ASHNHA Quality & Patient Safety Awards

ASHNHA 2020 Quality and Patient Safety Award Winners

Watch this short video highlighting the 2020 winners.

Front-Line Staff Outstanding Performance Award: This award recognizes an individual or team that has demonstrated above and beyond safety related performance in the workplace. The awards focus on noteworthy front-line staff performance of safety practices.

Charlee Gribbon, Bartlett Regional Hospital -Charlee has been instrumental in improving patient safety with innovative ways to share information.With the advent of COVID, Charlee has initiated programs to promote patient and staff safety within the hospital and has been a resource for the greater community. She developed a program to ensure proper usage of PPE by staff using “dofficers.”  She provides weekly virtual updates for staff and is heavily involved in community education including radio updates.

Vivian Knop, Cordova Community Medical Center -During her 30th year of service working for Cordova Community Medical Center, Vivian assumed the role of incident commander for our pandemic emergency response team.  She facilitated collaboration between the city and tribal health clinics and led our emergency response with organization and strength. Vivian managed equipment, pharmaceutical and medical supply procurement to respond to the emergency as well as maintained day to day job duties.

Golden Stethoscope Award:  Recognizes a healthcare provider or team who consistently demonstrates the commitment to supporting and leading efforts that result in measurable improvements in the delivery of safe patient care. 

 Team: Foundation Health Partners -Dr. Angelique Ramirez, Dr. Mishelle Nace, Dr. Mark Simon, Dr. Laura Brunner – Deemed the “Fantastic Four,” this team of physicians has demonstrated a special commitment to fighting the COVID public health pandemic. Together, they have activated a COVID-19 call center, established a Physicians Advisory Council and weekly Community Providers Meetings, set up multiple outdoor testing sites and organized outreach programs for community members across the Fairbanks area. Because of them, the Fairbanks community is in good hands.

Individual: Dr. Prysunka, SEARHC Wrangell Medical Center – Dr. Prysunka’s forward thinking, helped keep Wrangell Medical Center a step ahead of the pandemic by increasing access to COVID testing and screening for staff, patients, and residents. She increased access to telehealth appointments, held mock drills to ensure safety of staff, and provided education and resources around the pandemic.

Innovation of Patient Safety and Quality Award: Recognizes facilities or teams that have developed and implemented an innovative or sustainable patient safety program, with measurably improved outcomes.

Innovation of Patient Safety and Quality Award – Alaska Regional Hospital – Alaska Regional Hospital has driven down hospital acquired conditions in Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI )and Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infections (CLABSI) by implementing organization wide quality and performance improvement efforts.

Innovation of Patient Safety and Quality Award – Central Peninsula Hospital – Safe Companion ProgramDesigned to meet the needs of a growing patient population with psychiatric conditions, the Safe Companion Program has proven invaluable to supporting the healing process, in part by developing trusting relationships between patients and hospital staff. With visitor limitations currently in place due to COVID-19, the work of Safe Companions is even more critical.

Innovation of Patient Safety and Quality Award – Samuel Simmonds Memorial HospitalSamuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital (SSMH) has incorporated high reliability practices into staff routines by implementing performance improvement tools to improve communication and safety processes.  The staff work hard to make the hospital a great place for patients and their families. Their success is built on a foundation of strong Inupiaq values, especially Iļagiigñiq ‐ Family Kinship.

Innovation of Patient Safety and Quality Award – Honorable Mention – Providence Health and Services AlaskaProvidence Health & Services Alaska strives to promote innovative solutions to the state’s health challenges. Whether it be visits from a telehealth provider, utilizing data to streamline hospital logistics, or reinforcing a culture of patient and caregiver safety, PH&SA excels at thinking outside the box to provide high-quality care in the communities it serves.

Innovations in Social Determinants of Health Award: Recognizes a facility and a person that has shown exemplary initiative and commitment to address social determinants of health and eliminate health care disparities..

Facility Award: Providence Valdez Medical Center – Valdez implemented has partnered with the seafood processing industry to create a population health or social determinants focused healthcare system will result in radically better outcomes for our communities and an unmistakably better landscape for healthcare providers. In three years’ time, and because of the dynamic partnerships, they have achieved dramatic reductions in the use of the ED and witnessed the magic that ensues when you go beyond treating the ailments of the “here and now” and dive head first into prevention and wellness.

Individual Award: Dr. Dick Mandsager – Dr. Mandsager has a heart for people. Whether serving children as a pediatrician, overseeing the state’s only children’s hospital, improving public health for all Alaskans; for him it is always about improving people’s lives. He has compassion for the vulnerable, the forgotten, the marginalized and the voiceless. When Dr. Mandsager retired, he could have done something simple after a career of complex and challenging work. Instead, he focused on homelessness. He has worked to align services and resources to create a more complete and fully formed homeless services system in Anchorage. Thanks to his work, the system around homelessness response is stronger and more cohesive than it has ever been in Anchorage.

Beacon Award: Awarded for collaborative effort to stand up drive through testing site: 

  • DHSS: Anne Zink,
  • PAMC: Michael Bernstein, Caleb Terpstra, Ella Gross
  • Alaska Regional: Julie Taylor, Keri Gardner
  • ANMC: Roald Helgesen, Donna Marstellar
  • Municipality of Anchorage: Natasha Pineda, Drielle Welch

Alaska healthcare leaders came together to heed the call to facilitate a large-scale testing site for COVID-19 in a way that minimized risk of transmission to patients and caregivers. The site evolved and by mid-July had successfully tested nearly 18,000 individuals without experiencing a single caregiver infection.

Physician Leader Heroes Recognition: Awarded to physicians who have taken the lead to improve and protect their communities.

  • Wesley Gifford, Alaska Regional Hospital
  • Dr. Jacob Gray, Alaska Native Medical Center
  • Dr. Joanne Gartenberg, Bartlett Regional Hospital
  • Dr. Hannah Sanders, Cordova Community Medical Center
  • Dr. Michael Bernstein, Providence Alaska Medical Center
  • Dr. Karen Mailer Providence Transitional Care Center
  • Dr. David Vastola, SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital

 Long Term Care Frontline Fighters Award: Awarded to all 19 Alaska long term care facilities in recognition of their exceptional commitment to the safety of residents and staff.

Unprecedented times have resulted in extraordinary measures to protect and ensure the safety of Alaska’s long-term care residents.  Coronavirus in nursing homes is one of the greatest threats in years and Alaska’s facilities met and continue to meet the challenge. Working around the clock to mitigate the dangers of the virus for the people within their care, while maintaining compassion and ongoing connection with families speaks volumes to the skill and dedication of every employee.  We are grateful and thankful for the unwavering dedication shown to our elders and most vulnerable.   

2019 ASHNHA Quality and Patient Safety AwardsSummary of award nominees and winners