Joint Commission and National Quality Forum Announce the 2006 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award Winners

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill., and WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Quality Forum (NQF) and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) today announced the 2006 recipients of the annual John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards. The honorees selected in each of the four award categories are:

Individual Achievement 

Donald Berwick, MD, MPP, KBE, is president, CEO, and cofounder of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Boston. Berwick has published extensively in professional journals in the areas of healthcare policy, decision analysis, technology assessment, and healthcare quality management. Berwick has received numerous awards and honors for his work, including the Joint Commissions 1999 Ernest A. Codman Award, and, in 2001, the first Alfred I. DuPont Award for excellence in childrens healthcare from Nemours, one of the nations largest pediatric healthcare provider organizations. In 2002, he was given the Award of Honor from the American Hospital Association for outstanding leadership in improving healthcare quality, and in 2004, he was inducted as a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in London. In 2005, in recognition of his exemplary work for the National Health Service in the UK, he was appointed honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empirethe highest award given to non-British citizens.


Jerry H. Gurwitz, MD, is a nationally recognized expert in geriatric medicine and the use of drug therapy in the elderly. He holds the Dr. John Meyers Endowed Chair in primary care medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he is chief of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and professor of medicine and family medicine/community health. He also serves as the executive director of the Meyers Primary Care Institute. He has been the recipient of the William B. Abrams Award in Geriatric Clinical Pharmacology from the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and the George F. Archambault Award from the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. Gurwitz's most recent research efforts relate to developing and testing interventions to reduce the risk of medication errors that lead to adverse drug events in the elderly.

Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality at a Regional Level (2 Recipients)

Minnesota Alliance for Patient Safety (MAPS), established in 2000, is a partnership between the Minnesota Hospital Association, Minnesota Medical Association, Minnesota Department of Health, and more than 50 other public-private healthcare organizations to improve patient safety. MAPS is a forum for sharing best practices and fostering commitment to patient safety improvement efforts.

Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority is an independent state agency charged with taking steps to reduce and eliminate medical errors by identifying problems and recommending solutions that promote patient safety in hospitals, ambulatory surgical facilities, birthing centers, and other facilities.

Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality at a Local Level

The Wichita Citywide Heart Care Collaborative represents 35 institutions that developed multidisciplinary teams in November 2003 to meet the common goal of providing quality care in their community. This unique initiative enlisted the support of the citys key decision-makers to work together to improve patient care. Their combined efforts have provided valuable lessons and opportunities for sharing in-depth knowledge, resulting in the establishment of patient safety and quality improvement goals that exceeded the reach of any one of the organizations working in isolation.

This years awards will be presented on Oct. 12, 2006 at NQFs annual Policy Conference on Quality in Washington, D.C. The December 2006 issue of the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety will feature the achievements of each of the award recipients. The NQF and Joint Commission applaud each of these outstanding recipients for their efforts which have advanced patient safety in the United States.

The patient safety awards program, launched in 2002 by NQF and the Joint Commission, honors John M. Eisenberg, MD, MBA, former administrator of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Eisenberg was one of the founding leaders of the NQF and sat on its board of directors.  In his roles both as AHRQ administrator and chair of the federal governments Quality Inter-Agency Coordination Task Force, he was a passionate advocate for patient safety and health care quality and personally led AHRQs grant program to support patient safety research.

Source: Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations