NJHA Presents Awards for Commitment to Healthcare

Jan 24, 2014, 10:21 ET from New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA)

PRINCETON, N.J., Jan. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Several individuals and organizations were honored today at the 95th Annual Meeting of the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) at the Hyatt Regency Princeton.

NJHA Healthcare Leader Awards

The 2014 Distinguished Service Award was presented to Robert P. Wise of Lebanon, president and CEO of Hunterdon Medical Center in Flemington. Wise was honored for his more than 20 years of service, leadership and commitment to the hospital and the patients it serves.

Among his many accomplishments, Wise is credited with working together with a visionary board and talented administrative team that resulted in the expansion of both facilities and programs, such as a new emergency department, an expanded ICU/CCU, a regional cancer center, a nutrition and diabetes center, two successful health and wellness centers and currently under construction, a cardiovascular center. 

NJHA's 2014 Healthcare Professional of the Year award was presented to Margarita T. Camacho, MD, of New York,  surgical director of Cardiac Transplant and Mechanical Assist Devices at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Barnabas Health.

As surgical director, Dr. Camacho was recognized for her dedication and compassion to providing the finest care to New Jersey's most critically ill cardiac patients.  

For the past two years, Dr. Camacho has performed more heart transplants than any other cardiac surgeon in the United States.

Early in her career, she understood that the number of hearts donated each year could never meet the demand for transplant and she focused on mechanical support devices as a way to give patients a better quality of life.  She continues to work directly with device manufacturers to help design increasingly better and more reliable devices.

The NJHA Hospital and Healthcare System Trustee of the Year awards were presented to Dorothy P. Bowers of Matawan, from CentraState Medical Center and  Visiting Nurse Association Health Group and J. Lynne Cannon of Princeton from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton.

Bowers was recognized for her years of service as a trustee at CentraState Medical Center and Visiting Nurse Association Health Group. Her vision, leadership and boundless energy has contributed significantly to not just one, but two New Jersey healthcare organizations as they both faced tremendous changes and challenges within their respective industries. 

She joined the board at CentraState in 2008 and has been a trustee of Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey since 1995. Bowers also serves as a member of NJHA's Council on Hospital Governance and has been involved in many other community efforts.

Cannon was recognized for her service as chair of the Board of Directors at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton where she has been instrumental in providing new leadership and focus on the clinical issues affecting the organization. Through her understanding of healthcare reform and the need for greater physician alignment with the hospital, her leadership has led to four additional clinical appointments to the Board of Trustees. 

She is highly regarded by her peers, the physicians and members of the management team, and also is well respected in the community. 

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.

Reducing Central Line-Associated Blood Stream Infections (CLABSI) in the ICU at St. Luke's Warren Campus in Phillipsburg, was designed to improve patient care and safety in the intensive care unit.  Prior to the initiative, central lines were inserted at the bedside in the emergency department, ICU or radiology with physician preference dictating the process. In 2007, a standardized checklist was developed that incorporated all elements shown to reduce CLABSI, including the ability of the nurse to halt the procedure if all elements were not being met. Nurses and physicians were enriched with targeted education to help them become safer practitioners.

The Patient- and Family-Centered Care program at Children's Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick worked to advance the practice of Patient- and Family-Centered Care (PFCC) by employing families (family faculty), involving families in all aspects of its organization, maintaining an active Family Advisory Council and developing a stand-alone PFCC Leadership team consisting of family faculty and clinical and non-clinical staff across the organization.

The team researched best practices and defined the ideal patient and family experience, beginning at the community level and working back into its organizational practices and culture.  The strategic plan created a process to examine five phases of the patient and family experience: community, initial point of contact, environment, clinical experience and discharge/community integration. The project also explored barriers and improvements needed to deliver the ideal experience. 

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 2013 awards recognized achievements in the following categories: enhancing access and quality of care to reduce disparities; improving end-of-life care; and preventing disease and injury.

For Enhancing Access and Quality of Care to Reduce Disparities, CarePoint Health Bayonne Medical Center's Neighborhood Health Center was recognized for serving as a patient's healthcare provider.

Patients at the health center receive comprehensive physical examinations, blood work, vaccinations, immunizations and age-appropriate screenings including mammograms and colonoscopies, at no cost to them.  They also receive routine follow-up care for chronic disease management including heart disease, diabetes and respiratory diseases and those unable to pay for medications receive 100 percent cost-coverage from the center.

The Health Center also provides coverage for patients who require educational consultations on diabetes education or nutrition counseling.

The program partners with various cultural and religious organizations, local churches and Senior Community Centers, as well as the BMC Outpatient Pharmacy. The results of the program include more than 200 patients served through more than 740 visits to the Health Center.

For Preventing Disease and Injury, Overlook Medical Center in Summit, received the Community Outreach award for its Stroke Education and Screening Program.

The Stroke Education and Screening program provides three primary activities: free screenings; Brain Power, an interactive inflatable brain and educational program about brain health; and lectures by a stroke survivor.  Overlook Medical Center's Healthy Avenues community van brings screenings directly to targeted populations at community- and faith-based organizations, businesses, senior centers, libraries, low income housing and municipal health departments. 

Since Jan. 1, 2013, the program has screened more than 1,400 individuals in the targeted populations and welcomed more than 700 school children to its Brain Power program and  Overlook's stroke survivor volunteer has spoken to nine groups.

For Improving Nutrition and Wellbeing, the El Poder Sobre La Diabetes program at Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, was recognized for helping the Hispanic population to prevent or delay diabetes. 

Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death for Hispanics in the United States and El Poder assists 100 individuals annually in making lifestyle changes that will reduce at least one of the risk factors for diabetes. The program offers four, 10-week education sessions where participants commit to 10, 90-minute sessions that are held in locations convenient and familiar to the participants such as churches and community centers.

The program has consistently demonstrated positive participant health outcomes and in 2013, 95 percent of participants showed improvements.

The New Jersey Hospital Association, based in Princeton, is the statewide advocate for its 108-member hospitals, its 300-plus post-acute members and the patients they serve.

SOURCE New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA)