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Quality Improvement Awards

CPQCC grants the following awards to individual practitioners and clinical teams who make exemplary contributions to the field of neonatal quality improvement. Awards are presented at CPQCC's annual Improvement Palooza event every March. For more information on CPQCC's member data awards, visit the Member Awards page. 

Janet Pettit Memorial Award

The Janet Pettit Memorial Award honors the contributions of an outstanding neonatal nurse, Janet Pettit, DNS, RNC, NNP, who worked for over 30 years in the NICU as a clinical nurse, manager, outreach educator, clinical nurse specialist, and nurse practitioner. Janet was a tireless volunteer with CPQCC, lending her expertise to the Perinatal Quality Improvement Panel (PQIP) for over 13 years. She also served as a clinical consultant to the California Children's Services' (CCS) Central Line-Associated Blood Stream Infection (CLABSI) Collaborative. 

Janet led multiple publications and clinical research efforts in the area of vascular access. She was the co-author of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) PICC Guidelines, was a task force member for the AVA Best Practice Guidelines for Pediatric Central Venous Catheters and served as a reviewer for the Infusion Nurses Society's Infusion Standards of Practice and on the Board of Directors for NANN and the Association for Vascular Access. For her excellence in vascular access, she received the Suzanne LeVere Herbst Award

In honor of Janet's legacy, the Pettit Award is granted to a Registered Nurse (RN), advanced practice nurse (NNP, CNS), or a NICU QI team who:

  • has made significant contributions to neonatal quality improvement within their unit and beyond or
  • is an emerging QI leader in the neonatal community 


Submit a nomination for the Pettit Award

2020 Awardee

Angela Huang, RNC-Nic, BSN, MPH
Quality & Data Nurse Coordinator, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center

Angela provides key leadership in California’s work on maternal exposures during pregnancy and their impact on newborns in her role as co-chair to the CPQCC Maternal Exposures Workgroup. She is also a member of the Mother & Baby Substance Exposure Task Force, co-wrote the Mother & Baby Substance Exposure Initiative (MBSEI) toolkit, and provides statewide outreach education on NAS to other hospital groups as part of this statewide QI project addressing NAS.

“Angela’s work in QI both locally and at the statewide level would be well acknowledged by the Janet Pettit Award.” - Henry Lee, MD

Past Awardees

  • 2019: Ching Tay, MS, CNS, RNC-NIC (Clinical Nurse Specialist at Miller Children's & Women's Hospital Long Beach)
  • 2018: Elizabeth Drake, RNC-NIC, MN, NNP, CNS (Clinical Nurse Specialist at CHOC Children's Hospital at Mission Viejo) 
  • 2017: Beth Berry, RN, NICU Nurse (Transport Coordinator, and HRIF Facilitator at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital 
  • 2016: Robin Koeppel, MS, RNC-NIC, CPNP, CNS (Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist, and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center)
  • 2015: D. Lisa Bollman, RN, MSN, RNC-NIC, CPHQ (Director of the Community Perinatal Network)
  • 2014: Amy Paradis, RN, NNP (Advanced Practice Neonatal Nurse at Doctors Medical Center in Modesto)

David Wirtschafter Award

David Wirtschafter is a leader in neonatal quality improvement. After finishing his pediatric training at the Stanford University Medical Center and the University of Alabama, Birmingham Medical Center he joined the Southern California Permanente Medical Group as its Regional Coordinator of Perinatal Services (1985) and practiced as a neonatologist until his retirement in 2006.  He also served as a consultant to California Children’s Services and the California Children’s Hospital Association on their collaboratives to lower the rate of neonatal healthcare-associated infections.  David retired from clinical practice in 2012 and moved to Israel where he volunteers as a consultant to the Israeli Neonatologists Society’s, quality improvement initiatives such as decreasing healthcare-associated infections and severe intra-ventricular hemorrhages in Israel’s NICUs.

David was a member of CPQCC from its inception in 1997 and chaired its Perinatal Quality Improvement Panel (PQIP) for its first decade. David remained active in the committee’s progression towards statewide quality improvement initiatives and served as an expert panel member on CPQCC’s first collaborative in 2008. He was the inspiration behind CPQCC's QI toolkits and continues to participate actively on the PQIP Research Subcommittee, continuing his lasting impact on the lives of newborns across the state of California.

In honor of David's ongoing dedication to improvement in the field, the Wirtschafter Award is jointly sponsored by CPQCC and the California Association of Neonatologists (CAN) and is awarded to:

  • individual leaders or emerging leaders in neonatal quality improvement or
  • NICU QI teams that have contributed not only within their unit but across the neonatal community


Submit a nomination for the Wirtschafter Award

2020 Awardees

Lisa Chyi, MD
Kaiser Permanente, Northern California

Dr. Lisa Chyi received her M.D. from The Ohio State University.  She completed Pediatric Residency at Northwestern University Children’s Memorial Hospital and her postdoctoral training in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at Stanford University. She is a neonatologist with Kaiser Permanente Walnut Creek Hospital.  She helped lead the development and implementation of a regionwide Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) management guideline for all Northern California Kaiser NICUs.  She also helped write the Mother and Baby Substance Exposure Toolkit as a member of the California Mother and Baby Substance Exposure Initiative (MBSEI).  As co-chair of the CPQCC Maternal Exposures Workgroup, she has organized projects to improve the quality of NAS care statewide. 

Robert Castro, MD
Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital

Dr. Robert Castro received his M.D. from the University of California San Francisco and completed Pediatric Residency and postdoctoral training in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.  He is the Director of the LPCH-affiliated NICU at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital and a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine.  He currently serves on the ABP-Subboard Neonatal Perinatal Medicine, CAN Board of Trustees and CPQCC Advisory Board.  As a member of the California Mother & Baby Substance Exposure Initiative and Co-Chair of CPQCC's MatEx Workgroup, he participates in quality improvement projects addressing how to optimize best practices in screening and management of newborns with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).

Past Awardees:

  • 2019: David Braun, MD (Kaiser Permanente, Southern California) 
  • 2018: Jochen Profit, MD (Stanford Medical Center)
  • 2017: John Cleary, MD (CHOC Medical Center) and Courtney Nisbet, RN, MS (CPQCC)
  • 2016: Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
  • 2015: Allen Fischer, MD (Kaiser Hospital, Walnut Creek)
  • 2014: Antoine Soliman, MD (Miller Children's and Women's Hospital, Long Beach)
  • 2013: Priya Jegatheesan, MD (Santa Clara Valley Medical Center)
  • 2012: Alex Espinoza, MD (Alta Bates Medical Center)
  • 2011: Paul Sharek, MD (Stanford Medical Center)
  • 2010: Henry Lee, MD (UCSF)