle to begin late Summer/early Fall. We will have a team of quality improvement members available to assist during this interim. We are currently in the process of identifying education and resources that will assist the healthcare provider community in preparation. We hope to communicate more on specific offerings in the coming weeks.

As we look forward to new challenges and opportunities, we reflect on the successes and improvements made over the past five years. We look forward to sharing our team members’ responses to questions related to our work, partnerships and contributions over the next few weeks:

As you look back on the past five years, what has brought you the most joy/satisfaction in the work you do?

Jennifer Geisert“As I look back over the last 5 years the most satisfying work was getting to meet and work with the EMS personnel, especially our rural EMS volunteers.  These are the farmers, ranchers, bankers and teachers that drop everything to answer a call.  They were so eager to learn about Sepsis and welcomed us into their communities.  The volunteers sacrifice their own lives for their neighbors and communities and never think twice about it. It truly was an honor to work with them.” – Jennifer Geisert, RN, BSN

Krystal Hays“What has brought me the most joy is watching how the work improves the quality of life for Medicare beneficiaries not only locally, but has spread within the state, region and across the nation. One example is in sepsis care where the awareness of sepsis has resulted in local and statewide EMS sepsis protocols where there previously was a gap. Also, a rural Nebraska nursing home’s work on person-directed natural awakening has resulted not only in improved quality of life of their nursing home residents, but also residents across the state, region and nation as they share the story of their success and how others can operationalize natural awakening through webinars and presenting at conferences. We are in a unique position to provide a venue for these success stories to be shared to highlight great work that can be replicated on a national platform.” – Krystal Hays, DNP, RN, CADDCT, RAC-CT

“For me, leading the DEEP workshops and getting to know the participants. We gather as strangers and leave as friends after our six weeks together. Can’t ask for better satisfaction in your work than that!” – Dee Kaser, RN, CDE



johnathan reeves“Having the freedom to create tools and resources based on perceived deficits based on regulatory needs.Traveling to nursing homes in rural communities because they appreciate the fact that you will drive a great distance to provide education to them. Especially when they can’t afford to send staff to off-site trainings.” – Johnathan Reeves, BA, CPHQ

NancyMcDonald“I think the biggest contributor to our overall success is the willingness of those we recruit to work with us, identify those best practices and implement those changes that sometimes aren’t very easy to implement. Their dedication, commitment and follow through is KEY to the successes that we see in the Great Plains. THANK YOU to those that SHOW UP, Participate and Contribute to the better safety and well-being of the patients we serve.  – Nancy McDonald, BSN, RN, CPHQ.

“The most joyful things that I’ve done over the past five years have been the things that connect me to partners Amandaand the community. It is so rewarding to be part of a community group that brings providers from all types of care facilities to the table to work towards a common goal, or an opioid coalition that helps the community better understand the nuances of addiction and holds community drug disposal events. It is extremely rewarding to be a part of partnerships that take statewide actions and work to combine multiple funding streams into amazing educational events. I love working with people to make healthcare systems and outcomes better!” – Amanda Bridges

We recently published a Q&A Session with CMS Program Leaders as they reflected on the progress made and the evolution they see ahead—for the QIO Program. Read more.

We thank you for your partnership, your commitment to quality and your continued efforts to improve care. Also, we thank you for your patience and support as we navigate through this transition period. We will continue to share news, updates and resources in the coming weeks. If you have questions or anything we can assist with in the interim, please contact a member of our team.