Alumna leads at the bedside and beyond

Henrisa Tosoc-Haskell stands in front of the UNOS National Donor Memorial, which honors all organ, eye and tissue donors. Photo by Andrew Swartz/UNOS

By Anthony Langley (B.S.’16/MC)

When the United Network for Organ Sharing merged two units into a newly created department of member quality, the organization set its sights on finding someone with the right set of skills to help the organization, and its employees, navigate the new course.

“Embarking on a journey from a compliance-focused organization to an organization focused on performance improvement, we were looking for someone who had experience with quality practices and performance improvement,” says Maureen McBride, Ph.D. (Ph.D.’95/M), UNOS’ chief contract operations officer.

They found their match in Henrisa Tosoc-Haskell (M.S.’88/N; M.S.H.A.’02/AHP), who joined the Richmond-based organization last July as director of member quality.

“I wasn’t really looking for a change,” says Tosoc-Haskell, who at the time was working as corporate director of quality and clinical improvement at Bon Secours Health System. “But when I sat down with the team here, I saw how mission-driven they were, and I decided to come aboard.”

Quality and performance improvement has always been one of Tosoc-Haskell’s passions. She serves on the National Board of Examiners for the Baldrige Award for Performance Excellence, the only presidential award given to organizations for performance excellence. She has also been an examiner for the board, at both state and national levels, for the past four years.

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“Her clinical background, having worked in different hospital settings, and her work with the Baldrige Award were a huge advantage,” McBride says of Tosoc-Haskell’s credentials.

Tosoc-Haskell earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Old Dominion University and then joined the nursing extern program at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, where she continued work as a nurse for several years before changing her focus to gerontology. She enrolled in the master’s program at the VCU School of Nursing and, as part of her studies, worked on a home-care team under Peter Boling, M.D. (H.S.’84/M), professor and chair of the Division of Geriatric Medicine in the VCU School of Medicine.

“I was really fortunate to work under Dr. Boling, but I had a desire to broaden my focus to the other end of the health care continuum,” she says.

Tosoc-Haskell took several sports medicine classes toward the end of her studies and, after graduation, moved to Louisiana where she worked as an athletic trainer for the Louisiana State University football team. She returned to Richmond, and VCU, to earn her master’s in health administration and, because of her experience at LSU, landed a position as practice director with VCU Sports Medicine. There, she played a role in the construction of the Sports Medicine Center on West Broad Street near the Siegel Center.

“It broadened my skills in leadership and management,” Tosoc-Haskell says of her tenure at Sports Medicine. “It was a great opportunity to showcase everything I had learned up to that point.”

In 2003, she moved to Bon Secours Health System in Marriottsville, Maryland, where she spent the next 11 years.

Today, as UNOS’ director of member quality, Tosoc-Haskell monitors the performance of transplant hospitals, organ procurement organizations and laboratories that work with UNOS and their compliance with organ procurement and transport policies.

“She’s been amazing,” McBride says. “She’s really unified the team. Taking two departments and making them one can be challenging from a management and operational perspective, and she really brought them together. She also spearheaded a number of projects to improve our internal operations and change our vision for how we want to see member quality operate in the future.”

For Tosoc-Haskell, the most rewarding part of the job is knowing how her work gives others a chance to live.

“We have people who’ve been on organ waitlists for a long time,” she says. “But because of the work we do, our monitoring and expertise, we can provide an organ to recipients in an efficient and safe way. It’s that sense of purpose that drives the work we do at UNOS.”