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Press Release

ASHP Honors Kenneth Kizer for Contributions to Patient Safety

Kenneth W. Kizer, M.D., M.P.H., president and CEO of the National Quality Forum, was honored by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) for his longstanding commitment to patient safety.  Kizer received the ASHP Board of Directors Award of Honor during the opening of the Society’s 37th Annual Midyear Clinical Meeting in Atlanta.

Dr. Kizer’s leadership of the National Quality Forum (NQF) is focused on improving the quality of healthcare by standardizing quality of care performance measures and reporting mechanisms, and by otherwise promoting, guiding, and leading quality improvement.  NQF’s mission is to improve the American health care system so that it can be counted on to provide safe, timely, compassionate, and accountable care using the best current knowledge.

Prior to his current position, Dr. Kizer served for five years as the Under Secretary for Health in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  He is credited as being the chief architect and driving force behind the greatest transformation of VA healthcare since the system was created in 1946.  As undersecretary, Kizer was the highest ranking physician in the federal government and the CEO of the veterans’ healthcare system, the largest integrated healthcare system in the nation with a budget of over $20 billion, approximately 200,000 staff, and over 1,100 sites of care delivery.  Kizer also served as Director of the California Department of Health Services and California’s top health official for over six years, setting a record for both achievement and longevity.  Prior to that, he was Director of California Emergency Medical Services and, subsequently, Chief of Public Health for California.

“Dr. Kizer has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of our health care system and has demonstrated a strong commitment to furthering our shared goal of patient safety,” said ASHP Executive Vice President and CEO Henri R. Manasse, Jr., Ph.D, Sc.D.  “We are pleased to present him with this well-deserved honor.”

The ASHP Board of Directors Award of Honor is given to individuals who are not health system pharmacists but who have made significant contributions to the health field.  Since its inception in 1966, only 13 individuals have received this award.

ASHP is the 30,000-member national professional association that represents pharmacists who practice in hospitals, health maintenance organizations, long-term care facilities, home care, and other components of health care systems. ASHP, which has a long history of medication-error prevention efforts, believes that the mission of pharmacists is to help people make the best use of medicines.  Assisting pharmacists in fulfilling this mission is ASHP's primary objective.  The Society has extensive publishing and educational programs designed to help members improve their professional practice, and it is the national accrediting organization for pharmacy residency and pharmacy technician training programs. For more information, visit or