HOUSTON (December 18, 2017)

A Memorial Hermann program designed to improve the quality of life for patients with chronic illnesses has received international recognition as a finalist for the International Hospital Federation’s Excellence award for Quality & Safety and Patient-centered Care.

The award recognizes organizations across the globe that have initiated projects or activities that have demonstrated excellence, outstanding achievement and proven results at a hospital, institution or unit level. Projects are scored on innovation, impact on quality, efficiency and health outcomes, as well as scalability.

Memorial Hermann’s collaborative Supportive Medicine Program was honored as a finalist among more than 130 entries representing two dozen countries.

The program, launched 2013, offers expert treatment in a hospital setting that aims to alleviate pain, discomfort and stress for those struggling with diseases and illnesses that are complex and debilitating, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure, end stage renal disease, diabetes and stroke.

As part of this innovative approach, caregivers with Supportive Medicine work in tandem with patients, their family members and their primary care providers to relieve the burden of symptoms associated with chronic diseases and terminal illnesses with the goal of helping them to better cope physically and emotionally with their health concerns and ongoing medical treatments. Supportive Medicine clinicians and administrators also work to help educate families about the necessity of advance care planning and have become ardent advocates for comprehensive solutions that address the needs of vulnerable patient populations.

The program is a collaboration between Symptom Management Consultants, a private group practice of physicians that specialize in palliative and hospice care, and the Memorial Hermann Physician Network (MHMD). It is now offered at ten different Memorial Hermann acute care hospitals and has seen a significant uptick in utilization in recent years, logging more than 5,500 patient contacts last year alone.

“We are humbled and honored to see such wonderful recognition bestowed on a program that has positively impacted the lives of thousands of patients and their families who are struggling with difficult diagnoses and challenging conditions,” said Chuck Stokes, President and CEO of Memorial Hermann. “As a health system, we work tirelessly to advance the health of all those we serve, and our unique brand of compassionate and healing care is especially necessary for those who are battling long-term illnesses or who are besieged by several chronic conditions all at once.”

Stokes recently accepted the award at the 41st World Hospital Congress in Taipei. Hosted by the International Hospital Federation, the event brings together industry leaders from across the world to share knowledge, expertise and dialogue about the best practices in hospital leadership, healthcare management and delivery of services.

In addition to accepting the award, Stokes, who also serves as Chairman of the American College of Health Executives (ACHE), served as a guest speaker on two panels. On the IHF CEO Circle session, Stokes and a roundtable of international leaders discussed capacity building and innovation in leadership, management tools and practices. As part of a joint session of the American Hospital Association and ACHE, Stokes shared insight about the role of leadership in healthcare safety and the innovative ways in which healthcare institutions are working to become high-reliability organizations dedicated to making care safer for all patients.