About Jason

Jason E. Gillikin, BA, CPHQ

I’m a man of the people, a thwarter of evildoers. An ethicist by education, my professional career fell into the rabbit hole of the health care industry, yet I remain loyal to my vocation as a writer. (Don’t overthink it.)

My time is currently split in two major directions. By day, I lead a clinical analytics team for the managed-care arm of an integrated delivery system; my department specializes in quality-improvement outcomes and data-driven R&D related to population health management. In that capacity, I’ve become a nationally recognized leader in health data analytics related to QI initiatives.

By night, I lead an independent publishing company serving the readers and writers of West Michigan. I write, I edit, I publish — and the joy of connecting a great story to a willing audience makes the midnight oil’s smoke smell all the sweeter.

Contact Information

Education & Professional Development

  • B.A., moral philosophy and political science (minors in history, Latin, comparative religion), Western Michigan University (2003)
  • Graduate certificate in Applied Statistics, Western Michigan University (in process; accepted for enrollment as of autumn, 2014)
  • Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality, National Quality Certification Board (2006; recertified through 2016)
  • Amateur radio license, Technician class, Federal Communications Commission (2012)

Current Professional Experience

  • Chairman of the Board & CEO, Caffeinated Press, Inc.
    • Caffeinated Press is a small-scale independent publisher established in 2014 that serves the authors and readers of West Michigan.
      • Serve as lead editor of Brewed Awakenings, ​our annual house anthology, and as publisher of our quarterly literary journal, The 3288 Review.
      • Lead the Editorial Committee, providing general supervision of the editing and acquisitions processes of the company and overseeing more than a dozen contracted editors.
  • Manager, Clinical Analytics, Priority Health, Inc.
    • Priority Health is a Top 50 full-service health insurance company with more than 600,000 covered lives. Priority Health is part of the Spectrum Health system, a nationally recognized integrated health system with a dozen acute hospitals, the insurance company and an employed physician group with more than 1,200 providers.
      • Supervise a team of six FTE responsible for high-end analytics and statistics related to outcomes improvement, cost mitigation and expanded access to services.
      • Subject-matter expert for analytics related to readmissions, stimulant drug utilization and surgical-site infections.
  • President-Elect, Michigan Association for Healthcare Quality, Inc.
    • MAHQ has provided education and advocacy for health quality professionals since 1974.
      • Responsible for coordinating the organization’s annual educational conference. In 2014, the Traverse City conference ran two days and had 50 attendees, on a $10,000 budget.
      • Developed the first legislative advocacy program for the organization, developing relationships with policy analysts and legislative committee leaders in Lansing.

Former Professional Experience

  • Team Leader, Revenue Cycle Informatics, Spectrum Health Hospitals
    • Spectrum Health Hospitals includes nearly 2,000 licensed beds over eight acute hospitals — including the region’s only Level I adult and pediatric trauma centers. SHH is a teaching and research hospital affiliated with Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine.
      • Coordinated and evaluated work for nine systems analysts serving the scheduling, registration and coding functions.
      • Developed the first Revenue Cycle Scorecard used for several years by senior finance leaders.
  • Principal, Gillikin Consulting Group LLC
    • Part-time consultancy focused on start-up consulting, media management and systems deployment.
      • Small-business start-up consulting for Grand Rapids-area aspiring entrepreneurs
      • Webmaster and general technology consultant for several West- and Mid-Michigan law practices
  • Editor in Chief, Western Herald
    • During my tenure, the Western Herald published daily color broadsheets with an average daily circulation of 12,500.
      • Started as a staff columnist and eventually ran both the opinion and copy desks before being appointed by the board to lead the editorial division.
      • Supervised team of eight full-time section editors and more than 60 freelance writers and photographers.
      • Implemented the paper’s first robust beat system and ethics training program.
      • Streamlined editorial workflow to reduce overtime occurrences with the printers from once per week to zero times in six months, saving more than $25,000 in contracted labor costs.


  • Rising Quality Star Award (2014), National Association for Healthcare Quality.  This award is presented annually to one health quality professional who, in the determination of NAHQ’s professional recognition team, has made substantial contributions to the discipline.

Publications & Webinars

  • Gillikin, Jason, and David Rzeszutko, MD. “Improving SSI Performance at Spectrum Health.” Grand Rapids, MI (2015). Corporate white paper.
  • Gillikin, Jason. “Providence.” ​Brewed Awakenings. Ed. Jason Gillikin. Grand Rapids: Caffeinated Press (2015). Novelette within a fiction anthology.
  • Gillikin, Jason, and Linda Weirauch, RN. “Top 10 Errors in Data Interpretation: A Guide for Health Quality Professionals.” Michigan Association for Healthcare Quality (2014). Webinar.
  • Gillikin, Jason, and Catherine Munn. “ICD-10: What It Means to Healthcare Quality Professionals.” National Association for Healthcare Quality (2014). Webinar.
  • Gillikin, Jason, and Felicia Sadler, RN. “Value-Based Purchasing in Ambulatory Surgical Centers: Implications for Quality.” NAHQ e-News 2014.01 (2014): 1. Web.
  • Gillikin, Jason. “Manual of Usage, Syntax and Style.” Grand Rapids, MI (2013). White paper.
  • Gillikin, Jason, and Felicia Sadler, RN. “Harness Patient Care Analytics to Streamline Care Transitions.” NAHQ e-News 2012.12 (2012): 1. Web.
  • Gillikin, Jason. “Interpenetrated Design.”  Encyclopedia of Survey Research Methods.  Ed. Paul Lavrakas.  New York:  SAGE Publications, Inc. (2008). Peer-reviewed encyclopedia entry.
  • Gillikin, Jason. “Inclusive language.”  America Now: Short Readings from Recent Periodicals, 5th edition.  Ed. Robert Atwan.  New York:  Bedford/St. Martin’s (2003).  167-172. Persuasive essay.

Professional Development and Conference Activity

  • “Making Sense of Your Data: A Guide for Healthcare Quality Professionals.” Short course. Michigan Association for Healthcare Quality, Traverse City, MI, September 2014.​
  • “Making Sense of Your Data after ICD-10 and the ACA.” Presentation. National Association for Healthcare Quality, Nashville, TN, September 2014.
  • “From Stagflation to Six Sigma: A History of the Quality and Productivity Section.” Poster. American Statistical Association, Joint Statistical Meetings, Boston, MA, August 2014.
  • “Current Trends in Ambulatory Care — A SIG Roundtable Discussion.” Roundtable. National Association for Healthcare Quality, Louisville, KY, October 2013.
  • “Audit and Productivity Assessment for Hospital Patient Access Personnel.” Topic-contributed session. American Statistical Association, Joint Statistical Meetings, Miami, FL, August 2011.
  • “Deploying SPC Approaches for Assessing Health Care Revenue-Cycle Management.” Topic-contributed session. American Statistical Association, Joint Statistical Meetings, Denver, CO, August 2008.
  • “Ethics:  The (Usually) Misunderstood Contributor to a Culture of Quality.” Presentation. National Association for Healthcare Quality, San Diego, CA, September 2006.

In addition to the above-noted specific work product:

  • I wrote dozens of news stories and hundreds of editorials and bylined opinion columns published in the Western Herald, a daily, broadsheet, non-lab newspaper (circ. 12,500) affiliated with Western Michigan University (2000-2005).
  • I work with Demand Media as contract content writer, with content appearing in eHow.com, USAToday.com and the Houston Chronicle’s chron.com personal finance section; my articles earned more than 2.3 million page views for the period 9/2009 to 3/2014. In addition, I support Demand Media’s Technology section as a special-projects editor performing quality audits, new-writer onboarding and beta testing.

Audio & Video

  • Vice Lounge Online, weekly men’s lifestyle podcast, producer and co-host, 2010-present
  • University of Farmers, corporate training video (facility security), actor, 2013
  • Spectrum Health, corporate training video (patient privacy), actor, 2012
  • Spectrum Health, corporate training video (cultural competence), actor, 2011
  • Community Access Center (Kalamazoo, Mich.), volunteer CATV producer, 1997-1998
  • Meijer, Inc., corporate training video (customer service), actor, 1993


Professional Service

  • President-Elect/President/Immediate Past President, Michigan Association for Healthcare Quality (2014-2017)
  • Team co-leader, Health Data Analytics professional-competency workgroup, National Association for Healthcare Quality (2014-2015)
  • Team co-leader, State Leaders Team, National Association for Healthcare Quality (2015)
  • Team co-leader, Special Interest Groups, National Association for Healthcare Quality (2014)
  • Publications officer, Quality and Productivity section of the American Statistical Association (2009); Q&P Webmaster (2010-2016)
  • Editorial team, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2009)
  • Board of Reviewers, Journal for Healthcare Quality (2008)

Volunteer & Civic Engagement

  • Precinct delegate (elected) and voting delegate (state convention), Michigan Republicans (2014)
  • Lay chaplain, Diocese of Grand Rapids/Michigan Department of Corrections (2007-2008)
  • Habitat for Humanity of Kent County, MI (2007)
  • Worship coordinator and master of ceremonies to the diocesan bishop, Diocese of Grand Rapids (2007-2008)
  • Staff coordinator, Biomedical Ethics Committee, Spectrum Health (2005-2009)
  • Member, Diversity Council, Western Michigan University (2004-2005)
  • Member ex officio, board of directors, Western Herald (2004-2005)
  • Chairman, Liturgy Commission, St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church (2002-2009)
  • Member, board of directors, WIDR 89.1-FM (2002-2003)
  • Member, executive committee, Committee to Revise the Institutional Mission, Western Michigan University (2001-2002)
  • Coordinator, Student Legal Assistance Program, Western Michigan University (1999-2001)
  • Precinct delegate (elected), Ottawa County, MI (1998-2000)

Biography & Personal Trivia

Born in Grand Rapids in September, 1976 and has continuously resided in the region, including stints in Marne, Walker, Kentwood and Kalamazoo. Center-right Republican — hard right on economic questions, libertarian but pro-life on most social issues, mildly neocon on defense and foreign affairs. Fairly serious Roman Catholic in an intellectual/contemplative sense, with a passion for correct liturgy. Pansexual. A mastermind on the Kiersey Temperament Sorter (but sometimes an architect). Into kayaking, backcountry hiking and scuba diving. Reads mostly history (especially 20th century) and moral philosophy but with a soft spot for the Wheel of Time series. Listens to Medieval polyphany; contemporary alt-rock; baroque — see Jason’s Playlist post for details — and sometimes does so while enjoying a cigar and a dram of single-malt Scotch.

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