Former SOM docent elected to performance improvement committee leadership post

Richard Hellman, M.D.

Former UMKC School of Medicine Docent Richard Hellman, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.E., a clinical professor of internal medicine and one of the leading experts on patient safety and quality, has been elected as vice-chair of the Executive Committee of the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement (PCPI), the country’s top physician-led measurement organization for quality and patient safety.

The PCPI develops evidence-based performance measures for national accountability and quality improvement programs. It has spurred the science of performance measurement by developing and maintaining most of the performance measure sets used by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for quality measurement of physician performance. The National Quality Forum and insurance companies use these sets extensively for quality improvement and accountability.

The Board of Trustees of the American Medical Association, the convener of the consortium, the Council of Medical Subspecialties, and the 190 members of the PCPI confirmed Hellman’s election as vice-chair.

“It is a great honor to be a part of the leadership of the PCPI,” Hellman said. “But we also have a great responsibility to help develop the best measurement methods in order to improve the care of patients so we all can be sure the care we give is timely, effective, efficient, equitable, patient-centered and safe.”

Hellman joined the School of Medicine faculty in 1972 and served as a docent from 1972 through 1981. He then entered private practice to design and direct the first adult diabetes care program in Kansas City, while serving as a clinical associate professor at the School of Medicine. He recently received an award for teaching from the inaugural class of the UMKC School of Medicine.

He has been a leader in medicine both in his community and nationally as president of the Metropolitan Medical Society of Greater Kansas City and as president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. In 2009 he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Chicago Medical School Alumni Association.

His volunteer work has had a global reach in diabetes, patient and drug safety, and behavioral medicine in diabetes. Locally, he was instrumental in the development of the Westport Free Health Clinic, the forerunner of today’s Kansas City Free Health Clinic. He served as a member of the Kansas City, Mo., Health Commission and the Community Advisory Committee, the oversight committee of the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

Hellman has been invited to speak at many national and international meetings of professional societies, most recently as the “Chief Guest” at the 39th Annual Meeting of the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India, in November 2011.

Hellman earned his medical degree from the Chicago Medical School and became a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. He completed his internal medicine internship, residency, and fellowship in endocrinology at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan. He is Board-Certified in Internal Medicine, as well as Endocrinology and Metabolism, and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.

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