The American Burn Association (ABA) and its members dedicate their efforts and resources to promoting and supporting burn-related research, education, care, rehabilitation, and prevention. The ABA has more than 2,000 members primarily in the United States and Canada. Members include physicians, nurses, occupational and physical therapists, researchers, social workers, and fire fighters, among our 20 disciplines. Our multidisciplinary membership enhances our ability to work toward common goals with other organizations to advance our mission.
With a staff of 15 and a $5M budget, the ABA is headquartered in Chicago near Union Station, but has a diverse workforce which includes remote employees across the U.S.
For the newly created position of Director of Quality and Research Initiatives, the ABA is seeking a visionary staff leader who can align quality and data research projects with clinical, survey and other aspects of research with the goal of improving burn care. The right candidate will rely on experience and be in touch with current and emerging trends in how quality issues will impact clinical care and outcomes and also have innovative ideas to establish a foundation for quality and research in this small but growing association.
The Director is responsible for developing strategies, providing oversight, and leading implementation of the ABA’s quality programs and research initiatives including the Burn Care Quality Platform (registry), Verification Program, research efforts, guidelines development, grant funded projects and other key initiatives. They will establish operations for this newly formed department of the ABA, requiring a combination of oversight and delegating to staff as well as managing projects directly.
The Director will work closely with volunteer-led committees, providing background on quality issues relevant to healthcare and guidance on possible plans of action. They will lead a staff team to build and implement quality-related resources that will help members evaluate the care provided and establish
improvement opportunities. They will have responsibility for facilitating development of, building consensus around and implementing the ABA’s research agenda. The Director will also be responsible for developing relationships and looking for ways to advance common goals with external groups such as CNTR, and others.
The Director of Quality and Research Initiatives reports to the Executive Director, and will work closely with other ABA staff. As a member of the ABA management team, the Director will help to develop staff initiatives to support the organization’s mission.
There are four budgeted positions in this department in addition to the director position:
Research Administrator (open position)
Manager, Quality Programs (open position)
Project Specialist (open position)
This position also has extensive interaction with ABA members who serve on the Burn Science Advisory Panel, Research Committee, Verification Committee, Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee, Quality & Burn Registry Committee and Subcommittees, and the Organization and Delivery of Burn Care. They will also serve as liaison to other groups, organizations, and vendors.
This is a new position created with the goal of aligning the ABA’s quality and research initiatives and adding a level of staff expertise in the organization that has not previously existed. The Director will be responsible for creating a new Department of Quality & Research and developing and implementing strategies to grow and improve the Burn Care Quality Platform, Verification Program, research initiatives, other grant funded projects, and key initiatives.
There are four positions budgeted for this department (in addition to the Director); one is currently filled and three are open. The Director should see this as an exciting opportunity to build this department from the ground up. They will need to assess the needs and revise position descriptions as appropriate to ensure the goals related to quality and research are met. They will be responsible for hiring, setting goals for staff, and strategic development and staff management to implement key programs related to quality & research.
The Director is responsible for the following key program areas:
The ABA’s goal related to quality is to provide the framework for the evaluation and continuous improvement of burn care. The Burn Care Quality Platform (BCQP) is the ABA’s burn registry. It is designed to improve the quality and cost of burn care by collecting and exchanging information on burn injuries and outcomes. In addition to a collection platform, it includes analytics tools and risk adjusted models. Training and documentation are areas that are in progress.
Burn center verification provides a true mark of distinction for a burn center. Verification is an indicator to government, third-party payers, patients, families and accreditation organizations, that the center provides high quality patient care to burn patients from time of injury through rehabilitation
The American Burn Association offers this program to verify that a burn center is meeting the highest current standards of care for the burn-injured patient, based on criteria developed by the Verification Review Committee. There are currently 78 verified burn centers in the US and Canada, and one internationally. The verification process involves a thorough review of documentation provided in advance through a Pre-Review Questionnaire and an in-person visit (where possible) by two physician reviewers and additional virtual review by members of the burn team (nursing and therapy). In addition to evaluation against the criteria, burn centers receive a review outlining strengths of their program and areas for improvement.
Recently, the ABA has also established a Verified Burn Fellowship Program which assesses fellowship programs against criteria that has been established. This program launched in 2021 and is in the process of being operationalized.
The ABA’s strategic research goal is to be the leader in setting research direction and supporting efforts to increase knowledge and improve prevention and outcomes in burn care.
Define research priorities and goals for burn injury.
Grow and expand funding for research through advocacy at the local and federal levels and establishing strategic collaborations with national organizations to secure funding for burn research.
Increase the visibility of ABuRN to expand and enhance multi-center trials.
Support quality basic, translational and implementation science in burns.
Deliver a high-quality Journal that advances burn research and captures the best science presented at the ABA Annual Meeting.
The ABA serves as prime on several Department of Defense grants. This has been as many as six but is currently only two. Tasks related to this include report submission, contracting, and compliance as well as the preparation of new research proposal applications.
The ABA is interested in expanding to seek new opportunities for research funding and to develop a new ABA research grant program.
The ABA owns the Journal of Burn Care and Research (JBCR) and employs the editor-in-chief as well as manages the publishing firm.
Clinical Practice Guidelines
There is a committee that has processes in place and is working on development to evidence-based practice guidelines in burn care. This will require a minor oversight and tracking and to promote the guidelines once completed, as well as strategies to expand this program in the future.
Organization and Delivery of Burn Care
The Organization and Delivery of Burn Care (ODBC) Committee addresses issues having an impact on the national or regional organization of burn care services and the manner in which those services are delivered to injured patients, their families and the public. Projects include workforce development and improving outcomes related to specific populations such as elderly and pediatric patients.
Advanced degree in health science, healthcare administration, public health, social sciences or related discipline or equivalent experience.
Minimum of six to ten years work experience on health care quality initiatives, database development and management, patient safety initiatives, or working in a related capacity within a healthcare professional association, healthcare organization, or organized medicine.
Strong working knowledge of the quality aspects of healthcare, along with clinical knowledge and comfort with medical terminology.
Knowledge of data analysis and prior experience with evidence-based research or scientific/medical writing is preferred.
Ability to envision pathways to advance quality measurement, quality improvement, and quality reporting as they relate to database endeavors.
Extensive writing experience, including authorship of board reports, articles, and papers. Involvement in grant proposals is a plus.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS & ABILITIES
Ability to lead and direct staff, with insight and vision to move programs and volunteer leadership bodies forward. Understands working in a small association and the nuances of volunteer management.
Ability to work at a high-level, developing strategic plans, but also the ability to break the work into tasks and timelines and to implement what needs to be done.
Excellent oral and written communications skills.
People-oriented with a positive attitude, proven interpersonal and team skills, and the ability develop and maintain positive working relationships in a multi-disciplinary environment with management, staff, volunteers, members, and colleagues from other organizations.
A creative thinker with excellent analytic, organizational, planning, and follow-through skills. Proficiency in multi-tasking. Ability to complete multiple tasks independently and under tight timelines.
Flexibility and adaptability to changing daily activities and schedules.
Maintain high professional standards of integrity, ethics, and commitment to the goals of ABA. Good judgment and professional demeanor are essential.
Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook).
Ability to learn other software that is integral to the position including the ABA’s quality registry and verification software, the association management system (Impexium), project management software (Monday.com, JIRA), community platform (Higher Logic), and others used in ABA business.
ABA headquarters are in Chicago, IL with telecommuting opportunities. Travel is required approximately 5% of the time. If telecommuting, the Director will be expected to travel to the Chicago office between one and four times per year.
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