Honoring the outstanding leadership, unwavering spirit of excellence and remarkable achievements in its community, Harborview Medical Center of Seattle is the recipient of the prestigious 2007 Foster G. McGaw Prize. This is one of the most esteemed honors of excellence in community service in healthcare. As one of two primary teaching hospitals for the University of Washington School of Medicine, Harborview is dedicated to providing and teaching exemplary patient care. Harborview, which is owned by King County, takes a proactive role in addressing the health and social needs of its underserved population, who typically face barriers in access to healthcare.
Each year, this $100,000 prize is presented to a healthcare organization that provides innovative programs that significantly improve the health and well being of the community. The Foster G. McGaw Prize is sponsored by the American Hospital Association (AHA), The Baxter International Foundation and the Cardinal Health Foundation.
Named as finalists and receiving $10,000 each are King’s Daughters Medical Center in Ashland, Ky., Riverside Health System in Newport News, Va., and Saint Joseph HealthCare in Lexington, Ky.
“The Foster G. McGaw Prize recognizes healthcare organizations that set a high standard for improving the lives of people in their communities. The winner and finalists this year are wonderful examples of the things that are happening in healthcare today,” said Susan Manilow, chair of the Foster G. McGaw Prize Committee. “Through innovative leadership and partnerships, sustained commitment, and wide-ranging initiatives that achieve striking results in community health and vitality, these organizations truly make a difference in people’s lives.”
Harborview has been devoted to serving the poor, homeless, new immigrants, and underserved since its founding in 1877 as the welfare hospital for King County. The hospital continues to provide exemplary care for patients from all walks of life, regardless of their ability to pay. In addition, Harborview is dedicated to discovering solutions to the social issues that create barriers and disparities in access to healthcare.
“As a mission driven, public teaching hospital, the core values of Foster G. McGaw are aligned closely with our work. This award is a tremendous honor for Harborview because it reflects our role in embracing the community and reaching out to those most in need,” said Johnese Spisso, interim executive director, Harborview Medical Center and vice president for medical affairs and clinical operations officer, University of Washington Medicine. “With the unwavering support of the Harborview Board of Trustees, King County and the University of Washington, Harborview’s community initiatives benefit thousands of individuals each year by removing barriers to accessing high-quality care and improving health status.”
Among other programs, Harborview Medical Center was recognized for its involvement in:
- Providing Healthcare for the Homeless – Harborview’s satellite clinics in downtown Seattle offer a full range of physical and mental health services to the homeless and uninsured. Care is also provided at homeless shelters and temporary respite units.
- Supported Housing, Supported Employment for the Mentally Ill – Working with clients, employers and housing owners, Harborview has developed integrated employment and housing programs with essential support services for adults with psychiatric disabilities. The supported housing program includes 206 units in more than a dozen public and private housing sites throughout Seattle reserved for Harborview patients. The program also offers the services of a peer counselor who is in recovery and understands first-hand the challenges that clients face.
- Community House Calls: Overcoming Language and Cultural Disparities in Healthcare - Bilingual and bi-cultural caseworkers facilitate an exchange of cultural information between Harborview’s providers and King County’s growing immigrant communities. The International Medicine Clinic at Harborview provides healthcare for many of these new residents, and interpreter services are offered in more than 80 languages and dialects.
- Changing Health Behaviors: From the Emergency Department to Primary Care – Harborview provides clinical resources and continued education and support to those with chronic conditions, the leading cause of illness, disability and death in the United States. A nurse case manager works with the emergency department (ED) to link patients to primary care providers and improve disease control between the ED visit and the first clinical visit. Free education and self-management programs for chronic disease are also offered in several languages including Spanish, Vietnamese and Somali.
- Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Seattle: Protecting Children in their Neighborhoods - Committed to preventing injuries to children, Harborview has teamed up with two partners to create the Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Seattle. The coalition has promoted the use of booster seats in immigrant communities, created “walking school bus” programs in inner city neighborhoods and distributed bike helmets at no or low cost.
“Harborview is an irreplaceable community asset and a model of exceptional leadership,” said Manilow. “Whether it is in clinics for the homeless, housing and employment for the mentally ill, outreach tailored to individuals within a richly diverse immigrant population, or protection for children in their neighborhoods, Harborview brings healthcare services to the places where the need is the greatest and makes great strides to break down barriers in access to care.”
The Foster G. McGaw Prize finalists were also recognized for their significant accomplishments in community service. Each received a $10,000 prize:
- King’s Daughters Medical Center in Ashland, Ky., for ensuring access to and delivery of quality healthcare in the medically underserved Appalachian region.
- Saint Joseph HealthCare in Lexington, Ky., for programs within central and eastern Kentucky with a strong emphasis on the traditionally underserved rural communities.
- Riverside Health System in Newport News, Va., for programs throughout eastern Virginia with a strong commitment to community service and emphasis on human dignity and social justice.
About Harborview Medical Center
Founded in 1877, Harborview Medical Center is one of the region’s most comprehensive healthcare facilities, providing high quality, technologically advanced care for everyone regardless of their ability to pay. Owned by King County and managed by the University of Washington, Harborview is the only Level I adult and pediatric trauma center and regional burn center serving the four-state region of Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho.
In addition to being a “safety net” hospital providing care to the underserved, Harborview is the hospital of choice for many privately insured patients seeking a variety of services, such as neurosurgery, reconstruction and rehabilitation, and orthopedics. For more information, visit www.harborview.org.
About The Foster G. McGaw Prize
The Foster G. McGaw Prize, first awarded in 1986, recognizes healthcare organizations that demonstrate commitment to community service through a range of programs that demonstrate a passion and continuous commitment to making communities healthier and more vital. The prize inspires hospitals, health systems and communities to assess and implement programs that improve their communities.
About The Foster G. McGaw Prize Sponsors
The American Hospital Association is a not-for-profit association of healthcare provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include almost 5,000 hospitals, healthcare systems, networks,