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Two National Health Organizations to Recognize the Nation's Best Health Systems for Patient Safety Leadership
Date:7/8/2008

IRVING, Texas and WASHINGTON, July 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The VHA Foundation, a foundation focused on improving the health and health care of all Americans, and the National Business Group on Health (NBGH), the nation's only non-profit organization consisting of mostly large employers devoted exclusively to finding innovative solutions to health care benefits issues, have come together to create an award that recognizes health systems who are taking a leadership position by visibly displaying their commitment to patient safety through transparency.

"Research of high-risk industries shows that a fundamental ingredient for creating sustainable safety improvements is the creation of a culture of safety, where senior leaders value and make personal commitments to safety," said Linda DeWolf, president of the VHA Foundation. "This award aims to recognize health systems where senior leaders are driving the culture of safety, and are creating safer, more transparent environments for patients."

The Foundation and NBGH will solicit nominations from the 388 health systems across the country. Entrants will be judged on the following criteria:

-- System level commitment to patient safety

-- Board and senior leadership action on patient safety

-- System-wide alignment of patient safety resources and goals

-- Patient safety results

-- Transparency in public reporting

"These criteria were specifically designed to reveal and publicly recognize the strength of health care systems when it comes to creating a culture of safety," said NBGH President Helen Darling "We are excited to recognize systems that are making these commitments and acting as role models for the rest of the nation as they strive to improve the care they provide to patients each day."

Supporting Patient Safety Leaders

In addition to co-sponsoring the award, the VHA Foundation recently launched a new patient safety program designed exclusively for hospital leaders. The Health Care SafetyNetwork is a national program that offers hospital CEOs a forum where they can learn from peers and patient safety experts about ways to create a culture that emphasizes patient safety above all else. The VHA Foundation is looking for those CEOs who understand their pivotal role in patient safety and who believe that they are ultimately responsible for patient safety within their organizations. The Health Care SafetyNetwork is for those CEOs who wish to come together with other like-minded CEOs to accelerate their knowledge and skills base in patient safety leadership. The Network's goal is to create a unique and transformative environment for CEOs to share and learn from each other as well as national safety experts.

To learn more about the patient safety leadership award or the Health Care SafetyNetwork program visit http://www.vhafoundation.org.

About the VHA Foundation

The VHA Foundation, located in Irving, Texas, is a 501(c)(3) private foundation created by VHA Inc. to encourage leadership and innovation in addressing health and health care issues. The Foundation seeks the input and participation of both member and non-member health care organizations in its efforts to improve health and health care. The VHA Foundation funds programs that focus on two important health themes: patient safety and disaster relief.

About the National Business Group on Health

The National Business Group on Health is the nation's only non-profit, membership organization of over 300 mostly large employers devoted exclusively to finding innovative and forward-thinking solutions to their most important health care and related benefits issues. The NBGH identifies and shares best practices in health benefits, disability, health and productivity, related paid time off and work/life balance issues. NBGH members provide health coverage for more than 50 million U.S. workers, retirees and their families. For more information about the NBGH, visit http://www.businessgrouphealth.org

Contact:

Lynn Gentry (972) 830-0798

Danielle DeForge (202) 609-6011


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SOURCE VHA Foundation
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