AUSTIN, Texas — In recognition of their outstanding service to the community during theApril 2013fertilizer plant explosion in West and its aftermath,Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, Hill RegionalHospital and Providence Healthcare Networkwereawarded the Texas Department of State Health Services2013Texas Preparedness Leadership Award.The award was presented today at the Regional Healthcare Preparedness Coalition Symposiumin Galveston.
“Hillcrest, Hill Regional and Providence distinguished themselves in their response to the West tragedy. They are to be lauded for their collegial approach to managing the needs of the victims and their families and responding to the emergency as a collaborative team rather than competing entities,” said Dan Stultz, M.D., FACP, FACHE, THA president/chief executive officer. “They also effectively balanced the need to keep the community informed of events with prioritizing patient care and protecting patient privacy.”
The Texas Hospital Association nominated these hospitals for the award in recognition oftheir coordinated response to the tragedy and follow-up effort to share their teams’ experiences,to assist in rehabilitating the town of West and to identify improvements for future emergency responses.
THA also praised the facilities for their continued collaboration following the aftermath, which included shared lessons learned for hospitals that might face future no notice events. The Joint Commission, an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits health care facilities based on quality and meeting certain performance standards, recently met with hospital administrators in Waco to discuss lessons learned from the West tragedy in hopes of improving resources for future response activities.
Accepting the award wereLori Boyett, RN, BSN, director of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery at Hillcrest, Jan McClure, CEO of Hill Regional, and Jay Scherler, CIO/ vice president of finance at Providence.
“We were very proud of our team’s work in response to the explosion and the ensuing patient volume that called all our team to act,” said Glenn Robinson, FACHE, Hillcrest’s CEO. “We are proud of our team’s performance, and as health care professionals, we believed it was important to collaborate with the community to assess the lessons learned and provide insights for others who might face a similar situation in the future.”
“As health care leaders in our community, serving the patients affected by the West explosion would not be completed without a full assessment of our team’s experiences,” said Brett Esrock, president/ CEO of Providence. “That included understanding how our hospital held up during the response as well as how we could improve if faced with another disaster of a similar scale.”
“The disaster affected the entire Central Texas health care community. As a regional hospital on the front lines of the response, we were proud of the role our hospital played and our team’s outstanding reaction to serve the community,” said Jan McClure, CEO at Hill Regional. “The tragedy demonstrated the need for a strong trauma care system that can respond to the unexpected and meet the varied needs of our state’s patients.”