CEO Report: Honoring Teams, Individuals for Meaningful Work

Posted on March 06, 2018

MHA CEO Brian PetersThe annual Academy Awards ceremony was held Sunday night. As you may recall from a prior letter, I again boycotted the awards in protest of Dodgeball’s inexplicable snubbing a number of years back. In any case, I can imagine the scene: a red carpet full of actors and actresses in tuxedos and fancy dresses; a celebrity host making awkward jokes; producers, directors, and sound technicians delivering acceptance speeches until the orchestra signals them to move along. Am I close? 

I would like to turn the spotlight on a series of awards that, in my view, are more meaningful in terms of direct impact on people, right here in Michigan. In the past year alone, a number of MHA family members have earned recognition for their outstanding work:

  • MHA Board member David Jahn, president and CEO of War Memorial Hospital in Sault Ste. Marie, was honored as the Lake Superior State University Outstanding Alumnus for 2017
  • MHA Board member Bob Riney, president, Health Care Operations, and COO, Henry Ford Health System, was honored as the Boy Scouts of America, Michigan Crossroads Council, Distinguished Citizen for 2017
  • MHA Board member Tony Denton, senior vice president and COO of the University of Michigan Health System, and his wife Lori Pierce, M.D., professor of radiation oncology and vice provost for academic and faculty affairs at the University of Michigan, were honored by the United Way of Washtenaw County with the Robert E. Guenzel Award, its top annual honor
  • Deidra Wilson, vice president of government relations for Flint-based McLaren Health Care, was named to the prestigious 40 Under 40 list by Crain’s Detroit Business
  • The MHA’s own Chris Mitchell, senior vice president of advocacy, and Dillon McGough, director of government relations, were recognized in the biennial MIRS capitol newsletter survey as two of the state’s top three most effective lobbyists for an association, across all sectors

In each instance, these individuals have devoted their time, expertise and passion to a cause greater than themselves. At the end of the day, their work improves the health and well-being of residents of their respective communities and the entire state. 

The MHA understands that appropriate recognition of those organizations and individuals who are doing exceptional work is an important function for our association. In addition to encouraging and rewarding excellence, such recognition also helps to facilitate the shared learning that helps everyone to advance. Here is a rundown of our current awards:

The MHA Healthcare Leadership Award honors outstanding members of healthcare governing boards and outstanding executive, physician, nursing and other health leaders. This award is presented to individuals who have provided exceptional leadership to an individual healthcare organization and to the health and well-being of the community.

The MHA Advancing Safe Care Award honors a team of healthcare professionals within MHA-member hospitals who demonstrate a fierce commitment to providing quality care across diverse socio-economic populations, lead the charge for quality improvement, promote transparency to improve healthcare, and achieve better outcomes due to a strong culture of safety.

The MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award acknowledges the efforts of individuals or teams within MHA Keystone Center Patient Safety Organization hospitals who speak up to prevent potential harm to patients or other staff members. The award not only represents a volitional voicing of concerns by one or more people, but is a tool through which one may eliminate preventable harm caused by miscommunication and noncommunication.

The MHA Ludwig Community Benefit Award was launched in tribute to the legacy of leadership and community partnership demonstrated by Patric E. Ludwig, former MHA president and Bronson Healthcare Group president. The award is presented to healthcare organizations that demonstrate community benefit by improving the health and well-being of their communities through healthcare, economic or social initiatives.

The Michigan Green Healthcare Awards recognize an organization that makes a broad impact and sustainability gain within its own walls and in its community during the past 12 months, with a second “Hometown Hero” award presented to an individual who demonstrates a vision and passion for sustainability and inspires others to make a difference.

The MHA Special Recognition Award is presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to improving healthcare in the state; this is often conferred on legislators or other non-MHA members.

The MHA Meritorious Service Award – the association’s highest honor – has been presented annually since 1953 in recognition of an outstanding contribution of service to either hospitals or the hospital needs of the people of the state of Michigan.

More information about all of these awards, including details about the application process and past winners, can be found online.

You can make people feel appreciated and energized through the recognition that comes with awards such as these. It is only fitting if you consider how their work makes other people feel: the father whose son is still alive and well because a Speak-up! Award winner helped to prevent a medical error; the mother who can provide dinner for her family tonight because a Ludwig Award winner created a program that ensured access to healthy food.

We may not have a red carpet, but I hope you will agree that we have something much better.


  • CEO Report: Honoring Teams, Individuals for Meaningful Work

Tags: Brian Peters, Awards, CEO Report

Posted in: MHA Rounds

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