Without quality improvement we don’t have a solution to the problem, without implementation nothing happens. This was the argument a friend made seven years ago when she introduced me to Herbert Peterson. The point she made was clear: quality sciences and implementation sciences were two sides of the same coin. The quality sciences were focused on solving important problems, the implementation sciences were focused on getting the solutions implemented at scale.
Bert was head of the Maternal and Child Health Department at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and Director of the World Health Organization Coordinating Center in Family and Reproductive Health. I had been working in quality management for over forty years. His department was a world leader in implementation sciences and the WHO had asked him to focus on what became Strategic Development Goal 3, reduction of maternal and child deaths by 50% by 2030.
Dr. A. Blanton Godfrey is the Joseph D. Moore Distinguished University Professor in North Carolina State University’s Wilson College of Textiles. From July 2000 to June 2014 he also served as Dean of the College. Dr. Godfrey received an MS and PhD in Statistics from Florida State University and a BS in Physics from Virginia Tech.
Before becoming Dean at NC State University, Blanton was Chairman and CEO of Juran Institute, Inc. from 1987 to July 2000. It was during this time that he had the great fortune to meet Dr. Lennart Sandholm and work together with numerous clients in Europe, the U.S. and Asia. From 1973 to 1987 he was a Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories and Head of the Quality Theory & Technology Department. He also was an Adjunct Professor in the Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Department, Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, at Columbia University where he taught courses in advanced quality methods and management of quality in the graduate school for nineteen years. He also taught parts of summer session classes at Harvard University in clinical quality for four years as a visiting lecturer.
In addition to many years working in industry as a quality professional and consultant, Blanton has been intensely involved in health care quality since 1987 when he co-founded with Dr. Donald M. Berwick the National Demonstration Project for Quality Improvement in Health Care. This project led to the creation of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. He served on the Board of Directors for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement for eleven years and was Chair of the board from 2009 to 2012.
Dr. Godfrey is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association; the American Society for Quality; the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce; and the World Academy of Productivity Sciences. He is also an elected member of Sigma Xi and the New York Academy of Sciences, and an Academician of the International Academy for Quality. He has received numerous awards including the ASQ Edwards Medal for his outstanding contributions to the science and practice of quality management; the C. Jackson Grayson Distinguished Quality Pioneer Medal in recognition for innovation in the promotion of quality for all mankind and for “his leadership in blending quality and innovation in product development, strategy and higher education;” and ASQ’s Distinguished Service Medal. He was also named a Florida State University’s College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Graduate and a member of Virginia Tech’s College of Science Hall of Distinction. Last year Blanton was made an Honorary Member of ASQ, its highest award. He currently serves as Chair-Elect of ASQ’s Board of Directors.
This talk focuses on impact. How can the combination of implementation and quality sciences actually help the 193 countries who have endorsed Strategic Development Goal 3 actually achieve the goals of improving maternal and child health?