Alegent Health Earns National Recognition for Exemplary Community Service
Article Date: Jan 15, 2010
Media Contact: Jen Homann
(402) 343-4676

Omaha, Neb., healthcare provider selected as finalist for 2009 Foster G. McGaw Prize

CHICAGO, January 14, 2010
– In honor of its broad-based efforts to improve the lives of the most vulnerable members of its community, Alegent Health in Omaha, Neb., was named a finalist of the prestigious 2009 Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service, one of the most esteemed community service honors in healthcare.

The Foster G. McGaw Prize is sponsored by The Baxter International Foundation, the Cardinal Health Foundation, the American Hospital Association (AHA) and Health Research & Educational Trust. As a finalist, Alegent will receive $10,000.

“The Foster G. McGaw Prize recognizes healthcare organizations that serve as role models for improving the health and well-being of the people in their communities. This year’s winner and finalists embody the numerous ways healthcare organizations positively affect the communities they serve,” said John O’Brien, chair of the Foster G. McGaw Prize Committee. “Their strong dedication and innovative leadership are the catalysts for the impressive programs that have been developed to promote their communities’ health.”

Alegent Health is the largest not-for-profit, faith-based healthcare system in Nebraska and southwest Iowa with 10 hospitals and two long-term care facilities. The Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement ranked Alegent Health first among healthcare systems in the country in 2007 for quality and patient satisfaction. A commitment to providing patient-focused care for the body, mind and spirit of every person keeps Alegent faithful to its Mission, which was inspired by its sponsors, Catholic Health Initiatives and Immanuel Health Systems.

“Our selection as a finalist for the Foster McGaw is a tribute to Alegent Health’s years of servant leadership to create healthier communities in the greater Omaha area,” said Beth Llewellyn, vice president of Mission Integration. “We celebrate this honor with our staff and particularly with the partners featured in our application: Live Well Omaha, Live Well Omaha Kids, OneWorld Community Health Center, Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, our Alegent Faith Community Nursing Network and School Based Mental Health Initiative.”

Alegent Health was recognized for the following innovative community service initiatives:

  • Live Well Omaha – This partnership convenes local health systems, social service agencies and insurers to promote awareness of population health issues, and provide a forum for collaborative strategies to address community health needs. The Partnership and Alegent Health created Live Well Omaha Kids, a coalition working to achieve measureable improvements in nutrition, physical activity and healthy living for children.

  • OneWorld Community Health Center – This Federally Qualified Community Health Center, in partnership with the Indian Chicano Health Center, is committed to quality care for the uninsured, low income, non-English speaking persons in South Omaha.

  • Domestic Violence Coordinating Council – The Council brings together law enforcement, service providers and domestic violence victim representatives to ensure consistent policies and procedures are developed and used to respond to domestic violence victims throughout the community.

  • Faith Community Nursing Network – Nurses are trained to work in partnership with religiously diverse communities to educate, advocate and motivate people to take positive action regarding wellness, prevention, appropriate treatment of illnesses, and social and spiritual connections with God, their congregations and communities.

  • Integrated School Mental Health – In partnership with Clarkson College and the Institute of Heartmath, this program works with local schools to meet the unmet mental health needs of students and teachers in some of Omaha’s poorest neighborhoods.

“Alegent Health has a history of community leadership through collaboration to meet the needs of the most vulnerable residents in its service area,” said O’Brien. “Working strategically with community partners, Alegent founded a healthy community partnership, assisted a community health center for uninsured, low-income, non-English-speaking residents, and implemented a school-based mental health model. These programs demonstrate the compassionate, diverse, and proactive ways it lives its mission.”

The 2009 winner of the $100,000 Foster G. McGaw Prize is Heartland Health in St. Joseph, Mo. It was recognized for its outstanding leadership, unwavering spirit of excellence and remarkable achievements in its community. In addition to Alegent, other finalists include Lancaster General Health in Lancaster, Pa. and St. Vincent Health in Indianapolis, Ind.

Alegent Health is the largest not-for-profit, faith-based healthcare system in Nebraska and southwestern Iowa with 10 hospitals, more than 100 sites of service, over 1,300 physicians on its medical staff of 9,000 employees. Alegent Health is ranked first in the country in quality and patient satisfaction according to the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI). That exceptional commitment to providing patient focused care for the body, mind and spirit of every person keeps Alegent Health faithful to its Mission, which was inspired by its sponsors, Catholic Health Initiatives and Immanuel Health Systems. At Alegent Health, patients and their families find a continuum of care, from women's and children's services, primary care, wellness counseling, and senior care to cardiovascular services, orthopaedics, oncology, physical rehabilitation and behavioral health. Alegent Health is online at www.alegent.com.

The Foster G. McGaw Prize, first awarded in 1986, recognizes healthcare organizations that demonstrate commitment to community service through a range of programs that demonstrate a passion and continuous commitment to making communities healthier and more vital. The prize inspires hospitals, health systems and communities to assess and implement programs that improve their communities.

The American Hospital Association is a not-for-profit association of healthcare provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include almost 5,000 hospitals, healthcare systems, networks, other providers of care and 37,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for healthcare leaders and is a source of information on healthcare issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA Web site at www.aha.org.

The Baxter International Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX), helps organizations expand access to healthcare in the United States and around the world. The foundation, established in 1981, began to focus exclusively on increasing access to healthcare in 2002 – particularly for the disadvantaged and underserved – in communities where Baxter employees live and work. Baxter International Inc. develops, manufactures and markets products that save and sustain the lives of people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions. As a global, diversified healthcare company, Baxter applies a unique combination of expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to create products that advance patient care worldwide. For more information, please visit www.baxter.com.

The Cardinal Health Foundation supports local, national and international programs that improve healthcare efficiency, effectiveness and excellence and the overall wellness of the communities where Cardinal Health's (NYSE:CAH) 30,000 employees live and work. The Cardinal Health Foundation also offers grants to encourage community service among its employees and works through international agencies to donate much-needed medical supplies and funding to those who need them in times of disaster. To learn more, visit www.CardinalHealth.com/community.

Founded in 1944, the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) is a private, not-for-profit organization involved in research, education, and demonstration programs addressing health management and policy issues. An affiliate of the American Hospital Association, HRET collaborates with healthcare, government, academic, business, and community organizations across the United States to conduct research and disseminate findings that shape the future of healthcare. For more information about HRET, visit www.hret.org.

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