Penn Highlands Elk earns Excellence Award for Patient Safety

September 18, 2014


Penn Highlands Healthcare is committed to the safety of its patients and to the highest-quality patient care.  Those efforts were recognized at a meeting of the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania last week.

Mary Ellen Smith, Chief Nursing Officer at Penn Highlands Elk, accepted an award on behalf of the hospital at the meeting on September 3 in Harrisburg.   The “Safety Across the Board” Excellence Award was presented by Lynda Martin, Director of the Pennsylvania Hospital Engagement Network (PA-HEN). 

In order to qualify for the award, a hospital must exceed the goals established by the PA-HEN to reduce preventable harm and readmission of patients.  In Penn Highlands Elk’s case, staff was recognized for efforts to reduce infections, bed sores and blood clots.  Data is collected by the PA-HEN.

“This award reflects the dedication of our nursing and clinical staff,” said Smith.  “We work hard every day to keep our patients safe and to make sure they get the best care possible.”  

The patient safety efforts at Penn Highlands Elk are directed by Christine Garner, Performance Improvement Director.  “This reward is tangible evidence of our hard-working staff.  It takes a team approach to participate in PA-HEN’s initiatives, and we couldn’t be happier to receive this award.  It demonstrates our commitment to exceptional patient care.”

Lynda Martin, director of the Pennsylvania Hospital Engagement Network presented awards to Penn Highlands Healthcare representatives recently.
From left are Martin, Kim Fike, RN, and Sherry McKee, director, PH DuBois Performance Improvement Department, Debbie Thomas, chief nursing officer of PH Brookville, and Mary Ellen Smith, chief nursing officer of PH Elk.