FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 21, 2012
WASHINGTON—Five safety net hospitals and health systems will be recognized for their exceptional work to improve quality, patient safety, and population health during the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems’ (NAPH’s) annual conference, June 20 to 22, in San Francisco.
The NAPH Gage Awards Program—named after NAPH founder and safety net advocate Larry S. Gage—honors and shares the outstanding work of NAPH members. Winners are recognized for innovations that improve community health and save money and that can be replicated in organizations across the country.
“Gage Award Winners are mentors for an industry undergoing unprecedented change,” said NAPH President and Chief Executive Officer Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH. “They are spearheading innovation and transformation and stand ready to lead by example.”
2012 Award for Improving Quality and Patient Safety
This award recognizes member projects that have improved the quality of care delivered to patients and reduced or eliminated harmful patient events.
Winner—NuHealth/Nassau University Medical Center (East Meadow, N.Y.) for Eliminating Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSIs). To eliminate CLABSIs—one of the most serious hospital-acquired infections—NuHealth improved procedures for inserting and maintaining central lines and monitoring patient risks. The organization used real-time feedback and evidence-based care to reduce CLABSIs by 74 percent in less than a year.
Honorable Mention—Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) (San Jose, Calif.) for Eliminating Hypothermia on Admission in Very Low Birthweight (VLBW) Infants. SCVMC developed a thermoregulation guideline for standardizing temperature management of VLBW infants using the Neonatal Resuscitation Program and California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative best practice guidelines for preventing hypothermia. SCVMC reduced the rate of hypothermia in VLBW infants from a baseline of 44 percent in early 2006 to zero percent in January 2009. Ongoing staff education and feedback sustained the zero percent rate in 2011.
2012 Award for Improving Population Health
This award recognizes member projects that have improved care delivery, access, or value for specific populations in a community.
Winner—Harris County Hospital District (HCHD) (Houston) for Healthy Harvest. HCHD launched Healthy Harvest to improve access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables for patients and their families and to educate them on the importance of maintaining a healthful, nutritious diet. In partnership with Veggie Pals, Inc., a local nonprofit that provides nutrition services and education, HCHD set up weekly fresh produce markets at five HCHD community health centers in underserved areas. During the first two months of operation, the markets sold nearly 5 tons of fresh fruits and vegetables. Their early positive results led to five additional sites established in February 2012.
Honorable Mention—Wishard Health Services (Indianapolis) for Wishard Volunteer Advocates Program (WVAP). Wishard developed WVAP to address an unmet community need for guardianship programs for ill and at-risk adults and seniors who have no family or close friends to turn to and who are incapable of advocating for their own health care. Authorized by Indiana law, the WVAP recruits, trains, and supervises volunteer advocates who serve as court-appointed guardians for patients in need, protecting their health, well-being, and safety.
Honorable Mention—Lee Memorial Health System (Fort Myers, Fla.) for Lee Physician Group Dunbar Clinic. Lee Memorial Health System opened the Lee Physician Group Dunbar Clinic in 2011 to provide primary care to high-risk patients in the targeted, low-income area of Dunbar, in Lee County. Today, the clinic sees more than 350 visits a month and links many of those patients to specialty and support services. The clinic is promoting individual chronic disease management and reducing costly emergency department visits and hospitalizations for this community, leading to improved patient and community health.
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About the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (NAPH)
NAPH represents the nation’s safety net hospitals and health systems, which provide high volumes of care to low-income individuals. These facilities offer high-quality health services for all patients, including the uninsured and underinsured, regardless of ability to pay. In addition to helping ensure access to health care for all Americans, safety net hospitals provide many essential communitywide services, such as primary care, trauma care, and neonatal intensive care. Safety net hospitals also train many of America’s doctors, nurses, and other health care providers. Since its inception in 1980, NAPH has cultivated a strong presence on Capitol Hill, with the executive branch, and in many state capitols. NAPH advocates on behalf of its members on such issues as Medicaid, Medicare, and access to health care services for vulnerable populations. For more information, visit our website at http://www.naph.org/.