AHE and Kimberly-Clark Professional Announce 2016 Heart of Healthcare Award Recipient


In recognition of her exceptional efforts to protect and enhance patient health for the past 14 years, Jean Williams, an environmental services professional at Fairfield Medical Center in Lancaster, Ohio, has received the 2016 Heart of Healthcare Award.

"Jean is dedicated to maintaining a clean and sanitary environment and is kind beyond measure," said Chris Chong, environmental services (EVS) director at Fairfield Medical Center. "Her unit is always pristine – she even goes so far as to use a toothbrush to clean every nook and cranny. She is dedicated to her patients and their families and is always willing to help others." 
The Heart of Healthcare Award is presented annually by the Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE), a personal membership group of the American Hospital Association (AHA), and Kimberly-Clark Professional. Now in its fifth year, the award honors outstanding environmental services professionals who make a difference in the lives of patients and residents.    

"By caring for the healthcare environment, environmental services professionals like Jean Williams help ensure the highest levels of patient care, as well as patient safety and satisfaction," said Patti Costello, AHE executive director. "Jean is appreciated by both nurses and patients. She is an outstanding example of how today's healthcare environmental services teams strive to create a healing atmosphere that leads to better patient outcomes." 

The award is an integral part of the Heart of Healthcare program, developed by AHE and Kimberly-Clark Professional to recognize the critical role that environmental services professionals play in enhancing patient safety in the healthcare environment. The program focuses on continuing education for environmental services professionals and enhancing the patient experience. Tools include:
•Education and training guides
•Employee recognition certificates
•Patient discharge and room calling cards

All Heart of Healthcare program tools and educational materials can be customized to include a healthcare facility's logo. The materials are available through the AHE website, www.ahe.org.

The program has improved the patient experience, according to 83 percent of environmental service managers who have implemented it at their facility. More than 700 healthcare facilities now participate in the program.

Nominations for the Heart of Healthcare Award are submitted each year by managers, supervisors, co-workers and members of departments in hospitals and senior care facilities. The AHE Recognition Committee reviews all submissions and selects the winning applicant.

"We are proud to continue our involvement with this important program, which recognizes the tremendous contributions of healthcare environmental services professionals," said Sarah Happel, healthcare segment leader, Kimberly-Clark Professional. "This year's honoree exemplifies the professionalism of environmental services professionals and the important role that they play in achieving exceptional patient outcomes and enhancing patient satisfaction."

Williams, who joined Fairfield Medical Center in 2002, is a perfect example of this. The Press Ganey scores in her unit reflect her outstanding performance as indicated by patient feedback. The mean score for cleanliness in her unit was 91.7 percent, courtesy of the person cleaning the room was 95.8 percent while staff attitude toward visitors was 95 percent and promptness of response to calls was 93.8 percent.

The Heart of Healthcare Award is not the only recognition that Williams has received. Last year she was selected from more than 2,000 employees to receive Fairfield Medical Center's 2015 Excellence in Service award.

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Association for the Health Care Environment (Logo used with permission)
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CDC  (Adobe Stock, unknown)
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