Jean Chenoweth, veteran leader of the 100 Top Hospitals program now part of IBM Watson Health, has died after a long battle with cancer.
Chenoweth spent much of her career running the program, which is typically advertised proudly by providers when they receive the distinction. The list relies on quality and operations data from the CMS to compare performance at hospitals and health systems.
Chenoweth was part of the 100 Top Hospitals program since its inception in 1993 when it was produced by Solucient. The name eventually changed to Truven Health Analytics, which is where most of Chenoweth's career was spent as senior vice president of performance improvement. She stayed in the role through Truven's acquisition in 2016 by IBM Watson Health.
Chenoweth was an advocate for transparency of quality data among hospitals. In an interview two years ago with Modern Healthcare, she said the 100 Top Hospitals program initially received pushback from hospitals because they weren't accustomed to having their quality data released publicly. "We received a lot of heat for publishing the names of high performers. Some hospitals were very angry that we would actually name names and publish benchmarks, but we persevered," Chenoweth said.
In addition to her research work, Chenoweth was asked to provide recommendations to the Obama administration on health assurance and disease prevention at the National Academy of Sciences Interoperability Summit.
Ekta Punwani, current leader of the 100 Top Hospitals Program, said in an email that Chenoweth will be deeply missed.
"Jean was an incredible leader, friend and mentor to me. She was inspiring and practical at the same time. I always felt that I could share what I was thinking without judgment. She was a great listener and sounding board. I will always be grateful that she found me and trusted me to continue the 100 Top Hospitals legacy," she said.