NJHA Presents Awards for Commitment to Healthcare

Jan 27, 2012, 12:19 ET from New Jersey Hospital Association

PRINCETON, N.J., Jan. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Several individuals and organizations were honored today at the 93rd Annual Meeting of the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) at the Hyatt Regency Princeton.

NJHA Healthcare Leader Awards

The 2012 Distinguished Service Award was presented to Mark D. Pilla, FACHE, of Tabernacle, former president and CEO of Community Medical Center in Toms River. Pilla was honored for his strong leadership, years of service and many accomplishments, including helping to develop Barnabas Health into the state's largest integrated healthcare system.

The 2012 NJHA Healthcare Professional of the Year award was presented to Rajiv Verma, MD, of Green Brook, director of the Children's Heart Center at Children's Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. 

Dr. Verma was honored for his vision and pursuit of excellence in bringing the finest pediatric cardiac care to New Jersey. Under his leadership, a team of multidisciplinary experts care for more than 1,000 children and adults with congenital heart disease each year. Dr. Verma also is credited with several "medical firsts" in the state.

The NJHA Hospital and Healthcare System Trustee of the Year awards were presented to John Hoffman, Esq., of Franklin Township, from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick and Anne Rooke, RN, of Morristown, from Atlantic Health System in Morristown.

Hoffman has served as chairman of the Board of Directors at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital since 2009. Under his leadership, the RWJUH board created a community relations committee, making the hospital one of a handful of institutions to have community input at a board-committee level. Hoffman is an attorney and shareholder of the law firm Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer.

Rooke was honored for more than 30 years of active and productive service to Atlantic Health System. Building on her nursing experience, Rooke is credited with working to build a board that represents the multicultural diversity of the hospital's service area to ensure that every facet of the community would be represented at this level. 

She often can be seen walking the hospital's halls, acquiring firsthand knowledge of the needs of the day. Rooke has actively served on up to 15 different committees and boards in any given year and is driven to contribute her time and energy to ensure a better healthcare system.

NJHA Excellence in Quality Improvement Awards

NJHA, through its Institute for Quality and Patient Safety, also honored two institutions for Excellence in Quality Improvement, in recognition of healthcare organizations' tremendous advances in quality improvement and patient safety.  The awards were presented to an acute care and post-acute care provider.

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center was honored for its program, The Effect of Interdisciplinary Team Rounds on Urinary Catheter and Central Venous Catheter Days and Rates of Infection, which examined the effect of daily Interdisciplinary Rounds (IDT rounds) on urinary and central venous catheter days and related infections in its intensive care unit (ICU).

Beginning in June, these rounds now occur daily in the ICU. The rounds are led by the ICU attending physician along with the ICU charge nurse, the ICU nurse assigned to the patient, a respiratory therapist, nutritionist, case manager, social worker, palliative care nurse practitioner and hospice liaison.  These staff members provide information according to their area of expertise and the outline of the IDT rounds note.

Following the implementation of IDT rounds, the hospital reported a notable reduction in the number of urinary catheter and central venous line-related infections, which also resulted in significant cost savings.  After implementation, urinary catheter-related infections, which occurred at a rate of two per month at an added cost of $24,000, were reduced to 0.64 percent, with an added cost of $7,680 per month. The resulting monthly savings averaged $16,320.

Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, with campuses in Chester, Saddle Brook and West Orange, received the Excellence in Quality Improvement award for its program, Reducing Acute Care Transfers and Increasing Quality.

As the complexity of patient care has grown, acute rehabilitation hospitals have experienced an increase in patient transfers back to an acute care facility. Using Six-Sigma quality improvement methodology, Kessler formed an intra-hospital proactive risk assessment group to determine how to lower the rate of acute care transfers, or ACTs. 

The result of their efforts was an 11 percent improvement in ACT rates between 2010 and 2011, most notably in the stroke, orthopedic and general rehabilitation populations.  Improved patient and family satisfaction was also achieved as a result of patients being able to remain at a provider qualified to meet both their medical and rehabilitative needs.

HRET Community Outreach Awards

NJHA and its Health Research and Educational Trust of New Jersey recognize organizations that identify community needs and implement programs to serve those needs. The 2012 awards recognized achievements in the following categories: enhancing access and quality of care to reduce disparities; improving end-of-life care; preventing disease and injury and programs with budgets less than $50,000.

For Enhancing Access and Quality of Care to Reduce Disparities, Lourdes Health System in Camden was recognized for its Community Health Practice (CHP), a free volunteer-staffed healthcare clinic of Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center. In partnership with the Tri-County Cancer Coalition, the New Jersey Medication Access Program, Project H.O.P.E. and other organizations, CHP is staffed by more than 35 physicians, nurses, interpreters and office staff who volunteer to provide medical care to approximately 2,000 patient visits per year. Since its inception, CHP has maintained and improved the health and well-being of uninsured or underserved individuals in the community.

The Pediatric Advanced Comprehensive Care Team (PACCT) program at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick was recognized for Improving End-of-Life Care by providing coordinated care across the healthcare continuum for pediatric cancer patients. Physicians, APNs, RNs, bereavement and thanantological counselors ensure that continuity of care is maintained by having a constant treatment team. Staff members meet with patients and families at the time of diagnosis and care for them in inpatient and home care settings, providing traditional home, palliative and hospice care.  Since the program's inception, not one child has died on a ventilator in the pediatric intensive care unit stemming from end-of-life issues.

The Community Outreach award for Preventing Disease and Injury was presented to Meridian Health's Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, for The Samaritan Center at the Jersey Shore. Facing numerous tragedies in recent years, including teen suicides, substance abuse and challenging adjustments in a shaky economic environment, many shore area residents did not know where to turn for help. The Samaritan Center at the Jersey Shore provides that help. Jersey Shore University Medical Center, in collaboration with leaders from the First Presbyterian Church of Manasquan, developed The Samaritan Center at the Jersey Shore to foster hope and well-being through a model of professional faith-based counseling, consulting and education. The program provides individuals, families, churches, schools, businesses and other organizations with resources for enhancing healthy and vital living and coordinates efforts to promote and support the behavioral health issues of teens.

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center received the Community Outreach award for a Program with a Budget Less than $50,000 for its program, The Beth Garden. In partnership with greenhouse farmer Garden State Urban Farms, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center has brought nutrition and wellness education as well as access to healthy foods to the inner city communities of the South Ward and  greater Newark area. Originally started as a weekly farmer's market, the Beth Garden  has evolved into a community-wide movement, with support of local and state legislators working together to improve the community.  Since April, The Beth Garden has been producing organic vegetables, fruits and herbs as well as beautifying an empty urban lot.  The program also provides employment opportunities and job training for the disabled and ex-offenders returning to society. It is a place where a diverse community can share its culture and members work together to learn about staying healthy.

The New Jersey Hospital Association, based in Princeton, is the statewide advocate for its 111-member hospitals, its 300-plus post-acute members and the patients they serve.

Attention Editors: Local references throughout

SOURCE New Jersey Hospital Association