The Joint Commission has established The President’s Fellowship for Healthcare Quality and Safety, a fellowship program for a highly qualified healthcare professional to collaborate with The Joint Commission to advance healthcare outcomes globally.

The honor is reserved for a distinguished professional ascending in a career dedicated to advancing healthcare performance. Fellows will immediately contribute their specific expertise to positively impact The Joint Commission’s vision that all patients, in all settings, receive the best care.

The new fellowship, which reports directly to Joint Commission enterprise president and chief executive officer Jonathan B. Perlin, MD, PhD, aligns an accomplished fellow’s specific background and achievements with key Joint Commission initiatives while supporting the Fellow’s career development.

The inaugural fellow was announced as Carla Pugh, MD, PhD, professor of surgery at the Stanford School of Medicine and director of the Technology Enabled Clinical Improvement (TECI) Center at Stanford Medicine. She has distinguished contributions in quantitative assessment of surgical performance and outcomes, bringing a clinician’s perspective on using data to close the gap between processes and outcomes. Pugh will collaborate directly with The Joint Commission’s innovation organization and its affiliate, the National Quality Forum (NQF).

“Establishing The President’s Fellowship for Healthcare Quality and Safety is an exciting way to introduce fresh perspectives to The Joint Commission’s efforts to support healthcare organizations’ delivery of safe, high-quality, equitable and compassionate care,” said Perlin. “We are delighted Dr Pugh has joined us as our inaugural fellow and look forward to working with her to advance quantitative methods of performance assessment and improvement.”

Pugh obtained her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley in neurobiology and her medical degree at Howard University College of Medicine, in Washington, D.C. A general surgeon by training, her research involves the use of simulation and advanced engineering technologies to develop new approaches for assessing and defining competency in clinical procedural skills.

“I am excited to embark on this exceptional opportunity to contribute to advancing quality globally as the first Joint Commission Presidential fellow,” said Pugh. “I look forward to working with colleagues in implementing new approaches to surgical performance improvement.”

Applications from mid-career healthcare professionals for The Joint Commission’s 2025 President’s Fellowship for Healthcare Quality and Safety (which spans the calendar year) are currently being accepted. Interested parties are asked to contact Michael Kaba, executive vice president and chief human resources officer, at [email protected] for more information.