Stephanie Mercado, CAE, CPHQ

Chief Executive Officer

National Association for Healthcare Quality

Stephanie Mercado is the chief executive officer/executive director of the National Association for Healthcare Quality® (NAHQ), the leader in industry-standard healthcare quality and safety competencies, training, and certification in healthcare quality for individuals working in healthcare quality. Furthermore, under Mercado’s leadership, NAHQ has expanded its footprint to support healthcare organizations develop capabilities and systematically build capacity for quality, leading to a more engaged and effective workforce.

Mercado brings more than 20 years of healthcare industry experience to her role. Since joining NAHQ in 2013, Mercado has been focused on understanding unmet needs to advance quality and safety and building solutions to solve these known and unknown challenges.  Mercado commissioned innovations and introduced methodologies to research and define standardized competencies and develop never before available data and insights to drive workforce development. Getting arms around the challenge and creating a vision for the future has resulted in advancement of quality professionals and increased visibility and credibility of healthcare’s quality workforce.

Mercado is a highly sought-after speaker and author on healthcare workforce development and system sustainability, Mercado speaks nationally about strategies to drive healthcare quality and improve healthcare outcomes via the biggest lever healthcare has to affect change, the workforce.

Mercado is a passionate advocate for quality and safety serving these initiatives and more:

  • 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

Mercado holds the CPHQ credential and is a Certified Association Executive (CAE). In 2018, she was recognized by .orgCommunity with the Outstanding Nonprofit Leader Award. In 2022, she was included on the prestigious national list of nominees for Modern Healthcare magazine’s “300 Most Influential People in Healthcare” ranking.

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