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ALMH honored for performance excellence     Send a link to a friend 

[DEC. 29, 2003]  URBANA -- The Lincoln Foundation for Performance Excellence has awarded Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital and the six other affiliates of Memorial Health System a 2003 Bronze Award for Commitment to Excellence. Kathleen Vipond, ALMH director of professional services, and Dolan Dalpoas, director of quality management, were on hand to receive the award at the foundation's ninth annual recognition ceremony in Naperville on Dec. 2.

The Lincoln Foundation for Performance Excellence is a not-for-profit organization that assists Illinois organizations striving for performance excellence through the planning and implementation of sound management processes. Each year a select Lincoln Board of Examiners reviews and assesses award applications, and a panel of judges determines which applicants have earned recognition. A bronze award signifies that an organization demonstrates an earnest effort to adopt and apply continuous improvement principles.

Eleven Illinois organizations, including manufacturers, cities and many schools, received recognition from the Lincoln Foundation for Performance Excellence in 2003. Memorial Health System and St. Mary's Good Samaritan in Centralia and Mount Vernon are the only two health care organizations in the state honored by the Lincoln Foundation this year. Since the program was established in 1995, only a handful of hospitals and health care organizations have received recognition from the Lincoln Foundation.

"ALMH and the Memorial Health System is honored to receive this award," said Woody Hester, the president and chief executive officer of ALMH. "This recognition is a direct tribute to our staff, the physicians who deliver patient care and our volunteers for the exceptional work that has been done toward quality, safety and clinical effectiveness."

"This award," Hester continued, "recognizes that the Memorial Health System has a firm foundation in quality and safety upon which we can build in the future."

In addition to Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, the Memorial Health System includes Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, St. Vincent Memorial Hospital in Taylorville, Visiting Nurse Association of Central Illinois, Memorial HomeCare, HealthCare Network Associates (Family Medical Center in Lincoln) and Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois (Logan-Mason Mental Health).

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Dolan Dalpoas, ALMH's director of quality management, said the award reflects Memorial's vision to be the leading central Illinois health care system and employer, academically affiliated, which people choose over all others.

"To achieve our vision demands high standards," Dalpoas said. "Our ability to achieve standards that demand excellence in performance is represented in our 2003 Lincoln Bronze Award for Performance Excellence."

Dalpoas referred to various achievements on the local and system level that reflect the level of performance and process improvements required of the award. They include the following:

--Consistently assessing heart attack patients and administering lifesaving clot-buster drugs in less than 30 minutes from arrival at the emergency room.

--Reducing waits and delays for emergency department patients at ALMH.

--Preventing medication errors by employing the patient and their family as partners through the "It's OK to Ask" campaign.

--Implementing an electronic medical record at ALMH and Memorial Medical Center to improve patient safety and quality of care.

--Recruiting and retaining the highest caliber of health care professionals who combine their skills, knowledge and experience with dedication to Memorial Health System's mission, vision and values.

"We know we are proceeding in the right direction as we work throughout the health system to improve our patient care processes," Dalpoas said. "Now we also have the benefit of the wisdom and perspective provided by the Lincoln Foundation for Performance Excellence. This will be invaluable as we build on our already strong foundation for patient safety, clinical effectiveness and quality of care."

Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital is a critical access hospital serving 17 communities in Logan and eastern Mason counties. For more information about ALMH and the Memorial Health System, visit www.almh.org.

[ALMH news release]

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