HOUSTON (July 18, 2016)

Mobile dental van with two employeesIn a rare accomplishment for a U.S. health system, Memorial Hermann was nationally recognized for awards in multiple categories by the American Hospital Association (AHA) – notably for its commitment to quality, employing innovation in palliative and end-of-life care and for improving community health. Memorial Hermann will be the only Houston health system recognized at the Health Forum/AHA Leadership Summit in San Diego July 17-19.

Earning 2016 AHA honors were: Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital - finalist for the 2016 American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize® for their leadership and innovation in quality improvement and safety; the Memorial Hermann Community Benefit Corporation Mobile Dental Program – presented the AHA’s NOVA Award for its efforts to improve community health; and the Memorial Hermann Physician Network and Symptom Management Consultants, the recipient of the AHA’s Circle of Life Citation of Honor for utilizing innovation in palliative and end-of-life care.

“This type of national recognition by the American Hospital Association is a testament to the visionary leadership at Memorial Hermann and the dedicated and collective efforts of staff and physicians to deliver great care daily to the Houston community,” said Dr. Benjamin K. Chu, president and CEO, Memorial Hermann Health System. “It truly demonstrates how our innovative programs are comprehensively serving the community with high quality and safe patient care at our hospitals, employing compassion in end-of-life care and decisions, and helping those most in need with our mobile dental program. All Memorial Hermann employees and physicians should be extremely proud of this wonderful milestone that few systems in the United States have or will achieve.”

Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital – McKesson Quest for Quality Prize® Finalist

At the hospital level, Memorial Hermann Greater Heights was the only Houston hospital to earn recognition as an AHA McKesson Quest for Quality finalist attaining that distinction by demonstrating a tireless “organizational commitment to and progress in achieving quality, safety and effective, efficient, timely and patient-centered care” – the criteria required to be met to even be considered for the award.“I am so very proud that Greater Heights was selected as a finalist for the 2016 McKesson Quest for Quality Award,” said Susan Jadlowski, Sr. Vice President & CEO, Memorial Hermann Greater Heights. “We have worked diligently to foster a culture of safety so that every family that leaves a loved one in our care can feel secure in the knowing that their care is the most important thing to us. Our staff is dedicated to our mission of causing zero harm to our patients. We work daily to encourage it and our staff fully embraces the goal to be the safest hospital not only in the Greater Heights community, but in the Houston region.”

Rick Pollack, AHA’s president and CEO, applauded McKesson Quest for Quality Award winners and finalists saying: “These hospitals have made remarkable strides in the quality of their patient care and they did so because they were committed to excellence. The entire hospital field can learn from the lessons demonstrated by the hard work of these hospitals, their boards and employees.”

Memorial Hermann Mobile Dental Program – AHA’s NOVA Award

The Mobile Dental Program added to the accolades for Memorial Hermann by earning the AHA’s NOVA Award – an honor that recognizes hospitals and health systems for their collaborative efforts toward improving community health.

An integral component of the Memorial Hermann Health Centers for Schools clinics, the Mobile Dental Program has served as the “dental home” for uninsured and underinsured students in the greater Houston region since 2000. The program now has expanded to three 40-foot vans that rotate between 10 school-based clinics located in five school districts – Houston ISD, Aldine ISD, Pasadena ISD, Fort Bend ISD and Lamar Consolidated ISD. The program provides a full complement of preventive and restorative dental care at no cost, and is accessible year round to families.

“This award is great recognition for a program that serves an incredible need in our community,” said Carol Paret, Sr. Vice President and Chief Community Health Officer for Memorial Hermann Health System and the CEO of Memorial Hermann Community Benefit Corporation. “Its primary goal has been to serve as a safety net for children in need of regular dental care as well as to educate them and their parents about oral health. It has made a difference in the lives of many students in measurable and immeasurable ways. It serves our mission to help people who otherwise wouldn’t have access to health care, particularly children.”

AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack said of 2016 AHA NOVA winners exemplified the hospitals collaborative in the community to “offer the most to those in need beyond the walls of their buildings. The programs recognized by the AHA NOVA award inspire us all with their collaborative, caring approach to improving community health and wellness.”

Memorial Hermann Physician Network and Symptom Management Consultants - Circle of Life Award™: Citation of Honor

The Memorial Hermann Physician Network and Symptom Management Consultants program was recognized by the AHA with a Citation of Honor for the 2016 Circle of Life Award™ celebrating innovation in palliative and end-of-life care. Memorial Hermann’s program was recognized for its “integrated partnerships, including academic settings and community hospices as well as collaborative leadership efforts in improving quality of care.”

“We are very humbled by this recognition,” said Dr. Sandra Gomez, Medical Director of Supportive Medicine at The Memorial Hermann Physician Network (MHMD). “We have worked hard to educate our patients and their families about palliative and end-of-life care – what it is and isn’t – with the primary goal being to improve the quality of life for both patients and their families.

We use a team approach to care which addresses the unique needs of each patient in order to optimize the delivery of care and improve the management of the patient’s symptoms, pain, and the stress associated with their illness. This approach is what distinguishes our program, and we are honored to be cited by the American Hospital Association for our work to bring innovation and thoughtfulness to end-of-life care.”

Circle of Life Award™ nominations were reviewed and site-visited by a selection committee that included leaders from medicine, nursing, social work and health administration. The Circle of Life Award™ honors palliative programs that among other criteria:

· Serve people with life-limiting illness, their families and their communities.

· Demonstrate effective, patient/family-centered, timely, safe, efficient and equitable palliative and end-of-life care.

· Use innovative approaches to meeting critical needs and serve as sustainable, replicable models for a segment of the field.

· Use innovative approaches to reach traditionally marginalized populations.