Posted on 19 January 2017.
Finalists from Dallas, Los Angeles and Toledo, Ohio, also honored
In recognition of its cutting-edge programs and services to reach the underserved residents of Western Michigan, Spectrum Health is awarded the 2016 Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service and will receive $100,000 for programs creating healthier and stronger communities.
As one of the most revered community service awards in healthcare, the Foster G. McGaw Prize is sponsored by the Baxter International Foundation, the American Hospital Association (AHA) and its non-profit affiliate Health Research & Educational Trust. First awarded in 1986, the annual prize recognizes the achievements of hospitals and health systems and inspires strong partnerships that significantly improve the health and well-being of their communities.
Spectrum Health is a non-profit, integrated health system in Western Michigan providing a full continuum of care. Its community outreach arm, known as Healthier Communities, responds to the most pressing needs by formulating innovative programs to address specific health challenges and then collaborating with other organizations to address them.
“Since 1997, Spectrum Health Healthier Communities has built the infrastructure, resources, community-based programs and services to reach the people who need care the most,” said John O’Brien, chair of the Foster G. McGaw Prize Committee. “Through impactful alliances with community organizations, Spectrum Health has shown incredible perseverance, patience and a vision to dramatically improve the health of individuals in their communities and reduce healthcare costs.”
“We are honored to be recognized by the Baxter International Foundation and the American Hospital Association for our work to empower vulnerable populations and increase access to care,” said Richard C. Breon, Spectrum Health President & CEO. “The Foster G. McGaw Prize represents significant national recognition of our mission to improve the health of the communities we serve. The award also recognizes the power of collaboration. Healthier Communities is successful due to dozens of community partners coming together to carry out this challenging yet tremendously rewarding work.”
Spectrum Health Healthier Communities’ three areas of focus include maternal and infant health, children’s health and preventing and managing chronic disease through such initiatives as:
*Strong Beginnings Program – Eight area agencies work together to improve maternal-child health and eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in birth outcomes. The program, which offers outreach, case management, education, mental health services and a fatherhood program, has helped to significantly reduce the infant mortality rate in Kent County.
*Community Partnerships for Wellness and Access to Healthy Food – Programs specifically tailored to children and minority populations offer health screenings, coaching, fitness and nutritional support. In addition, four independent community agencies collaborate to provide healthy foods to underserved and impoverished individuals.
*School Health Advocacy Program – A partnership with seven local school districts serving nearly 29,000 students to provide first aid, medication administration, tracking/facilitating immunizations, care for chronic health conditions and communicable disease prevention. In less populated areas, telemedicine services are provided.
*Core Health Program – A chronic disease management program for underserved individuals, reaching more than 2,500 community members to date, that has demonstrated a measurable impact by achieving the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim goals – a framework that describes an approach to optimizing health system performance.
Through programs like the Foster G. McGaw Prize, the Baxter International Foundation continues to recognize and celebrate health organizations that support an integrated approach to better and more easily accessible care.
“The Foster G. McGaw Prize recognizes healthcare organizations that serve as role models for taking a synergistic approach to improve the health of the people in their communities. This year’s winner and finalists offer wide-ranging programs to meet the needs of their vulnerable populations,” said Stacey Eisen, president of the Baxter International Foundation and vice president, global communications at Baxter. “Through involved leadership, dedicated staff and community collaboration, they significantly improve the lives of the patients they serve and the communities in which they operate.”
Three Foster G. McGaw finalists also were recognized for their significant community health programs and will each receive $10,000. These finalists include:
*Children’s HealthSM, the leading pediatric health system in North Texas, for its unique approach in using a cross-sector coalition to improve the health and well-being of children in the community.
*ProMedica in Toledo, Ohio, for establishing numerous community health programs for low-income residents, including collaborative approaches to tackling hunger and peer abuse.
*White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles, Calif., for its dedicated prevention programs, including healthy eating and interventions for pregnant and post-partum women, as well as advancing a health careers program to ensure sustainable health among all members of the community.