Two leading long-term care experts are the new co-chairs of a quality initiative for nursing homes.

Cheryl Phillips, M.D., and David Gifford, M.D., will lead the Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes Campaign. The program, a combined effort of 30 organizations, measures quality outcomes and establishes improvement benchmarks. It sponsors Local Area Networks of Excellence and provides assistance to nursing homes that want to boost their quality of care. Since the campaign began in 2006, 46% of all U.S. nursing homes have participated, with many showing improvement success, a program representative said. For example, the number of pressure ulcers and daily use of physical restraints have decreased.

“Advancing Excellence offers nursing homes a unique opportunity to set goals for improvement, measure that improvement and access numerous resources to help meet the goals,” Phillips said. She is the senior vice president of advocacy at LeadingAge. Gifford is the senior vice president of quality and regulatory affairs at AHCA/NCAL. Their term with Advancing Excellence begins January 1, 2012.