National Program Office

The Center for Health Care Quality within the Department of Health Policy at The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services serves as the national program office (NPO) for Aligning Forces for Quality. Led by Dr. Robert Graham, the NPO works in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to provide direction and technical assistance for this far-reaching initiative.

Press Releases

Robert Graham

Robert Graham, MD

Director, National Program Office

Robert Graham, M.D., is the national program director of Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q), the cornerstone of its multi-year, $300 million commitment to improve the quality and equality of health care nationwide. Graham also holds an appointment as a research professor of Health Policy at George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (GWU). GWU serves as the national program office of the Aligning Forces for Quality program. After receiving his medical degree from the University of Kansas, Graham began a distinguished career in health policy administration. He served as administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration in the U.S. Public Health Service, held senior positions with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and was CEO of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He is currently chair of the board of the Alliance for Health Reform and a member of the Institute of Medicine. 

Katherine Browne

Katherine Browne, M.B.A., M.H.A.

Chief Operating Officer, National Program Office

Katherine Browne is the deputy director/chief operating officer of the Center for Health Care Quality in the Department of Health Policy at The George Washington University Medical Center. In that role she is responsible for the day-to-day management of Aligning Forces for Quality, a national initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) that is designed to use quality improvement, public reporting of hospital and physician quality, and consumer engagement to achieve high-quality, patient-centered care in 16 communities across the country. Previously, she served as managing director of the Hospital Quality Alliance. Prior roles have also included working on the Disclosure Project at the National Partnership for Women & Families, involvement with two RWJF initiatives – Networking for Rural Health and the National Health Care Purchasing Institute. Katherine earned dual master’s degrees in business and health administration from Washington University in St. Louis and her B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She serves on the Board of Directors for the American Hospice Foundation and the Visiting Nurse Association of America.

Marcia Wilson

Marcia Wilson, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Associate Director for Regional Support, National Program Office

Marcia Wilson is the assistant director for regional support for Aligning Forces for Quality. Previously, she served as the deputy director of Expecting Success: Excellence in Cardiac Care. She has more than 20 years of experience in the private sector of health care working primarily with medical groups and clinics. She also teaches health care finance as a research instructor of Health Services Management and Leadership. Wilson’s main research interests focus on health care delivery systems, the financing of health care services and the use of quality improvement methods to improve patient care processes. She received a B.A. from the University of Illinois, an M.B.A. from the University of San Diego, and a Ph.D. in health services administration from The George Washington University School of Business.

Alicia Aebersold

Alicia Aebersold

Associate Director for Communications & Consumer Engagement, National Program Office

Alicia Aebersold oversees communications for the National Program Office of Aligning Forces for Quality. Ms. Aebersold has twenty years of experience in strategic, results-oriented communications leadership in private, public, and nonprofit sectors, including expertise in strategic communications planning, public information and education campaigns, publications, media and public relations, internal communications, and web content design and development. Immediately prior to joining AF4Q, she directed communications and external relations efforts for the National Quality Forum (NQF), a national nonprofit organization working to improve the quality of American healthcare. Prior to NQF, she directed all communications efforts for a national nonprofit dedicated to removing barriers to treatment of severe mental illnesses, including managing national and state-based media campaigns to educate and inform about mental health treatment and effect legislative change. Ms. Aebersold formerly directed public relations and communications at the National Governors' Association (NGA) and Children's Express, an international news service reported by children. She chaired the public relations committee of the board of Bright Beginnings, a developmental child care center that serves Washington, DC, homeless children and their families, and won a 2000 Silver Inkwell Award of Merit from the International Association of Business Communicators for her work building a Crisis Communications Guide and Toolkit for the National Education Association. Ms. Aebersold has a bachelor’s degree from The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.


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