Healthcare Business News
Spirit of Excellence Judges

Honoring excellence

Our 20th annual program recognizes exceptional service

By Modern Healthcare
Posted: December 15, 2012 - 12:01 am ET

It often feels as if the term “excellence” has lost a lot of its cultural currency. These days, the word is thrown around so casually and ubiquitously, in everything from advertisements to motivational speeches, that it has become more of a buzzword than a true measure of exceptional performance.

But on the occasion of our 20th annual Spirit of Excellence Awards, which honor healthcare organizations and individuals who go beyond what's expected of them in serving their patients and communities, we are reminded what it truly means to excel and the genuine extra effort involved in creating real excellence. These awards, co-sponsored by Sodexo Health Care Services, spotlight creative and innovative programs that support organizational excellence, patient satisfaction, customer service, employee satisfaction, commitment and community participation. This year we received 172 nominations, almost 20% more than we received during last year's program.

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There are five Spirit of Excellence categories, in which we name a winner and an honorable mention:
  • Community: Recognizes effective community education, support and outreach programs.
  • Patient Safety: Recognizes strategies and procedures that improve the safety of care for patients.
  • Process Improvement: Recognizes efforts to increase efficiency and productivity without sacrificing performance.
  • Service: Recognizes excellence in service to patients and residents.
  • Team: Recognizes programs that recruit and retain individuals dedicated to compassion, accountability, respect, enthusiasm and service.
Each winner is awarded a cash prize of $5,000, and each honorable mention receives $1,500, courtesy of Sodexo. Award winners were chosen by a panel of Modern Healthcare senior editors and five judges, all of whom are associated with past Spirit of Excellence award winners. Per editorial policy, the sponsor was not involved in the judging or selection of the winners.

This year's judges are:

  • Dr. John Byrnes, senior vice president/chief quality officer, Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Patient Safety category.
  • Amy Hoey, vice president of patient care services/chief nursing officer, Lowell (Mass.) General Hospital; Community category.
  • Linda Jimenez, chief diversity officer and staff vice president, WellPoint, Indianapolis; Team category.
  • Debra Osteen, senior vice president, Universal Health Services, King of Prussia, Pa.; Service category.
  • Margaret Pearce, chief nursing officer, University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics, Salt Lake City; Process Improvement category.
Frequent Modern Healthcare contributor Ed Finkel wrote all of the profiles on the following pages. Reach him at

We look forward to starting our third decade of the Spirit of Excellence Awards program next year, and encourage you to nominate deserving organizations that are making a difference when our call for nominations opens in August 2013. In addition, to contact the program's co-sponsor, Sodexo, call Bobby Creek, senior director of strategic marketing, at 813-375-1104 or e-mail him at

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