Awards, Children's Health

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses recognizes Pediatric ICU at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., October 2, 2018 – The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recently conferred a gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence on the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is the only pediatric critical care unit in the State of Michigan with this recognition and is one of only 12 units in the nation with gold-level recognition. 

The Beacon Award for Excellence — a significant milestone on the path to exceptional patient care and healthy work environments — recognizes unit caregivers who successfully improve patient outcomes and align practices with AACN’s six Healthy Work Environment Standards. Units that achieve this three-year, three-level award with gold, silver or bronze designations meet national criteria consistent with Magnet Recognition, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the National Quality Healthcare Award.

“We are thrilled to have our pediatric ICU be awarded gold-level recognition from this prestigious national organization,” said Shari Schwanzl, MBA, BSN, RN, NE-BC, vice president for operations and nursing services at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.  “This underscores the dedication of our team of outstanding caregivers who work hard to provide exceptional care to patients and families in our PICU.”

AACN President Clareen Wiencek, RN, PhD, ACNP, ACHPN, applauds the commitment of the caregivers in the PICU at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital for working together to meet and exceed the high standards set forth by the Beacon Award for Excellence. These dedicated health care professionals join other members of the exceptional community of nurses who set the standard for optimal patient care.

“The Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes caregivers in stellar units whose consistent and systematic approach to evidence-based care optimizes patient outcomes. Units that receive this national recognition serve as role models to others on their journey to excellent patient and family care,” she explains.

The gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence earned by the PICU at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital signifies excellent and sustained unit performance and patient outcomes. The PICU at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital earned a gold award by meeting the following evidence-based criteria:

  • Leadership Structures and Systems
  • Appropriate Staffing and Staff Engagement
  • Effective Communication, Knowledge Management, Learning and Development
  • Evidence-Based Practice and Processes
  • Outcome Measurement

AACN honors the PICU at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and other Beacon Award for Excellence recipients with announcements in AACN Bold Voices, the monthly award-winning member magazine distributed to more than 100,000 acute and critical care nurses nationwide. AACN also honors awardees at the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition (NTI), the world’s largest educational conference and trade show for nurses who care for acutely and critically ill patients and their families.

About the Beacon Award for Excellence: Established in 2003, the Beacon Award for Excellence offers a road map to help guide exceptional care through improved outcomes and greater overall patient satisfaction. U.S. or Canadian units where patients receive their principal nursing care after hospital admission qualify for this excellence award. Units that receive the Beacon Award for Excellence meet criteria in six categories: leadership structures and systems; appropriate staffing and staff engagement; effective communication, knowledge management, learning and development; evidence-based practice and processes; and outcome measurement. To learn more, visit www.aacn.org/beacon or call (800) 899-2226.

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN joins together the interests of more than 500,000 acute and critical care nurses and claims more than 235 chapters worldwide. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution. To learn more about AACN, visit www.aacn.org, connect with the organization on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aacnface or follow AACN on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aacnme.

Spectrum Health, a not-for-profit, integrated health system, is committed to improving the health and wellness of our communities. We live our mission every day with 31,000 compassionate professionals, 4,200 medical staff experts, 3,200 committed volunteers and a health plan serving 1 million members. Our talented physicians and caregivers are privileged to offer a full continuum of care and wellness services to our communities through 14 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, 230 ambulatory sites and telehealth offerings. We pursue health care solutions for today and tomorrow that diversify our offerings. Locally-governed and based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, our health system provided $459 million in community benefit in the last fiscal year. Thanks to the generosity of our communities, we received $30 million in philanthropy in the most recent fiscal year to support research, academics, innovation and clinical care. Spectrum Health has been recognized as one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM.

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