Sparrow Hospital Nurse Protects Pediatric Patient, Receives Award

speak up
Jennifer Brandt
Jennifer Brandt, RN at Sparrow Hospital, receives Speak-up! Award

The Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) Keystone Center honored Jennifer Brandt, an emergency department registered nurse at Sparrow Hospital, Oct. 21 with the quarterly MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award.

Brandt was caring for a pediatric patient scheduled to be discharged from the emergency department based on lab results. However, Brandt noticed that the patient’s condition appeared to be declining and suggested that the patient be admitted to the hospital. The physician assistant agreed with Brandt’s recommendation, and the patient was admitted to the pediatric unit with subsequent transfer to the pediatric intensive care unit, where the patient was treated for multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). MIS-C is a rare but serious condition that occurs after a COVID-19 exposure or infection that can lead to inflammation of vital organs.

“I’m extremely honored to receive this award, but even more so happy that we were able to correctly diagnose our patient and make sure the patient received the care that they needed,” said Brandt. “We have a culture at Sparrow Hospital that makes me comfortable to speak up, which helps ensure our patients receive the best care.”

Launched in March 2016, the MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award acknowledges 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 fosters a culture within healthcare organizations that empowers staff to speak up about the quality or safety of patient care.

“What Jennifer did is what we want all members of our care teams to do if they feel like something may not be right,” said Karen Kent VanGorder, MD, chief medical and quality officer, Sparrow Health System. “The past few months have been extremely busy and taxing on the staff of Sparrow Hospital’s emergency department, but we are blessed to have healthcare heroes like Jennifer caring for patients every day.”

Additional award finalists for the third quarter of 2021 include:

  • Logan Bixman, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital
  • Shelah Perry, McLaren Health Care
  • Carrie Schmoekel, Covenant HealthCare

“Establishing a safety culture that empowers staff to speak up is one very important way that hospitals throughout Michigan are improving safety and quality for their patients,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters. “We are thrilled to recognize Jennifer and Sparrow Hospital for her actions that ensured a child received the care they needed for a very serious disease.”

Specifics on the MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award, including criteria and a nomination form, are available online. For more information, contact the MHA Keystone Center PSO.

War Memorial Employee Speaks Up for Patient Safety, Receives Award

Speak Up Award logo

The Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) Keystone Center honored Kelsey Moran, a certified nursing assistant at War Memorial Hospital, with the quarterly MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award July 20.  

Moran prevented a potential adverse outcome by persistently advocating for a patient who was looking unwell to receive additional assessments and care. Her act of courage and advocacy resulted in prompt follow-up and prevented the patient’s condition from worsening.

“I truly appreciate receiving this honor and want to thank my care team at War Memorial Hospital for fostering a culture where we all feel comfortable speaking up for our patients,” said Moran. “Most importantly, I’m thankful that we were able to provide top notch care to our patient and that harm was avoided.”

Launched in March 2016, the MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award acknowledges 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 fosters a culture within healthcare organizations that empowers staff to speak up about the quality or safety of patient care.

“We take great pride in the role War Memorial serves in our community and region and the top level of care that our staff delivers to our patients and residents,” said War Memorial Hospital Long Term Care Administrator, Katie Peabody, CTRS, NHA. “Kelsey is a great example to the rest of our staff of the importance of speaking up and advocating for your patient or resident.” 

Additional award finalists for the second quarter of 2021 include:

  • Annette Farrelly, Beaumont Hospital, Troy
  • Rebecca Morgan, RN, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital
  • Jennifer Clinansmith, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital

“Throughout Michigan, we have recognized front-line caregivers for speaking up and we are pleased to recognize Kelsey and War Memorial Hospital with their first MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters. “A strong safety culture where staff feel comfortable speaking up is a top priority for Michigan hospitals as they ensure the best care for their patients.” 

Specifics on the MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award, including criteria and a nomination form, are available online. For more information, contact the MHA Keystone Center PSO.

Nominations Due April 22 for Quarterly Speak-up! Award

Speak Up Award logo

MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! AwardThe deadline to submit a nomination for the quarterly MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award is 11:59 p.m. April 22.

The award is designed to acknowledge the efforts of individuals or teams within MHA Keystone Center Patient Safety Organization (PSO) hospitals who speak up to prevent potential harm to patients or other staff members.

Nomination requirements, the evaluation process, previous winners and frequently asked questions are available on the Speak-up! Award webpage. Those with additional questions may contact the MHA Keystone Center PSO.

Bronson Battle Creek Employee Receives Award for Speaking Up for Patient’s Safety

Mozella Horton Peters

The Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) Keystone Center honored Mozella Horton-Peters, an environmental services employee at Bronson Battle Creek Hospital, April 6, with the quarterly MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award.

Horton-Peters was interacting with a patient when she noticed the patient’s condition worsened and their breathing became labored. She quickly notified a registered nurse, who confirmed the patient required immediate medical attention. Horton-Peters’ swift action to speak up prevented the patient’s condition from reaching a critical state.

“Interacting with patients is a highlight of my role at Bronson Battle Creek,” said Horton-Peters. “The hospital has a culture where we all know we have a role to play in the health of the patient, and I’m glad that I was able to say something so that the patient was okay.”

Created in 2016, the MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award celebrates individuals in MHA Keystone Center Patient Safety Organization (PSO) member hospitals who speak up to prevent near misses and potential harm to patients or staff. The award fosters a culture within healthcare organizations that empowers staff to speak up about the quality or safety of patient care.

“Bronson Battle Creek works extremely hard to develop and maintain a strong patient safety culture,” said Kirk Richardson, senior vice president of community care at Bronson. “All members of our care team are empowered to speak up if they have a concern, and we are so proud of Mozella for doing just that.”

Additional award finalists for the first quarter of 2021 include:

  • Connie D'Avanzo-Ordo, RN, Beaumont Hospital, Dearborn
  • Angie Fossitt, Helen Newberry Joy Hospital
  • Crystal Blackwood, War Memorial Hospital

“Each Speak-up! Award signifies another time when a front-line caregiver spoke up and prevented potential harm to a patient,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters. “Mozella and Bronson Battle Creek are an example of the commitment Michigan hospitals make to practicing strong safety cultures that put the patient first.”

Specifics on the MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award, including criteria and a nomination form, are available online. For more information, contact the MHA Keystone Center PSO.

Beaumont Health Nurse Receives Recognition for Speaking Up

Speak Up Award logo

MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award logoRenee Evans, RN, a clinical nurse at Beaumont Hospital, Troy, received the Michigan Health & Hospital Association Keystone Center Speak-up! Award for preventing a potential adverse event to her patient.

Evans accepted the award during a virtual presentation Oct. 22. The quarterly recognition honors hospital and health system professionals who demonstrate their commitment to keeping patients safe by speaking up to prevent potential harm to patients or staff members.

Evans was scheduled to administer a steroid cream for a patient and noticed the label on the medication did not list the application area. The medication administration record indicated that the medication was prescribed for the eye; however, Evans knew that steroid creams are not typically prescribed for eyes. Upon further review of the tube, she noted a warning label stating that the steroid cream was not intended for ophthalmic use. She spoke to the patient, who informed her that they apply the medication to their elbow.

The nominee notified the pharmacy of this error immediately, preventing potential harm by using her attention to detail and swift action to further investigate the situation.

“I’m honored to receive this award, which represents nurses throughout our hospital who go to great lengths to care for our patients,” said Evans. “All I did was do the right thing, and I hope this reminds other nurses to be confident and speak up when something doesn’t appear right.”

The Speak-up! Award was created in 2016 and has honored nearly 20 employees of Michigan hospitals to date. The award is presented quarterly, with one quarterly awardee recognized as an annual Speak-up! Award recipient.

“Healthcare is a complex business, so near-misses and potentially unsafe conditions can develop at any time,” said Dr. Sam Flanders, chief quality and safety officer, Beaumont Health. “It’s only through alertness, caring and willingness to speak up, which Renee demonstrated, that we can locate the next problem before it reaches a patient. Finding and fixing problems at this early stage is the foundation of a strong Safety Culture at Beaumont Health.”

Dr. James Lynch, president, Beaumont Hospital, Troy, said, “The delivery of patient care depends on a team of clinicians working together in the best interests of the patient. Renee demonstrates what we want all of our staff to do, which is if you suspect something is amiss, make your voice heard.” 

Additional award finalists for the third quarter of 2020 include:

  • Melissa Moore, McLaren Flint
  • Macey Ramey, McLaren Greater Lansing
  • Megan McGrath, RN, Beaumont Hospital, Trenton

 “A caregiver’s commitment to the safety of their patients never stops,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters. “We are thankful that Renee spoke up and did the right thing to ensure her patient received the care she needed and deserves.”

Specifics on the MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award, including criteria and a nomination form, are available online. For more information, contact the MHA Keystone Center PSO.

MHA Monday Report Aug. 3, 2020

MHA Monday Report logo

Combating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Week of July 27

As Michigan enters yet another month of fighting COVID-19, the MHA continues to keep members apprised of developments affecting Michigan hospitals during the pandemic through email updates and the MHA Coronavirus webpage. …


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New Report Reveals Negative Financial Impact of COVID-19 to Michigan Hospitals

Based on data voluntarily submitted by member hospitals from March through mid-June, the 2020 COVID-19 Impact Report, Michigan’s Front Line of Defense, highlights how hospitals across the state are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and the significant financial impact it has had on every …


Occupational Mix Survey for 2019 Extended Additional Month

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Lab Technician at Eaton Rapids Medical Center Receives Quarterly Speak-up! Award

The MHA Keystone Center presented Amanda Livingston, a former employee at Eaton Rapids Medical Center, with the quarterly MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award July 22. …


Davenport University Offers New Scholarship for Fall Semester

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The Keckley Report

The Value in Health Care Act: What Does It Mean?

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“Proponents of the Medicare Shared Savings Program encourage ACO participants to stay the course and lawmakers to make it easier for providers to share in savings realized by Medicare. …

“Others think the entire Medicare program needs fresh strategies to insure its sustainability.”

Paul Keckley, July 27, 2020


News to Know

Important healthcare news for the week of Aug. 3:

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MHA in the News

Read recent coverage about the MHA, including articles from MLive, MiBiz and Bridge Magazine that featured quotes from MHA representatives addressing aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

MHA Monday Report July 27, 2020

MHA Monday Report logo

Combating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Week of July 20

As the threat posed by COVID-19 rises across the country, the MHA continues to keep members apprised of developments affecting Michigan hospitals during the pandemic through email updates and the MHA Coronavirus …


State Legislature Considers Healthcare-related Bills​

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OSF HealthCare St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group Employee Receives Annual 2019 Speak-up! Award, Celebrates Safe Culture

Dale Werner, RTR, at OSF HealthCare St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group, Escanaba, received the MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award for fourth quarter of 2019 and was also …


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The Keckley Report

Is Medicare Advantage Part of the Solution or Part of the Problem

“Medicare Advantage (MA) has been an option for seniors since 2003. By all accounts, it’s doing well …

“Is MA the solution to the future for Medicare and a template for improving the effectiveness of the health system? Maybe, but it’s not without challenges that require attention from its proponents.”

Paul Keckley, July 20, 2020


MHA in the News

Read recent coverage about the MHA, including articles from MiBiz on implicit bias training and from Healthcare IT News on issues related to data being reported to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Lab Technician at Eaton Rapids Medical Center Receives Quarterly Speak-up! Award

Speak Up Award logo

Speak-up! AwardThe MHA Keystone Center presented Amanda Livingston, a former employee at Eaton Rapids Medical Center, with the quarterly MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award July 22.

The MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award celebrates patient and staff safety through the recognition of individuals or teams in Michigan hospitals who demonstrate a commitment to the prevention of patient or staff harm.

Livingston, a lab technician, prevented a potential adverse event by refusing to accept a mislabeled specimen. Her act of courage and persistence directly reflects Eaton Rapids Medical Center’s mission to care, serve and inspire.

“I’m honored to be recognized and I hope this serves as a reminder to all healthcare workers that we all can have a direct impact on the safety and quality that our patients receive,” said Livingston.

Eaton Rapids Medical Center is dedicated to reducing preventable harm through a culture of safety. The hospital’s “Keep Me Safe” campaign encourages team members to pause and communicate if they need clarity or have a concern. The organization is committed to going the extra degree in every interaction to keep patients and staff safe.

“At Eaton Rapids Medical Center, we pride ourselves on the quality and patient experience that we provide,” said Eaton Rapids Medical Center CEO Timothy Johnson. “This award is a great representation of the amazing staff that we have and their desire to always do what is in the best interest of the patient.”

The MHA and the MHA Keystone Center launched the MHA Keystone Speak-up! Award in March 2016 as part of a statewide initiative to achieve high reliability in healthcare. Achieving high reliability in healthcare is the next step in improving Michigan’s quality of care, reducing costs and minimizing institutional risk for both patients and providers.

“Amanda and the courage she displayed to speak up in the interest of safety is a great example of the healthcare heroes that we have working in Michigan hospitals,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters. “We are proud to bestow this award upon such a deserving individual.”

Additional award finalists for the first quarter of 2020 include:

  • Amanda Seguin, RN, War Memorial Hospital, Sault Sainte Marie
  • Lisa Bradley, Henry Ford Allegiance Health, Jackson
  • Chuck Johnson, RN, McLaren Lapeer Region
  • Kate Stub, RN, Karmanos Cancer Center, Detroit
  • Heather Bluhm, Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital

Specifics on the MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award, including criteria and a nomination form, are available online. For more information, contact the MHA Keystone Center PSO.

Eaton Rapids Medical Center is an independent, not-for-profit community hospital that provides emergency, surgical, inpatient, outpatient and primary care for patients of all ages. To learn more about Eaton Rapids Medical Center and the services it provides, please visit https://www.eatonrapidsmedicalcenter.org/.

OSF HealthCare St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group Employee Receives Annual 2019 Speak-up! Award, Celebrates Safe Culture

Dale MHA

Dale Werner, RTR, at OSF HealthCare St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group, Escanaba, received the MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award for fourth quarter of 2019 and was also chosen as the annual 2019 Speak-up! Award recipient. Dale Werner, RTR, OSF Healthcare St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group, received the MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award for fourth quarter of 2019 as well as the annual 2019 Speak-up! Award

Werner, a registered technologist in the radiography department, prevented potential patient harm by thoroughly investigating a patient’s medical history and raising concerns before completing a requested procedure. He spoke up to the attending physician, and the patient’s care plan was adjusted, ensuring the patient’s safety was protected while delivering high-quality care. 

“It is an unfortunate reality that errors occur in every healthcare organization,” said Dave Lord, president of OSF St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group. “One of the many ways we lower risk of errors is to create a just culture, where employees feel comfortable to speak up when they become aware of a potential risk.” 

The award acknowledges individuals or teams in MHA Keystone Center Patient Safety Organization (PSO) member hospitals who raise concerns about healthcare quality and safety and prevent potential harm to patients or staff. 

“All members of the healthcare team need to know that they are supported when they raise an issue, and it’s going to be heard and addressed,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters. “An individual, whether it be a nurse or physician or tech, could be the last step of intervention between the patient and harm. Their ability to stop, ask questions and raise a concern is vital in keeping patients safe.” 

OSF St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group has been serving the south central Upper Peninsula since 1884, caring for neighbors, friends and families from birth throughout the stages of life. Its caregivers combine skill, experience, compassion and state-of-the-art technology to provide patients and guests with the best possible experience each time they come for care. OSF St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group is dedicated to raising the level of health in the communities it serves with education, collaboration with other health services and organizations, and the development of new services to meet the communities’ needs.

The Speak-up! Award was created in 2016 and has honored nearly 20 employees of Michigan hospitals to date. The award is presented quarterly, with one quarterly awardee recognized as an annual Speak-up! Award recipient.

Additional award finalists for the fourth quarter of 2019 include:

  • Dawn Zalewski, RN, Beaumont Hospital, Farmington Hills
  • Rachelle Dewyre, McLaren Northern Michigan, Petoskey
  • Rick Shumaker, Sparrow Health System, Lansing

Specifics on the MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award, including criteria and a nomination form, are available online. For more information, contact the MHA Keystone Center PSO.

Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital Medical Assistant Honored for Speaking Up

Warman Speak Up Award

Erin Warman, Munson Healthcare Manistee HospitalThe MHA Keystone Center honored Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital’s Erin Warman with the quarterly MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award July 10.

The award acknowledges individuals or teams in MHA Keystone Center Patient Safety Organization (PSO) member hospitals who raise concerns about healthcare quality and safety and prevent potential harm to patients or staff.

Warman, a medical assistant working in Manistee Hospital’s provider offices, received the award for her persistence and dedication to speaking up on behalf of a patient. Warman identified a delay in medical treatment by family to a homebound patient and voiced her concerns to colleagues, senior leadership and the patient’s family.

“I simply did the right thing and spoke up for the best interests of my patient and the patient’s safety,” said Warman. “I felt comfortable speaking up because of our safety culture, and I’m happy that we avoided any harm to our patient.”

Safety is a key focus area for Munson Healthcare’s True North Goals and a core value for the system. Munson Healthcare has implemented several initiatives to promote a culture of safety and willingness to speak up at its facilities. All staff undergo “Foundations of Safety Culture” training, important safety stories are shared regularly across the system, a robust reporting system captures safety events and near misses, and staff are encouraged to practice key safety behaviors in all situations. Manistee Hospital presents a Speak-up! Award to a staff member each quarter, and recipients are nominated for the state award.

“We are thrilled to have Erin and our safety culture recognized through the statewide MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award,” said Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital CEO James Barker. “At Manistee Hospital, we aim to create a culture of safety by empowering all staff, at all levels of the organization, to speak up to protect our patients. This honor also represents the hundreds of healthcare staff who come to work every day to improve the health and wellness of our patients and our community.”

The Speak-up! Award was created in 2016 and has honored nearly 20 employees of Michigan hospitals to date. The award is presented quarterly, with one quarterly awardee recognized as an annual Speak-up! Award recipient.

“It is one thing to talk about what a safety culture is and how to improve safety, but the MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award celebrates the actions that have been taken to prevent potential harm,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters. “We applaud the safety culture created at Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital and are thrilled to recognize Erin for doing the right thing and speaking up.”

Additional award finalists for the second quarter of 2020 include:

  • Erin Switzer, McLaren Greater Lansing, Lansing
  • Patricia Soper, McLaren Northern, Petoskey
  • Mike Always, Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe
  • Leslie Muyskins, Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital

Specifics on the MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award, including criteria and a nomination form, are available online. For more information, contact the MHA Keystone Center PSO.

Manistee Hospital is a 45-bed acute care hospital and is part of the Munson Healthcare system. The hospital provides high-quality medical care and advanced diagnostic services to residents of Manistee County and surrounding communities. Founded in 1970, Manistee Hospital is known for its early adoption of emerging diagnostic technology and its friendly staff.