Spectrum Health Earns Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence

Butterworth Hospital Critical Care Unit Earns Award Based On Quality Measures

The adult Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital has received the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence, given by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). The award recognizes the nation’s top adult, progressive and pediatric critical care units.  The MICU is only the second critical care unit in Michigan to earn this recognition.

According to the AACN, this award represents extraordinary commitment to high quality critical care standards and dedication to the exceptional care of patients and their families.  As a Beacon Award recipient, the MICU excelled in the following areas, as measured against evidence-based national criteria:

  • Recruitment and retention
  • Education, training and mentoring
  • Research and evidence-based practice
  • Patient outcomes
  • Leadership and organization ethics
  • Healing environment

“This is a remarkable achievement for our all our staff in the MICU,” said Shawn Ulreich, chief nursing executive, vice president, patient care services, Spectrum Health Hospital Group. “Our staff and physicians selected this recognition as a goal and worked for more than a year to meet the standards set by AACN. We are very proud of their success.”

The Beacon Award gives the critical care community a definitive and quantitative way to view success, says the AACN. Individual units use the application process to measure themselves against established criteria focused on excellence in critical care nursing, exceptional care for patients and healthy work environments

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world, representing the interests of more than 500,000 acute and critical care nurses. Its international headquarters are located in Aliso Viejo, California. Founded in 1969, the Association has more than 240 chapters worldwide and is working toward a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families, where acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution. Additional information about AACN is available online at or by calling (800) 899-2226.

Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system in West Michigan that offers a full continuum of care through its seven hospitals, more than 140 service sites and Priority Health, a health plan with nearly 500,000 members. Spectrum Health’s 14,000 employees, 1,500 medical staff members and 2,000 volunteers are committed to delivering the highest quality care to those in medical need.  The organization provided $111.1 million in community benefit during its 2008 fiscal year. As a system, Spectrum Health has earned more than 100 awards during the past 10 years. More news about Spectrum Health is available at