Jeffords Institute for Quality

Jeffords Institute for Quality

1 South Prospect Street
St. Joseph- Level 4
Burlington,  Vermont  05401

Monday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Tuesday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Wednesday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Thursday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Friday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

The James M. Jeffords Institute for Quality and Operational Effectiveness at The University of Vermont Medical Center is dedicated to supporting the organization's efforts to achieve our vision: a commitment to the development of an Integrated Delivery System which provides high value health care to the communities we serve and enhances our academic mission.

As part of that effort, the Institute is focused on ensuring that The UVM Medical Center meets its strategic goals in the area of quality, patient safety and operational efficiency.

Improving Quality and Patient Safety

The Institute provides resources that advance The UVM Medical Center's mission while promoting quality and patient safety.


Providing expert analysis of data to support clinical research, clinical and operational process improvement and ongoing monitoring of performance indicators.

Patient safety

Focusing on proactive risk reduction and promotion of patient safety initiatives.

Patient and family advocacy

Providing support to patients and families through advocacy and deployment of risk mitigation strategies.


Developing, coordinating, and implementing strategies that keep our organization in a state of constant regulatory readiness, ensuring that processes are in place to provide care of the highest quality and safety for our patients and to meet and respond to the requirements of our regulators.

Quality consultation

Providing expertise in project management and all relevant analytic and process improvement techniques are available to serve the needs of the organization.

Infection prevention

Working to reduce and prevent health care-associated infections.


Providing expertise to facilitate quality improvement and clinical research that will improve patient outcomes. Learn more>>

"Throughout Senator Jeffords' 32 years of service to Vermont in Washington, he was a leader in the effort to promote and develop programs to improve patient safety and the quality of the nation's health care."

John Brumsted, M.D.
CEO, The University of Vermont Health Network & The University of Vermont Medical Center

Senator James M. Jeffords' Contributions to Health Care

In 2006, the Institute was named after Senator James M. Jeffords in recognition of his leadership in promoting health care quality and patient safety during his 32 years of service to Vermont as a United States Senator.

Highlights of Senator Jeffords' achievements include serving as chairman of the U.S Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and playing a leadership role in every major health care initiative to come before Congress during his tenure, including FDA reform, the creation of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, and the Patient Bill of Rights.

Through all these efforts, Senator Jeffords helped bring the issues of health care quality and patient safety to national prominence.

Institute for Quality Leadership

Stephen M. Leffler, MD 


Stephen M. Leffler, MD
Chief Population Health & Quality Officer

Stephen M. Leffler, MD, is the Chief Population Health & Quality Officer at The UVM Health Network and is responsible for the strategic direction and coordination of quality, patient safety, care management and population health programs for the six hospitals within the Network.  This position is the first senior leadership position created at the Network since its formation in 2011.

Dr. Leffler received his medical degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine and completed his residency in emergency medicine.  He earned a Master’s degree in health care delivery science at The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. He has served on numerous clinical committees and has been involved with developing significant organizational initiatives, including the Medical Center's regional STEMI project - a program to ensure heart attack victims receive life-saving care as rapidly as possible.

Jennifer Houlihan, MSP
Vice President, Quality & Operational Effectiveness

Jennifer Houlihan has extensive experience in the area of health care administration and population health strategy. She is currently The University of Vermont Health Network Vice President of Quality & Operational Effectiveness with the James M. Jeffords Institute for Quality.

Ms. Houlihan has primary responsibility for leading the organization’s clinical and operational performance improvement and analytical functions, patient advocacy, service excellence, infection prevention, patient safety and regulatory readiness.