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Janet Nagamine, MD, SFHM, a hospitalist at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Santa Clara, Calif., has an affinity for patient safety and the West Coast.

“I’m a California girl through and through. Any sunshine or beach works for me,” says the new SHM board member, a former assistant chief of quality and former patient safety officer. “I see quality and safety as part of my clinical care. I started out saying I don’t like the way my glucoses are documented in these charts, and so I started creating graphs to help physicians understand the information better.”

Dr. Nagamine didn’t start her career as a hospitalist: She was an ICU nurse for 23 years. She also didn’t jump onto the quality-improvement (QI) bandwagon until she became a hospitalist 10 years ago. A charter SHM member, she has been a member of the Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety Committee since 2002, serving as chair the past three years.

“I began [my quality career] by addressing the obstacles that get in the way of caring for patients,” Dr. Nagamine says. “And back then, there was no shortage of opportunity to make things better.”

So it’s no surprise her professional passion will be at the forefront of her service to SHM’s board and members. “What is exciting is that we’ve really raised the bar the past five to 10 years,” she says. “We have a ways to go, but HM really is front and center to the solutions.”

One area in which Dr. Nagamine plans to be a driving force is SHM’s mentored implementation programs: Project BOOST, Glycemic Control, and VTE Prevention.

“We can all go to a seminar, take a course, but who do we turn to when we’re back in the trenches?” she says. “That’s the hard part. It helps to have someone who has been there before, made the mistakes before, to talk to. That can shave a couple years off the learning curve.”

Dr. Nagamine joins Eric Siegal, MD, SFHM, a critical-care fellow at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, as the board’s newest members. Incumbent board members Joseph Ming Wah Li, MD, SFHM, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the hospital medicine division at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and Mahalakshmi K. Halasymani, MD, SFHM, vice president for quality and systems improvement at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System in Ann Arbor, Mich., were re-elected for three-year terms.

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