Advancing Safe Care Award

Honoring Fierce Commitment to Quality Care

The 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.

advancing self care award

Judging is based on four criteria. Nominations that include strong evidence of effort in each of these criteria will be the most successful. The criteria include:

Reduced health disparities among specific patient populations (25 points):

The data is clear that there are inequities in the care provided to different populations.

  • Demonstrate how improvements have been implemented that have impacted patient populations that have been affected by change, such as the use of data to highlight improvement for disparate populations.

Supported a learning culture committed to trust, feedback and higher problem-solving (25 points):

The journey toward reliable care is dependent on the systemization of improvement practices and continuous learning across the organization.

  • Nominees must show there is a progression in how their organization deploys improvement efforts in a way that increases learning.
  • Nominations will be evaluated on how information is shared across the organization and the learning and feedback mechanisms from the bedside to the boardroom.

Evidence of transparency among care teams, with patients and families, and with community stakeholders (25 points):

Transparency is essential to creating an organization that fosters sustainable improvement. While the detail shared may vary depending on audiences, the communication of data and information is vital in achieving buy-in and support for improvement.

  • Demonstrate how transparency has been shown (e.g., visual learning board, huddles, newsletter) within the organization, and external communication with the community.

Improved safety by creating high degrees of psychological and physical safety (25 points):

A culture that supports safety for patients and staff is critical to achieve sustainable improvement. Culture is set and reinforced by leaders, both formal and informal.

  • Show evidence a culture of safe care was nurtured in their efforts to improve.

TOTAL = 100 points


Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, Grand Rapids

The 2022 winning team created a special care unit in 2020 for behavioral health patients who tested positive for COVID-19 and a residential unit for COVID-19-positive patients in the adult foster care system.


Bronson Healthcare, Kalamazoo

The 2021 winning team is a dedicated group of individuals who created and support Bronson’s Community Partnered Vaccine Clinics and Health Equity project.


Spectrum Health Pennock

The 2020 winning team includes Spectrum Health Pennock’s surgical team – anesthesiologists, surgeons, registered nurses, and support staff – who worked diligently to eliminate surgical-site infections by instituting surgical policies, improving patient education and cultivating a “speak up for safety” culture.


Spectrum Health sepsis team
The 2019 winning team is the Grand Rapids-based Spectrum Health sepsis team, which includes Steve Fitch, MD; Nick Kuhl, MD; Kristen Buck, MSN; and Sarah Fisher, MS. The team’s efforts to decrease adult severe sepsis/septic shock mortality by building on the foundation that sepsis involves the full continuum of care.


Bronson Children’s Hospital
The 2018 winning team includes Peg J. Malnight, MSN, RN, outcomes coordinator; Andrea M. Scheurer, MD, neonatologist; Jamie McCune, RN; and Shannon McLogan, PharmD, clinical pharmacist. Bronson’s leadership team, information technology staff and entire NICU staff also played a key role in making the program a success.

How to Apply

Nominations will be accepted electronically. Supplemental materials, such as charts, data, etc., can be sent to, but will be limited to two documents.

Submission Deadline

March 24, 2023


All healthcare teams within MHA-member hospitals who are in good standing are eligible for this award, including direct care, administrative and support staff. Nominated teams do not need to directly provide patient care to be considered.

Team Members

There is no limit to the number of team members included in a nomination.

For more information, contact us.