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News Lebanon Hospital Receives Prestigious Critical Care Award

By Ian Rollins

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The Critical Care Unit (CCU) at Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital recently received a silver level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN).

This is the first time a rural critical-access hospital, with 25 inpatient beds or less, across the U.S. to receive a Beacon award. The AACN named the hospital’s CCU for the award based on the CCU team’s work on the following criteria:

  • Leadership structures and systems 
  • Appropriate staffing and staff engagement
  • Effective communication, knowledge management, learning and development
  • Evidence-based practice and processes
  • Outcome measurement

The AACN gives the Beacon Award to critical care units that successfully improve patient outcomes and align practices with AACN’s six Healthy Work Environment Standards. Units that achieve this three-year, three-level award with a gold, silver or bronze designation meet national criteria consistent with Magnet Recognition, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the National Quality Healthcare Award.

Hospital patient care leaders Wendie Wunderwald and Justin Floyd said they appreciate the AACN’s recognition and award.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be the first critical access hospital in the U.S. to receive a Beacon Award for Excellence, and it speaks to the exceptional care that Justin and our CCU team have provided to our patients,” said Wunderwald, vice president of patient services. “I’m proud of the job they do and proud that their peers have recognized it as well.”

“We have an incredible team of caregivers in our CCU that are committed not just to our patients, but also to continued development of their skills,” said Floyd, CCU nurse manager. “Their hard work led to this Beacon award, and we’re honored and humbled to receive it.”

AACN President Clareen Wiencek applauds the commitment of the hospital CCU team for working together to meet and exceed the award’s high standards. These dedicated health care professionals join other members of the exceptional community of nurses in the U.S. and Canada who set the standard for optimal patient care.

“The Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes caregivers in stellar units whose consistent and systematic approach to evidence-based care optimizes patient outcomes,” Wiencek said. “Units that receive this national recognition serve as role models to others on their journey to excellent patient and family care.”

AACN will honor the CCU and other Beacon recipients with announcements in association publications, as well as the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition, the world’s largest educational conference and trade show for nurses who care for acutely and critically ill patients and their families.