About Jason

Jason E. Gillikin, BA, CPHQ, LSSGB

I’m a man of the people, a thwarter of evildoers, a butler to cats. Or so goes my pithy slogan. I’m also a fan of a quote attributed to Pope St. John XXIII: “See everything, overlook much, correct a little.”

Since the late 1990s I’ve split my professional working time in two different directions:

  • Quality, systems design, analytics, and data governance. 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. As a consultant outside of healthcare, I’ve functioned mostly as a virtual CIO for SMBs, bringing systems thinking and analytic precision to questions of revenue growth and business 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 led small press that operated 2014-2019. In early 2020, I launched a pair of new publishing-related companies, one focused on publishing and distribution and the other on author-consulting services.

Contact Information

  • Social media: Facebook (personal)  |  Facebook (author) |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn  |  Instagram  |  GoodReads  |  GitHub  |  YouTube
    • 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: Check the Contact page
  • Postal mail: 1590 44th St SW, Wyoming, Mich., 49509 (office)
  • Amateur radio: Station KD8SOI

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 2024)
  • Amateur radio license KD8SOI, Technician class, Federal Communications Commission (2012-2032)
  • Open-water diver, PADI (2008); specialty diver, SSI (2020)
  • 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 Consultant, Gillikin & Associates, Inc.
    • Gillikin & Associates is a consulting firm focused on quality/systems improvement, revenue strategy, advanced analytics, and ethics competency. Since 2021, G&A has been my primary, full-time line of business.
  • President, Lakeshore Literary, Inc.
    • Lakeshore Literary is a traditional small press offering three imprints and a literary journal, The Lakeshore Review. We publish 2-3 issues of the journal each year, as well as a periodic genre-fiction anthology and 1-2 books per year. LL is a quarter-time business.
  • President, Diction Dude LLC
    • Diction Dude delivers consulting services to authors as well as professional editing and writing services under contract. It’s a very-part-time business that’s mostly in maintenance mode (fewer than two hours per month) in 2023. Workload varies based on freelancing schedules.
  • Board Chairman, Lakeshore Literary Foundation
    • The Foundation, which is awaiting IRS determination for 501c3 status, is an umbrella public charity focused on improving the technical and business acumen of emerging writers in the Great Lakes region. Many of the smaller literary endeavors I’ve worked with (e.g., the Grand River Writing Tribe) have become more formalized programs within the foundation, each with a defined program director. It was established in late 2022 and started to “stand up” in mid-to-late 2023. At present, it’s a non-compensated role absorbing fewer than two hours per week.
  • Owner/Chief Executive Bookslinger, Jason’s Books & Coffee, Inc.
    • JB&C is a small bookstore and coffee shop. It fills open space within our leased office building. As of October 2023, it offers nearly 2,000 books (mostly used) as well as an assortment of coffee, tea, and snacks. JB&C employs two part-time colleagues. Although the store is open 44 hours per week, I spend about 8-12 hours per week on average attending to the bookstore’s administration.
  • Partner, Lord & General LLC
    • L&G is a shell partnership formed solely to manage the commercial lease and relevant insurance and utilities of the 1590 44th Street office building.

Former Professional Experience

  • Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO, Caffeinated Press, Inc. (2014-2019)
    • Caffeinated Press was a small independent publisher served the authors and readers of West Michigan. It was a part-time endeavor.
      • Served 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.
  • Manager, Advanced Analytics, Priority Health, Inc. (2014-2018)
    • 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 (2008-2013) [now Corewell Health]
    • 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.
  • Gratis appointment as affiliated research faculty (2014-18) for the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing’s Medical & Bioinformatics Program at Grand Valley State University, to recognize excellence in mentoring M.S. Biostatistics interns.
  • 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. “What We Talk About When We Talk About Population Health Studies.” National Association for Healthcare Quality (2020). Webinar.
  • Gillikin, Jason. Delivering MIRACLES: Structuring, Staffing & Supporting a High-Performing Healthcare Quality Team Using the MIRACLES Model. Book. [Forthcoming mid-2024]
  • Gillikin, Jason. From Pencil to Print: Practical Advice for Emerging Authors. Book. [Due 1Q 2024]
  • 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.
  • “First Page Critiques” (invited panel presentation). Get Published! Writers’ Conference, Holland, MI, March 2018.
    “Certified Professionals in Healthcare Quality” (invited panel discussion). Michigan Association for Healthcare Quality, Frankenmuth, MI, October 2017.
  • “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.
  • “Analytics for Improvement.” 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 served as executive editor for The 3288 Review, a semiannual journal of arts and letters. In that role, I oversaw final proofing, writing a back-of-the-mag column and contributing 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.
  • Demand Media (contract client, 2009-2015)—I wrote 729 articles with more than 5M total impressions. Edited 3,177 general-assignment articles and 134 high-touch articles. Served as assigning editor for 462 URLs and content auditor for 1,050 URLs. By 2014, appointed one of two contracted experts for eHow Tech, working directly with staff to administer this content vertical.
  • DotDash (contract client, 2016-present)—I’ve edited more than 1,000 URLs, including nearly 100 from-scratch rewrites (for which, the original author’s byline persists). Focused primarily on the Lifewire.com vertical, with additional support for VeryWell.com and ThoughtCo.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, 2010-2020
  • 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 Mid-2023

Professional Service

  • Board Secretary, Midwest Independent Publishers Association (2023-2026)
  • Board Treasurer, Building a Better Economy (2022-)
  • Member, Committee on Professional Ethics, American Statistical Association (2020-2022)
  • 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)
  • Peer reviewer, HQ Solutions (4th ed.), National Association for Healthcare Quality (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)
  • Co-leader, State Leaders Team, National Association for Healthcare Quality (2015)
  • Co-leader, Special Interest Groups Team, 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

  • Instructor, Uechi-ryu karate, Fourth Form Martial Arts Studio (2023-)
  • Municipal liaison, USA-MI-Grand Rapids region, National Novel Writing Month (2021-)
  • Member, Communications Apostolate, Sacred Heart Catholic Church (2021-2022)
  • Director (board treasurer), Write616 (2016-2019)
  • Statutory member, Executive Committee, Kent County Republicans (2017-2018; 2020-); elected member, Executive Committee (2019-2020)
  • Candidate for 17th district Kent County Commission (2016, 2020, 2022)
  • 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) [now Corewell Health]
  • 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, and chief sacristan/parochial master of ceremonies, 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+16. First released 7 Sept 2008; last revised 03 Oct 2023.]