Through a collaboration between UAB Medicine and the School of Health Professions, UAB launched the blended format Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Quality & Safety program in 2013. In 2015, the online format of the Graduate Certificate and the Master of Science programs were launched to broaden the reach and the educational opportunities for leaders in the improvement science field.

We are committed to a competency-based education in 13 domains:

  • Safety and Error Science
  • Improvement Science and Quality Principles
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Measurement and Process Evaluation
  • Communication
  • Health Informatics
  • Human Factors
  • Professionalism
  • Leadership
  • Systems Thinking
  • Legal and Regulatory Issues
  • Interprofessional Collaborative Work
  • Patient and Family-Centered Engagement

The HQS Graduate Program faculty, staff, and advisory board are guided by the following vision and mission statements.


Preparing leaders with the knowledge to improve quality and safety outcomes across the healthcare continuum.


Developing leaders to innovate the future of healthcare quality and safety.

The Healthcare Quality and Safety programs have an alumni base of over 300 strong and are a part of an even larger network of Department of Health Services Administration (HSA) alumni that connect and network across the globe.

Our Students

Our student’s professional experience varies greatly; however, they all share the following common characteristics:

  • Operational Leadership: Exceptional communication skills with the capacity to lead and motivate their peers and employees to promote organizational excellence.
  • Analytic Capacity & Desire: Utilize real-time data to advance understanding and appreciation for data analytics and data’s relationship to improve quality.
  • Innovative Thinking: Capacity for critical analysis of their current environment and willingness to apply evidence-based processes to move the organization forward.

Advisory Board

The HQS advisory board gives strategic advice to the program’s leadership team which guides the program’s curriculum. The Advisory board membership is comprised of leaders from a number of segments of the health care industry. Currently, the advisory board includes:

  • Nigel Brown, Executive Director of Performance Excellence UAB Health System
  • Deborah Grimes, Chief Diversity Officer, UAB Medicine
  • Terri Poe, Chief Nursing Officer UAB Health System
  • Michael Shabot, Executive VP and Chief Clinical Officer, Memorial Hermann
  • Wes Smith, CEO of Alabama Quality Assurance Foundation
  • Chuck Stokes, Chief Operating Officer, Memorial Hermann
  • Cristie Travis, CEO Memphis Business Group
  • James Willig, Associate Professor, Infectious Diseases UAB School of Medicine


We are committed to excellence, which is reflected UAB has formed a partnership with the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ) to make graduate education more accessible to the healthcare profession. UAB is one of four certified Quality and Safety graduate programs by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). CAHME is the leading accreditor for graduate healthcare management education.

CAHME Logo Certified Quality Safety

CAHME Logo Certified Quality Safety