About Jason

Jason E. Gillikin, BA, CPHQ

I’m a man of the people, a thwarter of evildoers, a butler to cats.

I split my professional working time in two directions:

  • Healthcare quality. I’ve been in healthcare for nearly two decades, across different settings and organizations. Most recently, I’ve been identified as a national leader in health quality analytics. I lead a one-person consulting agency focused on health quality and health analytics optimization.
  • Editing and publishing. In some capacity since 1998, I’ve been involved as a writer, editor or publisher — first in newspapers, then for online media corporations, and most recently for a local small press. With my business partners, I co-founded and lead a small press with its own emerging sister company focused on literary distribution. This company is closing at the end of 2019, after which I’ll launch in early 2020 an author-services company and a follow-up micro press.

Contact Information

  • Social media: Facebook (personal)  |  Facebook (author) |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn  |  Tumblr  |  Instagram  |  GoodReads  |  GitHub  |  YouTube  |  Spotify  |  Vine
    • Please use my social-media links for personal reasons only. If you need to reach me professionally, please connect through the website for the relevant business entity.
  • Email: Use the Contact Form; if relevant, my PGP public key is 1180285D
  • Postal mail: 3167 Kalamazoo Ave SE, Suite 203, Grand Rapids MI  49508 [office address]
  • Phone attendant/voice mail/fax: toll-free (833) 452-7664 — that’s 833-4-JASON-G — but cold calls are always screened
  • Amateur radio: Station KD8SOI @ EN72ew

Education, Certification, Licensure & Professional Development

  • B.A., moral philosophy and political science (minors in history, Latin, comparative religion), Western Michigan University (2003)
  • Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality, Healthcare Quality Certification Commission (2006; recertified through 2020)
  • Amateur radio license KD8SOI, Technician class, Federal Communications Commission (2012)
  • Open-water diver, PADI (2008)
  • Wilderness First Responder (2018-2021)
  • Affiliated clinical faculty (gratis appointment) at Grand Valley State University, Padnos College of Engineering and Computing, Medical and Bioinformatics program (2014-2018)

Current Professional Experience

  • Principal, Gillikin & Associates, Inc.
    • Gillikin & Associates is a consulting firm focused on healthcare quality improvement.
  • Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO, Caffeinated Press, Inc.
    • Caffeinated Press is a small independent publisher established in 2014 that serves the authors and readers of West Michigan. It’s a part-time endeavor.
      • Serve as series editor of Brewed Awakenings, our annual-ish house anthology, and as both publisher and executive editor of our semiannual literary journal, The 3288 Review.
      • Guide corporate strategy as chairman of a six-member board of directors.
    • President, Lakeshore Literary Logistics, Inc.
      • L3 is a sister company to Caffeinated Press, founded in 2019 to facilitate wholesale distribution of small-press and curated self-published books and literary journals.
      • L3 sponsors a “Journal of the Month Club” through Patreon to connect low-exposure literary journals to a broader reading audience.

Former Professional Experience

  • Manager, Advanced Analytics, Priority Health, Inc.
    • Priority Health is a Top 50 full-service health insurance company with nearly 800,000 covered lives. Priority Health is part of 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.
      • Supervised a team of four analysts responsible for business-case validation, exploratory clinical analytics and population-health studies
      • Subject-matter expert for analytics related to readmissions, stimulant drug utilization and surgical-site infections.
      • Oversaw the annual HEDIS acquisition and abstraction (MRR) process for the HEDIS 2016 cycle, including roadmap attestation, IDSS submission/attestation and PLD/PCR submission.
  • 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.
  • President, 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
      • Freelance writer/editor for several major online content providers
  • Editor in Chief, Western Herald
    • During my tenure, the Western Herald published full-color broadsheets (eight to 20 pages, Monday through Thursday, with a weekly supplemental entertainment tabloid insert) 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 a 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.


  • Employer of the Year (2017), Grand Valley State University. This award, offered by GVSU’s professional science master’s program, recognizes employers who excelled at mentoring M.S.-level interns. The managers at Priority Health’s Advanced Analytics team (I was one of four) won the 2017 award for our long-term relationship with the program.
  • 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.
  • Distinguished Service Award (2005), Western Herald. This award recognizes outstanding service to the franchise as determined by the board of directors.

Selected Publications & Webinars

  • Gillikin, Jason. “Integrating Social Determinant Data to Mitigate Rising Clinical Risk.” National Association for Healthcare Quality (8/2018). Webinar.
  • Gillikin, Jason and Andrew Kopolow and Karen Schrimmer. Code of Ethics for the Healthcare Quality Profession. Chicago: National Association for Healthcare Quality (2018). Technical non-fiction.
  • Gillikin, Jason. “A Moment of Clarity.” Remaining Catholic When You’ve Been Hurt in the Church. Ed. Eve Tushnet. Eugene: Cascade Press/Wipf and Stock Publishers (2018). Personal essay.
  • Gillikin, Jason. “Conversion Therapy.” Division by Zero: Double Take. Ed. M. Rohr. Holland: MiFiWriters (2018). Speculative fiction novelette.
  • Gillikin, Jason. “Integrating Risk Data to Improve Outcomes.” National Association for Healthcare Quality (9/2016). Webinar.
  • Gillikin, Jason. “Assessing Relative Risk to Prioritize Improvement Opportunities.” National Association for Healthcare Quality (2/2016). Webinar.
  • Gillikin, Jason. “The Use of Risk Adjustment in Quality Analytics.” National Association for Healthcare Quality (9/2015). Webinar.
  • 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, RN. “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.

Please view my Literary page for additional publication experience and current work-in-progress.

Conference Activity

  • “Integrating Social Determinants of Care into Care Transitions.” Invited presentation. Michigan Association for Healthcare Quality, November 2019.
  • “Work-Life Balance.” Panel presentation; moderator. Small Business Association of Michigan Annual Conference, Lansing MI, June 2019.
  • “Connecting to Purpose through Ethically Competent Communication.” Invited presentation. District of Columbia Hospital Association. Washington, DC. June 2019.
  • “Building an Analytics Infrastructure for Quality Improvement.” Invited presentation. National Association for Healthcare Quality. Minneapolis, MN. November 2018.
  • “Pre-Rational Leadership: Inspiring Lasting Change Through Ethically Competent Communication.” Invited presentation. National Association for Healthcare Quality. Minneapolis, MN. November 2018.
  • “Voice and POV.” Panel discussant. Get Published! Writers Conference. Holland, MI. March 2018.
  • “Integrating Social Determinant Data to Mitigate Rising Clinical Risk.” Topic-contributed presentation. NAHQ Next. Cincinnati, OH. September 2017.
  • “Health Data Analytics.” Invited presentation. Illinois Association for Healthcare Quality. Naperville, IL. May 2017.
  • “The Zeroth Law of Publishing: Working with Small Presses and Lit Journals.” Topic-contributed presentation. UntitledTown Book and Author Festival. Green Bay, WI. April 2017.
  • “Query Letters.” Panel organizer/moderator. Get Published! Writers’ Conference. Holland, MI. April 2017.
  • “Case Studies in Health Analytics.” Short course. Maryland Association for Healthcare Quality, Annapolis, MD.  June 2016.
  • “Health Data Analytics.” Invited presentation. Wisconsin Association for Healthcare Quality, Wisconsin Dells, WI. February 2016.
  • “The Zeroth Law of Publishing.” Panel organizer/moderator. Get Published! Writers’ Conference. Holland, MI. January 2016.
  • “First Page Critiques.” Panel participant. Get Published! Writers’ Conference. Holland, MI. January 2016.
  • “Edits: Yes You Must.” Invited presentation. Kent District Library Fall Writers’ Conference. Kentwood, MI. October 2015.
  • “Health Policy Update: Lansing Edition.” Invited presentation. Michigan Association for Healthcare Quality, Grand Rapids, MI. September 2015.
  • “Heath Data Analytics.” Invited presentation. RLPalooza (vendor conference). Invited presentation. New Orleans, LA. June 2015.
  • “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.” Topic-contributed 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 presentation. American Statistical Association, Joint Statistical Meetings, Miami, FL. August 2011.
  • “Ethics:  The (Usually) Misunderstood Contributor to a Culture of Quality.” Topic-contributed presentation. National Association for Healthcare Quality, San Diego, CA. September 2006.

In addition to the above-noted specific work product and professional experience:

  • I currently serve as executive editor for The 3288 Review, a semiannual journal of arts and letters. In that role, I oversee final proofing, write a back-of-the-mag column and contribute occasional book reviews.
  • 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 (average daily circulation of 12,500) affiliated with Western Michigan University, in the period 1999 to 2005. Most of this work is no longer available online.
  • I worked 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 supported Demand Media’s Technology section as a special-projects editor performing quality audits, new-writer onboarding and beta testing (5/2014 to 8/2015).
  • Starting in late 2016, I freelance edit for DotDash (formerly About.com), supporting the enhancement of existing content for placement in the company’s premium verticals for technology (Lifewire.com), general knowledge (ThoughtCo.com) and health (Verywell.com).

Audio & Video

  • The Economics of Publishing,” online course, developer/instructor, March 2019
  • 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

I also occasionally join as a guest on established podcasts, including The Bettor Life in 2019 and Denton, Dallas & Beyond in 2018 and 2019.

Personal & Professional Memberships as of July 2019

Professional Service

  • Facilitator, Grand River Writing Tribe (2017-)
  • Director (ex officio), National Association for Healthcare Quality by virtue of serving as chairman of the Recognition of the Profession Commission (1/2016 to 9/2018)
  • Trustee, Healthcare Quality Foundation (1/2016 to 9/2018)
  • President-Elect, Michigan Association for Healthcare Quality (1/2014 to 11/2015)
  • Team co-leader, Code of Ethics Revision, National Association for Healthcare Quality (2017-2018)
  • 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 (2010-2018)
  • Editorial team, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2009)
  • Board of Reviewers, Journal for Healthcare Quality (2008)

Volunteer & Civic Engagement

  • Director (board treasurer), Write616 (2016-2019)
  • Statutory member, Executive Committee, Kent County Republicans (2017-2018); elected member, Executive Committee (2019-2020)
  • Candidate for 17th district Kent County Commission (2016)
  • Precinct delegate (elected, Kent County) 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 administrator, Biomedical Ethics Committee, Spectrum Health (2005-2009)
  • Member, Diversity Council, Western Michigan University (2004-2005)
  • Director (ex officio), Western Herald by virtue of serving as editor in chief (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), Michigan Republicans (1998-2000)
  • Member, executive committee, Kalamazoo County Republicans (1997-1999)
  • Volunteer CATV producer, Community Access Center, Kalamazoo, Mich. (1997-1999)

Biography & Personal Trivia

Born in West Michigan in September, 1976 and a continuous resident of the region. Center-right Republican—conservative 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) and sometimes labeled as an INTJ. 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 music—and sometimes does so while enjoying a cigar and a dram of single-malt Scotch, between attending to the needs of his two feline overlords.

[Revision 57+14. First released 7 Sept 2008; last revised 11 Nov 2019.]