Donald Berwick, M.D., president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Boston, was given the Trust Award from the Health Research and Educational Trust for leadership in healthcare improvement.
The not-for-profit HRET is a research affiliate of the American Hospital Association.
The award recognizes "leadership and vision, personal dedication, compassion for excellence, and overall ethics and integrity" to improve healthcare. The award was presented Sunday in San Diego, at HRET's annual Trust Award dinner.
Mary Pittman, president of HRET, said Berwick is "a champion of collaboration in his efforts to transform healthcare and, through his successful launch of IHI in 1991, has been instrumental in improving the quality of healthcare. His perseverance and passion is a constant inspiration and call to action to achieve excellence in patient care."
Berwick served as a member of the Institute of Medicine's Committee on Quality of Health Care in America, which delivered the 1999 landmark report To Err is Human on preventable medical errors and the 2001 follow-up, Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century.
The IHI is a not-for-profit organization working to improve healthcare quality.
Also this week, a Vietnamese physician who is founder of a Saigon free clinic for the poor and is a human rights activist who has been imprisoned or under house arrest for more than 25 years, was named the recipient of the 2004 Heinz R. Pagels Human Rights of Scientists Award by the New York Academy of Sciences.
Nguyen Dan Que has been a member of the medical faculty at Saigon University and director of the Cho-Ray Hospital in Vietnam. In the late 1970s, he challenged the government's healthcare policies and was imprisoned for 10 years without a trial.
Joseph Birman, chair of the academy's human rights committee, said Que, the founder of the Vietnamese Non-Violent Movement for Human Rights, also was chosen because of his "unwavering efforts to improve the daily lives of people in Vietnam and to promote a peaceful transition to democracy and freedom."
The award will be presented Sept. 13 at the academy's annual meeting.