Finalists from Baltimore, Md., Denver and Appleton, Wis., also recognized
CHICAGO, January 13, 2009 — In honor of its broad-based efforts to improve the lives of the most vulnerable members of its community, St. Mary’s Health System in Lewiston, Maine, is the recipient of the prestigious 2008 Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service, one of the most esteemed community service honors in health care.
Each year, this $100,000 prize is presented to a health care organization that provides innovative programs that significantly improve the health and well-being of its community. The Foster G. McGaw Prize is sponsored by the American Hospital Association (AHA), The Baxter International Foundation and the Cardinal Health Foundation.
Named as finalists for this year’s award and receiving $10,000 each are Bon Secours Baltimore Health System in Baltimore, Md., Denver Health in Denver and ThedaCare in Appleton, Wis.
“The Foster G. McGaw Prize recognizes health care organizations that serve as role models for improving the health and well-being of the people in their communities. This year’s winner and finalists exemplify what it takes to meet the unique needs of the diverse communities they serve,” said Susan Manilow, chair of the Foster G. McGaw Prize Committee. “Through strong leadership, innovative collaboration and partnerships, and unwavering commitment, these organizations provide a wide array of programs and services that positively impact people’s lives.”
This year’s McGaw Prize winner, St. Mary’s Health System, is a member of Covenant Health Systems based in Lexington, Mass., and provides health care services in central and western Maine from its 16-acre campus in Lewiston. Operating in a federally designated medically underserved area, St. Mary’s Health System includes a 233-bed acute care hospital; a rehabilitative care facility; a 128-apartment independent living facility for low-income elderly and disabled community members; residential treatment homes for children and adolescents; and a school for children with emotional disabilities. St. Mary’s also offers clinical services with sliding scale fees through a diverse network of 65 physicians, and provides a range of preventive and occupational medical services to more than 400 local employers and their employees.
“Mission is at the heart of everything St. Mary’s Health System undertakes,” said James Cassidy, president and CEO of St. Mary’s. “We are proud of our efforts in the community – including health screenings, our food pantry, our community gardening program, our housing initiative and our nutrition center. Each of these programs ties back to our mission as a Catholic health system, and support for this mission runs straight through our organization from line staff right up to our board.”
Among other programs, St. Mary’s was recognized for the following innovative community service initiatives:
“St. Mary’s Health System embraces the vision of its founders to ‘do what needs to be done,’ whether or not the task is characteristic of a health care system. With a dedication to leveraging financial and human resources to meet community needs in a culturally sensitive manner, St. Mary’s addresses a wide range of issues,” said Manilow. “Whether creating new, affordable housing, establishing a much needed outreach center for health and community services, addressing the health issues of a growing Somali population or meeting community nutritional needs, St. Mary’s provides invaluable social and health care services to its community under outstanding leadership.”
Three Foster G. McGaw Prize finalists were also recognized for their significant accomplishments in community service. Each received a $10,000 prize:
About St. Mary's Health System
The St. Mary's Health System includes St. Mary's Regional Medical Center, a 233-bed acute care facility; Community Clinical Services, with primary care and specialty physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and midwives; St. Mary's d’Youville Pavilion, one of the largest nursing homes north of Boston, with 210 beds dedicated to long-term care, a secure Alzheimer’s unit and Rehab Center; St. Mary's Residences, an independent living center; and St. Mary's WorkMed occupational health services, providing comprehensive worksite services to businesses in Androscoggin County and beyond.
About The Foster G. McGaw Prize
The Foster G. McGaw Prize, first awarded in 1986, recognizes health care organizations that demonstrate commitment to community service through a range of programs that demonstrate a passion and continuous commitment to making communities healthier and more vital. The prize inspires hospitals, health systems and communities to assess and implement programs that improve their communities.
The American Hospital Association is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include almost 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 37,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA Web site at www.aha.org.
The Baxter International Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX), helps organizations expand access to health care in the United States and around the world. The foundation, established in 1981, began to focus exclusively on increasing access to health care in 2002 – particularly for the disadvantaged and underserved – in communities where Baxter employees live and work. Baxter International Inc. develops, manufactures and markets products that save and sustain the lives of people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions. As a global, diversified health care company, Baxter applies a unique combination of expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to create products that advance patient care worldwide. For more information, please visit www.baxter.com.
Supported by the global resources of Cardinal Health and its more than 40,000 employees, the Cardinal Health Foundation supports regional, national and international programs that improve health care quality and build healthy communities. The Cardinal Health Foundation also offers grants to encourage employee service to the community and works through international agencies to donate much-needed medical supplies and funding to those who need them in times of disaster. With annual revenues of $91 billion and operations on five continents, Cardinal Health serves the health care industry with products and services that help hospitals, physician offices and pharmacies reduce costs, improve safety, productivity and profitability, and deliver better care to patients. To learn more about the Cardinal Health Foundation, visit cardinalHealth.com/community.