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Dr. Don Berwick Receives 2011 Picker Award

Camden -

CAMDEN, Maine — Picker Institute bestowed the last of its three 2011 Picker Awards for Excellence in the Advancement of Patient-Centered Care on Wednesday, Dec. 7, at the annual Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Forum in Orlando, Fla. The recipient of the individual award was Dr. Don Berwick, a cofounder of IHI and the immediate past administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

In presenting the award to Dr. Berwick, Lucile O. Hanscom, the executive director of Picker Institute, described him as “a passionate advocate for raising the quality of this country’s healthcare to a new standard of excellence” and as being “in the vanguard of numerous innovative efforts to improve healthcare and the way it is delivered.”

Dr. Berwick, who became administrator of CMS in April 2010, was appointed by Pres. Barack Obama in a recess appointment. His remarks following receipt of the award focused largely on his months in the position, including a spirited defense of his healthcare philosophy and his conviction that “improving care and reducing waste are one and the same thing,” and that serious efforts to reduce waste could save more than $1 trillion annually. (Read Dr. Berwick’s address and more about the Picker Award event at http://pickerinstitute.org/don-berwick-receives-2011-picker-award-for-excellence/.)

“Since the inception of the Picker Awards for Excellence program, in 2003,” Ms. Hanscom said, “the Institute has taken great pride and pleasure in recognizing organizations and individuals whose dedication to patient- centered care has made them outstanding exemplars of this vital commitment. Don Berwick is just such a person. His courageous contributions to the field are a beacon whose light illumines and inspires all who believe that the path to achieving a new standard of excellence in healthcare for every single person in this country is to see always through the eyes of the patient to whom it is delivered.”

Dr. Berwick is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, which he co-founded in 1989. He has also served as Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Health Care Policy at the Harvard Medical School, Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health and consultant in pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital and adjunct staff in the Department of Medicine at Boston’s Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Berwick began his career as a pediatrician at Harvard Community Health Plan. In 1983 he became the plan’s first Vice President of Quality-of-Care Measurement, in which capacity he investigated quality-control measures in other industries such as aeronautics and manufacturing and considered their application in healthcare settings.
In 1987, Dr. Berwick co-founded the National Demonstration Project on Quality Improvement in Health Care, designed to explore opportunities for quality improvement in healthcare. He served as co-principal investigator for the project until 1991. In accord with his work with the project, he left Harvard Community Health Plan in 1989 and co-founded the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Dr. Berwick graduated with a B.A. from Harvard College. He received an M.P.P. from John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He completed his medical residency in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital, Boston.

Mayo Clinic Receives
Picker Organizational Award

Nearly a week earlier, on Dec. 1, Ms. Hanscom presented Mayo Clinic with the 2011 organizational Picker Award for Excellence at the Mayo campus in Rochester, Minn. The award cited Mayo Clinic’s “distinguished history of putting every patient first, and of the respect, dignity and quality care that each patient is afforded.”
“We believe that Mayo Clinic’s efforts have demonstrated—and continue to demonstrate—the ability to deliver the kind of patient-centered care that elevates the patient experience to the highest levels of excellence,” Ms. Hanscom said in presenting the award. “From the beginning, Dr. William Mayo and his sons, William and Charles, fostered what became an unshakable core-value healthcare system, one that fused clinical excellence with the principles of patient-centered care, including human touch, teaching, generosity of spirit and a clear understanding that above all, ‘the needs of the patient comes first.’ These values are lived out at Mayo every day as all members of staff seek to provide comfort and care in that sacred space that encompasses the personal relationship between caregiver and patient. “

“We are honored to receive the Picker Award,” said John Noseworthy, M.D., president and CEO of Mayo Clinic. “The award recognizes the commitment of our entire staff of physicians, scientists and allied health staff who, with a spirit of kindness and hope, provide excellent care to each patient every day.”

Picker Long-Term Care Award
Presented to Jennie Chin Hansen

Jennie Chin Hansen, CEO of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), received the Picker Award for Excellence in a long-term care setting on Aug. 4, 2011, in recognition of “a career dedicated to creating a better life for this country’s aging population, and of the competence and compassion with which she pursues this goal.”

“Jennie has been a trailblazer in the development, implementation and sustainability of care patterns and policies that focus on the person, not the locus of care,” said Ms. Hanscom, who presented the award to Ms. Hansen. “She was an advocate for person-centered care before most people had even heard the phrase! Her philosophy and her approach have informed all our efforts, and we have all benefited from her work.”

Ms. Hansen’s focus on policy and the consumer came into play when she became president of AARP in 2008, Ms. Hanscom added. “During Jennie’s time there, AARP’s emphasis on person-centered long-term care services and supports helped adjust our reimbursement formulas to include more publicly funded care options to meet the changing needs of an aging population.

Prior to her move to AGS, Ms. Hansen served for two years as president of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Earlier, she spent nearly 25 years with On Lok, Inc., a nonprofit family of organizations providing integrated, globally financed and comprehensive primary, acute and long-term care community based-services in San Francisco. The On Lok prototype became the 1997 federal Program of All-Inclusive Care to the Elderly (PACE) Program into law for Medicare and Medicaid. PACE now has urban and rural programs in 30 states.

The Picker Awards for Excellence were established in 2003 as an educational component of improving patient-centered care. “I think we’re all convinced that it is possible to treat patients as human beings, meeting their wants and worries, as defined by them and not by the doctor,” Institute founder Harvey Picker said in 2008. “The Picker Awards are intended to honor people and organizations who have contributed significantly to this goal, and to highlight them as role models for others in healthcare.” The first Picker Award in long-term care was bestowed in 2003.

“The Institute is very proud of each of the Picker Award for Excellence recipients,” Ms. Hanscom said. “Together they constitute a huge reservoir of talent, wisdom, insight and accomplishment, and serve as an invaluable national resource for all of us who believe so strongly that patient-centered care is always better care.” (Visit http://pickerinstitute.org/category/awards/ for a history of the Picker Awards for Excellence and a list of the recipients.)

For More Information:

Contact Name: Carolyn Marsh, Communications Director

Telephone Number: (207)236-0157

Website: http://pickerinstitute.org

Email: cmarsh@pickerinstitute.org