Orlando-Based Health Initiative Wins National Award For HIV Prevention And Continuum Of Care To Individuals

January 29, 2009 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

Orlando Health has been honored by the Premier healthcare alliance with the 17th Annual Monroe E. Trout Premier Cares Award for its Help Understand and Guide Me (HUG-Me) program, which provides comprehensive HIV care to individuals in Central Florida. HUG-Me last night received the Cares Award and $70,000 for the work it has done to provide care to individuals in Central Florida infected with, affected by and at risk for HIV.

Sponsored by Premier and its member hospitals, the Cares Award recognizes exemplary efforts by not-for-profit community organizations to improve the health of populations in need. Representatives of HUG-Me received the Cares Award during Premier’s annual Governance Education Conference, January 27-29 in Phoenix.

Since 1994, HUG-Me has provided HIV care to Central Florida. HUG-Me’s service area spans six counties, including rural Osceola, Lake, Brevard and St. Lucie, and urban Orange and Seminole counties. HUG-Me’s most significant impact on disadvantaged populations is its virtual elimination of perinatal HIV transmission. During the last 11 years, the program enabled 566 HIV-positive pregnant women to deliver healthy, HIV-negative infants. This success has been presented to national and international audiences.

“Premier is thrilled to highlight the amazing work being done by these great organizations,” said Richard A. Norling, Premier’s president and CEO. “Their efforts are remarkable, and we commend them for truly improving the health of their communities.”

A panel of hospital professionals, as well as health and business industry leaders, selects the winner and five finalists, which all receive cash awards for use in further improving their programs. Winning Cares Award programs are used to spotlight community-based healthcare initiatives and to assist in replicating best practice programs through the Leading Healthy Communities Web site.

Following are award finalists, each of which received $24,000 for use in further improving their program:

BodyLove program at Media for Health, Birmingham, Ala.

Developed by faculty and students at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, BodyLove is a radio drama reaching African-American listeners with messages to promote healthy lifestyles. Eighty-three episodes have been produced and broadcast on 16 locally owned radio stations in Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi. Each 15-minute episode is followed by a 45-minute talk period where listeners speak to local health experts for information and referrals to health resources. BodyLove began in 2003 with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and a coalition of more than 20 local funding partners.


Heart Failure Clinic at Florida Hospital, Orlando, Fla.

The Heart Failure Clinic (HFC) was established in March 2006 by the Florida Hospital Cardiovascular Institute to provide underserved patients with access to specialty care for chronic heart failure management. Serving metropolitan Orlando’s 1.8 million residents, the HFC provides free office visits, medications, diagnostic testing and social services until patients are connected with community resources. The HFC has provided 2,097 patient visits since opening.

Heart Failure Clinic at Florida Hospital, Orlando

Referral Management Initiative of the Children’s Health Fund, New York, N.Y.

In 1997, Children’s Health Fund (CHF) launched the Referral Management Initiative (RMI) at its New York Children’s Health Project (NYCHP). Recognizing the obstacles homeless families face – including limited transportation or insurance barriers – RMI ensures that they receive the specialist care needed to treat complex medical conditions by providing support at every step of the referral process. Among NYCHP’s homeless patients, RMI resulted in a dramatic improvement: the appointment completion rate for children needing specialty care increased from approximately 7 percent to more than 61 percent. RMI has been replicated within CHF’s National Network at sites in the South Bronx, South Florida, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Washington, DC, and beyond CHF’s Network at a health clinic in Philadelphia.

The Healing Hearts Center for Grieving Children & Families

Founded in 1995, this center provides care, comfort and compassion to grieving children and adults throughout Western Connecticut and neighboring towns in New York through hospice, homecare and The Healing Hearts Center for Grieving Children & Families. The program reaches beyond traditional hospice by providing exceptional bereavement care aimed at preventing long-term negative effects associated with complicated bereavement. The professionally staffed programs are offered free of charge to anyone. In 2008, 924 participants were served, providing 5,519 contacts.

Toledo/Lucas County CareNet, Toledo, Ohio

Toledo/Lucas County CareNet is a public/private partnership operating as a virtual free clinic. Through a comprehensive network of eight hospitals, 16 clinics and 155 volunteer specialists, CareNet has connected 15,000-plus low-income uninsured residents to medical homes and 160,000-plus healthcare services to address preventive, chronic and acute conditions since 2003. This has resulted in measurable health improvement for its members: 82 percent of its members are meeting the National Cancer Institute guidelines for preventive mammograms, 79 percent with high blood pressure are successfully managing their condition, and 55 percent of members with diabetes have their blood sugar controlled.

Toledo/Lucas County CareNet

About Premier Inc., 2006 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient

Serving more than 2,100 U.S. hospitals and 53,000-plus other healthcare sites, the Premier healthcare alliance and its members are transforming healthcare together. Owned by not-for-profit hospitals, Premier operates one of the leading healthcare purchasing networks and the nation’s most comprehensive repository of hospital clinical and financial information. A subsidiary operates one of the nation’s largest policy-holder owned, hospital professional liability risk-retention groups. A world leader in helping healthcare providers deliver dramatic improvements in care, Premier is working with the United Kingdom’s National Health Service North West and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to improve hospital performance. Headquartered in San Diego, Premier has offices in Charlotte, N.C., Philadelphia and Washington..

About the Premier Cares Award

Premier has presented the Cares Award annually since 1992, when it was created by Dr. Monroe E. Trout, former CEO of American Healthcare Systems, one of Premier’s heritage organizations. The Cares Award winner receives a cash grant of at least $70,000, while five runners-up receive smaller awards. The competition is open to non-profit organizations that have been in existence for more than two years, are providing creative solutions to health status improvement, can provide documentation of outcomes and impact on a specific population, and have programs that can be replicated in other communities.

Premier Cares Award

[Via http://www.medicalnewstoday.com]

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