Minnesota Hospital Association

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MHA AWARDS

The Minnesota Hospital Association Annual Health Care Awards honor the best and brightest in Minnesota health care — individuals who have offered dedicated service to hospitals and organizations that have implemented successful, innovative programs.

MHA Associate Member of the Year Award

Gallagher, Bloomington

2019

Gallagher This associate member is a global insurance brokerage, risk management and consulting services firm. The company has operations in 35 countries and offers client service capabilities in more than 150 countries around the world through a network of correspondent brokers and consultants. The Gallagher Better Works comprehensive approach to benefits, compensation, retirement, employee communication and workplace culture, aligns a health care organization's people strategy with overall business goals. It centers on the full spectrum of organizational well-being, strategically investing in health, talent, financial well-being and career growth at the right cost structures to support a multigenerational workforce. Gallagher has been a valuable partner of MHA for years, providing us with both financial and educational support for our events and programs. Leaders at Gallagher are always willing to go the extra mile to help us and our members keep program costs low and quality high.

MHA Caregiver of the Year Award

Tammy Sinkfield-Morey, RN, BSN, MAN, CRRN

Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, Saint Paul

2019

Tammy Sinkfield-Morey Tammy has worked at Gillette since 1997 and is co-chair of the hospital's Diversity and Inclusion and Cultural Intelligence Committee and a member of the Patient Experience Committee. As the first nurse of color hired at Gillette, she brings her experience, passion and wisdom to these committees to make Gillette a trusting and inclusive place for employees, patients and families, where all can have authentic and meaningful relationships. Tammy believes in the power of stories in nursing and has been inspired to study how storytelling creates opportunities for better health care. Her dissertation explores how nurses use storytelling as they interact with patients and families to build relationships, promote healing and enhance patient satisfaction, especially for families of color. She says, "When nurses take the time to share and listen to the stories of patients and families, it lifts up both parties and helps build respect." Tammy is a recognized advocate for patients and families, especially when they encounter challenges navigating the health care system. She is there to walk with and support them on their health journey.

MHA Patient Safety Improvement Award

Allina Health, Minneapolis

2019

Allina Health Led by an interdisciplinary team, the Sepsis Program is a comprehensive, data-driven approach for early identification and reduced variation in sepsis care. Instead of focusing on one hospital at a time, Allina Health uses a systemwide approach to leveraging data and current evidence-based care recommendations to improve care at all hospitals. To implement the program, all hospitals created local sepsis leadership teams led by regional nurse coordinators. This ensured the information and process changes were the same at all sites. Physician leaders agreed on two sepsis order sets for the system and allowed providers to deviate from CMS-mandated bundle elements when appropriate for patient safety. To support patients and their families, the Sepsis Program developed standard patient education materials that are embedded into the medical record for nursing staff to access, print and share. As a result of its Sepsis Program, Allina was able to show an 18.6 percent relative reduction in mortality for all patients with sepsis, and a 30.3 percent relative reduction in mortality for patients with severe sepsis and septic shock, while saving $1.1 million via length-of-stay reductions. As of the most recent CMS benchmarking, all 11 Allina Heath hospitals are performing above state and national rates for sepsis bundle compliance.

MHA Best Minnesota Hospital Workplace Award

Maple Grove Hospital, Maple Grove

2019

Maple Grove Hospital Maple Grove Hospital is our award winner for its culture that is different by design. Every team member owns the culture and is empowered to build a resilient, supportive workplace and create innovative solutions using tools like team spotlight, acts of kindness, resiliency training, recognition and gratitude practices. Culture efforts are focused in five areas: communication, involvement, recognition, equity and inclusion, and growth and development. Team member engagement at Maple Grove Hospital increased 6 percent last year while overall first-year turnover decreased by 2.1 percent. The culture can best be expressed through the words of one staff member, who said, "I feel so blessed to serve at Maple Grove Hospital, to work in such a special environment, alongside such dedicated and compassionate team members, and to be supported by such caring leadership."

MHA Public Achievement Award

David Senjem

Minnesota Senate Building, Saint Paul

2019

Senjem, who has served in the Minnesota Senate since 2002, has championed mental health and demonstrated a commitment to advancing legislation that improves mental health services in Minnesota. Since 2016, Senjem has led legislative action to increase capacity for mental health services and supportive housing across the state.


“Sen. Senjem has been a strong partner and highly effective leader working to enhance health care for all Minnesotans,” said Matthew Anderson, interim president and CEO, MHA. “We are grateful for his collaborative efforts on behalf of hospitals, care teams and patients and for his contributions to the state of Minnesota.”

MHA Community Benefit Award

M Health Fairview, Minneapolis

2019

Fairview Health Services Fairview Health Services' East Side Table is a collaboration of 13 nonprofit community organizations, residents of St. Paul's East Side and Fairview Health Services to improve local access to healthy food. The program was launched in 2017 in response to a community health needs assessment combined with survey and research findings showing that the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables, the location of grocery stores and other food sources, and the lack of culturally important foods were major barriers to healthy eating. East Side Table improves the health and well-being of residents of St. Paul's East Side by improving healthy food access. The programs co-designed by East Side Table partners and residents not only provide access to free, healthy food, but also build lifelong healthy food skills, including how to prepare, budget, appreciate and share new and culturally resonant healthy food. The Senior Advisory Council, comprised of East Side seniors and senior-serving organizations, co-designs and co-implements activities to break social isolation and improve healthy food access. Since its launch, East Side Table has reached more than 6,200 community members with free Make-at-Home Meal Kits, recipe tastings, community meals, cooking demonstrations, and other education and outreach activities.

MHA Good Catch for Patient Safety Annual Award

Kara Boyko Frandson, Pharm.D., BCPS, AE-C

Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis

2019

Kara Boyko Frandson While staffing the emergency department, Kara overheard an emergency medical technician tell a patient that the ED provider had said they could take their own home medication. She immediately intervened and explained to the patient and provider that taking their own medication in this situation could lead to unknown drug interactions or duplicate therapy because prescribed medications were already administered in the ED. Due to these risks, taking home medications without documentation or pharmacist review is against system policy. Because Kara spoke up, she prevented a potential narcotic overdose and other potential interactions with medications the patient had received in the hospital. This exemplary story was selected from the quarterly Good Catch Awards, and I encourage you all to submit nominations in the future. We know there are hundreds more of these good catches happening across the continuum of care. Recognizing and celebrating good catches fosters a culture that encourages staff to speak up and positively reinforces that everyone plays a role in ensuring patient safety.

MHA Trustee of the Year Award

David Anfinson

Carris Health, Willmar

2019

David Anfinson David is in his 11th year of service as a board member in the Willmar community. He was a member of the Rice Memorial Hospital, Rice Health Foundation and Willmar Medical Services boards from 2008 to 2016. On the hospital board, he held the offices of treasurer in 2009, vice president in 2010 and president from 2011 to 2016. After a short break in service, he returned in 2018 as president of the Carris Health board and a member of the CentraCare Health system board. David is a shining example of effective leadership on a health care board. His efforts over time expanded the availability of health care services in the Willmar community and allowed clinicians to work more effectively with patients. His current leadership as board president has helped bring members of previously competing organizations together and helped shape the formation of Carris Health. His calm, respectful, confident leadership style has allowed open and honest conversation regarding shared goals, strategic planning and the future of health care in the region, state and nation.

MHA Stephen Rogness Distinguished Service Award

Carl Vaagenes

Alomere Health, Alexandria

2019

Carl Vaagenes Carl has served in his current role since 2011 and is a longtime active member with MHA. He currently participates on the MHA Small, Rural Hospital Committee and the Minnesota Hospital PAC Board. Carl's extensive past support of MHA includes serving as the chair of the MHA Board of Directors in 2015 and 2016, a member of the MHA Board of Directors from 2009 to 2017 and on the board's Executive Committee from 2011 to 2017. He chaired the MHA Policy and Advocacy Committee from 2011 to 2013, the Minnesota Hospital PAC Board in 2014 and the MHA Annual Meeting Task force in 2015. In addition, he served as a member of the MHA Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota CEO Council, the Independent PPS Hospitals Work Group, the Health Care Reform Task Force and the MHA Charity Care Task Force. Throughout his extensive career as a Minnesota health care leader, Carl has made a tremendous impact on advancing health in the communities he has served. He has led his organizations with a focus on improving quality and patient safety through continuous improvement. Carl has also been a workhorse for MHA with many years of service and leadership in shaping state and federal health policy. Always willing to step up to do what needs to be done to advance health care in Minnesota, Carl is truly deserving of this award.

MHA Spirit of Advocacy Award

Greg Klugherz

CentraCare - St. Cloud Hospital, Saint Cloud

2019

Greg Klugherz Greg has provided impressive leadership as the chair of the MHA Finance Committee since 2013. During his tenure, MHA has standardized uncompensated care reporting, navigated complex policy and payer issues, and negotiated updated workers compensation payment rates. Greg is an interactive leader who encourages committee members to share their thoughts and is keenly interested in ensuring the voice of smaller hospitals is heard. He urges hospitals to share their best practices for the benefit of all. A strong supporter of MHA, Greg is always willing to participate when asked to chair a subcommittee or join in MHA strategic planning. He led a task force of hospital representatives meeting with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota to bring about operational improvements to its claims processing systems.

MHA Patient Safety Improvement Award

River's Edge Hospital & Clinic, Saint Peter

2019

River's Edge Hospital and Clinic The hospital's focus on reducing patient falls came as River's Edge formed a joint replacement program with an orthopedic clinic in 2014. As the number of joint replacement procedures increased, so did the opportunity to have a high fall rate. River's Edge convened a Falls Committee, now know as the Safe Patient Handling Committee, to identify and implement best practices to reduce falls. The committee has completed MHA's fundamental falls road map and is 98 percent complete with MHA's advanced falls road map. Today, best practices at River's Edge include falls prevention education for all clinical and nonclinical staff, a team huddle with a nurse and physical therapist to provide mobility recommendations, and mandatory patient assistance from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. and while showering. In newly constructed patient rooms opening in June, the back wall of the bathroom will be painted a different color to assist patients with depth perception issues. In addition, a new nurse call system will ring directly to the nurse's badge, reducing response time. These continued improvements have reduced the hospital's falls rate to an impressive 1.9 falls per 1,000 patient days as of February 2019.

MHA Innovation of the Year in Patient Care Award

Regions Hospital, Saint Paul

2019

Region's Hospital Since 2015, Regions Hospital has seen dramatic improvements in patient safety and quality care, with a goal of zero harm, by implementing standardized process improvement techniques and best practices. The hospital noticed, however, that sustainability was an issue. To learn more, an improvement team conducted interviews and observations with front-line staff across all shifts, multiple departments and units. The team identified three challenges: lack of capacity and knowledge retention; few efforts to leverage care teams across roles and departments; and inconsistent flow of information In response, Regions designated a group of charge nurses as safety champions - called Heroes for Zeros, recalling the zero-harm goal. Heroes use a standardized Epic report to identify high-risk patients and work with bedside nurses to reduce that risk. Heroes are also the source of best practice information for staff, making sure needed information flows smoothly and the team is leveraged effectively. Heroes create a proactive approach to addressing safety elements and ensuring appropriate resources are deployed. The charge nurses have become the known safety champions for the units and are a core part of the hospital's high-reliability culture.

MHA Innovation of the Year in Patient Care Award

Winona Health Services, Winona

2019

Winona Health Services The hospital developed and implemented the Primary Care Flow Manager position to achieve a new breakthrough in clinic efficiency that reliably results in improved patient and provider satisfaction. The flow manager coordinates the primary care provider team workflow to optimize patient care, using continuous systems improvement tools so all patients receive the highest quality care in a timely manner. Additional objectives include minimizing providers' work after clinic, thereby increasing their satisfaction as well. The work of the Primary Care Flow Manager has helped to ensure that the right person is doing the right work to maximize resources and improve efficiency; that what the patient and provider want to focus on during their visit align; that providers get the information they need at the point they need it; and that the provider and staff wrap up one patient's visit before moving on to the next. This results in excellent care and improved patient experiences.

MHA Best Minnesota Hospital Workplace Award

New Ulm Medical Center, New Ulm

2019

New Ulm Medical Center New Ulm Medical Center has long identified workforce culture as an organizational priority. Efforts to create this positive environment begin with the recruitment and selection process and continue through onboarding to recognition and career development. Key retention strategies include allowing candidates who have received an offer in a high-turnover area to spend time in that department to assess cultural and professional fit before accepting the position; enhancing the onboarding process for clinical hires, resulting in a 50 percent reduction in turnover; conducting periodic retention interviews with new employees and interviews with high-performing employees; and partnering with the state and the hospital foundation to offer career development support. The hospital also focuses on "whole-person care," a well-being mindset that values physical, mental, spiritual and community health. Employees have access to programs that provide well-being resources and rewards for tracking positive behaviors. A flexible work arrangement path supports work-life balance. Strategies are also in place to address issues of physician burnout and social isolation. The hospital surveys employees annually to measure improvements in employee engagement. In 2018, employee engagement was 86 percent - that's 10 percent higher than the national health care norm.

MHA Community Benefit Award

CentraCare - Long Prairie, Long Prairie

2019

CentraCare Health Long Prairie Access to high-quality health care and well-being opportunities close to home is a necessity for Long Prairie community members, who are among the most impoverished, culturally diverse and fastest aging populations in Minnesota. CentraCare Health - Long Prairie has invested in Vitality Wellness, a 12,000-square-foot well-being center directly adjacent to the medical campus, to meet the wellness needs of over 35,000 residents who live within 20 miles of Long Prairie. Vitality Wellness is a shared-use medical fitness facility with programming to support the Six Dimensions of Wellness: physical, occupational, social, intellectual, spiritual and emotional. It features a gym with cardio and weight equipment, multipurpose fitness studio, locker rooms, meeting space and warm-water therapy pool. Vitality Wellness is a unique collaborative project with partner organizations and community members providing input from concept through design. It provides community space for collaboration, cultural cohesion, education and wellness to enhance the holistic well-being and overall economic success of individuals and the region as a whole. The focus is creating a healthy rural community with special attention on the aging population, low-income individuals and those with disabilities and chronic health conditions. Vitality Wellness and its team of stakeholders embody the spirit of rural optimism that is crucial to keeping the community healthy, successful and deeply inclusive.

MHA Good Catch for Patient Safety Annual Award

Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis

2018

Good Catch Quarterly Winner

MHA Associate Member of the Year Award

RSM US LLP, Minneapolis

2018

RSM US LLP This associate member provides accounting, tax and consulting services including reimbursement, risk management, IT and security, financial advisory and regulation compliance. The firm fosters strong relationships with teams, clients and communities and focuses on operating in a socially and environmentally responsible manner that supports its core values. RSM US LLP has been a valuable partner of MHA for over 35 years, providing us with both financial and educational support for our events and programs. Leaders at RSM are always willing to go the extra mile to help us and our members keep program costs low and quality high.

MHA Good Catch for Patient Safety Annual Award

Melody Stoerzinger, RN

Lakeview Hospital, Stillwater

2018

Melody Stoerzinger The Good Catch for Patient Safety Award recognizes a hospital professional who speaks up to prevent potential harm to patients. It is because of the actions taken every day by these dedicated professionals that Minnesota hospitals and health systems continue to be leaders in patient safety across the nation. When Melody was completing an intake process for a patient scheduled to have a colonoscopy, she discovered that the patient had recently been diagnosed with diverticulitis while traveling out of state and had been prescribed a course of antibiotics. Standard procedure is to perform a colonoscopy six to eight weeks after treatment for diverticulitis; the patient's procedure was scheduled only two weeks after treatment. Melody brought this information to the attention of the procedure physician. The patient's colonoscopy was rescheduled for seven weeks in the future, in line with patient safety recommendations.

MHA Volunteer of the Year Award

Mary Grace St. Claire

Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital, Saint Louis Park

2018

MaryGraceStClaire Mary Grace is a vibrant part of the community of volunteers at Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital. After experiencing a traumatic injury in 2003, she spent time recovering at the hospital. Many volunteers came to check on her progress. She told herself, "If I ever get the chance, I want to be that person for other patients." Now, she is that person every day. After recovering from her brain injury, Mary Grace devoted her time to volunteering at the hospital. In the past 10 years, she has organized events, served on executive committees, worked with patients and done data entry and analysis. Mary Grace brings her kind nature and spirit to the Hospital Elder Life Program, Stroke INSPIRE Program and The Park Nicollet Foundation where she supports patients on their own healing paths. She says she is grateful for all the opportunities and support that she has received from Methodist, especially in the years after her accident. After transitioning from male to female four years ago, her colleagues in The Park Nicollet Foundation said that they would support her and "have her back" every step of the way. She now shares her story during diversity and inclusion training for new volunteers. Recently, Mary Grace celebrated 11,000 service hours with Methodist and says she will continue to serve the place she calls her "second home" for many years to come.

MHA Trustee of the Year Award

Sam Carlson, M.D.

Hennepin Healthcare, Minneapolis

2018

Samuel Carlson Dr. Carlson provided exemplary leadership at a critical time for Hennepin Healthcare. A former chief medical officer at Park Nicollet Health Services, he understood the vital role Hennepin Healthcare serves in Minnesota's health care infrastructure training the state's future health care workforce, providing unparalleled trauma and critical care, and serving the health care needs of the underserved. When he joined the board in 2010, he used his leadership experience and expertise in Lean Management to guide the board in partnering with the CEO and executive team on a journey to implement Lean across the organization, with results now apparent in the system's accelerated growth, quality outcomes, culture and financial performance. A Hennepin Healthcare trustee for eight years and board chair for two, Dr. Carlson made a lasting impact on the board, the health care system and the community.