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2017 Qualis Health Idaho Quality Award Winners Announced

May 8, 2017

Qualis Health Recognizes Five Idaho Organizations for Improvements in Healthcare

Boise, ID - Qualis Health, one of the nation's leading population health management organizations, has recognized five healthcare organizations from across the state of Idaho for their achievements in improving healthcare quality and outcomes. The award recipients were recognized during a ceremony at the Idaho Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Conference on May 4 in Boise, Idaho. Kelly McGrath, MD, MS, Qualis Health Idaho Medical Director, presented the awards.

Dr. McGrath presented a special award to Richard Armstrong, director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare since 2006, for exemplary contribution to healthcare quality in Idaho.

"Our changing healthcare landscape requires increasingly vigorous efforts to improve healthcare delivery and health outcomes in Idaho and across the nation. The Qualis Health Idaho Quality Awards celebrate organizations that have transformed healthcare delivery for their communities—making a real difference for their patients and their families," said Jonathan Sugarman, MD, MPH, President and CEO of Qualis Health. "Their achievements exemplify progress towards critical aims for healthcare: better quality of care at a lower cost."

The 2017 Quality Awards of Excellence in Healthcare Quality are awarded to the following organizations:

  • Award of Excellence: Hospital - Madison Memorial Hospital, Rexburg, for their project, "Quality-Driven Medication Reconciliation"
  • Award of Excellence: Hospital - Kootenai Health, Coeur d’Alene, for their project, "Colorectal Enhanced Recovery Program"
  • Award of Excellence: Post-Acute Care - Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation—Mountain Valley, Kellogg, for their project, "Improving Resident Quality of Life by Decreasing Moderate-to-Severe Pain in Long-Term Care"
  • Award of Excellence: Critical Access Hospital - Bonner General Health, Sandpoint, for their project, "Code Stork"
  • Award of Excellence: Outpatient Setting - Terry Reilly Health Services, Nampa, for their project, "Implementing Medication-Assisted Therapy"

Qualis Health recognized Richard "Dick" Armstrong with a special award for his leadership of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, the state’s largest agency, for the past 11 years. He was appointed in 2006 after retiring from a long career at Blue Cross of Idaho, expecting to stay on temporarily for 6–7 months. He has served as executive and administrative head of the department, which employs more than 2,800 people and has an annual budget of $2.88 billion to serve the state’s most vulnerable citizens—children, people with mental illnesses, and the elderly. He has been instrumental in streamlining the department’s customer service and business processes and influential in establishing a state-based health insurance exchange.

Director Armstrong has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to population health. Under his leadership, Idaho was one of a few states to receive a multi-year grant from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to develop the State Healthcare Innovation Plan (SHIP) to the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model in which clinics seek to improve the quality and effectiveness of the care and meet patients’ unique needs and preferences. The PCMH model of care results in improved health outcomes, patient and provider experience, and cost of care.

"This is an amazing recognition," said Mr. Armstrong in accepting the award. "I'm truly humbled by it, especially coming from a group such as yours that does wonderful work every day to improve the life of Idaho citizens."

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