Straughn named UAB vice chair for Quality and Patient Safety

Michael Straughn will advance women’s patient care practices as the new vice chair of UAB’s Section of Quality and Patient Safety.
Written by: Shawna Masters
Media contact: Hannah Echols

Straughn 2Michael Straughn Jr., M.D.Michael Straughn Jr., M.D., has been appointed vice chair of Quality and Patient Safety for the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The position is a part of the newly established Section of Quality and Patient Safety, which will facilitate efforts needed to achieve and maintain departmental and health system goals.

“Addressing patient outcomes has been a passion of mine for over a decade, and I am honored to be named vice chair,” Straughn said. “I am excited to collaborate with nursing and physician leadership within the department and the Heersink School of Medicine to continue to improve the quality and safety of the exceptional care we provide our patients.”

While many clinical academic departments have quality improvement committees that are responsible for tracking complications, performing case reviews, and holding morbidity and mortality conferences, they are not always structured to handle the implementation of practice change. Straughn’s appointment allows him to create new quality initiatives, increase departmental representation on quality committees, create training and career development opportunities for faculty and trainees, and monitor the quality and safety efforts in the department. 

“Going forward, it is imperative that this department serves as a leader in quality care in women’s health, both in the state and nationally,” said Warner Huh, M.D., chair of the UAB Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. “We need to set the standard and expectations for the state of Alabama, and quality care needs to be the foundation for the department’s tripartite mission.”

Straughn is a professor in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology and a senior scientist in UAB’s O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center and Center for Women’s Reproductive Health. He is also the fellowship director for the Gynecologic Oncology program and the associate chief medical and quality officer for UAB Medicine Women and Infants Services.