HQS About Us
The Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Quality and Safety is a unique, multidisciplinary approach to the analysis and solution of complex problems. The program prepares clinical and administrative professionals to deploy quality- and safety-focused strategies for their organization.
Four courses are required to earn the graduate certificate: HQS 600 - Introduction to Clinical Quality Improvement; HQS 610 - Quantitative Methods, Measurement, and Tools for Quality Improvement; HQS 625 Fundamentals of Patient Safety; and HQS 630 Leadership of High Reliability Healthcare Organizations. Students may enroll in one or multiple courses in a given term. The courses are not interdependent.
The curriculum is delivered by an interdisciplinary team of faculty from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Schools of Health Professions, Nursing, Public Health and Medicine featuring:
Scott Edward Buchalter, M.D.
Vice President, Chief Strategy and Quality Officer, UAB Health System, HQS Medical Director
Dr. Buchalter is also a Professor of Medicine in the UAB School of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine.
He is Board Certified by the American College of Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine, Pulmonary and Diseases and the American Board of Internal Medicine, Critical Care Medicine.
Dr. Buchalter is a graduate of the UAB School of Medicine. He also completed his medical internship, residency and fellowship at UAB.
Pamela E. Paustian, Ph.D., RHIA
Director, Health Care Management program
Paustian is also a full‐time Associate Professor in the Department of Health Services Administration and Distance Education and Quality Management Coordinator in the School of Health Professions.
She has more than eighteen years of experience in management, leadership, and information systems as a director, project manager, corporate trainer and professor.
Paustian is also a reviewer for the Journal of Healthcare Management, the American Journal of Managed Care, and the Journal of Health Administration Education.
Donna J. Slovensky, Ph.D.
Associate Dean, Academic and Student Affairs, UAB School of Health Professions, HQS Administrative Director
Slovensky holds secondary appointments in the Department of Management in the UAB School of Business and the UAB Graduate School. She is named as a scientist with the Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research and Education and as a scholar in the Lister Hill Center for Health Policy.
She has been on the UAB faculty for more than 35 years, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in strategic management, quality management and health information management.
Patrice Spath, MA
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Health Services Administration
Spath is a health information management professional with broad experience in health care quality and patient safety improvement.
She has authored and edited several books including Fundamentals of Healthcare Quality Management, 4th ed., Introduction to Healthcare Quality Management, 2nd ed., Error Reduction in Health Care, 2nd ed. and Engaging Patients as Safety Partners.
Spath currently serves on the advisory panel for WebM&M, an online case-based journal and forum on patient safety and healthcare quality supported by contract from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
Jose Quintana, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Health Administration
Quintana comes to the classroom with more than 40 years of health care management experience.
He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, a member of the Academy of Management, and the Birmingham Regional Health Executives Forum. He has taught courses in statistics, alternative delivery systems, managed care, process improvement, and administrative theory.
He has been involved in healthcare quality improvement since 1991. During this time he has functioned as a team member on multiple teams, a facilitator, and executive assistant to the medical center director for quality.
Special Presenters and Topics