Amy Wilson-Stronks, MPP, CPHQ, Principal and Founder, has more than twenty years’ experience working in healthcare as a quality improvement professional, researcher, and policy analyst advocating for improvements in patient safety and advances in equitable care for vulnerable populations. Amy is an experienced researcher, consultant, strategist, and trainer. She excels at helping her clients understand their opportunities by creating effective channels of communication and information-sharing and designing effective interventions and methods for ongoing improvements. She has a national reputation as a skilled and passionate expert dedicated to improving the delivery of healthcare.

Amy is a sought after advisor working with organizations to help advance health equity and patient-centered care including the Association of Professional Chaplains’ Quality Commission, the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters, and the Human Rights Campaign’s Healthcare Equality Index Advisory Panel. She is on the Board of GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality, formerly the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (www.GLMA.org) and the National Council on Interpreting in Healthcare (www.ncihc.org). She also serves on The Advisory Board of PULSE NY (www.pulseofny.org), a grass roots patient advocacy organization dedicated to arming patients and families with tools and resources for positive health outcomes.

During her 12-year tenure at The Joint Commission, she researched, developed, tested, and implemented healthcare accreditation standards for hospitals, behavioral healthcare, long-term care, and ambulatory care programs. Her research and development work includes infection control, restraint and seclusion, patient and family rights and responsibilities, patient-provider communication, cultural competence and diversity, language access, and patient-and-family-centered care. Securing more than one million dollars in grants, she served as the principal investigator of several pivotal studies including The Hospitals, Language, and Culture: A Snapshot of the Nation (HLC) study. This was the first large-scale qualitative study to investigate how hospitals address the cultural and linguistic needs of diverse patient populations. Amy’s leadership resulted in the adoption of the 2011 Joint Commission patient-centered communication accreditation standards for hospitals including standards specifically those related to language access, 24-hour support access, and non-discrimination. Prior to leaving the Joint Commission, she secured a grant to engage experts on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender health and healthcare, Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient- and Family-Centered Care for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Community: A Field Guide. She served as the Principal Investigator prior to leaving The Joint Commission, continuing as Project Advisor for the duration of the project.

Amy has developed training programs on cultural competence, patient-provider communication, and language access including a video produced in collaboration with the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She currently is leading the development of the GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality Quality Healthcare for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People, Webinar Series. Her publications include: Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient-and Family-centered Care: A Roadmap for Hospitals, published in 2010; One Size Does Not Fit All: Meeting the Health Care Needs of Diverse Populations, published in the spring of 2008; Exploring Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in the Nation’s Hospitals: A Report of Findings, spring 2007; and several journal articles.

Amy received the ALS Association Greater Chicago Chapter’s 2008 Martha Kucharski Founders Award for her efforts to improve care and services for people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (“Lou Gehrig’s Disease”). Committed to improving the patient experience, in 2010 she was presented with a Certificate of Award by The Joint Commission “in recognition for her service to The Joint Commission and for outstanding achievement in the field of culturally and linguistically appropriate patient-centered care and health care disparities.” Her efforts are more than professional; in 2004 she lost her mother to ALS and three months later her father was admitted to the ICU with what was found to be an adverse drug reaction. During the time she served as her father’s health care proxy, she witnessed first-hand the challenges patients face trying to navigate the healthcare system under stressful circumstances. Her greatest success was helping to implement standards that require hospitals to allow patients’ access to a support person 24/7, an accomplishment she attributes to the memory of her father.

Amy earned a Master of Public Policy Degree and a Certificate in Health Administration and Policy from the University of Chicago. She is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ). Amy can be contacted at amy@wilson-stronks.com

Publications

A Wilson-Stronks. A Call to Action for Healthcare Professionals to Advance Health Equity for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community. Human Rights Campaign Foundation, June 2011. http://www.diversityrx.org/resources/call-action-healthcare-professionals-advance-health-equity-lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transg

L Diamond, A Wilson-Stronks and E Jacobs. Do Hospitals Measure Up to the Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services Standards? Medical Care, December 2010.

A Wilson-Stronks and S Mutha. From the Perspective of CEOs: What Motivates Hospitals to Embrace Cultural Competence? Journal of Healthcare Management, September 2010. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21077583

The Joint Commission. Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient- and Family-Centered Care: A Roadmap for Hospitals. Co-principal Investigator and author. The Joint Commission, 2010. http://www.jointcommission.org/assets/1/6/aroadmapforhospitalsfinalversion727.pdf

L Patak, A Wilson-Stronks, J Costello, R Kleinpell, C Person, EA Henneman and MB Happ. Improving Patient-Provider Communication: A Call to Action. Journal of Nursing Administration, September 2009.

A Wilson-Stronks. Advancing Effective Communication, Competence, and Patient-Centered Care. Augmentative Communication News. August, 2009.

R Kleinpell, L Patak, A Wilson-Stronks, J Costello, C Person, E Henneman, M Happ. Communication in the ICU. Advance for Nurses Greater Chicago/Wisconsin/Indiana. December 8, 2008.

A Wilson-Stronks. The Role of Nursing in Meeting the Healthcare Needs of Diverse Populations. Journal of Nursing Care Quality. October – December 2008.

A Wilson-Stronks. Meeting Diverse Needs. Asian Hospital and Healthcare Management. Issue 15, pp 50-51; 2008. www.asianhhm.com

A Wilson-Stronks, KK Lee, CL Cordero, A Kopp, and E Galvez. One Size Does Not Fit All: Meeting the Health Care Needs of Diverse Populations. April 2008. The Joint Commission.

A Wilson-Stronks and E. Galvez. Hospitals, Language, and Culture: A Snapshot of the Nation, Exploring Cultural and Linguistic Services in the Nation’s Hospitals: A Report of Findings. March 2007. The Joint Commission.