Fine Awards Reward Healthcare Professionals for Teamwork Excellence

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2013 Fine Awards will recognize and reward teams who are providing quality, patient-centered, care at the end of life

The Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) has issued the call for applications for the 2013 Fine Award for Teamwork Excellence in Health Care. The theme for this year is care at the end of life, and applications are due by June 10.

The healthcare system too often fails families and patients at end-of-life. Once topics to avoid, life-threatening illness, death, and bereavement have become mainstream topics of conversation. End-of-life care presents emotional, physical, and financial burdens for patients and their loved ones, but do patients at the end-of-life receive quality care, which is defined as care that helps them achieve their desired outcomes, and not ineffective interventions?

Billions of dollars are spent on terminally ill patients—much of that on patients who may not want or fully understand the implications of the treatments being offered. But patients who have opted for palliative and hospice care often experience a higher quality of life and lower costs in their final days.

2013 Fine Awards  copy
The Gold winning team poses with their organization and team “checks”. Milton Fine and Karen Feinstein stand back row left, Sheila Fine back row right.

Over the last few years, many providers and provider organizations have made great strides in developing systems, tools, and programs that better serve families and patients at end-of-life, and JHF and The Fine Foundation encourage teams that have done so to apply.

Six years ago the Fine Award for Teamwork Excellence in Health Care was established by The Fine Foundation and led by Sheila and Milton Fine in partnership with the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) in order to encourage problem solving and quality improvement in health care, foster an exceptional service mentality, and reinforce the critical role teamwork plays in health care.

Mr. Fine, Chairman of FFC Capital and co-founder of Interstate Hotels Corporation (which became the largest independent hotel management company in the world), was aware that the attention placed in the hospitality field on individual and team excellence was lacking in the healthcare field. The Fines partnered with JHF President and CEO Karen Wolk Feinstein in order to fill this gap in Southwestern PA.

“I know from my own business activities,” says Mr. Fine, “that people at every level who perform with distinction and creativity and with a desire to make life better for customers, or patients in this case, deserve rewards and recognition for exceptional efforts. Progress and advancement occur in every field of endeavor when people are motivated to step up and move beyond the norm.”

Applications submitted from healthcare organizations across Western Pennsylvania are evaluated by a panel of distinguished regional and national experts, and three awards (Gold, Silver, and Bronze, with prizes of $25,000, $15,000, and $10,000, respectively) are granted to the healthcare teams whose efforts in quality improvement are exceptional. Submitting organizations span healthcare settings. Additional monetary awards are given to the institutions sponsoring the winning teams.

Last year, the theme had been “Transitions of Care Partnerships,” so submissions were from teams that crossed care settings. Gold went to the UPMC Montefiore/Montefiore Rehabilitation Institute team won first place for their collaborative effort “Preventing Transplant Readmissions through Good Discharge Planning.” The Silver went to the Excela Health Latrobe/Westmoreland Hospitals team for “Reducing Observation Status Wait Times” and the Bronze went to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC/Children’s Community Pediatrics/Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC team for “Early Access to Integrated Behavioral Health Services in the Pediatric Medical Home.”

Information and the 2013 application for the Fine Award for Teamwork Excellence in Health Care can be found on the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative website, www.prhi.org. PRHI is a JHF supporting organization which serves to accelerate healthcare quality improvement in our region and beyond. Information about past Fine Award winners is also accessible through the “Success Story” link on the PRHI website.