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in Healthcare Quality

Proudly Serving Healthcare Organizations Since 1999
CIHQ is a member-based organization comprised of hospitals
and other healthcare entities throughout the United States.
Please take a moment to learn more about us.

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CIHQ Staff

Senior Staff
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Richard Curtis
Chief Executive Officer
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Richard Curtis RN, MS, HACP
Chief Executive Officer
Richard (Rick) Curtis is the Chief Executive Officer for CIHQ. Rick is nationally recognized as an expert on the Medicare Conditions of Participation and the CMS Certification & Survey Process. As CEO, he successfully guided CIHQ in becoming the nation's 4th CMS approved deeming authority for acute care hospitals.
Rick's clinical background is in critical care nursing with a focus in cardiovascular and trauma service lines. He has held both clinical and executive management level positions in Quality, Risk, Education, Infection Control, and Regulatory Compliance.
Rick is a regular speaker at numerous state and national conferences on the CMS Survey & Certification Process, and is host of CIHQ's popular monthly webinars addressing key compliance challenges in today's environment.
Rick is nationally certified in healthcare accreditation, and serves as Chair of the Board of Examiners for the Healthcare Accreditation Certification Program (HACP). Rick has a degree in Nursing with a Master's Degree in Health Services Administration.
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Traci Curtis
Executive Director of Survey Operations
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Traci Curtis, BA, RCP, HACP
Executive Director of Survey Operations
Traci Curtis is the Executive Director of Survey Operations for CIHQ. Traci has more than 15 years of experience in hospital survey preparation.
Traci's past positions include Chief Quality Officer for a multi-hospital community based health system where she was responsible for accreditation and regulatory compliance. Prior to joining CIHQ, Traci served as the Executive Director of Quality for a large regional medical center, providing executive management oversight in the areas of quality, risk, medical staff credentialing, and patient relations.
Traci received her degree in education from Pima in Tucson Arizona. She is nationally certified in healthcare accreditation, and serves on the Board of Examiners for the Healthcare Accreditation Certification Program.
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William Kinch
Facility Specialist
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William Kinch, MHA, HACP
Facility Specialist
William (Billy) Kinch is a Facility Specialist with CIHQ specializing in environmental health and safety.
Billy has been with CIHQ since 2014 serving as a surveyor to the Life Safety Code, Physical Environment, and Emergency Preparedness requirements for Accreditation and Consultation services. He has worked in healthcare for 20+ years and served different roles such as a Safety Officer and a Disaster Preparedness Coordinator. He has been responsible for maintaining compliance to regulations on life safety, safety, security, hazardous materials, utility systems, medical equipment, and various other specialties.
Billy has a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Masters of Healthcare Administration.
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Debra Benson
Program Administrator
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Debra Benson, MA
Program Administrator
Debbie Benson is the Program Administrator for CIHQ. Debbie oversees both front and back office operations for the organization, and administers the Healthcare Accreditation Certification Program (HACP) for regulatory professionals.
Prior to joining CIHQ, Debbie was the executive assistant to the senior management team of a multi-million dollar company.
Debbie received her bachelor degree in business science and her master's degree in organizational behavior from National University.
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Allen Lowe
Director of Information Services
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Allen lowe
Director of Information Services
Allen Lowe is the Director of Information Services for CIHQ. Allen is responsible for the overall provision of CIHQ’ web-based services and database management systems.
Allen has over 20 years of progressive experience in information technology. Prior to joining CIHQ, Allen worked as the network site administrator for a national company located in northern CA.
Allen received his degree in information technology from Ohlone College, and is proficient in Linux-based systems and server database construction and maintenance.
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ARS Consultants
Consultants are provided through a contractual arrangement with Accreditation Resource Services.
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April McLain
Consultant
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April McLain, RN, MBA, HACP
Consultant
April McLain is a consultant for Accreditation Resource Services (ARS). April performs on-site consultations and mock surveys for CIHQ member organizations. April has over 30 years of varied clinical and managerial healthcare experience that includes nursing management, quality management, accreditation, compliance and independent consulting; filling interim leadership positions since 2009.
Prior to joining CIHQ, April was a hospital surveyor for the Joint Commission.
April is nationally certified in healthcare accreditation, and received her Master's Degree from Franklin University.
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Connie Compton
Consultant
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Connie Compton, RT, BS, HACP
Consultant
Connie Compton is a consultant for Accreditation Resource Services (ARS). Connie performs on-site consultations and mock surveys for CIHQ member organizations.
Prior to joining CIHQ, Connie was the accreditation coordinator for the Wellmont Health System and has over 21 years of progressive leadership experience in quality and regulatory compliance.
Connie received her Bachelor Degree in Health Services Administration from King University and is a certified professional in healthcare quality (HACP).
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Don Roush
Consultant
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Don Roush, CPE, CHFM, HACP
Consultant
Don Roush is a consultant for Accreditation Resource Services (ARS). Don performs on‐site consulting and mock surveys specializing in environmental health and safety.
Don holds a MS Healthcare Administration degree, and has over 20 years of environmental safety experience. Don attended Central Michigan University.
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Gina Miller
Consultant
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Gina Miller, RN, MSN, HACP, CCMSCP
Consultant
Gina Miller is a consultant for Accreditation Resource Services (ARS). Gina performs on-site survey and provides consultative support to clients. Prior to joining CIHQ, Gina was the Director of Quality at Pomerene Hospital. During her tenure, Gina successfully guided the hospital in transitioning to CIHQ accreditation.
Gina is nationally certified in healthcare accreditation (HACP), and has over 33 years of progressive hospital experience.
Gina received her BSN from Alderson-Broaddus University and MSN from Western Governor’s University.
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Paula Brinn
Consultant
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Paula Brinn, BSN, MBA, HACP
Consultant
Paula Brinn is a consultant for Accreditation Resource Services (ARS). Paula has 24 years of experience in healthcare. She was a Quality Nurse Specialist for Accreditation and Regulatory Compliance for a corporate team that provides consultation services for a large healthcare system in Eastern NC. Prior to that, Paula managed accreditation for Vidant Medical Center within the Vidant Health system, a level 1 trauma center with 909 beds.
Paula received her MBA from the University of Phoenix and her BSN from East Carolina University.
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Russell Cole
Consultant
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Russell Cole, CFI
Consultant
Russell is a life safety specialist consultant for CIHQ. Russ has more than 38 years of experience in fire and life safety.
Prior to joining CIHQ, Russ held the position of Director of Plan Operations in a hospital and has also served as a battalion chief for multiple fire departments.
Russ received is degree in fire technology from Oxnard College in Oxnard, California. Russ has also been an instructor in fire technology at Ventura County Community College in Ventura, California. He also certified in the California incident command structure.
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Kimberly McGuire
Consultant
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Kimberly McGuire, MSN, RN, HACP
Consultant
Kimberly McGuire is a consultant for CIHQ. Kim has more that 23 years of experience in healthcare that has encompassed aspects of regulatory compliance and survey preparation.
Kim’s comes as an expert in hospital accreditation, care team coordination, program development as well as staff education.
Kim received her degree from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. She is also certified in healthcare accreditation.
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Kimberly Merritt
Consultant
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Kimberly Merritt, MHA, RN, HACP
Consultant
Kimberly is a consultant for CIHQ. Kim has more than 32 years of experience in healthcare including regulatory compliance and survey preparation. She has also served as a consultant assisting hospitals with survey preparation.
Kim has her master’s degree in healthcare administration which she obtained from Seton Hall University in New Jersey. She also comes with a long military background.
Kim is certified in healthcare accreditation.
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Julie Sengstacken
Consultant
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Julie Sengstacken, MS PSL, BSN, RN, CPHQ, HACP
Consultant
Julie Sengstacken is a consultant for CIHQ. Julie has more than 45 years of experience in healthcare which includes regulatory compliance and survey preparation.
Julie’s has her master’s degree in patient safety which she obtained from the University of Illinois at Chicago and has served as an adjunct professor for Southern New Hampshire University, teaching various topics including accreditation. She also served as a surveyor for the State of Kansas.
Julie is certified healthcare accreditation.
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Anita Brandt
Consultant
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Anita Brandt, MBA-HCM, BSN, RN, CPHQ
Consultant
Anita comes with over 24 years of experience in regulatory compliance with an expertise in infection control. She has performed a wide range of consulting services including survey preparation, quality assessment and performance improvement. As an RN she has functioned in leadership roles and has an extensive ICU background.
Anita earned her BSN from the University of Louisville and her MBA-HCM from the Western Governors’ University.
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Paula Sims
Consultant
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Paula Sims, RN, BSN, MSHA, CPHQ, LSSBB, HACP
Consultant
Paula Sims is a consultant for Accreditation Resource Services (ARS). Paula has more than 30 years of experience in healthcare.
Paula's past positions include Corporate Chief Nursing Officer for a small start-up healthcare organization in the Dallas Fort Worth area.
Paula received her Masters in Healthcare Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington TX.
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Malcolm Field
Consultant
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Malcolm Field, CHFM, CPE
Consultant
Malcolm Field is a Facility Specialist with CIHQ specializing in environmental health and safety.
Malcolm Field has joined CIHQ/ARS as a surveyor to the Life Safety Code, Physical Environment, and Emergency Preparedness requirements for Accreditation and Consultation services. He has worked in healthcare for 35+ years and served different roles such as a Director Corporate Facilities/Regional Facilities Manager. He has been responsible for maintaining compliance to regulations on life safety, safety, security, hazardous materials, utility systems, medical equipment, and various other specialties.
Malcolm has a Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Teeside University.
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