As Associate Administrators within the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, we welcome you to this special theme issue that focuses on quality improvement initiatives within the safety net. This issue describes breakthrough performances that affect current frontline practice across the settings and populations that HRSA serves—from hard to reach elders in rural America to pediatric and HIV/AIDS populations. The focus on quality improvement initiatives featured in this special theme issue exemplifies HRSA’s mission to provide national leadership, program resources, and needed services to enable access to culturally-competent, quality health care for our nation’s most vulnerable populations.
HRSA’s leadership, as demonstrated in part through the Health Disparities Collaborative Initiative, supports the redesign of primary health care delivery by creating a national learning community of evidence-based local interventions. This effort demonstrates the possibility of spreading proven changes in practices throughout a vast, heterogeneous health care system.
This special themed issue of the Journal for Health Care of the Poor and Underserved provides stories of innovation, results, and accountability to capture local success as it occurs daily, in communities all over the nation. The key insights and themes contained in these articles are valuable to informing the next generation of quality improvement initiatives. The featured research and stories of this issue help provide a roadmap for a future with system-wide change and initiatives with potential to benefit the entire population. [End Page 2]
The authors are Associate Administrators of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Janet Heinrich heads the Bureau of Health Professions, Michael C. Lu heads the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health, Jim Macrae heads the Bureau of Primary Health Care, Tom Morris heads the Office of Rural Health Policy, Deborah Parham Hopson heads the HIV/AIDS Bureau, Joyce Somsak heads the Healthcare Systems Bureau, and Rebecca H. Sp itzgo heads the Bureau of Clinician Recruitment and Service.