UPMC executive named Alumni Award of Distinction honoree

Tamra Minnier
Tamra Minnier

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Alumni Association will honor Tamra Minnier, chief quality officer at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, as the recipient of the Alumni Award of Distinction.

            The award will be presented during commencement exercises by Dr. Livingston Alexander, university president, and Chris Luke, PBAA president and senior vice president and director of marketing at PNC Investments.

            “Tamra Minner is an excellent choice for this award,” Alexander said. “She exemplifies those outstanding qualities and attributes that distinguish Pitt-Bradford alumni from alumni of other institutions. Her commitment to maintaining the highest levels of quality in health care is certainly one of the reasons she has advanced so rapidly in the UPMC system.”

Minnier was a member of Pitt-Bradford’s first nursing class, graduating with her Associate of Science in Nursing degree in 1981. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing degrees from the University of Pittsburgh’s Pittsburgh campus.

            Since 2008, she has been the chief quality officer for UPMC, overseeing quality and safety initiatives at the integrated system’s more than 20 hospitals, 400 physician offices and outpatient sites and a health plan with more than 1.8 million members.

            She has implemented and expanded upon quality improvements she first piloted as vice president of patient care services at the UPMC Shadyside campus.

Those included establishing an in-hospital hotline for patients or their families who felt that the patient was not getting the correct or adequate care at the time. According to a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the hospital reported that in its first year, 69 percent of these “Condition Help” calls “may have prevented events that may have resulted in a patient incident.”

Before working for UPMC Shadyside, Minnier was a nurse and later assistant vice president of administration at Bradford Hospital from 1985 to 1990.

A frequent speaker at national health care quality conferences, she has studied the Toyota production system and lean manufacturing – business improvement processes that are applicable to health care.

Minnier recently was recognized for her distinguished contributions to health care quality by being invited to join the editorial board of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Health Care Innovations Exchange, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which seeks to foster broader and more rapid dissemination of health care delivery innovations.

She was also appointed to the board of Joint Commission Resources, which sets quality and safety standards for hospitals and other health care organizations abroad. JCR is a not-for-profit affiliate of the Joint Commission, the independent organization that accredits U.S. hospitals.

Minnier also devotes time to community service by serving on the Beckwith Institute for Innovation in Patient Care Board of Directors, the Advisory Council of the Women and Girls Foundation, the Bidwell Advisory Board of Directors, the Board of Directors of YouthPlaces and the Oncology Nursing Society Advisory Board.

Candidates for the alumni Award of Distinction must have attended Pitt-Bradford, but may have moved on to graduate from other institutions. Candidates are evaluated based on their level of professional achievement and service to the community. Nominations can be submitted by any member of the Pitt-Bradford community, including alumni, faculty, staff, administration, students and advisory board members.

Previous honorees have been Dr. Jill Owens ’93 and Dr. Lee Colosimo ’65-’67.

For more information on the Alumni Award of Distinction, visit www.upb.pitt.edu/alumni.aspx.