ST. PAUL, Minn. — Innovative programs and outstanding leaders in healthcare were honored recently at the Minnesota Hospital Association’s 27th annual awards ceremony at the Metropolitan Ballroom in Minneapolis.
Seventeen awards were given for extraordinary achievement in categories ranging from public achievement and volunteerism to innovation and improvement in patient care and patient safety.
The achievements showcase the kind of top-quality care that typifies Minnesota hospitals, said Minnesota Hospital Association President and CEO Lawrence Massa.
“By pursuing excellence in every aspect of their operations, the men and women of these innovative, high-performing hospitals have shown a real passion for the patients and communities they serve,” Massa said. “Thanks to their innovation, diligence and commitment Minnesota hospitals continue to be among the best in the nation.” Honorees include:
Public Achievement Award
Governor Mark Dayton
Gov. Mark Dayton earned this award for his decision to enroll Minnesota in early Medicaid — his first act as governor — and for ordering sweeping reforms to the state’s managed care programs.
Early Medicaid enrollment is expected to bring in about $1.2 billion in federal resources to the state. Simply put: Early Medicaid enrollment generates cost savings for the state, provides a source of payment to healthcare providers for their services, and offers better healthcare coverage for low-income adults. MHA also applauds the governor for his March 23 executive order that calls for a competitive process among the state’s managed care providers along with regular audits of those health plans and full disclosure of their profits and expenses.
Volunteer of the Year Award
Eric Dahlquist of Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Eric Dahlquist began volunteering for Children’s Hospitals and Clinics at age 12, just two years into his cancer treatments at Children’s. And after five years he hasn’t stopped giving back. His first act: He led the “Dollars for DVDs” campaign at his middle school and raised $1,300 to equip 12 hospital rooms with DVD players.
Dahlquist has volunteered for the Children’s Youth Advisory Council since 2008. His involvement has benefitted thousands of patients who now experience the amenities and programs spearheaded by the council. Dahlquist has served in a number of capacities for Children’s, including as featured speaker at several benefits. He is also a volunteer for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Community Benefit Award (two categories)
Large Hospital Category
Fairview Health Services — Fairview Pond Center Clinic
Fairview Health Services partnered with the Bloomington Public Schools in October 2009 to open Fairview Pond Center Clinic in Bloomington. The clinic provides low-cost medical, mental health and dental services to area children, with the goal of improving community health for low-income families. The walk-in facility served 391 children in 2010 and serves as a model, community-wide effort. Medical services are provided by Fairview physicians and staff; mental health services are provided by Washburn Center for Children; and dental care is provided by Children’s Dental Services.
Small Hospital Category
Fairview Red Wing Health Services — CARE Clinic
This award recognizes Fairview Red Wing Health Services for responding to the healthcare needs of its local community. Fairview Red Wing led the charge in developing the CARE Clinic, a free medical facility that provides healthcare access to low-income, medically uninsured citizens living in Goodhue County.
The clinic is open one night a week and is led by a multidisciplinary team of 200 volunteers, including medical staff from Fairview Red Wing and neighboring facilities. More than 4,376 hours of service were volunteered in 2010. The clinic collaborates with county public health and social service teams to connect patients with county resources and state and federal programs to help meet their needs.
Spirit of Advocacy Award
David Borgert, CentraCare Health System, St. Cloud
David Borgert of CentraCare Health System was honored for his spirit and tireless efforts to inform CentraCare staff and the central Minnesota community about healthcare reform. And his valuable contributions to MHA’s Policy and Advocacy Committee and staff helped shape, and continues to shape, how hospitals respond to the public policy implications of many important healthcare topics of our time.
In the midst of the most significant national healthcare reform in decades, Borgert has taken on the difficult task of communicating about healthcare reform to not only CentraCare employees, but also to central Minnesota business leaders and residents. As director of community and government relations for St. Cloud Hospital and CentraCare Health System for the last 14 years, he has shown leadership while balancing the many intricacies of state, federal and community issues.
The result has been a better informed community — one that has a better understanding of healthcare reform and how it can contribute to affordable, quality healthcare.
American Hospital Association Grassroots Champion
Mary Klimp, CEO Queen of Peace Hospital and MHA Board Chair
Mary Klimp has helped educate elected officials on the major issues impacting Minnesota hospitals and supported MHA’s advocacy activities in a myriad of ways this past year.
She was recognized in Washington, D.C. last month at the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) annual meeting for her exceptional leadership in generating grassroots and community action to support the missions and work of Minnesota’s hospitals. Klimp has made invaluable contributions to the important advocacy work in the hospital community and she’s been a strong voice to help tell the story of how hospitals are the cornerstones for the quality of life in every area of our state.
Klimp is MHA’s current board chair and she has served on the board’s executive committee. She has made numerous contributions to Minnesota’s hospital community by serving on MHA’s Policy and Advocacy Committee, the Minnesota Hospital Political Action Committee, the Trustee Council and the Health Care Reform Task Force, just to name a few. She received MHA’s Spirit of Advocacy Award in 2009 as a testament to her commitment and passion for all who work tirelessly in the state’s hospitals. In 2010, she chaired the Minnesota Hospital Political Action Committee Board.
Innovation of the Year in Patient Care Award (two categories)
Large Hospital Category
Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Children’s Hospitals and Clinics has developed what many believe is the first-ever in-hospital “Geek Squad Precinct,” a program that provides free on-site tech support to patients and families during their hospital stay. Children’s and Best Buy partnered in 2009 during a major hospital expansion to provide the technology infrastructure to equip patient rooms with consumer electronic products.
The result was a program that has allowed thousands of children and families to stay connected to their world outside the hospital, while providing an entertainment outlet inside with gaming systems and DVDs. The Geek Squad provides the tech assistance to keep things working, from ensuring function of laptops and Skype to supplying cell phone chargers. The cutting-edge program is considered a model nationwide.
Small Hospital Category
Phillips Eye Institute of Minneapolis, Surgical Procedure Verification/Site Marking Process
The Phillips Eye Institute earned this award for developing a new Surgical Procedure Verification/Site Marking process. After a wrong-site procedure occurred in April 2010, Phillips convened a multidisciplinary team to evaluate the adverse health event. The review resulted in a more rigorous site marking policy, one featuring shared accountability for site marking and a goal of preventing wrong-site events. Since instituting the new process, Phillips has not experienced another wrong-site event. A Joint Commission surveyor has called the new process “best of practice.”
Patient Safety Leadership Award
Large Hospital Category
Fairview Southdale Hospital of Edina
This award recognizes a hospital for its extraordinary and innovative steps to make patient safety a top priority. Fairview Southdale Hospital took such steps recently to prevent pressure ulcers in its patients. In 2008, the hospital had 19 facility-acquired pressure ulcers. To respond to this rate of pressure ulcers, the hospital took action. It assembled a multidisciplinary team and conducted a rapid process improvement workshop. The team identified several areas of improvement, including better communication about pressure ulcer risk to operating room staff and enhanced preventive measures for patients immobilized for lengthy surgical procedures.
The outcome: Fairview Southdale had just six pressure ulcers in 2009 and only one in the first six months of 2010. MHA’s patient safety specialists called this effort “a great success story” and a model for pressure ulcer prevention.
Note: No entries were received for the small hospital category.
Good Catch for Patient Safety Award
Leigh Myers-Higgens of Methodist Hospital, St. Louis Park
This award recognizes a hospital professional who “speaks up” to prevent potential harm to patients. This year’s winner made not just a good catch, but a GREAT CATCH, when she detected a potentially lethal medication error.
A physician had ordered a medication to control a patient’s atrial fibrillation. But the wrong medication was sent to the floor for the patient. Nurse Myers-Higgens, through her diligent medication check prior to administering the drug, caught the error. She consulted with the ordering physician and the medication was not administered, avoiding a potentially serious adverse health event.
Associate Member of the Year Award
HBE Corporation of St. Louis, MO
This award recognizes HBE Corporation for its spirit of collaboration. HBE Corporation is one of healthcare’s leading design and building firms in the United States, with a focus on planning, designing and building hospitals. It has worked as a valuable partner with MHA, providing both educational and financial support for its events and programs.
Health Care Career Promotion Award
Large Hospital Category
Mayo Clinic, Health Care Career Festival
The Mayo Clinic in Rochester was recognized for its outstanding efforts to promote healthcare careers. Each year since 2005, the Mayo Clinic has hosted a Health Care Career Festival for high school students from southeastern Minnesota. The event educates young people about healthcare careers and features career information, hands-on activities, and direct interaction with Mayo Clinic employees.
A total of 4,134 students have attended over the past six years. The festival features more than 50 career booths supported by 300 Mayo staff. The booths feature careers such as nursing, environmental services, radiology, finance, information technology, physical and occupational therapy, surgical services, lab medicine, addiction services, and genetics.
Small Hospital Category
Lakewood Health System of Staples, Career Promotion Program
Lakewood Health System in central Minnesota has demonstrated that you don’t have to be a large hospital to implement a robust healthcare career development model. With a steadily aging healthcare work force, Lakewood recognizes the need to recruit and train young people for healthcare careers. Central to this goal is Lakewood’s summer internship program, a program that provides about 16 to 19 students each year with exposure to and experience in Lakewood’s full continuum of care. Lakewood is committed to a three-month program with designated funding. It partners with Staples Motley High School, Central Lakes College and Freshwater Education District to recruit young people, and it also draws participants from post-secondary schools. Rotations in a variety of healthcare-related fields are offered, along with career planning assistance.
Best Minnesota Hospital Workplace
Small Hospital Category
Fairview Northland Medical Center, Princeton
Going the extra mile to enhance employee satisfaction is the main criteria of this award, and Fairview Northland has clearly distinguished itself in this area over the past three years. It is proof that a happy workplace translates to a satisfied patient base.
Thanks to its “Achieving Excellence” program, Fairview Northland has realized steady progress in patient and employee satisfaction. Turnover of employees has declined each of the past two years, while 30- to 90-day staff retention rates have improved as well. The Achieving Excellence campaign focuses on improved staff training and development, enhanced employee communication, staff recognition, and leadership training. Staff engagement, from involving staff in hiring processes to regular communication with senior leadership, is what drives employee satisfaction.
Note: No entries were received for the large hospital category.
Trustee of the Year Award
Michael Ryan, Riverwood Healthcare Center, Aitkin
From 1991 until his death last fall, Michael Ryan provided the leadership necessary to support the expansion and enhancement of healthcare services in rural Aitkin County. Ryan served on the Riverwood Healthcare Center Governing Board of Directors from 1991 to 2010. He was chairman of the board from 1994 until he died.
Ryan was instrumental in building consensus for a $20 million integrated hospital and clinic facility, one that opened in 2003 and replaced an outdated facility. He guided two major clinic expansions, one in Aitkin and another in MacGregor. A third primary care clinic opened in Garrison in 2007. He led collaborative efforts with Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby to share surgeons and specialty physicians.
Caregiver of the Year Award
Marcia Carlson, Virginia Piper Cancer Institute — Unity Hospital, Fridley
In her role working with cancer patients and their families, Marcia Carlson recognized that patients had a problem talking to their children about cancer. There were a number of good resources out there, but the information was scattered through too many sources. What was needed was one book to express the best practical ideas in one place.
Carlson filled that need by writing Simple Talks for Tough Times. The book addresses two primary issues: Breaking the news and dealing with uncertainties. It has been available for the past six months at Unity Hospital and Mercy Hospital, and it was recently provided to patients at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. The book serves a critical patient need, and it’s just a matter of time before the book reaches a much larger audience.
Stephen Rogness Distinguished Service Award, MHA’s highest honor
Debra K. Boardman, president and CEO, Fairview University Medical Center — Mesabi, Hibbing
This award recognizes a hospital executive who has demonstrated a history of significant leadership beyond his or her hospital or system. Debra Boardman has been a healthcare leader at the local, state, and national levels and is known as a voice for rural hospitals. Locally, she’s been a healthcare executive in northern Minnesota for the past 21 years, currently serving as president of Fairview University Medical Center — Mesabi in Hibbing. At the state level, she has been a frequent spokesperson at the Minnesota Legislature, advocating for rural and mid-level hospitals on various issues. Nationally, she sits on the American Hospital Association’s Regional Policy Board and is a champion for rural healthcare.
Boardman’s contributions to MHA are extensive, having served as its board of trustees chair in 2007 and on nearly every MHA committee. She has dedicated countless days and traveled thousands of miles on behalf of MHA to ensure that the perspectives of small, rural and mid-sized communities are heard. A fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, she gives generously of her time and talent and shares her extensive knowledge with others in the industry.
The Minnesota Hospital Association represents Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems.