Cole Memorial accepts 3 State Awards and an Honorary Citation at Recognition Event

Photo left to right: Jamie Evens, director of H.R., Cynthia Hardesty, VP of Clinical Operations & CNO at Cole Memorial, Dr. Owen Simwale, influenza field surveillance coordinator at the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Carolyn Scanlan, president & CEO of The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, Cole Memorial’s President & CEO Ed Pitchford and Suzan Paisley, legislative aid for Pennsylvania Representative Martin Causer

COUDERSPORT, PA – Charles Cole Memorial Hospital received today three prestigious state health awards for successful initiatives to improve the quality and safety of care for their patients and a special citation from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. An awards ceremony to celebrate these achievements was held today at the hospital with approximately 100 community members, healthcare representatives, hospital employees and board members in attendance.

This year, The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) received 81 Achievement Award applications from hospitals across the state of which 17 awardees were selected among the most innovative and creative in the health care field. Cole Memorial was the recipient of two of those awards.

HAP President and CEO Carolyn F. Scanlan presented both awards during Cole Memorial’s event starting with the 2012 Achievement Award for Operational Excellence from HAP for “A Small Hospital’s Emergency Department Transformation of Culture to Improve Patient Satisfaction.” Cole Memorial’s Director of Emergency Services Emily Bunnell accepted the trophy on behalf of the Cole Memorial Emergency Services team’s ability to bridge the gap between community needs and health care by providing positive patient experiences that were reflected in substantial improvements in the department’s Press Ganey patient satisfaction scores.

Photo: Carolyn Scanlan, president & CEO of The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania presents two 2012 Achievement Awards to Cole Memorial

The second award-winning initiative, “A Hospital’s Approach to Care Transitions and Hospital Readmissions” received the 2012 Achievement Award for Patient Care in recognition of Cole Memorial’s formation of a care transition committee that included community health partners which closed the gaps in planning and inconsistent communications during patient care transitions. The results — opportunities in terms of adverse outcomes avoidance, reduction of hospital readmissions, enhanced efficiencies and a better value for patients.

“Cole Memorial’s initiatives are examples of the commitment to their patients, communities and employees,” said HAP President and CEO Carolyn F. Scanlan. “I am remarkably proud of you and to be part of today’s celebration with such innovative and dedicated healthcare professionals.”

Cole Memorial’s award entries attracted national attention from healthcare organizations and publications. The Cole Memorial care transitions model is the subject of an article to appear in the September edition of Hospital Case Management magazine. In addition, Cynthia Hardesty, VP of Clinical Operations and CNO and Bonnie Kratzer, director of Care Management and Home Health & Hospice at Cole Memorial were one out of six teams selected to present at the National Rural Health Association’s Rural Quality and Clinical Conference at Seattle, Washington in July 2012.

Cynthia Hardesty, VP of Clinical Operations and CNO at Cole Memorial said, “Our staff should be extremely proud of these achievements. The competition for these awards is extremely high so to win two HAP awards is an outstanding achievement and is a testament to the commitment and efforts of our staff to high-quality patient care and safety.”

The Hospital’s employees also received accolades from Owen Simwale, MPH, Influenza Field Surveillance Coordinator of the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) for achieving a vaccination rate of 96% participation during the 2011-12 influenza season. Dr. Simwale presented a Certificate of Excellence to Jamie Evens, director of Human Resources at Cole Memorial and congratulated their entire staff for being one of three hospitals in central Pennsylvania and the only one in the state’s western region to achieve this high percentage of coverage.

Cole Memorial was also lauded by the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with a special citation for the hospital’s adherence to the highest standards of service, contributions to the well-being of their communities and ultimately to all citizens of the Commonwealth. The honorary certificate was sponsored by Rep. Martin Causer and hand-delivered at the awards ceremony by Legislative Aide Suzan Paisley.

“These awards recognize how teams from the community and our hospital can come together to share a common goal in offering improvements for patients’ safety and their overall healthcare experience,” said Cole Memorial’s President and CEO Ed Pitchford. “I am so proud of our organization and its accomplishments. I congratulate the entire Cole Memorial team for their commitment to provide award-winning healthcare in the communities we serve and thank all of them for making our system a great place to be well or return to health.”

Charles Cole Memorial Hospital and its ten rural health centers serve approximately 60,000 residents within a 65-mile service area including Potter, Cameron, McKean and Tioga Counties in Pennsylvania and New York’s southern tier. For more information, visit www.charlescolehospital.com.