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Hospital Association Honors Four Members for Quality, Population Health


WASHINGTON — America’s Essential Hospitals, whose more than 325 members care for the vulnerable and keep communities healthy, today honored four member hospitals and health systems for outstanding work to improve health care quality and population health.

The association announced the 2018 Gage Award winners at its annual meeting, VITAL2018, in San Francisco. Named for association founder Larry Gage, the awards recognize creative and successful programs that improve patient care and serve community needs.

“Essential hospitals are pioneers in a challenging health care landscape,” said America’s Essential Hospitals President and CEO Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH. “Our Gage Award winners show how taking risks with inventive projects not only can improve quality of care within hospitals, but also expand care beyond a hospital’s walls.”

2018 Award for Quality

This award recognizes activities to improve the quality of care delivered or that work to eliminate events that harm individual patients or groups of patients.

Winner: Boston Medical Center (BMC), Boston

To improve treatment for infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), Boston Medical Center altered pharmacologic treatment protocols and adopted nonpharmacologic interventions, including promotion of breastfeeding, rooming-in models of care, and parental presence. These interventions resulted in lower hospital charges and shorter hospital stays for affected infants.

“Innovative models of care to better serve our patients and families are a top priority at Boston Medical Center. This exciting new and now proven approach to neonatal abstinence syndrome has resulted in greatly improved care and shorter hospital stays for our smallest, most vulnerable patients,” said Kate Walsh, BMC’s president and CEO. “We are honored to be recognized by America’s Essential Hospitals and hope that these pioneering methods can be a resource for hospitals across the country.”

Honorable Mention: Denver Health Medical Center, Denver

After assessing hospital safety in 2013, Denver Health leadership developed Target Zero, a bundled metric of six hospital harm events: falls, medication safety events, surgical site infections, hospital-acquired Clostridium difficile infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, and central line– associated blood stream infections. Over two years, the hospital saw a 20 percent reduction in annual harm events.

“We feel like so many of the hospitals that are represented by America’s Essential Hospitals are just like us, and to be recognized among a group of peers for excellence in patient safety is incredibly gratifying,” said Thomas MacKenzie, MD, MSPH, chief quality officer at Denver Health. “Having known Larry Gage myself, I’m proud to have Denver Health receive this award, on behalf of our entire Target Zero team.”

2018 Award for Population Health

This award recognizes activities that counter social determinants of poor health, such as food insecurity, homelessness, language barriers, and other socioeconomic factors.

Winner: Greenville Health System (GHS), Greenville, South Carolina

Greenville Health System developed the Patient-Centered Medical Neighborhoods model to increase access to appropriate health care in at-risk neighborhoods. The health system reduced utilization and lowered costs by deploying teams of community paramedics, community health workers, social workers, and clinicians to conduct home visits and run a mobile health clinic.

“Greenville Health System is honored to receive the Gage Award in Population Health,” said Spence Taylor, MD, the system’s president. “Through its focus on our most vulnerable patients, our ‘Neighborhood Partnerships to Improve the Health of Communities’ program is critical to fulfilling GHS’ commitment to serve all patients regardless of income. We hope to expand this work in our communities and look forward to sharing our program with others.”

Honorable Mention: Memorial Healthcare System, Hollywood, Florida

ALLIES (Adults Living Life Independent, Educated, and Safe) helps the growing senior community of Broward County, Florida, age in place through preventive education, active socialization, home visits, screening and assessments, case management, and supportive services. Since June 2016, the program has served more than 900 seniors, who report increased knowledge, community connection, and ability to perform daily tasks.

“Memorial has a long history of engaging in practices that improve the health of our population, starting with the uninsured in our community, by providing them with access to primary care health services in a primary care medical home model,” said Matt Muhart, the system’s executive vice president and chief administrative officer. “It has been a natural evolution for Memorial to engage in population health activities, and, with our partners in population health, we now are responsible for improving the health and cost efficiency for more than 200,000 lives in South Florida.”

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About America’s Essential Hospitals
America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. We support our more than 325 members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education. Communities depend on essential hospitals to provide specialized, lifesaving services; train the health care workforce; advance public health and health equity; and coordinate care. Essential hospitals innovate and adapt to lead the way to more effective and efficient care. Learn more at

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