The MHA Keystone Center Patient Safety & Quality Leadership Award

The MHA Keystone Center Patient Safety & Quality Leadership Award honors individuals who demonstrate leadership in patient safety and quality improvement that transcends the bounds of their hospital or health system. The award may be presented in three categories: executive leader or governing board member, physician, and nursing/allied health. Award selection criteria are weighted to reflect an emphasis on leadership consistent with the mission, vision and values of the MHA Keystone Center.

All nominations for the MHA Keystone Center Patient Safety & Quality Leadership Award must be received by the MHA no later than noon Dec. 9, 2016.

Nomination Form

Nomination Criteria

Leadership (35 Points)

Patient safety champions consistently encourage the development of a culture of safety and make patient safety and quality a top organizational priority. Explain how the nominee:

  • Works to align systemwide activities and incentives to increase quality and improve patient safety
  • Engages and collaborates with staff to promote a culture of safety and transparency
  • Elevates the importance of patient safety innovation both with and outside his or her organization
  • Shares knowledge and builds awareness through the use of data at all levels for continued improvement
  • Strives to demonstrate the importance of good safety practices from the perspectives of fiscal responsibility, employee satisfaction and patient outcomes

Collaboration and Personal Knowledge (30 Points)

Patient safety champions embody the passion for learning and collaboration that is the core of the MHA Keystone Center mission. Explain how the nominee:

  • Willingly shares progress, practices, ideas and setbacks regarding the institution's journey to improve patient safety and quality
  • Acts as a resource for colleagues and healthcare stakeholders for synopses of current literature and patient safety thought
  • Demonstrates the use or communication by actively listening to the experiences of others and using the lessons learned to improve quality and support a culture of safety
  • Cultivates the capacity and willingness of others in the organization to become more collaborative in their patient safety and quality improvement activities
  • Participates in forums at local, sate and national levels to stay connected with emerging activities and to increase awareness and opportunities for quality improvement

Patient-centered Improvement (35 Points)

Patient safety champions demonstrate commitment to patients by inspiring patient safety and quality improvement work. Explain how the nominee:

  • Continually keeps the patient at the center of the quality improvement and safety focus
  • Demonstrates support for the staff, patients and families impacted by medical errors
  • Engages patients and families in the quality improvement process
  • Encourages transparency with patients and families regarding quality performance
  • Speaks on behalf of what is best for the patient, both within and outside his or her organization

Entry Requirements

  • Nominations must be approved by the nominating organization's chief executive officer (board chair may approve the nomiation of a CEO) and submitted via an electronic nomination form.
  • Space is provided on the electronic nomination form for up to 600 words of written narrative, which should describe how the nominee meets the award’s criteria.
  • Up to six pages of supplementary materials supporting the nomination may be submitted. They should be clearly identified as supplementary nomination materials for the nominee and emailed to Sam R. Watson.
  • Application and supplementary materials will not be returned.

Selection Process

All nominations for the MHA Keystone Center Patient Safety & Quality Award will be reviewed by a workgroup comprised of patient safety and quality improvement leaders from a wide array of organizations. This group will use a 100-point judging system to make a recommendation to the MHA Health Foundation Board, which will approve the final winners.


Any Type I A-D or Type II A-C MHA member in good standing may submit a nomination for the MHA Keystone Center Patient Safety & Quality Leadership Award.

Past Winners

John Hyden, compliance, legal, risk and safety officer, McLaren Greater Lansing
Hitinder S. Gurm, MD, associate professor of internal medicine, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor

Robert H. Connors, MD, president, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Grand Rapids
Maude (Molly) Guerin, MD, chair of the obstetrical/gynecological department, Sparrow Health System, Lansing

Cheryl Knapp, vice president of quality, Bronson Healthcare, Kalamazoo, and chief quality officer, Bronson Battle Creek
Robert Prodinger, DO, medical director of emergency medicine, Bronson Battle Creek
Penny Rathburn, DO, medical director, Bronson Internal Medicine Hospital specialists, Battle Creek

Annette Phillips, president and chief executive officer, Mercy Memorial Hospital System,
Monroe Lakshmi Halasyamani, MD, chief medical officer, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and St. Joseph Mercy Livingston, Howell

Thomas H. Peterson, MD, executive director, Safety, Quality and Community Health, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Grand Rapids
Michael K. McLeod, MD, surgeon, Sparrow Health System, Lansing

Sara Atwell, BSN, MHA, chief quality and safety officer, Oakwood Healthcare Inc., Dearborn
Susan Hawkins, senior vice president of performance management, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit
Beth Smith, RN, MSN, MBA, director, Quality Resource Management, Allegiance Health, Jackson

Thomas Denomme, board chairman, Beaumont Hospitals, Royal Oak Rhea Heil, chair of the board of trustees, Sinai-Grace Hospital, Detroit
Matthew Niedner, MD, pediatric intensivist and patient safety officer, C.S. Mott Children's Hospital at the University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor
John Brooks, MD, chief of staff-elect, Port Huron Hospital

Dr. William Conway, chief quality officer, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, and chief medical officer Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit
Carolyn Schaefer, RN, BSN, MS, CNAA, director of medical-surgical and critical care, Holland Hospital

Dr. Darrell A. Campbell Jr., the Henry King Ransom Professor of Surgery and senior associate director and chief of clinical affairs, University of Michigan Hospitals & Health Centers, Ann Arbor

Paul Conlon, PharmD, JD, vice president of clinical quality and safety, Trinity Health, Novi

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