CQI, Inc.

11 Dartmouth Street
Suite 301
Malden, MA 02148

Tel: (617) 427-0505
Fax: (617) 445-5846


Consumer Quality Initiatives, Inc. - Closed June 30, 2015

We have closed our doors for good as of June 30, 2015.  Below we describe how we came to that decision. For a historical walk through the life of CQI's history, please refer to the following report commissioned by the Board of Directors:

Closing Our Doors

Since 1998, Consumer Quality Initiatives, Inc. (CQI) has been an important voice, through research and program evaluation, of people with lived experience of mental illness.  Founded by Jonathan Delman, PhD JD, MHP, and with seed funding from the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (MBHP), CQI has clients and partners that include: MBHP, the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Disability Policy Consortium (DPC).

CQI's voice is unique in the field of research and evaluation due to its faithful use of an important and evidence-based qualitative method, Community Participatory Action Research (CPAR), which empowers people with lived experience to design, implement and analyze research and evaluation projects.  CQI has been a leader in establishing peer-led research as a best practice, both in Massachusetts and nationally.

Upon the resignation of its second executive director, Theodore Chelmow, PhD, LMHC, the Board of Directors of CQI has made the difficult decision to cease operations as of June 30, 2015.  CQI will complete the projects set forth in current contracts, but will not be taking on new projects.

We strongly believe in the importance of continuing to have consumer input in mental health planning, programming and evaluation.  The Disability Policy Consortium, an organization with which we have partnered over the last two years, will launch a research division that is poised to continue vital peer-led research.  They are strengthening the involvement of individuals with lived experience of mental illness by adding to their board of directors and staff, which will serve to complement their work in the area of physical disabilities.  We are supportive of this expansion and hopeful that DPC can carry on some of CQI's important work.

Finally, we thank all of our clients, partners, former board members and employees (past and current) for the many years of collaboration and support in this important work.

CQI Board of Directors
Laurie Ansorge Ball
Richard Beinecke
Louise Aulier

Consumer Quality Initiatives
is a mental health consumer-led research, evaluation, and quality improvement nonprofit organization in Massachusetts.  Our mission is to develop opportunities for the meaningful involvement of consumers and family members in all aspects of mental health research and program evaluation.

CQI aims to study issues that are relevant to the community; initiate changes to improve the system for all; and narrow the gap between research, evaluation, and practice. CQI conducts research and evaluation projects that utilize a Community-based Participatory Action Research approach, a collaborative method that involves all partnering organizations and consumers in the research process, and recognizes the unique strengths that each brings

A primary activity of CQI is to conduct personal interviews and focus groups with people with disabilities and/or their family members, using semi-structured surveys and interview guides, leading to in-depth data-driven reports and an emphasis on protocols designed to impact policy and practice directly.  CQI also consults locally and nationally on achieving significant involvement of consumers in the "change" process to promote mental health systems transformation and quality improvement. 

CQI has been recognized by the National Assoc. of State Mental Health Program Directors as a best practice for "consumer involvement in evaluation of treatment services"


Developing the DMH Research Agenda- Stakeholder Focus Groups

This report is a collaborative effort of CQI and Dougherty Management Associates. Statewide consumer research priorities are listed herein, as well as many current mental health reearch projects taking place in Massachusetts. Our thanks to Mass. DMH for financial support and to Medical Director Mary Ellen Foti for her consistent support of community-driven mental health research.


Photovoice Young Adult Project 


Read More....

CQI Assistant Director, Melissa Goodman and others have published an important article on Participatory Program Evaluation: 


Young Adults Value Participation, Meaningful Employment and Caring


Examining the Role of the Peer Specialist Working at a Day Treatment Program

This report was completed for the Mass. Behavioral Health Partnership, based on interviews with consumers attending day programs with a peer component. We also make recommendations for future consideration.


Consumer-Led Evaluation Teams:A Peer-Led Approach to Assessing Consumer Experiences with Mental Health Services


In 2009, CQI recently prepared a report for National Empowerment Center on best practices in consumer-run evaluation organizations. The report examines current consumer-run evaluation teams, identifies their core and innovative features, and presents recommendations for those planning to start a consumer-led evaluation team.