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Quality and Safety

Dr. Vitale's Dedication to Quality and Safety

Recognizing the very solemn responsibility that comes with caring for children with spinal problems, Dr. Vitale has a passion to help create the safest possible surgical environment possible, and is a national leader in this space.

Dr. Vitale founded The Safety in Spine Surgery Project (S3P) in 2016 to help improve safety in spine surgery across the nation. This organization hosts the annual Spine Safety Summit which brings spine surgeons from around the world to New York to learn about the latest ways to improve culture, create dedicated teams, and follow best practices to make spine surgery safe. Dr. Vitale has also chaired the Committee on Safety for the Scoliosis Research Society and has held numerous leadership posts in the Committee on Quality Safety and Value of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America.

Dr. Vitale has published and lectured extensively in this area. In fact, he has literally “written the book” in this space: Safety in Spine Surgery . He has also led the development of best practice guidelines looking at the best ways to avoid spine infection after surgery, ways to optimize neurological safety, ways to avoid wrong site surgery, best practices for the use of halo gravity traction before spine surgery, and has sought to standardize best practices for conservative scoliosis care. As President of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, Dr. Vitale launched the Pediatric Safe Surgery Program. More locally, Dr. Vitale is the Vice Chief for Quality, Safety and Strategy for the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, helping to lead these efforts across all areas of Orthopaedic surgery.

Safety-in-Spine-Surgery-Book-Dr. Vitale

Making Care Better Performance Improvement Fellowship 2023–2024

Job Summary: The Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian (MSCHONY) is seeking a candidate with experience in change management, patient safety, and quality improvement with an interest in pursuing a career in healthcare administration at a top academic medical center.

This fellowship is a specialized health services performance and quality improvement position working with and under the direction of Dr. Michael Vitale, Medical Director of the Pediatric Initiative to Make Care Better/Chief of Pediatric Spine Service and Mary Cassai, Vice President of Perioperative Services.

The fellow will support, facilitate, and coordinate pediatrics-wide quality improvement initiatives and projects, including interdisciplinary work with clinical, research, and administrative staff. It allows for a high degree of autonomy and the opportunity to meaningfully improve culture in an institution that prides itself on reliable delivery of high quality care. The position is designed to support and develop individuals with aspirations for increased responsibility in healthcare management and/or quality and safety. The projects assigned to the individual will allow for exposure to senior leadership.


Upcoming Informational Webinars

Join us at one of the below informational webinars hosted by our current fellow Chinenye Ezeh, fellow alum Erin Butrico, and members of our Talent Acquisition team.

Quality Fellow - Flyer

Click image to find out more details

Applications for the fellowship are due by October 15th at 11:59pm EST.


2022–Present | Chinenye Ezeh


BS in Global and Public Health Sciences, Cornell University
Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Management, Columbia University
Certificate in Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Columbia University



2021–2022 | Erin Butrico

Quality-Fellow-Erin Butrico

BA, Duke University, Durham NC
MHA, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health | May 2022
First Position After Fellowship:
Project Manager of Operations—NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital


2019–2021 | Divya Raman

Quality-Fellow-Divya Raman

BS, University of California, San Diego
MHA, Columbia University
First Position After Fellowship:
Operations Associate—Nomad Health


2019–2020 | Sushrut Arora

Quality-Fellow-Sushrut Arora

BS, State University of New York at Stony Brook
MPH, Yale University
First Position After Fellowship:
Associate Strategist—NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital


2018–2019 | Danielle Wiggins

Fellows-Quality-Danielle Wiggins

BS, Cornell University
MHA, Cornell University Sloan Program
First Position After Fellowship:
Project Manager, Office of the EVP/COO—NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital


2017–2018 | Jennifer Ringler

Quality-Fellow-Jennifer Ringler

BA, University of California, Berkeley
MHA, Columbia University
First Position After Fellowship:
Senior Project Manager—Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center


2016–2017 | Danielle Rossi

Fellows-Quality-Danielle Rossi

BS, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick  
MHA, Columbia University
First Position After Fellowship:
Business Administration Manager, Perioperative Services—NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital


2015–2016 | Navid Dardashti

BS, University of Maryland, College Park    
MPH, Columbia University  
First Position After Fellowship:
Senior Research Analyst—Egon Zehnder


2014–2015 | Kevin Wang

BA, Johns Hopkins University    
MHA, Columbia University 
First Position After Fellowship:
Senior Director, Performance Programs—HSS