AHA honors 22 'stars' of the health care industry. Did your organization make the list?

Pollack: Honorees are 'redefining what it means to be a hospital in the 21st century'

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has announced its annual awards to several hospitals and other organizations for being "stars" of the health care field for their achievements in quality, community health, palliative care, and more.

The award winners were profiled in the August issue of Hospitals & Health Networks, the official publication of AHA.

AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack wrote that the organizations profiled in the issue "are leading the way" in "redefining what it means to be a hospital in the 21st century." He added that the organizations "offer real-world experiences for all of us in health care to learn from and adapt to meet the needs of the people we serve."

The AHA–McKesson Quest for Quality Prize

The "Quest for Quality Prize" recognizes leadership and innovation in quality, safety, and commitment to patient care. This year's winner is Memorial Medical Center (Springfield, Illinois), which AHA praised for its success in adopting the Lean Six Sigma change process to achieve marked improvements.

Memorial also adopted a "30/30/30 Solution," setting an annual goal to certify 30 percent additional Lean Six Sigma staff, finish 30 percent more projects in 120 days on average, and achieve an average per-project improvement of at least 30 percent. Memorial has seen an average per-project improvement in outcomes of 43 percent and millions in financial value to the hospital.

AHA noted Memorial has launched several initiatives to take quality improvements "beyond the hospital [and] into the community," such as embedding counselors and psychiatrists within its patient-centered medical homes.

AHA also named Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital (Houston) a finalist for the award and awarded Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) the Citation of Merit.


AHA bestows the "NOVA Award" to up to five programs that seek to improve health at the community level "for improving community health by looking beyond patients' physical ailments, rooting out the economic and social barriers to care, and collaborating with other community stakeholders."

This year, AHA gave the award to:

  • Baylor Scott & White Health (Dallas), for its Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute (DHWI), which as of July 31, 2015, helped 40 percent of the thousands of DHWI members achieve optimal blood sugar levels and 67 percent achieve optimal blood pressure control;
  • Bon Secours Hampton Roads Health System (Virginia), for its Building a Healthy Community Initiative, which helped rebuild the coastal community of East Ocean View after a hurricane and provides health assessments to local residents;
  • Memorial Hermann Health System (Houston), for its Mobile Dental Program, which provides almost 2,000 dental procedures for 230 local uninsured students every month;
  • Spectrum Health (Grand Rapids, Michigan), for its Strong Beginnings program, which focuses on reducing infant mortality and strengthening families through community partnerships; and
  • Tanner Health System (Georgia), for its Get Healthy, Live Well program, which focuses on improving community health outcomes, including by expanding access to programs to manage and prevent obesity, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.

Circle of Life Award

The "Circle of Life" award honors programs that show leadership in family- and patient-centered end-of-life and palliative care. AHA bestowed this year's award on three health systems:

  • Bon Secours Richmond Health System (Richmond, Virginia), "whose palliative medicine team is based out of its medical group, giving it flexibility to move seamlessly across the continuum";
  • Susquehanna Health (Williamsport, Pennsylvania), whose multidisciplinary palliative care team members venture into the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania to reach dying patients in their homes; and
  • The University of Washington's (UW) Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence (Seattle), which coordinates palliative care, research, and education and "supports high-quality, consistent palliative care across the" UW system.

AHA also awarded OSF HealthCare Supportive Care (Peoria, Illinois), Memorial Hermann Physician Network and Symptom Management Consultants (Houston), and Meridian Health (Neptune, New Jersey) with Citations of Honor for their efforts in end-of-life and palliative care.

Dick Davidson Quality Milestone Award

The "Quality Milestone" award honors the state, regional, or metropolitan hospital association that demonstrates leadership, innovation, and effectiveness in improving quality within its geographic area. AHA gave this year's award to the Maryland Hospital Association (MHA).

AHA noted that MHA has implemented a global budget payment system and has made progress in working with providers to reduce preventable complications and readmissions.

AHA also bestowed honorable mentions to the Kansas Hospital Association and the Ohio Hospital Association.

The Most Wired Innovator Award

AHA bestowed its "Most Wired Innovator Award" award to organizations that use information technology in innovative ways. This year, AHA gave the award to:

  • Holy Name Medical Center (Teaneck, New Jersey), whose developed a "clinically integrated tool that facilitates screening and follow-up processes" for hepatitis C;
  • St. Clair Hospital (Pittsburgh), whose Breakthrough on Price Transparency online tool gives "providers highly accurate prices for health care services," alongside information on patient satisfaction, safety, and quality; and
  • The Texas Hospital Association, whose Smart Ribbon program "gives providers real-time, patient-specific hospital costs and risk data" in EHRs.

AHA also recognized Baptist Health South Florida (Coral Gables) and St. Joseph Mercy Oakland (Pontiac, Michigan) as finalists for the award (Pollack, H&HN, 8/16; Aston, H&HN, 8/5 [1]; Aston, H&HN, 8/5 [2]; Aston, H&HN, 7/22; O'Connor, H&HN, 8/11 [1]; O'Connor, H&HN, 8/11 [2]; O'Connor, H&HN, 8/10 [1]; O'Connor, H&HN, 8/170 [2]; Greene, H&HN, 8/15; Larson, H&HN, 8/15; Larson, H&HN, 8/16; Larson, H&HN, 8/10; H&HN list, accessed 8/16).

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