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Sanford Worthington earns national award

Sanford Worthington Executive Director Jennifer Weg (far right) speaks during an award ceremony Monday morning during which the facility was recognized for high leadership quality. (Ryan McGaughey/The Globe)

WORTHINGTON — Sanford Worthington Medical Center has been recognized as one of just eight community hospitals in the U.S. to receive the Bernard A. Birnbaum, M.D. Quality Leadership Award.

Sanford Worthington management and staff celebrated receipt of the award Monday morning in a brief ceremony in the Sanford Worthington Medical Center lobby. The award, presented earlier to Sanford representatives at a Denver, Colo. event, is given by Vizient, which Sanford Health Network Vice President Terry Mahar described as “the nation’s largest member-driven health care performance improvement company.”

Mahar, who is based in Sioux Falls, S.D., praised both the turnout for Monday’s event as well as the work being done in Worthington.

“In health care today, one of the most important driving factors is quality,” Mahar said. “There is a direct correlation between a facility’s quality scores and their overall financial and clinical performance.

“Since I started my position about 20 months ago, I’ve seen the team at Sanford Worthington continuously improve their quality of care,” he continued. “It’s often difficult to measure quality, but even more difficult to continuously improve it. But that is what has happened here. Under the leadership of Jennifer Weg and her team, this facility continues to improve.”

Weg, who was named executive director of Sanford Worthington in February, presented the award to staff members from the facility’s many departments and dedicated the recognition to the employees.

“It really takes many people to deliver the ingredients of excellence here,” said Weg, adding that all employees were receiving knit gloves courtesy of Sanford to mark a commitment to “quality with every touch.”

Erica DeBoer, Enterprise Client Executive Dedicated to Sanford at Vizient, was also on hand  Monday to recognize Sanford Worthington for its “exceptional performance.” Also speaking during the 15-minute event was Jena Ver Steeg, the leader of Sanford Worthington’s quality initiative.

Mahar explained that Vizient’s mission is to connect its members with the “knowledge, solutions and expertise that accelerate performance and quality care.” The data Sanford Worthington provides to Vizient allows the facility to compare itself to a larger group, thereby allowing for access to information that can help implementing further improvement plans.

“The Vizient strategy focuses on cost, variation reduction and clinical quality, which is in direct alignment with the goals of Sanford,” Mahar said.

Ryan McGaughey

I first joined the Daily Globe in April 2001 as sports editor. I later became the news editor in November 2002, and the managing editor in August 2006. I'm originally from New York State, and am married with two children.

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