Photo of Helen Burstin *Helen Burstin (Council of Medical Specialty Societies)

Executive Vice President & CEO, Council of Medical Specialty Societies

Dr. Helen Burstin, MD, MPH, FACP is the Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS). CMSS and its 43-member societies represent almost 800,000 U.S. physician members. CMSS member societies collaborate to enhance the quality of care delivered in the U.S. healthcare system and to improve the health of the public.  She leads CMSS collaborative efforts related to healthcare quality, clinical registries, clinical guidelines, and continuing professional development.

Dr. Burstin formerly served as Chief Scientific Officer of The National Quality Forum, a not-for-profit membership organization that works to catalyze healthcare improvement through quality measurement and reporting. In her role, she was responsible for advancing the science of quality measurement and improvement. She is widely recognized for her work in patient-reported outcomes, risk adjustment, disparities, and patient safety. Prior to joining NQF, Dr. Burstin was the Director of the Center for Primary Care, Prevention, and Clinical Partnerships at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). She led the development of the first National Healthcare Disparities Report and the use of practice-based research networks. She provided oversight to the US Preventive Services Task Force. Prior to joining AHRQ, Dr. Burstin was Director of Quality Measurement at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School.  She was selected as a Baldrige Executive Fellow in 2016.  Dr. Burstin is the author of more than 100 articles and book chapters on quality, safety and disparities. Dr. Burstin has served on expert panels and steering committees for the US Department of Health and Human Services (including chair of the Quality Measures Workgroup of the Health IT Policy Committee), National Quality Forum, and the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Burstin is a member of the AcademyHealth board of directors.

Dr. Burstin is a graduate of the State University of New York at Upstate College of Medicine and the Harvard School of Public Health. She spent a year in Washington, DC as National President of the American Medical Student Association. Dr. Burstin completed a residency in primary care internal medicine at Boston City Hospital. After residency, she completed fellowship training in General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.  She is a Professorial Lecturer in the Department of Health Policy at George Washington University School of Public Health and a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at George Washington University where she serves as a preceptor in internal medicine.  She was awarded the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Voluntary Attending Award from the George Washington School of Medicine.


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