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February 3, 2021

Next wave of quality improvement leaders graduate CQIP program

Passion – That’s what Dr. Gary Groot, a University of Saskatchewan researcher and surgeon, heard on Jan. 29 as he listened to 18 graduates of the Clinical Quality Improvement Program (CQIP) present at their capstone event.

“It’s your patients who are the source of that passion; it’s those patient interactions and knowing that we’re doing the best we can for our patients that drives us to do the work we do,” said Groot, who was the keynote speaker at the CQIP Cohort 4 capstone event. “You all have the passion to make your world a better place to live and it’s that passion that makes CQIP so successful.”

CQIP is an applied learning program designed to build leadership in quality improvement work in clinicians. It enables participants to incorporate continuous quality improvement initiatives into their practice. The program delivery is coordinated by the Saskatchewan Health Quality Council (HQC) and is offered through a partnership with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, the Saskatchewan Medical Association and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health.  

This was the fourth cohort of participants to take part in the 10-month CQIP course, which teaches clinicians how to build quality improvement into their daily practice and to facilitate, coach, and teach quality improvement to others. As part of their learning, every clinician carries out an improvement project in their work setting.

“CQIP is designed to give you the tools to do quality improvement,” Groot explained. “I can see in this group, as well as all of the CQIP groups before you, that you will go on to do amazing things in terms of improving the health care system. Many of your projects will either continue on after you’re finished today or this experience will have given you the tools you need to go on and do other projects.

“We really look forward to seeing you all continue to be involved in and to be leaders in quality improvement.”

Participants in Cohort 4 started the program September 2019 prior to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The capstone event was delayed to January to allow participants to focus on the COVID-19 response.

While not all were able to present at the capstone, Cohort 4 participants include:

Tracey Sherin, HQC CEO, said she was thrilled to see the number of clinicians who are joining the community of clinical quality improvement graduates in the province, which now includes more than 80 people.

“Continuing to build and grow this community of clinicians that are equipped to lead and facilitate quality improvement in Saskatchewan is vitally important to all peoples of this province,” Sherin said at the capstone event. “Our health system has had a difficult year and there are more challenges ahead. Despite all of that, we have come together to make significant accomplishments in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Sherin said she has observed the improvement skills and tools learned in CQIP playing a significant role in the planning and executing of the response to the pandemic. She added she has also seen many members of the CQIP community – including former participants, faculty, and coaches – actively leading these efforts.

“While we still face challenges, what reassures me is that we have this community of clinicians who are dedicated to continuous quality improvement and are using their skills to make a difference. Now all of you are part of it,” Sherin told the CQIP graduates. “I sincerely hope that each one of you will find ongoing opportunities to apply your quality improvement expertise in the communities where you live and work. Optimizing the health of all peoples in Saskatchewan and optimizing quality of health care services are very worthy goals. I want to thank each of you for making a tangible commitment to these goals.

“I wish you much success in your ongoing fulfillment of this commitment.”


Modelled on the internationally recognized mini-Advanced Training Program at Intermountain Healthcare  in Utah, Saskatchewan’s CQIP program combines classroom and online learning with individual coaching and a community of practice. CQIP is accredited by the College of Family Physicians of Canada and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. In 2018, the program received praise from an external evaluation conducted by Dr. Lois Berry. 

Participants of CQIP’s fifth cohort have already been selected and the next wave is expected to begin in the spring of 2021. To be notified when applications for Cohort 6 are open, please click here to add your name to the waitlist. 

Past projects can be viewed here