UNC Children’s Airway Center recognized for high-quality care delivery

The Airway Center is the first specialty practice at the hospital to receive this designation, which honors exceptional care and dedication to patient needs.

The N.C. Children’s Airway Center was recently recognized as a Level 2 Patient-Centered Specialty Practice by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). This designation recognizes the Airway Center’s responsiveness to patients and medical colleagues, cooperation and integration with other health care groups, and dedication to continuous improvement.

It is the first specialty practice at UNC Hospitals to receive the designation.

“This recognition is evidence of our work to ensure the best patient experience possible, delivered by physicians, clinicians and nurses that our patients trust,” said Kathy Abode, RN, MPH, clinical program director at the Airway Center. “We are thankful for such dedicated faculty and staff and all they do to improve care for our patients.”

To receive this recognition, the Airway Center met or exceeded national standards for:

  • Communicating with primary care clinicians to exchange key information and establish coordinated care plans.
  • Providing timely access to care and clinical advice based on patient need.
  • Using a systematic approach to track referrals and coordinate care.
  • Measuring and improving performance over time

The Airway Center is one of the few pediatric airway centers nationwide. It provides an individualized, coordinated approach to each patient and offers a full range of pediatric medical and surgical services, including anesthesia, radiology, ICU care, feeding and swallowing, sleep evaluation, nutrition, tracheostomy care, social work, respiratory therapy, speech and communication.  


NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. NCQA’s Web site (ncqa.org) contains information to help consumers, employers and others make more informed health care choices.