About Us

The Community Emergency Healthcare Initiative (CEHI) is a non-profit effort which was created to serve caregivers in small community hospitals delivering frontline emergency services.

CEHI has been established in loving memory of former astronaut Charles "Pete" Conrad.


Performance Excellence Transfer Enterprise


The vision is to drive quality and safety performance in frontline community hospital Emergency Departments (EDs).


The mission is to identify, develop, and transfer world class Emergency Care Performance Solutions that will equip hospitals to dramatically impact integrated care and operations processes.

Initiative Deliverables

The ultimate goal of this performance excellence and transfer enterprise is to create new knowledge channels that will provide a continuous flow of concepts, tools, and resources that empower thousands of community providers to deliver optimal healthcare performance.

Capsule Summary

Download printer version of CEHI Overview/Funding Summary.

To uniquely and specifically address the emergency healthcare crisis, CEHI will be launching a program that will equip caregivers and administrators from small community hospitals to drive high performance improvement in their EDs. The world's best quality improvement leaders will train them. Make no mistake, this is not an academic program, but an initiative designed, led, and supported by a faculty with a track record of real success in equipping performance teams to make dramatic improvement and hold their gains.

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) led by Dr. Don Berwick, the most eminent authority in quality and patient safety, will undertake an Idealized Design program intended to identify, test, and develop redesigned principles for EDs. Using their Breakthrough Series system, more than 30 community hospital teams will be simultaneously equipped with concepts, tools, and resources to drive gains in performance that heretofore have not been possible. A state of the art Knowledge Management (KM) system will be designed, built, and operated by the Texas Medical Institute of Technology (TMIT), another not-for-profit organization and leader in healthcare innovation transfer. Dr. Charles Denham, who is an authority in innovation transfer and patient safety innovations, leads TMIT.


CEHI has been established in loving memory of Pete Conrad. Pete was one of the most accomplished and highly respected astronauts in the space program. He participated in the Gemini, Apollo, and Skylab programs. He commanded the second lunar landing and received the Congressional Space Medal of Honor for his rescue of Skylab. Click here for biographical information via NASA website or see

Leading experts agree that U.S. healthcare is in desperate need of systems redesign. The objective of the CEHI effort is to bring world-class systems redesign concepts, tools, and resources to help drive safety and quality performance impact in frontline community and small hospitals.

Guiding Principles

  1. Concepts, tools, and resources will be fully and completely shared with care providers, suppliers, consumers, and purchasers in the global care community.
  2. All activities and knowledge will be organized and integrated using the principles of a patient centered, evidence based medicine, and systems re-design approach as recommended in the Institute of Medicine (IOM) reports.
  3. State of the art KM methods will be used to create a Practicing Community of collaborators to support all interested administrators, caregivers, suppliers and consumers. None of the knowledge assembled or created will be held as proprietary.
  4. Conflict of interest will be avoided by strictly adhering to an open collaboration policy such that no stakeholder group in healthcare shall be given any advantage in participation over any other group.
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    Program Partners

    Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is widely recognized as the gold standard in healthcare improvement methodologies. IHI will provide leadership of a specific Community ED Idealized Design program that will develop deployable improvement methods. It will also lead a Community ED Breakthrough Series to train small community hospitals. For more information on IHI see
    Texas Medical Institute of Technology (TMIT) will provide an operations base and KM platform for collaborators. It will supervise the design, construction, and operation of the Community ED knowledge management system. It will recruit expert panels and healthcare supplier teams. It is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. Founded in 1984, TMIT has a longstanding history of patient safety development activities. For more information on TMIT see
    Health Care Concepts corporation (HCC), a major donor to TMIT, has donated startup funds and will donate performance solution measures, innovation transfer and market channels support, operations space, and staff.

    Research Collaborators

    Numerous sponsor organizations will provide funding and knowledge assets. These include academic organizations, global corporations, and professional societies.

    The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has asked CEHI to collaborate on ED measures and process improvement in rural and frontline hospitals. CEHI has been invited to participate in its first national IOM symposium addressing innovation in the spring of 2002, showcase its work, and present awards to the collaborators from the emergency medicine initiative. For more information on IOM see
    NASA and TMIT have a NASA Space Act Agreement to focus on the transfer of aerospace methods to healthcare improvement. This CEHI collaboration will implement aviation and aerospace methodologies such as crew resource management and reliability systems design to optimize emergency care. For more information on NASA see
    Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and TMIT are undertaking a rapid evaluation of emergency services and imaging issues across the 3,200 HRSA community health centers and affiliated clinics nationwide. The intent is to identify quality issues that can be addressed by the CEHI effort and that can be made available to HRSA caregivers delivering care to 11 million people across the nation. For more information on HRSA see

    Value Proposition

    • Clinical and operational process performance are intrinsically linked. They drive financial outcomes of every healthcare enterprise.
    • The CEHI effort will develop and drive market penetration of concepts, tools, and resources to optimize clinical and operational performance in the community ED.
    • An example deliverable of initiative includes the development of a emergency services “trigger tool” to identify high impact process improvement opportunities. This tool will be developed using know how obtained while developing a very successful "trigger tool" for adverse drug events.

    Venture Design

    • Structure: Collaborative Venture
    • Capitalization: None required
    • Ownership: All work product will be rapidly released to the public domain
    • Management: Operations and Knowledge Management TMIT, Educational Initiatives - IHI
    • Economic Model: Grants to the non-profit institutes (TMIT and IHI) will be used to pay for ED programs and support community ED teams travel and expenses. The initiative will provide all services to community hospitals at no cost. Participating hospitals will have to match CEHI support with a dollar for dollar investment in the own ED as directed by the ED Performance Teams.