Stephanie Mercado, CAE, CPHQ
Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director – National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ)
Stephanie Mercado, chief executive officer/executive director of the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ), brings over 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry to her lead role at NAHQ. Over the past eight years, she has introduced innovations and methodologies to research and define standardized competencies for the healthcare quality profession. This has resulted in advancement of quality professionals and increased visibility of the value of the quality workforce within healthcare.
Under Mercado’s leadership, the Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality® (CPHQ) certification has doubled from approximately 7,000 CPHQs to more than 14,000. Over the same time period, NAHQ membership has grown from about 4,500 members to more than 8,000. She also orchestrated the development of the first and only database in the world that articulates the work of those working in healthcare quality.
In addition, Mercado speaks nationally about strategies to drive quality and performance improvement in healthcare and improve healthcare outcomes.
She is an innovative thought-leader and influencer who contributes insights across the industry and currently participates on:
- The Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s National Steering Committee for Patient Safety
- The Association Forum Healthcare Collaborative steering committee
- The Commission on Accreditation for Healthcare Management Education as a board member
- The Patient Safety Movement Foundation as an advisory member
- Patients for Patient Safety US (United States) as an organizational partner working to achieve the World Health Organization Global Patient Safety Action Plan’s strategic objective of health worker education, skills, and safety.
Prior to joining NAHQ, Mercado served in executive positions with the American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and the American Orthopaedic Association. Throughout her career, she has been focused on advancing competencies and skills in practical and actionable application within various professions. Stephanie holds the CPHQ credential and is a Certified Association Executive (CAE).